THE family of the man whose body was exhumed by police as part of the Bible John investigation were yesterday making no comment on a new twist to the 31-year-old mystery.

The body of John McInnes was exhumed from a graveyard in Stonehouse, Lanarkshire four-and-a-half years ago amid a blaze of publicity.

Police believed that new DNA techniques could have solved the murders of three women in Glasgow's east end in 1969.

But DNA samples taken from Mr McInnes' remains proved to be inconclusive, leaving his brother Hector and his family in limbo.

Hector has never spoken publicly about the strain his family suffered, but family members have privately spoken of their anger.

Now new evidence from Professor Ian Stephen, the UK's leading forensic psychologist, suggests that the real Bible John may still be alive and living in the south of England.

Professor Stephen was contacted by a Scot living in America who pinpointed one of his relatives as a suspect. The professor, whose work was the basis for the TV series Cracker, has passed the information to the police. If correct, it would clear John McInnes.

A family friend said: ''It was all lies linking John McInnes with the Bible John murders. The strain on the family was and still is intense.''

Mr McInnes committed suicide in 1980, aged 41.

Helen Puttock, Jemima McDonald and Pat Docker were all murdered during Bible John's reign of terror. The murders abruptly ceased, leading police and criminal psychologists to believe that the killer had either died or moved away.

Yesterday a police spokeswoman said: ''We will examine carefully the information delivered to us.''