Relatives of family murdered by Scots serial killer Peter Manuel want TV drama to be scrapped

Relatives of family murdered by Scots serial killer Peter Manuel want TV drama to be scrapped

24 Jul 2016  Jane Barrie

MARION Watt was killed in her home with her daughter and sister by Scots killer Manuel, who was hanged for his crimes.

Peter ManuelPeter Manuel

THE relatives of a family murdered by serial killer Peter Manuel have called for a TV drama about his crimes to be scrapped.

Marion Watt, 45, was killed in her home with her daughter Vivienne, 16, and sister Margaret Brown, 41.

Their last surviving relatives, Stuart and David Reid, say their father Robert – Marion and Margaret’s brother – was haunted by the deaths all his life.

They believe the three-part series starring Martin Compston as the killer will only reopen old wounds.

And they want ITV to reconsider showing the production, titled Muncie after the detective who brought the killer to justice.

Stuart, 72, said: “My brother and I can understand the fascination with Manuel and the detective work done to convict him of the murders.

Mass murderer Peter Manuel

“But what ITV are forgetting is that they are dealing with real life here, real people’s lives.

“This is upsetting for us, as our father lost two sisters and a niece that day and it affected him deeply.

“He lived for 22 years after the murders and never stopped thinking about what happened.

“I remember him going to Barlinnie on the day Manuel was hanged.

“But he only really spoke about it when he was off guard, if he’d had a couple of drinks.

“I recall a surgeon at Stobhill Hospital saying my father wouldn’t stop muttering about Manuel when he was under anaesthetic for an operation.”

Robert, a shipyard carpenter, was one of a family of seven.

His sisters and niece were shot at point blank range after Manuel broke into Margaret’s home in Burnside, Glasgow, on September 17, 1956.

Robert, who had seven children with wife Helen, died in 1978. Stuart and retired plumber David are his only surviving children.

Stuart said: “All this series will do is open up old wounds. The house where the murders took place, in Fennsbank Avenue, is no longer there.

“All we have are the good memories of the times we had when we visited my Auntie Marion and cousin Vivienne. We’d rather keep it that way.

“We want ITV to stop and think. There is no need to show this series of events on television. We feel we have to appeal to them in memory of our dad and of the other families of the victims who died.”