stories from Broadmoor
The hospital was first known as the Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum. It was built to a design by Sir Joshua Jebb, an officer of the Corps of Royal Engineers, and covered 53 acres (21 hectares) within its secure perimeter. The first patient was a female admitted for infanticide on 27 May 1863. Notes described her as being 'feeble minded;' it has been suggested by an analysis of her records that she was most likely also suffering from congenital syphilis. The first male patients arrived on 27 February 1864. The original building plan of five blocks, four for men and one for women was completed in 1868. A further male block was built in 1902.
Barry Williams (Spree Killer) 1978
He was known since 1994 as Harry Street, was a British spree killer. A foundry worker who lived with his parents, he shot eight people in the English Midlands towns of West Bromwich and Nuneaton in little over an hour on 26 October 1978, killing five of the eight.
At the time of his first offence, Williams was an unmarried foundry worker. He lived at 14 Andrew Road, on the Bustleholme Mill estate in West Bromwich, West Midlands, England with his elderly parents, Hilda and Horrace, who owned and ran a metal polishing business in Birmingham.
He held a valid firearms certificate, allowing him to possess a single semi-automatic weapon. He used this weapon at approved gun clubs for sports shooting at targets.His erratic behaviour, including shooting at dummies dressed in wigs, and modifying his bullets to make them more powerful, led to him being expelled from one club, in Telford, Shropshire.
His nickname there had been "The Cowboy". Members of another gun club where Williams was a member had expressed concerns that he was stealing bullets. During the mid 1970's, he had been involved in a number of disputes with his neighbours, the Burkitt family, of 16 Andrew Road, alleging that the noise of their television and record player disturbed him and his parents.
This became an obsession, and he suffered the delusion that his neighbours were mocking him. On one occasion, during a row about noise, he told Philip Burkitt "I'm going to exterminate you".~On the evening of 26 October 1978, a week after the threat, George Burkitt and his 20-year-old son Philip were working on Philip's car in front of their house. At around 7pm, annoyed by the noise they were making, Williams shot them both with a 9mm Smith & Wesson semi-automatic pistol.~George died where he fell and Philip, wounded, ran into the house. Williams followed him, shooting him again and killing him. He then shot and killed George's wife, Iris.~The Burkitts' 17 year old daughter was hit four times in the back and once in the thigh, but survived. Two other neighbours, a married couple who had witnessed the attack on the Burkitts, also survived being shot. The injured were taken and treated at Birmingham General Hospital.
~After discharging a total of 23 rounds, he fled the scene by car, firing a further six shots from a second, 22-calibre pistol, as he did so, he shot at two boys aged 10 and 11, who were playing football, and at a woman, but luckily, missed them all.~Passing through Wednesbury, he shot through the windows of a barber's shop and two houses. In one of these, a nine year old girl was hurt by flying glass. He stopped for petrol in Walsall and drove off without paying.~At around 8:10pm, Williams shot and killed another married couple, Michel and Lisa Di Maria, after stopping to use the petrol filling station which they ran, near Nuneaton, Warwickshire. Lisa was killed immediately and Michel died later in hospital. Williams slept rough in some woodland and was arrested the next morning, in Spring Gardens, Buxton, after a high speed 30 mile car chase. After his car was involved in a collision, he pulled a gun and attempted to hijack one of the police cars which had been following him.~He was overpowered without firing his gun by the unarmed officers who had been pursuing him. He later said he had wanted the police to shoot him.
Police found in his car, 147 9mm and 770 .22 rounds, along with the 22 calibre pistol which had a full magazine and several home-made bombs. He was subsequently charged with five counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder were ordered to lie on file.~In March 1979 at Stafford Crown Court he pleaded not guilty to murder but instead pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
The plea was accepted by the prosecution, after psychiatrists gave evidence that he had an active paranoid psychosis. His indefinite detention was ordered by the trial judge, Mr Justice Stephen Brown, to be detained in the high security unit at Broadmoor Hospital. Release Williams, who had schizophrenia was released from hospital in 1994 once doctors and a mental health tribunal decided that he was no longer a risk to the public. This was on condition that he could be detained again, should his behaviour warrant it.
A Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust spokesman said in 2014 "Harry Street was released on a conditional discharge, subject to specific conditions, in 1993 by a Mental Health Tribunal, an independent judicial body, after careful consideration of the medical evidence presented to them." On release, he changed his name to Harry Street and initially was allowed to live in a bail hostel around 6 miles from Andrew Road, resulting in complaints from the MP for the latter area, Peter Snape, on behalf of several concerned constituents, to the Home Secretary, Michael Howard. Williams subsequently moved to Wales. He married in 1996 and a child was born later that year. The family moved to Hazelville Road, Hall Green, Birmingham, in 2005.
~In October 2013, allegations arose that he had waged a campaign of harassment against his next-door neighbour. When Williams's home was searched by West Midlands Police, as part of their initial investigation, he was found to be in possession of an improvised bomb, 50 homemade bullets, a revolver and two pistols. The bomb squad was called in to make the explosive device safe. At Birmingham Crown Court in October 2014, he pleaded guilty to three charges of possessing a prohibited firearm, to putting a neighbour in fear of violence, and to making an improvised explosive device.
At the age of 70, he was again ordered to be detained indefinitely, this time under sections 37 and 41 of the Mental Health Act 1983, by Mr Justice Blair, who said that "The effect of these orders is that the defendant may never be released". He also likened Williams's more recent behaviour to that leading up to the 1978 incident and said that "a similar tragedy had been narrowly averted". Williams was this time detained at Ashworth High-Security Hospital. West Midlands Police announced after the trial concluded that a Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements serious case review would be held.
A spokesman for the police said "There was no trace of Harry Street on any police systems; but it is thanks to the tenacity of a local police officer, who, when the harassment of the neighbour escalated, made the extensive checks, which led her to Street's GP and his true identity."Street died on 24 December 2014 from a suspected heart attack.
Henry Dodwell 1825 ~ 1900
The Reverend Henry Dodwell is an example of a conspiracy theorist, driven to commit a criminal act. Deprived of his living and denied restitution by the courts, in 1878 he shot at Sir George Jessel, the Master of the Rolls.
He would later go on to attack Dr William Orange, Superintendent at Broadmoor and, like other similar patients held at Broadmoor, he always argued that he had sought merely, to highlight the injustice of his case.
The Reverend Henry John Dodwell was a Clerk in Holy Orders, an example of the ‘superior’ education of some of the Victorian Broadmoor patients. He was also a prime example of the persecuted lunatic, who imagined a system of injustice, at the heart of his prosecution. Using his higher learning to articulate his case, he noisily protested his sanity and gained some support for his cause.
As Dodwell’s personal maelstrom whirled around the legal system, he temporarily sucked in other conspiracy theorists from Victorian England, while garnering attention from members of both Houses of Parliament.
James MacDonald 2005
In January 2003, 16 year old James MacDonald stabbed his father to death and tried to kill his mother. ~ Winchester Crown Court, in 2005, heard how MacDonald originally bought an arsenal of weapons from a DIY store, to kill a school boy bully. ~ Not wanting his parents to face the shame of him being tried for murder, he decided he would kill his parents first. Before the attack, the teenager had spent hours watching violent videos, then, at around 06:00am, took a kitchen knife and launched a frenzied attack on his parents, whilst they slept at their £400,000 home.
His Father Hugh, a 53-year-old civil engineer, died of horrific stab wounds to his face, back, torso, arms and right hand. MacDonald's Mother, Fiona, a 52-year-old civilian worker for Hampshire Police, awoke to witness the attack before her Son began stabbing at her also. She survived the ordeal but was left with deep lacerations to her hands and shoulder. Officers who went to the five-bedroom detached home, found Mr MacDonald lying in a pool of blood by the bedroom door and his distraught wife covered in blood.
She told Police she managed to get up and switch on the bedroom light, at which point her son suddenly stopped the assault and dialled 999. MacDonald had attacked them with such ferocity, the knife was severely bent. When arrested, he explained his plan to kill the school boy bully to the detectives. He said he did not want his mother and father put through the shame of a murder trial, so thought it would be better just to kill them. Alastair Malcolm, prosecuting QC, told the court, at the time of the attack, MacDonald was living at home with his parents, his 13 year old brother Coll and his sister Rona, who was just 12. He showed no remorse and displayed an 'almost remarkable inability' to understand why, what he had done was wrong. MacDonald, now Eighteen at trial, denied murdering his father, however, admitted manslaughter and the attempted murder of his mother, on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
Dr. Tim McInerny, Psychiatrist at Broadmoor, where MacDonald has been held, said MacDonald suffers from a mixed personality disorder with schizoid traits... "He has a callous disregard for the feelings of others". Judge Michael Brodrick ordered that MacDonald be detained for life under the Mental Health Act.
WARNING... sexually explicit!
Anthony Hardy ~ The Camden Ripper
Anthony Hardy turned his flat into a satanic shrine to death as he brought the same terror to the Camden area of North London as Jack the Ripper had inflicted on the women of London’s Whitechapel over 100 years before. When police examined the walls of his flat, which were covered in Celtic crosses and cruciforms, they found slivers of dried skin and flesh stuck and smeared to the wallpaper.
The murder inquiry began when a tramp foraging for food, found human remains in a wheelie bin near to Hardy’s home in Royal College Street, Camden on December 30, 2002. ~ ‘He opened a green refuse sack and was immediately aware of a foul smell,’ prosecutor Richard Horwell told the Old Bailey.
‘The sack contained a pair of human legs.’ Hardy, then 51, was born in Winshill, near Burton-on-Trent in Staffordshire, the youngest of four and was, by all accounts, a normal child. He met his wife Judith when he was studying engineering in London and they married in 1972, later moving to Bury St Edmunds. They emigrated to Australia and had four kids, but the marriage fell apart. Hardy returned to London and began a life on the streets, moving between hostels and drinking heavily. Neighbours at the bedsit where he lived for three years noticed his strange manner and heard sawing noises coming from Hardy’s home deep into the night.
His motive for murder was so to take pornographic pictures of his victims after he had indulged in a sado-masochistic sex ritual with them. ‘He photographed two of these victims when they were dead in various positions,’ ‘The defendant was in the process of preparing the body of the first victim to be photographed when he was interrupted.’
'Hardy dressed his victims in a devil’s mask and Mr Men ‘Mr Happy’ socks before taking the pictures.' said Mr Horwell. Police had caught him with his first victim almost a year before the discovery of the bodies in the bins – but could not charge him with murder. Officers went to Hardy’s Camden flat on January 20, 2001 after he scrawled an obscene message on the door of an upstairs neighbour’s flat.
They had rowed over a leaking pipe and Hardy bore her a grudge. One of the officers asked to go into a locked room but Hardy said he did not have the key which was then found in his coat pocket. When the bedroom door was opened police found the naked body of the neighbour, Sally ‘Rose’ White. Miss White was found to have a bite mark on her right thigh and a wound on her head, but neither injury was fatal. The pathologist, Dr Freddy Patel, found evidence of severe coronary heart disease, and decided the most likely cause of death was a heart attack. Mr Horwell said : ‘In light of that conclusion, the police had no choice but to agree that no further action could be taken against the defendant in connection with her death.’ ~ Hardy pleaded guilty to criminal damage of the door on March 12, 2001, and was sectioned under the Mental Health Act. ~ He was released from St Lukes Hospital, Muswell Hill on November 4, 2002. Almost a year after his release, the body parts of Elizabeth Valad, 29, and Bridgette MaClennan, 34, were discovered by the tramp rummaging through the bins. Hardy killed Elizabeth, from Arnold, Nottingham, some time between December 10 and December 31 and New Zealander, Bridgette, between December 23 and December 30, 2002.
After arranging the bodies in grotesque poses the engineer took the photographs to be developed in a Soho laboratory. ~ Hardy butchered their bodies with an electric saw and dumped the parts in eight bin bags in a bin outside his home in Royal College Street. ~ Mr Horwell said: ‘At that location, two pieces of leg belonging to Elizabeth Valad, and the upper torso belonging to Bridgette MaClennan were discovered.' ‘Further away, in another industrial bin, police found the right arm, the left arm and left foot belonging to Elizabeth Valad and the lower torso of Bridgette MaClennan.’ 'Other parts were left in various locations in the Camden area, however, the head and hands were so carefully disposed of, that they have never been found.' Police went to Hardy’s home on the 31st of December 2002 to find the front door open. The prosecutor said: ‘There was a light on inside but the flat was empty.'
'The door to the bedroom was locked and a cloth had been placed along the bottom of that door.' ~ ‘Officers were immediately aware of a revolting smell coming from behind that door. Police officers forced open the bedroom door and a torso was found, belonging to Elizabeth Valad.’ ~ Hardy was spotted in a cafeteria at Great Ormond Street Hospital a few days later and arrested. Detectives later found rubber gloves and the devil’s mask he had put on his victims before he photographed them. They also found a glass bottle on which he had written ‘Sally White RIP’ and a stack of porn magazines.
Mr Horwell went on: ‘They also recovered a number of fantasy letters that the defendant had written, intending to send them to magazines illustrating various sexual encounters he had claimed to have had,’ In all, Police took seven weeks to search and examine the flat which was covered in cruciforms and weird satanic daubings.
A friend of Hardy’s had been sent film negatives, with a note that read: ’Frank, please keep these negatives for me at all costs.’ The envelope contained 44 photographs taken of his two final victims. Prosecutor, Mr Horwell added: ‘In the case of Valad, he had put on her feet a pair of Mr Men ‘Mr Happy’ socks that he had purchased on the 6th of December.' ‘He had placed on Elizabeth Valad’s face some of the photographs, a rubber devil’s mask and a baseball cap. ‘He inserted into to her vagina a Rampant Rabbit vibrator which the defendant had also purchased.’
The photographs of Bridgette were found to be very similar. All three women had been strangled by Hardy, who was to tell police it was just part of a sex game and he had not intended to kill his victims. He claimed he was a ‘gregarious, intelligent well trusted man’ until he was made redundant and divorced in the 1980's. Detective Chief Inspector Ken Bell said: ‘Hardy dismembered his last two victims with considerable skill, whether this was part of his gratification or simply an attempt to hide his crimes, we will never know.’ On the 25th of November 2003 Mr. Justice Kelly passed three life sentences and told Hardy he must never be released. 'The unspeakable indignities to which you subjected the bodies of your last two victims in order to satisfy your depraved and perverted needs are not in doubt', the judge said.
In May 2010 a High Court judge decided that Hardy should never be released from prison and placed him on the list of life tariff prisoners. Justice Keith said ''This is one of those exceptionally rare cases in which life should mean life.''
Hardy is serving his life sentence in Broadmoor hospital, diagnosed with an untreatable personality disorder.