Reviled serial killer The Yorkshire Ripper is dead

Peter Sutcliffe, known as the Yorkshire Ripper has died.
Sutcliffe after his arrestSutcliffe after his arrest
Sutcliffe after his arrest

Earlier in the week it was reported that the serial killer was being treated for coronavirus in hospital amid claims he refused treatment and was at risk of death.

Peter Sutcliffe, 74, was being treated at the University Hospital of North Durham, three miles from the maximum security Frankland jail where he is an inmate.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Two weeks ago, the serial killer was treated at the same hospital after suffering a suspected heart attack.

Sutcliffe evaded capture for yearsSutcliffe evaded capture for years
Sutcliffe evaded capture for years

He went back to prison but later returned after developing coronavirus.

According to reports, he had turned down treatment for the virus and was at risk of dying due to his age and health problems.

Sutcliffe has a range of conditions including heart trouble, diabetes and obesity, it has been reported.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A Prison Service spokesman said: “HMP Frankland prisoner Peter Coonan (born Sutcliffe) died in hospital on November 13. The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman has been informed.”

Sutcliffe was serving a whole life term for murdering 13 women across Yorkshire and the North West between 1975 and 1980.

They were:

– Wilma McCann, 28, from Chapeltown, Leeds, who was killed in October 1975.

– Emily Jackson, 42, a prostitute and mother-of-three from Morley, Leeds. Killed on January 20, 1976.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

– Irene Richardson, 28, a mother-of-two from Chapeltown, Leeds. Killed on February 6, 1977.

– Patricia Atkinson, 32, a mother-of-three from Manningham, Bradford. Killed on April 24, 1977.

– Jayne MacDonald, 16, a shop assistant from Leeds. Killed on June 26, 1977.

– Jean Jordan, 21, from Manchester, who died between September 30 and October 11, 1977.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

– Yvonne Pearson, 22, from Bradford. Murdered between January 20 and March 26, 1978.

– Helen Rytka, 18, from Huddersfield. Murdered on January 31, 1978.

– Vera Millward, 40, a mother-of-seven from Manchester, who was killed on May 16, 1978.

– Josephine Whitaker, 19, a building society worker from Halifax. Killed on April 4, 1979.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

– Barbara Leach, 20, a student who was murdered while walking in Bradford on September 1, 1979.

– Marguerite Walls, 47, a civil servant from Leeds who was murdered on August 20, 1980

– Jacqueline Hill, 20, a student, who was found at Headingley on November 16, 1980.

He was convicted in 1981 and, after a long spell in Broadmoor Hospital in Berkshire, he was transferred to HMP Frankland in 2016 after being deemed stable enough to serve time in prison.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

One of the Ripper’s surviving victims rarely thought about the man who left her in need of brain surgery, her husband said in 2010.

Olive Smelt was attacked by the Yorkshire Ripper as she walked home in Halifax on a summer evening in 1975.

She was hit twice on the head with a hammer and needed brain surgery to overcome her injuries, but later made a full recovery.

She went on marry and have three children.

Her husband, Harry, aged 85 when the High Court ruled Sutcliffe would spend the rest of his life behind bars, said it was the correct decision for Sutcliffe’s own good.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I think it’s as well for him that he does have to remain in,” Mr Smelt said.

“There’s a kind of ranking in among prisoners – the more notorious they can be the better it is for them.

“Think of what would happen if one of the prisoners outside got to him and could say ‘I’m the one who got Peter Sutcliffe’. He could live off that for the rest of his life.”

Mr Smelt said then that neither he nor his wife worried about what would have happened had Sutcliffe been released, and their priorities had changed.

He said in 2010: “We don’t worry about it.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Olive is very severely disabled now and wheelchair-bound – the last thing she worries about is Peter Sutcliffe.”

– Olive Smelt died in 2011.

The Wigan Observer and Wigan Post are more reliant than ever on your taking out a digital subscription to support our journalism. For unlimited access to Wigan news and information online, you can subscribe here: