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The Yorkshire Ripper

BARBARA LEACH


Second year student at Bradford University, working for a Bachelor of Science degree. Barbara, 20, was killed on a late-night walk

 

Barbara Leach was a respectable student who left a pub to walk home alone in the early hours. Tracey, who had promised George Oldfield another murder in September or October when he sent him a taped message in June was not one to waste time.

Tracey’s timing emphasized his seriousness and deadly intent, a factor not lost on Oldfield, who took his messages to heart and dearly wished to apprehend him. On 1st September he was looking for a victim within sight of the Bradford police Ripper headquarters. All prostitutes in the Yorkshire area were really up tight and taking extra security precautions because of him.

The police had revealed the Geordie taped message in June which heightened tension and prostitutes were terrified of being next on his hit list. They were working in groups and their pimps were extra vigilant with all their customers. For this reason Tracey had to change his preferred victim to any woman he had an opportunity to waylay, whenever he decided to go.

If you are going to do it, do it; was his motto. When he made up his mind to go there could be no stopping him. Great Horton Road was chosen because it was a stroll away from the police headquarters and there were no policemen likely to be in that area.

They were busy monitoring the red light areas and watching motorists who were soliciting for sex. In any case Tracey was totally unafraid of police and held them in utter contempt. He knew how they worked and their methods.

 

 

 

Barbara Leach left the Manville Arms in Bradford (left) shortly after 1am. Great Horton Road (right)

 

The house where the body of Barbara Leach was found, behind the low wall on the left of the photograph.

 

 

The back lane down which Tracey dragged his victim to the rear of Number 7 (inset - The Manville Arms)

 

Police at the scene of Barbara Leach's killing

 

Here was an Irish criminal of extraordinary credentials with a record of serious crime second to none, who had been deported to Ireland four times already, crossing boundaries to commit serious crime to confound and terrorize the police and the public at large, as he attempted to flush out the copy cat killer for a police force whom he knew would frame this mad man. This dangerous criminal left a business card in my house bearing a Moss-side massage parlour address and dated August 1979 to remind him to return 11 days later for something. Now he was back. Everyone was tense and uptight at this time and an Irish pedestrian would arouse no suspicion when everyone believed the ripper was a Geordie and a motorist.

The Geordie taped voice was widely publicized and every female in the North of England was aware and wary of the Ripper’s threat as I am sure was Barbara Leach. They were also conscious of the fact that the last victim, Josephine Whittaker, was a respectable girl in Halifax and the threat was not only against prostitutes but against every female.

Tracey was on foot, well dressed and groomed and got there after touring the red light area of Lumb Lane safely in the back of a taxi. He was looking like a million dollars, joking and with a heavy silver topped cane in his hands which was to be his club on this occasion, when the victim turned her head probably to direct him to the police station.

This was how he conned all his victims who innocently allowed him to approach them. The University area was a quiet respectable district and by preying on victims in this area Tracey was upping the ante considerably by taunting the copy cat who was mirroring his actions and whom Tracey was baiting.

It was noted by me, that since Tracey came to work for me in June 1978 he had come into contact with females other than prostitutes, whom he looked on as objects and scum. Indeed he seemed incapable of inter-reacting with ordinary females in those early months and it appeared to me that he couldn’t converse with ordinary women without adverse comment to me. His wife was his slave and I never saw him have a conversation with a lady other than a prostitute.

It was significant that all his earlier victims, other than the compromised Jayne McDonald, were prostitutes and he simply didn’t know how to talk to females other than prostitutes, who as a rule were undiscriminating, often drunk and interested in his ability to pay for sex more than his character.

Since working with me he had come into contact with many females and the change of victim type from that time was a significant factor which matched the Rippers profile of crime in addition to the range of their obvious physical appearances which was in keeping with his undiscriminating character. He could enjoy sexual relations with any female regardless of age appearance or character.

 

 

 

 

 


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