Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Bible John


After Helen's murder, a man came forward who said that he'd been on a nearly deserted bus in the early hours of Halloween when a disheveled looking young male with scratches on his face boarded the bus and then later got off at a stop on Gray Street. Police searched the areas for clues and for men matching Bible John's description, but came up empty.

While dealing with the overwhelming public response (at one point more than 100 police officers were working on the case and more than 50,000 statements were collected), police also performed numerous interviews of bus drivers and taxi drivers — and younger officers began going undercover to Barrowland, pretending to be fun-loving dancers out for a night on the town while looking for likely suspects who matched Jean's description of the man she and Helen had shared a taxi with.

Jean's description also led police to focus a part of their investigation on the armed forces (and possibly even their own), as John's short haircut may have indicated his belonging to a branch of the military.

Additionally, police questioned dentists about male patients who had the overlapping tooth, and golf courses throughout the country were contacted to see if John's story about a cousin recently making a hole-in-one could be used to track down the killer.

A Glasgow newspaper brought in a Dutch psychic who had been helpful in similar cases in the past, and Crow & Samson state that by being told only Helen's name, age, and the location of her body, the psychic was able to draw a detailed map of a Glasgow neighborhood that was later searched — without result.

Skelton reported that in the middle of 1970, a Glasgow psychiatrist produced an early profile stating that Bible John would most likely appear friendly, but somewhat prudish. The psychiatrist theorized that Bible John liked to go to movies by himself and read about topics ranging from the Third Reich to sorcery.

Jean was called in to police stations more than 250 times to view suspects that matched her description, but she was unable to positively identify Bible John and, although the investigation continued, no arrests were made.

Bible John and the three murdered women faded from the public eye as the new decade began.


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