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William Manson

26 Sep

A   coldcase   team   of   detectives   are   considering   reopening   the   death   files   related   to   notorious   gangster   William  Manson.




image-billy-mansonOn 12 November 1997, Billy Manson was found dead in his flat in Maryhill, north Glasgow. His death certificate states the cause of death was an overdose of co-proxamol, a particularly dangerous painkiller which, before it was withdrawn from the market in 2007, was the second most frequent means of suicide amongst patients using prescribed drugs in the UK.

Between 1997 and 1999, around the same year Billy Manson was found dead, there were 766 suicides in England and Wales alone involving co-proxamol. Billy Manson was using this drug for the pain he suffered from his back, and for on-going ailments connected to a cowardly attack while he sat helplessly strapped into the seat belt of his car. Co-proxamol was a drug he’d been prescribed by his doctor, but reports stated he was taking a few more than he ought to have been.

The late crime/ghost writer to the Glasgow gangster Paul Ferris, Reg MaKay, made wild claims in one of his books called McGraw which clearly suggested Billy Manson was forced to swallow the co-proxamol tablets. This, of course, is complete and utter  nonsense and recently a member  of  the Manson family wrote to the Crown Office and asked them to look into the shocking allegations. Prosecutors  are now examining the claims and a cold case team of detectives could start a fresh inquiry.

A Crown Office spokesman said: “The procurator fiscal in Glasgow is considering allegations regarding the death of a 58-year-old man on November 12, 1997.

“We will continue to liaise with the next of kin in relation to this matter.”

This is welcoming news to the Manson family who are quietly confident that these far fetched and ridiculous allegationsreg-mckay-image will be proved to be wholly inaccurate and false. It's obvious that the late Reg McKay had been primed in what to write in his book when it came to the death of Billy Manson, and the only real source of this malicious lies would have come from Paul Ferris: the man he was closest to in the publishing business.

The Manson family have also obtained copies of the Post-Mortem and Toxicology reports into Billy Manson's death and NOWHERE did it mention anything about foul play of any sort. Acting on the instructions of A.D. Vannet, Procurator Fiscal, Dr J.H. McFarlane, Consultant Forensic Pathologist confirmed that a blood sample was analyzed belonging to Billy Manson and it was consistent with a fatal overdose of Co-proxamol (Paracetamol and Propoxyphene).

Acting on the same instructions, Consultant Forensic Pathologist, Dr J.H. McFarlane, carried out the Post-mortem examination on 14 November 1997 within the city mortuary, Glasgow. In conclusion, the report states that the police had to 'Force entry' into the premises where Billy Manson was found lying dead in bed surrounded by the empty packaging of over 100 co-proxamol tablets.

On the afternoon of Wednesday, 12 November 1997, the caretaker at the block of flats where Billy Manson lived telephoned the police because he had not seen him for several mcgraw-book-coverdays and he reported an unpleasant odour coming from the apartment. Witnesses who were present said it took the police well over an hour to gain entry into the house because the front door was 'locked and bolted' from the inside. That, coupled with CCTV Cameras positioned inside the block of flats, as well as outside the communal door entrance, meant it was physically impossible for anyone to have put an end to Billy Manson's life in the way it was described in Reg McKay's book. There were NO signs of pills being forced down Billy Manson's throat, something that the pathologist would have detected during the autopsy. These malicious allegations were designed to sensationalize the demise of one of Glasgow's most notorious crime figures while at the same time trying to bolster the reputation of his enemies. The truth is: people will now realize that Paul Ferris, the main instigator behind these untruths, led Reg McKay (And others) right up the garden path.


perth-prison-imageThe uncle after whom I was named was born on March 20, 1939. He was the mastermind of an expertly planned jailbreak from top-security Perth Prison on December 9, 1979 and he overwhelmed police and prison authorities with the speed and precision with which he carried out such a highly sophisticatedthompson-sr-image escape. Billy and one of his pals, a man by the name of Plum McDuff, sawed through their cell bars, scaled the wall and got onto the roof. They used homemade rope to descend to the yard then made their escape over a surrounding fence. A high-powered vehicle was waiting to take them to freedom. Billy’s old pal, legendary Arthur Thompson who dominated the organized crime scene in Glasgow from the 1950's onwards, played a pivotal role in assisting him during the escape: especially after he got away.

Billy Manson was serving a twelve-year sentence at the time having been found guilty at the High Court in Glasgow on January 13, 1978. He was accused of robbing the Orient bingo hall and threatening staff with a sawn-off shotgun and a meat cleaver. Billy Manson always strenuously denied any involvement in this hold-up and he went to extraordinary lengths to prove it. He claimed that Strathclyde police officers, acting through malice and gratifica­tion of personal desires, conceived and orchestrated a plot to pervert and corrupt the course of justice against him. He claimed the police seriously assaulted him in the back of a police van and committed perjury at his trial.

He raised a £30,000 action against the then Chief Constable Patrick Hamill and in a 40-page High Court writ he asked the court to declare that the incompetence, neglect and maladmin­istration of the police in abusing the legal process had caused the High Court to be deprived of fairness and equity. Billy claimed that the coppers bundled him into the back of a police van simply because he was in the area where the robbery had been committed, and that on the way to Tobago Street Police Station he was punched, kicked and beaten with batons until he was black and blue and had a fractured nose. He also said that the police took money from a plastic carrier bag found near the scene of the robbery and smeared it with his blood and fingerprints.

It wasn’t just Billy who claimed he was innocent. His lawyer, the respected Glasgow professor, Peter Watson, examined the case thoroughly and as a result he went out of his way to secure a Royal Pardon. He said at the time, ‘Billy Manson is a well-known figure in the Glasgow underworld, but in the past he has always admitted his crime. When he is “done” for something he doesn’t complain. This is the first time he has protested his innocence. I’ve no doubt in my mind that he is in fact innocent.’

Billy served his time in tough Peterhead Prison. He refused to wear the prison uniform, wearing instead a pair  of  overalls, on the chest of which he embroidered the words ‘I Am Innocent’. He went on hunger strikes to bring attention to his plight, and he also refused parole at every opportunity as this would have been, in his view, a declaration of guilt. He served out his full sentence at Peterhead and was finally released in 1989. In 1964, Billy had also escaped from Barlinnie Prison in Glasgow and managed to elude the law by living as a fugitive for 18 months. He was once described as one of the most dangerous villains in Britain and at one stage senior police chiefs throughout the UK held top-level conferences about him, his associates and his activities. He was, quite of Glasgow's finest!


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