On the matter of people being pushed in the canal, a few months before I retired, in the relatively early days of DNA identification, a DNA analysis was made in relation to serious sex crimes but without a match to anybody on record. By no means unusual then because the routine collection of specimens from those arrested was quite new.
One of the offences had culminated on Globe Road, by the Leeds and Liverpool Canal in the city centre. Here's the relevant bit:-
http://www.nickdavies.net/1999/09/17/ge ... e-barwell/
in the car park that night, he forced his way into a 26-year-old woman’s car, drove her off, threatened to shoot her in the back of the head and raped her. When he had finished with her, he gagged her and bound her ankles and wrists with electric cable, pulled a shopping bag over her head and drove her to the banks of the Leeds and Liverpool canal, where he shoved her in. The woman was out of her depth in freezing water which rapidly filled the bag over her head. Barwell stood on the bank and watched her struggling. Kicking out, the woman felt a large stone on the floor of the canal and managed to get her feet onto it and to push her face above the water. She wriggled free from the cable and took the bag from her head. Barwell cursed her from the bank and, in fear, she turned and thrashed through the water to the far bank and safety. Barwell fled in her car, which he abandoned and torched.
I knew that the assailant had been arrested after I retired, but I was unaware of the rest of the story.