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The Yorkshire Ripper


A building society clerk, living with her parents and two young brothers. Josephine, 19, was killed in respectable Saville Park,  in Halifax


Sutcliffe knew he was being baited by the Ripper. He knew he was involved in a deadly struggle with the unknown evil murderer and he had pitted his wits against him in 1976,1977 and 1978. Tracey murdered Vera Millward in Manchester on the 16th May 1978 in response to Sutcliffe’s murder of Yvonne Pearson, whose body was found only a few weeks before with all the attendant publicity about a copy cat killer trying to emulate the Ripper. Sutcliffe did not know however that as well as baiting him, the Ripper was also manipulating the police by writing to them and including the Jordan murder in his count. Two weeks after the Millward murder the police announced that the murder of Jean Jordan was included in the Ripper frame. It was Sutcliffe’s turn next. The ball was in his court. He was terrified of his role as he counted the weeks. It was 46 weeks from the Millward murder, and Tracey had been involved with me in all that time and I was extricating myself from his influence in my own struggle with him but he had not forgotten his business in England.



The murder scene (above & below)


I had a particularly difficult day with Tracey that day and when we returned to my home we were told that my Alsatian bitch had pups that same day. Knowing he loved the bitch, I ordered him to drown the pups and he reluctantly went and got them. I was hoping he would leave me alone for a few weeks or months. The air was tense and everyone there could feel it. He was visibly angry and stormed out the door with a bang about 4.0pm with the pups in a plastic bag. That night he murdered Josephine Whittaker in Halifax. By killing in Halifax he was responding to Sutcliffe whose attack on Olive Smelt was also included in the Ripper frame with Jean Jordan and Joan Harrison.

He most likely flew from Dublin airport, about 30 minutes from Manchester and took a taxi from Manchester to Halifax town centre, from where he would take another taxi to the Royal Infirmary. He was familiar with hospitals, and strangers there would arouse no suspicions. Hospitals are always full of visitors. A short walk up the hill would take him to Saville Park from where he could see Josephine in the distance, in the dim light as she walked towards his road from the opposite side of the big park. He converged with her as she came on to his road and without arousing her suspicions this elegantly dressed bearded gentleman got within striking distance of her. Then he dragged her into the park out of sight of cars or other pedestrians where he performed his ritual injuries of repeated stabbing within the vagina with a three cornered file which he probably took from my tools, to ensure the police knew it was him. I had such a file to sharpen saws and it disappeared then. The file was oily when used and this gave rise to Oldfield looking for a factory worker. He was to use the same tool on Barbara Leach almost 5 months later.


(above) Extract from Sunday Times analysis after the Hill murder in November 1980


Joan Harrison had been included in the Ripper frame along with Jean Jordan and now Tracey was to authenticate his letters by biting Josephine Whittaker on the left breast to copper-fasten Jean Jordan in the Ripper frame. It was also to firmly place Joan Harrison as a Ripper victim because up to this time her murder had not been positively in the frame. The bite with its distinctive gap decided it and there it was to remain until Sutcliffe’s arrest.

In addition Tracey linked this murder to the Preston murder by placing Josephine's boot between her thighs something that he alone knew would link these murders because up to then the details of the Harrison murder were known only to the police and the killer.

Sutcliffe had every reason to count the 46 weeks. After the Whittaker murder he did not respond to the bait but the unrelenting Tracey followed this up with the Leach murder and Sutcliffe "had lost the battle" to use his own words. The Ripper was going to keep it up as he did in 1977.






Sutcliffe's story of the Whittaker (left column only) and Leach murders



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