By Kirsty Topping
Police are investigating whether
“body in the bin’ double murderer Robert Chalmers could be behind other unsolved murders.
The 59-year-old was found guilty on Thursday of murdering Samantha Wright and dumping her body in his wheelie bin.
Following the verdict, it emerged that the father-of-11 had served nine years of a life sentence for stabbing a former drinking buddy to death 38 years ago.
Now detectives are probing unsolved murders and missing persons cases which may be connected to Chalmers, though no links have yet been established.
Police spent two weeks digging up the garden and tearing up floorboards at Chalmers’ home in Magdelene Drive, Edinburgh, leading neighbours to fear that he had killed more victims.
Detectives said they were not searching for more victims at the addresses but were now seeking evidence of any links between Chalmers and other crimes. A source is reported to have said
“we are looking at other cases.”
Friends of 25-year-old Ms Wright said that Chalmers was known for bringing back teenage girls to his ground-floor flat to take part in drinking sessions.
He would also encourage the girls, who were often runaways or had absconded from secure units, to stay the night.
The Big Issue seller was also known to hang around with street drinkers on Hunter Square where Samantha, originally from Stevenage, was known to frequent.
Police have admitted that they may never know how Chalmers, who was described as a
“cold-hearted and callous killer’, met his victim or how she was killed.
Sid Pringle, 27, who was a friend of Samantha and lives just doors away from Chalmers’ flat, said:
“Chalmers used to get wee lassies to come back to his house.
“It would be girls about 15 or 16 from secure units, or just runaways, or just girls who were hanging around Hunter Square. He would invite them back home to drink. We knew him and thought he was a paedophile.
“He would always be eying up young girls. He would just stare at them and it made you really uncomfortable. He had mad, freaky eyes.
“My girlfriend’s pal was drinking in Chalmers’ house one time and he tried to take advantage of her, but she managed to get away. “
Samantha was last seen at a Jobcentre in High Riggs on June 12, 2008, though she was not reported missing until January 2009 after she failed to contact her family over the Christmas period.
CCTV footage of her walking with an older man on Hanover Street led officers to the home of Chalmers, where Samantha’s body was found in a wheelie bin concealed in bushes in his garden.
Tests confirmed her body had not been moved since the time of her disappearance.