'Child perverts soon become child killers': Jimmy Savile was questioned by police over Yorkshire Ripper murders

 

A former detective who worked on the Yorkshire Ripper investigation says Jimmy Savile was questioned by police in connection with the murders.

John Stainthorpe, who worked for the West Yorkshire force for 40 years, says the disgraced broadcaster was considered a suspect in the notorious case after members of the public contacted police saying they though Savile was the killer.

Speaking to ITV’s Calendar News, Mr Stainthorpe said: “When the Ripper was really active, one of the suspects put forward by the public was, in fact, Jimmy Savile…Obviously, it was not he, but he was interviewed along with many others.“

Mr Stainthorpe said he felt the anonymous member of the public who contacted police was “aiming in the right direction” when they suggested Savile, going on to add “child perverts soon become child killers”.

West Yorkshire Police were unable to confirm Savile was questioned during the Yorkshire Ripper investigation as details of the crimes are now in storage.

A spokesman said “Hundreds of people were identified in the operation; we cannot be more specific than that at this time.”

Between 1975 and 1980, Peter Sutcliffe killed 13 women in vicious attacks using hammers, screwdrivers and stamping on his victims. He also left notes with their bodies, which he signed 'Jack the Ripper'.

Sutcliffe was convicted of the murders in 1981, and is currently held at Broadmoor high-security psychiatric hospital. He will never be released.

Mr Stainthorpe’s claim that Savile was questioned by detectives comes after it was reported that the body of Sutcliffe’s third victim Irene Richardson was discovered just yards from Savile’s flat.

Miss Richardson was killed in 1977 close to Savile’s three-bedroom penthouse, which overlooks Leeds’ Roundhay Park.

The former DJ regularly visited Sutcliffe during his trips to Broadmoor, where he is said to have been given a private bedroom and his own set of gold-plated keys.

Sutcliffe, however, told The Sun that the pair had never been friends, adding that reports to the contrary were exaggerations by people ‘getting carried away’.

“It’s a load of rubbish,” Sutcliffe said, before adding: “He visited a lot. He'd always come and chat with me on visits and I would introduce him to my visitors. Several times he left £500 for charities I was supporting.'

Savile, who died last year aged 84, has been accused of sexual abuse by numerous patients at Broadmoor.

Sutcliffe, however, rubbished the alleged victims claims’ of sexual abuse, saying those coming forward were simply 'jumping on the bandwagon'.

Savile, who called himself the ‘Governor’ of the hospital, was also known to boast that he was personally responsible for getting mentally ill patients - among them murderers - freed from their sentences. He was made chairman of a hospital taskforce by the Department of Health in the 1980s.

Scotland Yard has launched a national investigation into allegations of sexual abuse by Savile, with 400 separate lines of inquiry. Police now believe Savile is one of the UK's most prolific child abusers.

The BBC has also launched an inquiry into the culture and practices at the corporation during the decades of Savile's alleged sexual abuse.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific