Victims: 15, after 11 were overturned on appeal from a total of 26.
Bruce George Peter Lee was one of Britain’s most prolific serial killers during the 70’s, though his crimes at the time were vastly overshadowed by those of Peter Sutcliffe, who fully captured the publics imagination at the time. Also, Lee was motivated by a fascination with fire rather than an evil urge to kill so was not put in the same bracket as some of the other serial killers of Britain.
Lee (who’s birthname was Peter Dinsdale) was born with a deformed arm and leg, and was known as “Daft Peter”, having a below-average IQ. His mother was a prositute and Peter worked as a labourer on various building sites around Hull.
It was in 1979, that Lee, at the age of 19, was caught after a fire broke out at a family home in Selby Street, killing 3 boys, the youngest only 8-years-old. The police had interviewed a lot of young people from the area after the fire, one of which was Lee, who confessed not only to the Selby Street fire, but to the shock and horror of the police, he also confessed to nine more fatal fires over the previous 7 years, the first of which he started when he was just 12-years-old.
In total, 26 people had died in the fires started by Lee, with victims ranging from a 6-month-old baby and its young mother, to 11 elderly men in a retirement home. Lee was the most prolific killer in the UK at the time.
Lee initially said he was not sorry for the deaths he caused as he had not meant to kill anyone when starting the majority of fires, however he did later change his mind and apologise whilst awaiting trial.