Serial killer Peter Sutcliffe – better known as the Yorkshire Ripper – has died at the age of 74.
Mr Sutcliffe, who was serving a life term for murdering 13 women across England’s northwest and Yorkshire between 1975 and 1980, was moved from a maximum-security prison in County Durham to University Hospital in North Durham earlier this week, according to the Yorkshire Post.
He was said to have refused treatment for coronavirus, and also had a number of other underlying health issues, having been rushed to the same hospital a fortnight ago after a suspected heart attack. He was also said to be obese and had diabetes.
Former police officer Bob Bridgestock, who worked on the hunt for Mr Sutcliffe, said he “won’t be shedding any tears” for the killer, who was convicted in 1981.
Richard, the son of Mr Sutcliffe’s first victim – mother-of-four Wilma McCann – said his death would bring “some kind of closure”.
“The attention he’s had over the years, the continuous news stories that we’ve suffered over the years, there is some form of conclusion to that,” he said.
“I am sure a lot of the families, surviving children of the victims may well be glad he has gone and they have a right to feel like that.”
In his 2003 book on Mr Sutcliffe’s crimes, Wicked Beyond Belief, Michael Bilton wrote that the subject of the killer “brings dreadful memories flooding back for those most intimately involved”.
“The family of Sutcliffe’s victims deserved to know what really happened during that awful period when a beast called Peter Sutcliffe roamed the North of England creating outright terror,” he said.
Mr Sutcliffe’s was particularly focused on sex workers, women who were easily forgotten by society and the police. Although, any women who crossed his path was at risk.
Bilton goes on to say Mr Sutcliffe was a “monstrous and disturbed individual” who was “a sick and perverted killer who got powerful sexual thrills from having women at his mercy as he slaughtered them.”
The 13 women Mr Sutcliffe was convicted of murdering were:
• Wilma McCann, 28, from Chapeltown, Leeds, was killed in October 1975.
• Emily Jackson, 42, from Morley, Leeds, was killed on January 20, 1976.
• Irene Richard, 28, from Chapeltown, Leeds, was killed on February 6, 1977.
• Patricia Atkinson, 32, from Manningham, Bradford, was killed on April 24, 1977.
• Jayne MacDonald, 16, from Leeds, was killed on June 26, 1977.
• Jean Jordan, 21, from Manchester, was killed between September 30 and October 11, 1977.
• Yvonne Pearson, 22, from Bradford, was killed between January 20 and March 26, 1978.
• Helen Rytka, 18, from Huddersfield, was killed on January 31, 1978.
• Vera Millward, 40, from Manchester, was killed on May 16, 1978.
• Josephine Whitaker, 19, from Halifax, was killed on April 4, 1979.
• Barbara Leach, 20, was killed while walking in Bradford on September 1, 1979.
• Marguerite Walls, 47, from Leeds, was killed on August 20, 1980.
• Jacqueline Hill, 20, was killed at Headingley on November 16, 1980.