Police fear Karen Buckley's evil murderer Pacteau had 'stalked other women'
Alexander Pacteau (21), who murdered Cork nurse Karen Buckley, was investigated by Scottish police amid fears he may have stalked other women in Glasgow.
The Herald has learned that while one woman became of interest to police, she had absolutely no knowledge of being either followed or watched by Pacteau.
As a line of inquiry, it was subsequently dropped amid lack of evidence.
Following anecdotal indications from neighbours, acquaintances and colleagues of Pacteau the woman was interviewed by detectives after they suspected he may have watched her.
CCTV security footage was also studied by detectives.
The woman, who was traced via a distinctive brightly-coloured dress she wore, said she had no knowledge of being watched or followed.
The revelation came as Police Scotland admitted that they now believe Pacteau was stalking a random female victim on the Dumbarton Road on April 12 - and it was Karen Buckley's ill-fortune that she crossed onto the same side of the street as the hulking 21-year-old as she walked home alone.
Pacteau, also known as Alexander Barr, was acquitted in 2013 of sexually assaulting a young Scottish woman.
The alleged incident occurred in 2011, when Pacteau was aged just 17.
He vehemently denied the charge and told his trial he would "rather be charged with murder than attempted rape".
The woman who made the complaint was 24, seven years older than Pacteau was at the time.
Pacteau was subsequently found not guilty by majority High Court jury verdict after a four-day trial.
Pacteau is now in protective measures in one of Scotland's toughest prisons after the shocking revelations of how he bludgeoned Karen to death with a spanner and then attempted to dissolve her body in a barrel of caustic soda.
The gruesome nature of Karen's murder and the fact Pacteau was previously charged - but later acquitted - with sexual assault on another young woman in Glasgow has made him a target for other prisoners.
It is understood a number of threats have already been made against Pacteau by other inmates at Barlinnie Prison, one of the toughest in the UK.
Police Scotland officials also raised doubts over Pacteau's explanation for the killing - claiming he has little recollection of the events of April 12 because he was so drunk and blaming the fatal attack on a trivial comment passed by Karen in his car.
One detective pointed out that Pacteau has already offered police three entirely different accounts of the events of that day and his early statements to police were described as "a tissue of lies" in court.
Det Supt Jim Kerr, who led the hunt for the Irish nurse, said that police do not believe Pacteau's account.
"That could have happened to any female that night," he said.
"All we know is that she left that nightclub to go home to the city centre and he headed off in the car in that direction.
"I think (he had) a premeditated plan that night to find some victim. There is no question but that he saw an opportunity," he added.
Pacteau faces a life sentence after he pleaded guilty to the murder of the Cork nurse at Kelvin Way in Glasgow just minutes after Karen had left The Sanctuary nightclub alone on April 12 last.
The young man lured Karen into his Ford Focus car with the offer of a lift home before first trying to strangle her and then beating her to death with a heavy 30cm spanner.
For a time he drove around with Karen's body in the passenger seat of his car before trying to dissolve her remains in caustic soda in the bathtub of his flat and later in a 220-litre plastic barrel. He then hid the barrel in a shed on an isolated farm.
Pacteau will only discover how long he has to serve behind bars on September 8 when the Honorable Justice Lady Rae imposes the minimum sentence tariff on him in Glasgow High Court.
The Buckley family are expected to return to Glasgow next month for Pacteau's sentencing hearing.