Mark Dixie is currently serving a life sentence with a minimum term of 34 years for the brutal murder of teenage model Sally Anne Bowman in 2005 in South London. 18-year-old Sally Anne was an aspiring model and trainee hairdresser who was attacked by Dixie after being dropped off just yards from her home by her boyfriend in the early hours of the morning on 25 September 2005. She was stabbed repeatedly and raped as she lay dying before Dixie fled the scene. This week it has emerged that when he finally confessed to this murder in January 2015 after denying responsibility for seven years, he also admitted a further two serious attacks on young women he had carried out in the years before her murder.
Mark Dixie got away with the murder of Sally Anne Bowman for almost a year before he was arrested for assault in 2006 outside a pub, leading to a DNA swab being taken which matched the DNA on file from her murder. Dixie had a string of previous convictions for indecent exposure and sexual assault dating back to when he was 16-years-old.
When he went to trial in 2008 at the Old Bailey he entered a plea of not guilty forcing the prosecution to bring two of his previous victims to the stand to relive their ordeal in front of the man who had attacked them. Dixie testified in his own defence and told a stunned courtroom that he found Sally Anne Bowman lying on the pavement that night and thinking she was unconscious decided to rape her. It was only after he inflicted a deep bite wound to her cheek and she didn’t respond did he realise she was dead, he claimed. The evidence against Dixie was overwhelming and he was found guilty of first-degree murder after just three hours of jury deliberations.
In a lifetime of attacks on young women, the case of Mark Dixie bears a sickening resemblance to that of Levi Bellfield, another British killer who preyed on women over many years before he escalated to the murders which saw him imprisoned for life. Both men left a trail of devastation behind them in a series of unsolved vicious attacks on innocent and unsuspecting women who were unfortunate enough to cross their path. Unlike Levi Bellfield, however, who to this day continues to play games with both police and his victims’ families with confessions, retractions, and snippets of information released at his own choosing, Mark Dixie chose to confess to his crimes including a number of serious attacks he was not suspected of.
Police have now revealed that Dixie wrote to them two years ago telling them he wanted to confess to the killing of Sally Anne Bowman. Upon interview, after describing what he had done to Sally Anne, Mark Dixie detailed two further attacks he had carried out in Croydon, London, one in 1987 and one in 2002. In the 1987 attack, he raped his victim inside her car, tying her up before trying to set the vehicle on fire. She managed to escape and alert police but felt too traumatized after her ordeal to see through a prosecution.
In the 2002 attack, Dixie pounced on a young woman near Croydon Railway Bridge hitting her over the head multiple times with a small crowbar as she walked alone. Dixie indecently assaulted this young woman before he was interrupted by a resident living nearby who heard her screams. Mark Dixie is now 46-years-old and pleaded guilty to both attacks via video-link from HMP Frankland in County Durham. He is expected to be sentenced on 22 September 2017.
“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.”
The brutal crimes of Mark Dixie were not just limited to the UK. In the years prior to the murder of Sally Anne Bowman, he lived in both Australia and Spain. Spanish man Romano Van der Dussen spent a total of 15 years behind bars in Spain for three attacks on women in the resort of Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol in August 2003 which were in fact carried out by Mark Dixie. Van der Dussan, who looks remarkably similar to Dixie, was convicted after he was identified as the attacker from a photographic line up despite the DNA evidence taken from the victims not being a match.
Mark Dixie confessed to two of these attacks in June 2015 to Van der Dussan’s lawyer from HMP Frankland, saying he couldn’t remember if he had carried out the third due to substance misuse at the time. Dixie voluntarily gave a saliva sample for DNA comparison which confirmed he was responsible for the attacks carried out within hours of each other. Romano Van der Dussen was finally released an innocent man in 2016.
Between 1993 and 1999, Mark Dixie was living in Australia and it is believed he is responsible for a series of sex attacks carried out there during this period. He was deported from Australia following an attack on a woman in Bunbury, south of Perth on 1 January 1999 where he jumped out on her from a hiding place in bushes. He received a fine for the attack and was promptly deported, however, his convictions and the further attacks he was suspected of, including the stabbing and rape of another woman, were not reported to British authorities.
The case of Mark Dixie is another example of a sexual predator who graduated from indecent exposure, to sexual assault and on to murder and if he had been caught and imprisoned for his earlier attacks many more women would have been spared and Sally Anne Bowmen may still be alive. He has, to date, served nine years of his minimum 34-year sentence for her murder and with new charges now being added, he is a man unlikely to ever be released from prison.