Thomas McDowell

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Thomas McDowell (born 1977 (age 41–42) is a convicted British murderer responsible for the death of trainee rabbi, German-born Andreas Hinz.

Early life[edit]

McDowell was born in Ballymena, Northern Ireland.[1]


Hinz, a 37-year-old homosexual trainee rabbi, gifted linguist, and German national, had spent the night of 3 July 2002, drinking alone in the Black Cap public house, a gay bar in Camden, north London. After striking up a conversation with McDowell, they left the bar together in the early hours and returned to McDowell's flat in Baynes Street, Camden.[2]

After initially laying Hinz out with a "martial arts" kick, McDowell proceeded to strangle Hinz before dismembering his body with a rip saw.[3] The body parts were wrapped in bin liners and put out onto a street near St Pancras Way for the rubbish collectors. Their subsequent decomposition, exacerbated by summer heat, led to a "terrible smell" and a cloud of flies that eventually led to their gruesome discovery.[4]


At McDowell's trial two years later, it was revealed that as a child he had suffered abuse at the hands of a man, and grew up with a sense of hatred towards homosexuals, as well as suffering from a personality disorder. McDowell was a student at the time of the murder and had also been working as a male prostitute. McDowell admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility and was sentenced to life imprisonment at Southwark Crown Court on 30 September 2004. The trial judge spoke of his doubt as to whether it would ever be thought safe to release McDowell back into the community, and recommended that he should never be released.[5] He began his life sentence at Rampton Secure Hospital in Nottinghamshire.[6]


  1. ^ Association, Press (2004-09-30). "Psychopath faces life for killing trainee rabbi". The Guardian.
  2. ^ "BBC News, Sunday 14 July 2002, Man charged over trainee rabbi's death". BBC News. 2002-07-14. Retrieved 2012-12-10.
  3. ^ "BBC News, Thursday 30 September 2004, Killer of trainee rabbi gets life". BBC News. 2004-09-30. Retrieved 2012-12-10.
  4. ^ Press Association (14 September 2004). "The Guardian, Wednesday 15 September 2004, Rabbi 'dismembered by rent boy'". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2012-12-10.
  5. ^ "Man guilty of murdering 'rabbi'". BBC News. 29 September 2004. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  6. ^ Association, Press (2004-09-30). "Psychopath faces life for killing trainee rabbi". The Guardian.