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UK News How one detective's murder investigation unravelled a serial killer

04:35  06 november  2019
04:35  06 november  2019 Source:   cosmopolitan.com

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How ex- detective David Swindle solved the Angelika Kluk case, convicted serial killer Peter Tobin, and solved the murders of Swindle and his case feature in Quest Red' s British Police: Our Toughest Cases - How I Put Away Scotland' s Most Prolific Serial Killer , during which he also discloses the

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a person who is smiling and looking at the camera: How ex-detective David Swindle solved the Angelika Kluk case, convicted serial killer Peter Tobin, and solved the murders of Dinah McNicol and Vicky Hamilton. © Andrew Milligan - PA Images - Getty Images How ex-detective David Swindle solved the Angelika Kluk case, convicted serial killer Peter Tobin, and solved the murders of Dinah McNicol and Vicky Hamilton.

Warning: contains graphic details of violence.

In 2006, 23-year-old Polish student Angelika Kluk was raped and murdered, and her body concealed under the floorboards in an underground chamber in a church in Glasgow.

Angelika had been boarding and working as a cleaner at St Patrick's Roman Catholic Church in Anderston to finance her university studies; she had been studying a Scandinavian Studies course at the University of Gdańsk.

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After befriending church handyman Peter Tobin, who had assumed the name of Pat McLaughlin, Angelika was last seen alive with him on 24 September, 2006.

Senior Investigating Officer David Swindle led the investigation and, after identifying Tobin as the perpetrator, he had a feeling he had killed before. His hunch prompted the launch of 'Investigation Anagram' to delve into Tobin's past, and led to the eventual discovery of the remains of two teenagers who been reported missing in 1991.

Swindle and his case feature in Quest Red's British Police: Our Toughest Cases - How I Put Away Scotland's Most Prolific Serial Killer, during which he also discloses the lengths he and forensic scientist Carol Western went to to preserve vital evidence and lead them to the murderer.

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a woman in front of a mirror posing for the camera: Angelika Kluk © Andrew Milligan - PA Images - Getty Images Angelika Kluk

Taking Cosmopolitan through his investigation, Swindle explained how expert Western had to get under the floorboards of the church where Angelika's body was discovered on September 29, 2006. "At that point we didn't know it was 100% Angelika's body, and the media were questioning why we weren't moving the body," he said.

But there was a good reason the pair had made the decision not to move the body.

"I'm great believer in trusting your experts, and this was Carol's advice on the scene. She had to go down under a small hatch under the floor in the church with the victim," said the detective. "Carol advised that we shouldn't move Angelika's body because if we moved her - she had been stabbed in the upper part of her body, and there was semen in the lower part - the body fluids could be destroyed and we would lose potential evidence. Evidence would have lost definitely had we not done that."

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Being the last person to have seen Angelika alive, Tobin quickly became the prime suspect - and the suspicion surrounding him only intensified when he disappeared fled Glasgow. He was eventually arrested in London shortly after Angelika was found, and investigator Swindle had a strong feeling this wasn't the only murder he had committed because of how "methodical" his actions had been.

"What had happened to Angelika; the ferocity of her injuries, that her body had been sealed under the church, and the fact that Tobin had stayed after it had happened and tidied the scene.... He had put Angelika's body with the bag containing the knife and blood-stained articles underneath the floorboards because he was going to move her away," said Swindle.

a man wearing a suit and tie: David Swindle © Quest Red David Swindle

"I hate to use the word methodical, but that's what he was. [It] made me think this man has done this before.

"I set up Operation Anagram to profile him. But I didn't want the media to know that we were looking at Tobin as a serial killer because if that got out into the public domain before the Angelika trial, it would have been [detrimental to the case]."

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Swindle describes a deep determination inside of him to find out what else he did. "That theory, that hunch, turned out to be correct," he told Cosmopolitan.

Sadly, derogatory speculation about Angelika's personal life were printed by the press around the time of her trial, which Swindle lamented is too often the case when it comes to victims of sexually motivated crimes. Many are maligned with rumours of promiscuity, to undermine the crime because of an ingrained misogyny implemented by the media.

Michelle Fairley standing in front of a window: Forensic scientist Carol Weston © Quest Forensic scientist Carol Weston

"The sad thing about the Angelika case is people forget that they're victims," he said. "Every time there is a murder, we should be focusing is on the victims. There was a lot of speculation, a lot of unhelpful speculation about Angelika, but nothing was substantiated.

"At the time of dealing with Operation Anagram, I was head of public protection - so I was in charge of rape cases, dealing with sexual offenders. I have a big knowledge of stereotyping which sadly happens with a lot of sexual crimes, and sadly Angelika's was sexually motivated."

After a six week trial, in May 2007, Tobin was found guilty of raping and murdering Angelika and was sentenced to life imprisonment.

A month later as part of Operation Anagram, Tobin's old house in Bathgate was searched in connection with the disappearance of 15-year-old Vicky Hamilton. Vicky disappeared while she waited for a bus home to Redding, near Falkirk. Tobin was believed to have left Bathgate for Margate a few weeks after Vicky had vanished.

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a man wearing a suit and tie: Vicky Hamilton © Quest Vicky Hamilton

The investigation then led to a forensic search of a house in Southsea, Hampshire in early October 2007, where Tobin is believed to have lived shortly after leaving Bathgate. Vicky Hamilton's remains were found in the back garden of that house.

A month later, the remains of missing 18-year-old student Dinah McNichol were also found in the same garden. Dinah had vanished on 5 August, 1991 after hitchhiking home from a music festival in Liphook.

After a month-long trial in November 2008, Tobin was convicted of Hamilton's murder on 2 December 2008. The following year in December 2009, Tobin was found guilty of McNicol's murder.

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Swindle thinks it's possible that Tobin may have committed more crimes, disclosing: "I've always hoped is that the answer will come out some day, either from him, or some vital piece of evidence that comes forward. Tobin knew a lot of people and was perceived as 'Mr Nice Guy'. Everyone described him as charming. But when people learn what he did, they disassociate themselves from him.

"Tobin may have committed other crimes that we don't know about because he targeted people that were vulnerable at that time, and he frequented churches throughout the UK, hostels. If you went missing, and you are staying in a hostel and you had no relatives, family who's going to report you missing? No one. And of course he's burying the bodies. There's a long list of missing people."

On the importance of this case being re-examined in the new crime docu-series, Swindle added: "I just hope people never forget what he's done. The important thing is that we remember the victims - it's about the Angelika case, it's the Dinah McNicol case, it's the Vicky Hamilton case, and somewhere in that is a horrible murderer called Peter Tobin.

"The important thing about setting up Operation Anagram is that we found out what happened to Vicky Hamilton and Dinah McNicol, and the families found out what happened to them."

David Swindle now provides assistance and guidance to relatives of victims murdered abroad, or survivors of sexual assault.

British Police: Our Toughest Cases premiered on Saturday 2 November exclusively on Quest Red and is now available on dplay.

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