Manchester serial killer: how I found out

For years there’s been talk about a Manchester serial killer, known as the canal pusher. To this day the police deny that this is true, but with 80 or more body’s being found in manchester’s canals. it’s certainly raised the eyebrows of the locals. Myself, being one of them.

Daily star newspaper from 2016 about the possibility that there is a serial killer in manchester called the canal pusher. With 61 deaths totaled
2016 daily star newspaper when the unusual death toll was at 61.

The reality, that there may be a Manchester serial killer, first dawned on me around 9 years ago. This is what I know.

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A few deaths no big deal.

I’m from Manchester, born and raised. There’s some rough areas, some nice areas. There’s crime, just like anywhere else. So when you hear about a body being found in the canal, you don’t really think too much about it. I mean, alot of manchester’s bars are located along the canal. it’s easy to assume the deceased was intoxicated and had a stumble into the merky water, unable to get back out and drowned. Especially with the Manchester canals not having much to keep people out.

Manchester canal side bars with people sitting out on the grass enjoying a beer
One of manchester’s waterside bars


A body found in the Manchester canals.

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When I heard about a body being found in the canal, I was in the car with my dad heading to work. It was the first day back after the christmas break, and the news came over on the car radio. As tragic, as the news was. With it being so close to the festive period, we both, as I imagine many would, assumed it was someone having a deadly drunken fall into the waters that run through the city.


Another body found in the Manchester canals.

Manchester police searching through the Manchester canals after another body was found dead in the water
Manchester police, searching the Manchester canals after a body was found.

Skip forward exactly 12 months, another first day back to work after Christmas. The same news again, a body had been found in the Manchester canals. “didn’t that last year? ” I asked my dad. “yeah I think so” he replied. Still, no suspicions, it was just another drunken accident.


And again…

Flowers left by the canal where a body had been found.

Another year passes, another first day back at work comes. The exact same story on the radio. Now it’s starting to grab our attention. From this point on, to me, they weren’t just accidents. Three bodies being found in the Manchester canals might not be strange. But a body being found, around the same time every year, is abit weird.


Maybe Manchester has a serial killer

The next year, going back to work after the christmas holidays I was waiting for the news. It was the same story again, a body had been found in the Manchester canals.

A Heat map of the bodies being found in the Manchester canals

For whatever reason, I never looked into there being a Manchester serial killer. Maybe it didn’t really raise too many alarms, Maybe because I worked too much and forgot. I’m not sure, but anyway around 3 years ago, after I moved to Newcastle. I was telling my fiance (who is from Newcastle) about the weird murders happening every year around Christmas in Manchester.

To help explain more about what was going on. I decided to get on the old Google, and started to search about the body’s being found in the Manchester canals. I wasn’t expecting much, if anything really. But i was wrong, and it wasn’t just happening during december/January. I also wasn’t the only person suspicious that there may be a Manchester serial killer. Turned out, he or she is known as the canal pusher. I even found a great youtube video from curiosity, investigating the unusual amount of deaths. I’ll link the video below.


Maybe…

If the Manchester Canal Pusher is a real person. Operating within the city for the past 11 years, and potentially killing nearly 80 people. It would be safe to assume that there have been many or atleast a few. Potential victims who managed to escape the pusher’s pushing.

Even a seasoned pro like Ted Bundy fucked up and allowed some girls to escape. Later being able to identify him and ensure he was convicted. Are there any such incidents of this happening with the pusher?


Surviving the canal pusher

Newspaper article from 2018 about a man that encountered the Manchester serial killer known as the pusher and how he survived
2018 daily star newspaper article about a man surviving the pusher.

Well, yes there is. In April 2018, a cyclist was violently thrown into the canal at night. By what he deemed to be a “psychopath who… even tried to stop me getting back out. ” After almost drowning as his legs became tangled up in his bike underwater. The ‘pusher’ ran off and the cyclist managed to get to the bank and pulled himself to safety.

The Pusher was described as a white male, aged between 20-40. average height and wearing a black jacket. That pretty much describes around 30 million people in the UK, so not much help there then. But the question remains. Could this person have been THE pusher that is responsible for so many other deaths in the city?

Police were quick to dismiss the incident as completely unrelated to the other deaths in the canal. There is absolutely no evidence to suggest or link the cyclist’s account of what happened with any of the tragic events which have been recorded over the last 11 years.


But what if there isn’t a pusher…

Deansgate locks in Manchester, where the bars sit just in front of the canal. And the bridge that's used to cross over from the town centre
Deans gate locks, a popular part of manchester’s night life, right by the canal.

If there is no Manchester serial killer, no canal pusher. Then, is it scarier that all these deaths within the waters that run threw Manchester are accidents? If the numbers are correct – 80 deaths in 11 years – that’s an average of 7.27 deaths a year, or 0.60 per month.

Now I’m not a body count analyst, nor am I a crime investigator. But surely, these numbers need something doing about them, canal pusher or no pusher.

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