Artist impression of Bible John
25 Aug 2013 Marion Scott
WRITER and retired officer Paul
Harrison believes Scotland’s most notorious murderer is still alive and
he evaded justice because he was a cop.
Harrison, 54, one of the first UK officers to train with the FBI on killer profiles, said:
“Beattie was a man of huge integrity, it shattered him to believe the killer was one of his own. When
the most senior ranking officers in the force found out Beattie was
beginning to investigate his own officers, he was ordered to shut his
operation down. The man I believe is Bible John was pensioned off on health grounds shortly afterwards.”
Harrison says he has made all his information and research available to police but they have never responded to him.
Bible John is the nickname given to a suspected serial killer blamed for the deaths of three women in Glasgow in the late 1960s.
Patricia Docker, 25, Jemina McDonald,
32, and Helen Puttock, 29, all died after nights out at the city’s
Barrowland Ballroom. All three had been raped and strangled.
Using a Freedom of Information request,
Harrison claims he was able to find out how many officers left the force
around the time of the killings. And, after painstaking research, he unmasked his suspect.
He said: “I wanted
to name him in my book but I couldn’t for legal reasons. If the police
contact me now, I’ll happily tell them everything. I’d
like justice for the families of the women he killed…and for Joe
Beattie. He was brilliant detective who wouldn’t accept he couldn’t
close that case.”
Edinburgh-born Harrison rejects recent theories that serial killer Peter Tobin could have been Bible John.
Three years ago, gran Julia Taylor told
the Sunday Mail she was convinced the man she met in the Barrowland in
the late 60s was Tobin.
But Harrison says Tobin’s ex-wife insists he was with her when one of the killings took place. And he is said to have been in police custody for questioning over an unrelated crime during another of the murders.
Harrison added: “Plus, Tobin used to bury his victims. Bible John displayed his in public places.”
Harrison initially worked with the
police in Northamptonshire, spending long spells undercover gathering
intelligence on football casuals. He began writing while still a serving
officer before a knee injury ended his police career in 1998.
He said: “I have had
30 true crime books published but the one subject I kept returning to
was Bible John. I had the privilege of getting to know Joe Beattie very
well. Over a period of years he shared his thoughts on the case. Beattie
was one of the best detectives this country has ever produced and I
dedicated this book to his memory. Bible John haunted him until the day
he died 13 years ago.”
Harrison said that Helen Puttock’s
sister Jeannie McLachlan, who shared a taxi with the killer, was also
convinced Bible John was a cop.
He added: “She was
adamant she saw him show a warrant card to her sister before they left
the dancehall. Beattie showed her his own warrant card and Jeannie said
it was identical to the one Bible John had shown her sister. The man who
was with Jeannie that night, known only as Castlemilk John, also told
her he suspected Helen’s beau was an undercover cop. Perhaps that is why he didn’t get into their taxi and why he’s never come forward.”
Harrison says Jeannie, who died in 2010,
told him she saw the killer during one of the many visits she made to
the Marine police station in Partick with Beattie to look at suspects.
He added : “When she
pointed out the man she thought was Bible John, Beattie told her she
was mistaken as she was pointing out one of his detectives.”
Harrison has used techniques from his training at the FBI’s Quantico Academy to profile the killer.
He said: “He was
married with children and had strong links with religion. But he didn’t
suddenly stop killing. I believe there are several cases in the
Highlands that should be looked at again with him in mind.”
Harrison said that at the time of the Bible John murders, the City of Glasgow police had some brilliant detectives.
He added: “But there
was also an element of rogue cops with rumours of protection and
prostitution rackets and close relationships with gangsters. While
researching Dancing with the Devil, I put adverts in newsagents’ windows
asking people to call with their memories of the Bible John era. I got
calls from bouncers who’d worked at Barrowland who told me they believed
the killer was a cop. Some of them had got into a fight with a
well-dressed man at the time of the killings, but he produced a warrant
card and told them to back off. Later, they matched the Bible John
photofit to the man they’d beaten up.”
Police Scotland said: “To
our knowledge it has never been suggested that Bible John was a police
officer. These murders are still unsolved and we would welcome any new information that comes to light.”
Source DAILY RECORD
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