Mark Rowntree

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Mark Rowntree
Born Mark Andrew Rowntree
Bradford, England
Nationality English
Occupation Bus driver
Criminal penalty
Acquitted by reason of insanity
Date 31 December 1975 – 7 January 1976
Location(s) Bingley and Eastburn, West Yorkshire, England, UK
Killed 4
Weapon(s) Knife

Mark Rowntree is a British spree killer who was committed to a mental hospital after he admitted killing four people at random in the town of Bingley, West Yorkshire, during late 1975 and early 1976.[1]

On 31 December 1975, 19-year-old Rowntree stabbed widow Grace Adamson to death, then celebrated with a beer at the local pub. 4 days later on 3 January 1976 he killed sixteen-year-old Stephen Wilson at a bus stop in Eastburn, West Yorkshire. The victim died in hospital, although he was first able to give a description of his attacker to the police.

On 7 January 1976, Rowntree visited part-time model Barbara Booth at her home and stabbed her to death, along with her three-year-old son Alan. By the time he returned home, the police were waiting for him, armed with the description given by the second victim. Rowntree gave a full confession to his crimes and complained that he had not managed to reach five victims — the body count of his hero, Donald Neilson.

Diagnosed as suffering from schizophrenia, Rowntree pleaded guilty to four counts of manslaughter on the ground of diminished responsibility at Leeds Crown Court in June 1976. He was ordered to be committed to Rampton Secure Hospital for an indefinite period, but is now based at the Hutton Unit, a secure mental health facility based at St. Luke's Hospital in Middlesbrough.

He is now one of the longest serving patients in any British psychiatric/secure hospital.


  1. ^ Chilling threats of a killer..., the Yorkshire Post, by Kate O'Hara, published 3 January 2004, retrieved 6 February 2011