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  1. #1
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    UK ∙ 'Wearside Jack' speaks: hoaxer derailed Yorkshire Ripper investigation in 1979

    Yorkshire Ripper hoaxer Wearside Jack speaks for first time about 'prank' that derailed serial killer investigation. (Mirror)
    The man behind the “Wearside Jack” tape that derailed the Yorkshire Ripper inquiry has spoken for the first time of the most infamous hoax in British criminal history.

    John Humble, now 57, was just 23 when he recorded the sick message pretending to be the serial killer who brought terror to the streets of Britain.

    It was posted to the head of the Ripper team, West Yorkshire Assistant Chief Constable George Oldfield, personally taunting him… and sending the investigation down a blind alley.
    ---
    Police interviewed 40,000 suspects and launched a 1million publicity campaign, believing they were hunting a man with a strong Wearside accent.

    In the meantime the real killer, softly-spoken Yorkshireman Peter Sutcliffe, went on to murder three more women .
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    In June 1979, at a packed police conference, stunned journalists from around the world listened as Humble’s voice taunted Mr Oldfield: “I’m Jack… I see you are still having no luck catching me.”

    Later in the tape he says: “I can’t see meself being nicked just yet… I reckon your boys are letting you down, George. They can’t be much good can they?”

    The recording haunted the veteran cop to his death. He took early retirement and died in Wakefield in 1985, at the age of 61.
    ---
    Humble had changed the course of the inquiry to devastating effect. Efforts to catch him were ditched in September 2003, with police saying they would be unable to prosecute any suspect because of the time that had elapsed.

    But a cold case review using DNA testing in 2005 matched his profile with a sample he had given after he was held for being drunk and disorderly in 1991.
    ---
    more at the link, with pictures and a video

  2. #2
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    Question

    I remember reading about this case in a John Douglas book.

    Thank you for the update Woofie...Did they ever find the real "Yorkshire Ripper?"
    "If at first you don't succeed, skydiving isn't for you!"

    The above post is my opinion and my opinion only. Please do not copy and past to other forums.

  3. #3
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    Oh yes, finally they did:

    Peter Sutcliffe. (Wiki)

  4. #4
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    That's interesting. I always thought John Humble was a latent psychopath himself - one of those who didn't want to take the risk of killing for himself but was getting his jollies from helping the Ripper. I didn't realise he'd rang the police twice to tell them it was a hoax or that he'd attempted suicide.

    That article makes him sound stupid and pathetic rather than evil. Still glad he got caught and punished though, interfering in the hunt for a serial killer takes stupid to a whole other level, IMO.

  5. #5
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    Police interviewed 40,000 suspects and launched a 1million publicity campaign, believing they were hunting a man with a strong Wearside accent.
    What an awful waste of resources he caused.

  6. #6
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    It was worse than a waste of resources I'm afraid. Peter Sutcliffe was already on the radar but was discounted as a suspect due to Humble's activities because he didn't sound like the man in the tapes. Sutcliffe went on to claim three more lives.



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