Friday, 16 December 2016

QUESTIONS FOR RIPPER - Police called on to revisit unsolved cases

Police called on to revisit unsolved cases 
West Yorkshire Police won't disclose plans 
Taken from Big Issue North article in October 2016. 
Calls are growing for police to question the Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe, over unsolved murders now he has been declared sane 
Sutcliffe was convicted in 1981 for 13 murders and attempting to murder seven others after a lengthy police investigation, during which he was questioned and released many times. 
Two killers? 
During the investigation, there were reports that two serial killers were at large, unconnected to each other. 
The late Ron Warren, deputy chairman of West Yorkshire Police Authority at the time, maintained until he died a decade ago that “it was known in the top echelons
of the police that two men were involved in the series of murders”. 
Sutcliffe was declared to be sane at the time of his trial. The judge sent him to prison for a minimum of 30 years. 
In 1984, Sutcliffe was moved from Parkhurst prison on the Isle of Wight
to Broadmoor psychiatric hospital after he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. But in August this year, he was moved back to a Wakefield prison after medical experts ruled him mentally fit. Sutcliffe now calls himself Coonan. 
Twenty-year old Carol Wilkinson was brutally murdered in Bradford in 1977. A local man, Anthony Steele, was found guilty of her murder. Steele always maintained his innocence and his conviction was quashed in 2003. West Yorkshire Police chief constable Colin Cramphorn offered him a “personal apology”. 
Steele died in September 2007. No one has subsequently been arrested for Wilkinson’s murder. Kay Lintern, who lived opposite the Wilkinson family home in 1977, believes Sutcliffe should be questioned. 
She said: “I remember seeing him hanging around the Ravenscliffe estate where we both lived. I didn’t go to the police when Sutcliffe was sent to prison in 1981 as I thought Steele must have done the murder. But when his conviction was overturned I realised it may have been a murder committed by Sutcliffe. 
“In 2005 I rang West Yorkshire Police about what I knew but no one came to take my statement. I think Sutcliffe should now be questioned about other crimes he may have committed as I know many other people are convinced he murdered their loved ones.” 
Fresh evidence 
Peter Hill, from the 1980s Rough Justice TV programme, is convinced that the police were right to rule Sutcliffe out of the Wilkinson murder. 
“I investigated the case and the crime did not fit the crime pattern associated with the Ripper,” said Hill. “I even supplied the police some years ago with the name of the person I believe is the killer and who was serving a lengthy sentence for other murders. 
“The police told me they were confident they had, despite the chief constable’s personal apology, got the right man in Steele. The Wilkinson case thus remains unresolved. 
“The police state they are interested in solving unresolved crimes from the past but they don’t appear open to people approaching them with fresh evidence.” 
Gerry Sutcliffe (no relation), who was MP for Bradford South from 1994 to 2015, also wants to see Sutcliffe questioned. “There are lots of unsolved attacks and murders of women across the north in the late 1970s and early 1980s and the Ripper may have information on them,” he said. 
Wilma McCann, a mother of three, was the Yorkshire Ripper’s first victim, murdered near her Leeds home on 30 October 1975. 
Her son Richard, whose 2005 book Just a Boy was a bestseller, said: “Now Sutcliffe has been declared sane he should be questioned. When I made my documentary The Ripper Murdered My Mum for the BBC I asked Dick Holland, who was second in charge of the Ripper inquiry, whether he agreed on this very point but he was adamant that Sutcliffe should not be questioned. 
“It seemed a case of let sleeping dogs lie. But Sutcliffe may have evidence that can allow some families to know who killed their loved ones and that would allow them to finally have closure on such tragedies.” 
Not public 
In 2015, authors Chris Clark, a former police intelligence officer, and Tim Tate, an investigative journalist, claimed that Sutcliffe might have been responsible for a further 23 murders. 
West Yorkshire Police would not say if they have or will be interviewing Sutcliffe. 
DCI Jim Dunkerley of West Yorkshire Police, said: “West Yorkshire Police has made
a key commitment that a case is never closed until it is resolved. As part of this commitment to victims we continuously review our undetected homicides and serious sexual offences. 
“Earlier this year officers visited a small number of people named within the Sir Lawrence Byford Report, which examined, in the early 1980s, the police inquiry after Sutcliffe was caught and listed 13 unresolved offences. These offences form part of the historic cases that continue to be reviewed by West Yorkshire Police. 

“In this review the interests of victims of crime and their families are of paramount importance, as is the requirement to ensure that no information is made public that could prejudice any future criminal investigation or judicial process. Victims and their families remain updated as to the progress of their cases.” 

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