11 July 1958 – Peter Manuel

Peter Manuel

Peter Manuel

Glasgow got a hefty dose of serial killing when a US-born Scot singled out the city to carry out his gruesome crimes.

Peter Thomas Anthony Manuel is thought to have killed 15 women by various methods from shooting to strangling to battering.

The Philadelphia-born murderer was brought back to Britain as a boy by his Scottish-born parents and they settled in Glasgow.

From there he chalked up a fair few felonies, such as theft and rape, which had obviously given him a taste for delinquency. Sadly, time spent in and out of borstal didn’t quell his quest for criminal activity. It was only a matter of time before he got a taste for something more sinister and his killing spree kicked off.

Petered out

Once caught, Manuel is said to have promptly sacked his lawyer and conducted his own defence, pleading insanity. Yet no-one was listening.

According to the National Archives of Scotland, he did actually suffer from epilepsy, but that fact was played down, because ‘the authorities were keen to ensure Manuel was hanged. It was this desire to do away with the killer that negated any defence of diminished responsibility’.

So, despite his pleas, Manuel was found guilty of multiple murders and hanged at 8am in Barlinnie gallows, aged 31.

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