Merseyside’s largest manhunt was prompted by nights of terror as a rapist cab driver.
Going home alone became increasingly perilous for women in Liverpool in the late 1980s.
A predatory rapist stalked the city’s streets, generally in the early hours of the morning, using his work as a cab driver as a cover to assault lone women.
Frederick Manssuer, on the other hand, was safely imprisoned at Walton prison 31 years ago on Tuesday, and his victims appeared to be on the verge of receiving justice.
Balloons were placed at the crime scene for a ‘proper legend’ who was discovered dead in an alleyway.
Their day in court was never going to come.
The 29-year-old decided to terminate his life in a dismal cell rather than go to trial or admit to a series of horrible attacks on women during his initial appearance before magistrates.
This is the true story of one of Merseyside Police’s largest operations, and how Manssuer fell into a trap set by increasingly desperate officers.
Hackney is an operation that takes place in London.
At least 10 women in the city have been victims of a taxi driver in a black cab preying on his passengers over the span of about 15 months.
A sex worker was also abducted and raped by the same man in the Sefton Park area, although not while he was driving a cab, according to Merseyside Police.
The case launched Operation Hackney, a massive manhunt to apprehend one of the city’s most dangerous predators, Manssuer, who lived in Croxteth Lane, Prescot.
All 6,000 registered cabbies in the vicinity were invited to come in to be interrogated and have their photos taken for “elimination purposes” in a designated location of the Kings Dock in the city center.
The Washington Newsday interviewed retired Detective Superintendent Albert Kirby, who was the head of the Serious Crime Squad at the time of the investigation.
Monster with a moustache
The attacks were similar in nature, targeting lone travellers in the early hours of the morning.
The suspect, who was described as having a strong physique and a moustache, would suddenly veer away from the passengers’ intended destination before pulling over in a quiet spot and forcing himself on the scared women.