Bradford author on 'the real story' of Peter Sutcliffe trial
A BRADFORD author has claimed to have revealed “the real story” of Peter Sutcliffe’s trial in a new book published last week.
Richard Cobb has argued that his new release is the most comprehensive study of the serial killer’s 1981 trial ever written.
It features never-before-seen photos, including one of Sutcliffe in the dock – which Cobb said was stealthily taken by a German journalist, who then fled home to evade any repercussions – as well as “rare” transcripts and witness statements.
“The real story of the trial has never been revealed, until now,” said Cobb, 45.
“What surprises me is that no book or article has gone into any real depth on the trial.
“Most were concerned with the murders themselves, and only had two or three pages about the trial.
“I found loads of information, which doesn’t appear anywhere else, such as court transcripts from people who knew Sutcliffe best – like his friends and neighbours.”
Cobb, who is originally from Belfast and moved to Bradford in 2000, hopes that the book can help give a voice to the victims and ensure they remain in people’s thoughts.
“A lot of documentaries and books on Sutcliffe are too focussed on him, and not the victims,” he said.
“There’s a danger that some of the women might be forgotten, but I think the research myself and others do will hopefully give them a voice.
“Sutcliffe’s crimes were horrendous, but it’s essential that we know the full facts.”
Also included in the book are doctor’s reports and testimonies from arresting officers.
“They give a real insight into how close he came to getting away with murder,” Cobb explained.
“Most people don’t know that it had been agreed he’d go to a mental asylum, and would have been found not guilty on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
“Sutcliffe could have been out on the streets within ten years, but thankfully, the judge was wary, and he was never released.”
Cobb ran pubs after moving to Bradford and now works in tourism, splitting his time between London and Queensbury.
He has always been interested in crime scene investigations and used the Telegraph & Argus archives – as well as other sources – in his research for both this book and his a 2019 publication.
“I think the book is fascinating, and it’s very different from the rest,” he said.
It is available in bookstores and online.