The remains of over 80 people have been found in Manchester canals in a six year period, and most of the bodies are of young men. The unusually high number of bodies has led to speculation in Manchester that there may be a serial killer labelled as ‘the Pusher’ on the loose. The theory is that a man is stalking the canals in the north of the city in the night and pushing people into the water. Greater Manchester police have dismissed the theory but the friends and relatives of some of the dead are unconvinced, as is a leading criminologist.
Manchester’s Secret Killer? is a 2016 Channel 4 documentary about the theory, it features contributions from various people who are convinced that a serial killer is on the loose, examines existing evidence, and analyses whether the theory is plausible. Some believe that the killer is targeting the gay community, with a large number of the victims being homosexual. Cynics have dismissed the deaths as drunk people simply falling into the water and some make the point that there would likely be survivors of ‘the pusher’ to verify his existence.