Episode 7 – The Beast of Birkenshaw (Part 2)

William Watt leaving the High Court in Glasgow on a stretcher, from which he gave evidence.

In the second part of our series covering Peter Manuel, the Beast of Birkenshaw, his trial begins. This time, we tell the story of the witnesses, who all weave together their stories, most implicating Manuel, others attempting to help salvage the dire situation he finds himself in. 280 people give evidence of the crimes he is charged with, ranging from burglary to capital murder. Manuel’s life is on the line, as he only needs to be found guilty of one of the multiple capital charges to find himself at the end of the hangman’s noose. But halfway through the trial, Manuel fires his advocates and decides to defend himself. Will Manuel be able to tell the better tale and save his life? Or will the judge and jury see through his superficial charm and convict him of the serial murders in Birkenshaw?


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MacLeod, Hector and Malcolm McLeod, Peter Manuel, Serial Killer (Edinburgh, Mainstream Publishing 2010)