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When Detective Constable Andy Laptew looked Peter Sutcliffe in the eye, he was sure he had met the Yorkshire Ripper

It was July 1979 when Laptew spoke to Sutcliffe at his Heaton, West York City home, and 10 women had already been brutally murdered – but three more would be killed after DC Laptew’s suspicions were ignored

A catalog of errors on the part of the West Yorkshire Police ultimately meant that Sutcliffe, who died last month, could escape justice for years, even after being approached nine times by police officers

And it was just an incredible amount of luck that eventually led to his arrest in January 1981

At this point, Sutcliffe had killed 13 women and injured at least nine others The authorities interviewed 40000 men to expose the notorious serial killer

In his hideous stroll, he targeted women alone at night, often hitting them from behind with a hammer and stabbing them with a screwdriver

In a new Netflix documentary, The Ripper, Laptew recalls the sickening moment when he was told that Sutcliffe was finally the man they had been chasing all along – two years after reporting his suspicions to superiors had

“When I heard it was Peter William Sutcliffe, it was like someone punching me in the chest from the inside,” Laptew says in the documentary

The four-part series explores how Sutcliffe managed to make fun of justice for so long – even his work colleagues called him “the Ripper” before he was arrested

When Laptew heard that a man named Peter Sutcliffe had been arrested for the Yorkshire Ripper murders, he recognized the name immediately

He was included in the Ripper investigation in 1976, a year after it began when Wilma McCann was found stabbed to death near her home in Leeds

“I got into my car, went to the police station, into my locker and dug out my old notebooks,” says Laptew in the documentation

On 29 In July 1979, Laptew had traveled home to Sutcliffe in response to inquiries about the ongoing Yorkshire Ripper case

“I knocked on the door. He let us in – he just came from upstairs,” says Laptev

According to Laptew, Sutcliffe replied, “No, not at all, I don’t need it – I’ve only recently been married”

At the time, police believed the ripper was motivated by a hatred of sex workers – an investigation assumption that led to the catastrophic release of evidence from attacks on women and girls who were not involved in sex work

Despite Sutcliffe’s seemingly innocent responses, Laptew’s suspicions were aroused by certain clues he noticed during the interview

“His shoe size was eight and a half, which was very similar to the perpetrator’s shoe size,” says Laptew

“And I noticed that one of the boots on the right sole was quite worn, which was a point that could be seen on the marks that were left, the footprints”

Worst of all was the resemblance between Sutcliffe and a police-made photo fit after 25-year-old Marilyn Moore was assaulted in 1977 by a man believed to be the ripper

Laptew left Sutcliffe’s house and told him that he might need to speak to him again – he was confident something was wrong

But in the documentary he recalls the catastrophic mistakes bosses made when delivering his report on Sutcliffe

“I typed up the report and took it to the boss’s office and explained all the things that bothered me,” says Laptew

“I said, ‘The most amazing thing is the Marilyn Moore photo fit,’ I said, he’s a dead alarm clock for that “”

At the time, police were focused on finding a man with a Geordie or Wearside accent, and they immediately asked Laptew if Sutcliffe spoke that way

“I said no,” He’s from Bradford, he’s from this area, but I mean it’s an eerie resemblance “and he hit the roof

“He started effing and jeffing and went,” Anyone who mentions effing, mentions photo-fits to me again, will be traffic for the rest of their ministry “

The obsession with the northeast accent came after a mocking audio tape allegedly made by the Ripper was broadcast in 1979 to Deputy Police Chief Jack Oldfield, who was leading the investigation at the time

On the tape, the man spoke with an accent identified as being from the Castletown area of ​​Sunderland, and detectives shifted their investigation to focus on suspects in the area

But devaluing someone without a northeast accent was a catastrophic mistake – because the tape was a complete joke

It was made by John Humble, who had also sent Jack the Ripper-style letters to Oldfield pretending to be from the Yorkshire killer, and he was eventually named “Wearside.” in 2006 on DNA evidence for the joke Jack “condemned

Humble died last year after being sentenced to eight years in prison for falsifying legal proceedings

During the Yorkshire Ripper investigation, the focus on Northeastern accented suspects was not dropped until Oldfield was replaced as lead investigator

But after Laptew’s two-page report was immediately dismissed, Sutcliffe was free to continue killing

The police’s interest in Sutcliffe without arrest even led to a darker nickname for his colleagues

“It used to be a joke – it was called The Ripper and he sometimes responded to it,” says Sutcliffe boss William Clark in the documentary

Sutcliffe was finally caught in January 1981 when stopped for driving with incorrect license plates

He was in the car with sex worker Olivia Reivers – his intended fourteenth victim

Cops later discovered that he had thrown away a knife, hammer, and rope at the site of his arrest

Sutcliffe was found guilty of 13 homicide cases and other charges and sentenced to 20 simultaneous life sentences

In 2010, his sentence was increased by the High Court to a life-long term – meaning he would never be released from prison

Sutcliffe died on Friday the 13th November of this year, at the age of 74 at North Durham University Hospital at Covid-19

The new director’s co-director, Jesse Vile, previously said the impetus to revisit the Yorkshire Ripper investigation had nothing to do with Sutcliffe’s death

“I started thinking, ‘Are people going to think we did this just because he died, and we rushed to put it together to benefit from his death?'” Jess said / p>

“But we would never do that as filmmakers. We finished all interviews in summer 2019 and finished the doc in May of this year

“It’s this weird thing that everyone goes into, ‘Oh my god he’s dying and Netflix is ​​right there with a documentary series – they knew it all along!’ But there was no way we could have known – he could have lived another 20 years “

Andy Leptew also died of pancreatic cancer in August last year at the age of 68 after contributing to the documentary

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Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe

World News – UK – The Ripper on Netflix: Copper recalls his horror at letting Peter Sutcliffe go