ENTERTAINMENT

Twisted Life of the Yorkshire Ripper: Grave Tombs whose barbaric attacks terrorized the North


In the annals of 20th century serial killers, a name – and a nickname – is an especially troubling chapter.

The fear that Peter Sutcliffe's barbaric and bloody attacks on young women sparked was compounded by the incompetence of the police that kept him out of the net for so long.

Sutcliffe was the newly wed former gravesite whose brutal reign of terror in the north of England sparked unswerving concerns when police failed to pick up clues about the persecution of the notorious killer named Yorkshire Ripper.

During the police investigation, he was interviewed nine times, but only caught accidentally being picked up in his car with a prostitute. Between 1975 and 1980, he finally attacked 20 women and killed 13 of them.

A series of spectacular police mistakes left even Sutcliffe astonished that he had not been caught before.

The Ripper incident room at Millgarth Police Station used a card system that was overflowing with information and not properly referenced, leading to evidence that Sutcliffe was lost in the system.

Crucial similarities between him and the suspect, such as the gap in his teeth and his height of seven feet, were not recognized.

He died in hospital this morning after signing Covid.

The fear that Peter Sutcliffe's barbaric and bloody attacks on young women sparked was compounded by the incompetence of the police that kept him out of the net for so long

The fear that Peter Sutcliffe's barbaric and bloody attacks on young women sparked was compounded by the incompetence of the police that kept him out of the net for so long

Police dug in front of the Ripper's house in Heaton in 1981 following his rampage in which 13 women were murdered

Police dug in front of the Ripper's house in Heaton in 1981 following his rampage in which 13 women were murdered

Sutcliffe's unexpected admission to police in 1981 was followed by his decision to challenge the charges - resulting in an Old Bailey trial claiming he was on God's mission to kill prostitutes

Sutcliffe's unexpected admission to police in 1981 was followed by his decision to challenge the charges – resulting in an Old Bailey trial claiming he was on God's mission to kill prostitutes

A newspaper clipping from October 1975 describes a "wild and sadistic sex attack on Leeds mother in fear" Wilma McCann

A newspaper clipping from October 1975 describes a "wild and sadistic sex attack on Leeds mother in fear" Wilma McCann

Sutcliffe's wife, Sonia

Sucliffe's wife Sonia with her second husband Michael Woodward

Sonia Sutcliffe, pictured left and right with second husband Michael Woodward, stood by her first husband even after he was exposed as one of the most notorious serial killers in British history

How the police missed nine chances to stop the Yorkshire Ripper

November 2nd 1977: When a £ 5 bill was found in the pocket of 28-year-old Jean Jordan in Manchester in 1977, the police were unable to bandage Sutcliffe. The note was traced back to one of six companies, including Clark Transport, which Sutcliffe employed as a truck driver. He was interviewed but received an alibi from his wife and mother, which was accepted.

November 8, 1977: Sutcliffe was questioned again by two different officers about the £ 5 bill a week after the first interview. Sutcliffe and his wife Sonia kept their stories consistent and had their house searched, but nothing incriminating was found.

August 13, 1978: Police had staked out the red light districts in Leeds, Bradford, Manchester and Sheffield and had written off license plates. When questioned, both Sutcliffe and his wife had difficulty remembering what they said on the weekend of March 16-17. May when Vera Millward was murdered, but Sonia believed her husband would have been home all evening.

November 23, 1978: Sutcliffe had sold his car and bought a new one. Officers later visited the car's new owner to check the tires, but by then they had been replaced with new ones.

July 29, 1979: Detectives visit Sutcliffe's home after his Sunbeam Rapier was spotted 36 times by ripper surveillance teams in Bradford, twice in Leeds and once in Manchester. This was the most important interview of the nine times Sutcliffe was interviewed by the police. For the first and only time, officials suspected that his answers and behavior were "not entirely correct".

October 23, 1979: Sutcliffe was interviewed again by officials who were dissatisfied with alibis and statements. However, after being interviewed again and handwriting samples taken, he was again eliminated as a suspect.

January 13, 1980: He was questioned again by Manchester Police about the £ 5 bill, but the armed forces card system was overflowing with information and improperly referenced, leading to evidence that Sutcliffe was lost in the system.

January 30, 1980: When interviewed in Leeds, Sutcliffe said he showed a photo of his bootprint at the scene of the murder of Josephine Whitaker and even wore the same boots during interviews. He said, "They couldn't see what was in front of their own eyes."

February 7, 1980: A more detailed interview was requested about his vehicle movements, but Sutcliffe gave alibis for some of his car sightings, as well as an alibi he had at home the night of the Whitaker murder, which Sonia would also confirm.

For five years Sutcliffe stabbed, twisted, and butchered the flesh of his victims.

They were teenage girls, shop assistants, prostitutes, employees. They were mothers, daughters, sisters, women. And the wide range of victims from different walks of life meant that no woman at Sutcliffe was generally safe.

A total of 13 people were killed and seven more viciously attacked, although police remain convinced the dire appeal of the female victims to Yorkshire Ripper continues – not least because a red herring and numerous missed opportunities gave Sutcliffe a chance to win his to continue murderous rampage.

Sutcliffe's unexpected admission to police in 1981 was followed by his decision to challenge the charges – which led to an Old Bailey trial claiming he was on God's mission to kill prostitutes.

He died on Friday, November 13, at the age of 74 after nearly four decades in prison. His rampage, which began before he was 30, remains one of the worst murder investigations of the last century.

Peter William Sutcliffe was born on June 2, 1946 in Bingley, West Yorkshire.

A relative loner at school, he left school at the age of 15 and took on a number of simple jobs. His work as a grave is said to have encouraged an awkward and macabre sense of humor.

On August 10, 1974, Sutcliffe married Sonia. Less than a year later, the truck driver picked up a hammer and began attacking women, two in Keighley and one in Halifax.

All three survived and the police did not notice the similarities between the attacks.

The first death was Wilma McCann. The 28-year-old sex worker and mother of four was beaten to death in the early hours of October 30, 1975.

She was hit with a hammer and stabbed in the neck, chest and stomach after Sutcliffe picked her up in Leeds.

He later told police, "After that first time, I developed and played a hatred of prostitutes to justify in myself a reason why I attacked and killed Wilma McCann."

But for the Sutcliffes, life went on normally.

His next victim – 42 year old Emily Jackson from Leeds – was murdered in similar bloody circumstances in January of the following year.

He would apparently wait more than a year before striking again. It was his fifth murder of 16-year-old Jayne MacDonald in April 1977 that woke the national press to the fact that a serial killer was on the loose.

The identity of the assailant, known as the Yorkshire Ripper, was unknown for years – in fact, a hoax that brought detectives to Sunderland completely misled the police and allowed Sutcliffe to continue killing.

In 1979, a man who called himself Jack the Ripper sent a tape to the police. He had already sent a number of handwritten letters from Sunderland and the police believed they were on their way to the killer, ignoring anyone without a Wearside accent in their extensive database of suspects – including Sutcliffe.

By the summer of that year, Sutcliffe had been interviewed five times. It also bore a significant resemblance to a popular image of the prime suspect, while a banknote discovered near a victim's body was traced back to Sutcliffe's employer at the time.

However, the fact that his accent and handwriting did not match those of the impostor meant that Sutcliffe remained a free man.

He was finally caught in January 1981 when police were checking his car to see that the license plates had been stolen.

Its passenger was the 24-year-old road worker Olivia Reivers – detectives later discovered a hammer and knife nearby. Your search was over.

Despite a 24-hour confession of the murders, Sutcliffe pleaded not guilty on indictment in court.

In May 1981 he was sentenced to 20 life sentences at the Old Bailey. The judge recommended a minimum sentence of 30 years.

He was transferred from Parkhurst Prison on the Isle of Wight to Broadmoor Safe Hospital in Berkshire in 1984 after being diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

More than two decades later, a secret report revealed that Sutcliffe had likely committed more crimes than the 13 murders and seven attempted murders for which he was convicted.

He left Broadmoor and moved back to mainstream prison in 2016, where he served at Frankland Prison in Durham.

He was hospitalized in October 2020 after a suspected heart attack and returned to North Durham University Hospital a fortnight later after contracting coronavirus.

Sutcliffe, who reportedly turned down treatment for Covid-19 and was also suffering from health problems, insisted on being addressed by his mother's maiden name, Coonan, but will forever be known as the Ripper.

Crowds gathered outside Dewsbury Court in England after the Yorkshire Ripper was caught and appeared to be charged with the murder of Jacqueline Hill

Crowds gathered outside Dewsbury Court in England after the Yorkshire Ripper was caught and appeared to be charged with the murder of Jacqueline Hill

A police officer stands guard outside Sutcliffe's house in Heaton, West Yorkshire after he was finally arrested

A police officer stands guard outside Sutcliffe's house in Heaton, West Yorkshire after he was finally arrested

Bobbies and Mistakes: Police mistakes that allowed him to leave the net

The hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper became the biggest manhunt Britain had ever known.

Despite the 2.5 million hours police officers spent catching him, Peter Sutcliffe was allowed to continue his murderous rampage for more than five years.

During the police investigation, he was interviewed nine times, but only caught accidentally being picked up in his car with a prostitute. Between 1975 and 1980, he finally attacked 20 women and killed 13 of them.

A series of spectacular police mistakes left even Sutcliffe astonished that he had not been caught before.

George Oldfield (West Yorkshire Police Commissioner), Ronald Gregory (West Yorkshire Police Commissioner) and Jim Hobson (West Yorkshire Police Commissioner) - pictured at a press conference shortly after Sutcliffe's arrest

George Oldfield (West Yorkshire Police Commissioner), Ronald Gregory (West Yorkshire Police Commissioner) and Jim Hobson (West Yorkshire Police Commissioner) – pictured at a press conference shortly after Sutcliffe's arrest

At his trial against Old Bailey, he said, "It was just a miracle they didn't arrest me sooner – they had all the facts."

The Ripper incident room at Millgarth Police Station used a card system that was overflowing with information and not properly referenced, leading to evidence that Sutcliffe was lost in the system.

Crucial similarities between him and the suspect, such as the gap in his teeth and his height of seven feet, were not recognized.

As early as 1976, when Marcella Claxton was hit over the head with a hammer near her home in Leeds, potentially important evidence was overlooked.

She survived the attack and was able to help the police produce a photo fit – which later turned out to be correct – but she was classified as a ripper victim for not being a prostitute.

Sutcliffe was once interviewed by officers who showed him a picture of the ripper's bootprint near a corpse – they failed to notice that Sutcliffe was wearing the exact same pair of boots.

When a £ 5 note was found in the pocket of 28-year-old Jean Jordan in Manchester in 1977, the police were again unable to bandage Sutcliffe.

Detective Chief Superintendent Hobson replaced Oldfield in November 1980. He immediately downgraded the importance of the Wearside Jack tape and letters

Detective Chief Superintendent Hobson replaced Oldfield in November 1980. He immediately downgraded the importance of the Wearside Jack tape and letters

The note was traced back to one of six companies, including Clark Transport, which Sutcliffe employed as a truck driver.

He was interviewed but received an alibi from his wife and mother, which was accepted.

Police also overlooked Sutcliffe's 1969 arrest for carrying a hammer in a red light district and attempts by his friend Trevor Birdsall to point his finger at him in an anonymous letter.

The worst mistake, however, came in 1979 when West Yorkshire Police's deputy chief George Oldfield, who was in full command of the hunt, was deceived by a joke tape and two letters from Sunderland allegedly from the Ripper.

There were warnings of a joke from language experts and other detectives, but Oldfield went on, believing this was his man.

Since the voice on the tape had a northeast accent, Sutcliffe, from Bradford, was not in the picture.

Oldfield's mistake has been described as one of the greatest in British criminal history, but it was widely considered to be "first class copper".

As an old-school cop with three decades of experience, he was a drinkable, dedicated man who developed a deep personal obsession with nailing the Ripper.

He worked 18 hour days and promised the parents of the sixth victim, Jayne MacDonald, that he would catch the killer.

His 200-strong ripper squad eventually conducted more than 130,000 interviews, visited more than 23,000 homes, and checked 150,000 cars.

When the tape arrived it was a personal message to Oldfield that said, “Lord, you are no closer now than you were four years ago when I started.

“I think your boys are failing you, George. You can't be good, can you? & # 39;

Later that year, Oldfield had a heart attack at the age of 57 and was subsequently removed from the case.

He has been described by friends as "the Ripper's 14th victim".

Focusing on Northeastern accent suspects, the Ripper continued his rampage, claiming his 13th and final murder victim, 21-year-old student Jacqueline Hill, in late 1980.

At the time, the police had a list of suspects.

There were 26 in Division One – at the top was a completely innocent taxi driver whom they chased for months.

Around 200 names were in Division Two and 1,000 – including Sutcliffe – in Division Three.

Then, in January 1981, the police finally got lucky when Sutcliffe was arrested by Sheffield officers who stopped him with a prostitute in his brown Rover car.

The car had false license plates and Sutcliffe's name was given to the Ripper troop, where it was on their index cards.

When a £ 5 note was found in the pocket of 28-year-old Jean Jordan in Manchester in 1977, the police were again unable to bandage Sutcliffe. The note was traced back to one of six companies, including Clark Transport, which Sutcliffe employed as a truck driver

When a £ 5 note was found in the pocket of 28-year-old Jean Jordan in Manchester in 1977, the police were again unable to bandage Sutcliffe. The note was traced back to one of six companies, including Clark Transport, which Sutcliffe employed as a truck driver

He had always denied involvement in prostitutes in his previous interviews, and they decided to speak to him again.

The officers who went to the Dewsbury Police Station to interview him looked at the car and found screwdrivers in the glove compartment.

Meanwhile, when the Sheffield officers heard that Sutcliffe was a ripper suspect, they returned to the location of his arrest and found a hammer and knife 50 feet from where his car had been.

Sutcliffe had dumped the guns when they allowed him to use the bathroom next to a building.

Police also visited Sutcliffe's wife, Sonia, who admitted he didn't come home until 10 p.m. on Bonfire Night when a 16-year-old girl was attacked.

When the network closed, Sutcliffe suddenly and unexpectedly confessed.

He said calmly to Detective Inspector John Boyle, who was interviewing him, “It's okay, I know where you're going. The Yorkshire Ripper. It's me. I killed all of these women. & # 39;

Then he began a detailed 24 hour confession and asked that Sonia be brought in so he could tell her in person that he was the Ripper.

Sutcliffe was tried at the Old Bailey in May 1981, where he alleged that he had been instructed by God to kill prostitutes.

The jury had to decide whether he believed he was carrying out a divine mission at the time of the murders.

After much deliberation, they returned to a 10-2 majority vote and were imprisoned for life.

The case remains one of the most notorious in the last 100 years, and the assessment of what went wrong in the investigation continues to impact major police investigations to this day.

The Wearside Jack news eventually turned out to be a hoax nearly 30 years after it was posted when Sunderland alcoholic John Humble admitted he had distorted legal proceedings and was sentenced to eight years in prison in 2006.

The woman who stood by a monster: How Yorkshire Ripper's ex-wife Sonia Sutcliffe stayed married to him for almost 15 years and only visited him in Broadmoor in 2015 after he was jailed for the murder of 13 women

Sonia Sutcliffe stood by her husband even after he was exposed as one of the most notorious serial killers in British history.

Peter Sutcliffe died this morning aged 74 after turning down treatment for the coronavirus.

But his 20-year-old wife, schoolteacher Sonia, never broke her silence to speak about the man who slaughtered 13 women.

Sonia still lives in the house she shared with her ex-husband Peter in Bradford, West Yorkshire, while he murdered his victims.

Sonia continued to visit her husband at Parkhurst Prison and later on Broadmoor, where he was relocated in 1984 for paranoid schizophrenia.

The couple divorced in 1994 after 20 years of marriage and remarried hairdresser Michael Woodward in 1997.

Disgraced as a Yorkshire Ripper in the 1970s and 1980s, Sutcliffe began his reign of terror after an argument with his wife in 1969.

Sonia Sutcliffe, pictured here in Leeds in 2018, never broke her silence to speak about the man who slaughtered 13 women

Sonia Sutcliffe, pictured here in Leeds in 2018, never broke her silence to speak about the man who slaughtered 13 women

A police officer stands guard outside Sutcliffe's house in Heaton, West Yorkshire after he was finally arrested. Sonia still lives in the house she shared with her ex-husband Peter in Bradford, West Yorkshire, while he murdered his victims

A police officer stands guard outside Sutcliffe's house in Heaton, West Yorkshire after he was finally arrested. Sonia still lives in the house she shared with her ex-husband Peter in Bradford, West Yorkshire, while he murdered his victims

Sutcliffe and his wife Sonia introduced himself at his father's house in late 1980 in the midst of his rampage

The fear that Peter Sutcliffe's barbaric and bloody attacks on young women sparked was compounded by the incompetence of the police that kept him out of the net for so long

Sutcliffe and his wife Sonia introduced himself at his father's house in late 1980 in the midst of his rampage

Sutcliffe met Sonia after getting a job as a gravedigger at Bingley Cemetery in 1964.

Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe (pictured) has died at the age of 74 after being infected with the coronavirus

Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe (pictured) has died at the age of 74 after being infected with the coronavirus

He and his work friends went drinking at the Royal Standard in Bradford's Red Light District and hung out in an area of ​​the pub they called "Gravediggers" Corner.

In 1966, at the bar, he met Sonia, the daughter of Ukrainian refugees who were born in Poland.

A year after Sonia and Peter became engaged, Sutcliffe's brother discovered she was being driven in a sports car by an Italian businessman.

After a furious argument, Sutcliffe took on a prostitute in Bradford that evening to cheat on his then-wife.

Though he changed his mind at the last minute, he responded to the claim that the woman cheated on him out of 5 pounds – which sparked bitter hatred of the sex workers he murdered over the next five years.

The couple fixed things and on August 10, 1974, Sutcliffe married Sonia.

Less than a year later, the truck driver picked up a hammer and began attacking women, two in Keighley and one in Halifax.

All three survived and the police did not notice the similarities between the attacks.

The first death was Wilma McCann. The 28-year-old sex worker and mother of four was beaten to death in the early hours of October 30, 1975.

Peter Sutcliffe (1946) has been called the "Yorkshire Ripper" by the press

Peter Sutcliffe (1946) has been called the "Yorkshire Ripper" by the press

When the net approached Sutcliffe in 1981 and he confessed, he calmly said to Detective Inspector John Boyle, who was interviewing him, "It's okay, I know what you're up to. The Yorkshire Ripper. It's me. I killed all of these women. & # 39;

Then he began a detailed 24 hour confession and asked that Sonia be brought in so he could tell her in person that he was the Ripper.

Sonia stayed by his side when she was convicted of murder, but has not been seen in jail since visiting Broadmoor in December 2015.

She remarried hairdresser Michael Woodward in 1997 and was last photographed in 2018.

In 2015, Sonia told the Sun on Sunday: “People have claimed to have interviewed me when the truth is that they didn't. Many bad things have been written about me and they are not correct.

“I want the truth to come out one day, but I'm afraid I will be very busy for the next two or three years. I have obligations that I cannot get out of. I don't want to say what they are.

"Someday I could do something, but I don't want to raise your hopes that will happen now."

Sutcliffe in the prison car en route to the Old Bailey in London, May 1981

74-year-old Sutcliffe was serving a life sentence for his horrific crimes. In recent years, he has suffered from angina, diabetes and near blindness after being attacked by a fellow inmate

Sutcliffe in the prison car en route to the Old Bailey in London, May 1981 (left). He was serving a life sentence for his horrific crimes and has suffered from angina, diabetes and near blindness in recent years after being attacked by a fellow inmate

In 2015, Sutcliffe complained that he missed "his Sonia", claiming that her new husband was "jealous" of their friendship and prevented her from visiting him behind bars.

Earlier this year, Sutcliffe sent Sonia a Valentine's Day card, asking if she would visit him in jail because he was "in pieces" so he might never see her again.

In February, Sutcliffe asked prison bosses to make a video call to his ex-wife at HMP Frankland in County Durham.

He had told his friends about the "Sonia problem", a Sun source announced on Sunday, like him & # 39; desperately trying to find a way & # 39; missed her.

Sources said he "tends to snoop around and complain" about the potential of never seeing his ex-wife before he dies.

"But it's a miracle she's in touch with him at all, or that it actually is someone," added the source.

The ripper reportedly asked a Frankland governor to persuade Sonia to visit, as prisoners are prohibited from video calling potential visitors.

A composition of 12 of the 13 victims murdered by Sutcliffe. Victims are: (top row, left to right) Wilma McCann, Emily Jackson, Irene Richardson, Patricia Atkinson; (middle row from left to right) Jayne McDonald, Jean Jordan, Yvonne Pearson, Helen Rytka; (bottom row left to right) Vera Millward, Josephine Whitaker, Barbara Leach, Jacqueline Hill

A composition of 12 of the 13 victims murdered by Sutcliffe. Victims are: (top row, left to right) Wilma McCann, Emily Jackson, Irene Richardson, Patricia Atkinson; (middle row from left to right) Jayne McDonald, Jean Jordan, Yvonne Pearson, Helen Rytka; (bottom row left to right) Vera Millward, Josephine Whitaker, Barbara Leach, Jacqueline Hill

"We will not shed a tear": The victims of the Yorkshire Ripper families report that they were finally "closed" after his death

The 13 murder victims of the Yorkshire Ripper

Wilma McCann

Wilma McCann

Wilma McCann

Age: 28 years

Killed on: October 30, 1975

A sex worker and mother of four, Sutcliffe beat Wilma McCann to death with a hammer and stabbed her in the neck, chest and stomach after she picked her up in Leeds. He lived with Mrs. Sonia as usual and was supposed to tell the police: "After this first time, I developed and played a hatred of prostitutes in order to justify a reason in myself why I had attacked and killed Wilma McCann." Her body was found at Prince Phillip Playing Fields.

Emily Jackson

Emily Jackson

Emily Jackson

Age: 42 years

Killed on: January 20, 1976

Sutcliffe, a part-time sex worker, was pretending his car wouldn't start when he picked her up and hit her twice with a hammer when she offered to help. He dragged her body into a courtyard and stabbed her viciously in the neck, breasts, lower abdomen and back with a screwdriver a total of 52 times. Her body was found on Manor Street in Leeds.

Irene Richardson

Irene Richardson

Irene Richardson

Age: 28 years

Killed on: February 5, 1977

Another prostitute whom Sutcliffe picked up attacked them in Roundhay Park in Leeds, where they stopped to use the bathroom. When she crouched, the killer hit her three heavily on the head with a hammer, then tore open her jacket and blouse and began to stab and cut her with his Stanley knife.

Patricia Atkinson

Patricia Atkinson

Patricia Atkinson

Age: 32 years

Killed on: April 23, 1977

Sutcliffe's first victim in his hometown of Bradford was another prostitute. He picked her up and took her to an apartment on Oak Avenue, where he picked up a hammer and dealt her four massive blows on the back of the head. He also stabbed her in the stomach six times with a knife and tried to do the same with her back before throwing sheets over her body and leaving.

Jayne MacDonald

Jayne MacDonald

Jayne MacDonald

Age: 16

Killed on: April 23, 1977

Jayne MacDonald, a saleswoman who had just left school, was the first victim of a "non-prostitute". With her death, the hunt for the killer drew national attention. Sutcliffe spotted her in Leeds early in the morning and followed her to an adventure playground, where he hit her on the back of the head with a hammer. After she fell, he pulled her face down into the play areas and stabbed her several times in the chest and back.

Jean Jordan

Jean Jordan

Jean Jordan

Age: 20 years

Killed on: October 1, 1977

Jean Jordan, a young prostitute, was the ripper's first victim in Manchester. He hit her eleven times with a hammer in allotments near the south cemetery, dropped her body and threw her bag. It contained a brand new 5 pound note that he gave her in nearby shrubs. Police found the bag and traced the serial number on the slip to the payroll of Yorkshire freight forwarders T and WH Clark who employed Peter Sutcliffe. However, when questioned, he gave an alibi that he was at a party.

Yvonne Pearson

Yvonne Pearson

Yvonne Pearson

Age: 21

Killed on: January 21, 1978

Sutcliffe, a young prostitute, took her to a piece of wasteland in the back of Drummond's Mill in Bradford, where his father worked. There he hit her several times with a hammer. He pulled her body behind an old sofa, stuffed her horsehair down her throat before kicking her in the head and jumping on her chest.

Helen Rytka

Age: 18 years

Killed on: January 18, 1978

Helen Rytka, a teenage prostitute, was picked up by the killer and driven to a lumber yard on Great Northern Street in Huddersfield. There he hit her several times with a hammer, but she stayed alive until he grabbed a knife and stabbed her through the heart and lungs several times. Before leaving, he hid her body behind a pile of wood.

Vera Millward

Vera Millward

Vera Millward

Age: 40 years

Killed on: May 16, 1978

Vera Millward, a prostitute who lived in a shabby council house in Hulme, Manchester, was Sutcliffe's ninth victim. He took her to Manchester Royal Infirmary, where he attacked her with a hammer as soon as she got out of the car.

Josephine Whitaker

Josephine Whitaker

Josephine Whitaker

Age: 19

Killed on: April 4, 1979

Josephine Whitaker, a teenage building society employee, was approached by Sutcliffe in Savile Park, Halifax, where they were talking. He hit her from behind with a hammer and again when she was on the floor before pulling her into the dark after hearing voices.

Barbara Leach

Barbara Leach

Barbara Leach

Age: 20 years

Killed on: September 20, 1979

Barbara Leach was a college student approaching her third and final year in social psychology. He spotted her driving in Bradford and opened the car door to get out when she walked towards him. He attacked her with a hammer and dragged her into a back yard before pricking her with the same screwdriver he'd used on Josephine Whitaker. Then he placed her body in a distorted jackknife position behind a low wall in an area usually used to store trash cans, and covered her body with an old piece of carpet and some stones.

Marguerite walls

Marguerite walls

Marguerite walls

Age: 47 years

Killed on: August 20, 1980

Marguerite Walls, a civil servant who worked in the Pudsey Department of Education and Science office, was the ripper's twelfth victim. After spotting her in Leeds, he attacked her with the blow of a hammer and yelled & # 39; dirty prostitute & # 39 ;.

Jacqueline Hill

Jacqueline Hill

Jacqueline Hill

Age: 20 years

Killed on: November 17, 1980

Jacqueline Hill, an English student at Leeds University, had taken the bus home from a meeting with probation officers where she had applied to volunteer. Sutcliffe spotted and followed her before slapping her head as she passed an opening. Her body was discovered on a stretch of wasteland 100 meters from where she lived. She suffered four fractured skulls and cuts on the head, one stab wound on the left breast and one stab wound on the right eye.

Families of the victims of the Yorkshire Ripper say today that they "will not shed a tear" and will finally be "closed" after his death at the age of 74.

The serial killer, who murdered at least 13 women in the 1970s and 1980s, died at North Durham University Medical Center.

He began his rampage in 1975, beating 28-year-old sex worker Wilma McCann to death on October 30, 1975 after three non-fatal attacks on women earlier that year.

Three months later, he murdered Emily Jackson, 42, from Leeds. hit her with a hammer and pricked her with a screwdriver.

In the same town he struck again the following year, killing the 28-year-old prostitute Irene Richardson on February 5, 1977.

Later that year, he then killed 32-year-old Patricia Atkinson in his hometown of Bradford, Jayne MacDonald, a 16-year-old saleswoman who brought the case to the national press, and 20-year-old Jean Jordan in Manchester.

In 1978 he murdered three other prostitutes – Yvonne Pearson, 21, of Bradford; Helen Rytka, 18, of Huddersfield, and Vera Millward, 40, of Manchester, before killing Halifax Building Society employee Josephine Whitaker, 19, on April 4, 1979.

Five months later, he murdered 20-year-old Barbara Leach in Bradford before claiming two more victims in 1980. Marguerite Walls, 47, of Leeds, followed by Jacqueline Hill, 20, a student at Leeds University on November 17th.

Today Neil Jackson, whose mother Emily was murdered, shared his relief that the Yorkshire Ripper was dead, adding that if convicted he should have been hanged.

The 62-year-old construction site worker from Leeds told MailOnline: “Thank God for that. It's a huge relief. The sooner the better.

“It would have been much better if he had been hanged after being sentenced.

“It would have saved the country a lot of money and saved the families of the victims and the surviving victims a lot of heartbreak.

Whenever Sutcliffe is mentioned, I think of my mother. In fact, I think of her every day. I have photos of my mother all over the house.

"It was taken too early."

Marcella Claxton, who was attacked by Sutcliffe and required more than 50 stitches after going over the head with a hammer, added that she was "happy" that the Yorkshire Ripper had died.

Ms. Claxton, whose family moved from the West Indies to Leeds when she was 10, was attacked by the killer after leaving a nightly house party.

Although she survived, she lost the baby she was four months pregnant with.

Today she said to MailOnline: “I'm glad he's gone.

“I've been thinking about what he did to me every day since then, and while the news that he died brings back those terrible memories, at least now, I may be able to get a degree.

"I hope it will bring me some peace when I know that he is no longer with us."

Another Ripper victim's family, Olive Smelt, were also relieved that Sutcliffe had died and assaulted him for living in luxury for so many years.

Ms. Smelt was attacked in August 1975 by Peter Sutcliffe – the Ripper's second victim.

Then, at the age of 46, she was hit twice on the head with a hammer and slit open with a pickaxe near her home in Halifax, West Yorkshire.

She survived the attack but died in 2011.

Daughter Julie Lowry said, “I think it is time Sutcliffe should have died a long time ago.

“He took many people's lives from them. I am not sad at all

& # 39; It's a bit of a closure. We had to live with what he has done all our lives. Not just us, but all the victims and their families, people whose lives he has influenced and destroyed.

"I think he's been in luxury for how many odd years, so I won't shed tears or share sorrow over this news."

Bob Bridgestock, a former West Yorkshire Police officer in charge, was one of the first officers on the scene when Josephine Whittaker was attacked in 1979.

He said, “Peter Sutcliffe wasn't a smart killer, he was just brutal. He's on my mind, along with (Ian) Brady, a serial killer who will be loathed until he's gone.

“I was walking my dog ​​this morning and saw people saying“ good news, good release. ”He destroyed lives as a brutal assailant of sex workers.

Then with Josephine Whittaker who opened it and people in West Yorkshire were afraid to go out.

“I was a detective for 30 years and I found out that it is the victims and the families of the victims who are really serving life sentences.

“For them today they will have a kind of closure that he died. But it won't bring any of the family members back.

& # 39; Today's news in the media will bring back sad memories for maybe of you. We should remember the victims, not the killer. & # 39;

He added, "Today is about the families and they won't shed a tear for him, but it will bring back terrible memories and peace will come from knowing that they no longer have to have them because of him."

Michael Bilton, former investigative journalist for the Sunday Times, who wrote: The Hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper told BBC Today: “My feelings for children today come from people he has made motherless.

"The thing about this man's crimes is the families of the victims and some of the survivors. He actually attacked a lot of surviving women. You can ever escape the memory of Peter Sutcliffe and what he did."

"He somehow managed to maintain his prominence in Broadmoor and later in prison."

Meanwhile, retired detective Roger Parnell, who worked on the Ripper investigation, denied allegations that the officers paid no less attention to prostitutes.

He told BBC Radio 5Live: “We definitely did it, I can assure you we did.

& # 39; These ladies were women, they were mothers, they were sisters. And the investigation hasn't changed with Jayne MacDonald's murder.

“We were all determined from the start to catch the perpetrator of all these murders.

"When I heard this morning that Peter Sutcliffe had died, I honestly didn't care."

Mr. Parnell said, “The senior officers at the time … they just swallowed the Wearside Jack tape.

“A lot of us, the officers on the ground, the DCs and the sergeants, we haven't swallowed that, to be completely honest.

"We announced our thoughts, but we were ignored."

The emotion showed on the face of the elderly mother of the Ripper's last victim, Jacqueline Hill, as she opened the door of her home in Middlesbrough today.

Mrs. Hill nodded when asked if she'd heard that Sutcliffe had died, but said, "I'm sorry I'm not going to discuss this."

Her daughter, a former Sunday School teacher, was 20 years old when Sutcliffe beat her to death on November 17, 1980 on a piece of wasteland near their student dormitories in Leeds.

He struck as Jacqueline went to the halls where her parents, Mrs. Hill and husband Jack, had persuaded her to move for her own safety while the ripper was at large.

After her death, many female students left their courses and went home.

Jacqueline was studying English at Leeds University and had been to a meeting with probation officers the night she was murdered and applied to volunteer.

The group decided to go to a nearby pub at the end of the meeting and Jacqueline was invited.

Last year's student then took the bus home, which stopped 300 meters from her dormitories at around 9:20 p.m.

Her body was discovered on a stretch of wasteland 100 meters from where she lived. She suffered four fractured skulls and cuts on the head, one stab wound on the left breast and one stab wound on the right eye.

One of the volunteer probation officers who met Jacqueline that night later said, “It never occurred to any of us that this was a risky business.

& # 39; That just got too much. If someone could be killed at 9:15 p.m. in a fairly busy area – that just took it to a higher level, it has to stop. & # 39;

Jacqueline & # 39; s death sparked marches on the streets by groups of women enraged that women were being given a night curfew. They believed it should have been men who were forced to stay inside during hours of darkness.

Ms. Hill always claimed that her daughter would be alive today but because of shortcomings in the police investigation, and in 2013 asked for an investigation into the way the investigation was conducted.

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