Confessions of a Psycho Killer (2023) - full transcript

Patrick Mackay, confessed killing and series of follow up police interviews led to a series of confessions that spread into London when the body of vicar Anthony Crean was found dead in the English county Kent after a frenzied axe...

[dramatic music]

- [Mackay Voiceover] I
wish to make a statement.

I want someone to
write down what I say.

I have been told I
need not say anything

unless I wish to do so

and what I say may
be given in evidence.

♪ Sometimes I feel
like I'm blowing away ♪

♪ And the sky is broken

♪ And floods like a vein

♪ And I pray and I pray

♪ And I pray and I pray



♪ But the answers don't come

- [Mackay Voiceover] I grabbed
hold of him by his arm,

I think the right one,

and we both fell on the
floor in the hallway.

I struggled and he
struggled on the floor

and he seemed to
get extremely nervy.

He said, "Don't hurt me."

This seemed to get me
even more excitable myself

and then I started to strike him

on the side of the head with
my hand and with my fist.

[gentle music]

[birds chirping]

[gentle music]

The next thing I knew he had
broken loose from my grip



and ran into the bathroom,
which is just off the hallway.

[gentle music]

Whilst I had been on the
floor of the hallway myself,

I picked up an ax from a box,
lying just under the stairs,

and began to feel
even more excitable.

[gentle music]

♪ Sometimes I feel like
I'm floating away ♪

♪ And the tide is up

♪ It covers the pain

- [Mackay Voiceover] I have had

the above statement
read over to me.

I have been told I
can correct, alter

or add anything I wish.

♪ The answers don't
come anymore ♪

- [Mackay Voiceover]
This statement is true,

I have made it of
my own free will.

Signed P. Mackay.

[gentle music]

Good gracious, this
still, it's vivid today,

you know, you can remember
all those years ago.

There is Father Crean in,
really a bath of blood now.

[dramatic music]

This is where Mackay
really attacked him.

You can see the damage he's
done under his nostrils.

He really took a heavy
lot of punching there.

[dramatic music]

By this time he had
actually killed him

and he had killed
him with an ax.

- [Reporter] Police
have searched the house,

the sizable garden and
a plowed field behind it

for signs of the
murderer or his weapon.

- This is the ax that was
found under the stairs

in Father Crean's house.

[dramatic music]

And this is the ax that actually

battered Father Crean to death.

It had brain and blood,

still probably has
if you was to DNA it.

And down the handle
you got blood.

[dramatic music]

But there's the ax and it's
still today got the label on it

as an exhibit
label in this case.

Christ, this is Patrick,

when you see him actually
getting worked up

into a bit of a frenzy.

You look at this photo and
this is where you can see,

if you're trained at it,
the eyes of a killer.

Never be unconscious to people
when you are looking at them.

[dramatic music]

Look 'em in the eyes,

they're like an
Alsation gone wild.

[dramatic music]

- [Mackay Voiceover]
I feel terrible

about what happened
all the more.

[crow cawing]

Because I do not know why
or what made me do it.

I find it all a
confusing matter.

You see, I'm scared of myself.

At times I often
try to wonder why,

but it's just plain hell.

[dramatic music]

I'm Ken Tappenden, retired
commander of Kent Police.

And in March, 1975

I was the Detective Inspector

in charge of Gravesend
and Dartford Police.

[gentle music]

Gravesend has always
been the place

that people never
wanted to be posted to.

And there was a fair amount
of rough hooliganism going on.

Lots of burglaries,
lots of GBHs,

and in my time there, I think
I had about five murders.

[typewriter keys clacking]

[dramatic music]

We came into what I call,
on that 21st, a normal day.

But we were looking forward
to our celebration do

in Maidstone, when
we were all going out

in our DJs to enjoy the evening.

We all went to what was then
the Great Danes in Maidstone,

for this dinner.

And that's when the
first indication we had

that there was something
wrong back in Shorne.

[dramatic music]

The village of Shorne
was a very respectable

and very nice village.

[dramatic music]

Father Crean lived in
the Carmelite home.

There was nine nuns only there.

He had been a vicar in Spain.

He had been a
vicar in Gibraltar.

He'd been around the world a bit

before he came over to Shorne.

[dramatic music]

A nun had gone into the bathroom

and found the gruesome sight

of Father Crean in
a bloodstain bath,

holding his head with
like a towel on top of it

with his brain coming out.

So we knew then we had problems.

[dramatic music]

- I was awakened by
one of the sisters

who said that Father had been
found dead in his bathroom.

I thought, naturally,
he had a heart attack.

I hardly got dressed
and came across.

When I got there I saw Father
in the bathtub, fully dressed,

submerged in the tub
and bashed in the face,

blood all over the bathroom.

- We then left the function,

leaving our wives over
there still in Maidstone

to return to Shorne,
all in our DJs,

at about half past
12 in the morning.

[dramatic music]

As soon as we got
there, we saw the ax,

which was under the
stairs, in a box still,

but it was blood stained.

The minute we got into the room

you knew that was the weapon.

[dramatic music]

We then walked in.

We didn't have far to walk.

You go in, you see the bath
on the right, as you go in,

you see his head hanging out,

you see the curtains were drawn,

blood was all over the walls.

The water that was in
the bath was pure red.

It was blood.

It was so macabre.

I mean you've seen
a lot of murders,

I've seen a lots of murders,

I've done 169 post-mortems.

But I hadn't seen a head

smashed from the skull
down the nose before.

[dramatic music]

The human part is,

how can someone do it?

But then you've gotta
revert to a detective.

You've gotta catch
some bastard for it.

[dramatic music]

On the way back to the
nick, I'm mulling over

and I'm mulling over.

But the minute I sat at my desk,

it just vividly came over me.

[dramatic music]

This could be Mackay.

[dramatic music]

- I'm Nigel Nelson.

I was formerly the crime reporter
on the Kent Evening Post.

The people I was
dealing with at the time

were the head of CID
there, who was Lou Hart.

The detective inspector who
I spent most of my time with,

which was Ken Tappenden.

And quite clearly
they really were,

even though they'd seen some pretty
horrific sites during their career,

they were both pretty hard
bitten police officers.

They found the whole experience
actually quite traumatic.

The timing from a
newspaper point of view

was absolutely hopeless

because the killing
happened on the Friday,

nobody knew about anything
until the Saturday morning.

My problem was going to be

that we didn't publish
until the Monday.

I talked to police
contacts during that time.

One of the things
they told me was,

they had a suspect and
they were pretty sure

they would get an early arrest.

- My name's John Lucas.

I'm a journalist with
National Newspapers

and I wrote a book
about Patrick Mackay

called, "Britain's
Forgotten Serial Killer."

In May, 1973, Father
Crean met Patrick Mackay

whilst walking
through woodlands,

near the village of Shorne.

They got chatting in the woods
and retired to a local pub

where they drank quite
a lot of alcohol.

Mackay was used to spending
all of his money in pubs,

winning the favor
of of other people,

trying to make friends.

On this occasion, Father
Crean bought the drinks.

And it seemed to be a match
made in heaven for them both,

at that time.

It has to be said, Father
Crean was a heavy drinker.

That is an explanation
for the friendship.

They kind of bonded over
this love of alcohol.

- Father Crean was
trying to sort of

hold out a hand of
friendship to Patrick Mackay.

And he'd come to the
notice of the police

because he stole a
cheque from Father Crean,

it was a cheque for £30.

- He crudely alters
it, to say £80

and he goes and cashes
it in at a bank.

Father Crean quickly realizes
the cheque's been taken,

reports it to the police.

It doesn't take the police
very long to figure out

that it was Patrick
Mackay who took it.

As soon as he's arrested,

Father Crean asked if the
charges can be dropped,

Kent CID turn around and say,

"No, we're gonna go ahead
with this prosecution."

- He was only fined £10.

It was insignificant in a way.

But it just showed him that
he can't just do what he wants

and get away with it.

- Father Crean and Patrick

do rekindle their friendship
for a short while.

However, Mackay doesn't
pay any of the money back.

Father Crean tells him,

"I don't want anything
more to do with you."

And he storms off in his car,

leaving Patrick Mackay
in the rear window

and he thinks that's the
last time he'll ever see him.

[dramatic music]

- It was about 20 past three
in the morning of the 22nd

and that cheque,
it was in my mind.

And they say, you have a
hunch, I dunno if it's a hunch,

I don't call it anything
other than I thought,

I reckon Mackay's done this.

So I call Bob Brown
and Mit Whitlock out,

who dealt with
him for the check,

and I said, sorry gents,
go and find Mackay.

[dramatic music]

- [Mackay Voiceover]
My life was wasted.

And I now realized that it
is now wasted forever to rot.

[dramatic music]

Something terrible
had to come along

in order to reveal
the decaying disaster

that my life has
been since 1962.

[dramatic music]

- Patrick David Mackay was
born on 25th of September, 1952

to Marion and Harold Mackay.

The family initially
lived in North London,

they later moved to
Dartford in Kent.

- I'm John Penycate,

I'm the co-author of
the Life of Mackay,

the book was called,
"Psychopath."

Mackay's childhood,
in many ways,

explained what happened later.

It was a very violent household.

His father had been in the
army, in the war, drank heavily

and was very violent
towards his wife

and to Patrick the little boy.

- Although Harold was extremely
abusive towards Patrick,

they did share a
really strange bond.

One of the only times they
really bonded as father and son

was when Harold would
sit Patrick on his knee

and he'd talk about his
experiences during the war,

the gruesome things
that he had seen

and experienced himself.

And through this,

Patrick developed a fascination
with death, war, conflict.

- [Mackay Voiceover] My father
used to get violently drunk,

shout, scream and always
when he was like this,

beat me with the back of his
hand, sometimes his fist.

He must have had a
tremendous drinking problem.

But of course he
would never say so.

I remember that my
father never at all

hit my two sisters when drunk,
but only me and my mother.

He would make a lot of filthy
accusations towards her.

This would take place,

usually, Friday nights
and Saturday nights.

It was plain, bloody regular.

- My name's Laura Reilly.

I'm a criminologist at
Birmingham City University.

It's definitely
the perfect storm,

if you wanted to create
someone who is psychopathic

and you say, let's take
someone whose father has PTSD,

let's make that father
engage in substance abuse

and be an alcoholic,

let's give him a difficult
relationship with his wife

and make him a domestic abuser.

Let's then have
him abuse his son

and then let's also
put him in a time

when there wasn't great safeguarding,
great understanding.

In the 1970s, if you'd just
said psychopath to somebody,

they probably would've
thought bad person

who commits a violent crime.

If said it to someone now,

they might have some awareness

of some of the other
traits someone might have,

like parasitic lifestyle,
like criminal versatility,

committing more than
one type of offense

and other sort of elements
that aren't actually criminal

and can be really helpful,

like having glib or
superficial charm.

So, our understanding now
is very, very different

than if we were having this
conversation in the 1970s.

[gentle music]

- My name is Dr.
Vicky Thakordas-Desai.

I'm a forensic psychologist

and I specialize in
areas such as trauma,

mental health and
personality disorder.

[dramatic music]

As a result of Mackay's
father's alcoholism,

the family didn't have
the means to survive.

That sort of low
socioeconomic status,

that level of poverty,

alongside the trauma
that he was experiencing,

really started to
set those foundations

for the types of behavior
that we subsequently see.

- In November, 1962, Harold
who's working as an accountant,

leaves for work one morning.

The last thing he
says to Patrick is,

"Remember to be good."

Later that morning he drops
dead at the train station.

[gentle music]

Unfortunately for Patrick,

the way he hears about
his father's death

is from a neighbor,

as he's just casually
walking home from school.

It shocks him into
complete silence,

he becomes incredibly withdrawn.

And he seems never to be able

to get to grips with
his father's death.

Outside of the family home,
he is a playground bully,

he's a delinquent, a shoplifter

and he is engaging in lots of
petty crimes at this point.

- In Mackay's case, his
offending massively escalates.

He does sort of sanitize
his previous offending

when he discusses it

and says that he was a bit
of a tearaway before then.

But actually it's only
after his father dies

that he goes off the rails.

[dramatic music]

- [Mackay Voiceover]
In one way, his death

was a relief to me, at the time.

But also on the other hand

it was a natural loss of a
father who, like a lot of men,

have their good sides as
well as their bad sides.

[gentle music]

But it was also the year

when I seemed to
change within myself

to an extreme extent, all round.

[gentle music]

- The family moved
to Gravesend in 1967,

this is after Harold's death.

Patrick would do things

like he will sit in
his father's old seat.

If anyone tries to sit
there, he will scream

in a blood curdling rage,

he'll throw himself on the floor

he'll throw himself on the floor
and almost appear to have a fit

and almost appear to have a fit

where he's frothing
at the mouth.

- He then took on the role

of being the man of
the house, it seemed,

and almost adopted
his father's behavior.

And that came out through
his violent attacks

and abusive behavior towards
his mother, particularly,

and subsequently his sisters.

[dramatic music]

- Sometimes we find
that when children

grow up in a house
with domestic abuse,

far from becoming protective
of the abused parent,

usually the mother,

they actually begin to
identify with the abuser.

That might seem really
odd and counterintuitive,

but you've gotta think about it

in terms of the lesson
it's teaching you,

the survival instinct.

It is saying you have
two role models here,

passive mom who is a victim

and violent dad who is
obviously an abuser.

Do you wanna be the
victim or do you wanna be

the one who's victimizing?

[dramatic music]

- This is where Patrick
lived with his family.

This was Frobisher
Way in Gravesend.

The neighbors used to get quite
concerned about this house

because as he was getting
more and more unruly,

in the house, then the neighbors

used to call social services.

[gentle music]

- My name is Di Dooley.

I used to live next
door to Patrick Mackay

and his mom and two sisters.

Most of the neighbors
and the children,

they were in fear of him.

My mom used to tell me
to keep away from him

because of the way he was.

He was very imposing.

He was just like this
dark shadow in the street.

- I'm Pat Poulson,
live in Frobisher Way,

have done since '67.

For a while, next door but one,

lived a family called Mackay.

They pretty much kept
themselves to themselves

when they moved in.

But then there was a
number of occasions

when I'd look out of
the kitchen window

or the landing
window and see one

or both of the
girls lived there,

sitting on the garage roof.

And it soon came apparent
that they were up there

to keep away from
their brother, Patrick.

Try to be polite here,

he was a slightly strange
looking young man, very skinny

and he just had, there was
something about his face,

his eyes in particular

that just made you feel a
little uncomfortable about him.

[gentle music]

- My mom, you know, obviously,

grew quite close with the
mom and the girls next door,

so she was obviously
worried about them.

So she used to
always say to them,

"Look, you know, my back
door is always open,

"the back gate's open."

They knew it was their safe
place, somewhere for them to go.

You just knew something
was going to happen.

You could hear it early
on, hear it starting.

It would just get
louder and louder.

So my mom would always
be in the kitchen,

like at the window,

I think, waiting
for them to come in.

You could see
where he'd hit them

and they had bruises
on their faces

and their arms and everything,

so you could see where
he'd attacked them.

You could still hear him
smashing things up in the house.

They just needed
to get out of there

because of the way he was.

Two or three
policemen would come

and try and calm things down

and they were never
able to calm it down.

They would have to call
for more policemen to come.

It would be like
eight, 10 policemen

having to carry Patrick
out of the house,

because he would be
screaming and fighting

that he wasn't going
to go anywhere.

[dramatic music]

- Patrick Mackay is a typical
psychopath at this point.

He's experimenting
with inflicting pain

on defenseless creatures,

so things that are more
vulnerable than him,

the pet cat, the dog,

he's seen by neighbors
killing birds in the garden

and throwing them up in
the air as if they're toys.

- He would catch birds and
pull the wings off them

and then he set
fire to his tortoise

in the back garden
there one day.

Well, the neighbors naturally

were quite alarmed
about all this.

- Thinking back,

maybe everything that
my mom had said to me,

it turned out to
be true, didn't it?

Turned out to be true,

that he, you know, he
wasn't a nice person.

- As a juvenile, he
was committing crimes

all over the place.

And although he used to live
at home with his mother,

eventually when he'd
come into his mid-teens,

he used to slope off anywhere.

They didn't know where he was.

His mother would never
let you know where he was.

She used to say
he is a grown man.

A grown man at
16, 17, he wasn't.

[dramatic music]

- These factors are very
much indicative of a really,

sort of, dysfunctional
personality style emerging.

But even at that age,
it would be hoped

that he would have had and
received appropriate support

and intervention to
change that trajectory.

But that wasn't the
case for Mackay.

He went on to continue.

And those behaviors increased
in severity and intensity.

Without appropriate
intervention at the right stages

and without the right support,

he was moving along a trajectory

that suggested that
he would and could

become a serious
violent offender.

[dramatic music]

- I suppose nowadays
that he would've been

removed from his home.

But at the time, his
mother always forgave him,

always took him back.

And even right to
the end, she said

that Patrick was not a monster,

he was just a very
sick young man.

[dramatic music]

- He often used to disappear
for periods on time,

when it was nice and quiet.

You wouldn't have known there
was anybody living there.

But when he came home,

all of the neighbors
soon got to the stage

where you thought,
"Oh gosh, he's home.

"Are we going to
have more problems?"

I mean there was one
incident, in particular,

when we had a lot of
police presence up here

and they had ladders
outside the house

up to the small bedroom window.

And we learnt later that
Patrick was actually

in the small bedroom and
had positioned himself

between the end of
his bed and the door

and had a bayonet positioned

so that the handle
was against the door

and the point was
against his stomach.

And just telling it, you know,
"If you try and break in,

"you'll be responsible
for killing me."

And the incident went
on for some time.

I mean, the police came
round to the houses,

asking us, "Definitely
don't let the children out

"and if possible, don't
go out of the house at all

"until this is over."

And eventually they did get
into him and he was taken away.

[dramatic music]

- My name's Dr. Harriet Garrod.

I'm a consultant
counseling psychologist.

I have been working in
forensic hospitals and prisons

over the last 20 years.

[dramatic music]

Mackay had had very little
opportunity for support

and there was very little
opportunity for help.

Particularly in his
formative years, growing up,

he is in and out of
psychiatric institutions

on a regular basis
and reform schools

and behavioral institutions.

And what all of these
places have in common

is that they're treating the
symptoms and not the cause.

So they're treating
the behavior,

but they're not asking why
the behavior is happening.

Therefore, he doesn't get
the help that he needs

and his behavior
continues to escalate

as he continues
to hate the world,

carrying his unresolved
trauma with him.

- 26th of July, 1968,

Patrick attacks a 12-year-old
boy in the street,

strangles him and
steals his watch.

He later says that if
he could have done,

he would've killed this boy.

He's taken to
Astrid Remand Center

where he is seen
by a psychiatrist.

This is the first time

anybody actually gives
a proper diagnosis

of what could potentially be
going on in Mackay's head.

He's found to have
an explosive temper

and it's predicted that
without intervention,

he'll go on to become a
cold, psychopathic killer.

[dramatic music]

- That would not be something

that most professionals would
feel comfortable doing now,

it would not be
common even back then.

Normally, we don't diagnose
children with psychopathy

because it's seen as
something that you kind of,

it's hard to, some of the
traits it's hard to define

whether some of this is
something that you will,

as a judgment said
to him, grow out of.

Nowadays, if he was to be
diagnosed with anything,

it would be more likely
to be conduct disorder,

which is often seen
as a precursor.

It's about rebelling
against authority,

acting out in a way that is,
you know, very, very shocking.

- It was a very experimental
time in psychiatry

where people didn't really know
what to do with such people.

So there was a situation
where a lot of criminals

and a lot of psychiatric
patients with criminal behaviors

were essentially warehoused.

[dramatic music]

- The sad fact was

that he was a violent
disturbed character,

but without mental
illness symptoms.

And that the doctors
and psychiatrists,

with whom he came into contact,
were forced to conclude

there wasn't much they
could do about it.

Therefore, they wanted
him off their hands.

And he was released over
and over, prematurely,

or shuffled from one
institution to another.

[dramatic music]

- Court leaves
treated him badly,

I think they shut
him in cupboards.

He did take a few beatings,
there's no doubt about that,

which didn't enhance his
kind of persona at all.

Just made him worse, just
made him what he was, a bully.

And even in the earlier days
when he was just over 15,

Amy Tap, and she's
a WPC at Dartford,

one day, couldn't get into him,

took four men with a mattress
to get into the cell.

And Amy wrote that day,

"This person will kill
before he is much older."

- He was in Moss Side.

The Mental Health Review Board,

at the urging of
Mackay's mother,

twice let him out

because of his plausibility,
his articulacy,

his seeming normality.

But that's the
key word, seeming.

A psychopath is not normal.

[dramatic music]

- [Mackay Voiceover]
In Moss Side,

I was classified as a
psychopath, but without mania.

I have always believed that
I have not just a problem

of being psychopathic
on its own,

but instead having
psychopathic mania.

This has always been my
personal opinion on the matter

and believed no one to
judge one's mind better,

in most cases, than oneself,

since the mind is such
a complex machine.

- What should have happened,
and probably would nowadays,

would be, he'd have been
picked up much earlier

as being a problem,
you could see

what sort of danger he
might pose in the future

and be dealt with.

And he never was. He went inside, he then
went outside again,

carried on committing
crime, back inside again.

Nobody ever seemed to actually
understand the enormity

of what they were dealing with

and try and keep him
where he should have been,

which was in a
secure mental unit.

[dramatic music]

- [Mackay Voiceover] When I
was eventually discharged,

I can say that despite
the sudden step

to the outside
community as a whole,

I had at the time only
the best intentions

in the living of my life.

But one cannot
unfortunately always foresee

the certain type of stigmas
that can form and come to be

for some people in such an
imperfect world as this.

- He understood himself, he was
the personification of evil.

The big film at the time
that was going around

was, "The Exorcist."

And he absolutely
loved that film.

He became obsessed
with that film.

He collected Nazi memorabilia,
he worshiped Hitler.

And when he talked about Hitler,

he tried to speak
in a German accent.

[dramatic music]

- Mackay had a twisted
devotion towards Nazi ideology.

It seemed, in a bizarre
way, that he found something

that he could form a sense of
belonging and identity with,

and it served to
really reinforce

some really quite extremist
and dark views that he held.

- Mackay went so far
as to fashion himself,

a homemade Nazi
uniform with a armband

and he would wear jack boots.

And on occasion he would goose-step
outside in the street.

He also had a huge wooden
eagle and Swastika,

which I've no idea
where he would've

acquired something like that,

which he kept in his bedroom.

It was a shrine to the Nazis.

At one point he'd come up
with a new name for himself,

which was Franklin
Bollvolt the First.

And he thought that
this was a name

that would ring
out like Hitler's,

it would unite the world
under his leadership.

And the thing that he
always boasted about

was that if he was in charge,

he would kill all the
useless old people.

- But he brought
into a belief system

that was predominantly about
a supreme race of people

and this idea that other
people could be eliminated.

[speaks in foreign language]

- He was starting to really
take on this ideology

and think about how he
could make it his own.

And that appeared to excite him

and gave him a sense
of purpose, in a way.

- He's very angry
with the world,

he has many, many
unresolved issues

related to his own traumas.

And when he sees others,
he perceives them

to have what he does not have

and therefore he
seeks to destroy that.

[dramatic music]

- By the age of 21,
Mackay had racked up

at least a dozen convictions
for various offenses

ranging from petty theft
to assault, burglary,

possession of offensive weapon.

Things just seemed to be
getting worse and worse.

And as he got older,

the seriousness of his
convictions just increased.

[dramatic music]

- We didn't get police
cars down this road,

so once they started
to sort of come up

and park outside Mackay's house,
on a fairly regular basis,

you would just sort
of be wondering,

"What's he done this time?

"Is he going away?"

Your mind works
overtime, doesn't it,

in those sort of situations.

But say, none of us
imagined in our worst dreams

that he was capable of murder.

- [Reporter] The house stands
at the edge of the village.

And at night there
was no one around

to see or hear the murder.

- By then we'd started
inquiries with Marion, the mom,

and she told us
all kinds of lies.

She told us she hadn't seen him,

he hadn't been to the place.

We did find a
number of neighbors

that had actually seen
Mackay come out of the house

and walked toward Shorne.

So it was a fallacy for Marion
to say he'd never been there.

Pat Poulson, a near neighbor,
she witnessed the whole thing.

- I glanced out the window
and saw Patrick walk past.

As we did every time
we saw him thought,

"Oh, what's gonna
happen this time?"

Even though he was walking
away from the house,

that didn't mean he
wouldn't come back.

[car engine revving]
Lo and behold, the next day,

there was quite a large
police presence in the street,

knocking on everybody's doors.

And when they knocked
on mine, they just,

they gave a
description of someone

and asked if I'd seen anyone

answering that
description recently.

And straight away I said,

"Well, that description
fits Patrick Mackay

"from next door, but one.

"And yeah, I saw him yesterday."

So they immediately said,
"That's very interesting.

"We'll make a note of it.

"A senior police officer
will be round later "to interview you."

And then that's
when we found out

that he was suspected
of of murder.

[dramatic music]

- When Brown and
Whitlock left us,

they soon established that
he had digs in North London,

on Great North Road.

They went to there and confronted the
bloke called Brian,

who run a hostel really,
as opposed to digs.

Whilst they were there,

Mackay actually rang
the hostel owner, Brian.

Brown and Whitlock were
aware it was Mackay

and just whispered to Brian,
"Don't say we're here,

"just see where he is though."

But Mackay got the wind of it.

He just realized that
something was amiss.

And the only clue they
had where he could be

was that he went with
a lad called Cowdrey,

and that was one of
his best friends.

- Mackay was hanging
out on some waste ground

in South London,

and he met a couple of young
boys, the Cowdrey brothers.

This friendship
developed somehow.

Mackay was invited to spend time

at the Cowdrey
house in Stockwell.

The parents of the family,
Bert and Vi Cowdrey,

who Mackay began
calling mom and dad.

[gentle music]

- Brown and Whitlock
went and knocked the door

of the first Cowdrey
family that they found,

Mackay was standing
in the doorway.

He was actually
standing in the hallway.

So, of course they knew him
well and they grabbed him

and I think they took him back
to the local police station.

But even on the way back
to the police station,

they'd cautioned him and
he had coughed the job.

Mackay had admitted the murder.

[dramatic music]

When we got him back into Kent,

this was taken at
Northfleet Police Station.

And I did know him
as a younger boy,

but this is how I remembered him

when he first come into
custody for the Crean murder.

I'll never forget that face,
I'll never forget that picture

because to me that was Patrick.

Might not know him now,
but that was Patrick then,

you know, could go
wild in the eyes.

[dramatic music]

- [Mackay Voiceover]
I went to Gravesend

by train last Friday afternoon,

21st of March, 1975.

I won a chicken in a
raffle and took it home

for my mother to cook for me.

- That was not true
and he admitted later,

in an ancillary statement,

that he had stolen it
from a local store.

- [Mackay Voiceover] I
talked with my mother,

but I was only at home
for about 15 minutes.

I'm not at all sure
about the times,

but I left the house
about half past four.

I walked to Father
Crean's house at Shorne.

From my own house, I
went along Thong Lane

to a country lane that
branches off from Thong Lane.

I walked all along that lane
past the school at Shorne,

through Shorne Village,
past the Rose and Crown

to Father Crean's house.

[dramatic music]

- This is the dangerous
part about him.

Patrick could be quite affable.

Actually, I'm gonna
say something now,

I never thought I'd say to you,

he could be quite likable.

Patrick could be calm,
Patrick could be pleasant,

Patrick got upset,
Patrick became aggressive.

[dramatic music]

- [Mackay Voiceover]
When I got there,

I saw the front door
was just slightly ajar,

just enough to put a finger in.

I saw his car there
and I saw smoke

from a bonfire in the
back of the house,

so I knew that
Father Crean was in.

I pushed the door open and a
little dog brushed past my leg

and ran out of the door.

I went into the
hall of the house

and called Mr.
Crean, are you there?

There was no reply.

[dramatic music]

After about five minutes,
I heard the front door open

and then saw Mr. Crean
come into the hall.

He didn't seem to see me.

I walked up to him.

And when I was about an
arm's length away, I said,

"Mr. Crean, it's
me, Patrick Mackay."

He had his back to me.

He turned around and
he shouted, "Oh God,

"I wasn't expecting
to see you here."

- I think on the first approach,

Crean was worried sick to see
him there at his premises.

When he got worried

and when he started
getting agitated himself,

Crean, Father Crean,
Mackay got agitated.

And as Mackay got more agitated,

then of course things
went totally wrong.

[dramatic music]

- [Mackay Voiceover] I said,
I've come to talk things over

about the money I owe you.

He seemed to panic a bit

and started to run
out of the house.

This seemed to upset me a bit.

- And by then there was
a struggle taking place

between him and Mackay.

But you can just
see the door post,

on the right hand
side of this picture.

And he pushed him
through the door there,

which then propelled the vicar
into the bath straight away,

into a dry bath.

Father Crean was
never gonna win that.

Mackay had the strength
of probably six men

when he really got worked up.

And on this occasion,
I would suspect

that's exactly what
happened to Crean.

- [Mackay Voiceover] He then
started to annoy me even more

and I kept striking at
his nose with my arm

and the side of my hand.

I then pulled out my
knife from my coat pocket

and repeatedly plunged
it into his neck.

I then got a little
more excitable

and stuck it into
the side of his head

and then tried to plunge it
into the top of his head.

This bent the knife.

- And this was a dagger.

You've got to do something

to bend a dagger in
half in someone's skull.

[dramatic music]

- [Mackay Voiceover] He had been

in the sitting up
position with the knife,

but when I first
hit him with the ax,

he sank down into the bath.

I then repeatedly got
increasingly more annoyed

and lashed at him with the ax.

All this seemed to
happen very fast.

- Every strike he delivers,
and as the blood flows more,

Mackay becomes more
and more excited.

He is engaged in what is
called thrill-seeking behavior,

which is a typical
trait of psychopathy.

Psychopaths seek thrills.

And as they seek more thrills,

the thrills become more extreme.

[dramatic music]

- [Mackay Voiceover] I
threw the ax to the floor,

ripped the plug
from the wash basin

and rammed it into the bath,
then turned on the taps.

- He said, "There was
nothing more lovely

"than dunking him up and down
in the water in that bath,

"still in his top coat,
in his wellingtons,

"dressed as he would
be if he went out

"for a walk with the dog."

Mackay thought that was
quite a wonderful scene.

[dramatic music]

- This was the act of a
seriously crazy killer.

But chopping somebody up
with an ax, blood everywhere,

sticking him in the
bath, running the tap,

sitting there
watching the man die,

this was the extremity
of Mackay's psychopathy.

This was the most
horrible of crimes.

- [Mackay Voiceover] Then
I stayed in the bathroom

for about an hour.

I was just watching him sinking

and floating about in the bath.

And I then walked
out of the house

and walked around to
the back of his house

picking up bits and pieces
of cinders from the fire

and bits of soil, just mucking
about, doodling in a sense.

Then I went back in the
house and into the bathroom

and stayed there for about
a quarter of an hour.

I then thought of the
chicken at my mother's home

and walked out of
his house altogether.

- We were about to go

to a local magistrate's
court on remands.

He heard that his mother
would be in court to see him,

and I could see he
was getting more wild

about his mom's
appearance at court

and more aggravated about it.

And then he said, "Would
you do my shoes up?"

When you look at the
eyes of a killer,

look at them and you'll know

you're looking at
the eyes of a killer.

And when Patrick looked at
me, I was quite concerned.

And I looked at his
eyes and I said,

do your own fucking shoes up.

[dramatic music]

- [Mackay Voiceover] The
only thing I want to add

is it didn't seem to trouble
me too much, what I had done,

on hearing it in the paper.

- As a crime reporter, a
murder is your top crime,

of course, I was excited,
it was a fascinating murder.

The restrictions at the time

were even greater
than they are now.

So broadly once he was charged,

you can't use any
details in the newspaper

about what has happened.

So apart from saying name, age,
address, that kind of thing,

there was very
little you could do.

So for the next few
months after that,

I could say almost nothing
about what had happened.

But then it did
give you a chance

to actually investigate
the whole thing properly.

So the next few months
was spent largely

on looking at the various things

that Patrick Mackay had done,

trying to piece
together his life

and also piecing together the
various crimes he'd committed

over the previous few years.

Excitement turned
into some dread

about what I might
find out next.

And the more I delved into
the personality of Patrick,

the more I found that
really disturbing.

[dramatic music]

- My name is David Crinnion.

In 1975, I was a
Detective Constable

at Gerald Road Police Station,

dealing with all the day-to-day
crimes that were reported,

burglaries, assaults, robberies.

Gerald Road Division
was basically Belgravia,

parts of Victoria
and Victoria Station

creeping across towards Chelsea.

A very high net worth
area, generally speaking.

Female victims were being
attacked on the street.

And also the subject

of what are known as
artifice burglaries,

whereby people talk their
way into people's houses,

either by saying, oh,
they've heard a noise,

or they've seen water running,

or sometimes just
by basic threats.

Once in there they steal
what they can and leave.

And they weren't just
happening at Gerald Road,

they were happening
at Rochester Road,

which was the adjacent division,

they were happening in Chelsea,

they were happening in Fulham,

they were happening
all over the place.

- I'm Dr. Nell Darby and
I'm a crime historian

specializing in looking
at crime reportage.

When you think of the 1970s,

you do think about kind
of economic struggles,

political crises,
three day week.

There's problems in terms
of high unemployment

and thus political
dissatisfaction, alienation,

that kind of thing.

When you've got
high unemployment,

you've got poverty
related issues.

So if you are struggling
to feed your family

to maintain a household,
it's more likely then

that you are going to
commit petty crime,

just to kind of get by.

- Well, you have to understand
that London's a big place,

eight, 10, 12 million
people living there.

A lot of people moving about.

It's 50 years ago that
we're talking about now.

There wasn't the CCTV
that there is now.

There weren't the other
methods of identification.

It was much more difficult then

to pick an individual
out of what was

a fairly transient population,

particularly when you have a
number of underground stations

and Victoria
Station underground.

How many people come
through there every day?

It's difficult.

There was a certain theme

running through the
robberies and the burglaries,

that the individual
responsible for them

had said to the victim,
"You better hurry up

"because I have to be back
in Springfield Hospital."

Which is a mental hospital
in Southwest London

by a specified time.

And of course anybody
would be able to say,

"Well, that's clearly a link,

"that's clearly
the same person."

[dramatic music]

- We all know that
Chelsea and Kensington

and wealthy parts of London,

the properties are
very expensive.

We also know that there's a
large number of wealthy widows

living in that part of London.

And Mackay's career
of mugging and robbery

was directed against
these fairly,

often quite rich, ladies

who are of a certain age,

whom in many cases he'd
sweet talked and befriended.

[car engine revving]

[dramatic music]

- Patrick Mackay was actually
quite a charming individual.

He seemed to have an ability

to get the trust of these
elderly ladies fairly quickly.

He was used to tall pubs,

and meet them in pubs,

he'd buy them a Guinness
or something like that,

offer to walk them home.

So at that point,
he must have been

quite a believable character.

- Mackay deliberately
chooses victims

that are essentially
defenseless.

They're not going to be
physically as strong as him.

[dramatic music]

- Throughout his life,
he's committing violence

on people more
vulnerable than him.

So as a youngster, he's committing
violence on young boys,

on his mother because
she's weaker than him.

So he's looking for people

that he knows he's stronger
than, that he can overpower.

There's not gonna be
too much of a fight.

[dramatic music]

- He would follow them home,

wait until they've got
their key in the lock,

and he would either barge
past as they turn the key

or he would come up
with some kind of ruse

to get into the property.

Some of these robberies were
not particularly violent,

he would sometimes behave
incredibly politely.

On other occasions he
would, without warning,

just wrap his hands
around somebody's throat

and start strangling them.

It's blind luck that he
didn't kill more people,

during this period.

[typewriter keys clacking]

[dramatic music]

[typewriter keys clacking]

[dramatic music]

- Police were called to an
address in Lowndes Square

in the early evening in March,

by Adele Price granddaughter

who'd found her
grandmother dead.

[dramatic music]

It must be trauma, it's
not gonna be something

you're ever gonna
be able to forget.

Police attended,

it was a uniform police
officer to begin with,

and then I went along there

with one of the sergeants,
I think, or the DI.

Mrs. Price was lying on
her bed, clearly dead,

marks on her neck.

There was a post-mortem
examination and it was established

that she had been
murdered, been strangled.

And a squad was formed

under Detective
Superintendent John Bland.

And we very quickly, or
Mr. Bland, very quickly

connected this murder to a
murder about a year previously

in Cheyne Walk in Chelsea.

And we decided to link the
two murders there and then.

[typewriter keys clacking]

[dramatic music]

- Isabella Griffiths was the
87-year-old widow of a surgeon.

She lived in one of London's
most desirable areas,

in Cheyne Walk on
Chelsea Embankment.

She was a member of the
Chelsea Gardener's Guild.

She's a very well known,
recognizable figure in the area.

Isabella had the misfortune
of meeting Mackay

on one of her walks around
the West End, in early 1974.

Mackay offered to carry her
shopping back to the house.

She invited him in for a
cup of tea and a biscuit.

They got on really
well and she said,

"Well, look, I always
need chores doing,

"why don't you come back again?"

Which he did.

Over the next few weeks,
he came back a few times

and he would run errands,
mainly going to the shops

to buy copious
amounts of cat food

for the various cats that
she kept in the property.

On the 14th of February,
Patrick Mackay,

absconded from
Tooting Bec Hospital.

He'd been admitted a
couple of days previously

after supposedly
trying to kill himself

at Stockwell Tube Station.

Wandering through London,
he made the decision

to walk to Isabella's
house at Cheyne Walk.

Unfortunately, Isabella's
body wasn't discovered

for a further 12 days.

She had a friend who
would often walk past

and she described how
she always kept an eye

on her friend's
milk bottle levels

to make sure they're okay.

[dramatic music]

- Neighbors were
somewhat concerned,

called police, police attended,

and she was found
dead in the house,

and clearly she'd been
dead for some little time.

[dramatic music]

Unfortunately and
extremely embarrassingly,

you'd have to say, the
stab wound or killed her

wasn't discovered until
she was at the mortuary.

When they undid the blanket
in which she was wrapped.

- The police immediately knew

that this was a
highly unusual murder

and whoever had done it needed
to be found immediately.

[dramatic music]

- Good evening.

"Police One Five" this week
moves out of his usual office

and into an incident room

where a full scale murder
inquiry is underway.

The murder of this lady,

89-year-old widow,
Mrs. Adele Price.

And with your help
we've established,

she was last seen here,

on the corner of Knightsbridge
and Brompton Road

outside the Scotch House
at about five to five.

The next time she
was seen was here,

at her flat in Lowndes Square,
when her body was found,

she'd been murdered.

[dramatic music]

- By the time of
Adele Price's death,

there was a squad of detectives

looking, not just at
the killing of Isabella,

but a string of very
similar robberies

of old ladies
across the West End.

It didn't take a rocket
scientist to realize

that whoever had
killed these two women

was probably one
and the same man.

- Mr. Bland decided that
the robberies and burglaries

and artifice burglaries
that has happened

were also gonna form part
of the investigation.

And there were overall
40 or 50, I think.

Every offense of this type

received a visit from an
investigative officer.

And I went to
hundreds, I suppose,

during the course of my career.

And we sat down and we
spoke to the victim,

took whatever information
they could provide us,

worked out whatever clues
there might or might not be,

and crucially had a
scenes of crime officer

attend every one.

Sometimes they got something,
sometimes they didn't.

But that's the
nature of the game,

you don't always
get what you want.

But we did get
some fingerprints.

- On February 15th, 1975,

Patrick Mackay commits one
of his doorstep robberies,

forces his way into the home

of an elderly woman
called Margaret Diver.

[dramatic music]

- He'd come up behind her

as she was getting into
her flat in Chelsea.

He then grabbed her, put
his hands over her mouth,

pushed her from room to
room inside her flat,

asked her to make
him a cup of tea.

- She's very lucky to
escape with her life,

and it's a bizarre encounter

where they actually sit
at the kitchen table

for more than an hour,
talking, drinking tea.

And Mackay sits
there the whole time,

stirring his tea with
a silver teaspoon,

which he then just casually
leaves on the table.

- In those days,
fingerprint examination

was done by a guy with
a magnifying glass,

looking at a print
lifted, using black powder

and sellotape from
whatever surface it was.

A very, very time consuming
and expensive process.

And we got an ident on
Patrick David Mackay,

who at that time was already
in custody for a murder.

[dramatic music]

- Unbeknown to us, the Mets
have had a string of murders

and serious robberies.

Down come the Met,
an amazing scene,

three detectives, including
a man called Crinnion,

I think it was,

and they went right
through like that,

picking up items and
saying, "That's that murder,

"that's that murder,
that's that robbery."

- We were able to
identify some of them.

In fact, we were able
to identify some of them

coming from a robbery
that I'd dealt with,

and we were able to restore
them to the victims.

- The Met officers just knew,

the minute they
saw those artifacts

and the items on the
table at Northfleet,

they knew they had
cleared up their series

of murders and
serious robberies.

- We arranged to go
down to see them,

on the Wednesday
when he's at court,

Gravesham Magistrate's Court

and we get him remanded
into our custody,

rather than going back to jail.

I remember walking in to see
him after the court appearance,

seen him in the cells.

Mr. Bland was introduced.

Mackay said, "Yeah,
I know who you are."

He said, "You're here about
the murder of Mrs. Price."

He said, "Yeah, I killed her."

He said, "And a year
ago, I killed a woman

"called Isabella Griffiths
in Cheyne Walk in Chelsea."

Right, okay, fine.

So we then took him
back to Canon Row

and then we embarked on this
marathon interview with him,

which resulted in a
60 odd page statement.

[typewriter keys clacking]

[dramatic music]

He sat there and he
cooperated and he drunk tea.

Had Chinese food
brought in for him.

Obviously it was
in our interests

to keep him on side, anyway.

We wanted as much
information from him

as we could possibly get.

[dramatic music]

- [Mackay Voiceover] You
know, I can't remember

the name of the woman in
Cheyne Walk, unfortunately.

The only time it
comes back to me

is when I walk
over Albert Bridge.

[dramatic music]

I got to the door, knocked on
the door, about evening time,

because I remember as I
walked past the house,

I saw the light on
in one of the rooms

and saw her sitting there.

[dramatic music]

She answered the door, but
with the safety chain on.

At first, she didn't
seem to recognize me.

Then she did and said,

"I don't need any
shopping done today."

- He had befriended
Isabella Griffiths before,

sort of a couple
of weeks earlier,

he'd been doing shopping
for her and her friends.

So there's an element
of trust there.

And yet when he went back
and asked to be let in,

she wouldn't let him.

So something seems
to have changed there

where either she's
recognized a look in his eyes

or he's done something to
her in the intervening time

that he doesn't
remember, and suddenly

that kind of relationship
between them has gone.

[dramatic music]

- [Mackay Voiceover]
I struck the door and the chain snapped.

I gained entry and she
backed along the passageway.

I realized then I had done
something I shouldn't have done,

and I went a bit frantic.

The next thing I knew
she was on the floor.

[dramatic music]

- She's denying him something,

but it's not just a childish
tantrum, it's more than that,

it's the fact there's an
established bond there.

He's not knocking on some
random old lady's door

and expecting that
she's gonna let him in.

This is supposed
to be his friend

and she's not behaving as
he thinks he's entitled to.

[dramatic music]

- [Mackay Voiceover] I had
grabbed her around the neck.

This was in the kitchen area.

I must have pressed her
neck hard with my left hand

because she went unconscious.

I left her then and ventured
into her front room.

She already had the wireless on.

I listened to a news
bulletin on the radio

and felt a strong wanting
to venture up the stairs.

I wandered all up the stairs.

I then went back down the stairs

and had a strong compulsion
to kill her outright.

[dramatic music]

- That is the most chilling
thing about Patrick,

the way that it would be
a completely random thing.

He described killing as a
kind of white mist came down

and suddenly he was
completely out of control.

And it was very much
as if he was possessed,

that suddenly something took
him over and made him kill.

[dramatic music]

- [Mackay Voiceover] I picked
up a knife for cutting meat,

a standard kitchen knife,

about the length of a 12
inch ruler in the blade.

I then rammed this
through her solar plexus,

the bone of her chest, dead
center or just a bit below.

I felt it embed
itself into the floor.

- Mackay told us that
he'd stabbed her so hard

that the knife had gone through

and stuck in the floorboard.

That was inaccurate.

He'd actually stuck
in her scapular,

on the inside the
shoulder blade.

- [Mackay Voiceover]
I then left her there

and sat down in the front room

and produced a bottle
of scotch from my pocket

and I emptied it.

It did not make me drunk,
but made me inflamed.

You know how whiskey
warms you up.

It rather stimulated me.

- What Mackay does
next is very unusual.

He kneels over her
body, he closes her eyes

and he crosses her
arms across her chest,

in the style of an undertaker.

Then Mackay gathers

various items of
clothing from the house,

drapes them over her body
and tucks them underneath.

- [Mackay Voiceover]
I did turn the tap on

in the sink in the
kitchen at Cheyne Walk,

where I had left the body.

The first thing I
threw in was a handbag,

a dish cloth and a towel,
some knives, plates, I think,

a saucer and maybe some shoes.

It was mainly things
that came to hand.

I remember her
shoes had come off

because I saw her toes protruding
through her stockings.

- Mackay was in no rush
to leave this scene

for reasons that will
only ever be known to him.

He decides to go to the sink

and grab various
items of crockery,

put them in, fill
it up with water.

Bizarrely, takes
Isabella's shoes

and puts them in
the sink as well.

This was something that
really confused the detectives

when they turned up.

- [Mackay Voiceover] After
I had taken the knife

out of her body
and covered her up,

I had a good look at
the blade of the knife.

I then contemplated ramming
it into my own body,

but then felt that this
was not the thing to do

at the present moment.

I then made an exit
out onto the street,

taking the knife with me.

- He'd worked through
the chronology of events

and John Bland said to him,

"Okay, I now want to ask
you about Adele Price."

And Mackay took
this deep breath in

and stood up

and almost swelled in
front of you and stood up.

And I thought, shit,
where we going from here?

And then he sat
down and he said,

"Oh, I'm sorry about that."

He said, "I just had the
red mist for a minute."

[dramatic music]

- [Mackay Voiceover] On that
day, I went down to Belgravia

about a quarter past 12.

[dramatic music]

I did a continuance
amount of wanderance

around Knightsbridge and
then went into Harrods,

it's that large store.

The reason for which was
to do a bit of circulating

for a likely pickup,

anybody who might be a
fair chance to follow.

[dramatic music]

- On March 10th, 1975,
Mackay had had no luck

finding a potential robbery
victim outside Harrods.

He'd retired, quite
disappointed to Lowndes Square,

and he'd plonked himself
down on the bench

and was drinking from
a bottle of whiskey.

He saw Adele Price
returning home.

- [Mackay Voiceover] I
looked across the street

and saw the lady
involved in the murder,

cross the street onto my side.

I stopped as if lost,

awaited to see which
building she would enter.

When she entered the building,

I made to fumble with my keys.

She had opened the
door by this time

and I slipped in behind her.

She turned around,
looked a little startled.

I waved my keys and said,
"Oops, sorry, madam."

She then closed the front door

and I made my way up the stairs.

[dramatic music]

- Mackay overtakes her, but he
puts on a tremble in his leg.

She notices this and he
says, "Oh, are you okay?"

Mackay says, "Well, I'm
feeling a little bit faint."

According to his
account, Adele then says,

"Well, would you like to
come in for a glass of water

"or a cup of tea?"

At which point he says, "Well,
yeah, that'd be lovely."

[dramatic music]

- [Mackay Voiceover] She told
me to wait in the parlor,

which was just inside
her front door.

When her back was turned, I
slammed the front flat door

and whisked into the
room where the TV was

and into her kitchen.

She then came out
of the bathroom

and I was out of her
vision at this time

and heard her exclaim,
"Oh, how odd."

She seemed to have
the impression

that I had departed
from the flat.

I think this was the general
idea at the back of my mind

when I slammed the front
door and whisked away.

She came into the kitchen,
stated in shocked surprise

that she thought I had gone.

I then told her that I did
not want any complications

and that I was feeling on edge.

I looked around
the room and stated

that this was Belgravia, you
must know what I'm here for.

She then said, "I
can well guess."

I told her to go to the bedroom.

She went there.

I seemed to go into
the bedroom with her.

- To see somebody like
Mackay standing there,

it must have been
terrifying, terrifying.

I wouldn't want to
see that happen to me.

[dramatic music]

You suddenly think that's
what the cops call,

in their really cultured
way, an oh shit moment.

It must be, "This is
not gonna end well."

I mean, I don't suppose
that she'd ever been

confronted with those
threatening type of situations

before in her life.

But that is a clear
and serious threat.

And she must have
realized then that

the best she was gonna get
would be the worst of it.

Just shocking, shocking.

- [Mackay Voiceover] The
next thing I remember,

I had my hand around her neck.

I don't remember what
hand or how I did it,

or even why I did it.

It seemed to happen
so much quicker

than in the Cheyne Walk one

where I seemed to
have lots of time.

As I was strangling her,

she seemed to sink
down onto the floor.

I didn't particularly
think about

whether she was dead or not.

I went into the TV
room, switched on the TV

and gazed out of the
window for quite some time.

- This is weird, spooky,
ghoulish behavior,

having killed somebody
to sit with the body.

It was what he did with
Isabella Griffiths,

and it is what he
did with Adele Price.

And ultimately he
sat in the bathroom

with the bleeding
corpse of Father Crean.

This marks him out
from most murderers.

Psychiatrists would tell you,

part of the abnormality
of a completely ruthless

and unscrupulous person
that we call a psychopath.

[dramatic music]

- It's almost like being
an interested bystander.

Something has happened and
you are curious about it,

and there's his desire to
stay in the crime scene.

He wants to be there
watching what he's done.

But it is as an observer,

it's almost as though
he doesn't realize

that he's caused this.

And again, there's this distance
between him and the victim.

There's no empathy towards
them, there's no emotion,

it's just watching.

- [Mackay Voiceover]
I started to think

what I had done with my life.

I didn't particularly think
about murdering the old woman.

It didn't strike me particularly

that I was in a
serious situation.

I don't what
happened after that.

I may have dropped
off for a while.

The next I remember was
I heard a rattling sound,

and this seemed to wake me up.

- It was her granddaughter

who was trying to
get into the flat,

which she couldn't do because
Mackay had put up this latch.

Obviously at this point,

Mackay's probably
thinking he's been caught.

But what happens is
the granddaughter,

not being able to
get into the flat,

goes downstairs to see
whether she can get a neighbor

or someone to help.

In the intervening time,
Mackay leaves the flat

and starts heading
downstairs himself.

He passes the
granddaughter who says,

"Oh, have you seen
anybody up there?

"I can't get in."

Mackay puts on a Northern
accent and says to her,

"You'd better go
get the porter."

- He just leaves and passes her.

And you know, she's left to
discover her grandmother's body.

So he lacks that kind
of sense of remorse

or sense of empathy towards
what she might be about to find.

- These individuals
really struggle

with emotional connection,

having the capacity to
understand, interpret

and connect with emotions,

whether their own or of others.

- It's very callous,
it's very cool.

And again, it doesn't show

that he's got a full sense of
awareness of what he's done

or the enormity of it.

- Came that close
to being identified

and possibly that close
to her granddaughter

being a murder victim too.

And then he's just melted
away into the night.

[dramatic music]

- During the course
of these interviews,

Mackay stuns detectives
by suddenly revealing

that he has a fourth victim.

- He told us about a
murder that he committed

on Hungerford Bridge,

when you could still walk
across Hungerford Bridge.

[dramatic music]

- [Mackay Voiceover] This
was in the early hours,

2:30 a.m. I think,
sometime in January, 1974.

It was before I killed
the woman in Cheyne Walk.

I had been drinking in
pubs in the Clapham area,

and when they closed,
I walked from Stockwell

up to the embankment

and walked alongside
of the River Thames.

Halfway over the
bridge, I saw a vagrant.

He was late 40s or 50.

He wore a sort of cap
affair, shabby, grease cap.

He had some growth on his face

as if he hadn't
shaved for some time.

As he came towards me,

I could see that he had
been drinking himself

and he shouted some abuse at me.

I can't remember what he said,

but something like
F off or fuck off.

He was sort of growling.

He waved his arm in
the air towards me.

It was at that time
that I lost my temper.

[dramatic music]

I grabbed him by his pants
at the backside and his neck,

that is the collar at
the back of his coat,

and heaved him over
the edge of the bridge

into the River Thames.

[dramatic music]

- When he was telling
us, he started laughing.

He said, "It was funny."

He said, "His arms and
legs were flying about."

He said, "He hit the
water with a big splash."

So oh, so, Jimmy said to
him, "So, what'd you do?"

He said, "Nothing."

He said, "It was his fault,
shouldn't have sworn at me."

- [Mackay Voiceover]
He started splashing

as though he couldn't swim.

I can't remember if he
shouted, but I suppose he did.

He was splashing a lot.

I didn't care if he sank or not.

- But we never
identified that guy

because Mackay's grasp
on time and space

and so on and so forth,
wasn't sufficient to say

that happened on Monday, the
12th of July or whatever.

So we were left with
a period of time

of about four or five weeks,

during which time there were
half a dozen bodies washed up

that roughly fitted
the description.

But certainly not sufficient

for us to be able to
say that happened.

I mean, you could say that
Mackay said he did it.

But you've gotta be able
to prove, first of all,

that the body you have is the
one that he's talking about.

And it just couldn't be solved.

[dramatic music]

- [Mackay Voiceover] These
murders were so solemn,

when I think of them, yet so
quick, so fast to take place.

You know, a man who has killed

cannot really say much
more than the basics

from his point of view
as he remembers it.

In my case, for instance,

I became very cocky about
a few things that happened.

[dramatic music]

- Mackay felt a sense
of control and enjoyment

at the fact that the police
were very much reliant on his narrative.

He was central to
this entire situation.

So I think that served to
increase his feelings of control

and his own self-esteem,
in all of the interactions.

- It absolutely gives
him some degree of power.

The last word on
these people's lives.

He's not only the last
person that saw them,

he's not only the person
that took their lives,

he's the person that gives us

our understanding of them
in their final moments.

- There were other
murders that he admitted

during the course of this,

but of course we had
no knowledge of them,

no intimate knowledge
of them at all,

because they'd happened
in divisions away from us.

So there was not much
we could do about them,

other than note the fact

that he'd said that he
was responsible for them.

[train engine revving]

- July, 1973, there's a
17-year-old German Au Pair

called Heidi Mnilk,
who is on a train.

She was stabbed multiple times

and her body was thrown
from the moving train.

Mackay supposedly bragged
about having killed this woman.

- You can see why that young
blonde girl, Heidi Mnilk,

had to be a target for him 'cause he
would've spoken to her,

found out she was German,

found out she was
quite pretty in a way.

But he was on a train, she
was going out the door.

I do believe he did that.

But what you got, a door that
opens, a girl on the track.

You got nothing else.

[gentle music]

[train engine revving]

[gentle music]

- January, 1974, a lady
called Stephanie Britton

and her four-year-old
grandson, Christopher Martin,

were murdered in their house
in High Barnet, North London.

This was an area that Mackay
was very familiar with,

he'd worked there
as a groundsman.

The suspect in this
case was a young man,

seen loitering in the area.

Stephanie had been strangled,

Christopher had been
stabbed in the chest.

There's never been another
suspect other than Mackay.

- The bottom line is,
for all of these things,

whatever somebody tells
you, you've got to prove it.

There's no point in saying,

"He's admitted that he's
gonna plead guilty."

Maybe not, you've
gotta prove it.

It's not about the truth
when you get to court,

it's about what you can prove.

It all has to be proved.

[birds chirping]

[gentle music]

- My name's Vic Davis.

My mother, Ivy
Davis was murdered

on February the 4th, 1975.

To the outside world, she was
happy-go-lucky, welcoming.

But as a private
person, to her children,

she was very cold
and sharp and direct.

She said, "Jump" and you said,
"How high" sort of thing.

Different world in them days.

[dramatic music]

- She was a fairly well
known figure in Southend.

She ran the Orange Tree Cafe,
which was a beachfront cafe,

part of a row of little
independent restaurants.

- In 1960, when my
parents split up,

she took the two oldest
children, both daughters,

and put the rest of us
in the children's home

in Shoeburyrness.

When I became 15, they
allowed me to visit my mother

on a Thursday at seven o'clock,

until I got into
trouble with the police

and I was put in a young
offenders institute.

That week, fortunately
or unfortunately for me,

I was in charge of the TV.

Every week, it was
allocated to somebody else,

rather than just
people turning over

whenever they felt like it.

So the 5:45 news came on,

as nowadays, they give
you the headlines,

what's coming up on the TV?

And then they said,
"Murder in Southend."

At the same time, all these
guys are saying to me,

"Vic, turn the TV over, The
Monkeys is gonna be on."

"The Monkeys" TV show is due
to start on the other side.

So I said, hold on a minute,
there's a murder in Southend,

I might know who it is.

I'll turn it over
when I find out.

Never thinking I'd have
any idea who it was.

Bang, picture of my
mother on the TV.

And I'm like

Froze, just froze.

And they all saying,
"Do you know who is it?

"Turn over turn."

Yes, I fucking know who it is.
Excuse the language.

I know who it is.

It's my bloody mother.

And TV went flying.

I don't even remember
throwing the TV.

I just don't remember it,

but that's what
they told me I did.

I just went into ice
cold shock really.

- Ivy Davis fitted the
Mackay victim profile

of an older lady who might
have a bit of money at home.

The murder scene
itself was reminiscent

of what happened
at Father Crean's.

She'd been battered around
the head with a heavy object,

turned out to be
a metal pry bar,

which was just casually
discarded at the scene.

- They think she was
dragged down the stairs

with ligature around her neck.

She was found with a
ligature around her neck.

Although they've confirmed
that that didn't kill her.

They've told me that
whoever killed her,

spent quite a bit of time
in my mother's house,

cleaning up, moving furniture
around, undressing my mother,

putting her in a night dress.
And she was all bad on one side,

and so they laid
her on her bad side

to make it look like she'd
fallen asleep, watching TV,

left the TV on.

Anyway, I was contacted
by this woman,

she said that she used to
work in my mother's cafe

up until the time
she was killed.

And one particular day

this man came into the cafe

asking if he could
bring in some patients

from Runwell Hospital.

And so my mother
said, "Who are you?"

And he said, "My name's
Patrick, I'm a doctor.

"I'm just taking these
inpatients out for a day out,

"give 'em some air."

So she said, "Yes, okay."

He brought 'em in and fed
them whatever they wanted.

- Obviously Patrick
Mackay wasn't a doctor

at a mental hospital, he
was a longstanding patient.

Not sure whether he'd
ever been in Runwell,

it's possible that he might have

admitted himself at some point

because he did admit himself
occasionally and then abscond.

So it's quite possible.

But we just don't know

because sadly Ivy's
not around to ask.

- The story he goes that

while he was on remand
before he went to trial,

he admitted a few other murders
actually naming my mother,

that yes, he killed her.

- If Mackay did know
about The Orange Tree,

did know about Ivy,

it would be incredibly
unlucky on her part

that a completely different
psychopathic killer

has visited her on that
day and killed her.

- He was there.

But you see, if I'm there,

it don't mean to say
I've murdered you.

If I'm there and I've got your
blood on me, that's better.

If I'm there and my fingerprints
are around your throat,

if you've got something like
a collar on, that's better.

But if I'm there,
and you're dead,

that don't make me a killer.

- [Mackay Voiceover] At the
request of the Southend Police,

we went to view
this murder house.

She had apparently been hit,
one killing blow on the head.

I was never charged with this,
and I would think not to.

It certainly wasn't
me they wanted.

- Psychopaths, like
to create chaos.

So creating a situation
where he makes a confession

and then at the last moment
retracts that confession

is a means to retaining power.

- Mackay made numerous
further confessions.

The two most serious ones

were the murder of a man
called Frank Goodman,

who was a shopkeeper
in North London

who'd been battered
in his store.

The other was, again,

another elderly lady
called Mary Hines,

killed in a very similar
way to Isabella and Adele.

- [Mackay Voiceover] She was
found stabbed, I believe,

and battered to death.

There is no evidence to tie
me except statements I made

in a fed up and couldn't
care less frame of mind.

- In June, 1974,
shopkeeper Frank Goodman

was battered to death in his
store in Rock Street, Finsbury.

The detectives involved
in that case said

it was one of the most
horrific crime scenes

they'd ever seen.

Essentially, Mr. Goodman's
head was obliterated.

It has a lot of similarities

to the crime scene
with Father Crean,

in terms of the
ferocity of this attack.

- And then we found the
shoes two years later,

still with Goodman's blood,

under the welt of
Mackay's shoes.

We knew it was his shoes, he
said where we'd find them.

We knew it was Goodman's blood,

so we knew that that
one had to be true,

so he could have been
charged with that one.

- However, these two cases,
when it came to court,

Mackay said he was gonna
plead not guilty to murder.

The CPS decided to let
those cases lie on file.

- Perhaps the three
murders that he went up for

were ones that,

I'm gonna use a police
term, were bang to rights,

and the others were ones that,

if he went to trial
and he went not guilty,

he could walk away with it.

[dramatic music]

- When I wrote my book, I
looked at the unsolved cases

that were linked
to Patrick Mackay.

When I started looking at it,

I fully expected to find that
in the intervening years,

some of them have
had been solved.

None of them have been.

Not only have they
not been solved,

in those years, there have
never been any serious suspects

put up by the police.

So you've got to question,
what's going on here?

Some of these were horrific.

They were obviously carried
out by a dangerous maniac.

So if Patrick Mackay didn't
commit these crimes, who did?

[gentle music]

- I was there at the Old Bailey

on the 21st of November, 1975,

and the trial, with a blink of
an eye, you'd have missed it.

I'd been to all the
remand hearings as well

with them at magistrate's court.

So I was quite familiar then
with being fairly close to him.

And his eyes almost looked like

they belonged to somebody else.

But the moment
they turned on you,

he looked around the
court for familiar faces,

so it was the police, it
was me as the reporter

who'd been following him around,

and when they settled on you,

they sent a real
chill down your spine.

I mean, you know, the
phrase, cold-blooded killer,

could have been invented
for Patrick Mackay.

He showed no emotion at all.

He obviously knew
what was coming.

It was Mr. Justice
Milmo who was presiding

and gave him a very
quick life sentence

and said that he
should not be released

until it could be proved

that he wasn't a
danger to the public.

And that's where we are now.

So we're 47 years on from that,

and Patrick Mackay
has now become

Britain's
longest-serving prisoner.

- [Mackay Voiceover] The
doctors whom I have seen

feel that I may not or would
not respond to medical help

if it were to be given
or offered to me.

It is in fact the
direct opposite.

I would be willing,
body and soul,

to accept medical help
in a secure hospital

for many years to
come if necessary,

for I know deep down that
this is just what I need,

if there is to be any future
for me to lead a normal life.

I must be helped, I can't
remain in the state I am

for the rest of my life.

It is my last hope to
survive as a human being.

[dramatic music]

- Although you were
dealing at the time

with what we thought
could potentially be

Britain's most
prolific serial killer,

it kind of captured the
headlines the day after,

it was certainly the front page

of all the national
newspapers the day after,

after that it was forgotten.

[dramatic music]

The person who gave the
most detail at the time

was Patrick Mackay's,
adopted Father Bert Cowdrey.

He was the one who
began to give me

some kind of insight
into Patrick's mind.

- He was always coming
here with women's watches,

necklaces, broaches.

Things that a man
should never have.

Well, when I used to say to him,

"Where'd you get
them then mush?"

"Oh, I'm looking after
it for somebody."

We knew that he
was buying drugs,

but where from or what he
was taking, we didn't know.

And after dark had come down

and he'd had a few drinks,

got a few drinks in him, he
absolutely turned violent.

He was capable of
doing anything.

[dramatic music]

- If anything, this was
absolutely terrifying

that Patrick had told
him that he believed

that if Satan could come down
in human form, he was it.

[dramatic music]

I'd put it to Bert Cowdrey,

are you saying that Patrick
Mackay is the devil's disciple?

To which he said, "Yes,

"I think that's a fair
description of him."

Which is how the headline
appeared in the paper.

[dramatic music]

- We were all scared of kind
of the bogeyman, you know,

or people breaking into
our homes at night.

And so to use this kind
of description of him,

however factual it might be,

it also kind of
serves this purpose of

working almost as a horror
story to the readers

or some sort of nightmare
that we can all identify with.

You know, that these
figures aren't in our heads,

they do exist.

- I mean, it was an absolutely
tremendous front page.

But I think that with
all these things,

you also are always conscious

that there are victims involved

and human tragedies behind it.

[dramatic music]

Patrick Mackay has been
behind bars for 47 years.

Very little has come out about
exactly what he's been doing

and what treatment
he's been having.

And obviously the key
now for the parole board,

when they're deciding
on his release,

is whether or not
something has changed

in that intervening 47 years,

or he still remains the
danger to the public

that he always was.

- [Reporter] One of the most
dangerous men in the country,

back on Kent Streets.

That's the prospect
facing the county

with serial killer
Patrick Mackay

potentially being
moved to an open prison

with a view to being released.

- My name's Gareth Johnson.

I'm the member of
Parliament for Dartford.

Before becoming a
member of Parliament,

I was a solicitor specializing
in criminal justice.

I received a phone call
about three or four years ago

from someone who worked
in the prison service

who was deeply concerned
about Patrick Mackay

potentially being released
back into the community.

They had had some very bad
experiences with Patrick Mackay.

They felt that he was a potentially
enormously violent man.

If I'm honest with you,

when I first received that
phone call, like most people,

I'd never heard of
Patrick Mackay before.

And so we had to do a
little bit of digging

to find out exactly
who this man was.

And the more and more
we found out about him,

the more and more
concerned I became,

that this is a man
who could be released

back into society in his 60s

and potentially able to commit
some of the

heinous crimes that he had
committed before.

And what was also concerning,

there was two matters
that were left on file

that were still there,

and also that he was suspected

of having committed
other killings as well.

And it seemed to us that
these other killings

hadn't been properly
looked into,

and there seemed
to be too much ease

at the way that those
matters were left on file

just to gather dust for years.

And that's exactly how
they've been to this day.

- There seems to be a
worrying lack of curiosity

by the police on
exactly what happened

to these cases
that were unsolved.

Now, when Patrick Mackay was
coming up for parole recently,

my understanding was the police

were doing a cold case review
of some of these murders.

I did check that out

and police said, no,
they weren't doing that.

But one of the reasons

why parole hearings
were being postponed

was so these investigations
could be carried out

to see if he could be
charged with anything else.

As far as I can gather,
nothing ever happened,

nothing ever came of that.

- [Reporter] Since
1995, Mackay's parole

has been reviewed on
10 separate occasions.

In each of those, he's
been deemed too dangerous

to be integrated
back into society.

- What we've asked for
is if the parole boards

were to release him, which
would be wrong, in my opinion,

that there's a lot
of restrictions

that we would like to
have placed upon him

so that he doesn't go
to the Dartford area

or the neighboring towns.

He doesn't go back
to areas where,

not only the victims
used to live,

but also the victims
for those murders

he's suspected of
having carried out.

[car engine revving]

He should be monitored
incredibly carefully

if he was ever to be released,

but I don't think any
amount of monitoring

would be sufficient.

And that's why I don't
think it would be right

for him to be released at all.

He benefits from his anonymity.

People don't know about him

and therefore it's an easier job

for the parole
board to release him

without there being
a public backlash.

Because the public aren't
aware of Patrick Mackay

and they should be, they
really should be aware of him.

[gentle music]

- I don't think that
somebody like Patrick Mackay

should be able to be free

while he still has
the physical ability

to put his hands
around someone's throat

and squeeze the
life out of them.

I think he should be kept
away from the general public.

- I'm one of these people

that is convinced that a leopard
can never change his spots.

Maybe I haven't got anything
to be nervous about,

but as I say,

if he doesn't know that his
mother's moved from here,

he might well come
here looking for her

and then might start
knocking on doors

to try and find
out where she is.

And I would be much happier

if I didn't have any
contact with him at all.

- This is somebody
who is capable

of going back out on the streets

and carrying out
his reign of terror.

The only reason he
stopped killing people

was because he was
arrested for those matters.

It wasn't a decision
that he made himself,

he was stopped from
killing any more people.

And therefore, in my mind,

he remains the most
dangerous individual

we have eligible for parole
in this country at the moment.

- Well he's had 40 odd
years to be rehabilitated

and we don't know whether that's
going to have worked or not

unless he is freed.

So it's kind of a bit of a
game of Russian roulette,

that if you keep him locked
up, you're never going to know.

But if he's freed, you might
find out the wrong way.

- One would have
to be very cautious

about whether he can be
rehabilitated or not.

When I think about it and when
I weigh up all the evidence

all over a number of years,

when I weigh up how many
years he's been incarcerated,

I still probably have my doubts.

But I'm not anyone
in the medical world, I can't read them.

But then neither
could these people

in these kind of institutions
he went to as a youngster,

they clearly couldn't read him.

'Cause every time they released
him, he killed someone.

[dramatic music]

- Patrick Mackay

is what you could call
a pure psychopath.

He didn't have to worry
about living a double life

or keeping a veneer
of respectability.

He didn't have a plan.

If he wanted to lose complete
control and kill somebody,

that's what he did.

He took life with the
same kind of impulsiveness

that a normal person might use

to pick up a bar of chocolate.

[dramatic music]

- [Mackay Voiceover] You know,
when I look at myself now,

I could put a bullet through
my head and through my brain

for the kind of bloody
life that I have had,

but I do not know who
would do me that service.

I have often thought to
myself whenever I'm alone,

that it would be the best
thing I could ever have done.

♪ Sometimes I feel
like I'm blowing away ♪

♪ And the sky is broken

♪ It floods like a vein

♪ And I pray and I pray

♪ And I pray and I pray

♪ But the answers don't
come when I'm gone ♪

[gentle music]

[gentle music continues]