They're stoking up the fires of hell for Peter Sutfcliffe

in reality, all of this has been a total load of old bollocks
Sam Stone
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They're stoking up the fires of hell for Peter Sutfcliffe

Postby Sam Stone » 13 Nov 2020, 08:56

Conclusive proof that not every death diminishes us all (to paraphrase John Donne)

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/202 ... es-aged-74

Very good 3-part doc on this case on the BBC a year or so back that forensically detailed the incompetence of the West Yorkshire police.

Anyone still interested in reading about the case would do a lot worse than checking out Gordon Burn's chilling Somebody's Husband, Somebody's Son.
Last edited by Sam Stone on 13 Nov 2020, 13:19, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: They're stoking up the fires of hell for Peter Sutfcliffe

Postby Minnie the Minx » 13 Nov 2020, 12:11

Sam Stone wrote:
Very good 3-part doc on this case on the BBC a year or so back that forensically detailed the incompetence of the South Yorkshire police.



West Yorkshire Police.
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Re: They're stoking up the fires of hell for Peter Sutfcliffe

Postby Sam Stone » 13 Nov 2020, 13:18

Thanks for the clarification

Have corrected first post accordingly.

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Re: They're stoking up the fires of hell for Peter Sutfcliffe

Postby Geezee » 13 Nov 2020, 14:24

The aunt of an ex of mine was one of the psychologists/profilers who helped catch him - after a glass of wine she was always more than happy to regale us all with tales and re-enactments of her role in the drama. It was never quite clear to me how much of it was actually true, and some of it really bordered much more on being a psychic than a profiler, but she made a career out of it.
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Re: They're stoking up the fires of hell for Peter Sutfcliffe

Postby soundchaser » 13 Nov 2020, 15:23

Yes, good riddance to him, but what monumentally incompetent policing. Many lives could have been spared.

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Re: They're stoking up the fires of hell for Peter Sutfcliffe

Postby Darkness_Fish » 13 Nov 2020, 21:16

A strangely moving moment on twitter here for me. This tweet was attempting to draw more attention to the victims than Sutcliffe himself, and there's some angry gesturing at people promoting their articles on him, could've been a usual twitter car-crash. But then the son of Irene Richardson joins to post a better picture of his mum, and I don't know, it's a beautiful unexpected spark of humanity. Just hit me quite hard, I have to say.

https://twitter.com/graceyswer/status/1 ... 7718755328
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Re: They're stoking up the fires of hell for Peter Sutfcliffe

Postby Minnie the Minx » 14 Nov 2020, 19:45

I was initially irritated enough by both the schlock horror clickbait of this thread in which the OP couldn't even even correctly identify a chief player to pass it by completely, but was involved enough in the era to want to tell a different story.

The murders hung over the north like a smog, and to say that the lives of women during that time were transformed is an understatement. My mother was working in various pubs in Bradford in the late 1970s, and as a latchkey kid my chief fear waiting for her to come home was that she had been killed by Sutcliffe. I'd knock up the newsagents late at night and ask if they could call the police because I assumed she was dead in a park. She and I would both leave the house with our different knives in our handbags - she had the carving knife and me the chopping knife. She didn't give me any instruction on how to use it, only that we had to take it everywhere we went. I went to friend's houses armed with cutlery and used to have a grip on the handle if I went to the art museum in the park, which was my local hangout as a youngster when Mum was working. I would meet up with friends - and I'm talking 9 year olds- who were also armed with razor blades, and I can remember that we used to talk about what we would do if we were approached. Since Sutcliffe's death, I've been listening to women from the north on the radio saying that they used to do exactly the same thing. One of the women was saying that during that time, men used to intentionally cross the road if they were approaching women in the street so as not to scare them, but that's not something I remember. In fact, I recall all of my Mum and stepmum's friends saying that men's behavior didn't change at all. You might remember there was large pressure advising women to stay in- although a man was doing the murdering. I remember hearing one of my stepmum's friends going mental about this and shrieking that men should be under curfew instead. At the time, that seemed very radical, but of course is completely true!

Every woman talked about it, all the time, for years, and everyone was terrified. Also, everyone was under suspicion. At one point, my stepmum thought it was my Dad because of all the tools he had in the cellar and his bad temper. He was a builder at the time, and she eventually agreed that being grumpy while owning tools wasn't enough to dob him in. Several of his friends, though, did come under suspicion and were interviewed including poor Ralph who had a Wearside accent. They let him go, but everyone was weird around him for a long time.

At the time, I didn't understand or fully take on the horrific way the press and police separated "innocent" victims from "non innocent" victims and years after the event when all of those articles and documentaries were available at a time when I could process it, it was sickening. West Yorkshire Police formally apologised just this week I believe. I remember my stepmum's friends going on Reclaim the Night marches in Leeds and they were televised and at the time I actually thought that this would "cure" or "stop" the murders - the bizarre hopes of frightened children.

My parents knew Barbara Leach, and the pub where she was murdered outside was a popular Bradford student bar by the University. Years afterwards, I would live on the street next to the pub with (female) friends and that the murder site was visited at least twice a year by blokes wanking there, visible from our window. This was about 1987, at a time when we were all walking around after dark in that area.

When Sutcliffe was finally caught, and I was by then living with my Dad and stepmum, we woke up to news that he lived ten minutes walk away -just up the road. He would have used the same corner shop as us, got chips from the same place, driven past our street on the way to and from killing, or nearly killing, a woman. We would walk past his house all the time on the way to the woods, and he was at least smart enough not to shit on his own doorstep, though Barbara was killed only a short drive away.

It's hard to describe the terror that all women felt, all the time. I was a kid turning into an adolescent, and thought I'd have to carry a fucking blade with me forever.

The ripples are still panning out from all of those murders - anguished families and people who survived the attacks who live with that every day. A thought I have a lot is how I wish the media could use other pictures of the victims other than the inevitable black and white mug shot style ones that stare out whenever this subject comes around. They somehow freeze these women into some kind of ghastly memory of what everyone saw in the papers "the next day." At home they had friends and family and cats and dogs and they had cups of tea and hopes for the future like every fucker else. I'd like to see pictures of them on sun loungers and building sandcastles and all that other, normal happy stuff.

They were just women, outside. RIP. May everyone involved get closure if they can.
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Re: They're stoking up the fires of hell for Peter Sutfcliffe

Postby jimboo » 14 Nov 2020, 21:57

Ah ,Min. Between you and a victims son (apologies, for forgetting his name) the human side and pain and fear are given chapter and verse.
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Re: They're stoking up the fires of hell for Peter Sutfcliffe

Postby Charlie O. » 14 Nov 2020, 22:29

A vivid piece of writing there, Min. It's nerve-wracking enough living with something like that for a few weeks (we had a sniper on the loose 'round here back in 2002) - I can barely imagine having to deal with it for five years!
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Re: They're stoking up the fires of hell for Peter Sutfcliffe

Postby Belle Lettre » 14 Nov 2020, 23:25

That was a great post, Minnie. Even hermetically sealed in a Cumbrian boarding school as I was at the time, we were still warned not to wander the grounds alone. I remember going to a careers fair in Leeds and the police stall had the hoax tape playing. There was a pall over the entire North, as you say.
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Re: They're stoking up the fires of hell for Peter Sutfcliffe

Postby Geezee » 16 Nov 2020, 16:17

Great post.
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Re: They're stoking up the fires of hell for Peter Sutfcliffe

Postby Fonz » 16 Nov 2020, 17:33

Yes. A good post. A lot chimes with my memories of that time.
One of the murders happened about .5 miles from where we lived, and where my parents now live. Every time I walk from theirs into Halifax I pass the spot, and always have a thought for the victim.

The descriptions of the crimes in the press and in books never seem to take into account the feelings of the families etc who are left behind. I always have a thought for her family. I don’t know if they are still local, but that is a brutal thing to consider.
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