Peter Sutcliffe

Peter Sutcliffe - Serial Killer
AKAYorkshire Ripper
DOB2 June 1946
OccupationLorry Driver
Kill Total13 + ?
Kill PlaceYorkshire
Kill Date1975 - 1984
VictimSee here >>
Sutcliffe was a loner as a child, preferring to be at home with his mother than out with friends, he had few friends, and was bullied at school, he became very introverted.
Sutcliffe left school at 15 and did various unskilled jobs, gravedigger, mortuary attendant, factory worker, in 1966 he met Sonia Szurma, they married in 1974. Sutcliffe had always had a peculiar interest in prostitutes, getting married did nothing to temper this.

June 1975, he took his HGV licence. Becoming a lorry driver, this gave him nights away from home, his interest in prostitutes heightened.

Between 1975 and 1984 Sutcliffe was known as the "Yorkshire Ripper" as he terrorized prostitutes around Northern England with his hammer and other instruments of torture. (See list of victims berlow

5th July 1975, His first known attack was attempted murder of Anna Rogulskyj in Keighley. The last attack being the murder of Jacqueline Hill in Leeds on  15th November 1980. See full list of attacks / victims here >>

Sutcliffe apparently spoke with God frequently. The good Lord ordered him to go out and hunt prostitutes and, as a true Christian, he did as he was told. Luckily, he also enjoyed the job and would orgasm as he hammered and stabbed his victims to death.
Police were frustrated with numerous false confessions they received during their search for him.

2nd January 1981, Sutcliffe was finally caught sitting in a car with a prostitute., his brown Rover car, which had false number plates, was stopped by police in a red light area of Sheffield.
While in custody he confessed to everything. The Yorkshire Ripper is also suspected of having killed and maimed several other women in France and Sweden during his travels abroad. 

Tuesday 14th April 1981, Trial starts at Leeds Crown court. The judge in agreement with prosecution and defence agreed to transfer trial to the old Bailey in London, fearing h would not receive a fair trial in Yorkshire.

Wednesday 29th April 1981, Trial starts at the Old Bailey, with preliminaries.
When asked for his plea on each of the thirteen murder charges, Sutcliffe pleaded: "Not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility." He also pleaded guilty to each of the seven charges of attempt murder.

Tuesday 5th May 1981, Trial proper starts.
As Sutcliffe had already admitted guilt, the jury were instructed by the judge to consider his sanity, and to  find him sane or insane.

Friday 22nd May 1981, After 6 hours deliberation, the jury found Sutcliffe sane, and therefore guilty of 13 murders.

After the verdict, psychiatrist Dr Terence Kay who had given evidence during the three week trail, returned to the stand and stated that the doctors considered that Sutcliffe should be locked up for the rest of his life.
The judge sentenced him to life with a recommendation he serve a minimum 30 years.

March 1996, Sutcliffe was assaulted by Paul Wilson. Then, a prisoner at the high-security Broadmoor hospital in Berkshire, a robber with a nasty streak.  He almost garrotted Sutcliffe with the flex from a pair of stereo headphones because he "resented being locked up with sex offenders". The attacker was pulled off by two other murderers, Kenneth Erskine, the "Stockwell Strangler," and Jamie Devitt.

10th March 1997 Sutcliffe was stabbed in both eyes by a fellow inmate during a fight at the Broadmoor Hospital. It is believed that Sutcliffe was in his room in Henley Ward when he was attacked. The attacker, Ian Kay -- also known as the "Woolworths Killer" -- stabbed The Ripper with a fibre-tipped pen, the type used in drawing classes at the hospital. Sutcliffe was blinded in his left eye as a consequence.

28th January 1998, Kay admitted to stabbing Sutcliffe, adding attempted murder to his long list of convictions.

20th October 2005, John Humble, aged 49, of Sunderland, appeared at Leeds Magistrates' Court and was charged with perverting the course of justice.
The charge against him was read by a clerk at the court, and she stated: "You sent a series of communications, namely three letters and an audio tape, to West Yorkshire police and the press claiming to be the perpetrator of a series of murders that at that time were the subject of a police investigation."

9th January 2006, John Humble appeared at Leeds Crown Court before Judge Norman Jones QC. Humble's plea was not guilty to the four charges of perverting the course of justice in relation to the Wearside Jack letters and tape.

23rd February 2006, Leeds Crown Court before Judge James Stewart QC, John Humble's defence counsel, David Taylor, told the court that John Humble admitted to being the author of the Wearside Jack hoax letters and tape, but denies that his intent was to pervert the course of justice.

21st March 2006, John Humble appeared before Judge Norman Jones QC, for sentencing on the four charges of perverting the course of justice in relation to the Wearside Jack hoax.
Judge Jones sentenced John Humble to six years for each of three letters he sent, and eight years for the infamous hoax tape, all sentences are to run concurrently.

22nd  December 2007 Sutcliffe was attacked again, a fellow inmate named Patrick Sureda lunged at him with a metal cutlery knife while shouting "You fucking raping, murdering bastard, I'll blind your fucking other one." Sutcliffe flung himself backwards and the blade missed his right eye by half a inch, instead stabbing him in the cheek.

May 2008. Sutcliffe, is likely to be told that he will never be freed when he is given the minimum term he must serve for the murder of 13 women.
He has instructed lawyers to apply to the High Court for a tariff – the minimum term – to be set for the first time since he was jailed in 1981.

17th February 2009, it was reported that Sutcliffe was 'fit to leave Broadmoor'. If the Ministry of Justice agrees with the doctors' verdict, he will be sent to a medium-secure unit where he could be allowed out on short release for rehabilitation.

2015, A book published by researchers claimed that there may be at least another 22 victims of Sutcliffe that were never investigated.  
Here >>

Friday 19th August 2016, Peter Sutcliffe moved from Broadmoor secure psychiatric hospital to a high security prison.
A panel considered that his paranoid schizophrenia has been successfully treated and that he should join the man prison population.
He was moved to HMP Frankland in County Durham.
Sutcliffe had fought against the move, as he had an easy life at Broadmoor.

26th July 2020, Reported in the UK press that Sutcliffe had submitted a bid to have his category A status reduced so he could move to a more relaxed prison. This was refused, the now 74-year-old is reportedly very ill.

Sutcliffe was on the Home Office list of prisoners serving a 'Whole Life Tariff',  never to be released, see full list here >>

Friday 13th November 2020, A Prison Service spokesperson has said: "HMP Prison) Frankland prisoner Peter Coonan (born Sutcliffe) died in hospital on 13 November. The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman has been informed."
It is reported that Sutcliffe contracted Coronavirus (COVID-!9) but had refused treatment.

Recoommended Books


Sutcliffe Victims

5 July 1975Keighley Anna RogulskyjAttempted Murder
15 Aug 1975HalifaxOlive SmeltAttempted Murder
30 Oct 1975LeedsWilma McCannMurder
20 Jan 1976LeedsEmily JacksonMurder
9 May 1976LeedsMarcella ClaxtonAttempted Murder
6 Feb 1977LeedsIrene RichardsonMurder
23 April 1977BradfordTina AtkinsonMurder
25 June 1977LeedsJayne MacDonaldMurder
1 Oct 1977ManchesterJean JordanMurder
14 Dec 1977LeedsMarilyn MooreAttempted Murder
21 Jan 1978BradfordYvonne PearsonMurder
31 Jan 1978HuddersfieldHelen RytkaMurder
16 May 1978ManchesterVera MillwardMurder
4 April 1979HalifaxJosephine WhitakerMurder
1 Sept 1979BradfordBarbara Leach Murder
18 Aug 1980FarsleyMarguerite WallsMurder
10 oct 1980LeedsDr Upadhya BandaraAttempted Murder
5 Nov 1980HuddersfieldTheresa SykesAttempted Murder
17 Nov 1980LeedsJacqueline HillMurder