How loner mummy's boy Peter Sutcliffe grew into monster who unleashed panic across northern England

PETER Sutcliffe grew from a lonely mummy's boy into a monster who instilled terror across the UK after slaughtering 13 women.

The Yorkshire Ripper left people scared to leave their homes as he unleashed a bloody rampage across England in the 1970s.

Sutcliffe is now known as one of the UK's most depraved serial killers but the fiend's name wasn't always synonymous with his grisly crimes.

Back in the 1940s and 50s, the monster was seen as a “mummy’s boy” who was forever clinging to Kathleen’s skirt.

He was rejected by his sports-mad dad John – a tough Yorkshireman who was disappointed with his weedy son right from his birth.

As a result, the killer grew up as a skinny loner who struggled to fit in on the playground.

His dad John once recalled: "He always seemed detached from the other children.

“There was a little corner of the schoolyard where he used to stand and he stayed there the whole of the play hour.”

When he reached teenage years girls thought he was a shy oddball, with dark staring eyes.

Sutcliffe struggled to hold a conversation unless it was about cars and motorbikes, which he was obsessed with.

The monster, now one of six brothers and sisters cramped into a four-bed house in Bingley, near Bradford, left Cottingley Manor School with no qualifications.

He had a string of jobs in mills and engineering firms before landing a post as a gravedigger at Bingley Cemetery in 1964 earning £7 for a 44-hour week.

It was here the weirdo began showing signs of the monster he would soon become as he made sick practical jokes about the macabre work.

Sutcliffe also bragged of how he took rings from dead bodies to give to people as presents.

But for the first time in his life he had a close group of workmates who he went drinking with, usually to the Royal Standard in Bradford’s red light district.

They had their own spot in the boozer which they christened “Gravediggers’ corner” – which is where he first met future wife Sonia in 1966.

It was Sutcliffe's work as a gravedigger that steered him towards his murderous rampage.

While digging a grave one day, he heard a mysterious voice coming from the grave of a Polish man called Bronisław Zapolski.

He quickly realised it was the voice of God – and knew he had to keep it secret.

This same voice later began telling him that all of society’s ills were down to prostitutes – and it was his mission to clear them off the streets.

It was then the killer embarked on his reign of terror – murdering 13 women and attempting to kill seven others.

His five-year rampage led to panic until he was finally caught in 1981 and put behind bars.

He was handed 20 life sentences and spent 32 years at Broadmoor high-security Hospital.

But in 2016, he was transferred to top security Frankland in Durham, also home to Soham killer Ian Huntley and Milly Dowler murderer Levi Bellfied.

While there his health continued to deteriorate until his suspected heart attack last month followed by his positive Covid test.

As he was taken to hospital last week, the killer refused all treatment and rotted away in his bed as the disease took hold of his frail body.

He finally died in the early hours of the morning just as he spent his childhood – alone.


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