The second episode of a new documentary on BBC Four about the hunt and eventual capture of Peter Sutcliffe, The Yorkshire Ripper is on BBC Four tonight (Wednesday, March 27) . Here's everything you need to know...
When is it on television? BBC Four, 9pm on Wednesday, March 27.
What is it about? The Yorkshire Ripper Files: A Very British Crime Story poses a timely question: did 1970s attitudes to women influence the investigation with tragic consequences, derailing the police investigation and leaving the murderer free to kill again and again?
What happens in Episode two? 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.
False leads: 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.
What happened? 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.
What's in episode three? Justice. Justice charts the arrest, trial and conviction of Peter Sutcliffe, and the legacy for the relatives of his victims and the survivors of his attacks.
You can catch episode one of BBC iPlayer now.