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Welcome to the Murder Mile UK True-Crime Podcast and audio guided walk of London's most infamous and often forgotten murder cases, all set within and beyond the West End.
EPISODE ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-SIX:
This is Part Two of Four of Daniel Gonzales: The Lost Boy. Fixated on becoming a serial-killer, the jury were asked whether Daniel Gonzales was “bad or mad”, as although he was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, one question remained: was he crying-out for help, or was he abusing his diagnosis to avoid prison?
As many photos of the case are copyright protected by greedy news organisations, to view them, take a peek at my entirely legal social media accounts - Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
This is the Tottenham High Road, just off Seven Sisters, N15. On the left (where Domino's Pizza is now) is 363 High Road where The Swan public house was and where Kevin was last seen before his murder, and on the right, on the corner of Monument Way is 336 High Road, the former location of Kevin's pub - The Rose & Crown.
SOURCES: This series is predominently based on the Mental Health Inquest into the treamtent and care of Daniel Gonzales, as well as various news sourcesm some included below:
UNEDITED TRANSCRIPT OF THE EPISODE:
SCRIPT: Welcome to Murder Mile; a true-crime podcast and audio guided walk featuring many of London’s untold, unsolved and long-forgotten murders, all set within and beyond the West End.
Fixated on becoming a serial-killer, the jury were asked whether Daniel Gonzales was “bad or mad”, as although he was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, one question remained: was he crying-out for help, or was he abusing his diagnosis to avoid prison?
Murder Mile is researched using authentic sources. It contains moments of satire, shock and grisly details. And as a dramatization of the real events, it may also feature loud and realistic sounds, so that no matter where you listen to this podcast, you’ll feel like you’re actually there.
My name is Michael, I am your tour-guide and this is Murder Mile.
Episode 136: Daniel Gonzales: The Lost Boy – Part Two.
Today I’m standing on Tottenham High Road in north London, N15; 6 miles north of Tottenham Court Road tube where Daniel Gonzales was arrested, 76 miles north-east of the stabbing of Peter King, 59 miles north of the death of Maria Harding, and a few miles east of the attacks on Koumis Constantinou in Hornsey and Derek & Jean Robinson in Highgate Hill - coming very soon to Murder Mile.
Daniel would later state that his killing-spree took him two days to plan. So, why he chose to travel to Tottenham is unknown; as he was nowhere near his home in Knaphill and - just like his previous attacks in Highdown and Hilsea Lines – it was not a place he had connections with, was travelling through, or had a logical reason to be. But whether guided by drugs, voices or a deluded dream, it was his choice.
Currently, at 336 High Road sits a vague six-storey brown-brick block of flats perched at the ludicrously busy junction of the A10 and Monument Way. So, for anyone seeking something affordable, near the tube and a few thousand takeaways in an area which was the epicentre of the London riots, and you love waking up to the soothing roar of trucks and falling asleep to the subtle wail of sirens? Buy now.
Back in 2004, this was Rose & Crown, a public-house which had stood on this site (in various iterations) for hundreds of years, and for its last century it was a familiar hub for fans of Tottenham Hotspur.
Ran by 46-year-old Kevin Molloy, this was not just his work, but his home, his life and his love. Kevin was the last landlord of the Rose & Crown pub, as – having gone out of business, with the land sold to a developer - seeing his years of hard work boarded-up and ready for demolition, that night, after a few pints, he would say a fond goodbye to his pub. Never knowing that this farewell would be his last.
Prior to this moment, just like the others, the two men had never met. But to Daniel, Kevin was not a person, he was just a number, one more victim on his list to secure his place in serial-killer infamy.
As it was here, at the dawn of Friday 17th September 2004, that Kevin Molloy was murdered. But was it the voices which drove Daniel to kill, or was his diagnosis as an excuse for his crimes? (Interstitial)
Detective Chief Inspector Dave Cobb would state “Daniel wanted to be a famous serial killer, but he did not want to accept responsibility for what he had done... he was clever and manipulative".
Clever and manipulative, two words which defined Daniel. Even his mother would describe him as “intelligent but extremely disruptive... he could be absolutely charming but also very manipulative”.
Upon his arrest, Daniel confessed, both in person and in his diary, which he euphorically detailed with a chilling lack of remorse. “It felt really, really, really good. One of the best things I’ve done in my life”.
At this trial, Daniel pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. In his defence, he claimed he was a schizophrenic and that it was the voices in his head who told him to kill. But the prosecution refuted this: “we suggest that Daniel Gonzalez is a psychopath who killed because of the cold callous person that he is. It is his personality that led him to kill... Daniel was in control of himself at the time of the killing... and he killed because he wanted to kill for his own pleasure”.
It was clear that Daniel was clever and manipulative from an early age, as although expelled, this school chess champion went on to pass 8 GCSEs, and like many bright children, he lacked social skills and often stood-out as different. Aged 9, his mum said “he came downstairs with his arms at the side of his head, saying ‘mum I cannot carry my head, it is too big’". But was he just a child with an over-active imagination, or was he learning to use his difference as an excuse for his bad behaviour?
Key to Daniel’s defence was his diagnosis as a paranoid schizophrenic, but this was never clear-cut, as “his illness was atypical and the lack of acute episodes or consistent symptoms made any diagnosis difficult”. So difficult, that in 1993, aged 13, his school’s educational psychologist diagnosed him with Dysgraphia – a writing difficulty, and further mental health assessments listed “illicit drug misuse”, “evidence of psychosis” and “probably a personality disorder owing to large doses of Ketamine and LSD … which are responsible for his current state of mild psychosis”. But not schizophrenia.
Between 1998 and 1999, Daniel was sectioned three times, after physical violence towards himself and verbal threats to others, and yet, one of many psychiatrists would state “I felt that he was probably psychotic, but I did not think he was sectionable because of his lucidity and lack of a delusions”.
And yet, it was only during his sectioning at Oaktree Psychiatric Clinic, that Daniel was first listed as a “paranoid schizophrenic”. After that, every subsequent doctor agreed with this analysis, prescribed the appropriate medication for that mental health condition and no other options were considered.
But did the experts get it right, or did they resort to default; with a school counsellor diagnosing it as a learning difficulty, a drug-counsellor as a drug induced psychosis and a psychiatrist as schizophrenia? Or had Daniel manipulated these professionals into seeing the symptoms he wanted them to see?
So, whether Daniel actually heard voices in his head, only he knows the truth, and he only made these voices public when it suited his purpose... such as being sectioned, or avoiding prison.
There is no denying, that Daniel Gonzales was clever and manipulative.
But how clever, and how manipulative? (change tone)
The prosecution would state “he was in control of himself at the time of the killing, because he wanted to kill for his own pleasure”. Almost everything Daniel had done, up to that point, was his decision.
(Daniel) “I will be a serial killer”. Those were his words, only nothing in his past forewarns of this; there was no arson, cruelty or sadism, he wasn’t abused and was rarely violent towards others. His mother couldn’t predict it (Lesley) “I didn’t know something was going to happen, but I was scared” and North West Surrey Mental Health Partnership would declare that as the murders were "not preceded by a history of violence, therefore we do not believe that his actions could have been predicted".
But, if he was predisposed to murder, surely someone would have seen something?
“I took drugs cos they made me feel good”. Again, those were his words, as to alleviate his boredom and to temper his mood, he abused cannabis, LSD, ecstasy, cocaine, ketamine and amphetamines. He put his trust in Illicit, untested street-drugs, mixed by criminals, using a lethal cocktail of chemicals whose psychotropic effects – given prolonged exposure – can remain for days, weeks and months.
But it was Daniel who made the decision to come off his prescribed medications for schizophrenia.
“I wanted to be Freddy Krueger for the day”. Again, his words, and every aspect of these attacks were chosen by him to cement his place in infamy. Everything from the mask, to the knives and to his movements – the way he stalked, stabbed and slashed, just like his horror heroes. It may also be the reason his killing-spree stopped in such a specific place as Platform 4 on Tottenham Court Road tube.
But all of this was Daniel’s decision, as he didn’t just want to be famous, he wanted to be immortal.
And finally. “To have proper care, you need a doctor to follow your path. If I was seeing someone two or three times a week, that’s at least something”. Again, his words. But treatment is a two-way street and not only did he reject his medication, but he regularly missed appointments; missing 3 out of 18 with the GP, 9 out of 16 with psychiatrists, 11 out of 24 with the CMHT and 13 out of 26 on probation.
“Does Daniel have to murder or be murdered before he can get the treatment he so badly needs?", his mother repeatedly pleaded. But was this lack of consistent care also down to his apathy, paranoia, or was it a deliberate ploy to stop any expert from seeing his diagnosis as a convenient excuse to kill?
Just how clever and manipulative was Daniel Gonzales? Was it all a ruse? Or was it real?
(VHS rewind) 14th April 1999. Discharged from the Oaktree Psychiatric Clinic, Daniel returned home to live with his mum and her partner, but remained under the care of Dr Kidd, a consultant psychiatrist.
Over the next five years, his care was inconsistent and his drug-intake weaved between the controlled use of prescription medications and the abuse of street drugs - which made him angry, euphoric, calm, paranoid and delusional. Across this period, he had no job, no routine and no sense of purpose; time was irrelevant, his sense of reality was skewed, and there was nothing normal about his life.
In March 2000, following a series of arguments with his exasperated mother, Daniel became homeless. His psychiatrist would state “His mother had ejected him quite understandably and he was living with friends no doubt in a state of hand-to-mouth chaos”, which made his care so inconsistent.
On 25th April 2000, Daniel was arrested for burglary and street robbery; he was remanded at HMP Reading and was later sentenced to two-years at Dover Young Offenders Institution. Given his mental health history, a pre-sentencing report was conducted by Dr Ward Lawrence who observed that the prisoner had “no current symptoms of illness” – which was to be expected as “his illness was atypical and the lack of acute episodes or consistent symptoms made diagnosis difficult” – but that “Daniel had admitted to manipulating the symptoms of his illness in an attempt to avoid being sent to prison”.
Released on 30th April 2001, Daniel returned home, was held under a six-month probation order and - seen as an outpatient - Dr Lawrence confirmed his diagnosis that Daniel “showed no signs of mental illness” and a probation officer even commented that Daniel was “just a silly little boy, he’s fine”.
Unable to live at home, on-and-off between June 2001 and November 2002, Daniel bunked on friend’s sofas, slept rough and bedded in homeless hostels. But, if Daniel really wanted to be a serial-killer, why didn’t he start his killing-spree then? When he was off-the-grid, invisible and anonymous.
In November 2002 and April 2003, Daniel was arrested for shoplifting and was placed on a six-month community rehabilitation order. Again, he was not charged with GHB, ABH, cruelty, or any violent or sadistic crimes - as you would expect from a wannabe serial-killer? Instead, he was stealing, like a homeless man fighting his hunger or a drug-addict feeding his habit. His mental health was raised by a concerned probation officer, but being assessed, the CMHT thought Daniel was “not particularly ill”.
On 26th October 2003, Daniel wrote a letter to his GP. It read: “I really do need help now. I have tried to cope on my own like a normal human-being, but I have not managed to succeed. I really need to receive treatment under the care of the doctors before my mental state gets worse. Please, please help me, this is very urgent. I am in a desperate situation”.
For whatever reasons, Daniel never posted this letter, but his mother did.
The GP referred him to hospital, but he was never treated.
The report later called this “a missed opportunity”.
Across the following year, Daniel did improve; he tried his best to give-up drugs, he stayed at home, kept out of trouble, and one of the last doctors he saw said he was "doing well without medication".
On 21st July 2004, a locum at Bridgewell House, a psychiatric facility in Woking, sent a letter to Daniel’s GP. In it, he described Daniel’s words, mood or appearance as ‘okay’, ‘alright’ or ‘fine’, but no concerns were raised and his patient was scheduled to be reviewed in two months’ time.
That was Daniel’s last psychiatric appointment...
...two months later, four people were murdered.
(VHS Fast-Forward). Wednesday 15th September 2004. Day one. Victim one (Peter King at Hilsea Lines) and victim two (Marie Harding at Highdown). Peter survived and Marie died, but only the failed attack had an eye-witness, so when Daniel fled, Peter heard him shout “I’m sorry, I’m a schizophrenic, I can’t help it”. But was this the truth spoken by his voices, a clever excuse to avoid prison, or a bit of both?
“It took two days to plan”. Those were his words, but what aspect of the murders did Daniel plan?
His victims were random, the locations remote and the dates insignificant. If all he cared about was numbers – “I wanted to kill as many people as possible” – why didn’t he kill on a busy city street, in a packed supermarket, or somewhere closer to home like Woking, Knaphill or Southwood Avenue?
If all he cared about was murder – “This is something I live for. It’s a really good buzz – killing” - why didn’t he buy his own knives, rather than borrowing his mum’s steak knives from the kitchen drawer?
He didn’t, because maybe it wasn’t the murders he was planning, but his legacy as a serial-killer?
Consider these pieces of irrefutable evidence:
The hockey mask; he wore it as a disguise only once, during Marie Harding’s murder, at which there were no eye-witnesses, but at every other attack his face and identity was exposed. Afterwards, he didn’t destroy or clean the mask. Instead, it remained in his bedroom covered in his victim’s DNA.
The diary: better than any confession the Police could have attained, this was a handwritten journal, using his words, in which he detailed his movements and motives during the murders.
Gloves: he could have, but he didn’t wear any, which is why his fingerprints were found on the knife he dropped at Hilsea Lines. And as for wearing clothing to hide his size, shape or identity? Instead, he wore a pair of jeans, a set of white trainers and a distinctive blue and white Honda motorcycle jacket.
Or maybe, Daniel didn’t plan anything. Maybe these random acts of violence were truly the chaos of a schizophrenic mind guided by voices and disinhibited by drugs, as put forward by his defence?
(VHS Fast-Forward). Thursday 16th September 2004. Day two. Victim three.
Tired from a sleep-in, his South Coast stabbings and a 140-mile journey, the second phase of Daniel’s killing-spree would be unleashed somewhere a little more local. At 3pm, he caught the Woking train to London Waterloo, travelled on the Northern Line through Tottenham Court Road, and at 4:26pm, CCTV captured him handing in his black rucksack into the Left Luggage kiosk at King’s Cross station.
Given a ticket stub, in his bag, Police would later find a set of clothes and a handwritten note, which read: "I will be a serial killer. I’m gonna make sure I get to London and I will kill as many ‘old bill’ as I can, as best I can”. But was this deliberately planted to cement his serial-killer legacy, and if this killing spree was planned, why did he travel to King’s Cross when there was a Left Luggage kiosk at Waterloo?
At 7pm, wanting to inflict greater wounds upon his impending victims, Daniel entered the kitchenware department at John Lewis on Oxford Street and stole two eight-inch knives. But again, this makes very little sense, as why steal them? They’re not illegal, he had money and the store had good security.
Between 8pm and 11pm, he visited several unidentified pubs in and around Soho, where he sat alone and drank by himself. If he had come here to kill, why did he wait so long? Was he building his confidence, dulling his senses or waiting for instructions to kill from the voices inside his head?
From 11pm till 2am, disinhibited by a cocktail of alcohol and drugs, Daniel went to an unspecified rave or nightclub. But again, although this venue was dark, busy and chaotic – the perfect location to “kill as many people as possible, as many as ten”, or maybe even hundreds - he left with no-one hurt.
At his trial, the prosecution would state "on leaving the last venue, he had decided to kill again".
Being in the West End, even on a weekday at 2am, the bustling squares and dark alleys provided this wannabe serial-killer with a wealth of murderous opportunities; spaces which were rammed, hidden and remote, with limitless victims ranging from stupefied crowds, to amorous couples, to lone drunks.
But again - whether his logic was warped by drugs or guided by irrational voices – he left Soho, hopped on a bus at Charing Cross Road, sat quietly for an hour and got off at Seven Sisters. An odd choice - as being a small bubble of cafés surrounded by residential houses – every shop was shut; every street was desolate and the A10 (Tottenham High Road) which runs through it was fully covered by cameras.
At 4am, he was captured on CCTV, as he wandered up the High Road, towards the Rose & Crown pub.
46-year-old Irishman Kevin Molloy was well-liked and well-respected. Blessed with a cheeky-grin and a silver tongue, this gentle-giant actively avoided confrontations, but as an experienced landlord of a Spurs-supporters pub, this big lad knew how to handle himself and how to deal with drunks and thugs.
That year had been a bad year for Kevin. His pub – The Rose & Crown at 336 High Road – was once a staple of football fixtures, a decent pub for a pint and a bit of a boogie in its club called Rudolph’s and Charlie Browns. But now, having gone out of business, it was boarded-up and ready for demolition.
With nothing left, being fed-up, Kevin was planning to move back to Ireland to live with his mum.
That night, just like old times, Kevin sat with his pal - the landlord of The Swan at 363 High Road, a pub barely eighty feet away, over the A10 and directly opposite what remained of the Rose & Crown – and together the two men sank a few jars, sang a few songs and said a fond farewell to Kevin’s old life.
As he had many times before, at about 4:30am, he left The Swan and staggered towards his old pub.
The street was wide and quiet, but well lit, as the big lad headed home.
Only Daniel was watching.
With his heart pounding, (“kill, kill, kill, kill”) an eight-inch knife in his sweaty palm, (“kill, kill, kill, kill”) and the drip-drip-drip of what he had repeatedly claimed were four sinister voices splitting his head like water torture (“kill, kill, kill, kill”), Daniel entering the empty pavement (“kill, kill, kill, kill”), as from behind, he stalked, was silent and then he struck.
With the voices screaming “knife em, knife em, knife em”, (Daniel) "my head was going all mad, and so as soon as I see him - I was actually quite flipping pleased that he popped by - I just run up to him, popped him, stabbed him up. I had to flipping murder someone then, I had to get someone done. I wouldn't be able to think properly otherwise. All these thoughts were coming into my head, so I just went 'duh-duh-duh-duh' and just jabbed him about three, four, five, six, seven times in the stomach".
Attacked from behind, Kevin stood no chance, as the stabbing was fast and frenetic. With no defensive wounds, multiple injuries to his face, chest and stomach, he slit Kevin’s throat and left him for dead.
With his second kill complete and another number notched on his scorecard, Daniel was half way to serial-killer infamy. But like a coward, he panicked, he fled and dumped the knives in a local park.
At 5:40am, an hour later, Kevin Molloy was found and taken to hospital, but he died on arrival. (End)
At 12:14pm, later that day, at Tottenham Court Road tube station, Daniel’s killing-spree would end. His interview held at Holborn Police Station was described as “surreal”. As given the gravity of his crimes, he had every legal right to state “no comment” to every question, but instead, he gave a very detailed confession, as his mood swung from orgasmic to boastful, and joyous to distraught.
Sometimes, he openly bragged about the killings, describing it as “one of the best things I’ve done in my life”. Other times, he broke down in tears showing genuine remorse for his victims, “I stuck it all the way in. It was such a long knife. There was no chance for the poor guy, no chance". Sometimes, while supping soft drinks and scoffing jelly babies like a little lost boy, he would whine with self-pity “I’m a little boy and I didn’t feel very well”. Only to laugh as he recounted the details of the killings.
Describing the murder of Kevin Molloy, Daniel joked “He was just some bloke walking down the road and I pulled a knife out and stabbed him. As I was stabbing him, he said: “What the hell are you doing?”. So, I said to him: “Are you stupid? I’m killing you” and I killed him”. When asked why he killed Kevin, he replied “His face started winding me up. I had to carve him. There was blood trickling out. There was lots of blood on the pavement. He was just lying there. I had to do it cos I wouldn't be able to think properly otherwise. At that time, the voices in my head were just really bad".
Which is why his criminal trial at the Old Bailey focussed on one key question: “was Daniel Gonzales bad, or mad?” Yes, he was diagnosed as a schizophrenic, and yes, he was on drugs, but was Daniel so mentally unwell he was unable to control himself at the time of the killings, or was this just a cunning and manipulative ploy to cement his serial-killer credentials, and avoid a prison sentence? At that point, nobody knew, but one thing was certain; two were dead, and more killings were to come.
OUTRO: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much for listening to Murder Mile.
That was part two of four of Daniel Gonzales – The Lost Boy.
As always, if you enjoyed that episode, stay tuned after the break for some slurping of tea, waffling about crap, munching on cake and drooling over Eva. Obviously!
A big thank you to my new Patreon supporters, who are; Elisha Palmer, Karen Starkey, Pamela Williams, Leona D’Arcy, Sue Richards, Mandy Brooks, Wendy Cee and Peadar Maguire (Padder). I thank you, and I send you lots of big kisses, there you go. And don’t worry, I’ve had my jabs.
Plus a thank you to everyone who has added some lovely five star reviews of Murder Mile on your regular podcast platform. I enjoy reading them all and they are very much appreciated.
Murder Mile was researched, written and performed by myself, with the main musical themes written and performed by Erik Stein & Jon Boux of Cult With No Name.
Thank you for listening and sleep well.
*** LEGAL DISCLAIMER
The Murder Mile UK True Crime Podcast has been researched using the original declassified police investigation files, court records, press reports and as many authentic sources as possible, which are freely available in the public domain, including eye-witness testimony, confessions, autopsy reports, first-hand accounts and independent investigation, where possible. But these documents are only as accurate as those recounting them and recording them, and are always incomplete or full of opinion rather than fact, therefore mistakes and misrepresentations can be made. As stated at the beginning of each episode (and as is clear by the way it is presented) Murder Mile UK True Crime Podcast is a 'dramatisation' of the events and not a documentary, therefore a certain amount of dramatic licence, selective characterisation and story-telling (within logical reason and based on extensive research) has been taken to create a fuller picture. It is not a full and complete representation of the case, the people or the investigation, and therefore should not be taken as such. It is also often (for the sake of clarity, speed and the drama) presented from a single person's perspective, usually (but not exclusively) the victim's, and therefore it will contain a certain level of bias and opinion to get across this single perspective, which may not be the overall opinion of those involved or associated. Murder Mile is just one possible retelling of each case. Murder Mile does not set out to cause any harm or distress to those involved, and those who listen to the podcast or read the transcripts provided should be aware that by accessing anything created by Murder Mile (or any source related to any each) that they may discover some details about a person, an incident or the police investigation itself, that they were unaware of.
*** LEGAL DISCLAIMER
Michael J Buchanan-Dunne is a writer, crime historian, podcaster and tour-guide who runs Murder Mile Walks, a guided tour of Soho’s most notorious murder cases, hailed as “one of the top ten curious, quirky, unusual and different things to do in London”, nominated "one of the best true-crime podcasts at the British Podcast Awards", one of The Telegraph's top five true-crime podcasts and featuring 12 murderers, including 3 serial killers, across 15 locations, totaling 50 deaths, over just a one mile walk.
Michael J Buchanan-Dunne is a crime writer, podcaster & tour guide of Murder Mile Walks, hailed as one of the best "quirky curious & unusual things to do in London".
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