Bible John | Unsolved | True Crime

(Police appeal for information about Bible John from the public. Picture credit:

Growing up in Scotland I would always hear the name ''Bible John'' quite a lot but never fully understood who he was or what he had done. I later heard through the years that he would stalk the famous Glasgow dance and music venue the Barrowland Ballroom at the weekends looking for women to kill.

The stories I heard about him were true, there was a man who stalked the Barrowland Ballroom back in the 1960s and had in fact murdered three women, he was named ''Bible John'' because nobody could identify him. 

It was a case that has continued to stay in people's minds and the fact that he as never been identified just adds to the mystery of the whole situation. I mentioned in a previous post that the Bible John case reminds me a little bit of the response to the Jack The Ripper case. Nobody knows who these murderers are but people have their own opinions and theories and the cases are still discussed and debated to this day. 

I decided to go over the Bible John case briefly (as only limited information is available) as I have just covered the Peter Tobin case and many people (including the famous criminologist and author, Professor David Wilson who wrote a book on Peter's case together with Paul Harrison) believe that Peter Tobin is Bible John.

I mentioned in my last post that I haven't read David Wilson and Paul Harrison's book so I don't want to make a judgement until I read their book, 

Peter Tobin was linked to the Bible John murders because of the manner of the killings and he had lived in the area at the time. He would often go to the Barrowland Ballroom on a Saturday night.

It's strange to write about a case in which there is hardly any information about the perpetrator, all we know is that he murdered three women between 1968 and 1969. The victims ages ranged between 25 and 32 and all three had been on their periods at the time of their deaths.

(A sketch of Bible John and serial killer Peter Tobin. Picture credit:

if you read my last post on Peter Tobin you may remember me sharing that Peter would not allow his first wife to wear any sanitary protection during her period and would force her to have sex with him as if he was sexually aroused at the thought of her being on her period. This is another possible connection between Peter and Bible John. 

Peter Tobin would be around 21 years old at the time of the murders and was a regular at the Barrowland Ballroom. He was also described to have been quite handsome, polite and well groomed in his youth but had a troubled background (I cover this in my Peter Tobin series). 

A woman who had met Peter Tobin in the 60s at the Barrowland Ballroom said in a recent interview that she if convinced that he is Bible John.

Some of the theory goes out of the window though as Peter's ex wife confirmed that he was with her on the night of one of the murders. 

The three women were all murdered after having a night out at the Barrowland Ballroom, Patricia Docker, Helen Puttock and Jemima McDonald had all been raped and strangled. The girls had also had their handbags stolen. 

The media had nicknamed the murderer ''Bible John'' because he would be overheard quoting bible psalms in the taxi on the way home.

He was overheard saying ''I don't drink at Hogmanay, I pray'' 

He's reported to have mentioned that he agreed with what his father said that dance halls were the ''dens of iniquity'' 

(Right: Patricia Docker. Centre: Jemima McDonald. Left: Helen Puttock. Picture credit:

Last year (2018) marked 50 years since the murders happened and the police still don't have a clue to this day who Bible John really is. Paul Harrison who wrote the book The Lost British Serial Killer alongside Professor David Wilson believes that Bible John was a policeman and that he is quite possibly still alive today.

The sister of the victim, Helen Puttock who was in the taxi with ''Bible John'' also believes that he was a policeman. She claimed before her death in 2010 that when she went to the police station to attend identity parades, she saw the man who she believed to have been the same man in the taxi on the night of her sister's death.

As I said before, there's a lot of theories of who Bible John could be and the police have said the following, ''These murders are still unsolved and we would welcome any new information that comes to light''.

As the police didn't have a photograph of the suspect and CCTV footage wasn't around at that time, they had to go on a sketch and use this same picture in their appeals to the public for information.

I'm not sure that the Bible John case will ever be solved sadly but it's fascinating that people are still talking about him to this day.

There's so many articles, podcasts and documentaries out there on this case which delve into the backgrounds of the victims and touch on who they believe Bible John to be or where he could possibly be now. I've talked briefly about him in this post but I do encourage further reading on this and then decide what you think from your own research.

I'm currently researching a big case to publish in the coming days, it will probably be in two or there parts, so keep your eyes peeled for that. 

Further reading and sources:

RIP Patricia, Jemima and Helen.

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1 comment:

  1. I had not heard of Bible John until today. When I saw the sketch I IMMEDIATELY thought, "That's Peter Tobin" although I could not remember Tobin's name. I remembered is face from a true crime show and had to hunt down his name. I'm glad I was not the only one who thought it was a dead ringer for Tobin.