It’s the snowy evening of February 10, 1991. 15 year old Scottish schoolgirl Vicky Hamilton has just finished a happy weekend with her sister, Sharon. Vicky had been worried about visiting Sharon as it was the first time she’d done the two bus journey to her on her own. Vicky Hamilton is last seen at the changeover bus stop in Bathgate town centre eating a bag of chips. She was waiting for the second bus to take her home to Redding, near Falkirk.
It’s believed that Tobin somehow took advantage of her nervousness and persuaded her away from the safety of a public centre. He drugs, binds and gags her. After sexually assaulting her, he then strangles the schoolgirl. After he’s finished, he cuts her body in two at the waist with a 10 inch knife. He stashes the knife in the loft of his Bathgate home, 11 Robertson Avenue. Unusually, for a serial killer who liked his mementos, he then disposes of her personal belongings. He leaves her purse near Edinburgh’s railway station in the hope that police think she had run away from home. (Perhaps unknown to him, his son Daniel had plays with the purse, and puts it in his mouth. This leaves crucial DNA that would later tie the father to the victim.) Tobin then places Vicky’s body in layers of plastic bin bags, ‘like a Russian doll’. He moves her one month later to the garden of his new house in Margate, Kent, where he buries her. Her body would lie there for 17 years.
On 4 August 1991, Chelmsford County High School student Dinah McNicol, leaves a summer music festival in Liphook, Hampshire. The 18 year old went there to celebrate finishing her A-Levels. She leaves with a friend, David Tremlett, who she’d met at the festival, and they decide to hitch-hike back home along the A3 together.
Tobin had been visiting his son in Portsmouth and sees them thumbing for a lift on his return journey. He picks them up. David is dropped off at Junction 8 of the M25, near Reigate. Dinah is never seen again.
Tobin drugs her and drives her back to his Margate house at 50 Irvine Drive. Tobin ties her wrists behind her and ties up her ankles using her own headscarf and leggings. It’s probable that he rapes her. Certainly, at some point, he makes her give him the pin number to her credit card. He then places a knotted gag in her mouth and strangles her. He buries her in the garden in Margate, Kent, next to Vicky Hamilton. Both bodies are later found to have traces of anatryptaline, a drug that Tobin had been prescribed for his depression.
When he was digging the holes to bury the bodies, neighbours asked him what he was doing and he had said he was digging a sand pit for his son. Afterwards, when neighbours asked where the sandpit was, Tobin replied that social services had deemed it unsafe and so he’d filled it in.
As if he had not taken enough from Dinah, he then uses her card to withdraw over £2,000 from her bank account. The reason an 18 year old had this amount of money in her account was because it was compensation money paid to Dinah for the killing of her mother in a road accident.
It was later revealed that she had passed all four of her A-Levels.
By 2006, Tobin has killed at least twice but his main conviction is for child rape. As a registered sex offender, he must inform the police of his movements. In October 2005, he fails to report and goes off their radar.
By September 2006, Tobin, using the name Pat McLaughlin, has found work as an odd-job/handyman at St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church in the Anderston area of Glasgow. Nothing is asked about his past as there is an ‘open door policy’ for the homeless and those in need of help. Staying in another one of the rooms is 23 year old Polish student, Angelika Kluk. This slim hard working student is taking a break from her language studies at Gdansk University and is spending her working holiday helping out at the parish. (The church had helped her before when she had been made homeless.) She helps out with some of Pat’s work and Pat refers to her as his ‘little apprentice’.
On 24 September, at around 2pm, she’s seen chatting with ‘Pat’ in the garage as they prepare to paint a shed. She is never seen alive again.
Tobin was nearly a pensioner when he tied her hands and raped her. He then beat her round the head repeatedly, probably with a piece of wood. He finished by stabbing her to death. There were 16 stab wounds in her chest. He dumped her body through a hatch in the chapel floorboards, near the confessional box. Later forensic examination would reveal that she was still alive when he placed her there.