Son of Yorkshire Ripper victim Richard McCann reacts to 'beautiful moment' he learned mum's killer was dead

The son of the Yorkshire Ripper's first victim said he won't be celebrating that his mother's killer has died.

Friday, 13th November 2020, 10:59 am
Updated Friday, 13th November 2020, 11:02 am

Richard McCann told the Yorkshire Evening Post that while he appreciated some others and families may celebrate the demise of Peter Sutcliffe, who has died in hospital after refusing treatment for COVID-19, he wouldn't be one of them.

He said he found out from his 13-year-old son in what was a "beautiful" moment.

Mr McCann, was five-years-old when his mother Wilma was murdered at the age of 28 on playing fields just yards from her home in Chapeltown. He said: "I have been phoned by the media or seeing it on television and realised something was happening but, for the very first time, a family member brought some news.

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Richard McCann.

"It was my little boy, it was beautiful. He said 'dad, he has died'. I thought 'he won't have' then about a minute later I got a phone call."

His children are aware of what happened to their grandmother and were told from an early age due to media coverage of Sutcliffe - which Mr McCann now hopes will reduce.

He said: "I feel numb, numb, numb. It is strange to be honest. It is not my family member, I don't feel that I have lost a family member but it is an almost unique situation. The person that killed your mum has just died - how do you prepare for that, how are you meant to feel? It is just surreal.

"The only thing to celebrate for me is the reduction of media stories about him. I could write a book about the stories and articles about him. In some people's eyes he is some kind of cult hero and there are a number of murderers who have been inspired by Peter Sutcliffe.

"It is a time for reflection, closure to some degree. I don't need a reminder of what has taken place. I understand some people will celebrate but I won't be one of those people. It does not bring my mum back, it does not change anything at all. It is a thing I knew would come and surprisingly, I don't care about it. I am calm, I am okay."

Sutcliffe had reportedly refused treatment at University Hospital of North Durham after being transferred there from maximum security HMP Frankland, where he was an inmate.

Sutcliffe, 74, had tested positive for Covid-19 and was suffering from underlying health conditions, including heart trouble, diabetes and obesity.

He was serving a whole life term for murdering 13 women across Yorkshire and the North West between 1975 and 1980. Wilma McCann was the first victim and the 45th anniversary of her death was last month.

He was convicted in 1981 and, after a long spell in Broadmoor Hospital in Berkshire, he was transferred to HMP Frankland in 2016 after being deemed stable enough to serve time in prison.