BACK STORY with DANA LEWIS

BRITAIN'S YORKSHIRE RIPPER

November 13, 2020 Dana Lewis
BACK STORY with DANA LEWIS
BRITAIN'S YORKSHIRE RIPPER
Chapters
BACK STORY with DANA LEWIS
BRITAIN'S YORKSHIRE RIPPER
Nov 13, 2020
Dana Lewis

Peter Sutcliffe has died. In the late 1970's through 1980  he was the Yorkshire Ripper - killing 13 women and attempting to murder 7 more.    And taunting police to catch him.  Or so it seemed. 

The place was Yorkshire England - in towns called Bradford, Leeds, Sheffield.

Dana Lewis was a young Toronto, Canada crime reporter, who travelled to England to cover the murders.  And this is his original story which ended with the news Sutcliffe had just been caught. 

And now he reports Sutcliffe dead in prison from Covid 19.

Show Notes Transcript

Peter Sutcliffe has died. In the late 1970's through 1980  he was the Yorkshire Ripper - killing 13 women and attempting to murder 7 more.    And taunting police to catch him.  Or so it seemed. 

The place was Yorkshire England - in towns called Bradford, Leeds, Sheffield.

Dana Lewis was a young Toronto, Canada crime reporter, who travelled to England to cover the murders.  And this is his original story which ended with the news Sutcliffe had just been caught. 

And now he reports Sutcliffe dead in prison from Covid 19.

Speaker 1:

[inaudible] . Yes.

Speaker 2:

Hi everyone. And welcome to backstory. I'm Dana Lewis in 1980, I was a crime reporter in Toronto, in England. A chilling frightening story was unfolding . A man who was stalking and killing women dubbed the Yorkshire ripper. That's where he was lurking Yorkshire, England in towns , Lake Bradford, Sheffield Lee . He killed 13 women and attempted to murder seven more. He was eventually caught his name, Peter Sutcliffe. And this week Sutcliffe serving 20 concurrent sentences for life. Imprisonment died from COVID-19. In 1980, I told my boss his name was Robert holiday. Let me go and cover the murders. I paid my airfare and hotels and told the news director, if you like the story, I bring back, just pay my airfare. And that's what happened on my vacation time. This is the story I did way back then in the end, the story I prepared for a national radio show called Sunday, Sunday aired just as Peter Sutcliffe was caught and his terrible murder spree came to an end. I got my story and 600 bucks for the air ticket. I was only 20. This is what I sounded like. And that's the way it was. Hell of a crime story.

Speaker 1:

[inaudible] yes , I won't say when, but yes, we will catch him . It's got a nice background to support. So when you can't live on 23 pound a week with two kids, sorry , it's not possible. So you're willing to take the chance of the ripper in order to feed your family into social skills. Well , I did come up the stock Hill girls, innocent girls as well. He come up from the other channels . You could be Jack. I could be Jack the ripper it's as difficult as that from ABC news. I'm Bob Windsor , British police might have caught up with a murderer called the Yorkshire ripper. I was terrorized Northern England for five years by killing 13 women police in West Yorkshire arrested two days ago about the murder Pharaoh . The feeling

Speaker 3:

Is that , um , it is most likely on the time that they spend in the red. So they thought the beginning of a new one, which would be well or a new red is , um , now discovering. Um, how and why and who

Speaker 4:

West Yorkshire police think they know who they have charged. 35 year old truck driver, Peter Sutcliffe with murder number 13. He has been remanded in custody until tomorrow. There are many clues as to how the murders were committed. There are few that indicate why friends and neighbors of Sutcliffe say he was a quiet man. They are surprised. That's the thing about your church . Friends and neighbors are easy to come by. It's a large area, but it has that small town atmosphere, Yorkshire views itself as a nation. It was the largest County in England until it was quartered in 1974. It's towns folk have produced textiles since the 18th century and that unmistakable scent of black coal fills the air. Although the rolling countryside could be sold in a travel magazine, the towns and cities of the area are bleak and gray. The people hardworking and conservative. The Yorkshire ripper has left the area in shock.

Speaker 5:

The first victim that we attributed to them on this now locally known as the AKI Rippa was in fact, Anna Rogowski. She was a 37 year old woman who was walking through the streets in the early hours of the face of July, 1975. She was walking through the streets of Keithley when she was , um, struck about the head, attacked with a number of blows and left unconscious.

Speaker 4:

The ripper began his spree of killings in the town of Leeds, October 30th, 1975, 28 year old Wilma McCann was struck over the head and stabbed savagely. The ripper was born and the stage set for Britain's worst mass murderer. During the next five years of the ripper would allude Britain's best detectives. It would attack 17 girls in total leaving 13 dead for police superintendent, Frank Mort . It was the largest investigation he would ever be involved in. I had come to you five years ago and suggested that , uh , a killer as bold, as vicious as this could elude you for so much time. Would you believe me?

Speaker 5:

No, I don't think I would. Um, if you would have said to me that yes, we might have a mass murderer . Yes, I would have believed that. But if you would have tone , tried to suggest to me that a murderer could have, in fact, committed 13 violent and vicious attacks and left solidly behind that I would have found difficult to accept. Um, but events have proved. In fact, that we have a man who is capable of doing that,

Speaker 4:

He seems to be able to lead these women away. Does he not, or at least approach them without causing them to run?

Speaker 5:

Yeah, that's , that's one version that you could could attach to it. The other one, and the one that I prefer to think is probably the, the way he operates is not necessarily to pursue them for long distances, but maybe to stand in some secluded shop doorway or some secluded yard entry. Um, and when the woman passes email, you need to perhaps take one or two steps to strike the blow . Uh, so far as the prostitute was concerned, yester , I think it's fairly clear that , uh , he would pick the woman OPA as a normal customer would pick up a prostitute and drive to a secluded area , which either he or she nominated and committed the crime , uh , was this one. He would pick the area and wait for the girl to come into that area. I, in the past of like an M a little bit to the spider who picks his area , and then he sits quiet and waits . And when the fly comes by he'll snap, and I think the same principle applies here. He will pick it out here and he will wait until those circumstances are exactly right. And the girl comes along and then he will attack. And if the circumstances are not right, then that girl continued on her way. We're now into the 20th of January, 1976, when bucking leads the body of Emily Jackson, the 42 Ariel prostitute was found. She had been stabbed and beaten about the head many, many times. That was the first real indication perhaps that we had , um , a one-man killer and all one monitor attack , a woman that was working in a number of areas of the country.

Speaker 1:

[inaudible]

Speaker 4:

Besides a cassette tape, three letters were also sent to assistant chief, Constable George Oldfield from a man. Police believed was the ripper, the material criticized old field . Then in charge of the man hunt and his team of detectives.

Speaker 1:

I can't see any sharp pain . Nick, just checking for fingerprints. You shouldn't know, by now it's painted in with some .

Speaker 4:

The cassette tape gave the case a new mystery. It was dramatic. Some say spine chilling and investigator search for its author. Loudspeakers played at a gain and a gain from town to town in the hope someone would recognize the man behind the voice, the tapes and letters to police. What sort of a man does that?

Speaker 6:

I think it's the kind of man who fits in with my hypothesis of him being a psychopath. It was fascinating to me too , to watch how it unfolded really how there seemed to be developing a battle of wits between mr Oldfield and this murderer to such an extent that he felt emboldened enough to send a tape and a letter now to digress for a minute. I think that was a mistake.

Speaker 4:

Dr. Steven Shaw was one of several psychologists called into assist in ripper hunt in 1973, his work with the criminally insane expensive .

Speaker 6:

So these are mistakes and a psychopath does make his mistakes and he doesn't learn from them, but he cannot resist the impulse. And that was another of my features cannot resist the impulse to have a battle of wits with mr. Oldfield. So has to taunt him has to send the tapes to say, I've got the respect for you, mr. Oldfield, but your boys are not much good. I am better than the whole of the West Yorkshire police, as it were almost crowing over them, challenging them to ,

Speaker 4:

It appears the Yorkshire police department has finally met that challenge and beaten the ripper at his game. There is a second half to this story besides the police and the ripper. There are the people of that area. There's is the real story in this tale.

Speaker 5:

The ripper , in fact, didn't strike again for another 381 days. And then on the 5th of April, 1977 , um , Irene Richardson, she was killed in Leeds and that's when the local media first started using the title, the ripper. Um , it didn't stop him killing. However, because he moved into Bradford and on the 23rd of April, 1977 , Patricia Atkinson , um, she was killed 63 days later, he came back to leads and on the 26th of June, he killed a young 16 year old girl Jane McDonald . And this was the first of the women who were not in fact, a prostitute or a lawnmower

Speaker 4:

As the ripper taunted, and played his deadly game with the people of Yorkshire. The area changed drastically, Oh no, not the buildings or landscape, but as residence in daytime hours, conversations were filled with tales of the ripper, who we might be, what he was doing. And when he might do it again at night, a terrified County locked its doors and fear cab drivers could see the change.

Speaker 7:

It takes David like the suit to Lee's chapel town, or used to be not similar to , since the , um, since the murders, the , uh , the girls have tended to move out of laser just to cherries . Is that fair ?

Speaker 4:

Garth? What would I have found a five years ago? If you would've been driving me through this area

Speaker 7:

Five years, you have found a lot, lots of activity. Basically. You see it, you would have seen the girls on the street corners, the punch of cars , driving around the streets, looking for the girls, basically just bunch of activity, which you don't see in alleys . It's just practically deserted. Since I've been taxing , I've met a good living out of it, but now I'm just barely making living . It's just so quiet. It's really ,

Speaker 4:

The red light areas were so quiet. It took me four days to find any prostitutes with the courage to work the area. When I did find them, it was under a street lamp and a broken down of the rippers , hometown

Speaker 1:

Of Bradford there. The girls worked in pairs or not at all finished what's happened. There's no claims anymore. It's dead . Just pure, please. Just a lot of police. Are they giving you a hard time? Not really. They're just everywhere all the time. So a lot of the guys not coming around and there's no, no . Don't you get a little scared though. Yeah, but I don't work alone. I work with her two girls, whoever gets the client, you know, if they don't want, until they're the ones still goes, most girls now work away. Our town, wherever they gun London, pick towns , knowledge , London, Scotland, Ireland. Even because of the river . They were . Yeah. Yeah. Not just because they were afraid that because there's no money there anymore. Well, why don't the customers come up though? Is it because the police had given him a haircut ? The police like do spot checks a lot and it's very, and when they've got family or police, aren't discreet about it, they just go knock on door and say in front of the wife, they'd been on pink , red light, or they'd been seen it's like, it used to be a spot check . And every car that came up here , it got checked out thoroughly. And to do that, they used to go to clients' homes, even the works and see the money driven state for the wives. So I'm not sure they can't afford that. Started scouting or sort of just stopped coming through that as well. It's dead . It is quiet. And it's like this every night now it's been like this past few weeks . The main thing is if you're a prostitute, wherever you go , this place , it's because there's no money. And what she was getting locked up for nothing. That's why they're going away. They're still getting locked up somewhere , but at least their own in the moment. Yeah. Well, how do you, how do you girls feel about the police? All right . Are you mad at them for doing well? They're doing the Japanese . So they try and protect us only for police on a red light area, rip a beer outside . That's the way I think that's the reason he's turned to straight people because he knows now not to come up cause he's gone and get spot checks or whatever it is. There's too many police now. So he's turned into straight people to do them. Yeah . Do you think about the river when you're standing out here at night? It's always a, it's always that because we know lots of the people. Not only have people been killed in your community, not only are girls really scared to go out on the streets at night, but when a girl, a prostitute, you know, well, just, just not someone you work with a friend of yours, it happens to her. Doesn't that make you want to quit? It does. Yeah, but you can't quit. I couldn't quit. Look at it this way. Right? All laws is one parent families. She has two kids. I have two . She's got three. Yeah. We don't have no fellow behind doors . Normally sports, as we've got, as renters , food is closed . Then you get all 23% of social security a week. I'm can you live? You can't live. So you're willing to take the routes . Well , you have to do, it's not a much a willing to take it as a matter of live in it's a mantra that you have taken that risk for your kids to start when going get put into care.

Speaker 5:

And then there was another, and in fact, the longest gap of all, he went 441 days before he moved back to leaves and the latest victim Jacqueline Hill , and she was killed on the evening of the 17th of November, 1980. And again, she was beaten about the head

Speaker 4:

From the Bradford red light district to elite pump . The feeling was the same. No one could escape the grip of the ripper like this man, all wondered if at one time or another, they had looked the killer right in the ear .

Speaker 1:

They tool to each other about it because you may be talking to the ripper. That's the feeling then it, sorry. Many people have said t hough, t hat t his is t he feeling around here. And in fact, in the whole of Bradford, you mean people are so scared that they're looking at anyone they talk to. And wondering if he's the r ibbon.

Speaker 4:

By the time I arrived in Yorkshire to gather this story, 13 murders had been recorded. Towns . People were awaiting. The next one, the families and relatives of the victims were tired, broken, and would not talk to reporters. But given the chance by the BBC to talk directly to the ripper, they took it. Mrs. Irene MacDonald , her daughter was murdered in 1977.

Speaker 1:

It was a beast with no feelings. And you're a coward. Why do you come up with stock ? Young girls, innocent girls as well. You'd come up from behind them, the door, other chance. You're not a man. You're a beast. And I heard too . And I believe all the population and leads and everywhere too. I wonder who you think you are. Do download . Think y'all God or something. God give life. God take us away. Not you. I think you are the devil itself.

Speaker 4:

Mrs. Patricia Brandenburg, her niece was murdered in 1977.

Speaker 1:

Jane was a beautiful girl. You took life from her. You destroyed a family in one way or another. A father just deteriorated. You're nuts . So mad . He despicable. I despise you intensely. Every living person curses you, you can't even dig a hole for yourself because people would come and find you and drag you out.

Speaker 4:

Mr . Harry smelled, his wife was attacked in 1975

Speaker 5:

Of all the women you've killed. I think if you were to take a census of them all, I think given the opportunity to do, as you wish with them, I think they would rate you pretty low sexually. I think that's what it's all about. You you're proving. You're a man by killing them. Most men don't have to kill a women to prove that they're a man. Let's talk about real crimes, organizing bank robberies and on . And I think you will be really a non runner. It tends to be women and it has to be

Speaker 4:

Behind mr. Hayden, highly . His daughter was murdered in 1979.

Speaker 5:

You are the lowest of the low. You did mention , uh , believers in your tape to the police that you want it to be mentioned in the Guinness book of records. I'll go along with that, you should be classed as the biggest coward the world has ever known. That's in the Guinness book of records,

Speaker 4:

Mrs. Barrel leech , her daughter murdered in 1979.

Speaker 5:

Look over your shoulder. You hit him from behind. The number is tango uniform. Mike nine eight, three Romeo, probably three ways that the murder could be brought to justice. Number one is it could be some super detective , um , as a blinding flash of genius as a result of which the man is arrested. Yeah. That's possibility. Number one, possibility. Number two is that the grind, the day-to-day slug , uh , will bring results because of the painstaking tedious, very involved and very detailed inquiries. There is also the third way, and that is that some policeman , uh, doing some duty, totally unconnected with the ripper inquiry will. In fact, what round the corner and walk straight into the Manor .

Speaker 4:

Superintendent. Frank Moritz predictions given to me several weeks ago. We're not that far off 35 year old Peter Sutcliffe was arrested. Nine days ago, two constables on routine patrol. And the red light district of Sheffield stopped a car driven by Sutcliffe in his company. A lady of the night, the license plates were checked and found to be stolen. One thing led to another and by the beginning of the week, it was announced the truck driver would stand trial for the murder of the rippers 13th victim. After interviewing over 200,000 people searching 30,000 homes at a cost of $10 million. The 500 man ripper squad has disbanded. The people of your chair will not return to the norm quite so easily. This is Dana Lewis. Eventually those tapes, the police played from town to town were proven to be fake. It wasn't Sutcliffe, but it did distract the police from catching the real killer for a while. How was Sutcliffe finally caught the two policemen who stopped him on a routine check? One of them felt suspicious when the man has to relieve himself. The officer went around to the scene later and found that Sutcliffe had dropped a hammer and knife on the ground. And that was the end of the Yorkshire ripper string of murders

Speaker 2:

This week, victims of his attempted murders and families of those who were killed, spoke out to say they won't shed a tear for Sutcliffe's passing, but his death brings about closure to a bloody and terrifying period in Yorkshire. I'm Dana Lewis. Thanks for listening to backstory. Please subscribe to the best international news podcast and share our link . Take care. And I'll talk to you again soon.

Speaker 8:

[inaudible] .