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A top copper who brought down hundreds of murderers has revealed how serial killers get away with it.
David Swindle, also known as the Scottish Detective, is touring the nation for a one-man stage show where he explains how some of his most famous cases were solved, titled The Makings of a Murderer.
Keen to know how the professionals do it, the Daily Star caught Swindle at his London show at the Adelphi Theatre and settled in for an evening of true crime and unsolved mysteries.
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The Makings of a Murderer is the most gripping criminology lecture you're ever likely to attend, and some of the more avid true crime fans in the audience had gone as far as to bring a notebook and pen to ensure they didn't miss any of Swindle's top tips.
The show opened with Swindle strolling onto the stage, which had been kitted out with all the amenities an old-timey detective could need including a desk with a typewriter and ornate coat hanger.
Swindle joined the police force in Strathclyde in the 1970s before leaving in 2011 and his career has been long and broad – and as such, he is able to give his take on all kinds of cases, from killers he brought to justice himself to infamous killers
The Scottish ex-DSI touched on familiar names like Harold Shipman, Fred and Rose West and Myra Hindle and Ian Brady, the evil killers behind the Moors murders.
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"They're controlling, conniving, clever, charming," he said of the killers.
But what really had the audience on the edge of their seat was when he described his most famous case, the capture of Peter Tobin.
Swindle is the detective who ultimately caught the serial killer, who was initially convicted of the murder of Angelica Kluk in 2007 and given a life sentence with a minimum of 21 years.
But he also created Operation Anagram which uncovered two more bodies – 15-year-old Vicky Hamilton and 18-year-old Dinah McNicol – buried at one of Tobin's former residences after realising Angelica's tragic story sounded familiar.
"I thought, ‘He has done this before’, and I tracked back his whole life," Swindle recalled of the project.
Now, Swindle is working on a number of cold cases abroad and shared some insights into his method, saying modern policing was making it easier to catch old-timers who had long been forgotten.
"Police are now looking back and applying new technologies to old cases," he said.
"But the criminals always get better."
And in answer to the question on everybody's lips – whether it's possible to get away with murder – Swindle said sadly it is, but that it won't always be that way.
"There'll be one day where it's impossible to get away with murder," he said.
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