Final miserable hours of Yorkshire Ripper as serial killer dies alone with Covid-19

Video LoadingVideo UnavailableClick to playTap to playThe video will start in8CancelPlay now

Get our daily coronavirus email newsletter with all the news you need to know direct to your inbox

Sign upWhen you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters. Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer. OurPrivacy Noticeexplains more about how we use your data, and your rights. You can unsubscribe at any time.Thank you for subscribingWe have more newslettersShow meSee ourprivacy noticeInvalid Email

Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe died a "pitiful" death alone in hospital after his lungs failed just days after being diagnosed with Covid-19.

The frail serial killer had no visitors at his bedside, due to pandemic restrictions, when he was pronounced dead at 1.10am on Friday, almost 40 years after he was jailed for murdering 13 women.

The 74-year-old had been in declining health for months – suffering a suspected heart attack two weeks ago before contracting coronavirus – and "no tears were shed" after one of Britain's most notorious killers took his last breath.

Sutcliffe had previously signed 'do not resuscitate' forms and had refused treatment for Covid-19, while friends said he astonishingly vowed he'd go to heaven.

Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe is taken to Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey in September 2015
(Image: 2015 Glenn Harvey Redcat Photography)

Read More
Related Articles


  • Yorkshire Ripper dead: Serial killer Peter Sutcliffe dies after battle with Covid-19

Read More
Related Articles


  • The Yorkshire Ripper's 13 innocent victims during horrifying 5 year reign of terror

A source told the Sun: "No tears were shed. His death was as pitiful as the vile life he had lived."

The families of those he killed likened him to Hitler, and survivors reacted with joy after hearing the monster was dead.

But many were also angry he had twisted the knife one last time by not confessing to his other crimes.

It has been claimed he could have killed another 22 women and attacked a dozen more.

A composite of 12 of the 13 victims of Yorkshire Ripper

The son of one of Sutcliffe's victims told the Sun that the Covid-19 pandemic had produced "at least one happy ending" with the mass murderer's death.

Two weeks ago, the monster was treated at the University Hospital of North Durham, three miles from the maximum security Frankland jail where he was an inmate, after suffering a suspected heart attack.

Sutcliffe, had a number of underlying health conditions, went back to prison but was taken back to the same hospital after developing coronavirus.

It is understood he had heart trouble, diabetes and obesity. He was almost blind in one eye and suffered a detached retina in the other after being attacked behind bars.

Last week, he told friends that he was having ‘difficulty breathing’ and ‘could barely sleep’. Sutcliffe was ‘terrified’ of Covid-19, and had refused any prison visitors during the pandemic.

“My eyesight is getting worse – I’m bumping into people,” he told one friend.

“I’ve been completely blind in one eye for 20 years and the other one is deteriorating at a fair old rate.”

Earlier this week, Sutcliffe's brother, Mick, told the Bradford Telegraph and Argus that he had not heard from him for three weeks.

Video Loading

Video Unavailable

Click to play
Tap to play

The video will auto-play soon8Cancel

Play now

Sutcliffe died at the University Hospital of North Durham
(Image: Craig Connor)

Mick, 70, said: “He rings me without fail every Monday, but he has not rung me for the last two or three Mondays. So I knew something must be up.

“If he died, I would not know until I watched about it on the television.”

There was no confirmation of the cause of death which will be investigated by the coroner. 

A Prison Service spokesman said: “HMP Frankland prisoner Peter Coonan (born Sutcliffe) died in hospital on November 13.”

Sutcliffe, one of the UK's most notorious killers, was serving a whole life term
(Image: SWNS)

Richard McCann, the son of Sutcliffe's first recognised victim, Wilma McCann, said the killer's death had brought some closure to him, and Sutcliffe will go down as someone "in the same league I suppose as someone like Hitler".

He told Sky News: "(Sutcliffe) ruined so many lives. He will go down as one of those figures from the twentieth century in the same league I suppose as someone like Hitler.

"It was never just a drunken fight, he went out there with tools and implements and he murdered people again and again and again and again."

Sutcliffe, from Bradford, was moved to Frankland Prison in 2016 after more than 30 years in Broadmoor psychiatric hospital in Berkshire, where he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

He was deemed stable enough to serve time in prison.

Sutcliffe was moved to hospital from HMP Frankland, County Durham
(Image: BBC)

The sex beast used hammers and screwdrivers to murder and mutilate 13 women during the 1970s and 1980s.

He is also known to have attacked at least nine other women before his arrest in 1981.

His youngest known murder victim was 16 and the oldest 42.

He was serving a whole life term for crimes that terrified women across Yorkshire and the North East and left them afraid to go out at night.

Sutcliffe preyed on women from all walks of life as he prowled communities “like a tornado”.

His younger brother Carl told the Mirror this week that he does not think it will be Covid-19 that kills his brother and admitted it would be “a bit of a relief” if Peter died. 

Carl, who stopped speaking to his brother years ago, said: “He has got other things wrong with him. He’s got diabetes, he’s got all sorts.

"He’s put on a lot of weight. Last picture I saw he looks about 20 stone. I haven’t got a clue how he is now. They wouldn’t tell me. (His ex-wife) Sonia is his next of kin.”

He added: “It’s been a nightmare. I know it is a horrible thing to say because he’s my brother. But there will be sadness too, because he’s my brother at the end of the day.

“We still get pointed at in the street and they whisper ‘that’s the Yorkshire Ripper’s brother’. I can’t hear them but I can still lip read.”

Carl, who lives in West Yorkshire, told the Mirror that his brother would not confess to any more crimes.

Carl said: “I’ve asked him if he killed more and he said no. He says there are no more, He says ‘that’s the lot!’

“He doesn’t seem to realise the damage he’s done. It doesn’t register.

“He stills says ‘It’s not fair’ he’s still in prison. He thinks he’s all fixed now, all better.”

Carl said Peter denied being responsible for his crimes, but he has always been convinced his brother faked his mental illness.

He said: “He would say ‘I didn’t know what I was doing’ and ‘it was the voices in my head’ and all that. Why would you get yourself alibis if you didn’t know what you were doing?”