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  • Henry Longstaff

The Makings of a Murderer - Adelphi Theatre

Veteran detective, David Swindle shares his perspective on the most notorious serial killers

David Swindle
Photography: Ellie Kurttz


There is no denying that David Swindle has achieved more than most in his career. With over 34 years of police service and notably forming Operation Anagram that investigated serial killer Peter Tobin, his CV is an impressive one but sadly that does not translate into the thrilling night of anecdotes and insight that was promised.

When Swindle isn’t promoting his podcast or documentary involvement, we are treated to his personal analysis of some of the most notorious killers. Armed with his PowerPoint clicker he discusses whether we can predict those who are likely to kill instead of reacting once the crime has been committed and whether it is nature or nurture creating these twisted individuals. There is stoic professionalism and true passion on display but the presentation lacks cohesion and a narrative thread to draw us in beyond the initial gruesome details.

Much of Swindle’s dissection adds little to even the most casual true crime fans' knowledge, opting instead for open-ended questions rather than specific details that an audience might expect. He does delve nicely into the case of Peter Tobin, a killer he led investigations on, explaining how they carefully built up the evidence against him, conscious of what a defence lawyer may say when it goes to trial. He navigates how now armed with fresh evidence, they retrospectively examined other cold cases to see if there were signs Tobin had been involved - Swindle’s observations here are fascinating.

There is plenty for true crime fans to revel in here, but overall an intriguing night that was undermined by self-promotion.

On tour till December 2023

Post: Blog2_Post
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