Some of the UK's most notorious serial killers have hailed from Yorkshire. Take a look at the shocking crimes committed by six of them below...
1. Peter Sutcliffe
One of the most infamous serial killers from the county is Peter Sutcliffe, also known by the moniker the Yorkshire Ripper. He’s serving 20 concurrent life sentences after he was found guilty of 13 murders and seven attempted murders in 1981. His attacks were carried out against women across Leeds, Bradford and Huddersfield, as well as Manchester, between 1975 and 1980. His victims were often mutilated, beaten and stabbed to death. Sutcliffe was arrested after being found with a prostitute in Sheffield, and police discovered he was armed with a knife, a hammer and a rope. He hid a second knife in a toilet cistern when he asked to use the toilet at the police station. Since his arrest in 1981, he’s spent most of the last 35 years in Broadmoor high-security psychiatric hospital. Earlier this year, the Yorkshire Ripper was moved to HMP Frankland earlier this year.
2. Arthur Hutchinson
Arthur Hutchinson, also known as The Fox, was already wanted by police for rape when, on 23 October 1983, he sneaked into the Sheffield home of Basil and Avril Laitner, and their children Richard, 26, and Nicola, 18. Earlier that day, the Laitners’ other daughter Suzanne had got married, and the reception had been held at the house. After breaking in that night, Hutchinson butchered Richard, Basil and Avril, then raped Nicola at knifepoint before fleeing. It’s thought he was trying to commit an armed robbery. He’d already spent five years in prison for attempting to murder his brother-in-law. Hutchinson was on the run for two weeks before finally being captured, and he’s now serving a life sentence for his barbaric actions.
3. Anthony Arkwright
Anthony Arkwright of Mexborough, Doncaster, had already had a troubled life when he got fired from his job for poor attendance. Pushed over the edge, he went on a killing spree, beginning with his grandfather. Arkwright found him on his allotment and stabbed and axed him to death, before hiding his body in a shed. He then murdered his neighbour Raymond Ford, stabbing and disembowelling him in a scene resembling one of Jack The Ripper’s crimes. Later, he slaughtered another neighbour and friend Marcus Law in a similar fashion. Disturbingly, he left Marcus’s corpse with cigarettes stuffed in his mouth and ears. Police arrested Arkwright the following day, and he was jailed for life at Sheffield Crown Court.
4. Stephen Griffiths
Next on the serial killer list is Stephen Griffiths, who called himself the Crossbow Cannibal. He murdered three women who worked as prostitutes between June 2009 and May 2010 in Bradford, West Yorkshire. He claims to have killed many more, alluding to victims in Sheffield: “Peter Sutcliffe came a cropper in Sheffield. So did I but at least I got out of the city.” He shot Suzanne Blamires with a crossbow as she tried to escape his flat, before stabbing her in the head with a knife. The attack was captured on CCTV, which led to his arrest. He also claimed to have eaten some of her. It’s thought his other known victims, Shelley Armitage and Susan Rushworth, suffered a similar fate – they were chopped up before being partially eaten and disposed of. Griffiths was jailed for life.
5. Bruce Lee
By the age of 19, Bruce Lee, from Hull, East Yorkshire, had killed 15 people. Lee was questioned by police after a deliberate fire at a house in Selby Street, Hull, left three young brothers dead, and he confessed to starting the blaze. He also admitted to starting nine other fatal fires in the area over the past seven years. The arsonist claimed his motivation hadn’t been murder, but that he just liked fire. His victims ranged from babies to the elderly. One of his victims, who miraculously survived with severe burns, tragically suffered a miscarriage. In court, Lee admitted to 26 counts of manslaughter, although 11 of these were later quashed after a fire at a residential home was deemed accidental. He was detained for life under the Mental Health Act, but was controversially allowed out on day release earlier this year.
6. Donald Neilson
Donald Neilson was born in Bradford, West Yorkshire. Starting off as a house burglar, Neilson became progressively more aggressive. He began committing armed robberies of post offices, which led to murder in 1974, when he shot dead two sub-postmasters and the husband of a sub-postmistress. Neilson gained the nickname ‘Black Panther’, due to witness accounts of his speed and stealth, and his black clothing. Then, in 1975, he kidnapped 17-year-old Lesley Whittle, a wealthy heiress in Shropshire. Neilson didn’t receive his ransom money, and Lesley was found months later hanging from a wire in a drainage shaft. The killer was caught by chance after police officers saw him acting suspiciously near Mansfield and went over to question him. Neilson pulled out a shotgun but, after a struggle, he was captured and officers realised he was the Black Panther. He received five life sentences, and died in prison in 2011.