by Peter Stubley

Mark Dixie hid his depraved lust for necrophilia and violent sex behind the image of a hard-working, fun-loving party animal.

He boasted of being the ‘life and soul of the party’ who could drink massive amounts of lager and snort cocaine ‘like a vacuum cleaner.’

But unknown to his trusting friends and relatives he had also been committing opportunistic sex attacks from at least the age of 16.

The six-foot-three sexual predator, who had a tattoo of a panther on his arm, travelled the world using a series of aliases, looking for victims to satisfy his needs.

Detectives believe he was responsible for a string of unsolved crimes as well as his five convictions for sex attacks in south London between 1986 and 1990.

They also believe that Sally Anne Bowman was not his first murder and reviewed every unsolved killing of lone women in Britain to see if there was a match with his profile.


Sally-Anne Bowman

Det Supt Stuart Cundy said: ‘We cannot believe this is the first murder he has done.

‘He has got away with stuff around the world and has thought he was invincible. In life he is a freeloader. He will just use people and move on. He showed no shame or humility at all.’


Although Dixie has been ruled out of any murder in the UK, it is thought he may have got away with a series of sex attacks while living in Australia between 1993 and 1999.

Over time his method changed from exposing himself to women in the street to threatening them with a knife and robbing them of their mobile phone and handbag to keep as a trophy.

The stabbing of a Thai student in Australia in 1998 and the Sally Anne murder suggests he developed a horrific taste for necrophilia.

In both cases he stabbed the victim repeatedly before raping them as they lay seriously injured, dying or dead.

Psychologists believe necrophilia stems from lack of self-esteem and a fear of rejection from women.

Dixie was born on September 24, 1970, in Streatham, southwest London, but his parents separated when he was just 18 months old.

His mother remarried when he was eight and had two sons with her new husband.

Dixie then took the name Mark James McDonald, using his stepfather’s surname, but throughout his life has used five known aliases including Mark Phillip Dixie, Mark James Down, Steven McDonald and Shane Turner.


He began four years’ training as a chef after leaving school but was already regularly using cannabis from the age of 14.

Dixie earned his first conviction aged 16 for a robbery of a woman in Stockwell, south London on May 6, 1986.

He put a knife to a woman’s throat, fondled her breasts and demanded cash before running off. Dixie was sentenced to six weeks detention after the indecent assault charge was left on file.

He then moved to the Sidcup area and was convicted of a burglary in 1987 and then robbery in September 1987 relating to an attack on a doctor outside a hospital.

It was in January 1988 that he was first caught exposing himself to women and masturbating in front of them, behaviour he repeated throughout his life.

He first approached a woman and told her to kiss his penis but pushed her to the ground when she walked away.

Dixie also exposed himself to two other women and was given a two year probation order for indecent assault and two charges of indecent exposure at Bexley Magistrates Court on April 28, 1988.


Last picture…Sally Anne a few hours before she died

He also asked for five similar offences to be taken into consideration.

On May 26 1988, when Dixie was 17 and living in Plumstead, south London, his girlfriend Sandra Beckhouse had a still-born baby.


He was prescribed the anti-depressant Seroxat after the tragedy but continued to have angry mood swings throughout his life.

Less than a month later Dixie attacked a Jehovah’s Witness in her 40s while his partner was out of the house on June 21, 1988.

She told how he cornered her in a lift after she knocked at his door and told her: ‘You have got to help me. I need it, I need it.’

The witness added: ‘I definitely thought he was going to rape me. I fought a lot and tried to make it to the door. It was then he hit me in the face.’

The woman only escaped by promising she would take him to her home for sex but instead drove to her parent’s home, forcing him to run off.

Dixie was jailed for six months for indecent assault and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

It was not long before he was convicted of exposing himself to two women in a car in June 1989.

He was given an 80 hour community service order at Woolwich Crown Court on September 1, 1989.

His last UK conviction dates was in 1990 for assaulting a police officer when he tried to avoid arrest.

Dixie is thought to have lived in the Croydon area from 1990 but police know little of his movements before he followed partner Sandra Beckhouse to Australia on January 18, 1993.


Detectives suspect Dixie may have got away with dozens of crimes in Australia after overstaying his visa to travel around the continent.

He was even suspected of being the notorious Claremont serial killer behind the disappearance of three women aged between 18 and 27 in 1996 and 1997.

Little detail of the murders have been released and only two of the victims were found, dumped in the outlying suburbs of Perth.

But detectives in Western Australia and in Britain do not believe Dixie is responsible, largely because his method was always to attack victims close to his home.

Although he was unqualified to drive, the drug-taking drifter began travelling around Australia using the alias Shane Turner.

Beginning in Sydney and Manly, he moved to Queensland in 1995 before travelling through Melbourne and Adelaide in 1996 and on to Perth in around March 1996.

Friends who knew him in the Perth now remember how Dixie often made sick comments about his lust for women.

He attacked the 19 year-old Thai student at her home on June 21, 1998, when he was staying just 200 yards away in the suburb of Subiaco.


She told how he clambered through her window as she got ready for bed and said: ”Do you have any money?”

The witness told police: ‘He told me to take off my top.

‘I started to scream and I kicked him. I think he tried to turn me around and then started stabbing me. I had my back to him.’

She was stabbed eight times and blacked out as Dixie pulled down her pyjamas and raped her before running off.

Although he left his DNA behind he was never suspected of the attack, although just ten months later he was deported following another sex crime.

On New Years Day, 1999, Dixie had spotted a young woman running along the road near Bunbury, a few hours south of Perth.

He stopped his car ahead in the road, took all his clothes off and hid in a bush.

Dixie then leapt out as the woman walked past and asked her to perform a sexual act.


He was fined a total of 750 Australian dollars at the Busselton Court of Petty Sessions three days later and was sent back to the UK on April 1999.

Dixie spent the six years before the murder of Sally Anne Bowman moving from job to job as a chef and pub licencee.

He also developed the habit of smoking an ounce of cannabis and snorting £150 worth of cocaine a week to cope with the heavy partying and long work hours.

Dixie was known as ‘Aussie’ while he worked at the Ramblers Rest pub in Chipstead, Surrey, because of his accent and curly blond surfer hair.

He then moved to the Old Orleans in Purley Way, Croydon, where he started a relationship with restaurant manager Laura Johnson from Spring until August 2000.

She told the court: ‘He could certainly drink a lot in an evening, ten pints plus. He did smoke drugs. I saw him take an E on one occasion and discussed cocaine with him.’

Dixie next worked at the Earl of Eldon in South Croydon in late 2000 for 18 months and was even interviewed by the local paper about his ‘real food.’

His friend Roger Daunt told court that Dixie became very moody because of his use of cocaine, cannabis and ecstasy.


Mr Daunt added: ‘He did have a bit of a temper and he would snap at a moment’s notice.’

Dixie is thought to have returned to his habit of exposing himself to women on July 15, 2001, although the attack only came to light after the murder of Sally Anne.

He masturbated in front of the victim as she stood in a phone box in Purley but it was decided not to go ahead with the charge at the murder trial.

A year later Dixie met his second partner, Manchester born Stacey Nivet, when she got a job at the Earl of Eldon pub.

They moved into his home at [45] Addington Road, Croydon, but he convinced her to move to Fuengirola in Spain shortly after she became pregnant.

The couple returned to Britain in October 2003 before the birth of Dixie’s third son on November 27, 2003.

They managed to find a ground floor flat at 36 Blenheim Crescent on October 22 and remained there until August 21, 2004.

Dixie then moved between the Compton Arms in Islington, and the Jolly Farmers in Purley before settling at the Rose and Crown pub in Streatham, southwest London in November that year.


Stacey Nivet said: ‘Immediately after taking drugs Mark was the life and soul of any party. However the following morning he would wake up very angry and moody.

He would turn any situation around as if to blame me.’

Miss Nivet also told how Dixie loved rough sex and bit her during on the neck.

She left him on September 1, 2005, to move in with her mum in East Grinstead, Sussex.

Dixie may have set out to kill on the night of Sally Anne’s murder because he was depressed after Miss Nivet did not wish him a happy 35th birthday.

Friends noticed how he had taken refuge in large amounts of drink and drugs during a camping trip to Dimchurch, Kent, and Hastings, East Sussex.

On September 24, 2005, they went to the Windsor Castle pub in Carshalton, Surrey, to continue the celebrations.

Dixie snorted at least two lines of cocaine but appeared upset after phoning his partner to ask her to come and join the party.

She offered to ‘make it up to him’ but he refused, returning to the home of Victoria Chandler for more drink and drugs.

Dixie later claimed that he had left the flat at 3am to find more cocaine, and said: ‘I just needed it, I was clucking for cocaine.’

In reality he was talking about his need for sex.


Sally Anne’s victim was on the verge of a glittering modelling career when she was brutally murdered hour later just a few days after her 18th birthday.

The teenager had a highly rated portfolio and won a scholarship to the prestigious BRIT School whose former students include Amy Winehouse, Katie Melua, Leona Lewis and 2008 Brit Award winner Kate Nash.

She took a job as a trainee hairdresser and started a relationship with boyfriend Lewis Sproston

On the night of her death, Sally Anne had arranged to go out for a drink with her older sister Nicole at Lloyd’s Bar in central Croydon.


Interviewed…Dixie’s defence was utterly incredible

Her boyfriend drover her home to Blenheim Crescent, Croydon, but the pair rowed in the car.

Dixie had spotted them and waited nearby until tearful Sally Anne got out of the car and her boyfriend drove away.

Sally Anne was stabbed three times through the neck severing her voice box and carotid artery causing massive blood loss.

He then stabbed her twice in the stomach as she lay on the ground in her driveway

As she lay dead or dying Dixie had sex with her biting her four times until his teeth marks were left on her neck and breast.


Dixie also inserted lumps of concrete into her mouth and genitalia and left other pieces in a line along her thigh.

He took her Prada handbag, white cardigan, bra and thong and mobile phone as trophies of the murder.

He escaped justice for nine months because his DNA sample was not on the police computer, despite his convictions for serious offences dating back to 1986.

Dixie was only caught after a routine mouth swab was taken when he was arrested over a minor pub brawl in June 2006.

Six months after her death Dixie filmed himself masturbating over a picture of Sally Anne in the Daily Mail

The father of three, who was living at  [50] Woodplace Road, Coulsdon, was arrested while working at the Ye Olde Six Bells pub in Horley, Surrey.

He told police: ‘I must be mental to do something like that, eh?’

Dixie was jailed for life and ordered to serve a minimum of 34 years and told by Judge Gerald Gordon:’What you did that night is so awful and so repulsive that I don’t propose to repeat it.