Peter Sutcliffe – Yorkshire Ripper, Wife & Death

Peter Sutcliffe was a British serial killer known as the Yorkshire Ripper whose 1975-80 murder spree left residents of northern England living in fear.

Who Was Peter Sutcliffe?

In 1981, Peter Sutcliffe was identified as the serial killer that the British press had dubbed the Yorkshire Ripper. From 1975 through 1980, Sutcliffe committed at least 13 murders and seven other brutal assaults on women in northern England. Terror spread through the area as the attacks continued, spurring a years-long manhunt that incorporated an estimated 2.5 million police hours. However, the search for Sutcliffe was derailed by problems that included police being unable to process information they’d collected, disrespect for the many victims who were sex workers and a hoax that misdirected the investigation. After he was captured and behind bars, Sutcliffe began using his mother’s maiden name and going by Peter William Coonan. The Yorkshire Ripper has attracted continued interest over the years, with his story being told in a true-crime podcast and in the 2020 documentary The Ripper.

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