Yorkshire Ripper victims: Who are the survivors of Peter Sutcliffe's attacks? | The Sun

PETER Sutcliffe’s heinous crimes made him one of the most notorious serial killers in the UK.

Between 1975 and 1980, Sutcliffe, dubbed the Yorkshire Ripper, murdered 13 women and attacked many more in in a horrifying crime spree.

WARNING: The below contains graphic content which some readers may find upsetting.

Who survived the Yorkshire Ripper?

In May, 1981, Sutcliffe was convicted of murdering 13 women and attempting to murder seven others.

His killing spree lasted from 1975 until 1980 and left many unable to leave their homes for fear of being his next victim.

Sutcliffe was serving 20 concurrent sentences of life imprisonment, which was increased to a whole-life order in 2010.

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The serial killer refused to confess to every attack and died in prison aged 74 on November 13, 2020.

Here we take a look at those who survived the Yorkshire Ripper.

Anna Rogulskyj

After returning home in July 1975 from a night out in Bradford, Anna Rogulskyj, a 34-year-old who had moved to Yorkshire a few years earlier, went to see her boyfriend in the early hours.

Unbeknown to Anna, Peter Sutcliffe was roaming the nearby streets.

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He attacked her from behind, hitting her over the head three times with a hammer before slashing at her abdomen with a knife.

Anna survived thanks to 12 hours of surgery in which a metal plate was fitted to her skull.

She passed away peacefully in 2008, aged 75.

Olive Smelt

Olive Smelt was a 46-year-old cleaner and mother of three when she was attacked by Sutcliffe following a night out with a friend in Halifax.

As she walked home alone, Sutcliffe passed her and said: “Weather’s letting us down, isn’t it?” before attacking her from behind with a hammer.

Olive suffered two depressed skull fractures but her life was saved.

She passed away in 2011, aged 82.

Tracy Browne

Tracy Browne was 14 years old when she was assaulted by Sutcliffe as she walked along a country lane in Silsden, Bradford.

She recalls being hit five times and thrown into a ditch.

In 2017, Tracy spoke out after The Sun on Sunday revealed a chilling tape of Sutcliffe confessing to the attack on her.

In the recording, Sutcliffe dismissively tells how he hit Tracy with a branch and heard voices telling him to stop the attack on a cold country lane.

He also claimed he apologised to Tracy after the assault – and targeted her because he mistook her for a prostitute and was “all dressed up”.

Tracy said: ‘’I remember him throwing me over a fence while this car came down the road and that was it.

“He certainly didn’t apologise.

“He’s just making it sound less serious than it was and less serious than what he did.

“He says he thought I was dressed up but I wasn’t. I had a jumper on – my God.

“For someone trying to be clever, he’s not being very clever at all.''

Two months after the August 1975 attack on Tracy, Sutcliffe killed his first known murder victim, Wilma McCann in Leeds.

Marcella Claxton

Peter Sutcliffe had already murdered two women and attacked at least four others when he came across Marcella in Leeds in May 1976.

Marcella was making her way home from a party when a driver pulled up and asked if she wanted a lift – oblivious to his murderous intent, she accepted the offer.

It was then in his company that serial killer Sutcliffe hit her over the head with a heavy spanner and left her.

In September 2023, the brave survivor told of how she still suffers crippling, daily headaches and also suffers from blackouts – which have led to falls that landed her in hospital and forced her to quit her job.

Describing the real-life torment that his surviving victims have to endure, Marcella said: ‘’Peter Sutcliffe ruined my life — I can never escape what he did to me. I suffer pain every day, exactly where he hit me.

“I have headaches and blackouts, daily reminders of what happened.

“The pain is really sharp — it goes all along the top of my head, from the front to the back.

“Sometimes it feels like my head’s going to burst open. One time it was that bad, I put my head in the freezer.”

Maureen Long

Maureen Long was spotted by Sutcliffe as she left a nightclub and was offered a lift home.

As she left the vehicle to urinate, Sutcliffe struck her on the back of the head and stabbed her all over her upper body.

Miraculously, the mother-of-three was discovered alive several hours later by two women walking nearby.

Mo Lea

Mo Lea barely escaped with her life when she was attacked in 1980.

It happened as she was walking home in Leeds after meeting with friends at the pub to discuss plans for her upcoming 21st birthday.

She left at about 10pm – later than she'd planned to stay out – to walk home alone.

Mo's injuries weren't just bad – they were so severe that, when her parents came to visit, they walked past the foot of her bed because they didn't recognise her.

"My jaw was broken so my face was really swollen. I had two black eyes and I could hardly speak," Mo said.

"He'd hit me over the head a number of times with a hammer and also pierced underneath my skull with a sharpened screwdriver which just missed my spinal cord by millimetres."

A couple spotted Mo's assailant standing over her unconscious body and ran over to help, scaring him off.

No one was ever convicted of Mo's attack, and when Sutcliffe died in November he took any possibility of a confession to his grave, leaving Mo without justice.

Marilyn Moore

Marylin Moore was 25 years old when she was attacked by Sutcliffe in the back of his car.

She was assaulted on a waste ground in Scott Hall, Leeds before her screams and a barking dog convinced Sutcliffe to flee the scene.

Upadhya Bandara

In September 1980, Peter Sutcliffe followed Upadhya Bandara, who was then a 34-year-old doctor from Singapore.

She was hit on the head, rendering her unconscious, before being dragged along the street by a rope.

However, a neighbour investigating the noise called the police, causing Sutcliffe to flee.

Theresa Sykes

On November 5, 1980, Theresa Sykes, then aged 16, had left the house she shared with her boyfriend and six-month-old-baby to go to an off-licence.

On her return, she realised someone was behind her and headed for the safety of the closest house. 

Before she reached it Sutcliffe hit her with a hammer.

Her boyfriend had been looking out of the window for her return and saw what he thought was a fight between two boys. 



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He went to investigate only to discover it was Theresa, who by now had been hit twice more with the hammer.

Theresa survived but the attack ruined her life – she split up from her partner and took to sleeping with a bread knife under the pillow and a wardrobe against the door.

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