Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe dies

Peter Sutcliffe
Peter Sutcliffe was convicted in 1981 of murdering 13 woman

The Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe has died at the age of 74.

The serial killer was serving a whole life term for murdering 13 women across Yorkshire and north-west England.

He died in hospital where he is said to have refused treatment for Peter Sutcliffe. Sutcliffe also had a number of other underlying health problems.

The son of his first victim, who was five when his mother was killed, said Sutcliffe’s death would bring “some kind of closure”.

Sutcliffe was convicted in 1981 and spent three decades at Broadmoor Hospital before being moved to HMP Frankland in County Durham in 2016.

His first victim was mother-of-four Wilma McCann, 28, who was hit with a hammer and stabbed 15 times, in October 1975.

Former police officer Bob Bridgestock, who worked on the hunt for Sutcliffe, said he “won’t be shedding any tears”.

Sutcliffe’s victims

Victims of the Yorkshire Ripper 
Twelve of the 13 women Sutcliffe was convicted of murdering in West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester (Marguerite Walls not pictured) – (Image: PA Media)
  • Wilma McCann, 28, Leeds, October 1975
  • Emily Jackson, 42, Leeds, January 1976
  • Irene Richardson, 28, Leeds, February 1977
  • Patricia Atkinson, 32, Bradford, April 1977
  • Jayne McDonald, 16, Leeds, June 1977
  • Jean Jordan, 21, Manchester, October 1977
  • Yvonne Pearson, 22, Bradford, January 1978
  • Helen Rytka, 18, Huddersfield, January 1978
  • Vera Millward, 41, Manchester, May 1978
  • Josephine Whittaker, 19, Halifax, May 1979
  • Barbara Leach, 20, Bradford, September 1979
  • Marguerite Walls, 47, Leeds, August 1980
  • Jacqueline Hill, 20, Leeds, November 1980

Mr McCann said: “The attention he’s had over the years, the continuous news stories that we’ve suffered over the years, there is some form of conclusion to that.

“I am sure a lot of the families, surviving children of the victims may well be glad he has gone and they have a right to feel like that.”

He explained that in about 2010 he had decided to let go of his anger and “forgive” Sutcliffe.

“I am sorry to hear he has passed away. It’s not something I could have said in the past when I was consumed with anger,” he said.

Sutcliffe was dubbed the Yorkshire Ripper because he mutilated his victims’ bodies using a hammer, screwdriver and knife.

‘Mission from God’

The former lorry driver, from Bradford, was convicted of murdering 13 women between 1975 and 1980 and the attempted murder of seven others.

He is said to have believed he was on a “mission from God” to kill prostitutes, although not all of his victims were sex workers.

A huge police operation was launched in the 1970s, with 150 officers conducting more than 11,000 interviews.

Sutcliffe was interviewed nine times during the course of the investigation but continued to avoid arrest and carried on with his killings.

An inquiry held after his conviction said a backlog of case paperwork meant officers were unable to connect vital pieces of information.

The investigation was also misdirected by one of criminal history’s cruellest hoaxes, when John Humble tricked police into believing the serial killer was a man dubbed Wearside Jack because of his gruff Sunderland accent.

Police had believed he was the killer despite the victims of Sutcliffe who survived said their attacker sounded like he was a local man.

Humble, who died in 2019, never fully explained why he taunted the press and detectives with letters and an infamous tape recording, in which he anonymously claimed to be the serial killer.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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