Jamaica’s First Serial Killer
Born in Scotland in 1733 the Mad Doctor is thought to have studied medicine -probably how he got his name. And in the 1760’s came to Jamaica ( a British Colony at the time) and legally obtained a house, built in the 1700’s, named Edinburgh Castle. The house had two loophole towers at diagonal corners, two floors, and was in the Parish of St Ann. (Fun Fact: the house ruins make an appearance in Assassin’s Creed III.) Not long after Hutchinson’s arrival travellers began to go missing.
Murder for Sport
The Mad Doctor liked to shoot travellers for fun. There was no pattern to his targets, anyone who passed by had the potential to be a victim. And to this day no one knows how many failed to make it to their intended destination.
Some say he fed on the blood of his victims and dismembered them. And that when he was done his slaves would chuck the remains into a sinkhole, which became known as Hutchinson’s Hole. Leaving the remains of his victims for the vultures.
Legendary to Locals
The tales of mistreatment from his slaves, coupled with stories of the disappearances, made sure that locals kept away from him. Not even his neighbours were safe. His neighbour, Dr Hutton, was brutally attacked by Hutchinson and spent the rest of his life with a metal plate in his head. Even this incident didn’t have the ability to convince those who had the power to serve warrants on the Mad Doctor. They were too afraid to attempt it.
That is until a young soldier went to apprehend him. Hutchinson made the mistake of shooting him too. And in an attempt to escape he fled to Old Harbour where he boarded a ship and set out to sea, and when the Royal Navy caught up with his ship he tried yet another attempt to flea and leapt overboard. It’s said his red hair made him impossible to miss and the Royal Navy ship’s crew pulled him from the sea and took him into custody.
43 Watches in the Mad Doctor’s Castle
In 1773, he was caught and tried. He pled not guilty and was represented by one of the islands best lawyers, but in the end, was found guilty and sentenced to death. During the trial, as the stories from witnesses flowed, it was found he was not alone in his murderous lifestyle. Each of those individuals was also tried for the murder of a farmer and a school teacher. Only one was found not guilty.
Jamaica’s first Serial Killer‘s murderous sport was at an end. Those who entered the Castle after his death found 43 watches and many items of clothing and possessions. The total number of murders committed by Hutchinson is unknown. He was only tried for one murder – that of the soldier who had attempted to apprehend him, John Callender.
Hutchinson was hung on March 16th, 1773.