BEST TRUE-CRIME PODCAST at British Podcast Awards, The Telegraph's Top Five True-Crime Podcasts, The Guardian and TalkRadio's Podcast of the Week, Podcast Magazine's Hot 50 and iTunes Top 25. Subscribe via iTunes, Spotify, Acast, Stitcher and all podcast platforms.
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-SEVEN:
This is Part Three of Four of Daniel Gonzales: The Lost Boy. With very little violence in his past, mental health professionals would agree that the two-day killing spree of Daniel Gonzales had occurred without warning. But in the days leading up to this massacre, they would miss one last chance to stop him forever.
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.
As this is a private estate, Googlemap Streetview is unable to show us 23 Makepeace Avenue where Derek & Jean Robinson lived, but it is half way up the road on the right hand side.
SOURCES: This series is predominently based on the Mental Health Inquest into the treamtent and care of Daniel Gonzales, as well as various news sources, 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.
With very little violence in his past, mental health professionals would agree that the two-day killing spree of Daniel Gonzales had occurred without warning. But in the days leading up to this massacre, they would miss one last chance to stop him forever.
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 137: Daniel Gonzales: The Lost Boy – Part Three.
Today I’m standing on Makepeace Avenue in Highgate Hill, North London, N5; thirty miles north-east of Daniel’s home in Knaphill, more than seventy miles north of the attacks on Peter King and Marie Harding on the south coast, four and a half miles south-west of the butchering of Kevin Molloy, and three miles south-west of the assault on Koumis Constantinou – coming imminently to Murder Mile.
Makepeace Avenue on the Holly Lodge Estate was built in the early 1920’s, originally as housing solely for single women working in the city, where-as now it is a pleasant mix of private and council-owned semi-detached houses and mansion blocks, maintained by the community and Camden Council.
With many of the buildings constructed in a uniform design of gabled roofs, red tiles, white ‘wattle and daub’ and black timber frames - blessed with stunning views over the city - it’s a nice place to live.
Here you might expect to hear the soft shush of a milk float, the polite chatter of a friendly postman and the delicate snip of gardening sheers - nothing offensive or foul. At worst, you might witness a dog enthusiastically yapping for treats, an erroneous bit of litter in the wrong recycling bin, or – Cor Lummy –a mild outburst of some eff’ and jeff’ as a retired accountant incorrectly fills in his crossword, or the chairwoman of the WI discovering that her buns have come out a little black about the edges.
But you wouldn’t expect to find a happily-married loving couple brutally murdered in their own home.
And that’s what’s so strange - as like every other location across London and the South East of England that he had chosen - Daniel Gonzales had no reason to be here. He hadn’t marked them on a map, he hadn’t mentioned them in his diary, and they didn’t have any significance or connection.
His timings were random; he attacked at 11am, 3pm, 4am and now 7am and 8am, in places as different as could possibly be; a derelict gun emplacement, an isolated beauty spot, the junction of a main road, and soon, two homes on a residential street and a housing estate. So, as much as he bragged that his killing-spree took him “two days to plan”, the likelihood was that these attacks occurred by chance.
Two days before the first murder and attempted murder, Daniel suffered a major psychotic event, which should have been the overriding catalyst to get him the help that he needed, or to cut his bloody rampage dead in its tracks. But like so much in his mental health history, it was dismissed as irrelevant.
And yet, it was here, on Friday 17th September at 8am, that Daniel would kill Derek & Jean Robinson. But so horrifically sadistic was their slaughter, that it led a court of law to believe that Daniel wasn’t just sick, but a psychopath hellbent on bloodlust. (Interstitial)
(Daniel) “I’m sorry, man. I should be locked up. I should go in the electric chair for what I have done. If I had done that to myself, stabbed myself up, there would not be a problem”.
At a little after 4:30am, Kevin Molloy lay collapsed on a desolate pavement to the side of Tottenham High Road. Ninety minutes before dawn and a throng of pedestrians would fill the streets – looking little more than a crumpled mass slumped between pubs – passers-by mistook him for a comatose drunk, unaware that this gentle giant was bleeding internally and slowly drowning in his own blood.
Discovered seventy minutes after the attack, by the time that a doctor had declared Kevin dead – with his kill-count and frenzied bloodlust unsated - Daniel was already seeking his next victim.
Only, as before, his movements lacked clarity and his decision-making was muddy. If he had headed north, south or east, this heavily-armed man would have encountered supermarkets, churches, cafes, car parks and stations. As rush hour approached, if inflicting a maximum casualty count was really his mission – with Seven Sisters and Tottenham Hale being in a major hub of public transport – trapped inside a bus, train or tube with hundreds of commuters, he could have unleashed a truly horrific attack.
But he didn’t.
Instead, he headed west, passed The Swan pub where Kevin supped his last pint and along Philip Lane; a little road dotted with residential houses and industrial units. If attacking lone strangers was his mission - whether factory workers changing shift or postmen on their rounds – this place was perfect.
But again, he didn’t.
Instead, he ignored it all and strolled one-and-a-half miles south-west to Frobisher Road in Hornsey, and somewhere along this route – whether at Tottenham Green, Duckets Common or Downshill Park – he dumped the knives. With no disguise, no weapons, no map and having previously attacked lone people in isolated places - for no reason whatsoever – everything which had worked would cease.
(VHS Fast-Forward). Friday 17th September 2004. Day two. Victim four.
By now, the dawn had broken, as Daniel walked into Green Lanes; a junction off Turnpike Lane tube packed full of residential houses and several local shops. The street lights were off, the newsagents were opening and the slow roar of traffic had begun to swell as a low sun-rise illuminated its length.
As his body-count rose, this wannabe serial-killer was getting into his stride with a tried and trusted method to his murders – he crept quietly from behind, slit their throat with a sharp knife, inflicted several hard fast stabs and then he fled – only now, all of that would change and no-one knew why.
At 6:50am, he entered Frobisher Road; one of twenty identical residential streets with two long lines of red and brown-brick terraces dotted with parked cars, tiny gardens and wheelie bins. Fitted with UPVC doors and windows, they were secure but not impregnable for a convicted burglar like Daniel.
With the street’s residents beginning to wake, he slipped off Frobisher Road, down Haringey Passage; a thin shadowy alley running beside their back gardens. Here he spotted an unlit house, climbed a tall fence, smashed a window pane to a silent kitchen, and broke into a family’s home as they slept.
The family were Koumis & Christella Constantinou, a loving couple who lived with her elderly mother and their two little babies, fast asleep in their crib. He didn’t know their names and he didn’t care. To Daniel, they were just numbers, notches on a scorecard, and one step nearer to his place in infamy.
With his heart pounding (“kill, kill, kill, kill”), gripping a stolen eight-inch kitchen knife in his sweaty palm, (“kill, kill, kill, kill”) as the drip-drip-drip of four sinister voices supposedly guided his sadistic deeds (“kill, kill, kill, kill”). With five sleeping victims trapped inside a locked house, here he could kill with impunity (“kill, kill, kill, kill”), as from downstairs, he stalked, he was silent, and then...
...he was struck.
Having heard breaking glass and creeping feet – still dressed in just their pyjamas - Koumis & Christella spotted the knife-wielding assailant in their downstairs corridor, and sprang into action. Fuelled by a fire to defend their loved ones at any cost, although unarmed, Koumis grabbed a pink baby cradle and started whacking Daniel over the head as the knife was plunged into the helpless man’s arm and chest.
Koumis would state “the cradle fell down, he tried again to stab me. I grasped him by the hand and he bit me”. Christella later said "both were fighting. He tried to push the knife into my husband's heart”.
But having only ever attacked easy targets - the elderly, the frail, the vulnerable and the drunk - Daniel was unprepared for couple’s onslaught, as Koumis “I bit him on the neck” and to defend her husband, Christella fought back with whatever she had. “I got my slippers... and hit that man with my slippers".
It may seem pretty silly, but it was enough, so as Christella ran out of her front door, screaming at the top of her lungs; she awoke the neighbours, alerted the police and Daniel fled. Koumis survived with only minor injuries and Christella was shaken up, but owing to their courage, their family was safe.
As with the attack on Peter King, this was another failure for this wannabe serial-killer. He was easily overpowered, and with no mask or gloves, his face was seen and he had left behind his fingerprints.
Koumis & Christella were lucky, very lucky, but others wouldn’t be.
As although Daniel had a long history of his pleas, his drug-use and his paranoid schizophrenia not being taken seriously, the mental health teams had one last opportunity to stop him before he killed...
...and it occurred, just a few days before.
(VHS Rewind). Saturday 11th September 2004. Four days before his killing-spree. Daniel went to a rave in Hackney, East London, where he sank a mind-bending cocktail of speed, ecstasy, LSD, cannabis and ketamine, all washed down with great glugs of spirits and energy drinks, as his battered body and brain was repeatedly assaulted by Doom-Core music and its paralysingly fast 500 beats per minute.
Many mental health professionals had diagnosed Daniel as “in the grip of a drug-induced psychosis” - which makes sense – as with so many illicit stimulants, psychotropics and sedatives fighting his own system, the side-effects can include; paranoia, anxiety and depression as well as auditory and visual hallucinations which can mirror and mask schizophrenia, or any number of personality disorders.
Unlike the music and lights of the rave, the second a switch was flipped, the effect could be controlled.
But once these drugs had entered his system, it couldn’t be stopped, until the chemicals had worn off.
(VHS Fast-Forward) Sunday 12th September 2004. Three days before his killing-spree. Daniel returned home to Knaphill. Being exhausted and dehydrated, he did very little except rest as he was physically and mentally spent. And although he slept solidly for the next few hours, the drugs were still active.
(VHS Fast-Forward) Monday 13th September 2004. Two days before his killing-spree. The time was 8:10am, as Lesley’s partner, Steven Harper sat in his car on their drive at Southwood Avenue. “I heard movement upstairs; I knew Daniel was awake”. So far, it was like any ordinary day, as the boy slept in.
“I was just rolling a cigarette... and the next thing I knew, Daniel sprinted straight past me without any clothes on”. Only he wasn’t streaking for kicks and giggles, as darting passed filling schools and rush-hour traffic, this stark-naked man with terrified eyes ran like he was being chased by the Devil himself.
Several people reported the incident, two police officers - PCs Fellows and Rowley – were dispatched, but along with Stephen Harper, they were unable to locate Daniel anywhere in the village. This had not happened before, so “I phoned Lesley at work, and she said to go and check if he’s back at home”.
Returning to Southwood Avenue, “I opened the front door. I knew he was at home because I could see through the living room window. I could see him pacing up and down. I walked in and there was no sound at all. He had obviously heard me come in and it went quiet. I said, “Daniel, I’ve been looking for you in Knaphill”. He said, “I wasn’t in Knaphill, man” in a really strange voice that I’d never heard before. I thought, something’s wrong here. I could just sense that something wasn’t quite right”.
So far, Daniel hadn’t hurt anyone except himself, as he was bruised and bloodied.
(Daniel) “That morning I was punching myself in the face, trying to give myself black eyes… I tried to break my nose by jumping face down on the dustbin and I threw myself down the stairs about three or four times. I was going mad. I’ve never been that ill before… I think it was a mode of self-harm. I wanted to degrade myself. I don’t know why I did it, to be honest. I’ve absolutely no idea”.
Concerned for his step-son’s wellbeing, Stephen went to Woking police station to report the incident and to set the wheels of a mental-health intervention in motion, as Daniel was unable to tell fact from fantasy or truth from lies, and his arrest record contained warnings “for weapons, mental health issues and officer safety”. Stephen said “I thought if I go down there, they’ll take me more seriously”. But the Police’s powers were limited, no officers attended, and the receptionist’s notes went missing.
Even Daniel would later admit “I was running round the estate naked, and I didn’t get arrested. That would easily have prevented those crimes (from happening) because I was in a very bad way”.
As quick as she could, Lesley arrived home. Daniel had done so well over the last six months; staying at home and keeping out of trouble, but this was the worst she had seen him for nearly six months, and it had been two months since his last psychiatric assessment, where he was described as “okay”.
Inside, the kitchen was strewn with knives – one of which, a five-inch steak knife was used to brutally stab Marie Harding to death – and although, as Lesley would state “I didn’t know something was going to happen, but I was scared”, for too many years – being bounced between specialists - "every time we asked for help, or Daniel did himself, we would have to wait for a crisis to occur”.
Finally, a crisis had occurred...
...her boy was sick and a danger to himself...
Lesley thought, “this is the crisis, now they have got to help".
But after three attempts to call the duty social worker, who was described as “indifferent and passive”, Lesley was told “to ‘assess’ her son and contact her local psychiatric hospital if she felt in any danger”.
Had he been assessed (and sectioned) by a professional, a tragedy could have been averted. (Lesley) “Does Daniel have to murder or be murdered before he can get the treatment he so badly needs?" – words she would repeat, again, and again, and again...
...but by then, it was too late.
(VHS Fast-Forward) Tuesday 14th September 2004. One day before his killing-spree. Being physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted, Daniel spent the day in bed. (Daniel) "I had a really rubbish life and wanted to take it out on someone else”, and that’s as far as his planning went.
(VHS Fast-Forward). Wednesday 15th September 2004. Day one. Peter King and Marie Harding.
(VHS Fast-Forward). Friday 17th September 2004. Day two. Kevin Molloy and Koumis Constantinou.
With a tally of two dead and two injured, the fifty-fifty hit-rate of this wannabe serial-killer was at best mediocre. So, still fuming from a second failed attack in which his neck was bitten and his head beaten with a pink baby cradle and a pair of ladies’ slippers, Daniel hopped in a taxi to Highgate Cemetery.
Having fled Frobisher Road at 7am, this 3.8 mile south-westerly journey took twenty minutes and having asked for directions to Holly Lodge Estate, he arrived by foot at about 7:45am. But why here?
At 7:50am, Daniel was witnessed on Makepeace Avenue randomly pressing buzzers on a block of flats, but no-one called the police. At one residence, an elderly lady opened her door and saw “a young man with a large knife in his hand”. But he didn’t attack her. We don’t know why. Being frail, vulnerable and alone, she was perfect, but maybe the voices said “no”, or maybe one more victim wasn’t enough?
(VHS Fast-Forward). Friday 17th September 2004 at 8am. Day two, victims five and six.
Derek & Jean Robinson were the epitome of good decent people, who dedicated their lives to helping disadvantage children. As a highly regarded paediatrician and lecturer in children’s health, Derek had worked in many war-torn and famine-riddled countries like Nigeria and Uganda, while Jean worked as a communications officer for Christian Aid. To say that they cared would be an understatement.
In 1994, after more than forty-years enriching people’s lives, they both retired. But as humanitarians who had charity in their blood - being unable to rest with so much horror in the world - Jean taught music to underprivileged children, and Derek volunteered for the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture - working with teenage Iraqi asylum-seekers who had been traumatised by the war.
in 1999, they moved into 24 Makepeace Avenue, and although private, they quickly became a key part of the estate. Derek was “a steady voice” in the Holly Lodge Community Association, Jean drove the elderly to lunch clubs and bingo and they were both active in their local neighbourhood watch scheme.
By 2004, 75-year-old Derek and 68-year-old Jean were enjoying the retirement they had earned. They had two daughters and several grandchildren. So beloved were the Robinsons, that upon hearing the news of their deaths, many of their neighbours and friends needed counselling from a local priest.
But Daniel didn’t know any of this, he didn’t care, as to him they were just numbers.
At 8am, Derek & Jean sat eating breakfast.
The morning was bright and warm.
Abruptly, the doorbell rang. This was unexpected but not a worry, as although the decorator was due about now - trusting him with his own key - he usually let himself in, but maybe he had misplaced it?
With the kitchen outback, Derek got up and walked along the hallway towards the dark green door. Its small window pane frosted for privacy, but through it, he could see the familiar silhouette of a man.
Only this was not the decorator, but Daniel, with a blade in his fist and (at least) two more to murder.
With his heart pounding, (“kill, kill, kill, kill”) a twelve-inch knife in his palm, (“kill, kill, kill, kill”) and the drip-drip-drip of four sinister voices goading him to fulfil his goal, (“kill, kill, kill, kill”), Derek unlatched the lock (“kill, kill, kill, kill”), as from behind the door, Daniel stood, he was silent and then he struck.
(Daniel) “I remember thinking ‘ready, steady, go’, then I just jumped up and stuck it all the way in. It was such a long knife. There was no chance for the poor guy. I stabbed him once and stabbed him again. I wanted to kill him quickly so I stabbed him in the throat”, as Derek slumped in a heap. So fast and savage was the attack that he didn’t even have time to defend his face, neck or chest.
Dashing to her husband’s aid – as hard as Jean fought – this unarmed woman was no match for a knife-wielding psychopath, who repeatedly stabbed her with every ounce of force. (Daniel) “The woman was really strong. I started feeling sorry for her. I went through her throat then I stabbed her loads of times in the heart because I wanted her to die quickly”. So frenzied were their deaths that the hall’s walls were splattered at head-height with blood, and even Daniel had sliced open his arm and leg.
Living as they would die - in their own home - Derek & Jean lay side-by-side.
Four people were now dead, only this time, Daniel didn’t flee.
(Daniel) “As soon as I got in there, I actually stood and had a breather and I thought okay”. Inside his victim’s home, safe behind their thick brick walls and locked door - “I felt clean, orgasmic. I had washed all the rubbish out of my life. I felt better. It is something I live for. It’s a really good buzz, killing”.
So sated was Daniel’s bloodlust, that he stripped naked in the kitchen - unperturbed by the two bodies near his feet and their still-warm blood oozing between his fingers - and he decided to take a shower.
Only it was not to be.
At 8:05am, using his key, the decorator let himself in. Inside, he saw the bodies, the blood and a half-naked man who shouted “sorry about this mate” as he fled out of the back door. The police were alerted and paramedics attended, but for these two pillars of their community, it was too late. (End)
At 8:10am, Daniel caught the 214 bus at the Oakeshott Avenue stop on Highgate West Hill. Heading south, as the bus weaved and shunted between the rush-hour traffic, for twenty minutes he sat quietly among the commuters, who were unaware of the atrocities this clean-cut young boy had committed.
As is the way - with eyes down - nobody noticed that his skin and clothes were soaked with blood.
At 8:30am, he returned to King’s Cross, but he didn’t go home and he didn’t collect his bag. Instead, he asked the station staff if they knew of a place to take a shower. As they didn’t, he headed towards Soho and - armed with two more knives and “ten people to kill” - for the next four hours he vanished.
Daniel was living his dream of being “Freddy Krueger for the day”. Just days earlier, he was a nothing, a nobody but a little lost boy with a few morbid dreams - "I will be a serial killer”. But now he was.
In his disturbed little brain, the name Daniel Gonzales would forever be hailed among the pantheon of British serial-killers; with as many confirmed kills as Robert Black and Robert Maudsley, and one more than Peter Tobin, Stephen Griffiths and Patrick MacKay. Technically, he was only a spree-killer (a fact the tabloids missed), but Daniel didn’t care about such pedantry, what he wanted was the infamy.
Across a two-day killing spree, two people were injured, four were murdered and many families (including his own) were destroyed. But had the authorities taken him seriously, had him sectioned and treated as a mentally unwell man who was a danger to himself, a tragedy could have been averted. But having been ignored, death had returned to London and one more life would be taken.
OUTRO: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much for listening to Murder Mile.
That was part three of four of Daniel Gonzales – The Lost Boy.
As always, if you enjoyed that, there’s some unscripted waffle and extra info about this case after the break. But before that, as all the big commercial podcasts love to do, here’s the credits to the show.
(clears throat) Murder Mile was researched, written and performed by myself, it was edited by myself, directed by myself, produced by myself, the artwork was by myself, with sounds created by myself, Michael was also the runner, the teaboy and the fluffer. He was also the PR team, the marketing team, and he does all the social media, the IT and handles the complaints. Yes, unlike on the big corporate podcasts, funded by broadcasters and networks, here you won’t hear a long list of people who collectively manage to churn out a whopping six episodes a year, and for that (having paid iTunes a small fortune) they make it to the top of the podcast charts having only released a promo. Hmm. Odd?
Murder Mile is a one-man operation, everything is created by himself, with a laptop and a microphone to keep you entertained across the year by churning out high quality episodes every week. I don’t compromise by hiring others, I will never let someone else to write or research it, and I will never outsource it to an external producer, as Murder Mile is my baby and I feel you deserve only my best.
So, to help support small this independent podcast, you can write a glowing five-star review (that’s nice), share an episode with your chums on social media (that’s nice too), or – if you can afford to - sign up to Patreon, as even a $3 donation goes a long way, and you get a lot of goodies in return.
A big thank you to my new Patreon supporters, who are; Garry Gromowski-Cook, Lynn Domsalla, Ragnhild Nyhlén (Rrrahgen-hald nylen), Noeleen Rankin and Elizabeth Fundell. I thank you, and I bless your little cotton socks, even if they’re not cotton, but a nasty polyester hybrid mix.
As mentioned, Murder Mile was researched, written and performed (and everything else) 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".
Subscribe to the Murder Mile true-crime podcast
Note: This blog contains only licence-free images or photos shot by myself in compliance with UK & EU copyright laws. If any image breaches these laws, blame Google Images.