Using a Webley
revolver, a Beretta pistol, an iron bar, and strangulation
Manuel, killed at least seven people in and around Glasgow
and the Lowlands of Scotland, and police suspect he may have
killer at least 15 people.
Manuel's parents moved from Scotland to New York, returning
to Scotland when Peter was just 5-yyears-old.
Manuel lived with his parents in Birkenshaw.
His young days were spent in and out of approved schools and borstal for a
string of petty crimes including theft and burglary. A
loner who loved the dark,
March 1946, at
age 16 he committed a string of sexual attacks and spent
nine years in HMP Peterhead.
He was convicted of house
breaking and rape.
he denied the charges and
claimed it was a fantasy story 'Trumped up' by the
police. He world not forget the name of the detective who 'Framed'
him, Detective Muncie.
October 1952, Manuel is
freed from prison and spends a while working for British
rail, until his criminal past was discovered. he then worked
with his father for The Scottish Gas board.
1955, Mary McLauchlan was
walking home alone when approached by Manuel, he dragged her
into a field and sexually assaulted her. He then kept hold
of her telling her in graphic detail how he was going to
kill her by decapitating her.
Manuel stood trial and conducted
his own defence. At the trial Mary McLauchlan stated that
she felt that Manuel got pleasure from seeing her fear.
His defence was good and he was
The Chief detective on the case
was Muncie, Manuel was not impressed.
from that day on he always sent
Muncie birthday and Christmas cards.
2nd January 1956, Anne
Kniekands was stalked by Manuel to East Kilbride golf
course. He raped her then attacked her with an iron bar. He
was questioned by police, but his farther provided an alibi.
Although he was later charge with this murder the case was
dropped due to lack of evidence.
17th September 1956,
Marion Watt aged 45,her daughter Vivienne Watt aged
17, and her sister Margaret Brown aged 41, were all shot
dead in their home in the Burnside area of Glasgow. Although
Manuel was a suspect, police focussed their attention on
Marion's husband William. Although he was away on a fishing
trip at the time, it was argued he drove the 90 miles there
and back to commit the rime. A witness even said they saw
him during the night.
8th December 1957, Manuel
was in England, in Newcastle looking for work. The body of
36-yerar-old Sydney Dunn was found on moorlands shortly
after being visited by Manuel. By the time the body was
discovered, Manuel was back in Scotland, an as it is a
different legal jurisdiction, Manuel was never charged with
this murder. Although once he was in custody an English
Coroners court did find him guilty, the evidence being a
button from Manuel's coat found in Mr Dunn's car.
28th December 1957,
17-yerar-old Isabelle Cooke was on her way to a
dance when she disappeared. Manuel stalked her then raped
and strangled her.
He buried her in a near-by
Once in custody he led police to
the spot of the body.
1st January 1958, The
Smart family were shot dead in their home in Uddingston,
shot in the head at close range. Peter Smart aged 45, his
wife Doris age 42, and son Michael aged ten had been
celebrating hogmanay. After the murders Manuel stayed in the
house for a week, eating all the food, and stealing a large
quantity of cash that had been stashed as savings.
eventually leaving, taking the family car. He even gave a
lift to a local policeman investigating the Isabelle Cooke
murder, suggest that the police were looking for the wrong
January 1958, Police had suspected Manuel but had
little evidence, once some of the missing cash stolen
from the Smart house turned up police acted. They
arrested Manuel's father, which was enough for him to
hand himself in, Manuel was arrested and charged.
Once in custody Manuel
confessed to killing eighteen people, he would
only be tried for the murders of
Manuel was tried at Glasgow High Court, He conducted his own defence, and attempted a
plea of insanity, by all accounts he did a good job,
but to no avail.
He was found guilty of 7 of the eight
execution he confessed to all the murders, and even a
few others that the police had not originally attributed
to him. It is suspected that Peter Manuel was
responsible for the death of at least 15 people.
8:00am 11th July 1958, He was hanged at
prison by executioner Harry Allen. Manuel's last words
were, allegedly, "Turn up the radio and I'll go quietly".
It has been subjected in recent
years that Manuel was clearly a psychopath, and that
authorities at the time should have conducted more in depth
psychological testing, which basically means he would have
been jailed for life and would have avoided execution.