“It was a bizarre and depraved murder.”
John Penycate, author of Psychopath: Case of Patrick Mackay
Even at an early stage in the investigation into the murder of Father Crean, the trail of evidence leads to one man: Patrick Mackay.
He had left his name and address at the train station when he had wanted to get back to London; he had asked for a glass of water at a house after leaving the scene of the murder and he had spoken to a local police officer as he walked through the village.
Two officers are assigned to hunt down Mackay before he kills again. They have one important lead – Mackay is known to have regular contact with another priest in London.
Officers begin contacting priests in the London area and eventually find the man who knows Mackay. He directs them to a hostel near Lewisham, and when they arrive the manager of the hostel is talking on a payphone – to Patrick Mackay. Police search his room and make some alarming discoveries. There are a number of Nazi symbols on the wall – swastikas, pictures of Hitler and Nazi uniforms. Valuable jewellery is hidden under a cushion and police determine that it comes from burglaries committed around Chelsea and Belgravia.
Residents of the hostel tell officers that Mackay also sometimes stays with a family in South West London and within 24 hours they have traced them. Unfortunately, in that time Mackay commits another crime.
On Saturday night – the day after he kills Father Crean – Mackay targets a retired nurse walking home alone. He follows her back to her flat and he forces his way in. He robs his victim, but fortunately she doesn’t anger him and she remains alive.