Glasgow & West Scotland

Peter Tobin Crimewatch appeal gets 'massive' response

A BBC Crimewatch appeal involving a woman who could be one of serial killer Peter Tobin's earliest sex attack victims has sparked a "massive" response, according to police.

The woman spoke about the 1968 attack for the first time on the programme, which urged viewers to come forward with information about Tobin's past.

He was jailed for murdering Angelika Kluk, Vicky Hamilton and Dinah McNicol.

Det Supt David Swindle said people gave details of other potential victims.

He is the officer leading Operation Anagram, an attempt to trace Tobin's past movements and examine whether he is responsible for any other crimes.

In the Crimewatch programme, the woman, who cannot be named, described how she met Tobin in Glasgow when he was 21 and going under the name Jim McLaughlin.

She said: "He was very polite to me - nice, laughing and joking - just an everyday guy."

She said the pair had gone on a date to a pub after meeting at the city's Barrowland Ballroom.

"I don't remember leaving that pub - I'm sure he put something in my drink," she said.

"The next thing I remember is waking up in this tenement stair landing and I was fighting for my life.

"He was lying on top of me, pulling at my clothes, punching my face, pulling my hair out in chunks."

Image caption The woman said she recognised Tobin more than 40 years later

"I was screaming for my life and it must have been heard because a couple came out and he ran away. If it wasn't for them I wouldn't be sitting here."

More than 40 years later the woman - now aged 57 - said her "legs gave way" when she recognised a magazine picture of a young Tobin and came forward after a Crimewatch appeal last December.

She said: "It has been a long time but I have never forgotten that encounter.

"I don't know how many times I went to phone the police. I wouldn't know what to say, are they going to believe me?"

She said she hoped her story would encourage other victims to come forward.

'Missing people'

Within one hour of her telling her story, the programme had received more than 50 calls about Tobin.

On a later Crimewatch update, Det Sup Swindle, from Strathclyde Police, said: "We've had a massive, unbelieveable response.

"We've had information about Peter Tobin, what he may have done, information about potential victims, about missing people and all sorts of things that'll help us find out the truth about what Tobin has done."

He said other people who may have been attacked by Tobin in the 1960s had come forward, but appealed for more information about the serial killer's movements in 1978.

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