The REAL Yorkshire Ripper
Sample of RTE Interview with Noel O’Gara and John Sutcliffe
From 1975 to 1981 one man cast a pall of fear over the North of England.
He became known as the Yorkshire Ripper. He committed more than a dozen ritual murders which were attended with a vicious brutality. He linked the murders by specific atrocities and wrote mockingly to the police while they desperately hunted him. His victims were mostly prostitutes, some vulnerable poor girls and also ordinary working girls just out late at night.
His modus operandi, or method, was to strike the victims with a hammer blow to the head, drag her if not already in the darkness, into the shadows, sexually assault her, rob her, then mutilate her with a flurry of knife wounds, sometimes biting her on the breasts; redressing and re-arrangement of the clothing, particularly the shoes, and finally covering the remains with her own coat.
In this way twenty three children were left motherless. They were a terrorising series of murders at irregular intervals, in different cities, over a wide area of Northern England. They caused widespread ripples of fear and were accompanied by letters from the Ripper to the police, who were hunting him.
These letters promised further murders with chilling accuracy and added a new dimension of a cunning maniac playing games with the police. More than 300 detectives worked full time on this hunt for three years. It caused widespread suspicion, interrogation and fear as well as costing more than £4 million pounds.
The Yorkshire Ripper murders apparently came to an end in 1981 with the arrest and subsequent conviction of a bearded lorry driver called Peter William Sutcliffe. This man confessed to all the Rippers acknowledged murders except one, that of Joan Harrison, a poor girl from Preston, Lancashire.
The West Yorkshire Police succeeded in gaining the conviction of Sutcliffe in the Old Bailey in London, in May 1981. The public felt delivered from the Ripper threat. They were convinced that at last the Ripper was behind bars.
The nightmare began in Leeds, Yorkshire in January 1976, when the body of 42 year old Emily Jackson, a mother of three was discovered by shocked workmen in a derelict site. Emily had been sexually assaulted and mutilated near the Gaiety pub, outside which she had earlier been soliciting for prostitution.
This murder was immediately linked by the police to a similar style ritual murder of a prostitute, one Wilma McCann, a 26 year old mother of four children.
Wilma had been murdered near her home in Leeds eleven weeks earlier. Both prostitute victims were robbed and sexually assaulted. The maniac was dubbed the Yorkshire ripper by the media. There was a lull for more than a year.
The nightmare returned to Leeds in February 1977, when the body of 26 year old Irene Richardson, a mother of two, was found in a park in Leeds. Irene was poor and unemployed, but she was not a prostitute. This murder was a serious challenge to the police because it bore the Rippers hall marks.
Two and a half months later, a Bradford prostitute, 32 year-old Patricia Atkinson, a mother of three, was found brutally murdered and mutilated in her bed at her flat in Bradford. Tina had been sexually assaulted, and her body bore all the hall marks of the Ripper.
Two months later the Ripper was back in his old hunting ground in Leeds. In June 1977 the body of 16 year old shop assistant, Jayne MacDonald, was found in a children’s playground near her home. The murder bore all the Rippers hall marks. After this murder George Oldfield, the assistant Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police was placed in overall command of the Ripper hunt.
With five acknowledged Ripper victims to date, on the 9th of October 1977 there was a puzzling murder of a prostitute, Jean Jordan in Manchester. Jean had been murdered one week before her body was discovered and it appeared the killer had returned and pulled her body from a double hedge to expose it. The Manchester Police did not regard this as a Ripper murder. It did not bear the hall marks of Yorkshire Jack, but such a strange murder of a prostitute at this time, was puzzling.
In January 1978, the body of 18 year old attractive half-caste Helen Rytka was found hidden behind a pile of timber in a wood-yard in Huddersfield. There was no doubt that it was Jack again. Huddersfield was George Oldfield’s home town. Oldfield, perhaps feeling responsible for attracting the Ripper to his own town appealed to the public for help. He wanted to trace every punter that drove by the toilets in Great Northern Street on that night. It was a mammoth police operation which put both the public and the police under great strain. The police at this time justifiably felt that the Ripper was playing games with them.
Three and a half months later, on the 16th of May 1978, the body of 41 year old prostitute, Vera Millward, a mother of seven children was found in a car-park at the rear of Manchester Royal Infirmary.
This Manchester murder bore all the Yorkshire Rippers hall marks. The Manchester and West Yorkshire Police now joined forces to track this demon down.
There was a second lull in the Rippers activity for almost a year. However, two weeks after the Millward murder the police announced that the earlier murder of Jean Jordan in Manchester was also a Ripper murder.
Then in September of that year they also announced, that Joan Harrison, a 26 year old down and out girl who had been murdered in Preston, Lancashire in November 1975, was a Ripper victim. They also included in the Ripper frame, the murder in January that year of prostitute Yvonne Pearson in Bradford. A series of four unsolved attacks on women were also brought in as the work of the Ripper: These were the attacks on Anna Rogulsky, Olive Smelt, Maureen Long and Marilyn Moore. In all of these cases it was assumed that the Ripper was interrupted before he finished the job.
The North of England was understandably uptight through the winter of 1978, until on the 4th of April 1979 a 19 year old respectable clerical worker Josephine Whittaker was found brutally murdered in a park in Halifax, near her home. Josephine’s body had been partially covered with her coat and it bore all the Rippers hall marks. This murder caused widespread fear because it was thought that the Ripper only murdered prostitutes but Josephine’s character was beyond reproach.
Left to right, Dick Holland, George Oldfield & Jack Ridgeway, listen to the ‘Ripper tape.’
On the 26th of June 1979, the combined police forces held an amazing press conference.
George Oldfield announced to the press that the Ripper had sent him some communications. He produced three letters and an audio cassette tape which he stated were from the Ripper. Oldfield played a sample of the taunting tape recording to the assembled media.
The Ripper spoke with a flat Geordie accent and he promised another murder in September or October. Because of confidential information contained in the letters and tape recording, police were sure they came from the Ripper. Oldfield, who had assumed something of a personal challenge with the Ripper took a desperate gamble. He was assuming that the handwriting was not altered and that the voice was not mimicked. He asked for assistance and was given a massive free publicity campaign which would have cost over a million pounds.
The sentiments and the title of the bearded Andrew Gold’s album “All this and Heaven too”, and the postage stamp image, were carefully selected by Tracey to taunt the police.
Tracey delivered his promise on the 1st of September with chilling accuracy.
19 year old Bradford University Student Barbara Leach was murdered by the Ripper and her body was found hidden beside dustbins at the rear of a house, only 750 yards from Bradford Central Police station. Barbara’s body bore all the Rippers hall marks. The publicity campaign to identify the Geordie letter writer became more urgent.
There was a third lull in the Rippers activities. People began to breathe again, until on the 18th of November 1980, newspapers and T.V announced the discovery of murdered 20 year old student Jacqueline Hill in Leeds University grounds. The police announced that she was not the Rippers 13th victim.
Sunday Times article
Twenty-four hours later they changed their mind and announced that Jacqueline was the Rippers 13th victim.
There was widespread indignation in Leeds and the police came under serious and mounting pressure. Only six weeks later, they held another amazing press conference.
On the 5th of January 1981, West Yorkshire’s Chief Constable Ronald Gregory announced that a man had been detained in Sheffield and was being questioned in relation to the Yorkshire Ripper murders.
Asked if the Ripper hunt was being scaled down Gregory replied: ‘You are right.”
There was widespread public relief and the pressure on the police was relaxed.
Peter William Sutcliffe was charged with the murder of Jacqueline Hill six weeks earlier and stealing a pair of number plates, value fifty pence. He didn’t seek bail.
Sutcliffe was remanded in custody until, on the 12th of February it was announced that he would be appearing in Dewsbury magistrates Court to answer further serious charges.
On the 20th of February he duly appeared at this court, where twelve charges of murder and seven of attempted murder, all on the grounds of diminished responsibility, were put to him. He pleaded guilty to them.
In the previous five weeks, Sutcliffe, with the aid of his defence lawyer had made a deal with the prosecution. In return for the prosecutions offer of leniency and a promise of confinement in a luxury mental home, with the prospects of parole in ten years, Sutcliffe agreed to admit to all the murders, however, he adamantly denied that he murdered Joan Harrison in Preston, or so the public were told.
In addition, he was charged with and pleaded guilty to the murder of Margo Walls, in 1980, and three assaults in the latter part of 1980, also to the assault of Marcella Claxton in Leeds, in 1976. None of these five crimes were included in the Ripper frame at the time of his arrest.
On the 29th of April 1981, the case came before Mr. Justice Boreham in the Old Bailey, in London. The Attorney General of England, Sir Michael Havers, was prosecuting the case, and he advised the judge, that four psychiatrists had reached consensus as regards Sutcliffe’s state of mind.
All were agreed that Sutcliffe had diminished responsibility when he committed the crimes, that in fact, he was mad. The prosecution were then pleading on behalf of Sutcliffe as part of the deal, his defence didn’t have to say a word.
Justice Boreham refused to accept Sir Michael’s plea, and ordered that Sutcliffe’s sanity be tested by a jury.
On the 5th of May the jury hearing commenced. Sutcliffe spoke of his mission from God, and the psychiatrists, for both prosecution and defence, gave evidence and agreed that he was mad. Because of Sutcliffe’s admission to all the murders, his guilt was not in question and little evidence was produced at the hearing, other than an assortment of tools.
Only his sanity was being tested.
The jury ultimately disagreed with both Sutcliffe and the psychiatrists and pronounced the Ripper sane. The judge sentenced him to thirty years in jail, rather than the mental home treatment which he had been promised by the police.
There was instant clamour for explanations. Sutcliffe’s character didn’t square up to the crimes he committed. His friends, family and neighbours were shocked and his wife Sonia announced that she would stand by him. Sutcliffe did not have a criminal record and to a lot of people he was one hell of a nice guy. The last murder he committed, that of Jacqueline Hill in Leeds, was still very fresh in peoples minds, also the large amount of corroborating evidence linking Sutcliffe and his car with the scene of this crime. This was the murder Sutcliffe was first charged with after his arrest.
What the public didn’t know was the real reason why Jacqueline Hill was stated to be a victim of the Yorkshire Ripper.
After the trial, the Geordie letter writer was written off by the police as a cruel hoaxer. Calls for a public enquiry into the investigation were ignored by the authorities but media pressure forced Ronald Gregory, the Chief Constable, to institute an internal police enquiry into the handling of the investigation.
This enquiry was conducted by his Deputy Chief Constable, Mr. Colin Sampson, who later became Chief Constable of the West Yorkshire Police. However, all politicians were not satisfied and called for a public enquiry. To answer this demand, the Home Office reluctantly agreed that it would conduct it’s own independent investigation. Publication of minor details led to some police criticism but nobody lost their jobs. There was no public enquiry, although the public were the ones that were murdered, and the ones at risk.
Sutcliffe’s brother Michael was interviewed by a B.B.C. reporter… “There’s no reason, no excuse he’s given me whatsoever, when he’s talking. I don’t think he knows himself. I can’t think of one instance, just not one instance, why?”
A friend of Sutcliffe’s spoke to the same reporter. “It’s a queer subject. When you know actually, that he is the Ripper but when you’ve known him as a friend, the biggest part of your life, to my mind, he’s still a friend. I would go out with him tonight. WHY? He’s a friend. He’s a very good friend. He’s been good to me all my life. He’s helped me out, fixed me cars. If you ever needed a hand, you know, on your own, Peter would help you. If you ever needed a loan, if he got any money, Peter would help you. He’d do anything for you. You don’t know what turns a fella that way or what causes him to do it. But I’d trust him with my daughters, with my own daughters.”
Sutcliffe’s mission from God
My opinion of Sutcliffe’s role in the whole affair is as follows. He married a girl who had serious mental problems. She was sexually cold, devoid of love for him and totally self centred and domineering. In many ways she was responsible for disturbing this man’s mind. After 6 years courting , followed by less than one year of married life, the realisation of this left him feeling wasted, worthless and with no future. Whatever dreams he had were shattered by a Jeckyl and Hyde wife whom he deeply despised. All women became hated objects and Anna Rogulsky’s screaming and threatening behaviour at her boyfriend’s door which he by chance witnessed, triggered his first attack.
Then in 1976 he attacked Marcella Claxton in Roundhay Park Leeds, who was his first prostitute victim.
This brought him to the attention of Billy Tracey, the violent pimp, who had a special squad looking for him for the two linked, Leeds, Ripper murders and he had left the area for the moment.
All these early attacks were sex attacks , masturbating while touching up his victims. This was what Sonia had reduced him to and I believe he didn’t care if he were caught. It was to reflect what she had done to him. His attacks received scant publicity while the Ripper murders made the news headlines.
Then the murder of Irene Richardson in the same Roundhay Park by Tracey followed by massive publicity must have affected him greatly given that Sutcliffe’s crimes received little or no publicity, particularly as Claxton was hardly mentioned until after his arrest, but Tracey would have been aware of it from the start. It was his opener.
Two more Ripper murders followed at regular intervals all accompanied by massive publicity. Sutcliffe was being baited by the Ripper and he knew it. He responded with the Maureen Long attack, then the Jean Jordan murder in Manchester where he returned to expose the body and returned again later to plant the fiver with the handbag which he had taken.
While Pearson’s body lay undiscovered the Ripper murdered Helen Rytka in Huddersfield to a blaze of publicity. The disturbed Peter Sutcliffe planted a newspaper with one large Ripper story under Pearson’s body. I see him as desperate to be arrested at this stage. Clearly , by his statements in Court he felt that he was involved with the occult. He felt driven and he saw himself involved in a battle between good and evil. Somewhere here, his earlier sick and perverted sex attacks were to be put aside and he saw himself pitting his wits against the evil Ripper.
This was his mission from God. He would sacrifice his freedom to placate the Ripper, an evil monster he had aroused. However this was easier said than done. The police had evidence of the Ripper’s blood and semen. Sutcliffe’s was different. It is on this issue that the Ripper became national and international news and escalated to frenzied proportions as the murders progressed. Tracey, the career criminal and violent pimp, was supremely confident of his ability to force the police to get someone for his crimes.
He knew that when the pressure came on the police, someone had to be accused. He had done it many times before but not on such a scale as this. His game was to force the police to get the copy-cat and he was confident enough to write to them and even send voice messages to them. He gave them everything about himself except his name and recorded fingerprints, that’s how confident he was in his chosen career, and while the average man in the street would think that every policeman would be very interested to know the identity of a killer, in this case they were scared to even find out. It was more comfortable to dismiss it.
The story of my efforts to tell the police bears this confidence out.
Nobody knew better than Tracey how the police fitted-up people for the crimes of others. He was a master of psychology. It was this supreme arrogance of the Ripper which made the police link all his murders publicly because they felt they knew so much about his identity that they would surely get him. It also made it well nigh impossible for Sutcliffe to be blamed.
Tracey’s letters and cassette message were part of that game plan until, true to form as he saw it, he finally forced the police to frame Sutcliffe, the mad man they had eliminated so thoroughly. If the newspaper accounts of Sutcliffe’s statements are studied one will see the terrible dilemma he had landed himself into. In the end he had to commit more murders just to prove to police that he was the Ripper even though they knew his role since about January 1980, that he was the copy cat.
Can you imagine his shock when in 1979 the police revealed that the Ripper was in correspondence with them. After the Leach murder he said he felt that the Devil was driving him. Then he actually attacked a journalist in Ilkley hoping she would report him. This attack was never in the Ripper frame.
Then in 1980 while Tracey lay low suspecting the police had identified him, Sutcliffe really went berserk with at least six attacks, three of whom were murdered. It was a complex tit for tat battle for Sutcliffe culminating with him actually staging his arrest in Sheffield because the West Yorkshire police knew him so well. He planted hammers and planted knives in the police toilet, gave false names , had wrong number plates on his car, had a prostitute and told the police he was a Ripper suspect.
The mission from God theory was put forward by him later to divert attention from his earlier perverted sick sex attacks which he was at pains to deny. Dick Holland’s deal on behalf of the police would have ensured nobody would have ever known, had it not been rejected by judge Boreham. It should be noted that all of Sutcliffe’s murders and attacks are fully corroborated by both the known facts before his arrest and by his statements, whereas with the Ripper murders his confessions are at odds with the known facts and his statements are way off beam.
After the trial it was reluctantly conceded by the West Yorkshire police that Peter Sutcliffe had been a Ripper suspect for a number of years. In fact they revealed that he had been interviewed not once, but nine times.
His first interview was on the 2nd of November 1977 with Manchester detectives who were investigating the murder of Jean Jordan in Manchester a few weeks previously.
The strange killer had returned to the scene of the murder one week later and removed her body from the bushes.
Almost a week later this mystery man returned a second time to the scene and this time he dumped the victims handbag which contained a brand new five pound note. The police knew that the fiver had been planted there by the killer. They were anxious to trap this strange man. The search for the fiver was narrowed down to a number of Works in the Bingley/Shipley area of Bradford. Clarke’s Transport was one of these Works. Peter Sutcliffe was one of Clarkes’ lorry drivers. Sutcliffe was quickly put on a short list and six days later two policemen came to his house, armed with a search warrant. They again questioned him and his wife. This time, his wife Sonia gave him an alibi.
Mr. William Clarke, the managing director of Clarke’s Transport spoke to the B.B.C. reporter. “They came in and they checked through everybody in the works, they checked on all the money and also… Then they came back after a week, and the handwriting. They came in again and checked all the dates over again. They went through his handwriting again and they reckoned there was something, it didn’t make sense and there was certain words they wanted reproduced. They then took Peter in again for further questioning, into the police station where he was for a quite considerable time.”
A fellow lorry driver was interviewed also… “100 per cent police search, saliva samples, blood samples, handwriting samples, teeth, they checked his tools, boots, footprints, car tyres pulled his car to bits, and everything turned out normal, and then two years later, they came to him again. They took us all together, all in a block bunch, not as individuals but in a block bunch. They did us all on the same evening and all on the same day. So the following morning, we were scared at work. Everybody was talking about Him out there. WHAT WAS PETER SUTCLIFFE’S REACTION ? It was just the same as everybody else’s They took a blood sample, just the same as everybody else.”
Sutcliffe’s school teacher told a B.B.C. reporter… “All I can remember is that he was a very quiet, obedient, respectful boy. He never shone in any way and I would simply say that he was of average intelligence but very quiet and reserved.”
Peter Sutcliffe’s father was equally shocked “No way am I going to desert him. I’m not going to write him off. I want to remember the lad as he was.”
Peter Sutcliffe, who was a disturbed attacker of lone females in 1975 and in 1976 first became involved with the Yorkshire Ripper on the 5th of February 1977 when the Ripper murdered Irene Richardson in the same park in Leeds where he had six months earlier assaulted the black girl Marcella Claxton.
Peter Sutcliffe got the message. However Sutcliffe’s involvement with the police did not come until nine months later. He was a very disturbed and intense man. His marriage to Sonia proved to be a disaster. He turned to hating women. She used to scream at her husband and pull the T.V. plug out on him. He had to wash all his own clothes and their love life was dismal.
Less than one year after his marriage he vented his hatred for women on Anna Rogulsky in Keighley, Olive Smelt in Halifax, and Tracy Browne, a schoolgirl in Keighley.
All three victims were struck on the head with a stone loaded sock. Sutcliffe masturbated over the prostrate victims and then ran away.
His attack on Marcella Claxton in Leeds nine months later had the same M.O. or modus operandi.
The story about this strange attacker did not escape the notice of the Ripper who lived in the area and who had committed several murders in that area in the past twelve months. He knew there was a disturbed maniac at large.
At the time of the Claxton assault only two of the Ripper murders Wilma McCann and Emily Jackson were linked and the legend of the Yorkshire Ripper was born.
At this point I would like to explain that the Yorkshire Ripper and letter writer was the principal murderer in the series of Ripper murders. Peter Sutcliffe’s assaults and murders became linked to the Yorkshire Ripper murders because of the information contained in the Rippers letters and because of police error. Although the police knew that a Copy-Cat Ripper was operating on the scene they didn’t quite know what the real motive was.
The Copy-Cat Ripper finally turned out to be Peter Sutcliffe, but for various reasons which will be explained later, he was charged with all the murders.
The Ripper knew that Sutcliffe’s motive was sexual as he baited him. Jean Jordan was a prostitute in Manchester and was similarly struck down by Sutcliffe. Because there was no report of the assault in the Manchester papers, the disturbed Sutcliffe returned to the scene of the crime eight days later. He dragged Jeans body from where it was hidden under a double hedge and left it in the park. This disturbed man who had earlier in that year engaged in tit-for-tat murders with the Yorkshire Ripper had thrown in the towel. He wanted to be arrested as the Ripper.
Massive publicity accompanied the Ripper’s brutal murders. Little or none was attached to his. Sutcliffe conducted his operations openly, with his car parked on a busy motorway. He was hoping to be caught on the job as the Yorkshire Ripper, but nobody saw him. Nobody wanted to know.
Six days later, he returned to the scene of the crime a second time, where he deposited Jean Jordan’s handbag, which he had held in his possession. This time, he placed a brand new five pound note in it, hoping it would bring the police to his doorstep. It had the desired effect. Two weeks later Manchester police were interviewing Sutcliffe.
He didn’t give himself up and the police didn’t make an arrest. One week later they came to his house with a search warrant and again questioned him and his wife. This time his wife gave him an alibi and he got off. However, he was on a short list of suspects.
One month later, Marilyn Moore, a prostitute in Leeds,, was assaulted because she refused to have sex with a client or as they are called, a punter, until she got her fee of a fiver first. She gave police a good description of her attacker which closely resembled Sutcliffe. She also gave his name and a description of his car. He called himself Dave.
The Manchester police never made the connection because this assault was the responsibility of the Leeds police under George Oldfield. Sutcliffe, in desperation picked up prostitute Yvonne Pearson, who was soliciting on the same comer that the Ripper had picked up Patricia Atkinson in Bradford about eight months earlier. He murdered Yvonne and hid her body under a settee which he covered with sods of earth on waste land in Bradford, where it was to remain for a further three months until it’s discovery.
At the time of the pick-up by Sutcliffe, Yvonne was being watched by Ripper squad detectives, who were staking-out the prostitutes in Lumb Lane, in the hope of trapping the Ripper.
Yvonne felt safe soliciting on that comer. The detectives were spotting all the punters, getting their descriptions and their car numbers which they made notes of. They gave a very accurate description of Sutcliffe, the man who picked her up. They said he was a white Asian.
The only problem for Sutcliffe, who wanted to be arrested, was that the policemen who had interviewed him only a few weeks previously were from Manchester. These were Bradford cops who were watching Yvonne Pearson. They didn’t know that the white Asian was on a short list of about a hundred suspects for the Manchester murder of Jean Jordan.
Such police rivalry bedeviled the whole investigation from start to finish and in many ways it was this territorial independence and police rivalry, which was in large part, an incentive for the Ripper to carry on his murders.
Information and clues were not pooled. Many policemen didn’t even trust other policemen and in fact there was some speculation for some time that the Ripper might even have been a policeman. In the meantime, the Ripper murdered Helen Rytka in Huddersfield.
The customary brutality of the Ripper guaranteed mass publicity for the Helen Rytka murder. At the same time, newspaper headlines referring to the five pound note enquiry in Bradford were reporting, “100 names left in Ripper hunt” and “Net closes on Ripper.”
Although the police had stated that the Jean Jordan murder was not a Ripper murder, the mass media had different views. Peter Sutcliffe was locked in a desperate battle with the Ripper.
Five weeks after the Rytka murder the Ripper sent a letter to George Oldfield, who was appealing for information. He gave Oldfield his count to date. He included in it, the Jordan murder, and threw in the murder of Joan Harrison in Preston, for good measure.
Less than a week later he sent a second letter to the Daily Mirror office in Manchester. He knew the editor would send the letter straight to the police. This time he was more emphatic when he said, “maybe Manchester again”, when he promised his next murder.
Joan Harrison had been murdered in Preston in November 1975. Her murder had been accompanied by much the same ritual and violence as the present series of Yorkshire Ripper recognised murders. The only reason she was ‘ left out of the Ripper frame at this time was that this murder was the responsibility of the Lancashire Police, who liked to deal with their own murders and catch their own criminals. The Ripper was exploiting human rivalry by crossing boundaries.
Two months later the Ripper delivered his promise by murdering 41 year old Vera Millward, a former prostitute, in Manchester again. A fortnight later the first Manchester murder, that of Jean Jordan, was taken into the Ripper frame by the police, on the advice of the Ripper himself. This action effectively tied Peter Sutcliffe and his five pound note clue into the Ripper frame.
The problem was Sutcliffe’s blood group and teeth marks were different to the Rippers.
This was known from the bite marks on the victims and from saliva which would attend the bite marks, and from semen deposited when he sexually assaulted some. The Ripper was the rare blood group B secretor He was one man in sixteen. In rape and murder cases blood testing is an easy, cheap and efficient way of eliminating suspects for the police. Once the blood group of a murderer is known, suspects can be easily blood tested, and the innocent eliminated accordingly. With such a rare blood group, suspects with B blood would be very few.
There was a break for almost a year. Then in March 1979, the Ripper sent a third letter to George Oldfield promising another murder and gave details of Mrs. Millward’s hospitalisation. The saliva used to seal the envelope yielded traces of the rare B blood group.
The writer set clear bite marks on the paper.
Less than two weeks later, the Ripper murdered Josephine Whittaker in Halifax. Josephine was a 19 year old respectable girl who was on her way home late at night. As if to confirm his approval of Oldfield’s inclusion of Joan Harrison in the Ripper frame, he bit Josephine deeply on the left breast just as he had done to Joan Harrison and his letter. The blood group from saliva and teeth impressions were identical.
The usual wave of publicity attended this murder, then in June 1979 the tape recording with the flat Geordie voice was sent to George Oldfield. This promised another murder in September or October. On the 1st of September, 20 year old Barbara Leach, a university student, was murdered in Bradford. In the meantime the deranged Peter Sutcliffe had been interviewed by the police and was eliminated every time because of his blood group and teeth pattern.
Sutcliffe then sought out a newspaper reporter Yvonne Mysliwiec who worked for a newspaper in Ilkley and on October 11th 1979 he confronted her and battered her with a hammer and fled hoping she would identify him as the Ripper.
In the end Sutcliffe’s desperation led him to stage his arrest in an elaborate plan which he set up in an outside police area, in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, because the West Yorkshire police knew that he was not the Ripper.
Sutcliffe’s crimes had been linked with the Rippers murders, and after every Ripper murder Sutcliffe felt a terrible weight of guilt. He felt that he was being driven by the Devil himself. In the first month of 1980, he received three interviews from the police and he knew at that stage that they knew he was involved, but yet he was not arrested. In August that year, Sutcliffe murdered Margo Walls in Pudsey.
This murder was not regarded as a Ripper murder. In September he assaulted Dr. Uphaheya Bandara, a student in Leeds.
In October he assaulted Maureen Lea in Leeds University.
On November 5th he assaulted Teresa Sykes, a young housewife in Huddersfield.
None of these assaults were regarded as Ripper attacks.
Then, on November 17th, he murdered university student Jacqueline Hill. On the 19th of November The Daily Mail reported, “the body of a 20 year old girl student was found yesterday on waste ground in the heart of Yorkshire Ripper territory. At first detectives feared that he had claimed his 13th victim but a postmortem by pathologist Professor David Gee revealed nothing to link the murder with the mass killer. “This does not bear the hall marks of the Ripper”explained the police spokesman.
Since the 16th of November 1979 the police knew the identity of the real Yorkshire Ripper and had a plan to trap him. Oldfield returned to share the glory.
This police strategy may shock some readers but I always sensed that this was their plan since they got the breakthrough tip off from me on 16th November 1979. Oldfield and Co were confident of getting Tracey but wanted him with blood on his hands to make themselves the most famous cops in the world ever. What a capture it promised to be. An Irishman commuting to kill in England. They could expect knighthoods from the Queen and their memoirs would be hot property, classics in criminal history.
The Ripper Chiefs posing in their trophy room in 1980 waiting for their biggest prize.
One more prostitute victim couldn’t stand in their way. The deranged copy-cat killer could be forgotten about and picked up later quietly. Nobody would be very interested in him. David Yallop’s research confirms this gut feeling of mine. They were waiting to trap him.
From Sutcliffe’s three interviews in early 1980 they also knew his involvement, that he was the disturbed Copy-Cat. Naturally enough, Sutcliffe did not know that the police knew the Rippers identity but he wanted to be arrested and give himself up as the Ripper. He told his boss at Clarke’s before he broke up for Christmas, with tears in his eyes, that he might not be back, “I have things to do” he said. He also told his best friend Trevor Birdsall that he was the Ripper. Birdsall wrote a letter to the police identifying Sutcliffe. The police ignored his letter and he subsequently went to them with his girlfriend and he was again ignored.
The police didn’t want Sutcliffe because they knew the Rippers REAL identity.
On the 2nd of January 1981, Peter Sutcliffe in his square shaped car, which was the subject of intense speculation since the Jacqueline Hill murder only six weeks earlier, with false number plates and a black prostitute, was parked suspiciously in the red light district of Sheffield.
Just before he picked up Olivia Reivers, Sutcliffe phoned the police and reported himself as a suspicious customer. Only weeks earlier, he had turned Leeds into a ghost town with a tip off to the police, that the Ripper was gomig to strike again.
On that day Sutcliffe went to Leeds from his own home town in Bradford. He had his wife in his car with the false number plates and his assortment of hammers, knives, screwdrivers and cord in his pockets. He wasn’t arrested in the massive police dragnet that surrounded the city. George Oldfield wanted to get his hands on the Ripper very very badly. Sutcliffe was unimportant.
I believe that Sutcliffe committed several other serious assaults and the murder of Jean Clay whose body was found near the Dewsbury Ripper police headquarters. Detective Chief Superintendent Peter Gilrain was in charge of this investigation in addition to then being in overall charge of the Ripper investigation. These assaults and murders were played down by the police who had Tracey, the Real Yorkshire Ripper, the biggest prize of all in their sights.
When the Sheffield patrol approached him, Sutcliffe did everything possible to arouse their suspicions, including giving them a false name and having false number plates that didn’t tally with the tax disc on his car. He told the police patrol that he had stolen the number plates. He didn’t want the prostitute for sex. He asked permission to relieve himself in the bushes and there he hid a hammer and a knife which were later recovered by the police.
When he got to Hammerton Road police station in Sheffield, he planted another knife in the toilet cistern when he asked to go to the toilet again. This was found by policemen later on and created intense suspicion about him. A man, calling himself by a false name, Peter Williams, and who had told the prostitute his name was Dave, and who was closely resembling Marilyn Moore’s Dave, whose photofit picture was hanging on the wall of every police station, was guaranteed to arouse suspicions.
The Leeds police were called and they told the Sheffield police that Sutcliffe was not the Ripper. However the Sheffield police were overly suspicious and wouldn’t let him go. They didn’t know of George Oldfield’s tactics and they insisted on Ripper squad involvement.
When Sutcliffe was first brought into the Sheffield police station, he quickly told them that he had been a Ripper suspect. Later in Dewsbury he was interviewed by detective Sergeant Desmond O’Boyle. It didn’t take much prompting for Sutcliffe to admit to the murder of Jacqueline Hill but Oldfield knew that already.
The dilemma for the police was that they had said that Jacqueline Hill was a Ripper victim when they knew that she was not. What a dilemma He also admitted to the murder of Margo Walls in Pudsey in 1980, and to all of his assaults. The police had to hold him. These admissions led to Ronald Gregory’s press conference on January 4th.
Ronald Gregory nudges George Oldfield at a press conference after Sutcliffe’s arrest as they embark on the biggest police cover up in criminal history.
Gregory told the media that a man had been arrested in Sheffield on Friday in connection with the theft of car number plates. He said. “This man is now detained in West Yorkshire and he is being questioned in connection to the Yorkshire Ripper murders.” Asked if the hunt was being scaled down, Gregory replied, “You are right.” Sutcliffe was the Ripper before he was even charged with any murder.
The mass media had his face on every paper. The next day Sutcliffe was hustled into Dewsbury Court with a blanket over his head and he was charged with the murder of Jacqueline Hill and stealing a pair of number plates. Then the bargaining began and ultimately Sutcliffe admitted to most of the Rippers murders.
The rest is history, all based on a false premise, and written about by newspapers over and over again, always giving the police version of events and never questioning the glaring inconsistencies.