Yorkshire Ripper ‘desperately tried to contact ex-wife Sonia days before death’

Peter Sutcliffe in 2015 (Image: Glenn Harvey)

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The Yorkshire Ripper had desperately tried to contact his ex-wife Sonia in the days leading up to his death but could not get in touch with her, reports say.

Serial killer Peter Sutcliffe died in hospital on Friday after contracting coronavirus – but had no one by his side when he passed.

The 74-year-old had reportedly moaned to fellow prisoners that he could not get in touch with his ex-partner Sonia, 70.

The pair remained in close contact after Sutcliffe was imprisoned in 1981.

It is understood that Sonia was still registered as his next-of-kin despite divorcing him and remarrying hairdresser Michael Woodward in 1997.

According to the Sun, Sutcliffe said: “I just tried to ring Sonia but no answer. She must be staying down at the flat and not come back yet.

The Ripper died alone after being moved to hospital from jail

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“He (Woodward) will have her slaving about and cleaning everything, you know. Well, that’s her fault, she shouldn’t be so daft — she should make him pull his socks up.”

The Mirror reported that Sutcliffe remained obsessed and "in love" with his ex-wife despite their long separation.

Sutcliffe was also said to have been attempting to arrange a video call with  Sonia before he passed away with coronavirus.

Mrs Woodward never sold their marital home in Manningham, Bradford, despite not living there.

The house they bought in 1977 for £16,000 is now worth around £250,000 but, should she sell it, Sutcliffe’s share could go to benefit the victims’ families.

Mrs Woodward returns to the semi-detached house to quietly tend the garden.

It was at a pub disco there that he met Sonia, the daughter of Ukrainian and Polish–born refugees, in 1966. A year later they got engaged.

The Yorkshire Ripper was convicted of murdering 13 women between 1975 and 1981
(Image: REX/Shutterstock)

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They married on August 10th 1974 and his brother Carl said Sutcliffe was totally smitten by her.

But less than a year later, the lorry driver picked up a hammer and began attacking women, two in Keighley and one in Halifax.

Sutcliffe was serving a whole-life tariff for murdering 13 women across Yorkshire and the North West between 1975 and 1980, and had brutally attacked at least seven more, who survived.

Born in Bingley, West Yorkshire, in 1946, Sutcliffe left school aged 15 and worked in menial jobs before becoming a grave digger.

He began his killing spree in 1975 and avoided detection for years due to a series of missed opportunities by police to snare him.

He eventually confessed in 1981 after he was caught in Sheffield.

Despite his 24-hour-long confession to the killings, Sutcliffe denied the murders when he appeared in court.

In May 1981, he was jailed for 20 life terms at the Old Bailey, with the judge recommending a minimum sentence of 30 years.

He was transferred from Parkhurst prison on the Isle of Wight to Broadmoor secure hospital in Berkshire in 1984, after he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

In 2010, he was told he would never be released, and was later deemed fit enough to be treated as an inmate and was returned to maximum security prison.

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