Mark Rowntree (born 1956 in Bradford,
Yorkshire) 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.
On December 31 1975 19-year-old Rowntree stabbed
widow Grace Adamson to death, then celebrated with a beer at the local
pub. A few days later, he killed sixteen-year-old Mark Wilson at a bus
stop. The victim died in hospital, although he was first able to give
a description of his attacker to the police.
On January 7 1976 Rowntree visited prostitute
Barbara Booth at her home and stabbed her to death, along with her
three-year-old son Alan. 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,
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, but is now based at the Hutton Unit, a secure mental health
facility based at St. Luke's Hospital in Middlesbrough.
He is now one of the longest serving patients in
any British psychiatric/secure hospital.
Mark Andrew Rowntree
Mark Andrew Rowntree was raised in a
wealthy family of the English middle class. His school years passed
without any problems and with his marks, he could easily get in any
college. But Rowntree thought he had passed enough time in school. He
figured he was ready for 'real life'. He was satisfied with a job as bus
Subconsciously however, something was
brewing. In his puberty, he got rejected by a girl, which had confused
him so much, that he got convinced of the fact he would always be a
failure to women. This inferiority complex eventually caused a
misogynism, which kept on growing. December 1975, the storm burst. In
hardly a week's time, Rowntree committed four murders, because 'he was
in need for it'.
On New Year's Eve, he went to Grace
Adamson's house. When she opened the door, he introduced himself as a
police officer. Before the woman got even the time to react, he pushed
her inside and pulled a knife. He stabbed it several times in the chest.
The woman dropped dead and Rowntree regained his calmness. He walked
outside and bought himself a beer in a pub nearby.
Three days later, it happened again. He
bought another knife and went out looking for a prey. That prey was
Stephen Wilson, a 16 years old scholar. The boy stood at a bus stop and
saw someone coming at him, not knowing he was about to face his murderer.
Rowntree suddenly pulled his knife and stabbed it into the boy who
didn't get even a chance to defend himself. The deadly wounded body fell
down and Rowntree made himself scarce. A bit further, he took a cab home.
Wilson was still alive when he was found
at the bus stop. He was taken to the hospital, but he died a few days
later. Still, he was capable to describe the person who had attacked him.
The cab driver remembered his face when a well matching image of
Rowntree was showed on TV. He reported it to the police and guided the
investigators to Rowntree's house. They took him in custody. Later on,
it appeared Rowntree had committed a double murder that day.
Via an ad, Rowntree had met a woman who
wanted to be a model. He had taken her to Leeds, to plan a photo shoot.
In reality, he had other plans with her. She became his third victim.
Before Rowntree left her house, he had also butchered her three years
old son, to get rid of a possible witness.
Rowntree didn't resist when he got
arrested. He didn't show any remorse about his actions. The only thing
that bothered him was that he never had got the chance to kill for the
fifth time, and rival his hero, Donald Neilson aka 'The Black Panther',
June '76, he was put on trial in Leeds.
He didn't deny the murders, but he pleaded only to be guilty of
manslaughter, because he didn't realize what he had done wrong. The
plaintiff agreed to declare Rowntree insane and the judge directed him
indefinitely to a severely guarded mental home.
RACE: W TYPE: T MOTIVE: PC-nonspecific
Stabbed strangers age three to 85 in random attacks, directed by
Ruled insane; indefinite committal to asylum, 1976.