|25||December 14 1977|
Marilyn Moore, a 25-year-old prostitute, survived an attack by Peter Sutcliffe, and provided one of the best photofits of the suspect from a known Ripper victim. As well, a clue found at the scene tied this attack to the Irene Richardson murder.
Marilyn Moore was doing business on December 14th in the red-light district of Chapeltown, Leeds on Gipton Ave when she saw a car being driven in a slow and careful way which suggested the possibility of a client. As she walked along Spence Place the car passed by her. In anticipation that the car would turn around and come back, she crossed Spencer Place and turned right on to Leopold Street. At a minor junction with Frankland Place she saw the car parked at the kerb and a man standing beside the driver's door, and appeared to be waving to someone in a nearby house. He was aged about 30, with a stocky build, about 5' 6" tall, with dark wavy hair, and beard and a moustache like Jason King, the secret agent hero of a popular TV series.
Peter Sutcliffe had earlier seen Marilyn Moore refuse to get in a car in Leopold Street, and to reassure her that he was "all right" he had quickly parked and had jumped out of his car and shouted, "Bye now, see you later, take care!" As Marilyn Moore walked by, he asked whether she was doing business, and after agreeing on a £5 price, they were on their way to a quite place that Sutcliffe knew.
In the car on their journey to a spot about a mile and a half away, Sutcliffe said that his name was Dave, and when asked what he had been doing back on Leopold Street, replied that he had been saying goodbye to a sick girlfriend. He also seemed to know the area well, and mentioned two prostitutes, Hilary and Gloria, and said that Hilary had a Jamaican boyfriend. Marilyn Moore knew two prostitutes by the same names.
Sutcliffe drove to Scott Hall Street, and then turned on to Buslingthorpe Lane, and headed for some waste ground behind a mill. They were about 200 yards from the Prince Philip Playing Fields where Sutcliffe had murdered Wilma McCann over two years previously. When they had parked, Sutcliffe suggested that they get in the back seat, and Marilyn Moore agreed, but found the back passenger door locked. As Sutcliffe came round to open it, he tried to hit her on the head with a hammer, but lost his balance slightly and caught her with a glancing blow. She screamed loudly and held her head in her hands as she started to fall to the ground. Sutcliffe shouted "Dirty prostitute bitch" as he hit her again. She felt further blows before she slipped into unconsciousness.
Her screams and a barking dog quickly persuaded Sutcliffe it was time to leave, and he gunned the engine, spun his wheels, and drove off into the night and towards his home in Bradford, leaving his victim still alive.
When Marilyn Moore regained consciousness, she staggered towards the road to get to a telephone and help. When she reached the road, a couple saw her and the man ran to phone for an ambulance, and she was taken to Leeds Infirmary for emergency surgery, including relieving pressure on her brain from a depressed fracture of her skull. She had been hit eight times with the hammer and had bruises on her hands where she had tried to protect her head.
Due to the severity of her injuries, the police thought that her description of her suspect might not be reliable, and it was later revealed by Chief Constable Ronald Gregory that she had been taken to Leeds University Hospital to be questioned under deep hypnosis. He also revealed that three times she had telephoned police to say she had seen the Yorkshire Ripper, but each time it had been a false alarm. Marilyn Moore's photofits were a very good likeness (see The Photofits) but said that he had what she believed to be a Liverpool accent.
Her description of the car was that is was a dark coloured or maroon vehicle, about the size of a Morris Oxford. Sutcliffe was, in fact, driving his red Ford Corsair. The police found an important clue in the tire track evidence that they found at the scene of the attack on Marilyn Moore. The tire tracks where consistent with the tire track evidence found at the Irene Richardson murder scene, the same India Autoway cross-ply tires were on the front wheels. There was no doubt that the Yorkshire Ripper had been the one who had attacked Marilyn Moore.
EXTRACT FROM PETER SUTCLIFFE'S CONFESSION (January 4/5 1981)
"I had been taken over completely by this urge to kill and I couldn't fight it. I went to Leeds one evening in December 1977 to try again. I was in my red Corsair PHE 355G. This is where I found Marilyn Moore."
"I drove into the red light district at Chapeltown. I was driving along a street, I now know as Leopold Street, where I saw her walking along along Spencer Place, from the phone boxes at the end. I saw her reject a man in a car who had stopped and she carried on. I turned left into Spencer Place, turned 1st left, and left again into a narrow street, and stopped near the corner of the road I had just been on."
"It was my intention to get her into my car with the minimum of fuss. I knew she had refused to get in one car, so I got out of my car and walked to the corner. She was only a few yards away walking towards where I was stood. I walked back to my car and as she came into view I shouted, 'Bye now, see you later,' and, 'Take care,' and I waved towards the houses on my left. I did this to give her reassurance that I was all right. I got in and started the engine and opened the passenger window. I asked her if she was doing business. She glanced at the house, said, 'Yes,' and got in."
"She told me where to drive. She asked my name, I told her it was Dave. We had some conversation in the car but I cannot remember what I might have said. She directed me to this place which was up a narrow lane and I can only describe it as an oasis of mud. It was an open area with a building to one side. I parked up."
"I suggested she get into the back of the car. She agreed and she got out and she went to the rear passenger door nearside. When she got out, I got out with my hammer, which I had on the floor at my side. I went round the front of my car and up behind her. I took a swing at her with the hammer but I slipped on the mud and lost my balance. I only caught her a glancing blow on the head."
"She cried out and I hit her again on the head. She was still screaming. After the second blow, she fell down. I saw some people walking along about 40 yards away on the narrow road at the top. I jumped in my car and started it up. I put my foot down but the back wheels started spinning and I couldn't drive off at first. When the car got a grip I slewed round to the right and I drove away with a lot of wheel spin. I drove straight home."
"That night I was wearing the old brown car coat, which you've got, and a pair of blue jeans and a pair of brown Doc Martins boots."