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Documentary series about the Yorkshire Ripper investigation starting with its first three years, examining how the police’s theory of a 'prostitute killer' drove the case.

Documentary series opening, in 1975, with the first three years of the investigation into finding the Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe. The location of the first two murders in Chapeltown - then well known as Leeds’s main red light district - leads the police to decide that prostitution is the connection between the attacks, but also to them coming up with a neat theory about the killer’s motivation. After the second murder in January 1976, the police announce that they are hunting a ‘prostitute killer’, which had significant implications for how the investigation proceeded.

Speaking to the children of some of the very first murder victims and to police officers who worked on the investigation, as well as to journalists who covered the murders, Liza Williams explores the difference between the way the women were characterised by the investigation and how they are remembered by those who knew and loved them. Meeting a survivor of one of Sutcliffe’s earlier attacks, as well as the daughter of another, Liza finds out how their vital eyewitness evidence was ignored because neither were prostitutes and did not, as a result, fit the victim profile the police had decided upon.

While the police ploughed on with their theory of that the murderer was targeting prostitutes, the killer remained at large. Between February 1977 and May 1978 Peter Sutcliffe murdered seven more women.

10 months left to watch

59 minutes

Signed

Last on

Tue 9 Apr 2019 02:55

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:05

    Gang of Four

    To Hell With Poverty (7 Single Version)

  • 00:08

    ABBA

    Take a Chance on Me

  • 00:25

    David Bowie

    Speed Of Life

  • 00:27

    The Police

    Roxanne

  • 00:52

    The Stranglers

    Something Better Change

  • 00:58

    David Bowie

    Beauty and The Beast (Extended Version) (Remastered)

Credits

Role Contributor
Director Liza Williams
Executive Producer Nancy Bornat
Executive Producer Leanne Klein

Broadcasts

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