Category: Serial Killing
Location: Birkenshaw, Scotland
Date: 1956 - 1958
Crime: Manuel, nicknamed the 'Beast of Birkenshaw' , confessed to killing 18 people but was hanged for being convicted of eight murders in the mid to late 50's.
Biography: Manuel was born in March 1927 in New York to Scottish immigrants. When he was just five, the family packed up and moved to Coventry, England where he spent his youth getting into various sorts of trouble. He was jailed at the age of 16 for sexually assaulting a young woman. Over the next decade, he was arrested and jailed multiple times for rape. Finally, in 1953, he moved to Glasgow to rejoin his family that had moved away years earlier. In 1956, he murdered a seventeen year old girl with an iron rod and dumped her body on a local golf course. As a previous sex-offender, he was questioned by police and released. Two months later, he killed again, shooting three women at close range in their home. Police suspected Manuel in the killing, but once again, he was released after questioning. Manuel went back to jail for a burglary and was released in December 1957. Within days he had killed again, this time randomly shooting a taxi driver, a young student and an entire family, including a ten year old child. Authorities discovered that Manuel took up residence in the dead families house for more than a week after the crime. Ultimately, the murder of that family would lead to his arrest. In January, 1958, he was passing banknotes that he had stolen from the home and aroused the suspicion of a local bartender. Police subsequently traced the notes back to the dead family and arrested Manuel. Once in custody, he began confessing to additional murders and even led the police to the burial site of one of his victims.