Over the years I have had the opportunity to thoroughly investigate a number of serial killers. Peter Tobin, by far, is the vilest of them all.

Convicted of just three murders, I have no doubt that he is responsible for at least two more, but certainly not the 48 that he is alleged to have bragged about in prison.

This number, clearly conjured up to draw headlines, totally ignores the reality of what Tobin was like.

The man has never talked about his crimes. Even when presented with irrefutable evidence, he chooses to be rude and aggressive. 

 

But credit to the police in Scotland who, armed with the knowledge that Tobin was on his deathbed with days to live, paid him one final visit in a bid to get him to reveal the truth.

But, in Tobin’s usual fashion, he refused to talk or say anything. He was defiant up until the end.

For my ITV & Netflix Investigator series that I made with Simon Cowell in 2018, we would discuss Tobin a lot. The aim of the series was always to uncover new evidence while being respectful to the families of his victims.

We achieved this and found new evidence that linked Tobin to the unsolved murders of two women in Sussex; 22-year-old Jessie Earl and 18-year-old Louise Kay.

Jessie Earl

Dunfermline Press: Jessie Earl was killed by Tobin, Mark Williams-Thomas says Jessie Earl was killed by Tobin, Mark Williams-Thomas says (Image: Newsquest)

Jessie Earl went missing from her home in Eastbourne on May 15, 1980. Her naked skeleton was discovered nine years later in thick undergrowth at Beachy Head, where she would regularly take walks.

The only clothing remaining was her bra, which had clearly been used to tie her hands together as a restraint. The knot was so tight that the police offender-profiler thought she may have been dragged into the dense undergrowth by the item of clothing while hiding her body.

All the evidence screamed "murder". However, with devastating consequences, the senior investigating officer in charge of the investigation specifically directed that the case must not be recorded as such.

It took the police until 2000 to acknowledge this failure and record the death internally as murder.

I say internally because they were still briefing the media otherwise after this date. It was not until I obtained the internal report, dated 2000, that Sussex Police finally publically acknowledged Jessie had been murdered.

When asked why they were still telling the media Jessie had not been murdered in 2018, Sussex Police replied: "Due to an internal administrative error in copying information from one database to another in our Press Office, the death of Jessie Earl was wrongly described in 2012, and to you as a suspicious death.

"In fact we had re-classified it as murder in 2000. The error in no way affects the seriousness with which the force has always treated this tragic case.

"The error in no way affects the seriousness with which the force has always treated this tragic case."

The failure to treat the case as murder when Jessie's skeleton was found in 1989 meant that the key piece of evidence, the bra, was destroyed.

I have no doubt that with the advances in forensics, the bra would have led to the killer being identified through DNA traces in the knot, which would have been tied by the murderer.

I continued to work with Jessie's family after this 2018 investigation and after much hard work, I got them a new inquest which quashed the original "open" verdict.

The full failings and incompetence of Sussex police were laid bare for all to see in 2022. The new inquest ruled an "unlawful killing by murder" verdict with the coroner adding Jessie's family had been victims of "substantial injustice".


 

Louise Kay

Dunfermline Press: Louise Kay was also killed by Peter Tobin, Mark Williams-Thomas claims (Family handout)Louise Kay was also killed by Peter Tobin, Mark Williams-Thomas claims (Family handout) (Image: Family handout)

Eight years after Jessie Earl’s murder, I believe Tobin struck again in Eastbourne, abducting and murdering Louise Kay. After a night out in 1988, the 18-year-old dropped off a friend and drove to Beachy Head to sleep in her car, a gold Ford Fiesta with a distinctive hand-painted white door. However, she was never seen again.

Significantly, Beachy Head is the same location where Jessie Earl’s body was found. But what makes Louise's case even stranger is that whoever abducted and killed her would have needed the capacity to hide her body and dispose of the distinctive Fiesta car.

This piece of evidence, I believe, definitively ties Tobin with her murder.

About the time of Louise’s disappearance, Tobin was living a few miles down the road in Brighton. By working with the lead Scottish detective who investigated Tobin for the murder of Angelika Kluk in 2006, retired Detective David Swindle, we were able to establish that Tobin was working as a second-hand car dealer at the time and, significantly, was trying to sell a car with a hand-painted door.

Dunfermline Press: Jessie Earl's old Ford FiestaJessie Earl's old Ford Fiesta (Image: Newsquest)

Also, Tobin’s MO is such that all his victims are young women. All lived within 30 miles of where he was living. All had been tied up before their bodies were hidden or buried.

Jessie was found by chance and Louise has not yet been found, but what are the chances of a serial killer living a few miles away from where two very similar victims are murdered and both linked to Beachy Head?

Bible John

Dunfermline Press: Peter Tobin was not Bible John, Mark Williams-Thomas saysPeter Tobin was not Bible John, Mark Williams-Thomas says (Image: Police)

While I believe Tobin is responsible for at least two more murders, I do not believe he is responsible for the killing of three young women in Scotland between 1968 and 1969.

Patricia Docker, Jemima McDonald, and Helen Puttock had all been to the famous Barrowland Ballroom. Because the murders are similar, they are all believed to be carried out by a serial killer.

This supposed serial killer became known as Bible John because of his use of quotes from the bible.

Several crime commentators and criminologists strongly believe Tobin is this serial killer. But I can tell you from my research this it is not possible for Tobin to be Bible John if the same person killed all three women.

This is because the murder of Jemima McDonald on August 16, 1969, was carried out ten days after Tobin married his first wife, and while they were still on their honeymoon in Brighton. So, Tobin cannot be Bible John.

Tobin dies

As Tobin saw out his final days in the hospital, seriously ill with cancer and no doubt in pain, I had no sorrow or pity for him. He was a vile man who gave no thought to his victims or their loved ones when he brutally took their lives.

Nor did he have any care for the families of the loved ones he has killed of whom he has not been convicted.

He could quite easily have released their torment. Instead, he chose to remain silent and not reveal where his other victims are buried.