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

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The Yorkshire Ripper killed 13 innocent women during his five-year reign of terror.

Peter Sutcliffe, who died aged 74 today, set upon vulnerable women in West Yorkshire and Manchester during the 1970s and 1980s.

He claimed he was on a 'mission from God' to kill prostitutes after murdering 13 and attacking at least another nine, although some of his victims were not sex workers.

The killer told police he 'developed' a hatred of prostitutes in order to justify his first murder.

In his second – and possibly most brutal – killing, Sutcliffe stabbed prostitute Emily Jackson 52 times in the neck, chest and stomach with a screw driver.

Twelve of the 13 victims: (top row, left to right) Wilma McCann, Emily Jackson, Irene Richardson, Patricia Atkinson; (middle row, left to right) Jayne McDonald, Jean Jordan, Yvonne Pearson, Helen Rytka; (bottom row, left to right) Vera Millward, Josephine Whitaker, Barbara Leach, Jacqueline Hill

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Despite leaving a string of clues at the murder scenes, it took police five years to nail the killer.

He was interviewed nine times by officers before his killing spree was finally brought to an end in 1981.

Sutcliffe was handed 20 concurrent life sentences with the High Court later confirming he would never be released from jail.

He was taken to hospital last week with coronavirus and died today after refusing treatment.

These are the 13 innocent women who were murdered by Sutcliffe:

Wilma McCann

Wilma McCann was knifed in the neck, chest and stomach
(Image: Collect Unknown)

Wilma McCann, 28, from Chapeltown, Leeds, was killed in October 1975.

Sutcliffe's killing spree started with the murder of Wilma on playing fields just yards from her home.

She was hit with a hammer and stabbed 15 times in the neck, chest and stomach.

The killer later told police: "After that first time, I developed and played up a hatred for prostitutes in order to justify within myself a reason why I had attacked and killed Wilma McCann."

Her son today sad Sutcliffe's death brought him 'some degree of closure'.

Emily Jackson

Emily Jackson, one of the 13 victims of Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe
(Image: PA)

Emily Jackson, 42, a prostitute and mother-of-three from Morley, Leeds, was murdered on January 20, 1976.

With her husband's agreement, Emily was using a van to work as a prostitute after the family found themselves in serious financial trouble.

The 42-year-old was working in Leeds in January, 1976, when Sutcliffe pounced.

He hit her over the head with a hammer before dragging her body to a yard filled with rubbish and stabbed her 52 times in the neck, chest and stomach with a screw driver.

In one final horrific act, he then stamped on Emily's leg so hard he left a boot print on her thigh.

Irene Richardson

Irene Richardson's corpse was mutilated with a knife
(Image: PA)

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Irene Richardson, 28, a mother-of-two from Chapeltown, Leeds, lost her life on February 6, 1977.

Sutcliffe beat Irene to death with a hammer and then mutilated her corpse with a knife.

Irene, who was working as a prostitute, was hit over the head three times and stabbed in the neck and stomach. 

The mum-of-three's body was found behind a sports pavilion in Roundhay Park.

The killer left tyre marks at the scene, sparking a huge police search for the vehicle.

Patricia Atkinson

Patricia Atkinson was killed at her flat
(Image: Mirrorpix)

Patricia Atkinson, 32, a mother-of-three from Manningham, Bradford, was butchered on April 24, 1977.

Sutcliffe went to the Bradford flat where Patricia lived and then fatally attacked her.

They had been drinking at the Carlisle Pub and Patricia had climbed into Sutcliffe's car to return to her flat.

The killer hit her with a hammer as she walked through the doorway.

He left a bootprint on a blood stained sheet at the scene.

Jayne MacDonald

Jayne MacDonald was just 16 when she was killed
(Image: Collect Unknown)

Shop assistant Jayne MacDonald, from Leeds, was just 16-years-old when she was killed on June 26, 1977.

Sutcliffe attacked her as she was making her way home from a night out.

Two children later found her body at a playground in Reginald Street, Chapeltown.

The murder caused a media sensation as she was the first victim who was not a known sex worker.

The mystery killer was dubbed the Yorkshire Ripper.

Jean Jordan

Sutcliffe picked Jean Jordan up in the red light district
(Image: Mirrorpix)

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Jean Jordan, 21, from Manchester, died between September 30 and October 11, 1977.

Sutcliffe picked her up in the red light district and dumped her body next to an allotment.

He threw her bags in nearby shrubs with a new £5 note inside one of the pockets.

Police traced the serial number on the note to the payroll of Yorkshire hauliers T and W H Clark, where Sutcliffe worked.

He was interviewed twice by police but said he was at a house-warming party with his family at the time of the murder.

Yvonne Pearson

Yvonne Pearson was another victim

Yvonne Pearson, 22, from Bradford, was murdered between January 20 and March 26, 1978.

Sutcliffe beat her to death with a hammer and put horse hair from an old sofa in her mouth before hiding her body.

He also jumped on her chest before hiding her body under the sofa near Lumb Lane.

The prostitute's body was not found for two months.

Helen Rytka

Helen Rytka was stripped of most of her clothes
(Image: Mirrorpix)

Helen Rytka, 18, from Huddersfield, lost her life on January 31, 1978.

Sutcliffe hit the sex worker's head five times as she climbed out of his vehicle.

He then stripped her of most of her clothes before stabbing her in the chest.

Her bra and polo-neck jumper were still on her body although they had been pushed above her breasts.

She was found under railway arches in a timber yard where he had stopped the car.

Vera Millward

Vera Millward fought back against Sutcliffe
(Image: Mirrorpix)

Vera Millward, 40, a mother-of-seven from Manchester, was killed on May 16, 1978.

Sutcliffe hit Vera over the head and stabbed her multiple times before dumping her body at Manchester Royal Infirmary car park.

The prostitute was sickly before her death and had apparently told her boyfriend she was going out to buy cigarettes before she was killed.

The Ripper attacked her with a hammer but Vera fought back, with a man hearing screams from the hospital grounds.

The witness thought the cries were from a hospital patient.

Josephine Whitaker

Josephine Whitaker was killed while walking home
(Image: Mirrorpix)

 

Josephine Whitaker, 19, a building society worker from Halifax, was butchered on April 4, 1979.

She was the second of Sutcliffe's victims who was not a known sex worker.

He set upon her in Savile Park Moor in Halifax as she was walking home.

Former police officer Bob Bridgestock was one of the first on the scene after the murder.

He said people became frightened to go out after Josephine's death.

Barbara Leach

Barbara Leach was stabbed just yards from her back door
(Image: SWNS)

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Barbara Leach, 20, a student, was murdered while walking home from a night out in Bradford on September 1, 1979.

She was hit over the head and stabbed eight times just yards away from the back door of her home.

Sutcliffe hid her body under the steps leading to the door and covered the corpse with bricks.

Barbara was not a known sex worker, sparking further fears in the region.

Once again, Sutcliffe was interviewed by police but was not flagged as a suspect.

Marguerite Walls

Marguerite Walls was strangled to death
(Image: SWNS)

Marguerite Wells, 47, a civil servant from Leeds, died on August 20, 1980.

While awaiting trial for drink-driving, Sutcliffe set upon Walls as she was walking home from work.

Sutcliffe strangled her and later said he believed she was a prostitute.

Her body was found in a garden in New Street, Farsley.

The killer had been driving through the area on his way to Chapeltown when he saw Marguerite and pulled over.

Jacqueline Hill

Sutcliffe followed Jacqueline Hill after she got off a bus
(Image: SWNS)

Jacqueline Hill, 20, a student, was found dead in Headingley, Leeds, on November 16, 1980.

She was Sutcliffe's final known murder victim and her body was found on wasteland.

The killer had just eaten fast food when he saw Jacqueline get off a bus in Headingley.

He followed the Leeds University student and then attacked her.

Her body was found in near the Arndale Centre.