Peter Dinsdale

Serial Killer Peter Dinsdale
AKABruce Lee
DOB31 Jul 1960
Kill Total11 - 26 ?
Kill PlaceHull
Kill Date1978
VictimSee Here >>
Maybe or maybe not a serial killer, depending on interpretation, he killed, by setting fire to houses where he killed 26 people.
The son of a prostitute, he never knew his father. And because his mother could not cope with his epilepsy, he was looked after by his grandparents.
He changed his name by deed-poll to Bruce Lee.
At age 9 he burnt down a shopping centre, and said he liked fire.

4th December 1979, A fire broke out in Selby street, Hull, 
Edith Hastie was in the house with four of her children, one son, Charles managed to help his mother out of a back bedroom window, but thee other boys were trapped. Fire service got them out, but all 3 later died in hospital.
The Hastie family were known as a 'Problem Family', so police started looking for someone who might be out for revenge.
Peter Dinsdale was one of the youngsters questioned, and three months after the fire he confessed.

Dinsdale 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.

To the amazement of the police Lee went on to confess to more fires in Hull over the previous 7 years. At first police thought he was a fantasist, willing to confess to anything, but after Lee gave them detailed descriptions, they realised they had a serial arsonist on their hands, and as a consequence a murderer.

Dinsdale claimed that most of the fires were started at random simply because he loved fire, and that he did not consider whether he was endangering life when he started them. Only the Hastie fire was a 'known' house, as he bore a grudge against Charles.

Police drove Peter Dinsdale around Hull to get him to show them the fires he had started, they tried to trap him, taking him to a house fire where another suspect had been caught, but he denied all knowledge, but confessed to many others. In all instance the fires were thought to have been accidents and at no time was arson suspected.

20th January 1981, at Leeds crown court, Dinsdale pleaded not guilty  to 26 counts of murder, but guilty to 26 counts of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, and to 11-counts of arson.
He was taken to Rampton secure unit, where he remains.

1983, a public inquiry concluded that the fire at one of the locations, Wensley Lodge, was accidental and that Dinsdale was not responsible for it or for the deaths of the eleven residents. 
Lee's eleven relevant manslaughter convictions were later duly quashed on appeal

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Dinsdale Victims

24th June 1973                 Richard Ellerington 6  
12th October 1973           Arthur Smythe 72  
27th October 1973           David Brewer 34  
November 1974               Elizabeth Rokahu 72  
3rd June 1976                 Andrew Edwards, 1  
2nd January 1977           Katrina Thacker, 6 mo  
5th January 1977,           11 unnamed people - Conviction quashed   
27th April 1977              Deborah Jordan 13  
                                       Mark Gold 7  
6th January 1978            Christine Dickson    
                                       Mark Dickson 4  
                                       Steven Dickson 3  
                                       Michael Dickson 1  
4th December 1979        Charles Hastie 15  
                                       Paul Hastie 12  
                                       Peter Hastie 8