April 2019

UK’s longest-serving inmate who brutally murdered uip to 11 people is secretly moved to an open prison

A forgotten serial killer who slayed a priest with an axe and even killed his own grandmother may soon be walking the streets freely.

Patrick ‘Pyscho’ Mackay is one of the UK’s longest-serving inmates who confessed murdering up to eleven people, including a four-year-old boy.

Names such as West, Shipman, Sutcliffe, Nilsen, Hindley, Brady, have all dominated the headlines in recent years however, in 1975 it was Mackay that left the UK horrified following a spree of gruesome murders across London and Kent.

Remarkable photos show the various demented faces of the criminal named ‘the most dangerous man in Britain’ at his court trial, a hacked-up body of a priest in a bathtub, and the cold dead eyes of a deranged killer staring directly into the camera.

These stomach-churning photos form part of John Lucas’ new book Britain’s Forgotten Serial Killer: The Devil’s Disciple, a detailed and dramatic account of the notorious Nazi-obsessed killer and his victims.

‘Convicted of three killings, suspected of another eight, Patrick David Mackay was dubbed the Monster of Belgravia, the Devil’s Disciple and simply The Psychopath amid a torrent of public anger at the way he had repeatedly slipped through the grasp of the criminal justice system,’ explained Lucas.

‘When the authorities added it all up, Mackay had been incarcerated, sectioned or otherwise detained at least nineteen times before he was finally brought to justice for his horrific killing spree.’

Lucas said it was a cased that left the nation stunned and that Mackay could soon be out walking the streets freely after being allowed to change his name.

‘Yet the extraordinary story of this 22-year-old Nazi-obsessive, who hacked a priest to death with an axe and killed two elderly women during a remorseless robbery campaign on the upmarket streets of West London, was all but forgotten by Christmas of 1975.

‘It had been expected to run and run. Among the unsolved cases Mackay had apparently confessed to in prison – but later denied under questioning – was the murder of a teenage nanny on a train and the heinous double killing of a widow and her four-year-old grandson.

The book also reveals that Mackay had also been suspected of murdering a popular café owner from Essex. Ivy Davis’ body was found at her Westcliff-on-sea home with multiple wounds to her head, as well as a ligature around her neck on 4 February 1975.

In 2006 Essex Police questioned 68-year-old Basildon man who was arrested as part of a cold case review. She was last seen leaving the cafe on the evening of 3 February, 1975 and was discovered by her daughter the following day.

‘While police had taken the initial decision not to charge Mackay with those crimes, it seemed to be only a matter of time before more evidence came to light. But the charges never materialised

‘Perhaps it was because, despite his alleged gloating to fellow prisoners, Patrick Mackay did not really kill all those people. Yet while he languishes in prison to this day – still too dangerous to be released – every one of those crimes remains unsolved.’

Mackay was born in 1952 and was raised in an abusive household and regularly beaten by his alcoholic father. It was not long before Mackay was committing criminal acts himself, particularly arson, animal cruelty, theft and stealing garden gnomes.

Medical professions saw that he had psychopathic tendencies and he was sectioned in 1968. He was released four years later and would soon be responsible for the death of at least three people.

The murderer quickly developed a fascination with Nazism and often referred to himself as ‘Franklin Bollvolt the First’ and frequently spoke of his desire to ‘wipe out’ the elderly.

He was convicted of three killings. Mackay’s first identified victim was 87-year-old widow Isabella Griffiths, who was strangled and stabbed at her home in Cheyne Walk, Chelsea. Next was Adele Price, 89, strangled at her home in Lowndes Square, Kensington.

Finally, Mackay killed Father Anthony Crean in a frenzied attack using his fists, a knife and an axe in the picturesque village of Shorne, Kent, leaving the 63-year-old’s mutilated body floating grotesquely in a bath full of bloody water.

The date was 21 March 1975. Two days later Mackay was arrested.

But Mackay’s horrifying crimes probably did not end there.

Although he was charged with five counts of murder, Mackay’s convictions were only for three counts of manslaughter due to diminished responsibility.

The other two cases were allowed to lie on file, meaning prosecutors believed they had enough evidence but a trial was felt not to be in the public interest.

The first victim in this group was 73-year-old widow Mary Hynes. She was choked and stabbed at her home in Willes Road, Kentish Town. Second was 62-year-old shopkeeper Frank Goodman. He was battered with a piece of metal pipe at his premises in Rock Street, Finsbury Park.

Finally, there were five unsolved murders, which Mackay allegedly confessed to while in jail, later telling police he was not responsible. The victims in those cases were 18-year-old Heidi Mnilk, Stephanie Britton, Christopher Martin, Sarah Rodmell and Ivy Davies.

Mackay also admitted to killing an unidentified homeless man by pushing him into a canal. The body was never found.

Despite his alarming crimes and the sordid accusations surrounding Mackay, Lucas is concerned that the serial killer may soon be released from prison without the general public’s knowledge.

If he really did kill eleven people, he would be the UK’s fifth most prolific serial killer.

‘Mackay faded into obscurity in the minds of the British public, far more than other serial killers of his era,’ added Lucas.

‘In fact, he has been able to change his name and win the right to live in an open prison – the first step on the road to eventual freedom – without a shred of publicity surrounding the decision.

‘Far from being one of Britain’s most notorious inmates, he is not even recognised as being the country’s longest-serving living prisoner.

‘That title was wrongly held by murderer John Massey before he was released in May 2018, even though he had been jailed seven months after Mackay in May 1976.’

Lucas said that most assume the flamboyant and infamous Charlie Bronson now holds the record, but that is not the case.

‘Instead, it is the forgotten serial killer, Patrick Mackay, who has been inside the longest.

‘It is worth noting that Mackay may have had some influence over his low profile.

‘Unlike other killers such as Dennis Nilsen and Ian Brady, Mackay is not known to have ever replied to a letter sent by ‘fans’ or ‘pen pals’ who would inevitably have sold any response to the newspapers.

‘Perhaps it was a calculated move, perhaps it was a result of poor literacy.

‘The question remains: was Patrick Mackay really one of Britain’s most prolific serial killers, as detectives originally suspected?

‘That mystery is what this book sets out to examine.’

Patrick Mackay: A timeline of his killings

Patrick Mackay had between three and 11 victims as not all were confirmed. He was sentenced to prison for life in 1975.

1965: Institutionalised for trying to set fire to a Catholic Church 

1967: At the age of 15 Mackay was diagnosed as a psychopath by a psychiatrist, he was committed to Moss Side hospital for four years

1972: Released from hospital 

1973: Befriends Father Anthony Crean and soon begins stealing from him

1973, July: Kills Heidi Mnilk, an au pair girl, by hurling her from a train near New Cross 

1973, July: Mary Hynes beaten to death in her Kentish Town apartment 

1974, January: Stephanie Britton and her four-year-old grandson were stabbed to death at Hadley Green, in Hertfordshire

1974, January: Tosses a homeless person from Hungerford Bridge 

1974, February: invaded the Chelsea home of Isabella Griffith, strangling her to death and knifing her 

1974: Bludgeoned a 62-year-old tobacconist to death 

1974: Sarah Rodwell, age 92, was beaten to death on her doorstep in Hackney 

1974: Ivy Davies, slain with an axe 

1975: Kills Father Crean with an axe 

1975, March: Strangles Adele Price 

1975 March 23: Arrested  

1975: Confesses, but not all crimes were charged to him