Disturbing Details Operation Anagram Uncovered About Serial Killer Peter Tobin

On September 24, 2006, the Glasgow Times writes that Angelika Kluk went missing in Scotland. The publication explains that the 23-year-old was a student at Gdansk University in Poland. However, the BBC states that she decided to spend the summer in Scotland and took a job at ​St Patrick's church in Anderston, Glasgow. It was here that Kluk met Pat McLaughlin, the church's handyman. After she was reported missing by her boyfriend, police spoke to McLaughlin. He admitted that he had interacted with Kluk on the day of her disappearance and said that she had assisted him in painting a shed.

The Herald reports that the authorities deemed McLaughlin as a person of interest. Shortly after speaking to the police, McLaughlin also disappeared (via the BBC). When the police released his photo to the public, they received some shocking news: Pat McLaughlin did not exist. In reality, he was a sex offender named Peter Tobin. At this point, the authorities decided to search St Patrick's church for a second time. It was then that Angelika Kluk's remains were found inside a hatch on the church's floor. According to the Glasgow Times, Kluk had been sexually assaulted, bludgeoned, and stabbed to death.

Upon this discovery, head investigator David Swindle told The Scotsman that the killing and the extent of the injuries were far too brutal for a first-time murderer. Per the BBC, Tobin later resurfaced at a hospital in London, where he was subsequently arrested.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Operation Anagram was created to establish a timeline of Tobin's killings

Despite investigators finding Peter Tobin's DNA all over the murder scene and Angelika Kluk's body (via the Glasgow Times), The Scotsman reports that he never admitted to her murder. Nevertheless, Tobin was later charged and convicted of killing Kluk in 2007 (per the BBC). With this, The Herald states that David Swindle, from the Strathclyde Police, decided to thoroughly investigate Tobin's past by establishing Operation Anagram. He told The Scotsman, "At the very start I realised the ferocity of what he'd done and the complexities of his lifestyle – he was moving around all the time, he was in his 60s — which meant he'd done this before. I made up my mind that day [when Angelika Kluk was discovered] that he was a serial killer ... we just had to prove it."

According to the BBC, Operation Anagram was intended to fill in the gaps of what occurred in Tobin's life prior to Kluk's murder. Swindle hoped that this would lead to a trail of Tobin's other victims and crimes. This, however, was no easy task, as Tobin had up to 60 different addresses and 40 different aliases. Moreover, Swindle explained to The Scotsman that his victims were likely similar to Kluk — defenseless and alone. This made the investigation even more difficult.

Another article from the Glasgow Times notes that police forces throughout the U.K. were told to look back at unsolved murders to see if they had any possible connection to Tobin. After thousands of leads, The Herald writes that two names surfaced: Vicky Hamilton and Dinah McNicol.

Two bodies were found at his former home

According to the Glasgow Times, Vicky Hamilton and Dinah McNicol both went missing in 1991. The BBC states that 15-year-old Hamilton from Redding, Scotland, was last seen in Bathgate. McNicol, on the other hand, was 18 and from Essex. She vanished after attending a music festival in Liphook, Hampshire. A friend noted that they were given a ride home by a random man. However, the friend was dropped off first. McNicol remained in the car and was never seen again. That said, Operation Anagram uncovered that Peter Tobin was, in fact, involved in their disappearances (via The Herald). At the time Hamilton went missing, Tobin was actually living in Bathgate.

The BBC adds that authorities searched his former home and found a knife with Hamilton's DNA. Her body, however, was nowhere to be found. The authorities then searched another one of Tobin's former homes in Margate, England. He had moved here shortly after Hamilton had gone missing. A neighbor, David Martin, divulged to authorities that he had seen Tobin digging in the yard. Shortly after, the bodies of Hamilton and McNicol were found in the home's garden (via the Glasgow Times). Tobin's DNA was on both of their remains. In the end, Tobin was convicted of Hamilton's and McNicol's murders. As he had already been sentenced to life for Angelika Kluk's death, he received two additional life sentences.

Peter Tobin likely had more victims

In October 2022, The Guardian reported that Peter Tobin had died in prison. The Glasgow Times states that Tobin never confessed or spoke of his crimes. Nevertheless, David Swindle, per another article from the Glasgow Times, has no doubt in his mind that there were more victims than just Angelika Kluk, Vicky Hamilton, and Dinah McNicol. He told the publication, "A deathbed confession from him was what we all hoped for. It would have allowed us to know the full extent of his catalogue of crimes." He added, "I believe there were many more killings at his hands, but he has now taken that to the grave with him."

Besides the three murders, it's known that Tobin, a Scotland native (per the BBC), raped two 14-year-old girls in 1994 (via the Glasgow Times). In 2011, the BBC noted that Operation Anagram had slowed down but would likely never come to an end. Despite later retiring from the police force, Swindle explained to The Scotsman in 2019 that he would never stop investigating Tobin. However, he also acknowledged that his work had brought closure to Hamilton and McNicol's families.

After Tobin's death, Swindle stated that he had absolutely no pity for the killer. He said (via The Herald), "Pictures may indicate a frail old man, but he tortured, raped, and horrifically killed three young victims that we know about. His victims should never be forgotten."

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).