Manchester Police deny ‘ill informed’ canals serial killer rumours

PinkNews logo on pink background with rainbow corners.

Greater Manchester Police have denied speculation that a serial killer has dumped dozens of bodies in a canal in the city’s gay village.

Various news outlets, including the Daily Star, Gay Star News and The Independent, reported that Dr Craig Jackson, a psychologist at Birminham City University, had suggested that 61 bodies found in the area’s canals and rivers in six years, pointed to the fact that a serial killer may be on the loose.

Professor Jackson told the Daily Star Sunday: “It is extremely unlikely that such an alarming number of bodies found in the canals is the result of accidents or suicides.

“Canals are not popular suicide spots, especially for men.

“They are, however, popular dumping sites. And water can be a sure way to erase DNA evidence.

“Suffolk strangler Steve Wright dumped some of his prostitute victims in water so any traces of him would be washed away.”

The Police and Crime Commissioner for the area Tony Lloyd has strongly refuted the claims, noting the nickname for the alleged serial killer ‘The Pusher’, and saying they do not exist.

He said: “The police have been quite clear – none of these tragic deaths are linked. ‘The Pusher’ does not exist.

“This unwarranted and ill-informed speculation serves no purpose except to cause more distress to people who have lost loved ones.

“Of course, people should always be careful around our canals and waterways, particularly in our entertainment districts where they are part of the unique attractiveness of the city of Manchester.”

Professor Jackson has responded to Lloyd’s assertion, to say the police should “better understand” why the deaths may be suspicious using new technology.