Yorkshire Ripper said he was “driven by the devil” and “murder was like a drug”

Peter Sutcliffe spoke about becoming "obsessed" with murdering

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Peter Sutcliffe told police after he was finally collared that he never set out to be a serial killer – but murder became an “obsession” for him, like “some sort of drug”.

In an interview 48 hours after his arrest in 1981, the Yorkshire Ripper described himself as a “monster” and “beast” who was “driven by the devil”.

He also said he knew he was “bound to get caught” and spent his five-year spree expecting a knock on the door.

And he told detectives he was almost rumbled 17 times while carrying out his sickening crimes as a string of passers-by came close to stumbling upon him.

Sutcliffe – who died from coronavirus last week, aged 74, while serving a whole life sentence – murdered 13 women and attacked many more.

Irene Richardson was murdered in Leeds in February 1977

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He was arrested on January 2, 1981 in Sheffield when police spotted his car had false number plates – sitting inside with a woman who was about to become his next victim.

On January 4, he was transferred to Millgarth police station in Leeds and questioned for 10 hours 22 minutes.

During the interview, he admitted 13 killings between 1975 and 1980. Sutcliffe told officers his last words to one victim he offered to walk home were “You don’t know who you can trust these days” – admitting it “sounds a bit evil now”.

Police search for victim Wilma McCann in 1975

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The fiend said that between murders, he “carried on trying to act as normal” and was able to talk about the crimes with his friends and family.

He said: “When the Ripper came up in conversation I was able to detach my mind from the fact that it was me they were talking about and I was able to discuss it normally. This amazed me at times.’’

Sutcliffe, who police questioned and released nine times before his eventual arrest, admitted: “I felt like someone inhuman.

Barbara Leach was one of Sutcliffe's victims

"I wanted to tell someone what I was doing but I thought about how it would affect my wife and family.’’

Telling of the times he was almost rumbled, he said a dog walker once passed within five feet of him as he lay in the undergrowth with a woman he was about to kill.

And he said that another time, he had to fling himself to the ground after he was caught in the headlights of a passing car while dragging a victim into a lane.

Four months after the interview, Sutcliffe was jailed for life after being convicted of the 13 murders and seven attempted murders.

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