The identity of the man in the taxi in the infamous Bible John case has been ‘covered up’ by top police, it has been claimed.
The 1969 murder of Helen Puttock came after a man shared a cab with her and quoted a Bible verse.
Her brutal murder was linked to the killing of two other women in Glasgow – Patricia Docker, 25, and Jemima MacDonald over an 18-month period between 1968 and 1969 in Glasgow.
Now a BBC podcast claims there was evidence indicating the man in the taxi was John Irvine McInnes, the cousin of a senior police officer.
There is no evidence that Mr. McInnes actually committed the murder.
He said his name was known to senior officers at the time – including legendary Detective Superintendent Joe Beattie – but never appeared in official records investigating the murders.
The unidentified killer has established himself over decades in Scotland.
The murders took place after meeting the women at the Barrowland Ballroom in the east end of the city.
The new BBC podcast, Bible John: Creation of a serial killerinterviewed senior detectives, Detective Chief Inspector Jim McEwan and Detective Constable Brian Hughes, who reopened the cold case in 1995.
They said their investigation had found enough evidence that John Irvine McInnes, who killed himself in 1980, was the man in the taxi for whom the tax prosecutor would have issued an arrest warrant had he been alive. .
But they believe cop Joe Beattie helped keep his name out of the frame because he was good friends with a detective the suspect knew.
Following the 1995 examination, John Irvine McInnes’ body was exhumed so that a DNA sample could be tested against evidence found on a pair of tights belonging to Helen Puttock.
There was no match, and experts would later announce the results were inconclusive, officially clearing McInnes of any involvement.
But detectives in 1995 told the podcast they were still sure he was the man in the taxi, who everyone believed was Bible John, and that senior police chiefs had kept his name off the record. investigation.
Helen Puttock was last seen alive on Thursday, October 30, 1969.
She took a taxi back to Scotstoun with her sister and a man she had met in Barrowland named John.
In the taxi, the man said that he disapproved of married people going to the dance hall and spoke of “adulterous” women, quoting an extract from the Bible.
Helen’s sister Jean was unconcerned when she got out of the cab and left Helen with the man.
The next morning, Helen’s body was discovered by a man walking his dog in Scotstoun.
Over 7,000 people were questioned about the killings and 4,000 statements taken by the police, but no one was ever arrested.
Jim McEwan and Brian Hughes told him their first major concern was why the ‘heavy duty team’ of top detectives, including Joe Beattie, had traveled to Stonehouse in Lanarkshire, where John Irvine McInnes lived, two days later. the discovery of the body of Helen Puttock.
Mr McEwan and Mr Hughes said when they asked Jon Beattie about the investigation before his death in 2000, the former detective had tears in his eyes.
“There were tears streaming from his eyes – crying, and that’s something I’ve never mentioned before,” Mr Hughes said.
The couple said they also found inconsistencies in the ID parade records which they said meant Helen’s sister Jean had never seen McInnes.
The taxi driver, who drove the two sisters and the man, was never asked to identify McInnes, the 1995 team said.
Jim McEwan and Brian Hughes went to visit former cop Joe Beattie, who was then very ill in Glasgow Royal Infirmary.
He said it was clear the man had been paraded in front of Jean, his star witness, and she had failed to spot him.
However, the pair could not find the suspect’s name in the archive files.
The detective who knew the suspect claimed he hadn’t really worked on the investigation of Helen’s murder, he had just helped with the phones, and – even then – it was two to three months after the start of the investigation.
However, he confirmed that the suspect at Stonehouse, seen by Joe Beattie, was his cousin John Irvine McInnes.
Jim McEwan tells the podcast: “It doesn’t appear anywhere in the initial statements. We discovered it. John Irvine McInnes does not appear anywhere in the 1969 investigation.
The 1995 team investigated the case and found further inconsistencies and lost evidence, such as a card bearing the name of the Moylans furniture store, where John Irvine McInnes worked.
They believe the card was found at the crime scene and then lost or removed afterwards.