A coroner made a touching tribute to the victims of the Yorkshire Ripper’s and their families during an inquest into his death passing on his ‘solidarity and support’.
During a hearing at Crook Civic Centre, assistant senior coroner for County Durham and Darlington Crispin Oliver paid tribute to Peter Sutcliffe’s 13 murder victims.
He also noted nine other women who are known to have been attacked by the serial killer and another woman whose identity was never officially established.
Marguerita Walls (left), who was murdered by the Yorkshire Ripper in Leeds in August 1980, and Yvonne Pearson (right), who was murdered in Yorkshire in March 1978
Emily Jackson (left), who was murdered in Leeds in January 1976, and Maureen Long (right), who survived a murder attempt in July 1977
Before he began proceedings at an inquest into Sutcliffe’s death, Mr Oliver read out the 21 names of Sutcliffe’s victims as a mark of respect to their friends and family.
He said: ‘Before I go any further, at this stage it’s my usual practice to express a sense of solidarity and support for the family of the deceased and of course I do that but in this case, it is appropriate that my solidarity and support is expressed to the family and friends of the following women.’
He then went on to name all of his victims including; Wilma McCann, Emily Jackson, Irene Richardson, Tina Atkinson, Jayne MacDonald, Jean Jordan, Yvonne Pearson, Helen Rytka, Vera Millward, Josephine Whitaker, Barbara Leach, Marguerite Walls and Jacqueline Hill.
The coroner also paid tribute to the known women Sutcliffe attacked including; Anna Rogulskyj, Olive Smelt, Tracy Browne, Marcella Claxton, Marilyn Moore, Upadhya Bandara, Mo Lea, Theresa Sykes.
He further paid tribute to ‘at least one other woman whose identity was never officially established’ and said the inquest must be ‘significant’ for those affected.
One of his victims, Marcella Claxton was just 20 when she lost her unborn child in the appalling attack.
She told the Mirror how his death has given her ‘closure’ nearly four decades on.
She said: ‘I’m happy he’s gone. I’ve thought about what he did to me every day since and although the news that’s he’s died brings those horrible memories back at least now I may be able to get some closure.
‘I’m hoping it will bring me a little peace knowing he’s no longer with us.
‘I have to live with my injuries, 54 stitches in my head, back and front, plus I lost a baby, I was four months pregnant. I still get headaches, dizzy spells and blackouts.’