Pinfold & MacKenney

Date of Alleged Crime:  November 1974

Terry Pinfold and Harry MacKenney were convicted of murder based on the testimony of a sole witness. This witness testified the pair murdered a man, but this man was later known to be alive three years after his alleged slaying.

Pinfold served a prior sentence for an unrelated armed robbery and was released from prison in 1970. After his release, he started a diving equipment company with MacKenney, whom he had met in prison. In prison, he had also met John “Bruce” Childs and gave him a job upon his release. In addition, he rented factory space to another ex-inmate, Terence Eve, who used it to manufacture teddy bears and life jackets.

In Nov. 1974, Eve vanished, apparently after finding out that a warrant had been issued for his arrest regarding the hijacking of £75,000 in stereo equipment. In Dec. 1979, Childs, who no longer worked for Pinfold and MacKenney, confessed to murdering Eve and implicated them as participants in the murder. Childs stated that the three of them murdered Eve in his factory on the Saturday morning of the weekend he went missing. However, Eve's wife, mother, and an employee worked that Saturday morning and reported that they did not see any of the three, nor did they notice anything out of the ordinary.

Besides confessing to the murder of Eve, Childs also confessed to the murders of five other people who vanished between Nov. 1974 and Oct. 1978. He implicated Pinfold and MacKenney in them, saying the partners ran a discount contract killing business in which Pinfold solicited the orders and MacKenney carried them out.

In 1980, Pinfold was tried for four murders and MacKenney for six. There was no evidence that the six alleged victims were even dead save for the testimony of Childs. Pinfold was only convicted of procuring Eve's murder. MacKenney was convicted of four murders, but was acquitted of murdering Eve.

In 1986, Childs recanted his trial testimony in an affidavit and said he testified falsely because prosecutors had offered him “the inducement that my ‘cooperation’ at the trial would ensure my early release from prison.” Pending an appeal, Pinfold was released on bail in 2001. In 2003, new evidence surfaced that was concealed by the prosecution. This evidence indicated that in 1977, three years after Eve's alleged murder, Scotland Yard knew that Eve was living in West London under an assumed name. In Dec. 2003, the convictions of both Pinfold and MacKenney were quashed.  [12/06]


References:  ForeJustice, BBC News, Justice: Denied

Posted in:  Victims of the State, United Kingdom Cases, Mass Murder Cases, Murder Cases Without a Body