Yorkshire Ripper dead: Son of Peter Sutcliffe’s first victim ‘offers condolences’

Richard McCann and his mother Wilma McCann, the Yorkshire Ripper’s first known victim (Picture: SWNS)

The son of Peter Sutcliffe’s first recognised victim said he called the serial killer’s younger brother to offer his condolences.

Sutcliffe, known as the Yorkshire Ripper, died in prison this morning, aged 74.

It emerged last week Sutcliffe had tested positive for the disease after returning to HMP Frankland, County Durham, following a five-night stay in hospital for suspected heart problems.

Richard McCann, who was only five years old when his mother Wilma was murdered by Sutcliffe in 1975, said he reached out to the killer’s younger brother Carl following the news.

Mr McCann told the BBC: ‘I gave him a call when I got the news to offer my condolences.

‘Carl Sutcliffe reached out to me many years ago when he read about my journey — he reached out to me with compassion and I felt the same.

‘I know he obviously did some horrendous things but he was still his brother so I felt like I wanted to call him.’

Mr McCann said news of Sutcliffe’s death had brought him ‘some degree of closure’, but he had never wished him dead, nor was he celebrating the news.

Rex Features Ltd. do not claim any Copyright or License of this image. Mandatory Credit: Photo by REX (1207756b) Peter Sutcliffe Peter Sutcliffe - Yorkshire Ripper, Britain Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe, now 64, who is serving life for the murders of 13 women in West Yorkshire between 1975 and 1981 and attempting to murder seven others. The High Court will decide this morning whether he can be considered for parole and will ever be released. He received 20 life sentences and is detained at Broadmoor High Security Psychatric Hospital in Berkshire but was never formally given a tariff or a minimum term.

Peter Sutcliffe died this morning aged 74 (Picture: REX)
Richard McCann, the son of the Yorkshire Ripper’s first victim Wilma McCann (Picture: Yorkshire Post / SWNS)
Richard McCann rang up Carl Sutcliffe, Peter Sutcliffe’s brother, to offer his condolences (Picture: Rex)
The Yorkshire Ripper’s victims (Picture: Police issue)
Children of Yorkshire Ripper murder victim, Wilma McCann, from left to right: Richard, 5, Sonje, 7, Angela, 3, and Donna, 4 (Picture: Hickes)
A Ball Pein hammer, a Stanley knife and a Phillips screwdriver thought to have been used by Peter Sutcliffe on his victims (Picture: Rex / Shutterstock)

He said: ‘Every time we hear a news story about him, and my mum’s photo is often shown, it’s just another reminder of what he did.’

He said ‘one positive’ to come from Sutcliffe’s death is that ‘we’ll hear much less about him, and no more reminders about what happened all those years ago’.

Wilma McCann was 28 and a mother of four when she was killed on playing fields in Chapeltown, Leeds, just yards from her home.

Her son said he was left terrified after his mother’s death, and when Sutcliffe killed Jayne MacDonald, who also lived in his street.

Mr McCann said: ‘I was convinced as a child, having had no therapy of any description, that he was out there and that he was going to kill me.’

He added: ‘It really affected me. I was ashamed of being associated with Sutcliffe and all his crimes and, possibly, to do with the way that lots of people in society looked down, and the police and some of the media – describing some of the women as innocent and some not so innocent.

‘I’m sorry to harp on about this but I’ve had to live with that shame for all these years.

‘There’s only one person that should have felt any shame – although I doubt that he did – and that was Peter Sutcliffe.’

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