Thomas Sheridan is convinced some of the 60 plus deaths in Manchester’s canals since 2004 are the work of a psychopath or “extremely disturbed individual”
Thomas SheridanWarning: Author Thomas Sheridan has made fresh claims that there is a serial killer stalking Manchester’s canal network
An author specialising in psychopaths is convinced a serial killer is killing gay men in Manchester by pushing them into canals.
Thomas Sheridan visited Manchester to investigate rumours of ‘The Pusher’ – a killer stalking the city’s waterways.
He is convinced some of the 60 plus deaths since 2004 are the work of a psychopath or ‘extremely disturbed individual’ with excellent knowledge of the streets around canals.
And like notorious 1980s London murderer Dennis Nilsen, Mr Sheridan believes the killer could be targeting gay men, or those he believes are gay, in a bid to assuage his own homosexual guilt.
Mr Sheridan, 51, from Northern Ireland, visited Manchester to research the deaths in canals and rivers and says he was followed by ‘a tall man wearing a hood’ into a poorly lit area of the Rochdale Canal towpath.
He described the experience as ‘terrifying’ and says Greater Manchester Police must act ‘before the killer strikes again’.
He also suggests GMP may have denied the existence of a serial killer while they pursue a covert investigation in case publicity provokes the killer to strike again.
GMP has always maintained that there is no serial killer and that all the deaths in the past nine years are suicides or accidents.
Officers have again refuted the claims and say young or gay men do not make up the majority of the deaths.
To prepare for a conference in Manchester on psychopathology, Mr Sheridan spent May walking around the canals in the early hours of the morning.
In a video made of his experiences, he said: “Walking along the Rochdale Canal, I was followed by a tall man wearing a hood into a poorly-lit area.
“The sense of isolation and vulnerability at the location were quite frankly terrifying.
“I’m convinced foul play is a point concerning some of the bodies.
“I concur with the people of Manchester that ‘The Pusher’ is almost certainly the cause of some of these deaths.
“I believe the killer is targeting gay men or men the killer is assuming to be gay – following them from a night out or more worryingly, picking them up in bars.
“We may be dealing with a psychopath or extremely disturbed individual.
“Something very similar could be afoot in Manchester to the case of Dennis Nilsen.
“The police need to take this very seriously.”
Mr Sheridan has also speculated that ‘The Pusher’ has an excellent knowledge of the streets around the canals and public transport to slip away.
Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, he added: “Manchester is probably a great place to be a serial killer because it’s got great transport links and a very transient population.
“When speculation about the ‘Son of Sam’ killer [David Berkowitz] in New York in the 1970s started the NYPD were very negative that there could be a serial killer at large.
“That’s common for police forces around the world.
“If acknowledged, it can start an effect where the serial killer sees it as a challenge to try to out-fox the police.
“Media and public pressure mounts as the body count rises and the police are in a no-win situation unless they catch the killer.
“The fact water is involved [in the deaths in Manchester] suggests the killer could be cleansing themselves of their guilt over their homosexuality – we see these Freudian patterns all over life.”
The idea of a serial killer stalking Greater Manchester’s canals was first raised last year by Birmingham City University Professor Craig Jackson .
He has maintained that canals are not normally chosen as places for people to commit suicide and there were too many deaths for it not to be suspicious.