Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe cremated in secret service

28 November 2020, 09:14 | Updated: 28 November 2020, 09:16

Peter Sutcliffe, also known as the Yorkshire Ripper, has been cremated in a secret service
Peter Sutcliffe, also known as the Yorkshire Ripper, has been cremated in a secret service. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

Peter Sutcliffe, better known as the Yorkshire Ripper, has been cremated in a private ceremony.

His brother Mick Sutcliffe told the Daily Mirror the serial killer was cremated following a funeral at an unknown location early on Friday.

Mick, 70, said he was told the funeral would take place this week, with family members able to attend online via Zoom.

But he claims his family were dealt a "cruel" blow after they were not told the cremation was taking place, and only found out it had happened after the event.

It is thought the service was organised by Sutcliffe's ex-wife, who kept in contact with him throughout the years.

Mick said: “Peter would be turning in his grave to know that I had not been invited to the funeral.”

Read more: Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe dies aged 74 after refusing treatment for coronavirus

He addedL "Peter has caused so much pain. He also put our family through hell. So we needed to be at that funeral to get that closure. We wanted to say goodbye."

In a eulogy he had prepared for the service, shared with the newspaper, Mr Sutcliffe wrote: "Peter, all of your family love you as Peter Sutcliffe, although you ruined all our lives when you became the Yorkshire Ripper."

Last week an inquest heard Sutcliffe died aged 74 from a combination of Covid-19, diabetes and heart disease.

Sutcliffe had a number of underlying health conditions which left him almost blind and needing to use a wheelchair.

He was serving a whole-life tariff for the murder of at least 13 women between 1975 and 1980 in the North East of England.

His horrific crimes made him one of the most notorious prisoners in the country, and it was confirmed by the prison service he died in the early hours of 13 November.

Sutcliffe had been in and out of hospital in recent months, firstly for a suspected heart attack and was returned two weeks ago after testing positive for Covid-19.

But it is understood Sutcliffe, who also had diabetes and was obese, refused treatment for the virus.

Detective Inspector Claire Lambert, from Durham Constabulary, told the inquest that police were told of Sutcliffe's admission to hospital on November 10.

She said he had been ill for weeks before being transferred to hospital.

Sutcliffe's killing spree across Yorkshire and Manchester from 1975 to 1980 terrified northern England and led to a huge manhunt and a botched police inquiry.

He eventually confessed in 1981 after he was caught in Sheffield.

Read more: Brits urged to remember victims after Covid claims life of Yorkshire Ripper

Sutcliffe was sentenced to 20 life terms for the murders of 13 women and the attempted murder of seven more.

West Yorkshire Chief Constable John Robins previously issued a "heartfelt" apology to the families of Sutcliffe's victims, saying the language used by senior officers at the time caused families "additional distress and anxiety".

This followed a plea from Richard McCann, whose mother Wilma was murdered by Sutcliffe in 1975.

Mr McCann said that when 16-year-old Jayne MacDonald was killed in 1977, officers referred to her as the first "innocent" victim

Sutcliffe's known victims

Wilma McCann, 28, October 1975
Emily Jackson, 42, January 1976
Irene Richardson, 28, February 1977
Patricia Atkinson, 32, April 1977
Jayne McDonald, 16, June 1977
Jean Jordan, 21, October 1977
Yvonne Pearson, 22, January 1978
Helen Rytka, 18, January 1978
Vera Millward, 41, May 1978
Josephine Whittaker, 19, May 1979
Barbara Leach, 20, September 1979
Marguerite Walls, 47, August 1980
Jacqueline Hill, 20, November 1980

He attacked a further seven.