of RTE Interview with Noel
O'Gara and John Sutcliffe
1975 to 1981 one man cast a pall of fear over the North of England.
He became known as the Yorkshire Ripper. He committed
more than a dozen ritual murders which were attended with a vicious
brutality. He linked the murders by specific atrocities and wrote
mockingly to the police while they desperately hunted him. His victims
were mostly prostitutes, some vulnerable poor girls and also ordinary
working girls just out late at night.
His modus operandi, or method, was
to strike the victims with a hammer blow to the head, drag her if not
already in the darkness, into the shadows, sexually assault her, rob her,
then mutilate her with a flurry of knife wounds, sometimes biting her on
the breasts; redressing and re-arrangement of the clothing, particularly
the shoes, and finally covering the remains with her own coat.
In this way
twenty three children were left motherless. They were a terrorising series
of murders at irregular intervals, in different cities, over a wide area
of Northern England. They caused widespread ripples of fear and were
accompanied by letters from the Ripper to the police, who were hunting
These letters promised further murders with chilling
accuracy and added a new dimension of a cunning maniac playing games with
the police. More than 300 detectives worked full time on this hunt for
three years. It caused widespread suspicion, interrogation and fear as
well as costing more than £4 million pounds.
The Yorkshire Ripper murders apparently came to an end in 1981 with the
arrest and subsequent conviction of a bearded lorry driver called Peter
William Sutcliffe. This man confessed to all the Rippers acknowledged
murders except one, that of Joan Harrison, a poor girl from Preston,
The West Yorkshire Police succeeded in gaining the
conviction of Sutcliffe in the Old Bailey in London, in May 1981. The
public felt delivered from the Ripper threat. They were convinced that at
last the Ripper was behind bars.
The nightmare began in Leeds, Yorkshire in January 1976, when the body of
42 year old Emily Jackson, a mother of three was discovered by shocked
workmen in a derelict site. Emily had been sexually assaulted and
mutilated near the Gaiety pub, outside which she had earlier been
soliciting for prostitution.
This murder was immediately linked by the police to a
similar style ritual murder of a prostitute, one Wilma McCann, a 26 year
old mother of four children.
Wilma had been murdered near her home in Leeds eleven weeks
earlier. Both prostitute victims were robbed and sexually assaulted. The
maniac was dubbed the Yorkshire ripper by the media. There was a lull for
more than a year.
The nightmare returned to Leeds in February 1977, when
the body of 26 year old Irene Richardson, a mother of two, was found in a
park in Leeds. Irene was poor and unemployed, but she was not a
prostitute. This murder was a serious challenge to the police because it
bore the Rippers hall marks.
Two and a half months later, a Bradford prostitute, 32 year-old Patricia Atkinson, a mother of three, was found brutally murdered and
mutilated in her bed at her flat in Bradford. Tina had been sexually
assaulted, and her body bore all the hall marks of the Ripper.
Two months later the Ripper was back in his old hunting
ground in Leeds. In June 1977 the body of 16 year old shop assistant, Jayne
MacDonald, was found in a children's playground near her home. The murder
bore all the Rippers hall marks. After this murder George Oldfield, the
assistant Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police was placed in overall
command of the Ripper hunt.
With five acknowledged Ripper victims to date, on the 9th of October 1977
there was a puzzling murder of a prostitute, Jean Jordan in Manchester.
Jean had been murdered one week before her body was discovered and it
appeared the killer had returned and pulled her body from a double hedge
to expose it. The Manchester Police did not regard this as a Ripper
murder. It did not bear the hall marks of Yorkshire Jack, but such a
strange murder of a prostitute at this time, was puzzling.
In January 1978, the body of 18 year old attractive half-caste Helen Rytka was found hidden behind a pile of timber in a wood-yard in Huddersfield.
There was no doubt that it was Jack again. Huddersfield was George
Oldfield's home town. Oldfield, perhaps feeling responsible for attracting
the Ripper to his own town appealed to the public for help. He wanted to
trace every punter that drove by the toilets in Great Northern Street on
that night. It was a mammoth police operation which put both the public
and the police under great strain. The police at this time justifiably
felt that the Ripper was playing games with them.
Three and a half months later, on the 16th of May 1978, the
body of 41 year old prostitute, Vera Millward, a mother of seven children
was found in a car-park at the rear of Manchester Royal Infirmary.
This Manchester murder bore all the Yorkshire Rippers hall
marks. The Manchester and West Yorkshire Police now joined forces to track
this demon down.
There was a second lull in the Rippers activity for
almost a year. However, two weeks after the Millward murder the police
announced that the earlier murder of Jean Jordan in Manchester was also a
Then in September of that year they also announced, that Joan Harrison, a 26 year old down and out girl who had been murdered in
Preston, Lancashire in November 1975, was a Ripper victim. They also
included in the Ripper frame, the murder in January that year of
prostitute Yvonne Pearson in Bradford. A series of four unsolved attacks
on women were also brought in as the work of the Ripper: These were the
attacks on Anna Rogulsky, Olive Smelt, Maureen Long and Marilyn Moore. In
all of these cases it was assumed that the Ripper was interrupted before
he finished the job.
The North of England was understandably uptight through the winter of 1978,
until on the 4th of April 1979 a 19 year old respectable clerical worker Josephine Whittaker was found brutally murdered in a park in Halifax, near
her home. Josephine's body had been partially covered with her coat and it
bore all the Rippers hall marks. This murder caused widespread fear because
it was thought that the Ripper only murdered prostitutes but Josephine's
character was beyond reproach.
Left to right, Dick Holland, George Oldfield & Jack
Ridgeway, listen to the 'Ripper tape.'
On the 26th of June 1979, the combined police forces held
an amazing press conference.
George Oldfield announced to the press that
the Ripper had sent him some communications. He produced three letters and
an audio cassette tape which he stated were from the Ripper. Oldfield
played a sample of the taunting tape recording to the assembled media.
Ripper spoke with a flat Geordie accent and he promised another murder in
September or October. Because of confidential information contained in the
letters and tape recording, police were sure they came from the Ripper.
Oldfield, who had assumed something of a personal challenge with the
Ripper took a desperate gamble. He was assuming that the handwriting was
not altered and that the voice was not mimicked. He asked for assistance
and was given a massive free publicity campaign which would have cost over
a million pounds.
The sentiments and the title of the bearded Andrew Gold's album "All this
and Heaven too", and the postage stamp image, were carefully selected by
Tracey to taunt the police.
Tracey delivered his promise on the 1st of September with chilling
19 year old Bradford University Student Barbara Leach was murdered by the
Ripper and her body was found hidden beside dustbins at the rear of a
house, only 750 yards from Bradford Central Police station. Barbara's body
bore all the Rippers hall marks. The publicity campaign to identify the
Geordie letter writer became more urgent.
There was a third lull in the Rippers activities. People
began to breathe again, until on the 18th of November 1980, newspapers and
T.V announced the discovery of murdered 20 year old student Jacqueline
Hill in Leeds University grounds. The police announced that she was not
the Rippers 13th victim.
Sunday Times article
Twenty-four hours later they changed their mind and announced that
Jacqueline was the Rippers 13th victim.
There was widespread indignation
in Leeds and the police came under serious and mounting pressure. Only six
weeks later, they held another amazing press conference.
On the 5th of
January 1981, West Yorkshire's Chief Constable Ronald Gregory announced
that a man had been detained in Sheffield and was being questioned in
relation to the Yorkshire Ripper murders.
Asked if the Ripper hunt was
being scaled down Gregory replied: 'You are right."
There was widespread
public relief and the pressure on the police was relaxed.
Sutcliffe was charged with the murder of Jacqueline Hill six weeks earlier
and stealing a pair of number plates, value fifty pence. He didn't seek
Sutcliffe was remanded in custody until, on the 12th of February it
was announced that he would be appearing in Dewsbury magistrates Court to
answer further serious charges.
On the 20th of February he duly appeared
at this court, where twelve charges of murder and seven of attempted
murder, all on the grounds of diminished responsibility, were put to him.
He pleaded guilty to them.
In the previous five weeks, Sutcliffe, with the
aid of his defence lawyer had made a deal with the prosecution. In return
for the prosecutions offer of leniency and a promise of confinement in a
luxury mental home, with the prospects of parole in ten years, Sutcliffe
agreed to admit to all the murders, however, he adamantly denied that he
murdered Joan Harrison in Preston, or so the public were told.
addition, he was charged with and pleaded guilty to the murder of Margo
Walls, in 1980, and three assaults in the latter part of 1980, also to the
assault of Marcella Claxton in Leeds, in 1976. None of these five crimes
were included in the Ripper frame at the time of his arrest.
On the 29th of April 1981, the case came before Mr. Justice Boreham in the
Old Bailey, in London. The Attorney General of England, Sir Michael Havers,
was prosecuting the case, and he advised the judge, that four
psychiatrists had reached consensus as regards Sutcliffe's state of mind.
All were agreed that Sutcliffe had diminished responsibility when he
committed the crimes, that in fact, he was mad. The prosecution were then
pleading on behalf of Sutcliffe as part of the deal, his defence didn't
have to say a word.
Justice Boreham refused to accept Sir Michael's plea,
and ordered that Sutcliffe's sanity be tested by a jury.
On the 5th of May
the jury hearing commenced. Sutcliffe spoke of his mission from God, and
the psychiatrists, for both prosecution and defence, gave evidence and
agreed that he was mad. Because of Sutcliffe's admission to all the
murders, his guilt was not in question and little evidence was produced at
the hearing, other than an assortment of tools.
Only his sanity was being
The jury ultimately disagreed with both Sutcliffe and the
psychiatrists and pronounced the Ripper sane. The judge sentenced him to
thirty years in jail, rather than the mental home treatment which he had
been promised by the police.
There was instant clamour for explanations. Sutcliffe's character didn't
square up to the crimes he committed. His friends, family and neighbours
were shocked and his wife Sonia announced that she would stand by him.
Sutcliffe did not have a criminal record and to a lot of people he was one
hell of a nice guy. The last murder he committed, that of Jacqueline Hill in Leeds, was still very fresh in peoples minds, also the large amount of
corroborating evidence linking Sutcliffe and his car with the scene of
this crime. This was the murder Sutcliffe was first charged with after his
What the public didn't know was the real reason why Jacqueline Hill was
stated to be a victim of the Yorkshire Ripper.
After the trial, the
Geordie letter writer was written off by the police as a cruel hoaxer.
Calls for a public enquiry into the investigation were ignored by the
authorities but media pressure forced Ronald Gregory, the Chief Constable,
to institute an internal police enquiry into the handling of the
This enquiry was conducted by his Deputy Chief Constable,
Mr. Colin Sampson, who later became Chief Constable of the West Yorkshire
Police. However, all politicians were not satisfied and called for a
public enquiry. To answer this demand, the Home Office reluctantly agreed
that it would conduct it's own independent investigation. Publication of
minor details led to some police criticism but nobody lost their jobs.
There was no public enquiry, although the public were the ones that were
murdered, and the ones at risk.
Sutcliffe's brother Michael was interviewed by a B.B.C. reporter...
"There's no reason, no excuse he's given me whatsoever, when he's talking.
I don't think he knows himself. I can't think of one instance, just not
one instance, why?"
A friend of Sutcliffe's spoke to the same reporter. "It's a queer subject.
When you know actually, that he is the Ripper but when you've known him as
a friend, the biggest part of your life, to my mind, he's still a friend.
I would go out with him tonight. WHY? He's a friend. He's a very good
friend. He's been good to me all my life. He's helped me out, fixed me
cars. If you ever needed a hand, you know, on your own, Peter would help
you. If you ever needed a loan, if he got any money, Peter would help you.
He'd do anything for you. You don't know what turns a fella that way or
what causes him to do it. But I'd trust him with my daughters, with my own
Sutcliffe's mission from God
My opinion of Sutcliffe's role in the whole affair is as follows. He
married a girl who had serious mental problems. She was sexually cold,
devoid of love for him and totally self centred and domineering. In many
ways she was responsible for disturbing this man's mind. After 6 years
courting , followed by less than one year of married life, the realisation
of this left him feeling wasted, worthless and with no future. Whatever
dreams he had were shattered by a Jeckyl and Hyde wife whom he deeply
despised. All women became hated objects and Anna Rogulsky's screaming and
threatening behaviour at her boyfriend's door which he by chance
witnessed, triggered his first attack.
Then in 1976 he attacked Marcella Claxton in Roundhay Park
Leeds, who was his first prostitute victim.
This brought him to the
attention of Billy Tracey, the violent pimp, who had a special squad
looking for him for the two linked, Leeds, Ripper murders and he had left
the area for the moment.
All these early attacks were sex attacks ,
masturbating while touching up his victims. This was what Sonia had
reduced him to and I believe he didn't care if he were caught. It was to
reflect what she had done to him. His attacks received scant publicity
while the Ripper murders made the news headlines.
Then the murder of Irene
Richardson in the same Roundhay Park by Tracey followed by massive
publicity must have affected him greatly given that Sutcliffe's crimes
received little or no publicity, particularly as Claxton was hardly
mentioned until after his arrest, but Tracey would have been aware of it
from the start. It was his opener.
Two more Ripper murders followed at regular intervals all
accompanied by massive publicity. Sutcliffe was being baited by the Ripper
and he knew it. He responded with the Maureen Long attack, then the Jean Jordan murder
in Manchester where he returned to expose the body and returned again
later to plant the fiver with the handbag which he had taken.
While Pearson's body lay undiscovered the Ripper murdered Helen Rytka in Huddersfield to a blaze of publicity. The disturbed Peter
Sutcliffe planted a newspaper with one large Ripper story under Pearson's
body. I see him as desperate to be arrested at this stage. Clearly , by
his statements in Court he felt that he was involved with the occult. He
felt driven and he saw himself involved in a battle between good and evil.
Somewhere here, his earlier sick and perverted sex attacks were to be put
aside and he saw himself pitting his wits against the evil Ripper.
This was his mission from God. He would sacrifice his
freedom to placate the Ripper, an evil monster he had aroused. However
this was easier said than done. The police had evidence of the Ripper's
blood and semen. Sutcliffe's was different. It is on this issue that the
Ripper became national and international news and escalated to frenzied
proportions as the murders progressed. Tracey, the career criminal and
violent pimp, was supremely confident of his ability to force the police
to get someone for his crimes.
He knew that when the pressure came on the police, someone
had to be accused. He had done it many times before but not on such a
scale as this. His game was to force the police to get the copy-cat and he
was confident enough to write to them and even send voice messages to
them. He gave them everything about himself except his name and recorded
fingerprints, that's how confident he was in his chosen career, and while
the average man in the street would think that every policeman would be
very interested to know the identity of a killer, in this case they were
scared to even find out. It was more comfortable to dismiss it.
The story of my efforts to tell the police bears this
Nobody knew better than Tracey how the police fitted-up
people for the crimes of others. He was a master of psychology. It was
this supreme arrogance of the Ripper which made the police link all his
murders publicly because they felt they knew so much about his identity
that they would surely get him. It also made it well nigh impossible for
Sutcliffe to be blamed.
Tracey's letters and cassette message were part of that
game plan until, true to form as he saw it, he finally forced the police
to frame Sutcliffe, the mad man they had eliminated so thoroughly. If the
newspaper accounts of Sutcliffe's statements are studied one will see the
terrible dilemma he had landed himself into. In the end he had to commit
more murders just to prove to police that he was the Ripper even though
they knew his role since about January 1980, that he was the copy cat.
Can you imagine his shock when in 1979 the police revealed
that the Ripper was in correspondence with them. After the Leach murder he
said he felt that the Devil was driving him. Then he actually attacked a
journalist in Ilkley hoping she would report him. This attack was never
in the Ripper frame.
Then in 1980 while Tracey lay low suspecting the
police had identified him, Sutcliffe really went berserk with at least six
attacks, three of whom were murdered. It was a complex tit for tat battle
for Sutcliffe culminating with him actually staging his arrest in
Sheffield because the West Yorkshire police knew him so well. He planted
hammers and planted knives in the police toilet, gave false names , had
wrong number plates on his car, had a prostitute and told the police he
was a Ripper suspect.
The mission from God theory was put forward by him later to
divert attention from his earlier perverted sick sex attacks which he was
at pains to deny. Dick Holland's deal on behalf of the police would have
ensured nobody would have ever known, had it not been rejected by judge
Boreham. It should be noted that all of Sutcliffe's murders and attacks
are fully corroborated by both the known facts before his arrest and by
his statements, whereas with the Ripper murders his confessions are at
odds with the known facts and his statements are way off beam.
After the trial it was reluctantly conceded by the West Yorkshire police
that Peter Sutcliffe had been a Ripper suspect for a number of years. In
fact they revealed that he had been interviewed not once, but nine times.
His first interview was on the 2nd of November 1977 with Manchester
detectives who were investigating the murder of Jean Jordan in Manchester
a few weeks previously.
The strange killer had returned to the scene of
the murder one week later and removed her body from the bushes.
week later this mystery man returned a second time to the scene and this
time he dumped the victims handbag which contained a brand new five pound
note. The police knew that the fiver had been planted there by the killer.
They were anxious to trap this strange man. The search for the fiver was
narrowed down to a number of Works in the Bingley/Shipley area of
Bradford. Clarke's Transport was one of these Works. Peter Sutcliffe was
one of Clarkes' lorry drivers. Sutcliffe was quickly put on a short list
and six days later two policemen came to his house, armed with a search
warrant. They again questioned him and his wife. This time, his wife Sonia
gave him an alibi.
Mr. William Clarke, the managing director of Clarke's Transport spoke to
the B.B.C. reporter. "They came in and they checked through everybody in
the works, they checked on all the money and also... Then they came back
after a week, and the handwriting. They came in again and checked all the
dates over again. They went through his handwriting again and they
reckoned there was something, it didn't make sense and there was certain
words they wanted reproduced. They then took Peter in again for further
questioning, into the police station where he was for a quite considerable
A fellow lorry driver was interviewed also... "100 per cent police search,
saliva samples, blood samples, handwriting samples, teeth, they checked
his tools, boots, footprints, car tyres pulled his car to bits, and
everything turned out normal, and then two years later, they came to him
again. They took us all together, all in a block bunch, not as individuals
but in a block bunch. They did us all on the same evening and all on the
same day. So the following morning, we were scared at work. Everybody was
talking about Him out there. WHAT WAS PETER SUTCLIFFE'S REACTION ? It was
just the same as everybody else's They took a blood sample, just the same
as everybody else."
Sutcliffe's school teacher told a B.B.C. reporter... "All I can remember
is that he was a very quiet, obedient, respectful boy. He never shone in
any way and I would simply say that he was of average intelligence but
very quiet and reserved."
Peter Sutcliffe's father was equally shocked "No way am I going to desert
him. I'm not going to write him off. I want to remember the lad as he
Peter Sutcliffe, who was a disturbed attacker of lone females in 1975 and
in 1976 first became involved with the Yorkshire Ripper on the 5th of
February 1977 when the Ripper murdered Irene Richardson in the same park
in Leeds where he had six months earlier assaulted the black girl Marcella
Peter Sutcliffe got the message. However Sutcliffe's involvement
with the police did not come until nine months later. He was a very
disturbed and intense man. His marriage to Sonia proved to be a disaster.
He turned to hating women. She used to scream at her husband and pull the
T.V. plug out on him. He had to wash all his own clothes and their love
life was dismal.
All three victims were struck on the head with a stone
loaded sock. Sutcliffe masturbated over the prostrate victims and then ran
His attack on Marcella Claxton in Leeds nine months later had the same
M.O. or modus operandi.
The story about this strange attacker did not escape the notice of the
Ripper who lived in the area and who had committed several murders in that
area in the past twelve months. He knew there was a disturbed maniac at
At the time of the Claxton assault only two of the Ripper murders Wilma McCann and Emily Jackson were linked and the legend of the Yorkshire
Ripper was born.
At this point I would like to explain that the Yorkshire
Ripper and letter writer was the principal murderer in the series of
Ripper murders. Peter Sutcliffe's assaults and murders became linked to
the Yorkshire Ripper murders because of the information contained in the
Rippers letters and because of police error. Although the police knew that
a Copy-Cat Ripper was operating on the scene they didn't quite know what
the real motive was.
The Copy-Cat Ripper finally turned out to be Peter
Sutcliffe, but for various reasons which will be explained later, he was
charged with all the murders.
The Ripper knew that Sutcliffe's motive was
sexual as he baited him. Jean Jordan was a prostitute in Manchester and
was similarly struck down by Sutcliffe. Because there was no report of the
assault in the Manchester papers, the disturbed Sutcliffe returned to the
scene of the crime eight days later. He dragged Jeans body from where it
was hidden under a double hedge and left it in the park. This disturbed
man who had earlier in that year engaged in tit-for-tat murders with the
Yorkshire Ripper had thrown in the towel. He wanted to be arrested as the
Massive publicity accompanied the Ripper's brutal murders.
Little or none was attached to his. Sutcliffe conducted his operations
openly, with his car parked on a busy motorway. He was hoping to be caught
on the job as the Yorkshire Ripper, but nobody saw him. Nobody wanted to
Six days later, he returned to the scene of the crime a second time,
where he deposited Jean Jordan's handbag, which he had held in his
possession. This time, he placed a brand new five pound note in it, hoping
it would bring the police to his doorstep. It had the desired effect. Two
weeks later Manchester police were interviewing Sutcliffe.
He didn't give
himself up and the police didn't make an arrest. One week later they came
to his house with a search warrant and again questioned him and his wife.
This time his wife gave him an alibi and he got off. However, he was on a
short list of suspects.
One month later, Marilyn Moore, a prostitute in Leeds,, was assaulted
because she refused to have sex with a client or as they are called, a
punter, until she got her fee of a fiver first. She gave police a good
description of her attacker which closely resembled Sutcliffe. She also
gave his name and a description of his car. He called himself Dave.
The Manchester police never made the connection because this assault was
the responsibility of the Leeds police under George Oldfield. Sutcliffe,
in desperation picked up prostitute Yvonne Pearson, who was soliciting on
the same comer that the Ripper had picked up Patricia Atkinson in Bradford
about eight months earlier. He murdered Yvonne and hid her body under a
settee which he covered with sods of earth on waste land in Bradford,
where it was to remain for a further three months until it's discovery.
At the time of the pick-up by Sutcliffe, Yvonne was being
watched by Ripper squad detectives, who were staking-out the prostitutes
in Lumb Lane, in the hope of trapping the Ripper.
Yvonne felt safe
soliciting on that comer. The detectives were spotting all the punters,
getting their descriptions and their car numbers which they made notes of.
They gave a very accurate description of Sutcliffe, the man who picked her
up. They said he was a white Asian.
The only problem for Sutcliffe, who
wanted to be arrested, was that the policemen who had interviewed him only
a few weeks previously were from Manchester. These were Bradford cops who
were watching Yvonne Pearson. They didn't know that the white Asian was on
a short list of about a hundred suspects for the Manchester murder of Jean
Such police rivalry bedeviled the whole investigation from start to
finish and in many ways it was this territorial independence and police
rivalry, which was in large part, an incentive for the Ripper to carry on
Information and clues were not pooled. Many policemen didn't
even trust other policemen and in fact there was some speculation for some
time that the Ripper might even have been a policeman. In the meantime,
the Ripper murdered Helen Rytka in Huddersfield.
The customary brutality
of the Ripper guaranteed mass publicity for the Helen Rytka murder. At the same
time, newspaper headlines referring to the five pound note enquiry in
Bradford were reporting, "100 names left in Ripper hunt" and "Net closes
Although the police had stated that the Jean Jordan murder was not
a Ripper murder, the mass media had different views. Peter Sutcliffe was
locked in a desperate battle with the Ripper.
Five weeks after the Rytka murder the Ripper sent a letter to George
Oldfield, who was appealing for information. He gave Oldfield his count to
date. He included in it, the Jordan murder, and threw in the murder of
Joan Harrison in Preston, for good measure.
Less than a week later he sent a second letter to the Daily
Mirror office in Manchester. He knew the editor would send the letter
straight to the police. This time he was more emphatic when he said,
"maybe Manchester again", when he promised his next murder.
Joan Harrison had been murdered in Preston in November 1975. Her murder had been
accompanied by much the same ritual and violence as the present series of
Yorkshire Ripper recognised murders. The only reason she was ' left out of
the Ripper frame at this time was that this murder was the responsibility
of the Lancashire Police, who liked to deal with their own murders and
catch their own criminals. The Ripper was exploiting human rivalry by
Two months later the Ripper delivered his promise by
murdering 41 year old Vera Millward, a former prostitute, in Manchester
again. A fortnight later the first Manchester murder, that of Jean Jordan,
was taken into the Ripper frame by the police, on the advice of the Ripper
himself. This action effectively tied Peter Sutcliffe and his five pound
note clue into the Ripper frame.
The problem was Sutcliffe's blood group and teeth marks
were different to the Rippers.
This was known from the bite marks on the
victims and from saliva which would attend the bite marks, and from semen
deposited when he sexually assaulted some. The Ripper was the rare blood
group B secretor He was one man in sixteen. In rape and murder cases
blood testing is an easy, cheap and efficient way of eliminating suspects
for the police. Once the blood group of a murderer is known, suspects can
be easily blood tested, and the innocent eliminated accordingly. With such
a rare blood group, suspects with B blood would be very few.
There was a break for almost a year. Then in March 1979, the Ripper sent a
third letter to George Oldfield promising another murder and gave details
of Mrs. Millward's hospitalisation. The saliva used to seal the envelope
yielded traces of the rare B blood group.
The writer set clear bite marks on the paper.
Less than two
weeks later, the Ripper murdered Josephine Whittaker in Halifax. Josephine
was a 19 year old respectable girl who was on her way home late at night.
As if to confirm his approval of Oldfield's inclusion of Joan Harrison in
the Ripper frame, he bit Josephine deeply on the left breast just as he
had done to Joan Harrison and his letter. The blood group from saliva and
teeth impressions were identical.
The usual wave of publicity attended this murder, then in
June 1979 the tape recording with the flat Geordie voice was sent to
George Oldfield. This promised another murder in September or October. On
the 1st of September, 20 year old Barbara Leach, a university student, was
murdered in Bradford. In the meantime the deranged Peter Sutcliffe had
been interviewed by the police and was eliminated every time because of
his blood group and teeth pattern.
Sutcliffe then sought out a newspaper reporter Yvonne Mysliwiec who worked
for a newspaper in Ilkley and on October 11th 1979 he confronted her and
battered her with a hammer and fled hoping she would identify him as the
In the end Sutcliffe's desperation led him to stage his arrest in an
elaborate plan which he set up in an outside police area, in Sheffield,
South Yorkshire, because the West Yorkshire police knew that he was not
Sutcliffe's crimes had been linked with the Rippers murders,
and after every Ripper murder Sutcliffe felt a terrible weight of guilt.
He felt that he was being driven by the Devil himself. In the first month
of 1980, he received three interviews from the police and he knew at that
stage that they knew he was involved, but yet he was not arrested. In
August that year, Sutcliffe murdered Margo Walls in Pudsey.
This murder was not regarded as a Ripper murder. In
September he assaulted Dr.
Uphaheya Bandara, a student in Leeds.
In October he
assaulted Maureen Lea in Leeds University.
On November 5th he assaulted Teresa Sykes, a young housewife in Huddersfield.
None of these assaults
were regarded as Ripper attacks.
Then, on November 17th, he murdered
university student Jacqueline Hill. On the 19th of November The Daily Mail
reported, "the body of a 20 year old girl student was found yesterday on
waste ground in the heart of Yorkshire Ripper territory. At first
detectives feared that he had claimed his 13th victim but a postmortem by
pathologist Professor David Gee revealed nothing to link the murder with
the mass killer. "This does not bear the hall marks of the Ripper" explained the police spokesman.
This police strategy may shock some readers but I always sensed that this
was their plan since they got the breakthrough tip off from me on 16th
November 1979. Oldfield and Co were confident of getting Tracey but wanted
him with blood on his hands to make themselves the most famous cops in the
world ever. What a capture it promised to be. An Irishman commuting to
kill in England. They could expect knighthoods from the Queen and their
memoirs would be hot property, classics in criminal history.
The Ripper Chiefs posing in their trophy room in 1980 waiting for their
One more prostitute victim couldn't stand in their way. The deranged
copy-cat killer could be forgotten about and picked up later quietly.
Nobody would be very interested in him. David Yallop's research confirms
this gut feeling of mine. They were waiting to trap him.
From Sutcliffe's three interviews in early 1980 they also knew his
involvement, that he was the disturbed Copy-Cat. Naturally enough,
Sutcliffe did not know that the police knew the Rippers identity but he
wanted to be arrested and give himself up as the Ripper. He told his boss
at Clarke's before he broke up for Christmas, with tears in his eyes, that
he might not be back, "I have things to do" he said. He also told his best
friend Trevor Birdsall that he was the Ripper. Birdsall wrote a letter to
the police identifying Sutcliffe. The police ignored his letter and he
subsequently went to them with his girlfriend and he was again ignored.
The police didn't want Sutcliffe because they knew the Rippers
On the 2nd of January 1981, Peter Sutcliffe in his square shaped car,
which was the subject of intense speculation since the Jacqueline Hill murder only six weeks earlier, with false number plates and a black
prostitute, was parked suspiciously in the red light district of
Just before he picked up Olivia Reivers, Sutcliffe phoned the
police and reported himself as a suspicious customer. Only weeks earlier,
he had turned Leeds into a ghost town with a tip off to the police, that
the Ripper was gomig to strike again.
On that day Sutcliffe went to Leeds
from his own home town in Bradford. He had his wife in his car with the
false number plates and his assortment of hammers, knives, screwdrivers
and cord in his pockets. He wasn't arrested in the massive police dragnet
that surrounded the city. George Oldfield wanted to get his hands on the
Ripper very very badly. Sutcliffe was unimportant.
I believe that Sutcliffe committed several other serious assaults and the
murder of Jean Clay whose body was found near the Dewsbury Ripper police
headquarters. Detective Chief Superintendent Peter Gilrain was in charge
of this investigation in addition to then being in overall charge of the
Ripper investigation. These assaults and murders were played down by the
police who had Tracey, the Real Yorkshire Ripper, the biggest prize of all
in their sights.
When the Sheffield patrol approached him, Sutcliffe did everything
possible to arouse their suspicions, including giving them a false name
and having false number plates that didn't tally with the tax disc on his
car. He told the police patrol that he had stolen the number plates. He
didn't want the prostitute for sex. He asked permission to relieve himself
in the bushes and there he hid a hammer and a knife which were later
recovered by the police.
When he got to Hammerton Road police station in
Sheffield, he planted another knife in the toilet cistern when he asked to
go to the toilet again. This was found by policemen later on and created
intense suspicion about him. A man, calling himself by a false name, Peter
Williams, and who had told the prostitute his name was Dave, and who was
closely resembling Marilyn Moore's Dave, whose photofit picture was
hanging on the wall of every police station, was guaranteed to arouse
The Leeds police were called and they told the Sheffield
police that Sutcliffe was not the Ripper. However the Sheffield police
were overly suspicious and wouldn't let him go. They didn't know of George
Oldfield's tactics and they insisted on Ripper squad involvement.
Sutcliffe was first brought into the Sheffield police station, he quickly
told them that he had been a Ripper suspect. Later in Dewsbury he was
interviewed by detective Sergeant Desmond O'Boyle. It didn't take much
prompting for Sutcliffe to admit to the murder of Jacqueline Hill but
Oldfield knew that already.
The dilemma for the police was that they had said that Jacqueline Hill was a Ripper victim when they knew that she was not. What
a dilemma He also admitted to the murder of Margo Walls in Pudsey in
1980, and to all of his assaults. The police had to hold him. These
admissions led to Ronald Gregory's press conference on January 4th.
Ronald Gregory nudges George Oldfield at a press conference after
arrest as they embark on the biggest police cover up in criminal history.
Gregory told the media that a man had been arrested in Sheffield on Friday
in connection with the theft of car number plates. He said. "This man is
now detained in West Yorkshire and he is being questioned in connection to
the Yorkshire Ripper murders." Asked if the hunt was being scaled down,
Gregory replied, "You are right." Sutcliffe was the Ripper before he was
even charged with any murder.
The mass media had his face on every paper. The next day
Sutcliffe was hustled into Dewsbury Court with a blanket over his head and
he was charged with the murder of Jacqueline Hill and stealing a pair of
number plates. Then the bargaining began and ultimately Sutcliffe admitted
to most of the Rippers murders.
The rest is history, all based on a false premise, and written about by
newspapers over and over again, always giving the police version of events
and never questioning the glaring inconsistencies.