PETER MANUEL SCOTLAND'S WORST SERIAL KILLER

By Tim Lambert

Peter Manuel was a serial killer in Scotland in the 1950s. Manuel was Scotland's worst serial killer. He murdered at least 8 people. Peter Manuel was born in New York, USA on 15 March 1927. His parents were Scottish and in 1932 when Peter was 5 his family moved to Scotland. However Peter began breaking into houses and in 1943 aged 16 he was sent to borstal for 2 years for breaking and entering. Then in 1946 Manuel raped a woman. He was caught and sentenced to 8 years in prison. When he was released in 1952 Manuel went to live with his family in Glasgow. He began killing people in 1956.

The first victim was 17 year old Anne Kneilands. On 2 January 1956 Peter Manuel beat her to death with an iron bar on a golf course in East Kilbride. Manuel was working in the area. He was questioned by police but his father gave him an alibi for the night of the murder. Then on 17 September 1956 Peter Manuel broke into a house in High Burnside and killed 3 people. Manuel shot Marion Watt, her 16 year old daughter Vivienne and her sister Margaret Brown. But there was nothing to link Manuel to the crime. However Peter Manuel then served a prison sentence for an unrelated burglary.

When he was released in November 1957 he resumed killing. On 29 December 1957 Peter Manuel murdered 17 year old Isabella Cooke. She went missing after going out to meet her boyfriend. Her body was found till 16 January 1958 when Manuel led police to her grave. Meanwhile on 1 January 1958 Manuel broke into a home in the village of Uddingston and shot Peter and Doris Smart and their 11 year old son. The bodies were found on 6 January.

Peter Manuel was caught when a barman saw him using new banknotes to pay for drinks. The barman became suspicious and called the police. They were able to match the serial numbers on the notes to those on a payment made to Peter Smart. Manuel was arrested on 13 January 1958. He was charged with 8 murders. The trial of Peter Manuel began on 12 May 1958. On 29 May 1958 he was found guilty of 7 murders and he was sentenced to death. Peter Manuel was hanged in Barlinnie prison in Scotland on 11 July 1958. He was 31. Manuel was buried in an unmarked grave.

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A history of Scotland

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