“Mary had a little cat
She used to call him Daniel,
Then she found it killed six mice
And now she calls him Manuel”
Peter Manuel was born in New York in 1927, to Scottish Parents Samuel and Brigit. The family returned to Lanarkshire, Scotland in 1932 where Peter’s childhood and adolescence were marred with sprees of theft and violence. He ended up in first an approved school before moving on to Borstal. He was an over confident person, and liked to be the centre of attention, going so far as to make up his involvement in serious crimes in order to increase his notoriety. In this, the first of our three part series on the man who would become known as “The Beast of Birkenshaw” we look at his upbringing, and the circumstances that led to the deaths of 8 people on the outskirts of Glasgow in the late 1950s.
MacLeod, Hector and Malcolm McLeod, Peter Manuel, Serial Killer (Edinburgh, Mainstream Publishing 2010)