Peter Thomas Anthony Manuel was born in 1927 in New York. At age five, he moved to Scotland. By the age of twelve, Manuel was noted by the police for being a loner and a petty thief. He served nine years in prison for sexual offences, unlawful wounding, robbery with violence, and others before going on a killing spree in 1956 which held the city of Glasgow in fear. Manuel bludgeoned, shot, and strangled his eight victims and despite not being tried for them, confessed to the murders of eighteen victims. For these crimes, he was hanged at Glasgow’s Barlinnie Prison on July 11, 1958.
Peter Manuel was only tried for the murders of the following: Marion and Vivienne Watt; Maraget Brown; Isabella Cooke; Peter, Doris, and Michael Smart; and Anne Kneilands. There was no doubt that Manuel also killed taxi man, Sydney Dunn, but the case was thrown out because it was committed outside the jurisdiction of Scotland. William Watt, Marion’s husband, was held in prison for sixty-seven days for the murder of Marion, Vivienne, and Maraget due to a shred of evidence. He served his time at Glasgow’s Barlinnie Prison, where a fellow inmate was Peter Manuel. Manuel then wrote a letter to Watt’s lawyer, Lawrence Dowdell, asking to be represented. This letter also stated that Manuel knew some information about concerning an acquired client.
Like other serial killers, Manuel had his own ‘style’ of killing. For the victims who it was available, he would simply shoot them in the head with a .38 bullet while they were sleeping. For others, Manuel raped and strangled them. After murdering the Smart family, Manuel stayed in their home, eating leftovers, gloating about the glorifying sight of the slaughtered family, and even feeding the family cat. Manuel also stole some brand new banknotes that Peter Smart had been keeping for holiday. These new banknotes were the main evidence to prove Manuel was behind the recent murders.
Forensic Evidence... [continues]
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