The tragic case of the Yorkshire Ripper is one that will echo through the streets of the UK for eternity. After one of the most gruelling manhunts, the sickening serial killer was captured and identified as Peter Sutcliffe.
He drew similar comparisons to that of Jack the Ripper, a similar vindictive murderer who was famous for terrorising Britain just a century prior. It's believed he murdered at least five woman in London's East End back in 1888.
While not as notorious as his Victorian counterpart, Sutcliffe took similar brutal tactics to target females that left a bleak smudge on England in the late 1970s. He was finally caught and charged by authorities in 1981, facing his life behind bars.
Now after nearly 50 years, new letters have surfaced to show that just maybe Sutcliffe had finally shown some remorse for the heinous crimes he committed - but that's for you to read and come to a conclusion yourselves.
Here is everything you need to know about Peter Sutcliffe - aka the Yorkshire Ripper. Including what he did and the 'sympathetic' letter in full.
Who was the Yorkshire Ripper?
Peter Sutcliffe - who changed his name to Pete Coonan while behind bars - was born into a working class Catholic family in Bingley, Yorkshire back in 1946.
According to his father, John Sutcliffe, he was a "loner" who was both "kind" and "timid" as a child. He told docuseries The Ripper that his son was incredibly clingy to his mother, preferring her company to that of other boys.
Sutcliffe left school at the age of 15 and was known to bounce between many different jobs. This ranged from a travelling salesman, working at local factories and truck driving to grave digging.
He went on to marry Sonia Szurma in 1974. The couple bought a home in Heaton, where they lived until Sutcliffe's arrest.
What did the Yorkshire Ripper do?
Sutcliffe murdered 13 women and attempted to kill seven more in Northern England between 1975 to 1980. A killing spree that prompted hysteria country-wide, leading to near-lockdowns and even set curfews for females to best ensure their safety.
The names of his victims are as follows: Wilma McCann, Emily Jackson, Irene Richardson, Patricia Atkinson, Jayne MacDonald, Jean Jordan, Yvonne Pearson, Helen Rytka, Vera Millward, Josephine Whitaker, Barbara Leach, Marguerite Walls and Jacqueline Hill.
Was the Yorkshire Ripper caught and how long was his sentence?
After years of heartache, fright and grief, Peter Sutcliffe was finally captured in 1981 after police found him in a car with false licensed plates. He was accompanied by sex worker Olivia Reivers who survived the encounter.
Within days of his arrest - and a total of nine different interviews conducted by authorities - Sutcliffe confessed that he was indeed the Yorkshire Ripper who they had been hunting.
Bob Bridgestock, a former police officer who worked on Sutcliffe's investigation, told BBC Radio 4 in 2020 that the serial killer "wasn't very intelligent - he was just brutal".
During his 1981 trial, Sutcliffe claimed that it was voices he heard while working as a gravedigger that told him to kill his victims. He specifically blamed a voice coming from the headstone of a dead Polish man named Bronisław Zapolski.
He was found guilty of 13 counts of murder and was handed 20 concurrent life-sentences. He served his time at Frankland Prison in County Durham, as well as Broadmoor high-security psychiatric hospital.
Is the Yorkshire Ripper still alive?
Sutcliffe, who had suffered from a number of underlying health issues including heart problems and type 2 diabetes, died at the age of 74 in November 2020. He had contracted COVID-19 during his time behind bars but refused any treatment.
What did the Yorkshire Ripper's letter say?
Peter Sutcliffe was known to be unrepentant over his heinous actions. But now a letter, written from inside Broadmoor hospital in 1990, could shed a different light on the serial killer's state of mind.
The letter - dated April 4 1990 with the return address given as 'P. Sutcliffe, Crowthorne (Broadmoor) Hospital' - reads: "I am not the type of person who writes to voyeurs or folk who think I wanted to do what I did! Because I didn’t!
“My life was an absolute hell on Earth because of it. A torment beyond belief and it was a darned relief when it was all over, I can assure you of that.
"Well, no more to be said. I can’t even think about it and I don’t. Thank god I now know the truth, and I am not living in a fantasy world, that’s all I can say. Yours sincerely, Peter"