The West Yorkshire Police proved beyond all doubt that Peter Sutcliffe was NOT the Yorkshire Ripper, so who is the REAL Yorkshire Ripper?.
Since the murder of Barbara Leach, Sutcliffe, to use his own words, ‘had lost the battle.’
His poem sent to the Sheffield Star echoes this view. Sutcliffe is an intelligent man. He is by no means a man who engaged in violent acts for fun or because he is an inherently violent person. I do not excuse him, far from it but I understand his reason for making his first assault on Anna Rogulsky. His wife seriously twisted him and he hated her but he was living with her. It is a fact that some incessantly nagging wives can drive some men to violent acts. Most would probably go to the pub. Sonia probably had a terrible row with him earlier and he was wandering about late at night.
The irate Irish Anna reminded him of Sonia when she was screaming at her boyfriend after breaking his window with her shoe and walking off in a temper. Her violent act triggered his violent act. Masturbating while touching her intimately as she lay on the ground probably sated him. There was no attempt to kill. I am not attempting to psycho analyse him, but here was a man who engaged in tit for tat murders with an evil killer who baited him. He knew he was being baited and he had responded with murders. He was involved. He felt the enormous effect the Ripper was having in West Yorkshire and Manchester and he wanted out. But there was no way out because the Ripper was known to be B blood and he was not that but nobody ever told him that. Policemen never reveal confidential information to suspects. He didn’t know the Ripper’s calling cards. The injuries were rumoured but unconfirmed.
Jacqueline Hill (left). The Ripper ‘Super Squad’ (above & below right) at the murder scene
Police search the scene of Jacqueline Hill’s murder (left)
Jacqueline Hill’s body lies in front of a police screen
The police had interviewed him 6 times before they got the breakthrough with my tip-off. His blood group ensured that he was not the Ripper but there were many other reasons why the police were interested in him. The fiver planted on Jean Jordan initially brought them to him. Later his resemblance to Marilyn Moore’s attacker was an added factor.
Then all the times his car was sighted in Lumb Lane, Bradford and Chapletown, Leeds, the areas where prostitutes hang about. His handwriting and accent was compared with the Geordie letter writers and no resemblance found, and his teeth pattern and blood group ensured he could not be the Ripper. Once I gave Holland the breakthrough tip-off they were waiting for, the police were not terribly interested in a copy cat killer. They knew a few of the murders fell into “a grey area” and all of the assaults. However the hunt was geared to getting the Ripper, not the peripheral nutter.
The Ripper was also the man who sent the letters and tape recording. The police were sure of this. It was an easy matter to eliminate the nutters who said they were the Ripper, and Sutcliffe was one of these.
It was also easy to eliminate any suspect who came to their notice or who was reported. Thousands of people were eliminated but Sutcliffe was thoroughly eliminated as the Ripper, 12 times over, because he kept coming back to the fray. He wanted to be the Ripper.
I gave the police the vital breakthrough on 17 November 1979.
Within days Tracey had a serious car accident. The previous murder had been on 1st September and Sutcliffe’s next attack was on a newspaper reporter in Ilkley, who had written about the Ripper. Her attack was not associated with the Ripper. She may have described Sutcliffe accurately but the police weren’t interested in him. They knew him intimately and they were sure he was not the Ripper. The breakthrough, with Tracey in the frame, was the cause of much elation in the top ranks of the police. The middle and lower ranks were kept in the dark.
The big boys wanted all the glory for themselves. They spoke with confidence of getting him for the first time. They referred to him as a bastard for the first time. They stated for the first time that they were sure to get him. They looked forward to knighthood’s and fame. Oldfield was drafted back from his sick bed. Their memoirs of how they caught the Ripper would be hot property. Contingency plans were set up to trap Tracey with blood on his hands the next time he came to the U.K. It would be the most famous capture ever. The stakes were high.
Tension was in the air. Sutcliffe was quickly identified as the copy cat madman whose crimes were somehow mistakenly included in the Ripper frame. He received three more interviews with the Manchester police who reopened their inquiries in early 1980.
They wanted him for the murder of Jean Jordan and that was their prize from West Yorkshire. They would have to wait for him. The Ripper was the big prize. The police knew Tracey would not admit to anything. They would not take him easily. Here was a hardened criminal who would look for every loophole in the law. If they tried to arrange his extradition from Ireland, Tracey had connections with the I.R.A. and he would claim immunity.
They might never get him .He also had psychiatrists who would say he was a patient and mentally abnormal. Tracey had recovered from his accident and could operate normally quickly. He had sued for damages relating to his accident and got sixteen thousand pounds in an incredibly short time. He was involved in a number of serious assaults in Ireland that year. His attacks were high profile. He committed one hammer attack on his own nephew whom he enticed into his house. He was seeking to sue the hospital which treated him for damages. He was attending a mental hospital as an additional insurance. He had a thousand and one other things on his mind and the hammer attack could be interpreted as a “come and get me” call to the West Yorkshire police.
They badly wanted him caught on the job, both to secure a conviction, but more I suspect to demonstrate their ability. But they hadn’t counted on Sutcliffe spoiling their plans. They daren’t arrest him or it would scare Tracey off.
They weren’t sure if the killers were in touch with one another. They had to leave him free and get Tracey first. It was a balancing act and they were holding their breath.
Sutcliffe had been described by Dr Bandara and Teresa Sykes and possibly by Maureen Lee, and now he was back outside the same Kentucky chicken shop where he had waited, before following to attack the Chinese student. He was going to repeat the attack. It was a year to the day since I had given the police the big breakthrough and Tracey had kept away all this time.
Sutcliffe was well known to them and now this strangely acting and odd man would be described later by a new set of witnesses. His Rover car was also described by witnesses. He drove it the wrong way down a one way street to attract attention to himself. The murder of Jacqueline Hill lacked all the credentials of a Ripper attack. Evidence was given in the Old Bailey that she would have survived had she been found that night. The injuries therefore it can be concluded were not fatal, none of the Ripper’s hammer blows to the head or stabbing at the vital organs and rearrangement of the body.
Laying outside injured all night on a cold, wet and windy November night would probably kill most people. Professor Gee said she was not the Ripper’s 13th victim.
The newspaper headlines all discounted the Ripper on the basis of Professor Gee’s forensic examination that first day. Her killing attracted much criticism for the police who were blamed for not searching for her, once alerted by the other students.
The girl, Andre Proctor, who saw Sutcliffe attacking Jackie must have given the police a description. They asked her not to disclose what she knew.
Sutcliffe deliberately made his attack in the view of at least this witness. There were other witnesses also.
I believe that the frequency of these attacks by Sutcliffe panicked the police into a change of tactics. They didn’t know that Sutcliffe had a Divine mission to be apprehended as the Ripper, but they knew it was him who had killed Jacqueline Hill.
I think that he was telling The West Yorkshire police that he was the Ripper in 1980 but without success. They would dismiss him as a madman. Only the top brass knew the tactics and they were the bosses. Lower ranking police who were suspicious of all the attacks by this bearded maniac were sidelined. Sutcliffe would have to tell an outside police force.
At the Derbyshire police conference referred to in Roger Cross’ book the tactical decision was made that would change the focus of the entire investigation. It was a degree of panic with all the attacks by Sutcliffe which pushed Oldfield into this. Knowing that it was Peter Sutcliffe who murdered Jacqueline Hill, they would signal to Tracey that they were not on to him by including the Hill murder in the Ripper frame and stating that they believed that the Ripper lived in Leeds. Maybe they felt he would never return or may feel that they knew his identity and they wanted to reassure him that they were not on to him.
There followed an unexpected massive outburst of public anger against the police which produced more internal police changes. Oldfield was taken off the Ripper case and replaced by Jim Hobson and an outside team of independent investigators was drafted in to take an independent look at all the evidence. It was more PR to buy time.
This bearded dark average size man who had attacked Marilyn Moore, Doctor Bandara, Teresa Sykes, Maureen Lee and now Jacqueline Hill was a high priority.
They knew he had a large square shaped car. The police who had eliminated Peter Sutcliffe 12 times must surely have thought about him. Private detective Jim Lyness had a phone call from a man saying the Ripper was a lorry driver living in Bingley.
Trevor Birdsall , his friend wrote and subsequently went to the police to report Sutcliffe. He informed them that he was an eye witness to a Ripper attack.
Olive Smelt told them her attacker phoned her again. Marilyn Moore claims she saw him in the Gaity pub and reported him then. Who would know him better than her? David Yallop the author of “Deliver us from Evil” was able to tell Oldfield in June 1980 that the Ripper was a lorry driver living in the Baildon Bingley Shipley area of Bradford. How did he know that before Sutcliffe’s arrest?
Mr Sickert, the London author of a book about Jack the Ripper was being badgered by Sutcliffe in London, and had reported him on a few occasions to the West Yorkshire police.
He was on the point of travelling to Yorkshire when he read about Sutcliffe’s arrest.
There were several articles in the London Times in 1980 about this suspect and Reporters wondering why he was not arrested. Sutcliffe himself was probably the person who brought Leeds to a standstill one day when he phoned saying he was the Ripper and would strike that day.
Leeds was holding its breath and Sutcliffe actually travelled to Leeds with his wife in the big Rover car probably with all his hammers etc hoping to be arrested in the city dragnet as he went shopping away from his own city.
Gordon Burn’s book says Sonia remarked about the eerie city to a neighbour after that drive. Whatever Oldfield’s reason, in that twenty four hours of debate after the Hill murder, this was the turning point of the investigation, for within six weeks the West Yorkshire police would be hoisted on their own petard with the self arranged arrest of the well described killer of Jacqueline Hill in Sheffield. Oldfield had put her murder in the Ripper frame and that meant they would have to charge him with a Ripper murder.
Billy Tracey was watching their performance on tv from an armchair in a neighbour’s house in Clara, County Offaly, a three hour journey away, but safely in another jurisdiction, as he smoked a big joint of marijuana and revelled in their discomfort. It was his finest hour and incredible as it may seem he psychoanalyzed his automaton, suddenly revealed, Sutcliffe, and his wife Sonia. When he saw Ronald Gregory and George Oldfield being interviewed about the arrest and saying they were “all delighted, absolutely delighted” one can see why he was so certain and sure of his own position in the affair.