Yorkshire Ripper denies murdering or attacking men

Peter Sutcliffe
Peter Sutcliffe

Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe, who was caught in Sheffield, has denied ever killing or attacking men.

In a letter written behind bars, the 71-year-old serial killer, jailed for murdering 13 women and attempting to kill seven others, admitted doing 'some bad things' during his five-year reign of terror across the North of England but denied ever targeting men.

Sutcliffe, who is now blind, asked a fellow prisoner to pen the two-page letter on his behalf and then signed it.

Writing as Peter Coonan, the name Sutcliffe has adopted in prison, the killer was responding to some questions asked by Christine Talbot from the ITV News programme Calendar as part of an investigation into whether Sutcliffe killed and attacked two men before he launched his violent campaign against women.

Serving 20 life sentences and now in Durham's top security Frankland Prison, Sutcliffe said his letter was written 'with 100% honesty'.

It came after a Calendar’s investigation looked into whether two men - Bingley bookmaker Fred Craven and Leeds taxi driver John Tomey - were Sutcliffe's first victims.

Father-of-five Mr Craven was killed in a hammer attack in his town centre office in 1966.

The crime remains unsolved, but his daughter, Irene Vidler, 74, is convinced Sutcliffe was responsible, claiming he knew the family, used to place bets with her dad and went for tea.

Meanwhile, it is 50 years ago that taxi driver John Tomey suffered life-long brain injuries after he was attacked with a hammer as he drove a passenger across the moors near Bingley.

Now 77, Mr Tomey says his life was ruined by the early morning attack, in which he was struck by a ball pein hammer - the same killing tool Sutcliffe used on most of his murder victims.

Sutcliffe, who has been told he will never be released, was quizzed in jail earlier this year by West Yorkshire Police about a number of other unsolved murders and attacks.

In his letter, he denies knowing Mr Craven 'on a personal level' or where his business was, then states: “I can tell you with 100% honesty I did not murder Mr Craven. And never have I attacked a male.”

He admitted that he was recently quizzed about a number of other attacks and said 'the police are satisfied I was not involved with any said attacks'.

“I was not questioned about Mr Craven or Mr Tomey,” he states.

"Yes I did some bad things, but I just want people to know I did not attack or murder any males.....I'm telling you 100% it was nothing to do with me," he added.

“Firstly, may I just tell you I am now registered blind, so for your information another inmate who is a prison buddy/carer is writing this on my behalf and under my instruction…”

“I can tell you with 100 per cent honesty I did not murder Mr Craven. And never have I attacked a male. I understand she (his daughter) would want closure and yes I did some bad things, but I just want people to know I did not attack or murder any males.

“And with a whole life sentence I’d have nothing to lose and it would not be in my interest to say I didn’t do it if I did, because I’m in jail until my dying day.

“So I’m telling you 100 per cent it was nothing to do with me."