Barbara Leach
2nd September 1979

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Barbara Leach

Barbara Leach

Pretty, 20 year old Barbara Leach was about to start her final year studying social psychology. Drinking in the Mannville arms on Great Horton Street, Bardford with friends she could have no way of knowing that her seemingly-bright future was about to be cut short in the most horrific of ways.

At closing time, she and her friends helped the landlord to collect the empties and tidy up the pub. As a thank you, he offered them an after-hours drink, and it wasn't until 12:45 that the little group eventually left the pub. Outside, it was raining lightly, and no-one wanted to walk home with Barbara, but she decided that she wanted the night air anyway and set off alone.

Sutcliffe was prowling the area, driving around, looking for victims. By the cruellest of chances, he saw her as she split up from her friends and quickly parked a little way ahead of her. As soon as she passed, he got out of his car and attacked from behind with his hammer. Satisfied that she was dead, he dragged her into a small back yard, arranging her clothes to reveal her chest and midriff, he used the same sharpened screwdriver that he had used on Josephine Whitaker to stab her corpse.

When his rage subsided, he pulled the body into a dark corner, covered it with stones and a piece of discarded carpet.

"I took hold of her by the wrists, or was it by the ankles, and dragged her up this entrance to the back of the house. She kept making loud moaning noises. There was like a dustbin area at the rear of the house. I remember that I stabbed Barbara with the screwdriver, the same one as Whitaker, and I remember that I put her in the dustbin area and covered her up with something, but I was acting like an automaton and I can't seem to remember the sequence of actions." Peter Sutcliffe

Her friends became concerned the next day, and by the afternoon a full scale search of the area was in operation. At 3:55, the body was found and soon police were convinced that here was another Ripper killing. This was the second consecutive killing of a woman not involved in prostitution and not even in a red light area. The implications for both the ongoing manhunt and the every day lives of millions of women was chilling.

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News report of the body's discovery