Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

British Maniac Patrick Mackay

"Poor Me"

In October, a month before his final hearing and sentencing, Mackay admitted to feeling remorse. As he pondered what he had done during his killing spree, he said that he could not think what motivated him to do all these foul deeds: "I find it all a confusing matter." He admitted that he frightened even himself, yet he then blamed others, including his home life and the psychiatrists. That's typical of a psychopath: blame others and shed personal responsibility. "Poor me," is the general sentiment. He even faulted the prevailing attitudes of the 1960s that allowed the system to "manipulate" children without fathers.

He also wrote about the possibility that he was misdiagnosed as being a psychopath without mania, when he believed that he did indeed have mania. Someone, he thought, was not paying attention. He figured that he was in a better position to judge his own mind than his doctors were. And, of course, he wanted to be incarcerated in a psychiatric hospital rather than a prison.

In addition, Mackay blamed an imperfect world for his actions. He said that when he was released from Moss Side in 1972, he had the best of intentions. He couldn't have foreseen then how difficult it would be to adjust.

"These murders were so solemn," he recalled, "yet so quick, so fast to take place." He claimed that he could not remember much, and some of the details he'd been told he simply couldn't affirm or dispute. He did recall making the corpse of one female victim (Isabella Griffiths) "comfortable" as she lay face up in her kitchen, and he'd covered her.

Mackay also expressed his hope that someone reading his journals would get some "good" from his experience.

Clark and Penycate add more, including evidence of his utter lack of remorse. "I shan't shed a tear," Mackay had written in his journal. "Life is full of shocks of all descriptions and they have to be faced... I am just one example of many bad one. But who can say totally so?"


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