'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

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?