Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Bible John

Portrait of Bible John

Police Sketch of Suspect
Police Sketch of Suspect

A color portrait based on witnesses' descriptions was created by a member of the Glasgow School of Art and widely circulated in the Glasgow area. Skelton narrates one rare comical point of the investigation involving the creation of this portrait: while being interviewed, one witness commented that a dog walking nearby had hair color that was nearly an exact match to Bible John's. For the sake of authenticity, officers chased the startled dog through the streets until they cornered it and clipped a sample of the dog's hair for use by the portrait artist.

The portrait generated more than 4,000 tips from people who claimed they saw or knew the man pictured. Some men who bore an unfortunate resemblance to the portrait eventually carried cards issued by the police stating that they had been questioned and cleared of the crimes.

Helen's husband made a public appeal for the killer to turn himself in. Crow & Samson further relate that he also offered a reward that accounted for most of his life savings.

The BBC aired a recreation of Helen's final night using a policewoman as a stand-in and a man who had once been brought in for questioning due to his strong resemblance to the portrait of the killer.

But few leads were generated.


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