“I could see he was in a frame of mind, he had those killer eyes again…”
Ken Tappenden, Former Detective Inspector, Kent Police
Mackay is considered by police to be a suspect in at least a dozen other killings over the previous two years, most victims are elderly women who have been stabbed or strangled during robberies.
Eventually Mackay is charged with five murders and on 21 November 1975, he faces judge and jury at the Old Bailey. If he is found to be clinically insane he could be sent to Broadmoor, but only if has a treatable condition. But it is decided that Mackay is suffering from psychopathy, for which there is no treatment. He is convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. Police believe he may have killed up to 11 people.
The newspapers who covered the trial highlighted aspects of Mackay’s crimes in their headlines: ‘The Man Who Enjoyed Killing’, ‘Bloodlust of the Beast in Black’ and in a reference to things to come ‘Life for the Mad Killer Law Let Go’.
He is still imprisoned more than 37 years later, and he is reported to be among the 50 or so prisoners in the United Kingdom who have been issued with a whole life tariff and are unlikely ever to be released.