Police search serial killer's former homes

14 July 2010, 16:52

Police investigating whether the serial killer who murdered Essex schoolgirl Dinah McNicol claimed more victims, have been searching a well in a garden in Brighton.

Officers began searching two properties there this week and have promised vicitms' families that they will not give up until they have exhausted all lines of inquiry.

63 year old Peter Tobin - who's in jail for life - lived at the houses in late 80's.

Specialist teams of police officers and archaeologists started have been using ground-penetrating radar and shovels to discover if any bodies or evidence may be buried at the homes.

On Wednesday, an officer attached to a harness was lowered into a well in the garden of the property in Station Road, Portslade.

The search is part of a national investigation, called Anagram, to see if Tobin is responsible for any more murders.

Tobin, 63, was told last December he would die in jail after he was convicted of strangling 18-year-old Dinah from Tilbury.

The former church handyman was already serving life terms for the murders of 15-year-old Vicky Hamilton and Angelika Kluk, 23.

Senior detectives are convinced serial killer Peter Tobin is responsible for some of the country's most notorious unsolved murders.

Members of at least eight forces have spent years carefully reconstructing his movements under a series of aliases.

One senior officer said Tobin's offences were "horrific'' and added that "without doubt he has probably committed more''.

Although Tobin will die in jail, police said they owed it to his victims to get to the bottom of his crimes.

They are believed to have narrowed their inquiries to nine unsolved cases of women who have been murdered or have disappeared.

Only last week a television appeal led to a flood of new information after a woman said Tobin drugged and attacked her in Glasgow in 1968.

Cases that have been linked to the inquiry include:

:: The murders of three women in Glasgow in 1968 and 1969 - thought to have been victims of a mysterious figure nicknamed "Bible John''.

All three women were brunettes and all were wearing black dresses. They were savagely assaulted and murdered after being picked up at the city's Barrowlands dance hall.

:: Schoolgirls Karen Hadaway, 10, and Nicola Fellows, nine, were found strangled in Wild Park, Brighton, in October 1986. The cases became known as the Babes in the Woods killings.

Labourer Russell Bishop was charged with the murders but was acquitted after the prosecution admitted a series of errors in the presentation of forensic evidence at his trial at Lewes Crown Court in 1987.

:: Other potential victims are law student Pamela Exall, 22, who vanished in 1974 while holidaying in Norfolk; schoolgirl Patricia Morris, 14, who went missing in Essex in 1980 and Suzanne Lawrence, 14, last seen in Essex in July 1979.