Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper, is Britain’s second most famous serial killer, after the original Jack the Ripper who inspired the name given to him by the press. Arguably, as Jack the Ripper was never caught and identified, Sutcliffe could lay claim to being the most famous serial killer that Britain has produced – whether that would be something that he would take pride in or not is another matter.
Sutcliffe’s reign of terror ran from 1975 until his capture in January 1981, during which time he murdered thirteen women and attempted to kill another seven – he was finally caught when arrested with a prostitute in his car, caught red-handed as he tried to dispose of his weapons.
Before his trial, both defence and prosecution sides agreed that Sutcliffe was insane, suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. But the Ripper case had been a sensation for five years, and the tabloids were outraged that he might ‘get away with it’ by being found not guilty of murder due to diminished responsibility, even though this would have meant that he would be sent to a mental hospital for the rest of his life. There’s a strange belief in Britain (and, admittedly, elsewhere) that mental hospitals are somehow an easy option, despite all the evidence suggesting that they are not only hellish places, but also even harder to be released from than regular prison. Nevertheless, the trial judge, Mr Justice Boreham, rejected both sides’ psychiatric evidence and ordered a trial by jury. Inevitably, given the public outrage surrounding the case, Sutcliffe was found guilty of pre-meditated murder and attempted murder and given twenty life sentences. Upon being sent to HMP Parkhurst, Sutcliffe was again diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, but efforts to have him relocated to Broadmoor mental hospital were blocked until 1984, when he was transferred. There, Sutcliffe remained until 2016, when he was declared to be no longer insane and was so transferred back to prison, to serve out his life sentence without parole. Sutcliffe will die in prison.
The Sutcliffe story has been a source of fascination for hypocritical tabloids and TV producers for years, ever keen to cash in on the notoriety of the case while taking the moral high ground against the true crime buffs that they are making money from. For years, Sutcliffe’s wife Sonia was hounded and demonised by the media for the crime of being married to him (the old ‘she must have known’ mentality at play) and for not being suitably contrite. There are books, documentaries and typically British ‘serious’ dramas that also like to have their cake and eat it. And then there are the conspiracy theories – in my possession (and to be digitised and uploaded here at some future point) is a delirious cassette tape series that posits that Sutcliffe had an accomplice who carried out some of the killings – this is a curiously popular theory, despite the unlikely (though not, we should say, impossible) nature of it, with some people even suggesting that his partner-in-crime was fellow local degenerate Jimmy Savile – the pair had in fact met, when Sutcliffe was in Broadmoor, as this bizarre photo featuring boxer Frank Bruno shows.
The rumours were helped by the ‘Wearside Jack’ letters and audio tape sent to the police by John Humble, a hoaxer who the somewhat bumbling South Yorkshire Police were convinced was real, allowing Sutcliffe to arguably continue his killing sprees for longer than he should have because he did not have the Wearside accent they were convinced belonged to the real Ripper – Humble would not be caught for another twenty-five years. Meanwhile, the police, as so often, have been keen to connect numerous unsolved murders to Sutcliffe, dating back to Joan Harrison in 1975 (long considered a Ripper victim but actually killed by Christopher Smith). The authorities even suggested that he may have also murdered men, something he categorically denied in 2017.
Sutcliffe, meanwhile, has continued to feed the media. Stories about him have almost reached a comical level these days, with tales of tantrums over having a Rolex watch confiscated, demanding a ‘lavish’ Christmas dinner or fretting about testicular cancer after his balls swelled to five times their normal size keeping a fickle public entertained. When Jeremy Clarkson joked on Top Gear about lorry drivers murdering prostitutes, Sutcliffe commented to one of his many pen pals “Jeremy Clarkson is a bit of an idiot. He’s always overstepping the mark.” Some critics pointed out that joking about murdering prostitutes was perhaps not as offensive as actually murdering prostitutes, but never mind…
Like many a serial killer, Sutcliffe was keen to confess as soon as he was taken into custody, as if a great weight had been lifted from him. His confession is grimly fascinating stuff. You can decide for yourself if he was mad or simply bad from this statement…
The text is presented unedited, complete with grammatical and spelling mistakes.
STATEMENT OF PETER WILLIAM SUTCLIFFE
I, PETER WILLIAM SUTCLIFFE, wish to make a statement and I want someone to write down what I say I have been told that I need not say anything unless I wish to do so and that whatever I say may
be given in evidence. SGD: P W Sutcliffe
WTD: P Smith DS 268 J Boyle DI
(DATE TAKEN: 4.1.81 Time: From 2.50pm to 1.12am)
That was the incident that started it all off, I was driving through Leeds late at night I’d been to somewhere having a couple of pints, you’ll know the date better than me. It was WILMA McCANN. I was in a Ford Capri K registered a lime Green one with a black roof with a sun grill in the back window. I saw this woman thumbing a lift where the Wetherby Road branches to the right but you can carry straight on. She was wearing some white trousers and a jacket. I stopped and asked her how far she was going. She said “NOT FAR THANKS FOR STOPPING” and she jumped in. I was in quite a good mood and we were talking on the way. She said something about just before we stopped about did I want business. To me I didn’t know what she meant by this. I asked her to explain and straight away a scornfull tone came into her voice which took my by surprise because she had been so pleasant. She said, “BLOODY HELL DO I HAVE TO SPELL IT OUT” she said it as though it was a challenge. My reaction was to aggree to go with her. She told me where to park the car. It was just off this road we turned left we came to this field which sloped up I parked near the field.
We sat there for a minute talking then all of a sudden her tone changed and she said “WELL WHAT ARE WE WAITING FOR LETS GET ON WITH IT.” Before we stopped she had said that it would cost a fiver. I was a bit surprised I was expecting it to be a bit romantic.
I think she had been drinking because she was being irrational. I couldn’t have intercourse in a split second I had to be arroused. At this point she opened the car door and got out. She slammed the door and shouted “I’M GOING, ITS GOING TO TAKE YOU ALL FUCKING DAY.” She shouted something like “YOU’RE FUCKING USELESS.” I suddenly felt myself seething with rage. I got out of the car wanting to hit her to pay her back for the insult.
I went to her and said “HANG ON A MINUTE DON’T GO OFF LIKE THAT.” She was only 3 or 4 strides away she turned and came back to me. She said something like “OH YOU CAN FUCKING MANAGE IT NOW CAN YOU.” She sounded as though she was taunting me. I said “THERE’S NOT MUCH ROOM IN THE CAR CAN WE DO IT ON THE GRASS?” This was with my idea of hitting her. She said, “I’M NOT GOING TO DO IT HERE BLOODY WELL NEXT TO THE CAR.” With that she stormed up the hill into the field.
I had a tool box on the back seat of the car and I took a hammer out of the tool box I followed her into the field. I took my car coat off and carried it over my arm I had the hammer in my right hand. I put my coat on the grass. She sat down on the coat. She unfastened her trousers. She said “COME ON THEN GET IT OVER WITH.” I said “DON’T WORRY I WILL.” I then hit her with the hammer on her head. I was stood up at
that time behind her. I think I hit her on the top of the head
I hit her once or twice on the head. She fell down flat on her back and started making a horrible noise like a moaning gurgling noise. I thought “God what have I done” I knew I had gone too far. I ran to the car intending to drive off. I sat in the car for a while I could see her arm moving. I was in a numb panic I still had the hammer in my hand. I put it back in my tool box. I half expected her to get up and realised I would be in serious trouble. I thought the best way out of the mess was to make sure she couldn’t tell anybody. I took a knife out of the tool box it had a wood handle with one sharp side the blade was about 7″ long about 1/2 – 3/4″ wide.
I went to her. She was still lying on her back. I thought that to make certain she was dead I would stab her in places like the lungs and the throat. I stabbed her at least four times once in the throat. Before I stabbed her in the body I pulled her blouse
or whatever it was and her bra so I could see where I was stabbing her. I was in a blind panic when I was stabbing her just to make sure she wouldnt tell anyone. What a damn stupid thing to do just to keep somebody quiet. If I was thinking logical at the time I would have stopped and told someone I’d hit her with the hammer. That was the turning point. I realise I over reacted at the time, nothing I have done since then affected me like this.
After I’d stabbed her I went back to the car, I remember that I’d taken my coat off the ground after I’d hit her with the hammer and I’d taken my coat back to the car. I started the car and shot off backwards along the narrow road leading to the road swung the car round and drove away towards Leeds. I drove home as soon as possible. I was then living at my Mother-in-Laws house at 44 Tanton Crescent, Clayton, Bradford. I was very frightened and don’t even remember driving there. I thought I was bound to get caught. I parked my car outside the house. I’m trying to remember if it was my Mother-in-Law’s house I was living at then I’ve thought it out now it must have been her house. I looked
over my clothing before I went in the house. I went straight to the bathroom and washed my hands and went to bed. I don’t have any of the cloths I was wearing that night they are worn out.
I cannot honestly remember what I did with the hammer and the knife I don’t remember chucking them away that night. I haven’t got the knife now I may have kept the hammer in the tool box but I’m not sure of that even. The next day I saw it on the TV news about the murder and I felt sick and I still half expected a knock on the door by the Police.
I carried on trying to act as normal living with my wife and in-laws. At that time I worked at Common Road Tyre Services at Okenshaw.
After that first time I developed and built up a hatred for prostitutes in order to justify within myself the reason why I had attacked and killed WILMA McCANN.
The next one I did was in Leeds not long after McCANN. This time I drove to Leeds looking for a prostitute because I felt I could not justify what I had done previously and I felt an inner compulsion to kill a prostitute. This was about a month after Christmas. I drove to Leeds in my Capri about 8.0pm – 9.0pm I saw a woman dressed in an overcoat trying to stop drivers from the pavement on the road that leads to Wetherby Road it was near some phone boxes. I stopped and wound the window down. I said “HOW MUCH?” She said “FIVE POUNDS.” She got in the car I remember when she got in there was an overpowering smell of cheap perfume and sweat this served all the more for me to hate this woman even though I didnt even know her, looking back I can see how the
first murder had unhinged me completely. She had an overcoat on and she was heavily built and had brown hair. She said she knew where we could go. I knew from the outset I didn’t want intercourse with her. I just wanted to get rid of her. At that time I think
I was dressed in my working cloths at that time I used to wear wellington boots at work. At her direction I turned the car round and drove back the way I’d come, we had just gone about 400 yards and she told me to turn left. I turned in and then turned left again and drove behind some old buildings it was a cul-de-sac I couldn’t bear even to go through the motions of having sex with this woman. On the journey she told me that
she could drive.
I wanted to do what I’d got in mind as soon as possible. I remember turning on the ignition again so that the red warning light came on and pretended that the car would not start I said I would have to lift up the bonnet to sort it out. I asked her if she would give me a hand. We both got out of the car I lifted up the bonnet of the car. I had picked up a hammer which I had put near my seat for that purpose. I told her I could not see properly without a torch. She offered to use her cigarette lighter to shine under the bonnet.
She was holding her lighter like this I took a couple of steps back and I hit her over the head with the hammer I think I hit her twice she fell down onto the road. I took hold of her hands or wrists and pulled her into a yard which had rubbish in I then made sure she was dead by taking a screwdriver and stabbing her repeatedly. I pulled her dress up and her bra before I stabbed her to make it easier. To be truthfull I pulled her cloths up in order to satisfy some sort of sexual revenge on her as on reflection I had done on McCANN.
I stabbed her frenziedly without thought with a Phillips screwdriver all over her body. I had taken the screwdriver with the hammer in the well of the driving seat. I was seething with hate for her. I remember picking up a piece of wood from the yard about 2-3ft long and 3″ x 1″ and pushing up against her vagina with it as she lay on her back. I cannot recall taking her knickers down. I through the wood away in the yard. I left her lying on her back I never took anything from her.
Just as I was about to get into my car a car came round with its lights on and stopped a few yards from where my car was. I don’t know what make of car it was but it scared me. I put the hammer and screwdriver on the car floor and drove away. I went straight home to my Mother-in-Laws house. At that time I had a feeling of satisfaction and justification for what I’d done. I found that I didn’t have any blood on my cloths which I could see so I had no need to dispose of them. I am still unable to recall
if it was the same hammer I used on JACKSON as I did on McCANN, but I do recall buying a new hammer from a hardware shop near the roundabout in Clayton, it had a flat head on one side and a nail extracter on the other which I later used on women. The hammer I used on the first two had a flat head on one end and a ball on the other.
The next one I did was IRENE RICHARDSON.
I then owned a Red Corsair and also a White Corsair KWT 721D
the reg No of the Red one was PHE 355G. I had both of these
at the same time and I honestly cannot remember which one I was using that night.
I drove to Leeds after the pubs shut. It was my intention to
find a prostitute to make it one more less.
I saw this girl walking in some cross streets in the middle
of the vice estate near a big club. I stopped my car and she
got in without me saying a word. I told her I might not have
wanted her, she said “I’LL SHOW YOU A GOOD TIME. YOU ARE NOT GOING TO SEND ME AWAY ARE YOU.” She told me to drive to the park. At this time you knew where I was picking them up. She
told me where to drive and we came to this big field which was on my left. I drove off the road onto the field and stopped near
some toilets. She wanted to use the toilets so she got out and
went over to them. She came back and said they were locked. Before she went to the toilet she took of her coat and placed
it on the ground. When she came back she said she would have
a wee on the ground. She took her boots off and placed them on
the ground then she crouched down to have a pee. By this time
I was out of the car and I had my hammer in my hand. As she
was crouching down I hit her on the head from behind at least twice maybe three times she fell down. I then lifted up her
cloths and slashed her in the lower abdomen and also slashed
her throat. I left her lying face down and I covered her up
with her coat I put her knee boots on top of her before I
covered her up. I then got into my car and drove off the
field. I cannot remember whether I drove off or backed off.
When I got to the road I saw a couple sitting on a bench
near the toilets. I did not see a car.
I was living with my wife at 6 Garden Lane, Heaton I drove straight home. I looked at my cloths before I went in I did not
see any blood stains I was wearing jeans and I believe I had
some boots on. I don’t remember throwing any of my cloths away. I kept the Stanley knife but I haven’t seen it for a long time
I think I may have lent it to someone. I’m still not sure
which car I was in the Red or White Corsair. I sold the white Corsair first to a lad called RONALD BARKER who lives at 46
Tanton Crescent, Clayton. He only had it about a week
and he seized it up. I kept the Red one for several months.
I bought the White Corsair back off RONALD after about two weeks and sold it at Canal Road Scrap Yard at Bradford. By this time
after RICHARDSON killing prostitutes became an obsession with me and I couldn’t stop myself, it was like some sort of a drug.
The next one was a couple of months later in Bradford, this was PATRICIA ATKINSON. It was a Saturday night late on. I drove
off Lumb Lane into Church Street I knew this was a prostitute
area. I was in my Corsair (either the White one or the Red one).
I saw this woman in St Pauls Road at a junction with another road she appeared drunk and was banging on the roof of a White mini and was shouting and bawling “FUCK OFF” and such things to the
driver who then drove off at speed. I pulled up to her and
stopped and without me asking she jumped in the car. She said
“I FUCKING TOLD HIM WHERE TO GET OFF.” She said, “I’VE GOT A FLAT WE CAN GO THERE.” She told me where to go. We turned
right at the junction with Manningham Lane, Turned left down Queens Road. Left into Oak Avenue and turned 2nd left and
stopped at her flat.
She told me she lived alone. I parked up outside her flat and she
got out and went in. I picked up a hammer as I got out of the
car. I remember this was a claw hammer that I had bought at
the Clayton hardware shop.
I followed her into the flat, she closed the curtains and I
hung my coat on the hook on the back of the door.
She took her coat off and sat on the bed her back was slightly towards me I went up to her and hit her on the back of the head with the hammer she fell off the bed onto the floor. I picked
her up and put her back on the bed. That was the first time
I had noticed the red blood, before it had always been dark
but this time in the light I saw lots of blood on the bed and
on the floor. When she was on the floor I hit her another
twice or three times before I put her on the bed I pulled the bedcloths back before I put her on the bed.
She had already pulled her jeans down before I hit her. I pulled
her cloths up and I hit her severall times on her stomach and
back with the claw part of the hammer and I saw that I was making marks on her body doing this. I then covered her up the
bedcloths. I think she was lying face down or on her side when
I left her.
When I first hit her she was making a horrible gurgling sound
and she carried on making this noise even though I’d hit her
a few times. She was still making a gurgling noise when I left,
but I knew she would not be in a state to tell anybody. I drove home and put my car in the garage. I looked at my cloths in the garage I saw that I had some blood on the bottom of my jeans I went in the house my wife was in bed. I took my jeans off and rinsed them under the Cold tap and hung them up. I also saw some blood on one of my shoes or they may have been boots I rinsed this under the tap and wiped it with a sponge. I believe I
was wearing a pair of brown Doc Martins boots at that time. I’m trying to think what I did with the claw hammer I think I used
it again on a woman. I have thrown it away over a wall near
Sharps Printers at Cottingley I can’t remember when it was
exactly. At that time I carried on as though nothing had happened. I was then working at Clarks in Bradford.
The next one I did I still feel terrible about, it was the young girl JAYNE McDONALD. I read recently about her father dying of a broken heart and it brought it all back to me. I realised what sort of a monster I had become.
I believed at the time I did it that she was a prostitute. This was on a Saturday night. I drove to Leeds in my Corsair I think
it was the red one but I’m not 100% sure. At this time the
urge to kill prostitutes was very strong and I had gone out of
I saw this lass walking along quite slowly towards the crossing near the Hayfield pub in Chapeltown Road. She stopped on the corner before crossing over Chapeltown Road. I anticipated
that she was going to walk up one of the streets up past the Hayfield. I drove my car into the Hayfield pub car park and
I took my hammer out of the car. I think it was the claw hammer I also had a knife with me that time it was a kitchen type
knife with a black ebonite handle and a thin blade. I
walked towards the narrow street behind the Hayfield to see where she was and just as I got there she was walking up.
I walked behind her I was very near to her, I followed her for short distance she never looked round. I took the hammer and
I hit her on the back of the head and she fell down. I then
pulled her by the arms face down into a yard behind a fence I recall that her shoes were making a horrible scraping sound on the ground. I pulled her into the corner of this yard I hit
her another once at least maybe twice on the head. I pulled
her cloths up exposing her breasts and I stabbed
her several times with the knife in the chest before this I stabbed her in the back.
I left her lying in the corner. I cannot remember whether she was lying face up or face down she was wearing a jacket and a skirt. I walked back down the same street to where I had parked my car. As I got to the car park I saw a group of people walking
up the Narrow street (Reginald Street), from Chapeltown Road.
I got into my car and drove away into Reginald Terrace into Chapeltown Road and drove straight home. I think my wife may have been working that night. I have remembered that my wife started working some Friday and Saturday nights at Sherrington Private Nursing home in Bradford. That is why I have done a lot
of my attacks on a Saturday night.
I don’t think I had any blood on me following this one. I
cannot recall what I was wearing then I cannot remember what I did with the knife I must have taken it home with me and washed
it I feel I may have left it in the Corsair when I scrapped it.
The hammer may have been the one I threw over the wall at Sharps Printers. When I saw in the papers that McDONALD was so young and not a prostitute I felt like someone inhuman and I realised
that it was a devil driving me against my will and that I was
a beast. When the Ripper came up in conversation at work or
in a pub I was able to detach my mind from the fact that it was
me they were talking about and I was able to discuss it normally. This amazed me at times that I was able to do this.
The next one was MAUREEN LONG. I saw MAUREEN just a couple of weeks ago I was in the Arndale Shopping Centre with my wife when I came face to face with her. I recognised her immediately she seemed to look at me but she obviously didn’t recognise me.
I was driving along Manningham Lane towards the City Centre one Saturday night in July 1977. It was late at night I saw her
walking on the same side as the Mecca towards Bradford Centre. She was wearing a maxi length dress and a jacket sort of coat.
She was just past the hamburger stand when I saw her.
I stopped my car and said, “ARE YOU GOING FAR?” She said, “ARE YOU GIVING ME A LIFT.” I said, if you want one. She got in
she told me she had been to the Mecca. She told me where she
lived and that she lived with a man who was an ex-boxer and that he was a spoil sport and would not take her to the Mecca. She directed me where to drive to her house which was somewhere off Leeds Road to the left. She pointed out a house in a row of
terraced houses where she said she was going. She told me not
to stop outside but to drive past. I drove about 20 yards
past and stopped. She got out of the car. She had told me that
if there was no one in the house we could go in. She had asked
me if I fancied her and I told her that I did just to please her.
She went and knocked at the door of the house and she was banging away for a minute or two. Then she came back and got into the
car and told me she knew a place where we could go. She told me where to drive and I drove eventually into Bowling Back Lane and turned right down a cobbled street. I stopped the car some way down the street. There was some spare unlevelled land on the
left and a big high wall on the right. She got out of the car
and said she was going for a piss first and she went to the spare land and crouched down and had a piss. I had my hammer ready
as she got out of the car and I also had a knife I think it
was the same knife I had at McDONALD.
I got out of the car whilst she was having a piss and as she
was crouching down I hit her on the head with the hammer. She slumped down I pulled her by the hands further onto the spare
ground. She was not making any sound. I pulled up her cloths and I stabbed her three or four times with the knife in her chest and back. I did see a caravan with a light on over the spare land but it didn’t put me off what I was doing I thought that I had stabbed her enough when I left her. I went back to the car got in and drove off. I was under the impression that the street I was in may be a cul-de-sac so I reversed my car by turning it round in the street I was in, no I didn’t, I remember that I backed out
of the street into Bowling Back Lane facing towards the
City. I drove along Bowling Back Lane towards the general direction of the City centre and drove home to Garden Lane.
I believe my wife may have been working that night or else she was in bed. I don’t think I found any blood on myself on that occasion.
The next day or the day after I heard in the news or read in the paper that the woman was still alive. I got a nasty shock and thought it was the end of the line there and then. I thought she would be able to identify me I think it was about that time that
I threw the hammer over Sharps wall.
A few days after I read that LONG was suffering from loss of
memory and this made me less worried about being caught.
My desire to kill prostitutes was getting stronger than ever and
it took me over completely. I was in a dilema I wanted to tell someone what I was doing but I thought about how it would affect my wife and family. I wasn’t too much bothered for myself.
I realised things were hotting up a bit in Leeds and Bradford. People had dubbed me the Ripper. I decided to go to Manchester
to kill a prostitute. I had read in a paper somewhere or a
magazine of a priest chastising what went on in his parish at
Manchester where there obviously was prostitutes.
One Saturday night in October 1977 I drove over to Manchester
I believe it was in my Red Corsair. I had a look at my map in
Road Atlas to see where Moss Side was and I drove there.
I went through Manchester town centre Princess Street I think
it was, followed it all the way down past the University which
eventually came out near the Moss Side area. It was a run down
area and almost immediately on arriving there I saw several girls
plying for trade. I pulled up at the kerbside and asked a girl
if she wanted business. She was very slim with light coloured
hair not bad looking. She told me if I waited further along
the road she would meet me there. I drove on two hundred
yards and made a right turn then a 3 point turn to face the main
road once again.
After a couple of minutes the girl drew level she saw my car just
as she was going to get into another car which had stopped for
her. I think this was an 1100 a light coloured one either
grey or fawn. She didn’t get in but came over to me, which I
suppose was the biggest mistake she ever made. She came up
and got into my car. She told me she was going to go with the
man in the other car until she saw me. She told me she wanted
a fiver for business and she told me she knew a place. I drove
at her direction untill we came to an allotment. She told me
to drive in the entrance to the allotment which I did. I said
to her “FANCY COMING HERE, YOU SEE THAT GREENHOUSE” I pointed to
a greenhouse that was about 30 yards away “THAT BELONGS TO MY UNCLE.” I said this to her thinking she would get out the car
to use the greenhouse for business. I told her there was plenty
of room and some heating in there.
I was wanting to see her off. She then asked for the money
she said “YOU’RE NOT FORGETTING ABOUT THE MONEY ARE YOU.” I said OF COURSE NOT.” and I promptly gave her a five pound note. She
got out of the car and headed for the greenhouse I followed her
and seeing there was no entrance into the greenhouse from where
we were I told her we would have to climb over a low fence.
While she was starting to climb over the fence I hit her over the
head with the hammer. She fell down and was moaning quite
loudly. I hit her again and again on the head until the moaning
stopped. At this time I saw some car headlights suddenly come
on. These were from a car parked further into the allotments
than I was. I had turned sharp right when I drove in and I was
parked up close to the Hedge. This car was parked about 60 yards further into the allotment. The car started up and I knew it
would be moving within seconds so I pulled the girl under the
bushes, the perimeter bushes and threw her belongings handbag
etc out of the way. On reflection I think there was just her
handbag I stood with my back to the hedge and threw the bag diagonally to my right. I stayed where I was, I saw the car
out into the road. No sooner had the car gone when another car driving along the road which was a dual carriageway slowed right down I saw threw the bushes it was indicating left to come into the allotments. Thinking this was a very dangerous position to
be in I hid behind my car. I saw this car drive into the
allotments, the car drove up the road turned round and stopped
in the same place the other car had just left from.
I didn’t wait around any longer I jumped into my car and drove
off towards the centre of Manchester and drove home.
The hammer I used that night was the one I had found lying in
my garage after I had taken over my house. I took the hammer
back with me. Having driven half way back I realised suddenly
that this didn’t put me in the clear because I had given her
from my wage packet a brand new five pound note. I was working
at Clarks then. I was in a dilema once again. I kept on
driving towards home I didn’t realise wether she would
be found or not. I decided I could not risk going back to
retrieve my £5 note and I carried on home. My wife was either working or in bed when I got home.
I was puzzled when no mention of this was made in the Newspapers or TV over the next few days. I decided before a week was out
that she was lying there undiscovered and that I would go back
to retrieve the £5 note.
One night about a week later the opportunity arose for me to go
back as we were having a house warming party with family and gathering the coming weekend. My mother and father brothers and sisters came from Bingley to my house and at the end of
the party I ran them home then I made my return trip to Manchester This was about 11pm on either the Saturday or Sunday. I drove
to the allotments in my red Corsair and arrived there within 45 minutes. I turned left off the dual carriageway into the allotments.
To get to there I had to drive to a roundabout and double back to that
I turned right when I got into the allotments as I had done before and parked up about the same place. I found the body still hidden
in the place I left it. I pulled it out from the bushes and pulled
off her clothes and boots. I went through them desperately
trying to find the £5 note. I just threw the cloths about as
I took them off. I realised that she hadn’t got the £5 note in
her cloths, and that it must have been in her handbag. I roamed about all over the allotments frantically searching for the bag,
but I couldn’t find it I was cursing the girl and my luck all the
time. Having not found the £5 note I gave vent to my frustrations
by picking up a piece of broken pane of glass and slashing it
across her stomach, when I did this there was a nausiating smell which made me reel back and immediately vomit, it was horrendous. I forgot to say that before I did this it was my intention to
me anyway. I had taken a hacksaw out of my car intending to remove her head. I started sawing through her neck the blade
might have been blunt because I was getting nowhere at all so
I gave it up. If I had cut the head off I was going to leave it somewhere else to make a big mystery out of it. The glass I used was about 3/4 of a pane with the corner missing. I was very
frustrated not having found the £5 note and thinking that my time was up. I remember I kicked her a few times and I rolled her over before I left her. I then drove away realizing I should stay
looking for the fiver but I thought I had been there long enough.
I got home and went to bed when I got home I was very surprised to
see I had not got much blood on me just a bit on my shoe and at the bottom of my trousers on one leg and some on the back of my hand. I washed my hands. I was wearing a pair of casual grey trousers one of my old pair the blood wouldnt come off these
I put them in the garage in a cupboard to dispose of later. I
was wearing my soft slip on shoes dark brown. I wiped these clean. I dont think I have got them now. I later burned my trousers with some garden rubbish at the other side of our garden wall on the field.
I read about the body of JEAN ROYLE being found and sat back waiting for the inevitable as I had assumed that the line of enquiry about the £5 note would follow. I read about the note being traced to a Shipley bank I knew Clarks got the wage money from a Shipley bank and that a local enquiry would be made and by some miracle I escaped the dragnet. I’ve had at least 3 hacksaws I dont know which one it was I took to Manchester. I threw the blade away in the dustbin. One of my hacksaws broke after this and I threw it in the bin.
I had been taken over completely by this urge to kill and I couldn’t fight it. I went to Leeds one evening in December 1977 to try again. I was in my Red Corsair PHE 355G. This is where I found MARILYN MOORE.
I drove into the Red light district at Chapeltown. I was driving along a street I now know a Leopold Street where I saw her walking along along Spencer Place, from the phone boxes at the end. I saw her reject a man in a car who had stopped and she carried on. I turned left into Spencer Place turned 1st left
and left again into a narrow street and stopped near the corner
of the road I had just been on.
It was my intention to get her into my car with the minimum of
fuss. I knew she had refused to get in one car so I got out of
my car and walked to the corner. She was only a few yards away walking towards where I was stood. I walked back to my car and
as she came into view I shouted “BYE NOW SEE YOU LATER” and “TAKE CARE” and I waived towards the houses on my left. I did this to
give her reassurance that I was alright. I got in and started
the engine and opened the passenger window. I asked her if she was doing business. She glanced at the house said “YES” and got in.
She told me where to drive. She asked my name I told her it was
DAVE. We had some conversation in the car but I cannot remember what I might have said. She directed me to this place which
was up a narrow lane and I can only describe it as an oasis of
mud it was an open area with a building to one side. I parked up.
I suggested she got into the back of the car. She aggreed and she
got out and she went to the rear passenger door nearside. When she got out I got out with my hammer which I had on the floor at my
side. I went round the front of my car and up behind her. I took
a swing at her with the hammer but I slipped on the mud and lost my balance. I only caught her a glancing blow on the head.
She cried out and I hit her again on the head. She was still scream-
ing. After the second blow she fell down. I saw some people walking along about 40 yards away on the narrow Road at the top.
I jumped in my car and started it up. I put my foot down but the back wheels started spinning and I couldn’t drive off at first.
When the car got a grip I slewed round to the right and I drove away with a lot of wheel spin. I drove straight home.
That night I was wearing the old brown car coat which you’ve got and a pair of blue jeans and a pair of brown Doc Martins Boots.
I have read the above statement and I have been told that I can correct alter or add anything I wish. This statement is true,
I have made it of my own free will.
SGD: P W Sutcliffe WTD: J Boyle DI P Smith DS 368
D A F O’Boyle DS 4169
I, PETER WILLIAM SUTCLIFFE wish to make a statement and I want someone to write down what I say, I have been told that I need
not say anything unless I wish to do so and that whatever I say may be given in Evidence.
SGD: P W Sutcliffe WTD: J Boyle DI P Smith DS 368 D A P O’Boyle DS 4169
(DATE TAKEN: 5.1.81 Time: From 9.50am to 3:15pm)
The one I did after MOORE was YVONNE PEARSON at Bradford. I was driving along Lumb Lane in my Red Corsair from the City Centre.
A light grey or fawn Mark II Cortina started backing out of Southfield Square on my left as I approached so I slowed down to
let it out. That’s when I saw YVONNE PEARSON she was blond and was wearing dark trousers. On reflection it was a very fatefull moment for her me just slowing down as she came along.
She stepped straight up to the car as I stopped and tapped on the window. She asked me if I wanted business. This was one time when
I was genuinely going home as it happened but I still had a hammer in the car on the floor, under my seat. I told her to get in. She
suggested that I turn the car round and she told me where to drive.
I drove back along Lumb Lane past Drummond Mill turned right
down a road onto White Abbey Road and I was directed to turn by YVONNE left into a street behind Silvios Bakery. I drove to
the very end of this street where there was a large open space
like a parking space and parked the car. I asked her how much
she wanted. She said “IT DEPENDS HOW MUCH YOU CAN AFFORD.” “A GOOD TIME £5, MORE THAN A GOOD TIME £10.” She had very few words to say after that, the last words she said was “SHALL WE GET INTO THE BACK.” We both got out and she went round to the back door of the car on the nearside she tried to open it but it was
locked. I opened the front passenger door reached in and opened
the rear door catch. As she opened the door I hit her from behind twice on the head with the hammer. She fell down and started to moan loudly. I dragged her by the feet on her back about 20 yards
or so to where there was an old settee lying on its back on some
spare land. When I got her to the settee she was still moaning
loudly. At that moment a car drove up and parked next to my car.
I saw there was blond woman in the car and a man driving. To
stop her moaning I took some filling from the settee. I held her
nose and shoved the straw into her mouth then I shoved it down her throat. I was kneeling behind the settee hiding from the motor
car keeping hold of her nose.
I let go after a while to see if she was still making a nose through her nose but when I did she started again so I took hold of her
nose again. The car seemed to be there for ages before it drove away. I stayed still petrified with fear while the car was there. When the car had gone I was seething with rage. Her jeans were nearly off because she had undone them at the car and when I was pulling her by the feet I nearly pulled them off. I pulled her
jeans right off. I think I kicked her hard to the head and body
I was senceless with rage and I was kicking away furiously at her. After this I remember acting very strangely, I talked to her and apologised for what I had done but she was dead. I put the settee on top of her. I was very distraught and I was in tears when I
left her. This was the first time I had apologised to someone
I had killed. I drove home I cannott recall the time but it was
after 9.0pm. I cant remember if Sonja was in the house or not.
I remember stopping on the way home and I just sat in the car
trying to work out why I had done this killing my mind was in a turmoil. Oh I’ve just remembered it might have been a walling
hammer that I used on YVONNE, there was two walling hammers in the garage of the house when I moved in I remember I put one in the
car when I threw the other one away at Sharps. It might still
be in the garage somewhere.
I kept reading the papers and I found it incredible to believe
that she hadn’t been found. I read a story that she had gone to Wolverhampton. I didnt dare go back to where she lay there was no reason to go back. Before YVONNE was found I had committed
another murder in Huddersfield HELEN RYTKA. I did not know the Huddersfield Red light area but one day I had to make a delivery
in Huddersfield in the afternoon, I noticed a few girls plying
for trade near the Market Area. Two or three nights later I
decided to pay them a visit. The urge inside me to kill girls
was now practicly uncontrollable I drove to Huddersfield in my
Red Corsair one Evening. When I got to the Red light area I came accross one or two girls walking round the street. I stopped and asked one girl if she was doing business. She said Yes but I’d
have to wait as her regular client was picking her up at any minute. She was a half cast girl. I drove off and after going about
50 yards round the corner I saw another half cast girl. I stopped and asked her and she got in.
She told me she shared a flat with her sister but she was quite willing to have sex in the car. She said it would cost £5. She
told me where to drive which was only about 80 – 90 yards away
in a timber yard. I drove straight into this yard and parked in
an area at the end of the lane that ran between the stack of wood. On the way to the Yard we passed the half cast girl I had tried to pick up. She told me that it was her sister. Afterwards when I
had read about it in the papers I realised that I had seen these
two RYTKA sisters in Clayton where they used to live. I must have given her some money but I cant recall handing it over to her,
because she started to undo her jeans and started to pull them down. Then she hesitated and she said it would be better in the back of
the car. I aggreed thinking that it was what I wanted her to do anyway.
We both got out she went to the rear nearside door. I picked up
a hammer from under my seat and walked round the front. By the time I got to her she had opened the rear door and was getting in.
I hit her on the head with the hammer as she was practically into the car. The hammer struck the edge of the top door sill and diminished the impact with her skull to a mere tap. She jumped back in alarm out of the car at the same time letting go of her
jeans which fell down around her knees and she exclaimed “WHAT WAS THAT.” To which I replied, “JUST A SMALL SAMPLE OF ONE OF THESE.” and I hit a furious blow to her head which knocked her down she just crumpled like a sack. She was making a loud moaning sound so I hit her a few more times on the head. On looking up
I realised that I had done this in full view of two taxi drivers
who were no more that 35 yards away up the right hand side of
the woodyard. Their cars were parked one behind the other facing me. The drivers were stood talking to each other. I dragged
HELEN by the hands to the end of the woodyard. I then pulled off her jeans and her knickers and her shoes or boots. She had stopped moaning but she wasn’t dead. I could see her eyes moving. She
held up her hand as though to ward off any further attack from
I told her not to make any more noise and she would be alright.
By this time I was aroused sexually so I had intercourse with her.
I just undid my fly I spread her legs out and did it. It only
took a few minutes before I ejaculated inside her.
Her eyes appeared to be focusing on me when I was doing it but she just layed there limp she didn’t put anything in to it. When I’d finished I got up and she began moaning once again and started to move as well. We were out of sight of the taxi drivers but I knew they could quite possibly have heard the sounds. I couldn’t drive
away for obvious reasons one being that she was still showing
signs of life. I was worried sick that I was about to be
discovered and was furious that she could not keep quiet. I
took my knife from my pocket, I think it was the one with the rosewood handle which is probable still at home in my knifedrawer. I
plunged the knife into her ribs and again into her heart I did this
five or six times. Before I did this I had taken all her cloths
off apart her jumper. I threw these over the wall.
I dragged her by the arms to where I thought she would not be discovered which was behind some bushes in a gap between a woodpile and a wall. There wasnt much room I had to part lift
part pull her in. Then I covered her up with a piece of asbestos
sheet. I stayed in the woodyard for some minutes and when I
looked the taxi drivers had gone. I reversed out of the yard
and drove off. The operation had taken about half an hour. I
drove straight home. I found that I had some blood on one of my
fawn court shoes I rinsed it off.
I had my Levi jeans and I think I had a dark blue pullover on but
I couldnt see any blood on these.
I kept the hammer I’m not sure which one it was but I dont think
it was the walling hammer.
The urge inside me still diminished my actions when it came to
the fore. The next time I felt this way I payed another visit
to Manchester one evening a few months after RYTKA. I went there in my Red Corsair to the Red light Area. When I got there there
was no sign of any girls so after reaching a night Club on a
corner in a small labyrinth of terraced houses about 3/4 mile square
I took the 3rd left after the night club which was a long street running from one end to the other of this area. I drove down to the bottom end and there I saw a woman obviously waiting to be picked up. It was VERA MILLWARD. I stopped and asked her if she was doing business. She said “YES” but it would have to be in
the car. The price was £5 she got in and I drove off.
She told me where to drive and I followed her directions which led us into a hospital grounds. I stopped the car in an area near a narrow road from where I could see an Archway obviously used by pedestrians. I parked up the car and suggested to her that it would be better in the back. I dont think I’d payed her. She got out of my car and went to the back door. I picked my hammer up from under the seat and walked round the back of the car. As she was opening the rear door I hit her on the head with the hammer and she dived backwards past where I was stood. She was on her hands and knees when I hit her again at least once. She fell flat on her face. I pulled her by her wrists over to the edge
of the area where there was either a fence or bushes.
I took out my knife I was carrying I think it may have been the same one I used on RYTKA but I’m not sure. I pulled her cloths up and slashed her stomach either vertical or diagonal. It opened
up her stomach. Then I rolled her over onto her stomach and left her lying there. I drove away. I think I had to reverse out to
get back again. I didnt get any blood on me on that occasion. I think I was wearing my brown car coat which you’ve got. Following MILLWARD the compulsion inside me seemed to lay dormant but eventually the feeling came welling up and each time
they were more random and indiscriminate. I now realized I had
the urge to kill any woman and I thought that this would eventually
get me caught but I think that in my sub-concious this was what I really wanted.
The next one was JOSEPHINE WHITTAKER at Halifax. By this time I had a black fast back Sunbeam Rapier NKU 888H. I had sold my red
Corsair to a Chap who lived in Eccleshill because it had a raggy
gear box. I drove to Halifax I’d been driving round aimlessly
the mood was in me and no woman was safe while I was in this
state of mind. Without realizing or without having a particular destination I arrived in Halifax late at night.
I drove along through the centre passed the Bulls Head Round the Roundabout past the Halifax Building Society. I came to a wide
road with a sweeping curve to it I took a right turn and eventually came to a big open grass area. I just kept driving round this grassy area untill I came to a row of Terrace Houses about 1/4 mile from
the grass area. I saw JOSEPHINE WHITTAKER walking up this street. She was wearing a 3/4 length skirt and a jacket. I parked up in
this street with Terrace houses and started to follow her on foot
and I caught up with her after a couple of minutes. I realized
she was not a prostitute but at that time I wasnt bothered I just wanted to kill a woman. When I caught up with her I started
talking to her. I asked her if she had far to go. She said,
“ITS QUITE A WALK” She didn’t seem alarmed by my approach. I continued walking alongside her and she started speaking to me about having just left her Grandmothers and that she had considered staying there but had decided to walk home. I asked her if she
had considered learning to drive I think she said she rode a horse and that it was a satisfactory form of transport. We were approaching the open grassland area. She told me that she normally took a short cut accross the field.
I said you don’t know who you can trust these days. It sounds
a bit evil now there was I walking along with my hammer and a big Phillips screwdriver in my pocket ready to do the
We both started to walk diagonally across the grass field we were still talking when we were about 30 – 40 yards from the main road I asked her what time it was on the clock tower which was to our right. She looked at the clock and told me what time it was.
I forget the time she said. I said to her she must have good eyesight and I lagged behind her pretending to look at the clock.
I took my hammer out of my pocket and hit her on the back of the head twice she fell down and she made a loud groaning sound. To my horror I saw a figure walking along the main road from my right.
I took hold of her by the ankles and dragged her face down away from the road further into the field. She was still moaning as I
did this. When I thought I was a safe distance from the road I stopped. Then I heard voices from somewhere behind me to my left. I saw at least two figures walking along the path accross
the field toward the Huddersfield Road. I forgot to mention that on the way up to the grass we passed a man walking a dog. We were within 5 feet of him. As these people were walking on the path she was still moaning loudly. I took my screwdriver I
remember I first pulled some of her clothing off. I was working
like lightening and it all a blur. I turned her over and stabbed
her numerous times in the chest and stomach with the screwdriver. I was in a frenzy. After I’d stabbed her she stopped moaning. I
left her lying face down. I walked over to the main road but I thought I saw someone coming up from the bottom so I went back accross the field the way I had come and went to my car. I
drove home I dont think I had any blood on me but my feet were covered in mud. I had my black boots on which had been worn
out and thrown in the bin. I had my old brown coat on that
My urge to kill remained strong and was totally out of my control. The next victim of mine was BARBARA LEACH at Bradford.
At that time September 1979 I had my Rover 3.5 FHY 400K. I think I had been working on my car one Saturday night and I took it out for a run. I had the urge which was in me and I went to look
for a victim. It was late so I drove straight into town and then
found myself going up by the University. When I reached the Manville Arms I had just passed it when I saw a girl who I later found out was BARBARA LEACH. She was walking up the road on my left.
I drove past her and turned left into a wide street. I just
drove a few yards and stopped on the nearside. I was just going
to get out of the car when Miss LEACH turned the corner and walked towards the car. She was walking at a very slow pace. She was wearing jeans. She carried on walking past the car. I left
the car and followed her for several yards. I had my hammer out
and I think I had my big screwdriver with me. When she reached an entrance yard to a house I hit her on the head with the hammer she fell down. She was moaning. I took hold of her by the
wrists or was it by the ankles and dragged her up this entrance to the back of the house. She kept making loud moaning noises.
There was like a dustbin area at the rear of the house I
remember that I stabbed BARBARA with the screwdriver the same one as WHITTAKER and I remember that I put her in the dustbin area and covered her up with something but I was acting like
an Automition and I cant seem to remember the sequence of actions. I think I was wearing my brown coat that night. When
I left her I went to my car and drove away and went straight home. I remember I later threw the big screwdriver away over the enbankment near the the lorry park on the westbound side of Hartshead Service Station.
The last one I did was JACQUELINE HILL up at Headingly. This
was on a Monday night. I drove to Leeds on Leeds Bradford Road straight through the traffic lights at Kirkstall up the hill to Headingley. I was in my Rover. I saw a Kentucky Fried Chicken Place. I parked up outside it and went in and bought some Fried Chicken. I took it back to the car and ate it in the car. I had
parked in a car park at the back of the Kentucky Fried Chicken Place.
When I’d had this I drove out to the traffic lights intending to
turn right at the main road but I found it was a no right turn
so I carried straight on through the lights. I turned right into
a road, Right again and came back to the main Road it was just
a junction with no traffic lights.
I turned left on the main road (Otley Road). I was driving slowly when I saw Miss HILL walking on the pavement to my right towards the road I now know is Alma Road. I decided she was a likely victim. I drove just past her turned right into Alma Road and parked in the near side about 5 – six yards up and waited for her to pass. I saw
her walk up the right hand side of the road (Alma Road).
I got out of the car and followed about 3 yards behind her. As she drew level with an opening on the right hand side I took my hammer out of my pocket and struck her a blow on the head. She fell down she was making a noise. By this time I was again in a world of my own out of touch with reality. I dragged her I cannot remember whether by the feet or the hands into the entrance to the spare land. Just as I got there a car drove into Alma Road from Otley Road with its headlights on. I threw myself to the ground so I wouldn’t be seen. The car passed. I can’t imagine how I wasnt seen.
By now Miss HILL was moving about and I think I hit her once again or maybe twice on the head. Then I dragged her further onto the spare lane out of sight of the road. As I was doing this a girl
walked past the entrance I think she was walking up the road away from Otley Road. I just stopped dead and waited for her to pass.
I pulled Miss HILL’s cloths off most of them I had a screwdriver
on me I think it had a yellow handle and a bent blade. I stabbed
her in her lungs.
Her eyes were wide open and she seemed to be looking at me with an accusing stare.
This shook me up a bit I jabbed the screwdriver into her eye but
they stayed open and I felt worse than ever.
I left her lying on her back with her feet towards the entrance.
I think she was dead when I left. I went to my car and drove
up Alma Road to the top and turned round and drove back down to Otley Road.
I remember that when I reached about halfway down someone walking indicated to me that I was obviously going the wrong way down a
one way street but I carried on into Otley Road and turned left
I turned right at the lights and drove home.
The hammer I used on HILL was the one I dumped at Sheffield with
the knife I’ve told you about before.
I have read the above statement and I have been told that I can correct alter or add anything I wish. This statement is true I have made it of my own free will.
SGD: P W Sutcliffe WTD: J Boyle DI
P Smith DS 368 D A F O’Boyle DS 4169