Mark Rowntree

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Mark Rowntree
Born Mark Andrew Rowntree
Bradford, England
Nationality English
Other names Paul Page
Alex Heaton
Mark King
Occupation Bus driver
Criminal penalty Acquitted by reason of insanity
Killings
Date 31 December 1975 – 7 January 1976
Location(s) Bingley and Eastburn, West Yorkshire, England, UK
Killed 4
Weapons 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] Due to the timing of his spree, some of his victims were erroneously assumed to have been killed by the yorkshire ripper, which distracted police enquiries at the time.

On 31 December 1975, 19-year-old Rowntree stabbed widow Grace Adamson to death, then celebrated with a beer at the local pub.[2] Four 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.[3]

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.[3] 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.[4]

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.[5]

He is now one of the longest serving patients in any British psychiatric/secure hospital. He changed his name to Paul page in the late 1990s and has been allowed out on day trips from the secure hospitals he is incarcerated in.[6] In 1994, he partook in an adventure holiday in Kielder forest, which the Home Secretary at that time had to apologise for.[7] In 2003, he again changed his name to Mark Allen Evans and has also used pseudonyms in an attempt to get his novels, poetry and short stories published.[8] In 1992, the Space rock band Hawkwind released and album titled Electric Tepee. One of the tracks on the album, Death of War, is co-credited to Mark Rowntree as the lyrics are taken from one of Rowntree's poems.[4]

In March 2004, Evans (Rowntree) was convicted of threats to kill a social worker at the secure hospital in Middlesbrough where he was locked up. The judge detained Evans at Rampton Hospital without time limit, which has led to speculation that he will never be released.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chilling threats of a killer..., the Yorkshire Post, by Kate O'Hara, published 3 January 2004, retrieved 6 February 2011
  2. ^ Wade 2005, p. 142.
  3. ^ a b Wade 2005, p. 143.
  4. ^ a b Abrahams, Ian (2004). Hawkwind : sonic assassins. London: SAF Publishing. p. 273. ISBN 9780946719693. 
  5. ^ Langley, Robert (19 June 2017). "A history of the terrifying killers treated at Rampton Hospital". Lincolnshire Live. Retrieved 21 June 2017. 
  6. ^ "Mystery of flowers on murdered boy's grave". Bradford Telegraph and Argus. 2 January 1999. Retrieved 21 June 2017. 
  7. ^ Wade 2005, p. 144.
  8. ^ "'I now know they'll never release me'". Bradford Telegraph and Argus. 26 August 2003. Retrieved 21 June 2017. 
  9. ^ "Serial killer locked awy forever". Bradford Telegraph and Argus. 5 March 2004. Retrieved 21 June 2017. 

Sources[edit]

  • Wade, Stephen (2005). Foul deeds and suspicious deaths around Bradford. Barnsley: Wharncliffe Books. ISBN 1-903425-83-2.