Unpredictable Psychopath (02:56)
Professor David Wilson profiles serial killers and examines their childhoods to discover why they murder. Patrick Mackay confessed to killing four people, but Wilson thinks it could have been as many as 13. Mackay was institutionalized at a young age, but was released. (Credits)
The Murder of Adele Price (05:50)
When Adele Price returned home, Mackay strangled her, drank alcohol, stole two radios, and left the apartment. Doctors diagnosed Mackay as a sociopath, but Wilson argues he exhibited all the traits of a psychopath.
Mackay's Relationship with his Father (04:50)
Mackay's father drank alcohol in excess to forget battles he fought in World War II. Mackay wrote a memoir after being arrested where he discusses the parental abuse. Roland Hayes recalls how Mackay would drink his own urine, and beat and bully other students.
After Mackay's Father Died (02:46)
Mackay started skipping school, stealing, and became prone to violent outbursts, ripped the wings off of birds, and set fire to a live tortoise. Authorities noticed his troubled behavior and placed him in a series of special schools and psychiatric units. Mackay attempted to burn down a local church in 1964, but was released back to his mother who decided to move.
At Gravesend (02:05)
Police intervened when a domestic argument became violent and the Assize courts committed Mackay to Moss Side Hospital. A psychiatrist diagnosed him as a "cold, psychopathic killer." Experts discuss how Mackay exhibited psychopathic traits and "intermittent explosive disorder."
Released Back into the Community (02:07)
Experts describe how psychiatry during that time was focused more on containing the offender rather than therapy. Listen to an excerpt of his memoirs.
Mackay's First Murder (02:32)
Mackay drank alcohol to excess, befriended Father Crean, and stole from him. In January 1974, he threw a homeless man off Hungerford Bridge and watched him "flutter down like a bird." When questioned by police, Mackay confessed to killing Isabella Griffiths at her home on Cheyne Walk.
Mackay's Second Murder (04:03)
Griffiths befriended Mackay. After being released from an asylum, he went to her home. When she attempted to send him away, he strangled her.
Trail Goes Cold (02:10)
Mackay spent the remainder of 1974 mugging elderly women and taking their possessions. During 1975, he stole over 4,000 pounds worth of property. On March 10th, he strangled Price and police started recognizing a pattern.
Another Suicide Attempt (03:24)
The hospital discharged Mackay five days later. On March 21st, he traveled to Kent, stabbed Father Crean, and repetitively dunked him in his own blood as he died.
Mackay Arrested (03:35)
Ken Tappenden remembers that he arrested Mackay a year earlier for stealing from Father Crean. When questioned, Mackay immediately confessed to murdering Father Crean. In subsequent interviews, he asserted that he killed 13 people, but then retracted his statement.
Interview with Mackay (02:43)
When David Crinnion interviewed Mackay at Gravesend Magistrate Court, he admitted to killing Adele Price. Police believed he murdered thirteen people, but Mackay retracted all his confessions but four. Like many serial killers, he kept trophies of his victims to relive their deaths.
Experts Discuss the Confessions (02:22)
Mackay could not empathize with others and confessed to the murders. He confessed to three murders and the trial lasted only 20 minutes. The defense tried to convince the judge he was insane.
Psychopathy is Not a Disease (02:43)
Psychopathic behavior only emerges for five minutes of a day— the rest of the time Mackay appeared normal. Police did not receive enough evidence to charge him with the other murders, so the cases remained unsolved. Mackay pleaded for long care hospital treatment, but the judge decided to incarcerate him for life imprisonment.
Credits: Patrick Mackay: First Kill, Last Kill (00:30)
Credits: Patrick Mackay: First Kill, Last Kill
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