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Killer who tried to eat himself is found dead in his cell

PUBLISHED: 20:03 16 August 2007 | UPDATED: 14:36 07 September 2010

Daniel Gonzalez

Daniel Gonzalez

Ed Thomas A MENTAL health campaigner has described the suicide of a serial killer who murdered a Highgate couple as the result of a series of preventable tragedies . Daniel Gonzalez was found dead in a pool of blood at top security mental hospital Broadm

Ed Thomas

A MENTAL health campaigner has described the suicide of a serial killer who murdered a Highgate couple as the result of a "series of preventable tragedies".

Daniel Gonzalez was found dead in a pool of blood at top security mental hospital Broadmoor last week after slashing his wrists with a broken CD.

He was jailed last year for four murders including those of 75-year-old Derek Robinson and his 68-year-old wife Jean at their home on the Holly Lodge estate.

Highgate resident Marjorie Wallace, the chief executive of mental health charity Sane, said: "The death of Daniel Gonzalez in Broadmoor Hospital is a sad outcome in a series of preventable tragedies.

"Daniel Gonzalez and his family were let down by multiple failures in the mental health services and by those supervising his care in the community.

"Despite his mother's repeated warnings about his deteriorating mental state, he was not considered sufficiently ill to be taken to hospital only hours before he left home, bought a knife and within 48 hours killed four people at random including a grandmother in Sussex and a doctor and his wife in north London."

The killer was said to be caught in a "Bermuda Triangle" of psychiatric problems, drug and alcohol abuse, and police and probation services who failed to understand the risk he posed.

In September 2004 the 26-year-old went on a three-day killing spree knifing four people to death including the popular Highgate couple.

Gonzalez also killed 73-year-old Marie Harding in Worthing and 46-year-old Kevin Malloy on the Tottenham High Road.

A battling drug addict, Gonzalez admitted to fantasies about being horror film star Freddy Krueger from Nightmare On Elm Street with dreams of killing at least 10 people.

In March last year Gonzalez was given six life sentences after being convicted of the four murders and the attempted murders of 61-year-old Peter King, in Portsmouth and 59-year-old Koumis Constantino in Hornsey.

During the trial at the Old Bailey leading psychiatrist Dr Edward Petch said Gonzalez was the most disturbed patient he had ever seen.

He said: "At Broadmoor we are used to taking high-risk offenders but I have never seen anything like this. The degree of disturbance was without parallel in my experience.

"I interviewed him and felt as though he wasn't really with me, he wasn't really in the room."

But a jury decided he was a drug-crazed, cold-blooded murderer who did not suffer from the mental illnesses he claimed.

The gruesome trial prompted criticism from mental health charities, who slammed health and social services for failing to acknowledge Gonzalez's problems.

His mother, Lesley Savage, wrote to the Surrey mental health trust responsible for Gonzalez more than 100 times with concerns about her son's health.

ed.thomas@hamhigh.co.uk

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