Monday, 12 January 2015

Canal Street: Killer In The Village?

A sign on Manchester’s Canal Street, which runs along the Rochdale Canal, warns of the “significant risk” of falling into the water.

Glass and metal barriers sit on top of the low stone wall, preventing it from being used as a seat from where you could topple backwards.

The signs are there for a good reason; a total of 61 bodies have been pulled from Greater Manchester’s waterways in just six years.

But, according to an academic at Birmingham University, many of those may not have perished accidentally.

Professor Craig Jackson, head of psychology, claims the death toll is so great that a killer could be on the loose.

“It’s extremely unlikely that such an alarming number of bodies is the result of accidents and suicides,” he argues.

Greater Manchester Police is adamant the deaths are not suspicious, but speculation on Twitter questions if some were pushed, resulting in #ThePusher hashtag...


Helen Carter writing in The Independent.

The way this story is framed - note the photo of Canal Street, the intro, quotes from concerned regulars in the gay village - suggests there may be a serial killer in Manchester targeting gay men.

Most of the bodies were found miles from the Village.

This is just the worst kind of irresponsible sensationalist scare-mongering hack journalism.

The story has been shamelessly lifted from yesterday's Star On Sunday - hardly the most reliable of sources

But this was not Professor Jackson's theory, he was just responding to questions posed by the Star...

Last night, Professor Craig Jackson, head of psychology at Birmingham City University, called the body count “alarming”. He said it was entirely possible a canal killer or “gay slayer” was behind some of the deaths.

The professor told our investigator: “The Daily Star Sunday has uncovered a mystery here...

“Do we have another ‘gay slayer’ like Colin Ireland on the loose? You couldn’t rule it out.” ...

ie It is a vague possibility, yes.

Excepting alien abductions, maybe, almost anything is. 

But he says it's most likely the high bodycount is because a canal is a very good place to dispose of bodies killed.

Sad though, that the Star here shows higher editorial standards than the Independent.

Update: Professor Craig Jackson. Nutty or what? He does seem fun, though. Have asked if I can ask him about all this...

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