of RTE Interview with Noel
O'Gara and John Sutcliffe
Two weeks after Emily Jackson's murder, her friend Maria
Sellars gave the police a description of the man she saw with Emily. He
was an Irishman, known as a regular punter in the area. He was aged about
50. He was of fat build. He had a full beard, unshaped and bushy with
bushy eyebrows. His eyes were almost closed. He had a round nose. He had
very distinctive burn-like scars. He was tattooed on his arms. He wore 2
large gold rings. His clothes were dusty like a building worker. He was
known to other prostitutes in the area.
The Stocky Bearded Irishman
At 10.15pm on the 23rd April 1977 Tina Atkinson (who was drunk), was
propositioned by Billy Tracey outside the Carlisle pub in Lumb Lane,
Bradford. Tracey had come to a known prostitute haunt to commit another
murder. The streets were quiet and people were drunk. It was Saturday
night, and the pubs were full.
Tina Atkinson's flat
Tracey walked with her a short distance to her flat where
he bludgeoned her when she stepped through the door. Her pimp found the
body when she hadn't returned to the job.. The stocky bearded man was
noticed with Tina by an eyewitness ,probably her pimp, and he gave a
description to the police. Within 2 days Chief Superintendent John
Domaille had issued a bulletin to all police stations looking for the well
described stocky bearded Irishman.
This is an excerpt from David Yallop's book
His identikit photo was published in all the papers but
Tracey was back in Ireland and nobody thought to look in Ireland for the
Two month later on the 25th June, again at 10.30pm on Saturday night, Tracey
came to Leeds from his home in Ireland.
He had picked the place and the
time. He was seen hanging around the Hayfield pub in Chapletown Road, a
pub frequented by prostitutes and their pimps. However because of their
fears of him the girls were working in pairs and their pimps were keeping
a sharper eye on them.
He couldn't get one alone and as it was approaching
midnight Tracey, always an opportunist seized his chance when the
innocent Jayne MacDonald took a short cut through the Hayfield car park on
her way home.
He probably asked her for directions and when she turned her
head she was struck senseless. He dragged her into the adjacent playground
where he got down to the serious business that he had come to do. He then
took a taxi to the city centre and another one on to Manchester where he
took a pre-arranged guest house for the night, before returning to Dublin
the next day and home, to be on the job on Monday morning.
This time George Oldfield was in charge. Again the stocky bearded man was
reported seen in the vicinity. There was no doubt that it was a Ripper
murder. Oldfield again redoubled his efforts to trace the stocky bearded
Irishman, with the rings, tattoos and scars. He later stated that they
never traced this man.
From this point on Sutcliffe's attacks and his photofits
plus Tracey's letters and taped message obscured the No 1 suspect but these
The stocky, bearded, tattooed and scarred Irishman had to be somewhere and I was
the unfortunate person who had him in my employ in Ireland in 1979 and
worse still I chanced to read that Ripper article in the Sunday Telegraph
and tumbled to his secret.
This revelation set in train a chain of events
which are still ongoing. Had I been wrong, nobody would have been more relieved
to be proved wrong. All the evidence that subsequently came to light merely
served to demonstrate and prove beyond any shadow of doubt that it was correct.
The burden of this knowledge was a great weight and when it
became apparent that, like in the Stefan Kiszko case, the Judith Ward case, the
Birmingham 6 and numerous other miscarriages of justice, the police would not
intervene, I decided to publish the information I had.
Terry Hawkshaw from Drighlington, near Bradford became a
serious suspect. He was a taxi man and had carried some of these
prostitutes in his cab. He fitted the description of the Irish suspect
except he was an Englishman. Hawkshaw had a large gap between his top
front teeth and he was the rare B secretor blood group. Hawkshaw was the
nearest thing to Tracey in Yorkshire. George Oldfield almost had him
convinced that he was the Ripper without himself even knowing it.
Fortunately for him he had a solid alibi on the night of Helen Rytka's
murder in Huddersfield and he was eliminated then.
When I read the Sunday Telegraph article about the Ripper
in November 1979, the article that was to awaken me to Tracey's secret, I
knew nothing of an Irish suspect in 1976 and 1977. Much less did I know
that they were looking for an Irishman who resembled Billy Tracey to a
Had I known about this Irish suspect I would have been much more
positive in my dealings with the police but I let it run and witnessed the
way they wound up with Sutcliffe and their performance. After Sutcliffe's
Court case, David Yallop's book outlined the Irish suspect, which was the
first I knew of this matter, eighteen months after I made the
This was highly significant confirming evidence. This
evidence reinforced my conviction and I knew then that I could put the
story together so that an intelligent person could see what happened if
they studied the case. It was an unbelievable and bizarre story but Tracey
was just that, an unbelievable and bizarre individual.
Now with hindsight we can compare Tracey with the evidence and look at the
statistics of probability.
The odds against this happening must surely be millions if not billions to
one. Those odds made it all the more difficult to get this story across.
This well described Irishman was the last person seen with 2 victims and
he was seen at the scene of the MacDonald murder. Clearly he had to be
Ireland has under 4 million citizens in all. Even if there were 10,000
Irishmen who looked like the bearded man and were stocky or fat and in the
age group of 35 to 50 how many of them would be tattooed?, Say 10% and we
are down to 1000 tattooed stocky bearded men resembling the photofit.
How many of these 10,000 Irishmen would have a long criminal record for
violent sex related crime the length and breadth of England, a foreign
Of the club of 1000 how many of these would have obvious
burn like scars on their hands or arms? Perhaps 10 but even if it was ten
times ten, say 100 we are down to 100 stocky bearded Irishmen resembling
the photofit who also have tattoos and burn like scars. Tracey had a large
burn like scar on both arms which he sustained when someone tried to shoot
him in London. They can be seen on the site photo. He also had two more
similar scars on his neck which are concealed by the beard and are also
bullet wounds. Maria Sellars thought the suspect had scars on his face
How many of this group would have a large gap in their top
front teeth ? Tracey has all these so far. Lets assume we have 10 suspects
in the room. How many of these are recorded aggressive psychopaths in the
U.K.? Tracey is.
The Ripper was obviously a sex fiend. How many of these suspects are sex
maniacs? Tracey is known as one.
How many served 12 years in English maximum security prisons?
How many Irishmen were deported from England 4 times? I have the evidence
that puts this deportee back in the murder area within days of the last
Ripper murder. What was his business there?
How many of these Irishmen would make an unprovoked attack on his own
nephew by luring him first to his home and then striking him hard with a
hammer on the back of the head before witnesses restrained him,and this
shortly before the arrest of Peter Sutcliffe? Not many, but Billy Tracey
How many have the rare B secretor blood group? Tracey has.
How many of these Irish suspects was married to a convicted prostitute
with a record in the U.K?
How many of these stocky bearded Irishmen served time in Preston, Durham
and Manchester jails ? Tracey did.
How many of these Irish suspects have a record of at least 50 different
assaults of all kinds on policemen and prison officers in the U.K? Tracey
How many send postcards and letters to the police? I saw
him myself sending mail to policemen.
Tracey on holiday.
How many Irishmen of any description had written to
complain to the West Yorkshire police about an alleged swindle in Leeds at
that time,or at any time ever and received a reply and apology from the
Chief Constable? Not many but Billy Tracey did. He enjoyed showing the
letter to his acquaintances.
How many admitted themselves into a mental hospital as a contingency plan
while Sutcliffe was on remand and before the charges for 13 murders were
laid against him?
I could go on and on with more evidence pointing the finger
at Tracey. He fits the Ripper frame and it defies all reason that based on
his criminal record alone.
He was not high on the list of suspects even if
he was never described by so many witnesses. The Ripper's motive of
winding up the police was always known to them but they never admitted
this but rather suggested that the Ripper was a man who hated prostitutes.
Nothing could be further from the truth. He hated the police intensely and
was forever preoccupied with them and feeding them with false information,
in Ireland,as well as in England. This was his life.
It would be
impossible to find another Irishman who had a record like Tracey's in the
UK at that time. It would be impossible for me, the author, to concoct
such a litany of telling evidence against any man without inviting a libel
action. No libel was ever threatened because the facts outlined were true.
The evidence fits the man.
Was there another stocky, fat, tattooed, bearded, scarred sex-maniac with a
big gap between his top teeth and B blood group Irishman, who had
associations with Preston, Manchester and West Yorkshire, alive at that
A man who also wrote to the Chief Constable of West Yorkshire and
who used a hammer on his nephew's head before going into the mental home
voluntarily only days before Peter Sutcliffe was charged with all the
Ripper murders but one. A man who was a violent pimp and who was a
recorded aggressive psychopath in the UK prison system. A well-described man
seen at the scene of three of the murders and never traced. All these and
much more show Billy Tracey as that unique individual who alone fits the
With Tracey in the frame everything fits. Nobody else could
fit it. It is unique.
With Sutcliffe in the frame nothing fits and his
conviction was based on his confessions alone ,with a constabulary
compromised by their own tactical blunders offering him leniency for these