Netflix Ripper doc ‘glorifies the brutal violence’ of Sutcliffe, say victims’ families

They’ve signed a letter saying the documentary ‘grants him a celebrity status he does not deserve’


Families of Peter Sutcliffe’s victims say the new Netflix Ripper documentary “glorifies the brutal violence” of the man who killed 13 women in Yorkshire, with the use of his nickname as the title leaving them feeling “betrayed”.

Relatives of seven of the women Sutcliffe murdered have said the documentary – which was called Once Upon a Time in Yorkshire when they signed up – has been renamed in a way that “grants him a celebrity status that he does not deserve.”

Asking Netflix to change the name of the series, to be released on Wednesday 16th December, relatives wrote to the company saying: “Those who participated would not have done so had we known this title would change to the very name that has haunted us for generations.”

Peter Sutcliffe died last month aged 74 after nearly 30 years in prison. Between 1975 and 1980 he murdered 13 women and attempted to murder seven others, earning him the nickname the Yorkshire Ripper.

netflix ripper

In the letter, reported by the Sunday Times, the families say: “Please remember that the word ‘ripper’ relates to ripping flesh and the repeated use of this phrase is irresponsible, insensitive and insulting to our families and our mothers’ and grandmothers’ legacies.”

Netflix told The Sunday Times: “This is not a series about Sutcliffe but a sensitive re-examination of the crimes within the context of England in the late 1970s. This was a time of radical change: a time of poverty and misogyny in which Sutcliffe’s victims were dehumanised by the media and the police, and that resulted in the perpetrator evading capture for five years. This series has at its heart the stories of the women who died.”

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