61 bodies dumped in Manchester canal are the work of a serial killer, says professor
Watch out, The Pusher is about
A nutty prof has suggested that the 61 bodies fished from the Manchester canal over the last six years are actually the work of a serial killer.
Psychology specialist Professor Craig Jackson thinks the victims were pushed into the canal as the number of bodies is frighteningly high for one waterway.
The shadowy killer has been nicknamed The Pusher, and even has his own deadly hashtag “#thepusher”.
The brain behind Manchester’s deadly menace is Prof. Craig Jackson from the University of Birmingham.
He said: “Having looked at the data, I simply can’t discount the possibility of foul play. I certainly don’t believe these were suicides, because canals are not popular suicide spots. Statistically speaking, the number of bodies is much, much higher than you would expect of one waterway.
“And a lot of the forensic investigations and coroners’ reports on these deaths were inconclusive.”
And even more grimly: “Serial killers tend to pick on five main groups: gay men, prostitutes, older people, migrants and the homeless. Essentially, they target those who inhabit secluded areas and who might be drunk or high – so Canal Street and its surrounding towpaths make ideal working grounds for predators. There are lots of places where you could have a strategic advantage if you were to surprise or suddenly attack someone you’d befriended.”
The professor explained that 48 of the bodies were decomposed so badly they were unidentifiable, suggesting there could have been a connection between them. Furthermore, they were all male.
The Greater Manchester Police have been quick to dismiss his claim. Detective Chief Superintendent Russ Jackson said: “There is no evidence at all to suggest these deaths are linked or were suspicious.
“We have worked with Manchester City Council to understand factors which might contribute to people losing their lives in the water… lighting, safety barriers, as well as, in some cases, alcohol consumption. The last thing we want is to cause further suffering and upset to grieving families who may be falsely led to believe there is a linked series of attacks.”
Some fellow academics agree with Prof. Jackson. Birmingham colleague Prof. David Wilson, a criminologist, said: “Sixty-one deaths is a staggeringly high number to simply put down to chance. The police hate the suggestion that there may be a serial killer – they look wrong-footed, or slow to act.”
Prof. David Canter, however, disagrees. He called the suggestion of a serial killer “highly irresponsible” and said: “This is a very large area near places where lots of people get drunk. A more helpful comment would be to question the safety of canals at night.”
Either way, The Pusher has successfully taken at least the internet by storm. Mike Hilton tweeted: “As you’re walking down Canal Street. Seeing gay men kiss. #ThePusher is behind you. And now you’re sleeping with the fish.”
Meanwhile Paul said: “I think #JackTheTripper is a much better name for #ThePusher.”
The theory has even generated discussion on the Unsolved Mysteries subreddit, with some suggesting that the killer was using the genuine accidental deaths to mask their murders. Others pointed out that similar canals in other areas don’t have the same high death toll.