Anna Rogulsky, an Irish girl, who had been married to a
Polish man and retained his name, was assaulted by Peter Sutcliffe in a
lane in Keighley, a small town on the outskirts of Bradford in West
The lane beside the Ritz Cinema, where Sutcliffe assaulted
Sutcliffe had been hanging about outside the Ritz cinema at
about 1.0 a.m.and saw this tempestuous lady walking towards her
boyfriend's house and heard the commotion. (see Roger Cross' account
When she returned and again walked past him he said she
elbowed him as she passed and on the spur of the moment he followed her
down the side lane where he assaulted her with a heavy object. Police
speculated that it was a Cuban shaped heel of the attacker's boot. A
neighbour who heard the commotion came to his door and Sutcliffe assured
him that all was well and he went back in.
Anna's injuries were not life threatening. This attack was
linked to a similar attack on Olive Smelt in Halifax some 5 weeks later.
Both women were respectable and the attacks were unconnected with the
premeditated prostitute murders by the Ripper, which were to commence two
and a half months later with the murder of Wilma McCann in Leeds.
These assaults were given little publicity in the local
papers at the time and nothing was reported in the national press. Clearly
there was no attempt to kill. It was to be three years later that both of
these attacks were taken into the Ripper frame and they were then regarded
as possible failed early attempted murders by the Ripper. Semen was not
looked for as the victims were quickly removed to hospital.
Such an unusual sex assault would be unheard of and because
of the marks left by Sutcliffe's fingernails as he groped his victims
underwear, the police later considered that they might be early Ripper
attacks which were disturbed, causing him to flee.
They were included in the Ripper frame in the grey area.
The copy cat Ripper was known to be involved from the time of the murder
of Yvonne Pearson, but the focus of the hunt was for the Ripper.
Trevor Birdsall was a witness to the Smelt attack by his
pal Sutcliffe and Chief Constable Ronald Gregory's memoirs, after his
resignation, record that Birdsall witnessed Sutcliffe discard a blood
stained stone from a sock when he returned to the car, when he accompanied
Sutcliffe on that night to the pubs of Halifax.
After Sutcliffe's arrest, the Rogulsky attack assumed new
significance because it was so easily corroborated with Peter Sutcliffe,
and it had wrongly been in the Ripper frame. The fact that it was always
in that grey area when in the frame, was not spoken about after the
arrest. This and the Smelt attack helped greatly to convince the public
that Sutcliffe was the Ripper.
A confused-looking Mrs Rogulsky being escorted into
Sutcliffe's trial by a
detective who knows he his manipulating his charge.