Nov. 13 (UPI) — Peter Sutcliffe, the serial killer dubbed the “Yorkshire Ripper” by the British press for admitting to killing 13 women in the 1970s, died after testing positive for COVID-19, the British Ministry of Justice said Friday.
Prison officials declined to offer a cause of death for Sutcliffe, 74, but said he had the coronavirus as well as other underlying health conditions.
He was serving a life sentence at HMP Frankland and had been transferred to University Hospital of North Durham for treatment. He spent most of his time behind bars at Broadmoor high-security psychiatric prison before being deemed fit to enter general population at Frankland in 2016.
Sutcliffe confessed in 1981 to killing 13 women and attempting to kill seven others during a spree lasting from 1969 to 1980.
During his trial, he told the court he bludgeoned and mutilated his victims to death in a “divine mission” to rid the world of prostitutes.
“I am not proud of doing any of the murders,” he told police after his arrest. “It was my own intention to get rid of the prostitutes at any cost.”
Not all of his victims were sex workers. Prosecutors said invented his obsessional “hatred of prostitutes” to back up his plea of insanity with the hopes of receiving a lenient sentence.
Sutcliffe pleaded guilty to manslaughter with “diminished responsibility” for the 13 deaths and guilty to seven counts of attempted murder, but the jury convicted him of murder.