/ Yorkshire Ripper Files: A Very British Crime.....

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https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0003m05 - available on iPlayer.

What a fascinating retelling of of this well known story of the late 70s and early 80s.  I was born in 1975 and so its not something that I remember first hand but my wife, slightly older than me, remembers it well.  She remembers feeling very scared of the bogeyman and was afraid to go out.

The 3 part documentary tells the story of the survivors, the relatives of survivors and from some on the force who were part of the investigation.  A complete Keystone Cop affair.  Granted, they were bogged down by a lack of technology but it seems that the commanding officers were driven by prejudice and a rather sexist view of women, and particularly women 'of questionable morals' as they put it.  I found it interesting that only 40 years ago that we could have views which almost blamed the victims, until middle class, non-sex workers were attacked.  Following poor leads and ignoring first hand accounts was a dreadful mistake made by the task force, to a deadly cost.  Such negligence, such incompetence.  My wife and I whilst watching it came to the conclusion that they all seemed, well, unintelligent.  

The complete smugness of the main commanding officers when they knew he had been caught, by complete accident/chance, in South Yorkshire is one which I am still angry about. If it were not for that moment, who knows how many more would have died.  The chief in charge then sold his story to the paper to to tune of £40k and the others slipped quietly into retirement with no disciplinary action whatsoever.  Has there been such a poor display of policing in the recent past?

It also doesn't show the press in a particularly good light, especially after Sutcliffe was apprehended.   A media scrum of the most distasteful kind.  The way that any connection to the crime was horrendously exploited and that vast sums were paid to help sell the tabloids.   

There are many Yorkshire folk on here and many of a vintage which would have remembered.  How was it living through it, first hand, and was the incompetence so apparent during the 'investigations' and without the benefit of hindsight?

Post edited at 13:08
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neilh 13:09 Thu
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Fascianting series. I remember in my youth driving with a mate  from Manchester to go climbing at Ilkley after watching a late night film ( planning to bivy at the  cow and calf, heady days) and being stopped and searched by the police who set up road blocks to try and catch him.

Also whilst at Sheffiled Uni for 1 year there was a palpable fear amongst the women students.

It was a different time.

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JimR 13:17 Thu
In reply to neilh:

I remember it well, I stayed in Moss side for a short period around then and it was scarey with late night buses monitored, students told never to be alone and the hoaxers voice being constantly played .. even on the buses. Its easy to look back on things with the benefit of hindsight and knowledge of modern science but what really screwed the police was the hoaxer claiming to be the ripper. That was the thing that threw everyone off the scent.

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neilh 13:49 Thu
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

The incompetence is very much with hindsight and should not be looked at in today's values and policing.

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ThunderCat 14:18 Thu
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

The 'wearside jack' hoax call was made from the phone box in my village on Sunderland, and I remember the police incident unit being set up across the road from it for weeks after it was identified. My uncle was one of the many local blokes brought in for questioning because his voice sounded similar. He was a real good bloke, never had trouble with the law in his entire life, a proper gentle fella, and I think that experience really shook him up for a long time afterwards

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In reply to neilh:

> The incompetence is very much with hindsight and should not be looked at in today's values and policing.

Really, even though they were staring right in the face, quite literally, with two almost identical photo fits.  He was also interviewed nine times. 

The bit which really got me and which hadn't occurred to me was that the hoax was taken so literally that it was used as a tool of elimination i.e. they discounted anyone without a north east accent, rather than a line of enquiry e.g. let's explore this angle to see if it brings us anything but not discount that the person could speak in another accent.  Surely they could have considered it was a hoax at the time, given other testimonies from survivors?

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neilh 14:55 Thu
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

The whole thing led to a change in police procedures as I understand it to avoid a repeat of the errors made.

You only had to look at the number of paper records to understand that it was just archaic by todays record keeping.Never mind the way women were treated.

No doubt they looked back to the 1940's and wondered how police at that time caught people.........

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