Video LoadingVideo UnavailableClick to playTap to playThe video will start in8CancelPlay now
Our free email newsletter sends you the biggest headlines from news, sport and showbiz
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
Peter Sutcliffe was allowed to carry out more murders thanks to a stranger he never met and who lived 100 miles away.
In one of criminal history’s cruellest hoaxes, John Humble tricked police into believing the serial killer was Wearside Jack, a man with a Sunderland accent.
That was despite women who survived Peter Sutcliffe’s attacks saying he sounded like a local.
At the height of the manhunt, Humble taunted the press and detectives with letters and an infamous tape, anonymously claiming he was the killer.
Humble taunted police during the manhunt, leaving Peter Sutcliffe free to continue killing
John Humble, who aided the Yorkshire Ripper, was finally jailed in 2006
Yorkshire Ripper's warped love for wife Sonia that lasted until the day he died
Coronavirus on decline in hotspots – but full list shows cases still rising in 221 areas
In the tape, which he sent to Assistant Chief Constable George Oldfield in 1979, he said: “I’m Jack.
"I have the greatest respect for you, George, but Lord, you’re no nearer catching me now than four years ago when I started.”
Vast police resources were diverted to Sunderland, with £1million spent on adverts to try to help find Wearside Jack, and 40,000 Wearside men investigated.
Sutcliffe killed three more women before he was finally caught.
Wracked with guilt, Humble became an alcoholic and tried to kill himself, once jumping from a bridge.
He was jailed in 2006 for eight years for perverting the course of justice.
He died of heart disease and alcohol poisoning in 2019.