Hello again. Allegedly, we have a serial killer:
Claims that a serial killer could be stalking Greater Manchester’s canals and rivers have been dismissed by police.
Professor Craig Jackson, head of psychology at Birmingham City University, said 61 bodies have been pulled from the region’s rivers and canals in six years.
He said the death toll was ‘alarming’ and claimed it was possible a canal killer was at large.
I must say, pushing people into canals is a very northern serial killer MO: like beating someone to death with a frozen pie or ravaging victims with a pack of rabid whippets.
And its just about as likely. For one thing, 61 people dying over six years is quite a rapid clip. Tameside's notorious Dr Shipman killed many more than that; but he took a lot more years, and besides he made home visits. Also, it's a very peculiar MO. Serial killers are drawn towards particular means of dispatch but dumping people into inland waterways somehow doesn't fit the usual strangling/mangling paradigm.
Dr Jackson points out thsat canals are good places to wash away forensic evidence. Up to a point. They don't wash away broken bones or knife entry wounds or bruises.
What would make Manchester's canals a lethal murder weapon is the fact that they are deep, and have high narrow walls. Once in the water, it would be difficult to get out unaided, especially if you fall into one while drunk. And that is really where the likely culprit lies. Manchester has made a hug efort to develop its nightlife in recent years. The canals used to be more or less derelict; now they are lined with bars and discos, not only in the Gay village but further west towards Deansgate. Most likely, it's the new, shiny, world class 24 hour city that's the killer here.
And yet, the numbers who died are such as to increase the possibility of the Gidean gratuitous act, something also more likely to happen after a few drinks. It's quite possible that there are perfectly respectable individuals round here thinking sometimes about that time that drunk guy stumbled past and how they shoved him to the canal on impulse, and how his picture was in the paper; and how they got away with it. Then they go shopping or to work or to pick the missus up from the bingo. And when it's time to plan a night out with the missus they say, no let's not go to the city centre. let's go somewhere else. If anything, that's even more disturbing than the serial killer scenario.