Anthony Arkwright | Too Dangerous For Release

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July 13, 2019

This case is a bit close to home for me. Literally. So, in today's post, I will be talking about the ruthless spree killer Anthony Arkwright.

The murders took place in South Yorkshire in Wath upon Dearne and Mexborough in August 1988. I live and work very close to these places, and it's strange to think that they happened so close to my home. 

Attention! The content of this article or section may seem obscene or offensive to some readers.


From a young age, Arkwright didn't have what you would call a normal upbringing. As a child, he was abandoned with his 5 siblings by his mother and lived in care and children's home. His father was a miner, but there were rumours that he was the product of incest between his mother and grandfather. 

He would eventually turn to a life of crime and was given a 30-month youth custody sentence for burglary and disorder. He also started to boast that he would become famous like Jack the Ripper and Peter Sutcliffe.

The Crimes

Wath upon Dearne Town Centre. Image credit: SE4300 @ Geograph

Friday, August 26th 1988

At 21 years old he was working at a scrapyard in Mexborough, but due to problems with his attendance, he was fired. When he was fired it triggered the beginning of his 56-hour killing spree.

The spree began on August 26th at 16:30 and he started by visiting his grandfathers' allotment. He attacked him with a knife and stabbed him in the neck. In the attack, he severed an artery which knocked him unconscious almost instantly. 

While he was out cold Arkwright grabbed an axe and a lump hammer and hit him over the head and shattered his skull. He hid the body in a shed.

Afterwards, he went to local pubs in the area, drank and started to hint about his crime, such as "it's been murder on the allotment."

Saturday, August 27th 1988

The second murder took place at 3am on the 27th of August. He entered the home of his neighbour, Raymond Ford. Ford was an unemployed teacher that was bullied by Arkwright, and when he burgled items from his flat he reported him to the police.

Arkwright wanted revenge.

He entered Ford's flat completely naked at 3am wearing only a devil mask, stabbed Ford 250 times all over his body breaking several ribs. He also appeared to be gutted and dismembered in a way that resembled Jack the Ripper.

The police arrested Arkwright for burgling Ford's flat, but his body would not be found for another 3 days.

Sunday, August 28th 1988

A similar scene was found at Denman Road in Wath on the 28th of August. Marcus Law lived on Denman Road in a bungalow and was in a wheelchair after a motorcycle accident. After the police released him Arkwright went out drinking again.

In the early hours, Arkwright entered the bungalow and stabbed Marcus 70 times. What he did after this was absolutely despicable, and I have not provided the full description of the injuries because of that. 

He stuffed cigarettes in his mouth, ears and eye sockets after trying to gut him. He said he did this because Marcus always 'scrounged' cigarettes off others. When he left the bungalow he bumped into Marcus' mother and commented on her son's suicide while smirking.

When she visited her son's bungalow she found him dead.

The Arrest and Trial

The police started talking to neighbours and went to speak to Ford, as he had reported Arkwright for burglary prior to the murder. However, when they got there they discovered his dead body and realised they were dealing with a double murder.

Arkwright was arrested and admitted to killing 4 people. He was suspected of murdering his grandfather's housekeeper, Elsa Konradaite. However, this was not proven and was never taken to court.

The police found all of the remaining bodies and he made up another to gain control of the situation. This resulted in more searches being done in lakes and drainage ditches. 

While awaiting trial Arkwright smeared human excrement on the walls in an attempt to prove he was insane and was angry that he was not getting the attention he expected. He was transferred to a Rampton Secure Hospital for further observation but was deemed fit to stand trial.

Sheffield Crown Court. Image credit: Bencherlite

He stood trial at Sheffield Crown Court in 1988 and was found guilty and given life with a recommendation to serve 25 years.

His case was reviewed in 1998 and he was given a full life sentence and is one of the few prisoners that are deemed too dangerous to be released, which includes the likes of Ian Brady and Rose West.

He decided to appeal the decision but it was rejected as the whole life tariff was deemed lawful. 

Final Thoughts

This case was a strange one for me to research, as I live very close to where it all happened. It seems so surreal to think these murders happened here. 

It is clear that Arkwright was sane and knew exactly what he was doing. A psychiatrist even said he was the sanest person in the building when he was at Rampton!

It was all about revenge for him, and what he did to those people was disgusting. I'm sorry I left a lot of it out, but it did not feel right to share the specifics of what he did. I hope you understand! He really does not deserve to be released, and I am glad he never will. 

What are your thoughts on Anthony Arkwright and the crimes he committed? Let me know in the comments.
17 comments on "Anthony Arkwright | Too Dangerous For Release"
  1. What an awful man! And this is so scary that it happened so close to you! (Albeit years ago- but not long ago, really) He may be "sane," but this guy was obviously disturbed and what he did was horrific. It really did send chills down my spine reading about the murders. Brrr.

    Another great creepy post! Keep up the great work!!

  2. He maybe sane but he is also disgusting. The idea of smearing your own faecal matter on the walls is horrific. What he did to those people was just awful, it is scary to think that there are people like that just roaming the streets waiting to snap.

  3. This is crazy! It’s so interesting to try to figure out why people snap and do these things but I dont think we’ll ever grasp it. Glad he’s never getting out.

  4. I've never heard of this guy, will go and look him up. I usually read/watch more about US serial killers. I find it really fascinating to try and figure out in each case which part of the madness was genetic and which was environmental.

  5. It's crazy how simple events such as redundancy or being fired can flip a switch inside someone's head like that. Granted he obviously wasnt a stand up character before hand, but that really tipped him over. I'd be interested to know the full details of what he did to Marcus (call it morbid curiosity)

  6. It's crazy to think where someone's head had to be at for such overkill... Stabbing someone 250 times - that's seriously twisted.

  7. Oh my gosh this is so scary, and when it is so close to you it always scares you a little more than normal!

    Love, Amie ❤

    The Curvaceous Vegan

  8. I had a close encounter with Derek Bird, killing spree in Cumbria, was driving back from seascale, car drive past with no windscreen, further on saw man lying next to gate dead, further on man covered in blood shot in the head, he survived, 200 yards on man dead on the bridge, top of my road woman dead on pavement, I went into my house and locked the doors, murderer killed hiself

  9. He was the definition of "pure evil." You have a great writing style.

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  11. Oh... my... god. I can't believe I've never heard of him given how absolutely heinous these crimes were. There's killing sprees, and then there's just sheer carnage.

  12. Wow, it's crazy that someone "sane" would do such "insane" things. Like you say, he wasn't psychotic or insane though. And I just think that makes his crimes even more atrocious, and he should be left in prison.

  13. Well he certainly didn't get his wish for notoriety like Jack the Ripper because I'd never heard of him before now! It always creeps me out the more modern ones, like I'm more comfortable with the historical ones because they are dead now and can't escape from prison or hurt any more people.

  14. Are you old enough to remember this case? Maybe if you are that interested in it you should delve deeper than the fire walled block the internet has on this subject. Do some real leg work rather than just copy what's already been written.

  15. I am Anthony’s sister Lynda. I visited Anthony last week. I am currently working on telling the untold story of my brother. I am the only person Anthony has ever told why he did what he did back in August 1988. He explained to me why he did this, what he did and how he felt. I have been visiting my brother for over 30 years. There is a lot more to this story than meets the eye even though it's sickening what my brother Anthony did. When the untold story is told people may or may never understand what brings people to do these things.


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