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
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
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.