Bible John – Creation of a Serial Killer: New BBC true crime podcast to delve into unsolved Bible John murders

A new ten-part podcast series from BBC Scotland has been launched amid claims it will reveal significant new information about the notorious Bible John murders.

Bible John – Creation of a Serial Killer is set to shed new light on the investigation in Glasgow, the public broadcaster said. The series delves into the unsolved case that began in February 1968, when a young woman was murdered after a night dancing at Glasgow’s Barrowland Ballroom.

She was the first victim in a series of three killings that came to be known as the Bible John murders, in which Patricia Docker, 25, mother-of-three Jemima McDonald, 32, and Helen Puttock, 29, were murdered after nights out in Glasgow.

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Each woman was found partially naked, having been beaten extensively before being strangled to death.

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Rumours soon spread that Bible John was targeting dance halls as he believed them to be dens of iniquity where Scotland’s sinful youth gathered en-masse. The killings had a profound effect on the city as police tried to trace the killer in what became Scotland’s biggest ever manhunt.

Following the third murder, Bible John apparently stopped, but mystery and intrigue still remains around the man many describe as Scotland’s most infamous serial killer, with many speculating Peter Tobin was in fact the notorious killer.

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The Bible John case saw the first black and white photofit ever used in a Scots murder hunt issue, with a new artist's impression released in a BBC documentary in 2021, The Hunt for Bible John.

Now the new podcast series will revisit revelations first brought to light in 1996 after journalist Audrey Gillan revealed detectives investigating the murders had a new prime suspect.

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Programme Name: The Hunt For Bible John - TX: 22/11/2021 - Episode: n/a (No. 1) - Picture Shows: Bible John Barrowland composite - (C) BBC Scotland/Police Scotland - Photographer: BBC Scotland/Police Scotland

The journalist broke the story on the front page of Scotland on Sunday following an investigation that gave her access to some of the original police files and allowed her to speak to investigating officers and a key witness.

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Read More
When Bible John's reign of terror struck fear into Glasgow's dancing youth

The podcast series launched yesterday revisits the documents from 25 years ago and reveal how the descriptions of the three murdered women – Docker, McDonald and Puttock – were littered with judgements on how they lived and died, as well as covering what happened to the families they left behind.

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By analysing the documents in a fresh light, Gillan uncovers the trail of another story about Bible John – one which could significantly change what we know about the case, according to the BBC.

Programme Name: The Hunt For Bible John - TX: 22/11/2021 - Episode: n/a (No. 1) - Picture Shows: Bible John Photofit on clipboard - (C) Police Scotland - Photographer: Police Scotland
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Gillan said: “This case has haunted me for almost all of my life.

“I have always wanted to find out more about the three women – to get a sense of the streets they walked on, the clothes they wore and the songs they sang.

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“But the Bible John investigation is like nothing else I have ever worked on, and making this podcast has thrown up a number of revelations.”

The series also features contributions from police officers, journalists who reported on the original investigation and family members of the three victims. Many of these people have never spoken publicly about the case before.

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Bible John – Creation of a Serial Killer is now available BBC Sounds.