New suspect in Scotland's infamous Bible John murder case identified through DNA

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-Credit: (Image: Sunday Mail)

A new lead has emerged in the lurid Scottish Bible John killings as a fresh suspect is named, identified through DNA.

The man connected to the notorious cold case is former printer, John Templeton, who is suspected of being the murderer of Helen Puttock, one among three women brutally ended in Glasgow during the '60s.

John Templeton, having passed away in 2015 at the age of 70, was implicated following an investigation which revealed both family ties and a shared DNA profile with prior prime suspect, John Irvine McInnes. This spotlighting of Templeton was propelled by Australian author Jill Bavin-Mizzi's ground-breaking book that probed the 55 year old case; Bavin-Mizzi's probe brought to light significant evidence suggesting Templeton - scrutinised by the original murder squad - could well be the infamous killer.

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Bavin-Mizzi voiced her certainty: "I'm 100 per cent convinced John Templeton is Bible John. The circumstantial evidence is so weighty it would be a mathematical impossibility for it not to be Templeton."

Adding a chilling twist, this would indicate that the murderer had brazenly given his real name and information to the sole witness in the case Jean Langford, the late Helen's sister. Templeton's identity was tracked down by Bavin-Mizzi through examining the lineage of McInnes, designated as a suspect following a cold case evaluation in 1996.

McInnes, a former soldier from Stonehouse, Lanarkshire, had committed suicide in 1980 and was interrogated about Helen's murder, at 29 in 1969, but later dismissed as a suspect. Nevertheless, subsequent DNA collected from Helen's attire bore resemblance to samples yielded by McInnes' siblings, Jane and Hector, reports the Daily Record.

When McInnes' remains were exhumed from Stonehouse Cemetery in 1996, however, no definitive match was found.

Australian experts have confirmed that DNA can be inherited across generations, and a deep dive into the McInnes family history led Jill to John Templeton, born in 1945.

Jill explained: "The name John Templeton exists among the ancestors of Hector and Janet McInnes, siblings whose DNA samples share patterns with the DNA profile from the semen stain on Helen's stockings."

She added: "I was fortunate to find well-documented genealogical records for the McInnes family. I realised the killer had likely used his real name when he introduced himself to Helen and Jeannie that night in the Barrowland Ballroom."

"Templeton's age, height and hair colouring fits the description of the suspect. He was also definitely a foster child, as police suspected the killer was."

Jill also believes: "To me Bible John was not a regular at the Barrowland. He went to murder women. These were not impulse killings."

Helen's body was discovered on October 31, 1969, behind a tenement in Earl Street, Scotstoun, where she resided with her husband and two children. She was last seen by her sister Jean after they shared a taxi with a man Helen had encountered at the Barrowland Ballroom in Glasgow.

Three months prior, the body of Jemima MacDonald, aged 31, was found in an abandoned flat in MacKeith Street, Bridgeton, close to her home.

In February 1968, Patricia Docker, 25, was found dead in a lane near her Langside Place residence in the south side of Glasgow. All three victims were mothers of young children and were menstruating at the time of their deaths, a detail that linked the murders in the eyes of the police.

Jill, 62, has unveiled the allegations in her book Bible John A New Suspect after tracking down his ex-wife. She provided Jill with a photo that bears an uncanny resemblance to the artist's impression created by George Lennox Paterson, based on information given by Jean.

She stated: "It is clear Templeton's jawline, the length of his chin, the distance between his mouth and tip of his nose and length of his nose are all comparable to Paterson's portrait of Bible John.She disclosed that Templeton was questioned by police six months following

"Helen's murder but was never re-interviewed or included in an identity parade.Jean, who passed away in 2010, informed police that the suspect had introduced himself as John and gave the surname Templeton or Sempleson.

'The man told Helen and her sister he worked in a lab. Templeton was a printer who, after an apprenticeship, became a compositor or typesetter.Templeton was also tall, with sandy-coloured hair, and matched the age profile provided by Jean"

.Dental analysis of a photo has led Jill to believe Templeton had the killer's overlapping tooth and another missing. He had been fostered as a child to a family in Dumbarton Road in Yoker, Glasgow.In the taxi, Bible John had even pointed out the location of the former children's home.

Helen's sister Jean informed police that in the taxi back to Scotstoun, the killer had used biblical phrases which led to him later being dubbed Bible John .Jill uncovered that Templeton had tied the knot in August 1969, prior to the second slaying, and had relocated to north Kelvinside.In 2022, she sought out his former spouse and made her way to Scotland for a face-to-face meeting.

The ex-wife, who first crossed paths with Templeton at the Majestic Ballroom in Glasgow, handed over a photograph of him from 1967, just a year before the killing spree commenced.

Now aged 82 and having been Templeton's wife until their split in 1974, the woman confirmed they had no offspring.

She acknowledged that he was interrogated by police back in 1969 but insisted: "I had no suspicions whatsoever. I lived with the man for five years, I slept with the man, you know everything about him."

The record of Templeton's demise was officially filed by his previous partner Margaret Murphy, a resident of Baillieston, Glasgow.

Her son, Robert Murphy, a 51 year old engineer, expressed his utter astonishment at the allegations.Jill is convinced that authorities should probe into Templeton's case posthumously, suggesting DNA analysis of his belongings could be key.

Police Scotland said: "The murders of Helen Puttock, Jemima McDonald and Patricia Docker remain unresolved. However, as with all unresolved cases, they are subject to review and any new information about their deaths will be investigated.

"Ex-detective superintendent David Swindle, who has reviewed the case twice, shared his professional stance: "I don't believe, in my professional opinion and the evidence that is available, that the same person is involved in all three murders. ".