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Historys Greatest Crimes, The Yorkshire Ripper

Updated on May 2, 2012

The Yorkshire Ripper

The Yorkshire Ripper

Peter William Sutcliff came to be known as the Yorkshire Ripper and he is a English Serial Killer who is said to have killed 13 women and he killed most of them with a claw hammer and knife. He would start with the claw hammer and then he would stab and rip them apart. He is one of England's most notorious serial killers.

He is currently serving life imprisonment for his crimes at Broadmoor Hospital for the Criminally insane. And at some point after his conviction he began using the name Peter William Coonan. He committed his crimes between October 30 1975 - November 17 1980. He was arrested on January 2 , 1981.

Yorkshire England where the Yorkshire Ripper committed his crimes.

Yorkshire England where the Yorkshire Ripper committed his crimes.
Yorkshire England where the Yorkshire Ripper committed his crimes.

More Of The Peter Sutcliffe Yorkshire Ripper Story

It has always made me wonder what set off people like the Peter Sutcliffe, The Yorkshire Ripper. I mean do people just get up one day and say to themselves you know I think I'll go kill someone today. What kind of hidden rage or anger do these people possess. Why or what makes a serial killer? How do they take that first step and make that first kill? And I really would like to hear what people think does make a serial killer. Feel free to post a comment below and let us know what you think about serial killers. What makes a serial killer? How do they get to that point in their life? And why do they continue to kill over and over. What do you think? Post your comment below.

The History of Peter Sutcliffe, The Yorkshire Ripper.

Peter Sutcliffe's parents were Kathleen and John Sutcliffe. It is said during his school years Sutcliffe was a loner and was very quite in school. He was accused and suspected of killing dogs and cats in his neighborhood as a teenager but the police investigation of the animal killings were never pursued.

He left school at age 15 and took menial jobs and was twice employed as a grave digger. He was never successful in any job he took. He often either just stoped showing up at most jobs and he was fired from others.

As a young mn Sutcliffe did not pursue any kind of relationship with women instead he went to prostitutes and often complained of being cheated. On Valentine's Day 1967 Sutcliffe met the woman Sonia Suzerman who he would go on to marry in 1974. The couple hoped and tried to have children but Sonia suffered several miscarriages and doctors finally told the couple that they would never be able to have children.It was later revealed that Sonia had a venerial disease as a younger woman and this is why she could not have children.

Sutcliffe according to some law enforcement officials may have started attacking and killing prostitutes because his wife had at one time had a venereal disease and could not have children. It was on the night of July 5 1975 that Sutcliffe was to commit his firat known crime. He hit Anna Rogulskyjover the head with a hammer and slashed her stomach open but she lived when people heard her screams and came running to see what was going on. Sutcliffe fled and got away.

He went on to attack and kill again and again and the people of Yorkshire England were terrified that their was a monster living among them. It was not until January 2 1981 that Sutcliffe was finally caught and all his crimes were discovered. It was after two days of intensive questioning by the police that Sutcliffe finally said. Okay I'm the Yorkshire Ripper. You finally go me. He gave long detailed accounts of his multi year killing spree and said that his only regret was that he had been unable to kill as many women as he wished he could have.

Sutcliffe has been attacked many times in prison and at one point received a huge settlement for his injuries. His wife has since divorced him and is now remarried to a man who was once one of Sutcliffes guards. There is some debate that Sutcliffe may one day be released but so far he remains behind bars at the mental hospital having now served over 30 years for his brutal murder of 13 women and attacks on several more. England does not have the death penalty and their is a possibility that Sutcliffe will one day go free.

What do you think of Peter Sutcliffe the Yorkshire Ripper. What do you think should be done with him? Do you think he should go free after serving 30 years or should he remain behind bars for the remainder of his life. Many British officials have said that id Sutcliffe is freed it will only be a matter of time until he kills again. Tell us below in the comments. What do you think?

What do you think makes a serial killer. Why? Post your comments now.

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    • profile image

      lizabeth mace 

      4 years ago

      Each State has their laws: Capital punishment or life?? Shouldn't the families of the victims have a say weather its life or death for these murderers ...? After all, its their family members that were taken from them. But for some of these killers to maybe see life outside of their bars they've been behind is a very scary thought!! This Country already has so many serial killers out there already that Law Enforcement is trying to get off all of our streets!! If some of these "people" need to be in a hospital..then so be it..Maybe to be able to study them, and when they die...look at their brains, to see if there could and might be any clues or answers to help...EITHER YOUR BORN WITH EMPATHY OR NOT..IT CANT BE GIVEN TO YOU, LEARNED BY LOVED ONES''''''HAVING NO EMPATHY MEANS THAT THESE CERTAIN INDIVIDUALS WILL NEVER FEEL FOR OTHER'S..JUST FOR THEMSELVES.(CAUSING DEATH AND PAIN TO ANIMALS)IS THE VERY FIRST CLUE INTO NOT HAVING EMPATHY!! TED BUNDY: HE SAW AND FELT FOR HIS OWN PAIN BUT NOT THE PAIN HE CAUSED SO MANY OTHERS IN THE WAKE OF HIS DESTRUCTION!! YOU JUST NEVER KNOW.. SO UNASSUMING, SO NICE, LIKE THEY SAY..'HE WAS SUCH A NICE BOY'..TED BUNDY WAS CALLED "THE DELIBERATE STRANGER"..IF HE KNEW YOU, WOULD HELP IN ANY WAY...BUT IF HE DIDN'T..LOOK OUT...ALL OF THESE PEOPLE ARE DIFFERENT IN THEIR OWN WAYS BUT THE SAME TOO...ABUSED, BEATEN, RAPED...ETC...DOESN'T WORK FOR ME...I KNOW MANY HUMAN BEINGS HAVE EXPERIENCED THESE PAINS...BUT THE ONES LIKE TED BUNDY, JEFFREY D., ED GEIN AND SO MANY OTHERS,,,SOMETHING IS DIFFERENT IN THEM...EMPATHY. THEY DO NOT HAVE IT....!!TO NOT BE ABLE TO FEEL FOR OTHERS, HUMANS, ANIMALS....ETC...IS WHERE IT ALL BEGINS....


    • profile image

      Trevor Simmonds 

      7 years ago

      Between the year 1976 and 1881 I was a Thames valley Police Officer stationed at Bletchley Buckinghamshire U.K.I was asked by the yorkshire Police to go to an address in the Town of Bletchley and interview a lady who had just arrived in our area from yorkshire.This lady was a Teacher and knew who the Yorkshir Ripper was as she had seen him one night at the Food Caravan she operated for someone. In the statement the lady stated that she had been working at this second job one evening and had seen a man she knew as Peter who came over to her caravan and bought a cup of tea. The lady noticed that the front of themans shirt was covered in blood which scared her badly to the extent she couldn't wait to go home which she did shortly after. She further stated that the man Peter was still hanging around when she was picked up and taken hom.This statement was taken by myself from this lady in the presence of Detective Constable Roger Turley. I took the statement back to our Police Stataion and Faxed the contents to the Murder Incident Room in Yorkshire and I waited but nothing happened so I phoned to find out if they had arrested anyone. I was told no they had no leads so i asked about the statement i took and they told me they would get back to me, but they never did. i carried on working as it was very busy at this time due to them building a new city called Milton Keynes. I would guarantee that if they had taken notice of this lady at least 5 or 6 prostitutes would not have been killed by Sutcliffe. Also for information Sutcliffe used a hammer and a sharpened screwdriver not a knife to disembowel the women I saw the photographs on a visit to the murder room.This can be checked out if need be as my Police Number was 166.

    • Mrs Cookie profile image

      Mrs Cookie 

      7 years ago from United Kingdom

      I was only a child when the Yorkshire Ripper was on the loose but I clearly remember a man down our street being asked to help police search the woods in our village because they thought the Ripper was hiding in there.

      It was a scary time for everyone and we all slept much better once he was caught.

    • cressinia profile image


      8 years ago

      Not sure that 'Greatest' is the right word for your title - surely Grizzliest would be more appropriate.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      peter sutcliffe the yorkshire ripper went on killing spree

      because he couldn't give his wife the children she yerned for

    • profile image

      noel o'gara 

      9 years ago

      The great mystery of the Humble arrest is how his DNA was found on the evidence because it had all been destroyed thirty years before after the conviction of Sutcliffe on the orders of the chief constable.

      That included the letters and tape which had been subjected to intensive chemical tests. Yet it was stated by a scientist that a tiny fragment remained all those years.

      One can only wonder how and why that tiny fragment which was so tiny that the test couldn't be repeated, was kept and how and why such a tiny fragment was retained and labelled and then found all those years later, and then more amazingly how it was linked to John Humble so readily.

    • crazyhorsesghost profile imageAUTHOR

      Thomas Byers 

      9 years ago from East Coast , United States

      Do you know that in the USA since 1960 there have been 57 innocent people kiled by capital punishment in the USA and that since 1992 new DNA evidence has freed 19 men setting on death row. As long as there is the possibility of executing 1 innocent person we should not have capital punnishment. What if you were innocent on death row. As long as there is the chance of 1 innocent person being executed then no we should not have capital punnishment.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Until you start showing people real detterents, not locking them up in 5 star hotels, this kind of thing will never stop. There are people now that commit crimes so they can go inside. It is a better life for them. Capital punishment would be a good start. Why should the poor victims that survived have to live knowing one day, because some do gooder feels like practising the law, allow him the freedom he craves, but so blatantly took away from them not so long ago.


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