Yorkshire Ripper Investigation

Wilma McCann - Yorkshire Ripper Victim

On 29th October 1975 Wilma McCann left her four children at home in her council house on Scott Hall Avenue and headed for Chapeltown for a night out.

It wasn't unusual for Wilma McCann to leave her children at home as her eldest child acted as babysitter.

At approximately 1.30am on the following morning, 30th October, an intoxicated Wilma McCann started to make her way home. Sadly, she never made it.

At 5am, one of Wilma's neighbours found her eldest two children huddled together at a bus stop. The children were said to be cold, confused and frightened. They were crying as their mummy hadn’t come home.

At 11am a milkman found Wilma McCann’s body, sprawled face upwards on the sloping grass embankment of Prince Philip Playing Fields off Scott Hall Road.

Wilma's body was found just a hundred yards from home. The Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe, had struck her twice on the back of the head with a hammer. Sutcliffe had followed this by stabbing her at least fifteen times.

Sutcliffe had pulled down her trousers as well as tearing her blouse open.

The post-mortem revealed that the stab wounds to her neck, chest and abdomen were inflicted after death.

The investigation also showed that Sutcliffe had also masturbated over Wilma leaving semen on her trousers and panties.

Examination of the semen revealed that the attacker was of the rare type B blood group. Unfortunately, further tests revealed that Sutcliffe was a ‘non-secretor’. This could mean that the semen found at the crime scene would not match the attacker.

Up to 150 police officers took 11,000 interviews and put in 53,000 hours, but Detective Chief Superintendent Dennis Hoban and his team were unable to identify Wilma McCann’s killer.

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