Page last updated at 07:11 GMT, Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Appeal over triple killer Tobin's life

Peter Tobin pics
Peter Tobin used many aliases and lived in more than 20 UK towns and cities

Detectives investigating the background of serial sex killer Peter Tobin say they have had a "phenomenal" response to a BBC Crimewatch appeal.

Officers are seeking further background over possible unsolved crimes.

Det Supt David Swindle, from the Strathclyde force, said it was known that Tobin, who has been convicted of three murders, used prostitutes.

Officers received a large amount of calls and online responses but are keen to hear more about Tobin's life.

The Scotsman had many aliases, lived in at least 23 different UK locations and had worked as a swimming instructor.

Swimming instructor
Painter and decorator
Hotel chef
Shop owner

Fresh information about his involvement with prostitutes and biker gangs was revealed on the BBC's Crimewatch programme.

Last week, jurors took 13 minutes to find the former church handyman guilty of killing 18-year-old Dinah McNicol.

Tobin is already serving life for the murders of two other women but police are now trawling through unsolved cases to find out if he has any link to them.

Crimewatch has appealed for information about the 63-year-old's movements from 1977-78 and 1985-86.

Following Tobin's latest conviction, two police forces - Sussex and Strathclyde - restarted Operation Anagram to trace his movements over the decades.

Heart complaint

Det Supt Swindle said the police were aware that Tobin used sex workers and in his early days was a member of biker gangs.

Police know that Tobin hid in hospitals twice to avoid arrest - once after the 1993 sexual assault of two 14-year-old girls in Havant, and once after he murdered Angelika Kluk in Glasgow.

Tobin has a heart complaint and has been admitted to a number of hospitals around the UK including Gartnavel, Glasgow, in 1970, St Mary's Hospital, Portsmouth, in 1993 and the National Hospital, London, in 2006.

He has lived in many different UK towns and cities including Largs in Ayrshire, Turiff in Aberdeenshire, Norfolk, Ramsgate and Bournemouth.

Lyndsey Brown and Ian McNicol
Ms Brown and Mr McNicol said relatives of any other victims deserve the truth

Tobin also used several aliases including Peter Wilson, James Kelly, Paul Semple, John Tobin. Peter Proban and Pat McLaughlan.

Det Supt Swindle added: "In the early stages of that investigation we established that this was an individual who travelled throughout the UK and used numerous names.

"He had as many as 20 SIM cards linked to his mobile phone within a year.

"The key is what he looked like throughout the years. People may recognise him as another individual."

The officer said Tobin, who is from Johnstone in Renfrewshire, was an "affable" character who could ingratiate himself with anyone.

'My little girl'

Det Supt Swindle said: "He had numerous girlfriends, numerous close friends who will probably not have come forward."

Relatives of two of Tobin's known victims also featured in the programme.

Ian McNicol, whose daughter Dinah was murdered in 1991, said he had never changed his locks before the teenager's body was found buried in the backyard of Tobin's Margate home in 2007.

"I was terrified out of my wits that I would die before ever knowing what happened to Dinah, my flesh and blood, my little girl," he said.

Det Supt David Swindle
Det Supt David Swindle said Tobin belonged to biker gangs

"How many more?

"People are still waiting to hear how their loved ones died.

"These other families deserve the right to have answers."

Lindsay Brown, whose sister Vicky Hamilton was also murdered in 1991 at the age of 15, said: "Yes he will rot in jail, I very much doubt he will ever get out of jail but you can't deny that sense of closure to any other victims' families.

"They need to know what happened to their child.

"Every day for 16 years we woke up thinking 'is this the day we will find Vicky - is this the day, the day we will find she has been murdered'?"

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