Percy Toplis Hunt – Tomintoul Outrage

Aberdeen Daily Journal Saturday June 5th 1920


The police are confident that the net is closing round the fugitive “Williamson”, “Toplis” or whatever his name may be. Public interest in the chase is keen, judging from the number and promptitude of the reports coming into the authorities. It has now been definitely established that the man who was brought into Aberdeen does from Kintore on Thursday in the motor car of a Donside minister. and who travelled from the east end of Union Street in the city to Mannofield by tramcar and motor lorry, is the person whose description has been telegraphed over the length and breadth of Britain.

The suspect is supposed to have crossed the Bridge of Dee—when he left the motor lorry he proceeded on foot towards Garthdee – and made his way to Stonehaven and Laurencekirk, in both of which towns he is declared to have been seen. The police are now working on evidence that ho was observed leaving Laurencekirk district by way of Hill of Garvock in the direction of the main coast road. From the summit of Garvock, on which stands the Tower of Johnston, the fugitive could have bird’s eye view of
the many miles of surrounding counties, from which he could choose the course of his future travels. Authorities arc determined he shall not escape, and slowly, but ever so surely, his avenue of escape are being blocked. We will have him before the week is out” a detective inspector said last night.

The interest of the general public is focused on rho startling theory that the man who attempted the murder at Tomintoul is Percy Toplis, who killed a taxi-driver on a lonely road in Hampshire, in the last week of April, for whom the country has since scoured in vain. The police do not seek to conceal their belief in this possibility, and Constable Greig and John Grant, the victims of the Tomintoul affair, were shown a photograph of Toplis yesterday, they both declared it born a remarkable likeness to their assailant.