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The Yorkshire Ripper

BARBARA BOOTH


Barbara Booth was a prostitute who advertised her services in contact magazines and on post cards in shops. Her common law husband was her pimp, and left the house while she entertained her customer, who had come to murder her. A stocky middle aged man was seen to leave the house before her husband returned to find the scene of horror. Her body was slumped against the door to hold it shut and his young son Alan was slaughtered along with her. Tracey, the violent pimp, knew he had a short time alone with his victims. The same knife used to mutilate Wilma McCann 10 weeks earlier was planted in her skull firmly by her killer to link the murders.

 

 

While the Leeds police were still waiting for forensic results and studying the scene of this horrific crime, Superintendent Dick Holland who was based in Bradford had just arrested Mark Rowntree, a disturbed youth who had gone berserk and stabbed a few people to death, then fleeing. After a few days on the run, he phoned the police to give himself up and Holland made the most of his "capture". When Rowntree confessed to the killings he had done, Holland persuaded him to admit to the murder of Barbara Booth which was front page news that day. He got a good deal in return for his extra confessions and was freed as promised by Holland within about 7 years because the Courts accepted a plea of diminished responsibility or madness at the time. The Leeds police hadn't time to start their investigations and were just about to link the Booth murder to that of Wilma McCann, through the knife, but the confession stood. This cavalier approach to the clearing up of crime statistics by the police led in no small way to Tracey's broad day light pick up of Mrs Jackson, two weeks later, in Leeds, whom he murdered with unprecedented violence in what was to be known as the Yorkshire Ripper investigation.

 

 


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