Gordon Reeve, or "The Edinburgh Strangler", is an ex-military library worker who commited several murders of young girls in Edinburgh.
Early in his life, in 1971, he applied to the SAS from the Seaforth Highlanders and was sent to "The Cross", a training ground in Herefordshire. Here he met John Rebus and the two of them were selected as the most oustanding of the recruits and put forward on a two year training program for membership of an elite unit designed to combat terrorism. In the course of this training they were captured, tortured, and forced to share a cell for a protracted period of time. Reeve became dependent on Rebus and started making sexual advances towards him. At this point Rebus was removed from training and Reeve continued to be interrogated alone. Soon after he cracked and was deemed to have failed the training, then left the military and attempted to commit suicide afterwards. He was taken into a psychiatric hospital for a period and then released to live in Edinburgh.
In 1981 he moved into a house and began working at the Edinburgh Main Lending Library, under the name of Ian Knott. It was here that he followed several young girls and planned abduct them in a pattern that would spell out the name of John Rebus's daughter, who he believed had betrayed him in the SAS training. He also got in touch with Michael Rebus and set up drug trafficking exchanges with him in return for information on John Rebus's current life. He fabricated a Mr Big style drug operation in order to intimidate Michael into revealing secrets about his brother.
In the April and May of 1988 he kidnapped and strangled Sandra Adams, Mary Andrews, Nicola Turner, and Helen Abbot. He lured the victims towards him using relationships built up by his library work, then gave them drugged chocolate and took them away in a pale blue Ford Escort. He strangled them with a military garrotte, with a knot tied in it for the later victims. He also took a polaroid photo of each of the bodies, which he kept among photos of soldiers and other women. He also sent anonymous letters to John Rebus taunting him about his progress in the case, and including clues in the form of knotted rope and matchstick crosses. Towards the end of May he kidnapped Samantha Rebus, and in the process strangled Andrew Anderson, son of the lead investigator of his case, and fractured the skull of Rhona Phillips, Rebus's ex-wife. He then phoned Gill Templer with an ultimatum: That he would kill Samantha that night. However, as he was finishing up his work in the library he was apprehended by John Rebus. He shot John with a revolver hidden in a copy of Crime and Punishment, then fled to the cells beneath the library. He was chased by William Anderson, who he knocked out with a roundhouse kick, and then shot by John Rebus as he was attempting to strangle him.