The hunt for Helen Kane’s murderer and potential links to the John Bible
After Helen Kane’s body was found, police launched a hunt for the killer – and Glasgow detectives questioned links to ‘Bible John’.
To this day, Bible John remains unidentified and is believed to have murdered three young women between 1968 and 1969 in Glasgow. All of his victims were young dark-haired women between the ages of 25 and 32 – fitting Helen Kane’s description.
The killer met his victims at the Barrowland Ballroom and became known as Bible John after repeatedly quoting the Bible while condemning adultery against young women. While Glasgow police were still hunting him in 1970, they contacted their counterparts in the capital after the murder of Helen Kane.
With striking similarities in the cases, detectives were keen to determine if there could be a connection. Just two days after the discovery of Helen’s body, Glasgow police had come to a conclusion.
The Aberdeen Press & Journal told readers on May 27, 1970: “Glasgow detectives today said they were ‘reasonably satisfied’ that there was no connection between the murder of a mother of ‘Edinburgh on Sunday and that of a mother from Glasgow last October.
“Detectives looking for ‘Bible John’, the nickname of a man they wish to question in connection with the murder of Ms Helen Puttock in Glasgow, have been in contact with Edinburgh Police after Ms Helen Kane was found dead on Sunday.
Another suspect who was questioned by the police was Peter Tobin. A review team has investigated whether the serial killer could have been the murderer, a man who is currently serving a life sentence at HM Prison in Edinburgh.
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Convicted of murdering three women between 1991 and 2006, Tobin also served ten years for a double rape committed in 1993 – for which he was released in 2004. Police even investigated the possibility that Tobin was Bible John, but excluded him from these murders.
Tobin was found to have murdered Vicky Hamilton, 15, Dinah McNicol, 18, and Angelina Kluk, 23. He was dropped from the Helen Kane case, after it was discovered he had been jailed for four months on May 15, 1970 – a week before the murder.
Police decided that neither Bible John nor Peter Tobin were connected to Helen Kane’s murder, and 52 years later no further answers have been forthcoming.
This is the third installment in Edinburgh Live’s four-part testimonial series into the murder of Helen Kane.
The first looks into the night the night Helen was killed, days before her wedding anniversary.
The second investigated the police investigation into end-of-the-world killer Angus Sinclair and its potential connection to the murder.
We’ll also look at modern DNA tests that could solve Helen Kane’s murder 52 years later.