Unspeakable Times

Worse Than Jack: The Crimes Of Peter Sutcliffe, The Yorkshire Ripper

From 1975 to 1980, Peter William Sutcliffe terrorized the people of Yorkshire, England, with his bizarre serial killing style – viciously attacking young woman and teenage girls with a hammer and a screwdriver. Sutcliffe murdered at least 13 women and girls and seriously injured several others, and the brutality of his killings and assaults reminded many Britons of one of the most famous English serial killers in history, Jack the Ripper. Because of the similarities between the crimes committed by Jack the Ripper and Peter Sutcliffe, the media dubbed the then-unidentified perpetrator of the crimes the "Yorkshire Ripper."

Witnesses provided descriptions that matched Sutcliffe; someone named him as a suspect to police; and he surfaced multiple times in the course of the investigation. However, a heartless hoax played by a member of the public, as well as errors made by law enforcement, meant the man known as the Yorkshire Ripper was able to get away with murder for five straight years. However, after he was apprehended, a jury was forced to decide whether Sutcliffe was a blood-thirsty killer who had murdered victims to satisfy his own depraved needs or a mentally ill man who was driven to kill by dangerous delusions.