BBC documentary to re-examine the horrific killing spree of the Yorkshire Ripper who was finally caught in Sheffield

Peter Sutcliffe.
Peter Sutcliffe.

The tale of the Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe one of Britain’s most notorious criminals – whose killing spree was finally brought to an end in Sheffield – will be re-examined as part of a BBC documentary series.

Sutcliffe, who brutally murdered 13 women, was finally snared in Melbourne Avenue, Broomhill on January 2, 1981.

He was found in a car in the tree-lined and gloomy road with 24-year-old prostitute Olivia Reivers.

At the time, the area was deep in the city's red light district - and a known haunt for prostitutes and their clients.

The pair were parked in the drive way of Light Trades House when two Sheffield officers, Sgt Bob Ring and the inexperienced probationer PC Robert Hydes decided to investigate.

A police check revealed his car had false number plates and Sutcliffe was arrested and taken to Hammerton Road police station before being transferred to Dewsbury Police Station.

At Dewsbury he was questioned in relation to the Yorkshire Ripper case as he matched many of the known physical characteristics.

Sgt Bob Ring and PC Robert Hydes were commended for bringing the Yorkshire Ripper to justice.

In the history series for BBC Four, filmmaker Liza Williams will re-investigate this infamous case from a wholly new perspective, asking whether prevailing attitudes of the time, towards women and prostitutes in particular, influenced the investigation and meant that Peter Sutcliffe was caught years too late. 

The series will feature interviews with relatives and friends of Sucliffe’s victims as well as police officers and journalists who worked on the case.

It will bring into focus the complex realities and social forces at play in the North of England in the 1970s that meant Britain’s most notorious serial killer evaded capture for too long, leaving 23 children motherless.

Ms Williams, series director, said: "We are keen to make contact with any family members or friends of victims in this case. Their memories will help us to reflect who these women really were, and the life long impact their loss has had on loved ones." 

To contact the team, email Yorkshire@walltowall.co.uk or call 020 3301 8684.