Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Bible John

Another Try

In December 2004, the hunt for Bible John came back into the headlines as the Sunday Mail reported that "DNA taken from [a person connected to a recent Glasgow] crime scene was ... an 80 percent match for that found on [Helen's clothing]."

The police have not released the name of the recent DNA source, probably not wanting to repeat the media circus that swarmed around John M.'s family several years earlier, although it does appear that the focus of the Bible John investigation is on the 2004 person's older male relatives.

In May 2005, the New York Daily News reported that Glasgow police are actively collecting DNA samples from that family and a police spokesperson had stated confidently that "science will solve these killings. We have no doubt of that."

Overall, Bible John's notoriety may have diminished in recent years as, sadly, more horrific crimes have superseded Bible John's spree. If the current forensics tests prove conclusive it may bring some closure to the family and friends of the victims but the lore and legacy of the dancehall killer will live on.

Entering the realm of folklore, he's become something that some parents use as a bogeyman to get children to behave, he was the basis for Ian Rankin's 1999 detective novel "Black and Blue," and singer/songwriter Shane MacGowan is said to be planning a song about the murderer for inclusion on an upcoming release.

Barrowland's outside, recent
Barrowland's outside, recent

Bible John's hunting ground, the Barrowland Ballroom, is the sole survivor of the crime spree. It successfully shook off any negative association it had with the killings and is alive and well and is, as its Web site proudly announces still "the best rock venue in Scotland."