Patrick Mackay is a British serial killer who confessed to murdering eleven people in England in the mid 1970s. As a child, Mackay was frequently a victim of physical abuse at the hands of his violent, alcoholic father Harold. When Mackay was ten, Harold died from complications of alcoholism and a weak heart. His final words to his son were “remember to be good”.
Patrick was said to be unable to come to terms with the loss, telling people Harold was still alive and keeping a photograph of his father on his person. Later in his youth, he suffered from extreme tantrums and fits of anger, indulged in animal cruelty and arson, bullied younger children, stole from elderly women’s homes and 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’d have succeeded had he not been restrained, and attempted to set fire to a Catholic church.
Because of such incidents, he spent his teenage years in and out of mental homes and institutions. At 15, he was diagnosed as a psychopath by a psychiatrist, Dr Leonard Carr. Carr predicted Mackay would grow up into a “cold, psychopathic killer”. 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 Father Anthony Crean, a priest. Regardless, Mackay broke into Crean’s home and stole a cheque.
Arrested and prosecuted by the police, he was ordered to pay the fine back but never did. The incident caused a rift between the two and Mackay returned to London.It was around this time that Mackay said that he had drowned a tramp in the River Thames. On March 21, 1975, then aged 22, he used an axe to kill Father Crean, hacking through the victim’s skull and watching him bleed to death. He was swiftly arrested and was soon considered by police to be a suspect in at least a dozen other killings over the previous two years.