Killings mirror Ripper’s reign of terror

THE murder of prostitutes in Ipswich has evoked memories of the reign of terror of serial killer Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper.

The north of England lived in fear as the lorry driver killed 13 women and attacked seven more in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Several — though not all — of the victims were prostitutes. The fact that others were not added to people’s fears and created the feeling that no woman was safe.

The killer’s motivations are not clear but he claimed at his trial that he had heard “voices from God” telling him to rid the streets of prostitutes.

The first fatality was a prostitute, Wilma McCann, a 28-year-old mother-of-four, in October 30, 1975.

He was finally caught in January, 1981.

In May 1981, he was jailed for life, the judge recommending a minimum sentence of 30 years.

In June this year it emerged that Sutcliffe may have committed more crimes than the 13 murders and seven attempted murders for which he was convicted.

A report by former inspector of constabulary Sir Lawrence Byford said there was an “unexplained lull” in Sutcliffe’s criminal activities between 1969 - when he first came to the police’s attention – and the first officially recognised Ripper assault in 1975.

More in this section

IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox