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Yorkshire Ripper's ex-wife Sonia Sutcliffe stayed married to him for nearly two decades


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 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 Sutcliffe in Bradford, West Yorkshire, while he murdered his victims.

The couple divorced in 1994 after 20 years of marriage and married their second husband Michael in 1997.

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

Disgraced as the Yorskhire Ripper after his reign of terror 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

On August 10, 1974, Sutcliffe married Sonia (they are pictured on their wedding day). Less than a year later, the truck driver picked up a hammer and began attacking women, two in Keighley and one in Halifax

On August 10, 1974, Sutcliffe married Sonia (they are pictured on their wedding day). Less than a year later, the truck driver picked up a hammer and began attacking women, two in Keighley and one in Halifax

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 aroused 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.

He and his work friends went drinking at the Royal Standard in Bradford's red light district – where they occupied what they called the "Gravedigger Corner" of the pub.

In 1966 he met Sonia in the pub, the daughter of Ukrainian refugees born in Poland.

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

A year after Sonia and Peter's engagement, Sutcliffe's brother discovered she was being driven in a white Triumph Spitfire by an Italian businessman.

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

Despite changing his mind at the last minute, he responded to claims that the woman cheated on him out of 5 pounds – which sparked a bitter hatred of the sex workers whom he then murdered.

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.

When the network approached Sutcliffe and he confessed, he calmly said to Detective Inspector John Boyle, who was interviewing him, “It's fine, I know where you are leading. 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.

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

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

Sonia stayed by his side when she was convicted of murders but has not been seen in prison 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 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

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 and asked 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 set up a video call to remarry Sonia at HMP Frankland in County Durham.

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

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

"But it's a miracle she's even in touch with him, 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.

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

The Yorkshire Ripper is dead at 74: serial killer Peter Sutcliffe, who murdered 13 women under the reign of terror in the 1970s and 1980s, dies in Covid prison after declining treatment

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

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

His lungs failed overnight and he was pronounced dead at 1:10 a.m. with no visitors at his bedside due to coronavirus restrictions.

The Ripper had previously signed "Not to Resuscitate Shapes" – while friends said he amazingly believed that after his death he would "go to heaven" for becoming a Jehovah's Witness.

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

She told MailOnline, "I'm glad he's gone. I've been thinking about what he's done to me every day since then, and although the news that he has died brings back those horrific memories at least now, I may possibly be able to Get a degree.

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

A prison service spokesman said: “HMP Frankland prisoner Peter Coonan (née Sutcliffe) died in hospital on November 13th. The Prison and Probation Ombudsman has been informed. "

A source told The Sun: “No tears have been shed. His death was as pathetic as the hideous life he had lived. & # 39;

Sutcliffe was brought back to HMP Frankland about ten days ago after spending five days in a local hospital with heart problems.

However, upon returning to the prison's medical isolation unit, Sutcliffe again complained of shortness of breath and chest pain, and later tested positive for Covid-19 on November 7th.

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

Sutcliffe was monitored in isolation over the weekend when his health began to deteriorate.

The The infamous serial killer was hospitalized again on Sunday – but he died five days later.

It was his second visit to North Durham University Hospital in less than a week.

On his first visit, he spent five nights there as of November 3 and was discharged after testing negative for Covid – complaining of symptoms similar to Covid-19 when he was admitted to the hospital.

One of Sutcliffe's surviving victims said today she was still suffering from the effects of his attack in Leeds in May 1976, 44 years later.

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

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

Bad rampage in which 13 women were killed

The five-year reign of terror from Yorkshire ripper Peter Sutcliffe claimed the lives of 13 women. You are:

– Wilma McCann, 28, of Chapeltown, Leeds, who was killed in October 1975.

– Emily Jackson, 42, prostitute and mother of three from Morley, Leeds. Killed on January 20, 1976.

– Irene Richardson, 28, mother of two from Chapeltown, Leeds. Killed on February 6, 1977.

– Patricia Atkinson, 32, mother of three from Manningham, Bradford. Killed on April 24, 1977.

– Jayne MacDonald, 16, a saleswoman from Leeds. Killed on June 26, 1977.

– Jean Jordan, 21, from Manchester, who died between September 30 and October 11, 1977.

– Yvonne Pearson, 22, from Bradford. Murdered between January 20 and March 26, 1978.

– Helen Rytka, 18, from Huddersfield. Murdered on January 31, 1978.

– Vera Millward, 40, mother of seven from Manchester, killed on May 16, 1978.

– Josephine Whitaker, 19, a Halifax building society worker. Killed on April 4, 1979.

– Barbara Leach, 20, a college student who was murdered in Bradford on September 1, 1979.

– Marguerite Walls, 47, a Leeds officer who was murdered on August 20, 1980

– Jacqueline Hill, 20, a college student found in Headingley on November 16, 1980.

She said today, "I'm glad he's gone. I've been thinking about what he's done to me every day since then, and although the news that he died brings back those terrible memories, at least now, I may be able to get a degree to get.

"I hope it will bring me a little 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 – Sutcliffe's second victim.

The 46-year-old 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

"It's a bit of a closure. We had to live with what he's 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."

John Apter, chairman of the Federation of Police, urged people to remember the Sutcliffe victims.

He tweeted: “Lots of breaking news about the death of convicted murderer Peter Sutcliffe. I understand why this is worth news, but my plea to the media is to show the faces of those he killed, not him. The 13 women he murdered and the 7 who survived his brutal attacks are on my mind. & # 39;

Sutcliffe was imprisoned for life at the Old Bailey in May 1981, before being transferred to Broadmoor Hospital three years later after he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

He was transferred to HMP Frankland in 2016 after psychiatrists said he was stable enough to go to prison.

Sutcliffe had reportedly suffered from a number of medical conditions prior to his death, including heart problems, diabetes and obesity.

Sutcliffe was born in Bingley, West Yorkshire, in 1946. He left school at the age of 15 and worked in simple professions before becoming Graves.

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.

Sutcliffe avoided being spotted for years because the police had a number of missed opportunities to catch him, and finally confessed in 1981 when he was brought in for a police check that found stolen license plates on his car.

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

Officials looking for clues and other victims outside the ripper's house in Heaton shortly after his identification

Officials looking for clues and other victims outside the ripper's house in Heaton shortly after his identification

Sutcliffe arrived at Dewsbury Magistrates Court under cover and was charged in 1981 with the murder of 13 women and attempted murder of seven other women

Sutcliffe arrived at Dewsbury Magistrates Court under cover and was charged in 1981 with the murder of 13 women and attempted murder of seven other women

North Durham University Hospital, County Durham, where Peter Sutcliffe died after being admitted to Covid-19 complications and heart problems

North Durham University Hospital, County Durham, where Peter Sutcliffe died after being admitted to Covid-19 complications and heart problems

Despite his 24-hour confession of the murders, Sutcliffe denied the murders when he was charged in court.

In May 1981, he was sentenced to 20 life terms at the Old Bailey, with the judge recommending 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.

THE YORKSHIRE RIPPER TERRITORIAL GOVERNMENT: A SCHEDULE OF HIS KILLERS

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

Sutcliffe, who lived in Bradford, West Yorkshire, believed he was on a "mission from God" to kill prostitutes, although not all of his victims were.

His other victims, aged between 16 and 47, included two students, a civil servant, a bank clerk and a supermarket worker.

Sutcliffe was called the Yorkshire Ripper for mutilating his victims with a screwdriver, hammer, and knife.

He was also convicted of seven attempted murders in and around Yorkshire, Lancashire and Greater Manchester.

Timeline:

Summer 1975: Peter Sutcliffe attacks women, two in Keighley and one in Halifax. All three survive and the police do not link the attacks.

October 30, 1975: Sutcliffe carries out his first fatal attack on Wilma McCann, a 28-year-old prostitute from the Chapeltown neighborhood of Leeds.

January 20, 1976: He murders Emily Jackson, 42, from Leeds, hits her with a hammer and stabs her with a screwdriver.

February 5, 1977: He kills Irene Richardson, 28, another prostitute from Leeds.

April 23, 1977: Sutcliffe strikes his hometown Bradford for the first time and murders 32-year-old Patricia Atkinson.

June 26, 1977: The case hits the national press after Sutcliffe murdered Jayne MacDonald, a 16-year-old saleswoman. The murder and the finding that a serial killer is at large in Yorkshire shocks the country.

The assailant is referred to by the press as the Yorkshire Ripper, and West Yorkshire Police Chief Ronald Gregory appoints his oldest detective, Deputy Police Commissioner George Oldfield, to investigate the murders.

October 1, 1977: Sutcliffe chooses Manchester for his next attack – on Jean Jordan, 20. He tosses her body on a parcel and tosses her bag into nearby bushes with a brand new £ 5 bill he gave her.

The police find the bag and trace the serial number on the slip to the payroll of Yorkshire freight forwarders T and WH Clark, who employ Peter Sutcliffe.

Sutcliffe is interviewed by the police but offers an alibi that takes him to a party.

January 21 to May 16, 1978: Sutcliffe murders three prostitutes – Yvonne Pearson, 21, of Bradford; Helen Rytka, 18, from Huddersfield, and Vera Millward, 40, from Manchester.

April 4, 1979: Sutcliffe kills Halifax Building Society employee Josephine Whitaker, Jan.

June 1979: A tape called Jack the Ripper, which has already sent a number of handwritten letters from Sunderland, is sending a tape to the police. Deputy Chief Constable Oldfield mistakenly decides that this is the Ripper's job. Wearside Jack, as he is known, is brought to the attention of the Castletown area of ​​Sunderland by language experts. Detectives are told they can rule out suspects who don't have a wearside accent.

July 1979: The police interviewed Sutcliffe for the fifth time. Detective Constables Andrew Laptew and Graham Greenwood are suspicious, but their report is filed because his voice and handwriting do not match the letters and tape.

September 2, 1979: Sutcliffe murders 20-year-old Barbara Leach in Bradford.

October 2, 1979: A £ 1 million campaign is launched to catch the Yorkshire Ripper.

August 20, 1980: The ripper claims another victim, Marguerite Walls, 47, of Leeds, followed by Jacqueline Hill, 20, a student at Leeds University, on November 17th.

November 1980: Detective Chief Superintendent James Hobson replaces Oldfield. Hobson downgrades the importance of the Wearside Jack ribbon and letters.

January 3, 1981: Sutcliffe admits he's the Yorkshire Ripper after police arrested him with a prostitute. Police admit the killer doesn't have a wearside accent.

May 22, 1981: Sutcliffe is imprisoned in the Old Bailey for life. The judge recommends a minimum sentence of 30 years. He was transferred to a safe Broadmoor Hospital in Berkshire in 1984.

May 24, 1989: Mrs. von Sutcliffe wins damages.

March 21, 2006: John Humble, a former builder, is sentenced to eight years in prison after he admits to being the Yorkshire Ripper hoaxer known as Wearside Jack.

June 1, 2006: A report, kept secret for nearly 25 years, shows that Sutcliffe likely committed more crimes than the 13 murders and seven attempted murders for which he was convicted.

April 2017: Sutcliffe is Interviewed by police officers on 17 unsolved cases that bear similarities to his previous crimes. He is not being investigated for murders, and it is unknown which of the incidents police believe may be related to the serial killer.

May 2017: Sutcliffe is under investigation for the murders of two women in Sweden. Detectives reportedly inquired about the murders of a 31-year-old woman found dead in Gothenburg in August 1980 and a 26-year-old woman found dead in Malmö a month later. Both bodies were found on construction sites.

Twisted Life of the Yorkshire Ripper: The Newly Married Graves whose barbaric and bloody attacks terrorized the north

One name – and one nickname – is a particularly troubling chapter in the annals of 20th century serial killers.

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 worries when police failed to pick up clues about the persecution of the infamous killer named Yorkshire Ripper.

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

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

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 – resulting in 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.

"We're not worried about the ripper," said the surviving victim's husband

Olive Smelt was attacked by the Yorkshire Ripper while walking home in Halifax on a summer evening in 1975

Olive Smelt was attacked by the Yorkshire Ripper while walking home in Halifax on a summer evening in 1975

One of Peter Sutcliffe's surviving victims seldom thought of the man who needed brain surgery, her husband said in 2010.

Olive Smelt was attacked by the Yorkshire Ripper while walking home in Halifax on a summer evening in 1975.

She was hit twice on the head with a hammer and had to undergo brain surgery to overcome her injuries, but later made a full recovery.

She continued to marry and had three children.

Her husband Harry, aged 85, when the High Court ruled Sutcliffe would spend the rest of his life behind bars, said it was the right decision for Sutcliffe's own good.

"I think it's good for him too that he has to stay," said Mr Smelt.

“There is a kind of rank among prisoners – the more notorious they can be, the better it is for them.

"Think what would happen if one of the prisoners outside came up to him and could say," I'm the one who got Peter Sutcliffe. "He could live on that for the rest of his life."

Mr Smelt said at the time that neither he nor his wife were concerned about what would have happened if Sutcliffe had been released and their priorities changed.

He said in 2010: “We're not worried about that.

"Olive is now very severely disabled and wheelchair bound – the last thing she worries about is Peter Sutcliffe."

Olive Smelt died in 2011.

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 acted hatred of prostitutes to justify a reason in myself for attacking and killing 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.

Apparently he would 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.

Called the Yorkshire Ripper, the attacker's identity 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 police believed they had been forwarded to the killer, excluding 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.

His 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.

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.

He was interviewed nine times during the police investigation, 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 (Deputy Chief of Police of West Yorkshire), Ronald Gregory (Chief of Police of West Yorkshire) and Jim Hobson (Deputy Chief of Police of West Yorkshire) - pictured at a press conference shortly after Sutcliffe's arrest

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

A letter to Deputy Police Commissioner George Oldfield from & # 39; Wearside Jack & # 39; - the cruel joke that fooled the police during their investigation

A letter to Deputy Police Commissioner George Oldfield from & # 39; Wearside Jack & # 39; – the cruel joke that fooled the police during their investigation

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 Wearside Jack tape and letters

Detective Chief Superintendent Hobson replaced Oldfield in November 1980. He immediately downgraded 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 regarded as "premium copper".

As an old-school cop with three decades of experience, he was a drinking, 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 to me 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;

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

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.

Detective Superintendent P Gilrain with a placard for witnesses after the murder of Barbara Leach

Detective Superintendent P Gilrain with a placard for witnesses following the murder of Barbara Leach

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

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.

As 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 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 almost 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 YORKSHIRE RIPPER TERRITORIAL GOVERNMENT: A SCHEDULE OF HIS KILLERS

Photo of Peter Sutcliffe (1946) an English serial killer known by the press as the "Yorkshire Ripper"

Photo of Peter Sutcliffe (1946) an English serial killer known by the press as the "Yorkshire Ripper"

Sutcliffe, who lived in Bradford, West Yorkshire, believed he was on a "mission from God" to kill prostitutes, although not all of his victims were.

His other victims, aged between 16 and 47, included two students, a civil servant, a bank clerk and a supermarket worker.

Sutcliffe was called the Yorkshire Ripper for mutilating his victims with a screwdriver, hammer, and knife.

He was also convicted of seven attempted murders in and around Yorkshire, Lancashire and Greater Manchester.

Timeline:

Summer 1975: Peter Sutcliffe attacks women, two in Keighley and one in Halifax. All three survive and the police do not link the attacks.

October 30, 1975: Sutcliffe carries out his first fatal attack on Wilma McCann, a 28-year-old prostitute from the Chapeltown neighborhood of Leeds.

January 20, 1976: He murders Emily Jackson, 42, from Leeds, hits her with a hammer and stabs her with a screwdriver.

February 5, 1977: He kills Irene Richardson, 28, another prostitute from Leeds.

April 23, 1977: Sutcliffe strikes his hometown Bradford for the first time and murders 32-year-old Patricia Atkinson.

June 26, 1977: The case hits the national press after Sutcliffe murdered Jayne MacDonald, a 16-year-old saleswoman. The murder and the finding that a serial killer is at large in Yorkshire shocks the country.

The assailant is referred to by the press as the Yorkshire Ripper, and West Yorkshire Police Chief Ronald Gregory appoints his oldest detective, Deputy Police Commissioner George Oldfield, to investigate the murders.

October 1, 1977: Sutcliffe chooses Manchester for his next attack – on Jean Jordan, 20. He tosses her body on a parcel and tosses her bag into nearby bushes with a brand new £ 5 bill he gave her.

The police find the bag and trace the serial number on the slip to the payroll of Yorkshire freight forwarders T and WH Clark, who employ Peter Sutcliffe.

Sutcliffe is interviewed by the police but offers an alibi that takes him to a party.

January 21 to May 16, 1978: Sutcliffe murders three prostitutes – Yvonne Pearson, 21, of Bradford; Helen Rytka, 18, from Huddersfield, and Vera Millward, 40, from Manchester.

April 4, 1979: Sutcliffe kills Halifax Building Society employee Josephine Whitaker, Jan.

June 1979: A tape called Jack the Ripper, which has already sent a number of handwritten letters from Sunderland, is sending a tape to the police. Deputy Chief Constable Oldfield mistakenly decides that this is the Ripper's job. Wearside Jack, as he is known, is brought to the attention of the Castletown area of ​​Sunderland by language experts. Detectives are told they can rule out suspects who don't have a wearside accent.

July 1979: The police interviewed Sutcliffe for the fifth time. Detective Constables Andrew Laptew and Graham Greenwood are suspicious, but their report is filed because his voice and handwriting do not match the letters and tape.

As part of the Ripper investigation in 1979, officials conducted a fingertip search on a wasteland. The probe dominated the nation's consciousness for years

As part of the Ripper investigation in 1979, officials conducted a fingertip search on a wasteland. The probe dominated the nation's consciousness for years

September 2, 1979: Sutcliffe murders 20-year-old Barbara Leach in Bradford.

October 2, 1979: A £ 1 million campaign is launched to catch the Yorkshire Ripper.

August 20, 1980: The ripper claims another victim, Marguerite Walls, 47, of Leeds, followed by Jacqueline Hill, 20, a student at Leeds University, on November 17th.

November 1980: Detective Chief Superintendent James Hobson replaces Oldfield. Hobson downgrades the importance of the Wearside Jack ribbon and letters.

January 3, 1981: Sutcliffe admits he's the Yorkshire Ripper after police arrested him with a prostitute. Police admit the killer doesn't have a wearside accent.

May 22, 1981: Sutcliffe is imprisoned in the Old Bailey for life. The judge recommends a minimum sentence of 30 years. He was transferred to a safe Broadmoor Hospital in Berkshire in 1984.

May 24, 1989: Mrs. von Sutcliffe wins damages.

March 21, 2006: John Humble, a former builder, is sentenced to eight years in prison after he admits to being the Yorkshire Ripper hoaxer known as Wearside Jack.

June 1, 2006: A report, kept secret for nearly 25 years, shows that Sutcliffe likely committed more crimes than the 13 murders and seven attempted murders for which he was convicted.

April 2017: Sutcliffe is Interviewed by police officers on 17 unsolved cases that bear similarities to his previous crimes. He is not being investigated for murders, and it is unknown which of the incidents police believe may be related to the serial killer.

May 2017: Sutcliffe is under investigation for the murders of two women in Sweden. Detectives reportedly inquired about the murders of a 31-year-old woman found dead in Gothenburg in August 1980 and a 26-year-old woman found dead in Malmö a month later. Both bodies were found on construction sites.

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