Manhunt: As the Ripper’s murders cause terror in the north of England and the unknown killer becomes a kind of cult figure, with Yorkshire Ripper chants at football matches and Thin Lizzy’s Killer On The Loose topping the charts, Manhunt explores how the police investigation became a wild goose chase.
Letters and a tape claiming to come from the murderer himself lead the police to believe the killer is from the North East. Women who survived attacks by the Ripper claim police ignored their witness statements and promising lines of inquiry were derailed – all because they did not fit with senior officers’ theory about the killer’s motivation.
Ending with the arrest of Peter Sutcliffe, this episode reveals how his name was already in multiple police files: he had been interviewed nine times during the course of the investigation. Had the police arrested him the first time he was questioned in November 1977, seven women’s lives might have been saved.
Airdate: 27 March 2019 at 9.00pm on BBC Four
Season 1 Episode 2 (of 3)