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Summary

Published for the 30th anniversary of the arrest of Peter Sutcliffe, aka The Yorkshire Ripper.

The Yorkshire Ripper's reign of terror is well known, but many remain unaware of the full truth behind the brutal attacks that shocked the nation many years ago. Countless crucial details of murder, manipulation and miscarriages of justice have been hidden from the public and the true extent of the Ripper's crimes still remains hidden to this day. This book exposes the twist in the tale of the most notorious British serial killer of the last 100 years.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2021 Chris Clark and Tim Tate (P)2021 Bonnier Books UK

What listeners say about Yorkshire Ripper - The Secret Murders

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Shocking and fascinating.

Known as the Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe was convicted in 1981 of killing thirteen women. Though it’s long been understood that West Yorkshire police might’ve caught him earlier if they hadn’t only focused on murdered prostitutes, what is generally not known about are all the other murders that may have also been Ripper victims.

Chris Clark and Tim Tate’s book reveals the horrendous litany of mistakes, errors of judgment and downright stupidity that held back the Ripper inquiry for years. The book details the investigation’s obsession with hoaxer ‘Wearside Jack’, despite being assured by victims that the recording was not the killer’s voice. It tells of the arrests and imprisonment of three men whose lives were destroyed because the police mistakenly identified them as killers. It also shows how the two officers who highlighted evidence that could have brought Peter Sutcliffe to justice, were ignored by their superiors. This thoroughly researched book shines a probing light on one of the worst serial killers Britain has ever known and lists the many additional murders, some of which were acknowledged by Sutcliffe himself as being his victims, that could have been prevented if the police force had taken the time to conduct a proper investigation.

12 people found this helpful

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One of the better seriel killers

This seriel killer was a great one got away with most things and manage to kill a lot of people. I've listened to a lot of seriel killer books and this is in the top 5

6 people found this helpful

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Horrifying

Not sure which
was more shocking, Sutcliffe or the performance of the police departments.

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Fascinating

Wow,one of the best true crime books I've ever had the pleasure of listening to.

4 people found this helpful

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A Must for all serial killer fans

After listen to somebody's mother someones daughter about the victims that was a great book I finally got this book about the killer himself . Great info and the story was told well I listen to all in 2 days and will do again ..he should of been cault years b4 I never forget coming in from school and watching the first news reports about him ..he sent fear all over leeds and Bradford like no other I seen since ..he 100% killed more I'm sure it was him that attacked males before his rain of terror on females

2 people found this helpful

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A case study of confirmation bias

The central thesis of this book is interesting and valuable. There is a very strong case that there were more victims of Peter Sutcliffe than his official indictment suggested; deprived of justice because the police firstly failed to adequately investigate and then displayed too great a haste to move on after a conviction was secured.

Nonetheless, this book falls down because it sets its scopes too wide. Clearly, the detective who helped write it had his methodology for determining likely victims - means, motive, opportunity as well as signature and m.o. etc - which is presented as offering up a near-statistical certainty that Sutcliffe was the man responsible. The problem is that these are broadly subjective categories and the risk of confirmation bias (preferring evidence that strengthens pre-existing theory while ignoring unhelpful evidence to the contrary) intruding should have been more apparent.

To give one example, I snorted out loud when the authors claimed Sutcliffe was likely responsible for a murder in Colchester, Essex, “a mere 50 miles” from where he had family in Duxford, Cambridgeshire. I’m from that part of Cambs and I can assure you that few locals would consider Colchester a local haunt. You see similar authorial flourishes deployed for the London crimes: “a mere 10 miles” takes in an enormous amount of the capital, boroughs homes to literally millions of people. That is without even digging into the evidence of each of these killings, which are starkly different to many of Sutcliffe’s killings - several including strangulations using knotted rope, for example - which are merited for inclusion because Sutcliffe had occasionally deviated from his traditional method of killing. Well, yes, but if you’re widening your focus to that extent then you also have to recognise that the risk of confirmation bias correspondingly grows. We now have cases literally hundreds of miles from Sutcliffe’s main hunting grounds which are not typical of the vast majority of his crimes. The authors should have questioned at this point whether confirmation bias was clouding their judgement, even if the crimes fitted their model. It is instead treated as an article of faith.

There is extremely strong prima facie evidence that Sutcliffe was guilty of other crimes, however, most infamously the attack on Tracy Browne in Silsden. The book would have been better served and a more credible piece of journalism had it stuck to these cases rather than straying into the fanciful.

Also, as an aside, the narrative is exhaustingly linear to an extent that it would have encouraged me to stop reading if I did not have this on audiobook. A bit more inventiveness with the structure rather than falling back on chronology would have made it considerably more engaging.

1 person found this helpful

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Astonishing and Devastating

The reign of terror that Peter Sutcliffe held our communities in is well remembered by my generation, and what this book sets out brilliantly and comprehensively is a timeline of his crimes while in parallel to the murders and attacks he was charged with runs a litany of further attacks and murders never formally attributed to him, but bore the hallmarks of his methods, and those wrongfully accused at the time. I think it’s very easy to cast judgement on 1970s attitudes through 21st century eyes, when attitudes towards women and especially sex workers clearly had a devastating impact on investigative process, but I couldn’t help but still be astonished and saddened, and was absolutely hooked from start to finish of this fascinating audio book. Thank you!

1 person found this helpful

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Compelling but Repetitive

The story presented is compelling and well told. The crimes and apparent lack of desire to deliver a transparent conclusion is argued well. The narrator does well to give distinctive voices to different people without resorting to ridiculous accents.

There are 2 key problems however.

The constant repetition of the lack of intelligence and joined up information storage and sharing becomes really frustrating. We get it!

Some of the crimes possibly attributed to Sutcliffe have very little if any evidence presented to justify them. “He knew people in the area and was possibly nearby around that time” to a murder bearing little resemblance to anything he did in Essex. Murders in London with paper thin links. These only serve to weaken a comprehensive look at crimes in some cases he clearly did commit. These weak links do the book no favours.

If you can overlook these frustrating issues, then it’s a decent listen.

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listened to the very end

I really enjoyed this, a detailed account of the case, with great narration. Definitely recommend for true crime buffs

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Great listen but disturbing given subject matter

Thank goodness police now have DNA, CCTV and a linked national database - listening to the catalogue of errors and missed opportunities to catch this man make for nightmares. Great book well told and uncomfortable reminder that we have such humans living amongst us.

1 person found this helpful