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The Yorkshire Ripper Investigation

Sue MacGregor meets detectives and a journalist involved in the hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper, the biggest criminal investigation in British history at the time.

Sue MacGregor meets detectives and a journalist involved in the hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper, the biggest criminal investigation in British history at the time.

In 1975, a series of murders began in Leeds that would soon stretch to Bradford, Huddersfield, Halifax and Manchester. It would take more than five years for police to finally arrest Peter Sutcliffe, a Bradford lorry driver, whose brutal attacks on women claimed at least 13 lives and left many others permanently injured. The failure to catch the killer attracted widespread criticism.

Four former detectives join Sue MacGregor to remember the investigation. John Domaille was a senior officer who later became Assistant Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police; Andy Laptew was a junior detective who interviewed Peter Sutcliffe and flagged him up as a serious suspect, but whose warnings fell on deaf ears; Elaine Benson was a rare female detective who worked in the incident room and interviewed suspects; and David Zackrisson investigated the "Wearside Jack" tape and letters in Sunderland, a disastrous red herring from a man claiming to be the killer that later turned out to be a hoax. Christa Ackroyd was then a local journalist in Halifax, who remembers the impact the killings had on women living in the North of England.

Producer: Deborah Dudgeon
Series Producer: David Prest

A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4.

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45 minutes

Last on

Fri 26 Aug 2016 09:00