Manchester Canal: Corpse Repository?

Discussion in 'General Forteana' started by Yithian, Jan 17, 2015.

  1. gattino

    gattino Justified & Ancient

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    So just to be clear... If thre are more people in Manchester than in Venice then the number of canal deaths in Manchester are obviously going to be higher, because there are more people to suffer them.
    But if there are more people in Venice than in Manchester then the number of canal deaths in Manchester are obviously going to be higher, because there are fewer people to spot and prevent them.

    Have I got that right?

    And also that more residents are unwary of water than visitors? Or is it the other way round?
     
  2. Loquaciousness

    Loquaciousness The misuse of the word "fact" annoys me

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    Nope. I was just pointing out that there are so many confounding variables that just one factor such as population density is not enough. Lots of other factors, such as the opportunity to fall into canals unseen/unheard, the demographics of those involved ( e.g. students are known for drinking lots, so if there are more students, there is more opportunity for falling into a canal pissed ), being more water aware whilst being on holiday surrounded by the stuff, etc.
     
  3. Ulalume

    Ulalume tart of darkness

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    Oops, I meant Durham. I just paused to ask a question about Manchester before going off the be a hysterical parent. Sorry!

    I've always had the impression that Manchester was one of the more dangerous cities in the UK, and wondered if the canal might be a convenient way of disposing of victims or witnesses or what have you. But I don't know if Manchester is actually that dangerous or if it's just a misconception we've picked up over here.
     
  4. Loquaciousness

    Loquaciousness The misuse of the word "fact" annoys me

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    I always think of Nottingham and Birmingham being more dangerous. I shall go and Google.
     
  5. Loquaciousness

    Loquaciousness The misuse of the word "fact" annoys me

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  6. David Plankton

    David Plankton Justified & Ancient

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    They'll be alright then, Durham's a walk in the park.
     
  7. rynner2

    rynner2 Great Old One

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    You were probably thinking about "Durham Town (The Leavin')" by Roger Whittaker, which has a similar melancholy atmosphere to Dirty Old Town.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Whittaker
     
  8. ramonmercado

    ramonmercado CyberPunk

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    Even Gore Vidal fell into a canal in Venice.
     
  9. rynner2

    rynner2 Great Old One

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    Just as a sidebar to this thread, I find it interesting that both Man City and Man Utd football clubs have a ship in their team badges, clearly a reference to the Manchester Ship Canal.

    Utd's Old Trafford ground is just a stone's throw from Salford Docks, while City's Etihad stadium is about 3 miles to the east.
     
  10. Loquaciousness

    Loquaciousness The misuse of the word "fact" annoys me

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    Now I did NOT know that.
     
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  11. ramonmercado

    ramonmercado CyberPunk

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    He claimed he was sober at the time.
     
  12. Mythopoeika

    Mythopoeika I am a meat popsicle

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    Gore blimey, guv!
     
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  13. Yithian

    Yithian Last Man Standing Staff Member

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  14. RaM

    RaM Abominable Snowman

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    A long time ago I was involved in a small way in a vaguely similar thing were
    bodies and so on were being found in culverts or sewers cant remember which
    but it turned out that a culvert that ran through a cemetery had collapsed and
    burials were being swept away.
     
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  15. JamesWhitehead

    JamesWhitehead Piffle Prospector

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    The GMP website enables Manchester folk to track progress on crimes recorded in their locality. The story it tells is that anyone in the city reporting a crime should do so for insurance reasons alone as there will be nothing done to pursue the matter. Insufficient Evidence, No Suspect Identified is the cut-and-paste response in column after column of crimes. Many, of course, are relatively small crimes but others, such as arson, can be deadly. I fear that the GMP sees itself as being in the business of keeping people calm, rather than actively investigating anything other than the highest profile cases.

    Resources will be blamed. Meanwhile the obvious message will seep through to repeat offenders that they will have to be very unlucky to get caught. When that occasionally happens, they have been creating mayhem and misery for years.

    With regard to the canal deaths. The numbers seem to fluctuate at every telling, even within the above video. There is first a denial that any female canal deaths have been recorded in the same period, then it becomes fourteen!

    The serial-killer hypothesis may create a frisson but the canal deaths which have been solved turn out to be muggings - hideous enough but more opportunism than sex-crimes. I do think there is a case for a much more careful analysis of the statistics than any I have so far seen but that may make for dull reading. :willy:
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2017
  16. AnonyJoolz

    AnonyJoolz Captainess Sensible

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    We've had a similar spate of city water-related deaths not so far away centred around Bristol:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/u...s-four-months-men-dead-in-water-a7719826.html

    There are regular occurrences in Bath, too.

    I am sure that *some* of the deaths could be suspicious but in the main the combination of booze, and lack of respect for the danger of open, unfenced water is the main culprit.

    I have read a theory that it's almost always male victims as drunk men will often go to the edge of the water to pee into it if they need to urinate whilst walking along such areas.

    Apparently Amsterdam is very prone to such deaths: In 2012 it was reported by De Telegraaf that

    "Over the past three years, at least 51 people have drowned in Amsterdam’s historic canals.
    The paper says just one death was the result of a crime. All the rest were accidental and often involved drunken men relieving themselves over the edge and falling in. Experts are calling for more ladders and life rings to be attached to the quays, the paper said"


    http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2012/01/amsterdam_canals_are_dangerous/


    I remember being terrified in the 1970s & early 1980s by TV 'public information films' that scared us off playing about near water, cycling without lights/bright clothing, larking about near any electricity substations or lines etc etc., They were shown in between children's TV programmes alongside adverts IIRC.

    We also were made to watch similar films at primary and secondary school. I wonder if this kind of (scary warning) education still occurs? We need someone younger than 35 to comment!
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2017
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  17. henry

    henry still speeding

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    the north end of town where rochdale canal meets ashton canal is now fairly gentrified with new build flats aplenty, but i think used to be manchesters red light district, overrun by gay rent boys and, just off the canal, street walkers etc ... the rochdale running into town through the gay village and out by castlefield, so plenty of bars of all kinds, plenty of drinkers, very mixed clientele from scally to suits ...
     
  18. Ghost In The Machine

    Ghost In The Machine Ephemeral Spectre

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    Two of my grown up sons share a flat in Manchester and I always worry about them. Despite the fact we live near York which has a high rate of people falling in the rivers. Sons drank in town from being at college, and like all locals, knew that if you do a pub crawl in town, you start at the river and work away from it as the night progresses. I think a lot of the deaths have been students and maybe not-locals..?

    What intrigue me about York is the number of times people's bodies have been found after a day or two and no-one witnessed them falling in, yet they seem to be going in at fairly predictable points... York is covered in CCTV cameras (so much so, some visiting Germans remarked to my friend it was their abiding memory of the city - they couldn't get over how many cameras there are everywhere). Yet none pointing at the bridges and usual points people go in???

    I know York police aren't very bright (or they wouldn't have the country's most high profile missing person case). But how hard is it to work out where to add to their 6 million cameras, to make it at least certain if someone falls in, that they know where it happened?

    Not tidal at that point, but they do occasionally turn up downriver quite some distance.
     
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  19. RaM

    RaM Abominable Snowman

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    Sounds like quite a death toll
     
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  20. CarlosTheDJ

    CarlosTheDJ Justified & Ancient

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    Of course (lack of) resources will be blamed. The service is stretched almost to breaking point across the whole country. It's no secret.
     
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  21. gerhard1

    gerhard1 Ephemeral Spectre

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    It does indeed.

    If I might make a point here, serial killers are hard to catch due to there not being any known conection between the victim and the killer. Police homicide investigations are predicated upon the fact that in the majority of cases, the victim and the killer know each other, and due to the often-random selection of victims in serial murders this tool is not available.

    Like it or not, the police have to wait until the killer makes a mistake that can be traced directly to him or (in a few cases) her. If there are no known mistakes, a serial killer can go on almost indefinitely until they die, are imprisoned for another crime, or until a clever psychiatrist tricks them into making a mistake, like what happened in New York City's Mad Bomber case that lasted for many years. George Metesky, later found to be the Bomber, was, in effect, 'smoked out' by a psychiatrist, who effectively tricked him into making the mistakes that caught him. Another example might be Ted Bundy, who made several mistakes that led to his capture. Gary Ridgeway, the Green Rver Killer, comes to mind as well. In Ridgeway's case, they had connected him to flecks of paint left on one of the victims which were traced to the truck (lorry) factory where he worked. Semen samples recovered from a few of the victims were matched to Ridgeway's DNA, and he was spared the death penalty on condition that he plead guilty. He is now serving over forty consecutive life sentences, meaning that the only way he will leave prison is in a box.

    I happen to think that the possibility of there being a serial killer in Manchester is very real. I can't prove it of course, but I still think it's possible.
     
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  22. hunck

    hunck Justified & Ancient

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    Not specifically about canals, but a resignation letter from a Greater Manchester Police officer, backing up what Carlos said above:

    More here.
     
  23. CarlosTheDJ

    CarlosTheDJ Justified & Ancient

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    I can't bring myself to 'like' - but thanks for posting, hunck.
     
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  24. Mythopoeika

    Mythopoeika I am a meat popsicle

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    Sad to hear. Policing used to be a good career to get into.
    My uncle Pete did well from it, but those days are gone (it seems).
     
  25. Andy X

    Andy X Portent

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    I know (or knew) someone who ended up dead in a canal under mysterious circumstances. The police looked into the case but didn't seem to launch much of a murder investigation (suicide seemed very unlikely). It was known that he couldn't swim, and he was frequently intoxicated, so it seems likely he just...fell in, possibly as an unintended consequence of a drunken piss. Also he tended, despite not being homeless and having a fair bit of money stashed away, to prefer a lifestyle of drinking on park benches with other semi-vagrants, so a drunken argument is another possibility. It could be that some witness(es) thought better of coming forward.

    I once fell in a river when young and intoxicated, but I didn't die. Not only that, but I managed to keep my kebab dry. It was quite a shallow river.
     
  26. hunck

    hunck Justified & Ancient

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    Ha! kept your kebab dry - good work!

    Seems to me you'd have to try quite hard to drown in a canal unless you passed out or were totally pissed & incapable, most you can stand up in & there's no current. Maybe Manchester canals are deeper though, and locks are certainly deep.
     
  27. Andy X

    Andy X Portent

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    Thanks, *takes a bow*

    No one knows where the chap I knew 'went in', but it could have been a place where he could easily have hit his head on a piece of weir gate equipment or stone or concrete. When the weir feeding into the canal is fully open the water is deep-ish, turbulent and fast and anyone falling in would be tossed around like a cork and carried away. Further down, towards the canal proper, is a still but deep basin, so if he went in there being unable to swim...We'll never know.

    But yes, most canals are very shallow.

    Edit: what we thought suspicious at the time was that it had only emerged that he couldn't swim because one of his outdoor drinking pals had asked him. Now why would anyone ask such a question for no apparent reason over the Tenants Super - and then pass on the negative response to others in the er,...social circle? Hmm.

    Anyway sorry, this isn't a 'people you knew who may have been murdered' thread. Back to Manchester...
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2017
  28. Shady

    Shady Bring me Dreamies Human

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    Robbery then murder?
     
  29. Andy X

    Andy X Portent

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    Yes, maybe. As far as I'm aware the case was closed, or flagged as unsolvable, years ago.
     

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