The mystery of the man on the moor - with a railway connection

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Shimbleshanks

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Man found dead on Saddleworth Moor, near Greenfield on the transpennine route, having apparently committed suicide by taking strychnine. No clue as to his identity; just a return ticket from South Ealing to Manchester. Bought a return ticket, but as the report says, it's only £1 more than a single so may be no significance in that.

CCTV footage of him travelling via Euston to Manchester Piccadilly. Then last seen in a pub in Greenfield and again on the moor, before being found dead on the Moor the next day. No one sure how he got from Manchester Piccadilly to Greenfield.

The Police want to know: Why did he travel 200 miles to commit suicide? Some connection with Saddleworth?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-e8c6cbab-da44-4a3c-8f9b-c4fccd53dd24

He started at 09:04 on Friday 11 December at Ealing Broadway Station in west London. He purchased a single ticket to get into central London.

Forty-six minutes later, at 09:50, he was at Euston station booking his journey to Manchester.

He bought return tickets, which the police think was a curious decision.
“That’s one of those questions that at this stage we can’t answer,” Coleman says.
But then again the return would only have been £1 more expensive than buying a single.

He was spotted on CCTV arriving in Manchester at 12:07, having caught the 10:00 train from Euston.

After leaving Manchester Piccadilly station there is a “missing 59 minutes” in the timeline.
The police do not know how he reached The Clarence Pub in Greenfield at 14:00.

When they found his train tickets, police officers hoped the answers to his identity could be found in west London.
Coleman travelled south and met up with officers from the Metropolitan Police.

“We sat down with thoughts of ‘if you’re 65 to 75 years of age, you’re a male, you’re living in the Ealing area, what are you going to need?’ We’re thinking GP surgeries, dentists, you get your hair cut, bookmakers, residential homes, health services - all these places we visited.”

Despite those efforts, posters and media coverage, no one from London has come forward to say they recognise him....
 
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edwin_m

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The Guardian did a very similar feature a month or so back.

Neither article really probed the question of getting to Greenfield, though I presume the police would have done more than was said. The Guardian said the time unaccounted for wasn't enough to use the bus, but I wonder about train to Greenfield then walk or bus, or tram to Mumps and catch the 180 which terminates at the Clarence pub. If he'd got a taxi as speculated then wouldn't it have taken him all the way to the reservoir?

Difficult though to rationalise the actions of someone who probably wasn't in a rational state.
 

LWB

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Fascinating Guardian article. Reminds me of Ian Brady's comment that the landscape had "owned" him and "driven" him. Certainly not a place you can dismiss casually.
 

Shimbleshanks

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Fascinating Guardian article. Reminds me of Ian Brady's comment that the landscape had "owned" him and "driven" him. Certainly not a place you can dismiss casually.

I wonder whether the sole connection with Saddleworth was that he read about the Moors Murders (and/or the plane crash) and somehow became obsessed with it, to the point of wishing to die there.

The BBC site suggests that he may have come from Pakistan, via Heathrow airport, though as it says, going via South Ealing is an odd way to get from there to Euston.
 

GlosRail

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I wouldn't have thought he's have come directly from Heathrow to South Ealing as he had no luggage, passports, boarding cards etc. His clothes mostly came from M&S bought in the UK, and his shoes were from Switzerland.

He clearly didn't know his way around London or Manchester. He must have been living in Pakistan up until at least summer 2015, but maybe had been staying in South Ealing for a bit. It would appear he didn't have an Oyster Card which would make me think he's not from London.

It doesn't say if he bought his ticket at the machine, or at a ticket office. Maybe at a machine he could have clicked on the wrong box and ended up with a return.

It's odd how he's got to Greenfield, he can't have walked, gone by bus, or train, so someone has given him a lift. It's a pity they can't remember him at the information desk, but that would also suggest he asked a routine question.
 

Shimbleshanks

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I wouldn't have thought he's have come directly from Heathrow to South Ealing as he had no luggage, passports, boarding cards etc. His clothes mostly came from M&S bought in the UK, and his shoes were from Switzerland.

He clearly didn't know his way around London or Manchester. He must have been living in Pakistan up until at least summer 2015, but maybe had been staying in South Ealing for a bit. It would appear he didn't have an Oyster Card which would make me think he's not from London.

It doesn't say if he bought his ticket at the machine, or at a ticket office. Maybe at a machine he could have clicked on the wrong box and ended up with a return.

It's odd how he's got to Greenfield, he can't have walked, gone by bus, or train, so someone has given him a lift. It's a pity they can't remember him at the information desk, but that would also suggest he asked a routine question.

Could have bought new clothes on arrival, or already had them prior to departing for Pakistan. He maybe kept a set of 'British' clothes to change into on arrival in this country. Could possibly have left or discarded passports somewhere; along with credit cards, keys etc.

He could have been staying in South Ealing I suppose, though no one remembers him despite quite extensive enquiries. Perhaps an unscrupulous B&B owner found his discarded belongings and disposed of them, hence the lack of people coming forward?

Piccadilly to Greenfield is do-able by train in well under an hour, at least station to station if not to the pub.
 

GlosRail

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It looks to be possible with a change, although the Police said he wasn't showing on CCTV at Greenfield, and showed him walking out of Piccadilly into a side street.

To the best of my knowledge, there are no rail services from Manchester Piccadilly to Greenfield. Are you thinking of rail services from Manchester Victoria to Greenfield?
 

DaveNewcastle

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I wonder whether the sole connection with Saddleworth was that he read about the Moors Murders (and/or the plane crash) and somehow became obsessed with it, to the point of wishing to die there.
in the unhappy world of suicide data analysis, Saddleworh is a regularly appearing location, having one of the unfortunately named suicide bridges, and had another such incident in the national media just a few months ago.
 
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