Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Truth is always stranger than fiction - Bible John - Glasgow's unsolved murders

Who was Bible John? 

In Vile City, a serial killer is going around Glasgow abducting and killing young women. The press have dubbed this killer the Glasgow Grabber.

In real life, Glasgow's most notorious serial killer is a man who has never been caught. Someone who's nickname even today, sends terror throughout the city. 

A good looking, well dressed, soft spoken man who was given the name Bible John because he said his name was John and he quoted from the bible. 

He's believed to have murdered three women in Glasgow between between 1968 and 1969 that he'd met at the city's Barrowland ballroom. All three victims - nurse Patricia Docker, mum of three Jemima McDonald and Helen Puttock - were raped and strangled with their own stockings and their handbags were taken. 

What makes Bible John so unusual is that he shared a taxi with one of his victims (his 3rd and last know victim), Helen Puttock and her sister Jean and happily chatted away to them. Jean also invited another man to share the cab with them too (despite appeals, he never came forward). That left two people - the sister and the taxi driver - who could have identified him.

It was because of that taxi ride that the police managed to get so much information on the killer, including developing a psychological profile and a photofit. By all accounts, Bible John was an extremely polite and easy going companion.

The sister Jean got off at her stop, leaving tragic Helen Puttock alone with Bible John. 

Poor Helen was found raped, beaten and strangled in the garden of her own flat the next morning. She'd put up a fight and there were grass stains on her feet showing that she'd tried to run. Her handbag was missing and police think her killer took it as a trophy. 

A man was later spotted with his face covered in scratches and in a rumpled state on a bus heading into the city centre. Whenever that was Bible John or not, its impossible to tell. 

Was Bible John's motive misogyny? 

One facet of the crimes that shocked Glasgow were that all three women were menstruating at the time they were brutally murdered, suggesting a hint of misogyny to the murders. Or was it a case of he wanted to have sex with the women, but saw them as unclean? Who knows what goes inside the head of such a warped individual? 

Bible John has never been found. Like other infamous killers who escaped justice, theories abound about Bible John's whereabouts and his identity. but the one person who may have been able to identify him, tragic Helen Puttock's sister Jean, has long since passed away. 

One belief is that the well spoken man who recited from the bible, may have gone overseas to work as a missionary which would explain why the murders abruptly stopped. Could he have carried on his killing spree undetected abroad, perhaps in Africa?

There are other theories such as that Bible John joined the army or was a police officer (apparently the way he was dressed was the way members of Her Majesty's Constabulary dressed at the time). 

Is evil Peter Tobin Bible John? 

A young Peter Tobin next to a photofit of Bible John 

Evil killer Peter Tobin, who has been convicted of three murders and who is believed to behind many more, has also been linked to the killings as there are those who think he resembles the Bible John photofit.  The name Helen Puttock's sister said Bible John gave them was also similar to one of Tobin's known aliases.

Is Peter Tobin Bible John? 

However the man who probably knows him best and who brought him to justice, retired DCI David Swindle believes there's no evidence to link Tobin with the crime. 

Tobin's victims were all very different from Bible John's who murdered grown women.

Tobin's victims could be described almost as children - Vicky Hamilton, 15, Dinah MacNicol, 18 and Angelika Kluk who although she was 23 looked much younger and was living a long way away from her Polish homeland when Tobin who was working as a caretaker at the church where she was staying raped and murdered her.

It seems like we'll never know the true identity of the monster who held Glasgow in a grip of terror and destroyed three families' lives forever.

You'll need to read Vile City when it's published next year by Caffeine Nights to find out if DI Waddell and his team catch the man they are after, the man dubbed the Glasgow Grabber. 

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Happy dance time - Vile City gets a publication date


Today it's happy dance time as the wonderful Darren Laws at Caffeine Nights has told me that Vile City will be published on May 11th, 2017. 

It's the first novel featuring tough Glasgow detective Duncan Waddell who is fast starting to despise the city he loves because of all the horrors he sees. 

I'm over the moon that my novel will finally see the light of day. 

It's been a long and winding road for Vile City. 

In 2013, I won the Scottish Association of Writers award for a novel and was delighted to win the Pitlochry Quaich ( a quaich is a Scottish drinking cup). 

The battle to find a publisher began and over the years I improved Vile city. 

Why Detective in a Coma? 

I've dubbed the book the first in the Detective in a Coma series. When I was writing the book and then re-writing it, one character wouldn't stop talking to me. A peripheral character called Stevie Campbell. 

He was a colleague and friend of Duncan Waddell and he'd been in a coma since he'd been attacked by a suspect and left bleeding to death. 

Tony Soprano spoke to his therapist, Waddell speaks to his friend who's in a coma. What's surprising is that Stevie talks back to him, but only when no one else is in the room.

Has Waddell gone mad? Or is Stevie playing mind games?

You can decided when you read Vile City when it comes out on May 11th, 2017. 

You can read an extract from Vile City here. 

Why Glenn shouldn't Die in The Walking Dead

Don't let it be Glenn
We've waited such a long time after being left in heartbreaking limbo over what's been a very long summer.

Will Glenn be the one to die like he does in the comics at the end of Negan's bat Lucille?

If you're asking me, the last thing I want is the TV show to follow the comics.

For one thing, it makes it too predictable and I want to be surprised.

Killing off such a major character as Glenn would be a death too far. Tyreeses's death in the show was pointless apart from letting someone direct a Tarrantino-esque episode. 

Tyreese - killed too soon? 

The show simply doesn't have enough major characters to lose Glenn, one of say only half a dozen characters that could have a stand alone episode and keep you interested. Apart from flashes from Aaron, the Alexandrians have been a boring, whining, inspid lot. 

When Rick's new squeeze and her two kids died, did we care? 

Glenn feel like he's the one person on the show who represents us. Maybe it's because we've been with him from the beginning.

From the minute the former pizza delivery boy arrived on the scene and saved Rick Grimes. To the moment he finally had to break his code of having never killed a human being at one of Negan's outposts.

So, who should Negan kill?

I love horror movies, so this is how I'd like things to go -

Negan swings his baseball bat like a pantomime villain and aims it at the man he perceives as the biggest physical threat.

Someone who glares him down whilst everybody watches on helplessly or looks away.

Somebody who doesn't quiver in fear.

That man's Abraham.

The shock of what's happening makes Maggie go into premature labour.

The baby comes out stillborn and starts to eat her. After the first bite, Maggie's fate is sealed.

Meet Maggie's baby 

As everybody watches on in horror, Negan merely smiles. When you're a sociopath and kill without any regret or emotion, watching a zombie baby eat it's mom ain't that shocking.

How would that change The Walking Dead universe?

1. It could mean that since the outbreak most babies cannot be born safely. Lori was okay because she might have become pregnant by Shane/Rick before the outbreak.

2. With Maggie gone, Glenn would have to find a way to carry on. Would he turn to the dark side? I sure hope so. It'd give us a chance to see another side to him.

3. Carol would come back in full psycho killer mode, something I hope she will do when she hears about what Negan did and how he steals men's partners and forces them to sleep with him in exchange for food (that's if his character follows the comic).

4. Morgan would need to realise his "All life is precious" mantra should be "Some life is precious and the other kind needs a bullet to the head." We could get to see more of that stick action.

So, what do you think folks, how would you like to see The Walking Dead premiere go?