By Paul B. Kidd   

The "Calling Card" Killer

Serial killers the likes of John Wayne Glover are extremely rare. In most cases of serial murder, the perpetrators very rarely leave a "calling card," a repetitive clue or injury telling investigators that it is the work of the same killer.

Some serial killers prefer to abduct their victims, have their way with them and then conceal their bodies. Others use different methods of murder from one killing to the next while others blatantly go about killing those around them, such as family members or workmates, until police finally catch up with them.

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"Calling card" serial killers are the ones that keep committing identical murders time and again until they are caught — although some are never caught. "Calling card" serial killers are also the killers that get the most publicity as the public is aware of each killing as it takes place and are aware that there is a maniac on the loose, unlike when the victims are abducted and concealed and investigators can only suspect it is the work of the one killer.

As a consequence, these murderers are certainly the best known serial killers in history. The Boston Strangler, Jack the Ripper, the Yorkshire Ripper, Australia's William "the Mutilator" McDonald and New York's Son of Sam — who went one step further and taunted police with letters telling them when his next killing would be — were all calling card serial killers.

John Glover - mugshot
John Glover - mugshot

So was John Wayne Glover. Each time Glover committed serial murder, he ruthlessly bashed his victims to death with a hammer in public places in broad daylight and then throttled the last breath out of them with their own undergarments. The killings were unmistakably the work of the one person.

John Glover was "The Granny Killer", "The Monster of Mosman", a vicious and calculating serial killer who deep-etched a macabre niche for himself into the history of Australia's most despicable murderers.

Glover was the only serial killer who specialised in bashing and murdering little old ladies.

A bully, John Glover forced his defenceless victims into alcoves and alleyways with his superior strength and then set upon them with his fists and his trademark hammer, repeatedly bashing them about the head until they fell to his feet, saturated in their own blood.

Not content with bashing alone, he would then subject them to the ultimate humiliation and gaze upon their most private parts while he removed their pantyhose and then throttle his victims with them. This final indignity would become his calling card and detectives knew that the killings were unmistakably the work of the one killer.

And because Australian police — and police throughout the world, for that matter — had never experienced such a case, investigators had little or nothing to go on. There were no guidelines to steer those trying to find the elusive murderer. If there had been, then Glover might have been brought to justice earlier. In the end it was a combination of police diligence and an almost pathological urge to get caught that brought him to trial. 

Towards the end of his reign of terror, Glover was leaving clues all over town. Tragically, if this vital information had reached them a lot earlier, then perhaps one life, or possibly two, may have been saved.


1. The "Calling Card" Killer

2. Not Your Average Serial Killer

3. Not Crazy

4. A Violent Past

5. Marriage

6. The Dream Shattered

7. The Killings Begin

8. A Bizarre Twist

9. A Serial Killer on the Loose

10. Two Murders in One Day

11. A Solid Clue

12. A Break At Last

13. A Tragic Mistake

14. Face to Face with "The Granny Killer"

15. Trial & Sentencing

16. Interview with "The Granny Killer" I

17. Interview with "The Granny Killer" II

18. Interview with "The Granny Killer" III

19. The Author

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Jack the Ripper
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