Yorkshire Ripper Admits to Hammer Attack on Silsden Schoolgirl
YORKSHIRE Ripper Peter Sutcliffe has admitted to a savage hammer attack on a Silsden schoolgirl.
Serial killer Sutcliffe, 71, has confessed on tape to trying to kill South Craven pupil Tracy Browne, 14, as she walked along a country lane.
Mass murderer Sutcliffe left Tracy for dead after mistaking the teenager for a prostitute - he intended to kill.But a voice in Sutcliffe’s head told him: “Stop, stop, it’s a mistake.”
Two months after the attack on Tracy, Sutcliffe murdered his first known victim.
The chilling recording is the first time the serial killer’s confession has been heard in public.
Police are re-investigating the August 1975 crime in Silsden, where Sutcliffe drove hoping to find a prostitute after he and a pal once gave a lift to “two tarts” from the town.
Tracy now lives in Cottingley on the next street to Sutcliffe’s brother Mick.
His attack on Tracy is one of 17 crimes cold case detectives have quizzed him on — and one, he says on the tape, about which they are correct.
The Sun on Sunday gained access to the tape interviews and reports how lifer Sutcliffe, who has a strong Yorkshire accent, says: “I saw this Tracy Browne.
“She didn’t look 15 — she looked about 19 or 20. She were all dressed up. She were walking slowly up this lane.
“I thought, ‘Oh, she’s probably one of these prostitutes, because I had it in my mind that Silsden must be full of prostitutes.
“Anyway, I hit her with a branch or something, didn’t really injure her, and threw her over a wall.
“And I climbed over the wall and I was thinking of bumping her off and this voice said, ‘Stop, stop. It’s a mistake’.”
Tracy suffered a fractured skull in the attack. Surgeons removed a sliver of bone from her brain in a life-saving operation.
Forensic tests showed Sutcliffe probably used a claw hammer, the weapon he used for later murders, and not wood to attack Tracy.
But Sutcliffe, convicted in 1981 of murdering 13 women and trying to kill another seven, accuses her on tape of exaggerating her injuries.
In a croaky, halting voice he says she “can’t have been seriously injured” as she managed to climb back over the wall to get help.
He also claims twin Tracy did not tell cops he apologised before driving off. He says: “I said, ‘Oh, I’m sorry. You’ll be all right’.”
Sutcliffe explains how he chose to go to Silsden after he and a pal stopped on an earlier occasion for two prostitutes hitching there.
Sutcliffe, who wed in 1974, said: “We got home to Silsden where they lived and they said, ‘Oh let’s go up on the Moors for an hour or so.’ I knew what they wanted.
“I said, ‘No, get lost. I brought you here, you should be glad you got a lift . . . I’m a married man.”
“I realised they were prostitutes . . . and had gone to Bradford to ply their trade. That’s the reason I went to Silsden . . . to see if I could bump any of them off because I was on a mission.”
Two months on, Sutcliffe killed first victim Wilma McCann, 28.
He bludgeoned the occasional street worker with a hammer in Leeds.
His other murders took place in Yorkshire and Greater Manchester.
He was arrested with a prostitute in his car in Sheffield in January, 1981.
At trial he claimed “voices from God” told him to target street walkers.
He spent much of his sentence in Broadmoor Hospital after being declared paranoid schizophrenic.
Sutcliffe, moved last year to Frankland Prison in Co. Durham, is thought to have admitted to police he assaulted Tracy.
Cops have told him he will not be probed for any more murders and are thought to be focusing on survivors who have given DNA.
Tracy, 56, who works as a receptionist at a car firm, said: “I can’t believe what he’s said. He’s being so arrogant. He’s just making it sound so frivolous. What happened is a different story to how he’s describing it.
“My injuries weren’t caused by a blow with a stick. I was hit with a hammer five times, for God’s sake. I’ve got the dents in my skull to prove it.
“I just remember him throwing me over a fence while this car came down the road.”
After Sutcliffe was disturbed by the vehicle, injured Tracy stumbled across fields and got help from a man in a caravan.
The bloodied schoolgirl was taken home and then rushed to hospital for life-saving surgery
- News Editor
- Keighley Local News