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The Yorkshire Ripper

MARCELLA CLAXTON


 

Marcella Claxton was walking from the Ripper's chosen killing territory in Chapletown, towards Roundhay Road when she innocently accepted a lift from Sutcliffe who was driving in that area. This was to be his first recorded assault in the Ripper's killing ground. See Roger Cross's account below. At that time the innocent Stefan Kiszko was in jail on remand and awaiting trial for the sex murder of 11 year old Lesley Moleseed which Sutcliffe had committed about six months before. Sutcliffe alone knew that Kiszko was innocent.

Tissues bearing traces of semen were found beside Lesley's body and a white car with reddish markings around the wings was believed to be the killer's car. Could it be that Sutcliffe staged this attack hoping that the police would compare the semen and tissues with the Moleseed sample, and the M.O. of the crimes, to prevent Kiszko going down?

Was he trying to manipulate events at that time? I don't know but in the light of what he did subsequently, it is a distinct possibility. Sutcliffe was not a recorded criminal and had not come into contact with police and therefore was unaware of false confessions extracted from frightened suspects who faced conviction. Every criminal knows that the police want to solve crimes at all costs and they are always aware of being fitted up and or being blackmailed into an admission to something, if other perhaps more serious charges, are overlooked.

He may have thought that the police would wish to put it right and attempted to divert the hunt to himself. At this time there was much publicity about the Ripper, who had two murders, Wilma McCann and Emily Jackson to his name, while Sutcliffe had a string of assaults and there was little or no publicity, except about the arrest of Stefan Kiszko.

Up to this all Sutcliffe's attacks were in outlying areas and no prostitutes were involved. He probably hit Marcella with a stone loaded sock, as his friend Birdsall witnessed in the Smelt attack, and she witnessed him masturbating over her. If he had used a hammer like the Ripper she would be out cold but she was always conscious. In a premeditated way he threw the tissues he used to clean the semen on the ground and told her not to call the police.

He knew she was witnessing his attack as he spoke to her. Then he hung around later. He allowed her to get a good look at him and his car. It would be fair to say that he expected her to know the number of his car, a most unusual modus operandi for any assailant, who would be legging it from the scene. Perhaps this was his aim , to see her call the police.

Like Tracey Browne, this semen revealed his blood group and it didn't match the Rippers. For this reason the Claxton assault was never considered in the context of the Ripper investigation although some writers suggested that this was a big mistake by the police.

These writers were aware of the description given but not the semen. The police rarely reveal their reasons for including a particular crime within a frame for operational reasons and this fact must be borne in mind with the overall Ripper investigation. They retain it for use in the trial. I believe that they had a mass of other evidence linking the Rippers crimes but they only released minimal details such as his blood group, his hand writing samples and what they thought was his undisguised Geordie voice, sufficient to garner any help they could from the public whose help they needed to unmask him. His teeth gap was known from the start and the police were very angry with the New Statesman magazine which revealed this in 1980. However the big media players,

the newspapers, never released this clue as they always cooperate with the police in such cases. The public are only told as much as they need to know. Despite the accurate description Marcella gave of Peter Sutcliffe, they knew this crime, although in the Ripper's operating area, was not a Ripper job. They had solid forensic reasons for keeping it outside the frame. Claxton gave a good description of him but this crime was never included in the Ripper frame until after his arrest when he told the police about it and at that stage they were anxious to include all his crimes to convince the public that he was the Ripper. Only then was it classed as a Ripper crime and by then they were regretting that they had released so much evidence during the hunt, evidence that might come back to haunt them.

Their obvious mistake was not linking Claxton's description with the Tracey Browne one and subsequently Marilyn Moore's description of her attacker was very similar. There cannot have been more than one maniac with that description, performing the same unheard of assault and sex act, in that area, at that time. It is amazing that they were not linked.

There can be only one conclusion. On the police checklist of crimes the Lesley Moleseed murder was solved. After Sutcliffe's confessions and conviction the Ripper murders and all his unsolved crimes were ticked off that list. That's the way they work. They are quite uncaring. The statistics of crime are their annual accounts, what they have to show for their money. These are more important than anything else to the police. These ensure that their money keeps coming.

 

 

 

 

 


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