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Yorkshire Ripper serial killer Peter Sutcliffe has died

Written by on 12/11/2020

The serial killer known as the Yorkshire Ripper has died.

Peter Sutcliffe, 74, was one of the UK’s most notorious prisoners, having murdered at least 13 women across the north of England in the late 1970s.

His prison term had been increased to a whole life sentence in 2010 and he was being held at HMP Frankland in County Durham.

British serial killer Peter Sutcliffe, a.k.a. 'The Yorkshire Ripper,' in police custody, 1983. (Photo by Express Newspapers/Getty Images)
Image: He was jailed for life in 2010

Sutcliffe died at University Hospital of North Durham, three miles from where he was an inmate, a Prison Service spokesman confirmed.

He was sent there after developing COVID-19, but is understood to have refused treatment for the virus.

The 74-year-old had previously returned to prison after being treated for a suspected heart attack two weeks ago – but was forced to go back to hospital after testing positive for coronavirus. He had a number of health problems, including diabetes and obesity.

Sutcliffe grew up in West Yorkshire and after leaving school held a number of different low skilled jobs, including a job as a gravedigger.

He got married in 1974 but had also become obsessed with female sex workers.

He started attacking women in the late 1960s but the first known murder happened in 1975 when he killed 28-year-old Wilma McCann, a mother of four from Leeds.

Over the following five years he continued killing women across Yorkshire and the North West and as the story of his crimes grew, he became known as the Yorkshire Ripper.

It led the police to advise women in some areas not to go out alone at night.

Richard McCann, the son of Sutcliffe’s first known victim Wilma McCann, told Sky News: “He ruined so many lives.

(Original Caption) January 4, 1981 - Sheffield, England: This is the scene in a red light district late on the street where police arrested a man identified as Peter Sutcliffe for questioning in relation to the "Yorkshire Ripper" murders.
Image: The Sheffield street where Sutcliffe was arrested in 1981

“He will go down as one of those figures from the twentieth century in the same league I suppose as someone like Hitler.”

“It was never just a drunken fight, he went out there with tools and implements and he murdered people again and again and again and again.”

 Sky News

© Sky News 2020

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