Mark Williams Thomas: Serial killer Peter Tobin murdered two Sussex women

Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to thoroughly investigate a number of serial killers. Peter Tobin is by far the meanest of them all.

Convicted of just three murders, I have no doubt he’s responsible for at least two others, but certainly not the 48 he allegedly boasted about in prison.

This number, clearly conjured up to make headlines, totally ignores the reality of what Tobin was like.

The man never spoke about his crimes. Even when presented with irrefutable evidence, he chooses to be rude and aggressive.

But credit goes to the police in Scotland who, armed with the knowledge that Tobin had days to live, paid him one last visit to get him to reveal the truth.

But in Tobin’s usual manner, he refused to speak or say anything. He was defiant to the end.

For my ITV & Netflix investigator series I did with Simon Cowell in 2018, we talked a lot about Tobin. The aim of the series has always been to uncover new evidence while showing respect to its victims’ families.

We have achieved this and found new evidence linking Tobin to the unsolved murders of two women in Sussex; 22-year-old Jessie Earl and 18-year-old Louise Kay.

Jessie Earl

Mark Williams-Thomas, left, says serial killer Peter Tobin, top right, was behind the deaths of two other Sussex womenJessie Earl was killed by Tobin, says Mark Williams-Thomas

Jessie Earl disappeared from her Eastbourne home on May 15, 1980. Her naked skeleton was discovered nine years later in the thick undergrowth of Beachy Head, where she regularly went for walks.

The only remaining clothing was her bra, which had clearly been used to tie her hands together as a bondage. The knot was so tight that police profilers thought she might have been pulled by the garment into the thick undergrowth while she hid her body.

All the evidence screamed “murder”. However, with devastating consequences, the lead investigating officer expressly ordered that the case not be taken up as such.

It was not until 2000 that the police acknowledged this failure and internally recorded the death as a homicide.

I say internally because they still informed the media otherwise after that date. It wasn’t until I got the internal report from 2000 that Sussex Police finally said publicly admitted that Jessie had been murdered.

When asked why they were still telling the media Jessie wasn’t murdered in 2018Sussex Police replied: “Due to an internal administrative error in copying information from one database to another in our press office, the death of Jessie Earl in 2012 has been described incorrectly and for you as a suspicious death.

“In fact, in 2000 we had reclassified it as a homicide. The error in no way detracts from the seriousness with which the police have always treated this tragic case.

“The error in no way detracts from the seriousness with which the force has always treated this tragic case.”

The failure to treat the case as a homicide when Jessie’s skeleton was found in 1989 meant the key piece of evidence, the bra, was destroyed.

I have no doubt that with advances in forensics, the BH would have resulted in the killer being identified through DNA evidence in the knot tied by the killer.

I have continued to work with Jessie’s family after this 2018 investigation and after much hard work arranged a new investigation which overturned the original ‘open’ verdict.

The utter failure and incompetence of Sussex Police were exposed for all to see in 2022. The new inquest returned a verdict of “wrongful death by murder,” with the coroner adding that Jessie’s family was the victim of “significant injustice.”


Louise Kay

Mark Williams-Thomas, left, says serial killer Peter Tobin, top right, was behind the deaths of two other Sussex womenLouise Kay was also killed by Peter Tobin, claims Mark Williams-Thomas (Family Handout)

Eight years after the murder of Jessie Earl, I believe Tobin struck again in Eastbourne and kidnapped and murdered Louise Kay. After a night out in 1988, the 18-year-old dropped off a friend and drove to Beachy Head to sleep in her car, a gold Ford Fiesta with a distinctive hand-painted white door. However, she was never seen again.

Significantly, Beachy Head is the same place where Jessie Earl’s body was found. But what makes Louise’s case even stranger is that whoever kidnapped and killed her would have needed the ability to hide her body and dispose of the distinctive Fiesta car.

I think this piece of evidence definitely ties Tobin to her murder.

At about the time of Louise’s disappearance, Tobin was living a few miles down in Brighton. By working with the lead Scottish detective investigating Tobin in the 2006 murder of Angelika Kluk, retired detective David Swindle, we were able to discover that Tobin was working as a used car dealer at the time and, tellingly, was also trying to sell a car with a hand painted door.

Mark Williams-Thomas, left, says serial killer Peter Tobin, top right, was behind the deaths of two other Sussex womenJessie Earl’s old Ford Fiesta

Also, Tobin’s MO is such that all of his victims are young women. All lived within 30 miles of where he lived. All had been tied up before their bodies were hidden or buried.

Jessie was found by accident and Louise hasn’t been found yet, but what are the odds that a serial killer lives a few miles from where two very similar victims are murdered and both are connected to Beachy Head?

Bible John

Mark Williams-Thomas, left, says serial killer Peter Tobin, top right, was behind the deaths of two other Sussex womenPeter Tobin wasn’t Bible John, says Mark Williams-Thomas

While I believe Tobin is responsible for at least two other murders, I do not believe he is responsible for the murder of three young women in Scotland between 1968 and 1969.

Patricia Docker, Jemima McDonald and Helen Puttock had all been to the famous Barrowlands Ballroom. Since the murders are similar, it is believed that they were all carried out by a serial killer.

This alleged serial killer became known as Bible John for his use of quotations from the Bible.

Several crime commentators and criminologists strongly believe that Tobin is this serial killer. But I can tell you from my research that Tobin cannot be Bible John if the same person killed all three women.

For the murder of Jemima McDonald on August 16, 1969 was committed ten days after Tobin had married his first wife, while they were still honeymooning in Brighton. So Tobin can’t be Bible John.

Tobin dies

As Tobin spent his final days in hospital, dying of cancer and in no doubt in pain, I felt no sorrow or pity for him. He was a vile man who gave no thought to his victims or their families as he brutally took their lives.

Nor did he care for the families of loved ones he killed that he was not convicted of.

He could have easily let go of her torment. Instead, he chose to remain silent and not reveal where his other victims are buried.

https://www.theargus.co.uk/true-crime-uk/23043741.mark-williams-thomas-serial-killer-peter-tobin-murdered-two-sussex-women/?ref=rss Mark Williams Thomas: Serial killer Peter Tobin murdered two Sussex women

Fry Electronics Team

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