wiganworld home page
Home Photos of Wigan Stuff News What's on Classifieds Forum Communicate Guestbook Links
 Search    In association with  The Wigan Courier
  Hobbies / Books
  History of Wigan
  Wigan ex-pats
  Wigan genealogy
Especially for Lizzie.....The Waterways Strangler.
Started by: fred mason (2729)   Report abuse
Everyone have fun adding to this story especially for Lizzie....(NO, Lizzie is NOT the Waterways Strangler...BUT who is??)

The Waterways Strangler

(Based on P-A-D. 12 January 2015)

The Waterways Strangler

It was a very misty morning on the Leeds Liverpool Canal at Gathurst, near Wigan. The air was cold and George looked out of his cabin window at the scene outside. No one stirred and George had the only narrowboat on the canal at Gathurst that Monday, January morning, the 12th. It's name was the "Insanity". It was very quiet and his dog, Bonnie, a beautiful Golden Retriever was indicating that she wanted to go out to do her business. George was 54 years old and a loner since his wife left him eight years previously. He had let himself go and had lost some weight and his hair was now slightly balding and long and wispy and straggly. His skin was now quiet wrinkled and gnarly which made him look worse since he had a hooked nose and dark brown eyes which were quiet close together.

“Bah,” he snorted. “Come on dog, let’s go for a walk”
Bonnie’s tail began to wag but she was afraid of George sometimes and didn’t get too excited. All she wanted to do was go and relieve herself after a long night.

So, out they wandered along the towpath.

George was not the Waterways Strangler however, he was the first victim………

Posted by: dennis dickinson (1131) Report abuse
Bonnie soon disappeared into an area of long grass, while George shuffled along muttering under his breath about the discarded empty cigarette packets, soft drink cans and sweet wrappings which littered the towpath.
Apart from the occasional song from a bird, and the sound of Bonnie as she trampled through the grass, leaves and twigs no other sound could be heard.
This could indicate that George and Bonnie were alone, but were they ?

Posted by: Anne (3430)  Report abuse
No they weren't unbeknown to George someone had watched his movements for some weeks and knew that at some point he would have to take the dog out. As George went along he would sometimes reach down to a cigarette packet and occasionally be lucky.
This watcher reasoned George must have money on his boat as he never seemed to spend much. So as soon as the pair were out of sight he stepped aboard and soon was inside the little cabin but unknown to the watcher.....

Posted by: fred mason (2729)   Report abuse
...the Waterways Strangler had seen him enter George's narrowboat. However it was George that he wanted. He followed George and his dog along the towpath and came up behind him. Bonnie was the first of the two to be startled. She jumped back and barked as the claw hammer came down and embedded itself in George's skull. He was then strangled to death by the Waterways Strangler.

"That'll learn yer" came the gruff voice as Bonnie began barking at the killer.

"I'll not hurt a defenseless dog" cried the killer and walked back towards the boat and the watcher who was intent on stealing from the boat. His hands were ready for yet another encounter...

Posted by: dennis dickinson (1131) Report abuse
However, Bill Wright had risen early in Appley Bridge, it was his intention to cycle on his old Raleigh bike along the towpath towards Gathurst and hopefully have some luck with his fishing rod.
Bill had enjoyed fishing since his school days and now after his early retirement he still enjoyed the challenge, but in recent times all he had succeeded in catching was the occasional perch and the less occasional eel, neither of which was of sufficient size to provide a for a meal for his cat.
As Bill cycled along the towpath he had a strange feeling, a feeling that something just wasn't right - little did he know ...

Posted by: fred mason (2729)   Report abuse

...what was ahead of him.

The mist was getting thicker and colder and very wet and spooky as Bill approached the viaduct. He was barely able to see the massive structure and was thinking about turning around when he saw a dog and a large lump on the towpath about ten yards in front of him.

He got off his bike and walked slowly towards them. The dog just looked at him and whimpered quietly.

"Nah, then lad, it's alreet" said Bill, trying to comfort the dog. Then he saw what appeared to be a pile of rags by the dog.

"What's this then?".

He jumped back and almost fell into the canal when he saw the blood and the features of a man.

"Bloody 'ell" he cried as the hands of the killer wrapped themselves around his neck.

He was no match for the very strong Waterways Strangler. Within minutes, Bill, too was dead, never to fish in the canal again.

Meanwhile the watcher had found a little cash on the narrowboat and began walking back along the canal towards his flat in Shevington, oblivious of the drama in the other direction...

Posted by: fred mason (2729)   Report abuse
By the time the watcher arrived back at his flat, the fog had got really thick and he could only just see the door in front of him. As he got out his key and was about to put it into the lock, behind him he heard footsteps in the fog....

Posted by: Anne (3430)  Report abuse
a wavering voice out of the fog gasped you must come back along the towpath with me there seems to have been a terrible accident, there are two dead bodies. Feeling very uncomfortable the watcher agreed. They both retraced their steps and introduced themselves as Bob (the watcher) and Jim.
When Bob saw the body close to where he had been not very long ago he felt the hairs on the back of his neck prickle and began to wonder about the stolen money still in his pocket....

Posted by: billy (26053)  Report abuse
suddenly he had a brainwave, why it must be yon gypo"s illegaly parked in the boatyard, three of em sat around a stick fire roasting hedgehogs for supper.

Posted by: fred mason (2729)   Report abuse
..Jim stated that they should call the police and Bob agreed. He thought he just would not say anything about stealing the money.

The police arrived and immediately sealed off the canal towpath. The fog was thicker than ever when the senior police officer heard a movement in the bushes along the canal bank...

Sergeant, he called. "Check out that noise over there". As he pointed towards the hedgerow a figure began to run in the direction of Appley Bridge...

Posted by: fred mason (2729)   Report abuse
...the sergeant and an another officer ran after the figure but it disappeared in the fog. They returned to the crime scene and informed the Inspector that the figure got away.

"Right" said the chief, "Let's get forensics down here immediately." The sergeant got on his radio and called for assistance from the police headquarters. Within half an hour the forensics team arrived and were shocked by what they saw...

Posted by: fred mason (2729)   Report abuse
There were two bodies on the canal towpath and the senior forensic scientist recognised one of the bodies as....

Posted by: fred mason (2729)   Report abuse
a neighbour...however as no one is interested in pursuing this thread, the Waterways Strangler has gone to ground and will probably not re-appear in the foreseeable future....

HE has got away with it....

Posted by: Anne (3430)  Report abuse
Sorry Fred, been away for just over a month not purposely neglected.

Posted by: Anne (3430)  Report abuse
Maybe in a week or two a clue may surface.

Posted by: fred mason (2729)   Report abuse

Posted by: Anne (3430)  Report abuse
Feeling guilty following his theft of money from the dead mans boat Bob had decided to adopt Bonnie the dog. He took her for walks along the towpath passing many other walkers and noticed as time went by she passed the scene of the crime untroubled. Until one day when passing one walker her carefree manner changed and a low growl developed in her throat ....

Posted by: fred mason (2729)   Report abuse
She began barking at the walker and Bob had to restrain her and place her on the 'inside' in order to keep her away from the stranger. As the passed each other Bob got a good look at the dishevelled man. His clothes were quite worn and his face was wrinkled, his hair rough and uncombed. Bob got the feeling that...

Posted by: kathpressey (4818)  Report abuse
...he'd seen this man before - but years before when Bob was just a boy.

Posted by: bentlegs (4322) Report abuse
Bob made his way home, he was racking his brain trying to think where he had known him from, He made a cup of tea and sat in his armchair, he couldn't get his mind off the situation
, Then something flashed up in his mind, It was somewhere in Wallgate that he used to

Posted by: fred mason (2729)   Report abuse
go to. Then it hit him. It was in the Post Office. The chap worked behind the counter. He was sure it was the same lad, in fact he went to Wigan Grammar School with this chap and he used to walk around the school with his 'henchmen' and bully all the younger lads. He never bullied Bob though because Bob would look him in the eye, as if to say, "Just try it, mate".

Now, Bob wondered what to do.????

Posted by: Anne (3430)  Report abuse
Bob then remembered another thing from his teen years. As he was running an errand he recalled seeing two men quarrelling in an alleyway. They seemed to be arguing over a battered old suitcase. Yes, it was the same bully and he came off worst, shouting after the suitcase carrying retreating figure "I'll get you one day so how long it takes".
Things began to make sense to Bob but still he wondered....

Posted by: fred mason (2729)   Report abuse
Why do we carry a revenge????

Who was the man with the suitcase????

Bob was totally confused. What now, he wondered with all sincerity..??

Posted by: fred mason (2729)   Report abuse
Bob knew what he had to do...!!!

He had to go to the police and inform them of his suspicions about the man...

BUT, the man anticipated this and was waiting for Bob to leave his safe home...and when Bob left home to go to the Police Station, he....

Posted by: bentlegs (4322) Report abuse
Came face to the suspect, he pulled his cap down over his eyes to avoid Bob looking him in the face,Bob Carrie on his way to the Police Station but was sure he could hear faint footsteps behind him, it being late evening he got a bit

Posted by: Anne (3430)  Report abuse
....suspicious as to whether the man was alone or was it his imagination telling him there were two pairs of footsteps behind him. He had but one more corner to turn before the police station the it happened....

Posted by: fred mason (2729)   Report abuse
.. a large heavy hand, landed on his right shoulder. His blood ran cold, and the hairs on the back of his neck raised....he turned to see...

Posted by: Anne (3430)  Report abuse
....two local bobbies returning from the police garage he had walked past when deep in thought. "Ohhhh am I glad to see you two" Bob then explained what he wanted at the station. Soon Bob had every ones attention especially as he told about the suitcase incident of many years ago...

Posted by: fred mason (2729)   Report abuse
..the Police were intrigued by his comments. Bob repeated that it was all true. One officer then asked him, "What do you think was in the suitcase?"....

Posted by: fred mason (2729)   Report abuse
"Well, I did wonder about".....

Posted by: fred mason (2729)   Report abuse
...and while Bob was chatting with local bobbies, the waterways strangler had walked down to the canal at Gathurst once again, where he...

Posted by: fred mason (2729)   Report abuse
was feeling in a strange mood. He watched a young couple walking along the canal bank, hand in hand...


Note: You must login to post a reply.
If you haven't registered, why not join now?. Registration is FREE!
 © 2019 wiganworld
Click here to read the privacy policy, disclaimer and copyright information.
Please contact us with your ideas, suggestions, moans or questions.