Yorkshire Ripper Investigation

Marcella Claxton - Yorkshire Ripper Victim

On Sunday, 9th May, 1976, Peter Sutcliffe decided to head into Leeds. At this time he owned a white Ford Corsair.

Peter Sutcliffe drove around the Chapeltown area of Leeds searching for his next victim.

At approximately 4am the following morning Sutcliffe came across twenty-year-old Marcella Claxton.

At the time of her attack Marcella was unemployed and living in one of the run-down terraces of back-to-back houses off Roundhay Road. This was also very close to the Gaiety Public House.

Marcella Claxton had spent the evening at a West Indian drinking club. Sutcliffe approached Marcella Claxton in Spencer Place and asked if she was 'doing business'.  She told Sutcliffe she wasn't a prostitute and instead asked for a lift home.

Sutcliffe drove Marcella to Soldiers’ Field in Roundhay Park and offered her £5 to get out of the car and undress for sex on the grass. 

Marcella said that she needed to urinate and went to hide behind a clump of nearby bushes. A few minutes later Sutcliffe attacked her from behind with blows to the head. As she was dazed she registered the fact that her attacker had black hair, beard and moustache. 

Marcella recalls seeing Sutcliffe masturbating as he watched her bleeding on the ground. 

Sutcliffe gave Marcella a £5 note and warned her not to call the police. Marcella made it to a telephone box and called an ambulance. 

Marcella was taken to Leeds Infirmary and had at least fifty-two stitches to patch up 8 gaping wounds in her head. Marcella''s description of her attacker was very similar to that of Tracy Browne.

Police never linked Marcella's attack to the Yorkshire ripper inquiry - only accepting it after Sutcliffe's confession.

Marcella Claxton was to see Peter Sutcliffe again. Marcella was drinking in the Gaiety Public House with friends shortly after her attack when Sutcliffe briefly entered the pub before quickly leaving. He was long gone before she could alert anybody.

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