THE shocking murders of five women in Ipswich have sparked memories of the reign of terror of serial killer Peter Sutcliffe.
Known as the Yorkshire Ripper, lorry driver Sutcliffe was sentenced to life in May 1981 on 13 counts of murder and seven counts of attempted murder between 1975 and 1980.
The trial at the Old Bailey in London was my first experience of the historic Court No 1.
Although a junior member of the MEN reporting team covering the case, it was still a baptism of fire.
And sitting just a few feet from the dock, I soon came face to face with Sutcliffe as he turned at a lunch adjournment at glared at the press benches.
Not a face you would ever forget.
Sutcliffe’s victims – including a number of prostitutes – were beaten and mutilated. Judge Mr Justice Boreham described him as “an unusually dangerous man”.
Sutcliffe was later diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and transferred to Broadmoor secure mental hospital, where he remains to this day.
In 2000, Alun Armstrong appeared as Assistant Chief Constable George Oldfield in This Is Personal: The Hunt For The Yorkshire Ripper, an excellent ITV1 drama written by Neil McKay, which put the story into context for millions of viewers.
The Yorkshire Ripper.