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Bruce George Peter Lee
Peter George Dinsdale
31 July 1960
|Conviction(s)|| Manslaughter |
|Criminal penalty||Life Imprisonment|
Span of crimes
|Location(s)||East Riding of Yorkshire|
|4 December 1979|
Bruce George Peter Lee (born Peter George Dinsdale 31 July 1960) is one of Britain's most prolific serial killers. He confessed to a total of 11 acts of arson, and was convicted of 26 counts of manslaughter. 11 of these were overturned on appeal. Lee was imprisoned for life in 1981.
A serial killer is typically a person who murders three or more people, usually in service of abnormal psychological gratification, with the murders taking place over more than a month and including a significant period of time between them. Different authorities apply different criteria when designating serial killers. For example, while most authorities set a threshold of three murders, others extend it to four or lessen it to two. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines serial killing as "a series of two or more murders, committed as separate events, usually, but not always, by one offender acting alone".
Arson is the crime of willfully and maliciously setting fire to or charring property. Though the act typically involves buildings, the term arson can also refer to the intentional burning of other things, such as motor vehicles, watercraft, or forests. The crime is typically classified as a felony, with instances involving a greater degree of risk to human life or property carrying a stricter penalty. A common motive for arson is to commit insurance fraud. In such cases, a person destroys their own property by burning it and then lies about the cause in order to collect against their insurance policy.
Born in Manchester, the son of a prostitute,Lee was brought up in children's homes and suffered from epilepsy and congenital spastic hemiplegia in his right limbs, which left him with a limp in his right leg and a compulsion to hold his right arm across his chest. As an adult, he worked as a labourer and was known locally as "daft Peter". In 1979, his mother remarried. His stepfather's surname was Lee, and Dinsdale changed his name in homage to Bruce Lee.
Manchester is a major city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England, with a population of 545,500 as of 2017. It lies within the United Kingdom's second-most populous urban area, with a population of 2.7 million, and third-most populous metropolitan area, with a population of 3.3 million. It is fringed by the Cheshire Plain to the south, the Pennines to the north and east, and an arc of towns with which it forms a continuous conurbation. The local authority for the city is Manchester City Council.
Epilepsy is a group of neurological disorders characterized by recurrent epileptic seizures. Epileptic seizures are episodes that can vary from brief and nearly undetectable periods to long periods of vigorous shaking. These episodes can result in physical injuries, including occasionally broken bones. In epilepsy, seizures have a tendency to recur and, as a rule, have no immediate underlying cause. Isolated seizures that are provoked by a specific cause such as poisoning are not deemed to represent epilepsy. People with epilepsy may be treated differently in various areas of the world and experience varying degrees of social stigma due to their condition.
Derived via Latin from the Greek spastikos, the word spastic refers to an alteration in muscle tone affected by the medical condition spasticity, which is seen in spastic diplegia and many other forms of cerebral palsy and also in terms such as "spastic colon".
On 4 December 1979, a fire broke out at the front of a house in Selby Street, Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire. Inside were Edith Hastie and her sons Thomas, Charles (both 15), Paul (12), and Peter (8). The family was asleep at the time.
Kingston upon Hull, usually abbreviated to as Hull, is a port city and unitary authority in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England. It lies upon the River Hull at its confluence with the Humber Estuary, 25 miles (40 km) inland from the North Sea, 50 miles (80 km) east of Leeds, 34 miles (55 km) southeast of York and 54 miles (87 km) northeast of Sheffield. With a population of 260,645 (mid-2018 est.), Hull is the fourth-largest city in Yorkshire and the Humber.
The East Riding of Yorkshire, or simply East Riding or East Yorkshire, is an area in Northern England and can refer either to the administrative county of the East Riding of Yorkshire which is a unitary authority, to the ceremonial county (Lieutenancy) of the East Riding of Yorkshire or to the easternmost of the three subdivisions (ridings) of the traditional county of Yorkshire.
Charles rescued his mother by pushing her out of an upstairs window. He could not help his brothers, Paul and Peter, who were in the same bedroom as he; opening the bedroom window had caused a draft which fed the fire.All three were trapped and burned severely, and were taken to the specialist burns unit in Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield, West Yorkshire. Charles died overnight; Peter died two days later and Paul survived for 12 days before also succumbing. Thomas, who had muscular dystrophy, survived, escaping through a window in the back bedroom, where the flames were less severe. Mrs Hastie had three daughters, who were staying with relatives elsewhere in the area that particular night. Her husband, Tommy Hastie, was in prison.
Wakefield is a cathedral city in West Yorkshire, England, on the River Calder and the eastern edge of the Pennines, which had a population of 99,251 at the 2011 census.
West Yorkshire is a metropolitan county in England. It is an inland and in relative terms upland county having eastward-draining valleys while taking in moors of the Pennines and has a population of 2.2 million. West Yorkshire came into existence as a metropolitan county in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972.
Muscular dystrophy (MD) is a group of muscle diseases that results in increasing weakening and breakdown of skeletal muscles over time. The disorders differ in which muscles are primarily affected, the degree of weakness, how fast they worsen, and when symptoms begin. Many people will eventually become unable to walk. Some types are also associated with problems in other organs.
The police set up a makeshift incident room in a former police station on Gordon Street and began talking to local people about the fire and the family. They were surprised and shocked by a rather casual response from the neighbourhood regarding the brothers, despite the severity of the fire which led to their deaths. [ citation needed ]The indifference of the neighbourhood came to a climax at the joint funeral for the boys in January 1980 when a grief-stricken Edith Hastie issued an outburst to the gathering crowd over their lack of sympathy for the loss of her sons. The two boys were buried together in one grave at the Northern Cemetery in Hull.
Once the police had established that the Hasties were known as a "problem" family, responsible for petty crime and vendettas, they began looking for an arsonist who may have been seeking a form of revenge. Lee was one of many teenagers who volunteered to be questioned routinely about the fire. Six months after the inquiry began, he confessed in great detail to pouring paraffin through the letterbox and setting it alight in revenge against Charles Hastie, with whom he had had some sexual contact. Lee said the 15-year-old boy had threatened to go to the police (as he was a minor) unless Lee gave him money. Lee had also become infatuated with Charles' sister Angeleena Hastie but she had rejected his repeated advances.
Kerosene, also known as paraffin, lamp oil, and coal oil, is a combustible hydrocarbon liquid which is derived from petroleum. It is widely used as a fuel in aviation as well as households. Its name derives from Greek: κηρός (keros) meaning wax, and was registered as a trademark by Canadian geologist and inventor Abraham Gesner in 1854 before evolving into a genericized trademark. It is sometimes spelled kerosine in scientific and industrial usage. The term kerosene is common in much of Argentina, Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, and the United States, while the term paraffin is used in Chile, eastern Africa, South Africa, Norway, and in the United Kingdom. The term lamp oil, or the equivalent in the local languages, is common in the majority of Asia and "Earth Oil" in some parts of southern Asia.Liquid paraffin is a more viscous and highly refined product which is used as a laxative. Paraffin wax is a waxy solid extracted from petroleum.
In law, a minor is a person under a certain age, usually the age of majority, which legally demarcates childhood from adulthood. The age of majority depends upon jurisdiction and application, but it is generally 18. Minor may also be used in contexts that are unconnected to the overall age of majority. For example, the drinking age in the United States is usually 21, and younger people are sometimes called minors in the context of alcohol law, even if they are at least 18. The term underage often refers to those under the age of majority, but it may also refer to persons under a certain age limit, such as the drinking age, smoking age, age of consent, marriageable age, driving age, voting age, etc. Such age limits are often different from the age of majority.
On the night the fire at the Hasties' home was started, police received an anonymous telephone call, reporting three people driving away from the direction of the house in a Rover 2000 car. Detective Superintendent Ron Sagar and his investigators traced this car and decided to interview a number of suspects. [ citation needed ]Sagar accused each of them of starting the fire, hoping that the real killer would then confess.
Lee confessed to the Selby Street fire, saying "I didn't mean to kill them," and told the police how Charlie Hastie had demanded money from him for sexual activities. Moreover, Lee had been ridiculed by members of the Hastie family for falling in love with daughter Angeleena Hastie. This was the reason Lee had set the fire at the back of the Hastie's house.
During further questioning — and to the complete surprise and horror of the police — Lee then went on to confess to starting nine more fatal fires in Hull over the previous seven years. None of the fires were treated with suspicion at the time; inquests recorded misadventure verdicts and arson was never considered. A total of 26 people had died in the blazes, ranging from a six-month-old baby, a young mother and her three small sons, to 11 elderly men in a residential home, Wensley Lodge. Dozens more were burned or suffered from smoke inhalation, or received injuries while escaping.[ citation needed ]
Lee claimed that most of the fires were started at random because he loved fire, and he rarely considered whether he was endangering life when he started them.[ citation needed ] Only the Hastie fire and two others were at houses owned by people he knew and against whom he bore a grudge.[ citation needed ]
Investigating officers then proceeded to drive Lee around the city of Hull to the locations he had specified, whereupon Lee then pointed out the buildings in question. Although Lee could not be particular with dates or chronology, research later showed that fires had indeed been started at each of the dwellings he had indicated. Lee said that when he heard of many of the deaths he had caused, he sought solace in the Bible but was not persuaded to stop or confess.
To test Lee's story and rule out any prospect that he was merely a well-informed fantasist, officers deliberately took him to a dwelling where a high-profile fire had occurred but a criminal conviction had already been secured. Lee immediately ruled out his involvement — he said he had never been anywhere near the area — leading police to believe that he was being truthful about the number of fires he had started.[ citation needed ]
Despite initially saying he was not sorry for the deaths he caused, as killing was not on his mind when he began the majority of the fires, Lee later offered apologies for his actions while awaiting trial.[ citation needed ]
On 20 January 1981, Lee pleaded not guilty at Leeds Crown Court to 26 counts of murder, but guilty to 26 counts of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, and to 11 counts of arson.
Lee was initially taken to Park Lane Special Hospital in Liverpool and was later transferred to Rampton Secure Hospital. Although he was the most prolific killer in the UK at the time, he received relatively little national publicity, possibly because he was convicted of manslaughter rather than murder, and also because the trial of Peter Sutcliffe, which was a much more high-profile case, was ongoing at the same time.
In 1983, a public inquiry concluded that the fire at the Wensley Lodge was accidental and that Lee was not responsible for it or the deaths of the eleven residents. Senior fire investigation officers supported the inquiry's conclusions. Lee's eleven relevant manslaughter convictions were later duly quashed on appeal.
Sagar, the detective in charge of Lee's case, later launched a libel action against The Sunday Times after it published articles suggesting Lee's statements had not been entirely voluntary. The judge at Lee's 1983 appeal stated that he was confident that Lee's statements were "freely given"and the paper later withdrew the allegations and offered an apology, with the case finally settling out of court in 1987. Sagar, who had retired and was made an MBE, had stated that he hoped Lee will one day be deemed fit and safe enough to be freed. Sagar died in March 2010.
Peter William Sutcliffe, also known as Peter William Coonan, is a prolific English serial killer who was dubbed the "Yorkshire Ripper" by the press. On 22 May 1981, Sutcliffe was convicted of murdering 13 women and attempting to murder seven others. He is serving 20 concurrent sentences of life imprisonment, which was increased to a whole life order in 2010. All except two of his murders took place in West Yorkshire; the others were in Manchester.
On 27 November 2000, ten-year-old schoolboy Dami lula Taylor died in England, in what became one of the country's most high-profile killings. Several young boys were cleared of murder charges after a lengthy trial, and later two brothers were convicted of manslaughter.
Henry Lee Lucas was an American convicted murderer. Lucas was convicted of murdering his mother in 1960 and the murder of two others in 1983. He rose to infamy as a serial killer after he confessed to around 600 other murders after his conviction while in prison to the Texas Rangers and other law enforcement officials. Many unsolved cases were closed based on the confessions and officially attributed the murders to Lucas; he was considered the most prolific serial killer in history. Lucas was convicted of murdering 11 people and condemned to death for a single case with an unidentified victim. An investigation by the Dallas Times-Herald newspaper showed that many of the murders Lucas confessed to were flatly impossible for him to have committed; while the Rangers defended their work, a follow-up investigation by the Attorney General of Texas concluded Lucas was a fabulist who had falsely confessed. Lucas's death sentence was commuted to life in prison in 1998. Lucas himself recanted the confessions as a hoax.
Rampton Secure Hospital is a high security psychiatric hospital near the village of Woodbeck between Retford and Rampton in Nottinghamshire, England. It is one of only three high security psychiatric hospitals in England, alongside Ashworth Hospital near Liverpool and Broadmoor Hospital in Berkshire. It is managed by Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.
Ottis Elwood Toole was an American drifter and serial killer who was convicted of six counts of murder. Like his companion Henry Lee Lucas, Toole made confessions he then later recanted, which resulted in murder convictions. The discrediting of the case against Lucas for crimes Toole had offered corroborating statements created doubts as to whether either was a genuine serial killer or, as Hugh Aynesworth suggested, both were merely compliant interviewees whom police used to clear unsolved murders from the books. Toole received two death sentences, but on appeal they were commuted to life imprisonment. He died in his cell from cirrhosis, aged 49. Police attributed the murder of Adam Walsh to Toole on the basis of recanted statements. Lucas had backed Toole's confession to the Walsh murder, claiming he had been in possession of the victim's severed head.
Clifford Robert Olson Jr. was a convicted Canadian serial killer who confessed to murdering 11 children and young adults between the ages of 9 and 18 years in the early 1980s. Olson scored 38/40 on the Psychopathy Checklist.
PC Sharon Beshenivsky was a West Yorkshire Police constable shot dead by a criminal gang during a robbery in Bradford on 18 November 2005, becoming the seventh female police officer in Great Britain to be killed on duty. Her colleague, PC Teresa Millburn, was seriously injured in the same incident. Millburn had joined the force less than two years earlier; Beshenivsky had served only nine months in the force at the time of her death.
Reece Dinsdale is an English actor/director of stage, film, and television.
The 1980 Miami riots were race riots that occurred in Miami, Florida, starting in earnest on May 18, 1980, following the acquittal of four Dade County Public Safety Department officers in the death of Arthur McDuffie. McDuffie, a black salesman and former Marine, died from injuries sustained at the hands of four white officers trying to arrest him after a high-speed chase. The officers were tried and acquitted for manslaughter and evidence tampering, among other charges. Subsequently, a riot broke out in the black neighborhoods of Overtown and Liberty City in Miami. In 1981 Dade County paid McDuffie's family a settlement of $1.1 million after they filed a civil lawsuit against the officials. The 1980 Miami riots were the deadliest since the 1960s and remained such until the 1992 Los Angeles riots twelve years later.
DFDS Seaways is a Danish shipping company that operates passenger and freight services across northern Europe. Following the acquisition of Norfolkline in 2010, DFDS restructured its other shipping divisions into the previously passenger-only operation of DFDS Seaways.
Stephen Mark Agnew is an English former professional footballer who is currently working as a first team coach of Newcastle United.
Joseph Kallinger was an American serial killer who murdered three people, including his teenage son, and tortured four families. He committed these crimes with his 12-year-old son Michael.
Lee Crooks is an English former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1980s and 1990s, and coached in the 1990s, 2000s and 2010s. He played at representative level for Great Britain, England and Yorkshire, and at club level for Hull FC, Western Suburbs Magpies, Balmain Tigers, Leeds and Castleford, as a prop or second-row, i.e. number 8 or 10, or, 11 or 12, captain of Hull during the 1985–86 and 1986–87 seasons, and coached at representative level for Serbia, and at club level for Keighley and York.
Dane Bradford Mark O'Hara is a former rugby league footballer who represented New Zealand. At the time of his retirement he held the record for most international matches for New Zealand.
Sidney Cooke is an English convicted child molester and suspected serial killer serving two life sentences.
Hull: Hell and Fire is an account of the arson investigations which led to the arrest of Bruce George Peter Lee. It was written by Ronald Sagar, one of the police officers on the case. The book was written in English and numbers 198 pages. It was published by Highgate Publications.
Barry Peter Prudom was an English electrician and multiple murderer, known as The Phantom in the Forest, who became the subject of a police manhunt and what was at the time the largest armed police operation Great Britain had ever seen, involving 12 police forces. Prudom became a fugitive after killing PC David Haigh on 17 June 1982. Before being captured he killed twice more, shooting civilian George Luckett on 23 June 1982 and Police Sergeant David Winter on 28 June 1982. Described as an "avid outdoorsman and firearms enthusiast" Prudom's knowledge of military survival skills learned while training with the SAS helped him evade capture for 18 days as he hid out in rural areas in the north of England. When eventually found, having been tracked by "Jungle" Eddie McGee, a former SAS instructor, Prudom committed suicide by firing a single shot to his head. It later transpired that Prudom had previously attended survival courses run by McGee, and had made extensive study of a manual on survival techniques written by the SAS veteran, entitled No Need To Die.
The Downunder Hostel Fire was a lethal fire on 17 September 1989, set shortly before 5:00 am in a backpackers hostel on Darlinghurst Road in the Kings Cross area of Sydney, Australia. Kings Cross is a very popular destination with international backpackers visiting Australia. The fire was the fifth most deadly disaster in Australia in 1989.
On December 24, 2001, arsonists set fire to Woodbine Building Supply Co. in Toronto, Ontario, causing an explosion and leading to one of the largest fires in the city's history. The arsonists were conspiring with John Magno, co-owner of the store, who desired to destroy the struggling business to collect a fraudulent insurance claim and clear the site for construction of a condominium development. The fire led to the evacuation of over 50 homes on Christmas morning, and the death of one of the arsonists. After many years of sitting as an idle lot, it was replaced by a condo building, Carmelina Condominiums, completed in 2015.