Patrick Mackay

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Patrick Mackay
Patrick Mackay.jpg
Patrick David Mackay

(1952-09-25) 25 September 1952 (age 68)
Dartford, Kent, England, UK[1]
Other namesThe Psychopath
The Devil's Disciple
Criminal penaltyLife imprisonment
Span of crimes
February 1974–March 1975
CountryUnited Kingdom
Date apprehended
March 1975

Patrick David Mackay (born 25 September 1952) is a British serial killer who confessed to murdering 11 people in London and Kent in England, from 1974 to 1975.

Early life[edit]

Patrick Mackay was born to Harold Mackay and his wife, Marion Mackay, a woman of creole descent who he had met in Guyana. As a child, Mackay was a frequent victim of physical abuse at the hands of Harold. When Mackay was 10, Harold died from a heart attack on his way to work – the result of complications of alcoholism and a weak heart. His final words to his son were 'remember to be good'.[2] Patrick was said to be unable to come to terms with the loss of his father, telling people Harold was still alive and keeping a photograph of him on his person. He refused to attend the funeral in Scotland and later assumed the role of 'father figure' within the family and beating his mother and two sisters. His mother Marion eventually moved the family from Dartford to Gravesend, but family life did not improve and the police were called to the home as frequently as four times a week. Mackay was removed from his family home on 18 occasions between the ages of 12 and 22, and put into various specialist schools, institutions and prisons. During this time, both a police officer and teacher predicted that Patrick would go on to kill.[citation needed]

Mackay was prone to extreme tantrums and fits of anger, and indulged in animal cruelty and arson (at one point setting his pet tortoise on fire). He bullied younger children, stole from elderly women's homes and from people in the street, and even attempted to kill his mother and aunt. He also attempted to kill a younger boy, and later said he would have succeeded had he not been restrained.[3] He also attempted to set fire to a Catholic church. At 15, he was diagnosed as a psychopath by a psychiatrist, Dr. Leonard Carr, who predicted Mackay would grow up to be a "cold, psychopathic killer."[3] In October 1968, he was committed to Moss Side Hospital, Liverpool as a diagnosed psychopath. He was released in 1972.[4]

Adulthood and murders[edit]

As he entered adulthood, Mackay developed a fascination with Nazism, calling himself "Franklin Bollvolt the First" and filling his flat with Nazi memorabilia. He lived in London and was frequently drunk or on drugs. In 1973, near his mother's home in Kent, he met and was befriended by a priest, Father Anthony Crean.[5] Despite this friendship, Mackay broke into Crean's home and stole a cheque for £30. Although Crean tried to persuade the police not to, Mackay was arrested and prosecuted. He was subsequently ordered to pay compensation, but never did. The incident caused a rift between the two and Mackay returned to London.[6] It was around this time, Mackay later claimed, that he had drowned a tramp in the River Thames.

On 21 March 1975, then aged 22, Mackay used an axe to kill Father Crean at the priest's home in the village of Shorne, hacking through the victim's skull and watching him bleed to death. He was swiftly arrested after a police officer recalled the incident between Father Crean and Mackay 18 months earlier. Mackay was soon considered by police to be a suspect in at least a dozen other killings over the previous two years, most victims being elderly women who had been stabbed or strangled during robberies. Mackay later claimed to have murdered 11 people.

Mackay was eventually charged with five murders, but two charges were dropped due to a lack of evidence. In November 1975 he was convicted of manslaughter (due to diminished responsibility) and sentenced to life imprisonment. Still imprisoned more than 44 years later, he is reported to be among the 50 or so prisoners in the United Kingdom incarcerated under a whole life tariff and unlikely ever to be released.

Mackay is currently considered for release after reportedly spending time in an open prison. However, in June 2020, the hearing of the Parole Board has been postponed amidst a fresh investigation into Mackay's involvement in unsolved murders.[7]


  1. ^ The Murder Almanac ISBN 978-1-89778-404-4 p. 113
  2. ^ Patrick Mackay, psychopathic repeat killer Archived 1 April 2008 at the Wayback MachineCrime Library article part 2
  3. ^ a b Patrick Mackay, psychopathic repeat killer Archived 1 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine – Crime Library article part 4
  4. ^ British maniac Patrick Mackay and the system's Failure
  5. ^ 'Psychopath: The Devil's Disciple', Prof. David Wilson, Documentary, Series 1, Episode 5.
  6. ^ Patrick Mackay, psychopathic repeat killer Archived 1 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine – Crime Library article part 9
  7. ^ Hunter, Chris (10 June 2020). "Release of serial killer Patrick Mackay delayed amidst fresh investigation". Kent Online. Retrieved 11 June 2020.