Monday, 3 April 2017

Peter Sutcliffe: Tabloids, Get Your Stories Straight From One Who Knows


Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe quizzed in jail over 17 unsolved cases that ‘bear chilling similarities to his vicious hammer attacks’

Ripper's reign of terror saw him wield hammers, screwdrivers and knives during the 1970s and cops plan to grill him about more potential victims

Updated: 3rd April 2017, 

In a macabre sort of way, it makes a change to see Pete hogging the headlines of The opposed to their daily and indeed hourly tedious stories about Katie Price, the McCanns, Daniella Westbrook, that bloke with all the tattoos and his off-on relationship with a woman of the ilk my mother urged me to stear clear of, along with 'exclusives' about various reality stars possessed of the talent and charisma of an otter's fart.

None of these Ripper stories are true, of course, and every one of them and more ~ including the attack on my own wife ~ are detailed in my book, which will be published two weeks after Pete dies. Besides giving statements to the police and having our names added to the hundreds of witnesses, I was given access to Pete's statements, and the court records.

I socialised with Pete when I was a teenager, and he was very fond and protective of my mother against her philandering, abusive husband. That story has been told in "Old Bastard".

We had no idea, back then, how things would turn out with Pete, and many's the time I have asked myself if we or any of his other friends might have been able to stop the future from happening. Certainly, if he had killed my father, which is what he wanted to do to save my mother from further suffering, he would not have been at liberty to kill all those women.

I've also asked myself, time and time again, if any of us saw any evil in him back then, and time and time again I come to the conclusion that we did not, though it must have been there. When we knew Pete he seemed a rational, normal man. He liked to have a laugh, and he liked to go out for a pint. There was nothing back then to suggest that in seven years time he would turn into a monster.

The irony is, we never found out that the Peter Sutcliffe who killed all those woman, and the Pete Coonan that I knew were one and the same until we saw his picture in the press...on 6 January 1981, my wife's birthday. We did know a few days before this that the man suspected of attacking her had been arrested. Imagine the shock!

My first reaction was one of intense shock, or realising how incredibly lucky Jeanne had been. I was asked how I felt, and responded that, if at all possible, I would personally wrap the noose around his neck. That opinion has not changed. Some years ago, I received a request to visit him in prison. Naturally, I refused.

So, Sun journalists, in future stick to your McCann and Katie Price theories, and leave Peter Sutcliffe to those who know what they are talking about.

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