Yorkshire Ripper talks about crimes and victims in recordings made by female pen friend


Former detective Mark Williams-Thomas is bringing Brenda’s recordings to the public for the first time in the Channel 5 documentary, The Ripper Speaks: The Lost Tapes

In the documentary Brenda admitted to having felt nervous before she first went to prison to visit Sutcliffe
In the documentary Brenda admitted to having felt nervous before she first went to prison to visit Sutcliffe

Recordings of never-before-heard phone calls between the Yorkshire Ripper and a pen pal are due to be aired, revealing their discussions about his crimes, victims and fans.

Convicted murderer Peter Sutcliffe, who murdered 13 women in a six-year killing spree, was convicted in 1981 and spent three decades at the high-security psychiatric hospital Broadmoor Hospital before being moved to HMP Frankland in 2016.

He died at HMP Frankland from a combination of Covid-19 and heart disease in November 2020, aged 74.

According to Mail Online reports, it was there that Sutcliffe had phone calls with a woman identified only as ‘Brenda’, who had been asked to record the conversations by former detective Mark Williams-Thomas.

Mr Williams-Thomas is bringing the recordings to the public for the first time in the Channel 5 documentary, The Ripper Speaks: The Lost Tapes, which will air tomorrow at 10pm.

Brenda remained anonymous in the documentary as she talks about becoming interested in Sutcliffe as a little girl, having grown up close to where she lived.

The pair began to exchange letters, which evolved into phone conversations and eventually a face-to-face meeting.

The Ripper Speaks: The Lost Tapes, will air tomorrow at 10pm
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In the documentary, Brenda describes Sutcliffe as a softly spoken man, despite his horrific crimes.

The connection between the pair is clear in the recordings as Sutcliffe talks to her about the weather, calls her his “number one angel” and jokes about how several of his fans’ children knew him as “Uncle Peter”.

Shockingly, he also admits having planned to kill another victim, Olivia Reivers, then 24, before he was caught.

Brenda admitted having felt nervous before she first went to prison to visit Sutcliffe, but said the more she got to know him, the more he opened up.

“He put me at ease very quickly, I couldn’t imagine him doing any of it in his right mind. His character and his personality did not fit the crimes at all, ”she said.

She claims she got to know the man behind the prolific killer, over the course of their calls and meetings.

In one recording, Sutcliffe tells Brenda he misses her, that he thinks “the world” of her and can’t wait to see her, as well as calling her “my number one angel”.

Twelve of the thirteen victims of Peter Sutcliffe
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And at another point, when Brenda talks about the windy weather, Sutcliffe jokes: “You know what they say, March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.”

Other admissions made by Sutcliffe to Brenda included his plans to kill 24-year-old street worker Olivia, who was a passenger in his car when police caught him in 1981, and his attack on Tracy Browne.

He reveals he would have killed Browne, who was just 14, when he attacked her with a hammer in July 1975 in Silsden, near Keighley, but that he heard a voice telling him not to.

Instead, he left her for dead by the side of the road.

Brenda was just one of Sutcliffe’s many pen pals and superfans – the killer had previously boasted he had received dozens of letters a week.

Sutcliffe discussed with Brenda one such letter sender, a 27-year-old woman who wrote to him from the US asking him to marry her.

Sutcliffe had previously boasted he had received dozens of letters a week
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He said to Brenda in one recording that it was “flattering” that the woman, who signed herself off as “Crystal Marie Sutcliffe”, showed him so much attention, but claimed she just had a “fascination” with him.

“She got carried away and in the end, she said “I love you like crazy” and “mwaaa,” she was putting on the letters, MWAAA,” he spelt out for Brenda.

The documentary also features another of Sutcliffe’s super fans, a father-of-three named Daniel Brown, who is based in the North of England and has been collecting Sutcliffe memorabilia for years.

Daniel, who exchanged letters with the killer for years, said he does not find his fascination with him “morbid.”

Speaking of Daniel to Brenda, Sutcliffe described him as a “hard-working family man” and a “good, reliable friend”.

Speaking to his pen pal, Sutcliffe, blamed his brutal killings on a motorbike accident he had in 1969.

He claimed the incident left him unconscious for two days and led him to attack the women. However, this was disproved by a psychologist.

Sutcliffe’s brother Carl, who has never spoken about his relationship with his brother in detail before, also features in the Channel 5 programme.

He labels his brother’s claims that “voices from God” provoked his attacks as “utter rubbish”.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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