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Peter Tobin: Serial killer dies in hospital, aged 76

Website: BBC News
Date: 08/10/2022
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Serial killer Peter Tobin has died in hospital, at the age of 76. He was convicted of raping and murdering Polish student Angelika Kluk, 23, and hiding her body under the floor of a Glasgow church in 2006.

He was also serving life terms at HMP Edinburgh for the murders of Vicky Hamilton, 15, and Dinah McNicol, 18.

Police Scotland said officers attended Edinburgh Royal Infirmary at 06:04 on Saturday following the death of a 76-year-old man.

They said the death was not being treated as suspicious and a report would be submitted to the procurator fiscal.

Police also said that attempts had been made towards the end of Tobin's life to get him to reveal information about his victims.

Det Ch Supt Laura Thomson, head of major crime, said: "Our thoughts are with the victims of Peter Tobin, their families and friends.

"Recent attempts to encourage him to do the right thing and share any knowledge he may have which could assist the police were unsuccessful.

"While we have no current lines of investigation into Peter Tobin, we welcome any information in relation to his activities."

Last month, a newspaper reported that Tobin was lying "chained to a hospital bed" and was pictured in a hospital gown, appearing seriously ill.

The Sunday Mail said the murderer had cancer and had fallen and broken his hip. It said he was refusing food and medication.

Earlier, in January, it emerged that Tobin had been transferred from HMP Edinburgh to the city's Royal Infirmary after becoming unwell.

And in February 2016 he was taken to the Royal Infirmary by ambulance after he reportedly collapsed in his cell.

Tobin was only unmasked as a serial killer after his final victim - Angelika Kluk - was found hidden under the floorboards of a church in Glasgow in 2006.

His arrest set in motion a UK-wide investigation which ultimately led officers to the remains of two teenage girls.

Vicky Hamilton, 15, disappeared in February 1991 as she travelled home to just outside Falkirk. And 18-year-old Dinah McNicol from Essex was last seen in August that year after she hitched a lift from Tobin after a music festival.

Both girls' remains were found 16 years later, buried in the garden of Tobin's former home in Margate, Kent.

Lindsay Brown, the sister of Vicky Hamilton, said living with what happened was a "dark shadow" over the family.

She said: "We were hoping that now Tobin's gone that shadow can eventually just clear and we can remember Vicky as the sweet loving sister that she was than trying to remember what we don't have any more and what was taken from us.

"He didn't just rob Vicky of her life - he robbed us of a big sister, nieces and nephews and a life with her."

The Hamilton family posted a statement on social media saying they would not be celebrating Tobin's death.

'We remember her laughter'

It said: "We remember Vicky, we remember her laughter, her smile and we want to keep that memory after all the years of having no idea what had happened to her, followed by heartbreak of losing our mum not long after Vicky went missing.

"He does not deserve anymore of our family's thoughts.

"If he has taken more victims, our hearts go out to their families and can only wish one day they get the closure they so badly deserve.

"We will not be celebrating any passing but instead will be remembering Vicky, Angelika and Dinah along with any other victims, and we respectfully ask for others to do the same."

Former Strathclyde Police detective David Swindle, who led the investigation into Peter Tobin, said he had no doubts that Tobin killed more people.

“This is someone who had no respect for humanity,” he said.

'A particular brand of hell'

In the days following the discovery of Peter Tobin's first known victim, I witnessed a moment I'll never forget.

The police had found 15-year-old Vicky Hamilton buried behind Tobin's former home in Margate.

The news that they had uncovered a second body came through when I was interviewing Ian McNicol, whose daughter Dinah had been missing for 16 years.

With the camera rolling, Ian raised his hand, crossed his fingers, and said: "Please be Dinah...and get us out of this misery."

Imagine that.

Imagine hoping that your beloved daughter was lying in a shallow grave, in the shadow of a murderer's old house.

Serial killers like Tobin inflict a particular brand of hell on their victims' families.

Vicky and Dinah had gone missing within six months of each other in 1991, at opposite ends of the UK.

They were only found after Tobin killed again. His murder of Polish student Angelika Kluk in Glasgow was followed by a nationwide police inquiry which eventually led to the back garden in Irvine Drive in Margate.

For 16 years, Dinah and Vicky's families had absolutely no idea what had happened to them.

Without a body, there could be no funeral, no grave to visit, no prospect whatsoever of anything remotely resembling closure, if that's ever possible in such cases.

Vicky's mother died two years after her daughter went missing. Her family say it was from a broken heart.

When the girls were found, their relatives were relieved because at last they knew the truth, no matter how terrible it was. They had them back and they could lay them to rest.

Detectives who investigated Tobin are convinced he had other victims. He targeted young girls and women when they were vulnerable and took care to conceal his crimes.

He was in his 40s when he killed Vicky and Dinah, an unusually late age for a serial killer to start committing murders.

If the police are right, Tobin could have revealed his secrets and given some semblance of comfort to other families.

But he would never have spared a moment's thought for Dinah's father, or for the relatives of any of his victims.

In that man's foul and wicked soul, there was nothing but darkness.