James O'Brien's moving tribute to the victims of the Yorkshire Ripper

13 November 2020, 14:48 | Updated: 13 November 2020, 14:51

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

With the news Britain's most notorious killer of the 20th century has died in hospital aged 74 - James O'Brien honours the killer's victims.

With the news one the Yorkshire Ripper, once the most feared man in the country died on Friday,

James paid tribute to his victims, the 13 women who remained the most important part of the story, but for many remained nameless.

The Yorkshire Ripper five-year reign of terror claimed the lives of 13 women.

They were:

- Wilma McCann, 28, from Chapeltown, Leeds, who was killed in October 1975.

- Emily Jackson, 42, a prostitute and mother-of-three from Morley, Leeds. Killed on January 20, 1976.

- Irene Richardson, 28, a mother-of-two from Chapeltown, Leeds. Killed on February 6, 1977.

- Patricia Atkinson, 32, a mother-of-three from Manningham, Bradford. Killed on April 24, 1977.

- Jayne MacDonald, 16, a shop assistant from Leeds. Killed on June 26, 1977.

- Jean Jordan, 21, from Manchester, who died between September 30 and October 11, 1977.

- Yvonne Pearson, 22, from Bradford. Murdered between January 20 and March 26, 1978.

- Helen Rytka, 18, from Huddersfield. Murdered on January 31, 1978.

- Vera Millward, 40, a mother-of-seven from Manchester, who was killed on May 16, 1978.

- Josephine Whitaker, 19, a building society worker from Halifax. Killed on April 4, 1979.

- Barbara Leach, 20, a student who was murdered while walking in Bradford on September 1, 1979.

- Marguerite Walls, 47, a civil servant from Leeds who was murdered on August 20, 1980

- Jacqueline Hill, 20, a student, who was found at Headingley on November 16, 1980.

Top row (left to right) Wilma McCann, Emily Jackson, Irene Richardson, Patricia Atkinson, Jayne McDonald and Jean Jordan. Bottom row: Yvonne Pearson, Helen Rytka, Vera Millward, Josephine Whitaker, Barbara Leach and Jacqueline Hill.
Top row (left to right) Wilma McCann, Emily Jackson, Irene Richardson, Patricia Atkinson, Jayne McDonald and Jean Jordan. Bottom row: Yvonne Pearson, Helen Rytka, Vera Millward, Josephine Whitaker, Barbara Leach and Jacqueline Hill. Picture: PA
Marguerite Walls, the 12th murder victim of Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper, who has died in hospital.
Marguerite Walls, the 12th murder victim of Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper, who has died in hospital. Picture: LBC

After reading out their names, James said one book in particular had made him "completely changed the way I thought about how infamous crimes are both reported and remembered.

The book was The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper.

Written by the British historian Hallie Rubenhold, the book delves into the unreported lives of some of the known victims of Jack the Ripper.

"It's funny how his name resonates throughout history but none of us would be able to name a single one of the women that he reputedly murdered."

Watch the whole moving monologue in the video at the top of the page.