Thursday, January 2, 2014

This Day in Hsitory: Jan 2, 1981: The Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe, is apprehended

The victims: The 13 women killed by the Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe

The so-called Yorkshire Ripper is finally caught by British police, ending one of the largest manhunts in history. For five years, investigators had pursued every lead in an effort to stop the serial killer who terrorized Northern England, but the end came out of pure happenstance.

 Yorkshire Ripper: Peter Sutcliffe is serving a whole-life term for the murder of 13 women and the attempted murder of seven others, but his lawyers claim his mental illness should be considered

 Police are pictured searching the grounds of a property where the body of Marguerite Walls

 Police and forensic experts, seen examining the place where another victim was killed by the Yorkshire Ripper

Peter Sutcliffe was spotted in a stolen car with a prostitute and arrested by Sergeant Robert Ring. Sutcliffe asked to urinate behind a bush before being taken into custody. When Ring later returned to the scene, he found a hammer and knife, the Yorkshire Ripper's weapons of choice, behind the shrubbery. Sutcliffe confessed when confronted with this evidence.

 The police launched a huge campaign to track down the killer


 Peter Sutcliffe / Ripper
Murder victim
Irene Richardson
Murder Scene
7th February 1977
Three senior detectives leave the scene after seeing the girl's body.  From the left are Det. Chief Supt. Dennis Hoban, Det. Supt. Don Gledhill and Det. Chief Supt. Jim Hobson.

Peter Sutcliffe's first victim was Wilma McCann, who was beaten about the head with a hammer and stabbed mulitple times on October 30, 1975. Initially, he focused his attacks almost exclusively on prostitutes, killing seven young women in Northern England between February 1977 and May 1978. Many of the victims were mutilated after they were killed.

jacqueline hill

 jacqueline hill

As part of the manhunt, authorities interviewed more than 250,000 people and searched thousands of homes. Sutcliffe himself was interviewed nine times during the investigation but always convinced detectives that he wasn't involved. In 1979, a tape recording purportedly from the Yorkshire Ripper was sent to the police, who were sidetracked by what later turned out to be a hoax.

 Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe

Peter Sutcliffe: Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe to die in prison after losing appeal against whole life tariff

 Museum display of Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe’s possessions blasted.

The public really began to panic when the Yorkshire Ripper stopped going after prostitutes and started targeting college students. When Peter Sutcliffe was finally convicted, after an unsuccessful insanity defense, he had killed 13 women, far more than his namesake, Jack the Ripper. Sutcliffe received a sentence of life in prison.

 James Costello, aged 35, attacked Peter Sutcliffe in F2, the hospital wing of Parkhurst Prison, on January 10 1983. Costello, from Glasgow, had made 28 court appearances between 1963 and 1980, nine of them in relation to violence, and 15 appearances resulting in prison sentences.

Taken from: [02.01.2014]

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