13 differences between Jack the Ripper and the Yorkshire Ripper

Police leading murderer Peter Sutcliffe, known as the Yorkshire Ripper, into Dewsbury Court under a blanket. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
Police leading murderer Peter Sutcliffe, known as the Yorkshire Ripper, into Dewsbury Court under a blanket. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images) /
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Newsmen gather outside the Central Criminal Court (the Old Bailey) in London, for the opening of the the murder trial of Peter Sutcliffe, aka ‘The Yorkshire Ripper’, 29th April 1981. Two weeks later, Sutcliffe was found guilty of thirteen counts of murder, and sentenced to life imprisonment. (Photo by Simon Dack/Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Newsmen gather outside the Central Criminal Court (the Old Bailey) in London, for the opening of the the murder trial of Peter Sutcliffe, aka ‘The Yorkshire Ripper’, 29th April 1981. Two weeks later, Sutcliffe was found guilty of thirteen counts of murder, and sentenced to life imprisonment. (Photo by Simon Dack/Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images) /

5. Police spent millions on the Yorkshire Ripper’s case

If there is an estimate for how much money was spent on Jack the Ripper’s case, there’s no way it even comes close to millions spent on the Yorkshire Ripper’s case.

4. Media frenzy

Jack was the first serial killer to create a media frenzy not only in his country but also all over the world.

The Yorkshire Ripper also made international headlines, but he did so via other mediums besides newspapers, like TV and radio. Reporters from all over the world with cameras, both still and video, crowded the streets to cover his arrest, trial and sentencing.

3. The Yorkshire Ripper inspired marches and protests

Well, maybe it’s not fair to say Peter Sutcliffe inspired marches as much as how the police ended up handling things.

After student Barabara Leach’s murder in 1979, public attitudes, especially that of women, changed. They were fed up. Barbara was not a prostitute. Nor was Josephine Whitaker before her. Josephine had been a middle-class clerk who worked at the Halifax Building Society. Her body had been found in a park in a quiet middle-class neighborhood. The Ripper had clearly moved out of red-light districts.

The best police could say was that women should not be out alone at night, especially walking anywhere. Which is fair advice, but it wasn’t fair that women had to live in fear. Women were just feeling liberated and independent thanks to the women’s rights movement. Now they were expected to feel helpless on their own or without a man around to protect them?

That didn’t sit well and sparked outrage that led to marches and protests.