The kill that turned the public against vile Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe

Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe has always been classed as one of Britain's most horrifying serial killers.

Having slaughtered at least 13 women, the now-dead mass murderer was given 20 life sentences for the killings which took place between 1975 and 1980.

The twisted killer targeted vulnerable women in red light districts, leaving those working in Leeds and Bradford in a constant state of terror.

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Sutcliffe, who claimed he'd been told to murder by "the voice of God", was known to attack his victims with brutal force, inflicting harrowing injuries on them.

However, it was the death of 16-year-old Jayne McDonald on this day (June 26) in 1977 that really shocked the world – and the man himself.

His full list of known victims, as well as McDonald is Wilma McCann, Emily Jackson, Irene Richardson, Patricia Atkinson, Jean Jordan, Yvonne Pearson, Helen Rytka, Vera Millward, Josephine Whitaker, Barbara Leach, Marguerite Walls and Jacqueline Hill – most of these were prostitutes.

But when it came out that Ms McDonald was not, it was the moment the British public truly realised the horror of what Sutcliffe – who died in 2020 from Covid aged 74 – was doing.

Jayne was a shop assistant who had recently left school.

She had gone to meet a friend in Leeds at the Hofbrauhaus bar the day before.

While there, she met an 18-year-old named Mark Jones – the pair danced until 10.30pm, according to reports at the time.

The pair hit it off, and had agreed to meet up the week after.

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They departed outside a local hospital, where she had said that she was going to get a taxi from.

However, she was walking down Chapeltown Road – which is the same street Peter Sutcliffe was driving near having spent the night in a local pub.

Having stalked her for a short time, he got out of the car holding a hammer and a kitchen knife from under his seat.

Thinking she was a prostitute – something he later admitted in a book – he struck her on the back of the head on Reginald Street, near a children's playground.

  • Murdered schoolgirl is 'unknown victim' of Yorkshire Ripper, an expert claims

She fell down, and he dragged her into the play area, face down.

He hit her again, and gruesomely stabbed her in the chest and back several times.

She was horrifically found by two children at 9.45am the next day.

Police found that there was a broken bottle with screw-top still on it embedded into her chest, although Sutfcliffe later claimed that the was not his doing.

In his confession on January 4, 1981, he said: “I believed at the time I did it that she was a prostitute.

“I don't think I had any blood on me following this one. I cannot recall what I was wearing then. I cannot remember what I did with the knife, I must have taken it home with me and washed it.

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“I may have left it in the Corsair when I scrapped it – the hammer may have been the one I threw over the wall at Sharps Printers.

“When I saw in the papers that MacDonald was so young and not a prostitute, I felt like someone inhuman and I realised that it was a devil driving me against my will and that I was a beast.

“When the Ripper came up in conversation at work or in a pub I was able to detach my mind from the fact that it was me they were talking about, and I was able to discuss it normally.

“This amazed me at times that I was able to do this.”

Sutcliffe was eventually caught in January, 1981, after he was stopped in his car.

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A quick check of his vehicle was conducted, revealing that he was driving a car with false number plates and he was taken into custody.

A search of the area where he was pulled over found a knife, hammer and rope, which were all tools the Yorkshire Ripper had used during his killing spree.

He was then strip-searched at the police station where officers discovered that Sutcliffe was wearing an upside-down V-neck jumper, which exposed his genitals, and padding on his knees so he wouldn't be scratched as he knelt over the bodies of his victims.

He finally confessed to the murders after two days of questioning, bringing over a decade of terror to an end.

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