Helen Rytka
31st January 1978

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Helen Rytka

Helen Rytka

Helen Rytka and her twin sister Rita were newcomers to the prostitution trade, but had already developed a crude but effective system that they believed would ensure their safety in the red light district of Huddersfield.

They would take clients at roughly the same time and rendezvous around 20 minutes later at a block of public toilets. Of course, being relatively new to the game, the sisters hadn't developed the more sophisticated systems used by more experienced 'toms' in towns like Leeds who would write down registration numbers for an added level of awareness.

The pair left their flat around 8:30. They each each turned a trick and agreed to meet back in their usual spot. Helen arrived back first, and encountered Sutcliffe. 

Abandoning her native caution, she allowed Sutcliffe to talk her into a "quickie" in a nearby timber yard. The events that followed were slightly unusual. Sutcliffe never seemingly intended to actually have sex with any of his victims, and his MO was simply to get them out of the car as quickly as possible an in a position where he could attack.

On this occasion, Helen surprised him by undoing her trousers as soon as they parked the car and - despite himself, Sutcliffe became aroused. Making an excuse that he needed to urinate, he got out of the car to collect himself before returning and persuading her to get out and go to the back of the car.

At this point, he struck - but his blow was misaimed and glanced off the roof of the car. Instinctively, she batted it away but mistook it for Sutcliffe's hand. Immediately terrified, but tragically misunderstanding the situation she blurted out that there was "no need for that" and that Sutcliffe didn't have to pay.

The second blow was more decisive and she fell to the ground, still alive and moaning. It was then that Sutcliffe realised he was in full view of 2 taxi drivers, and dragged the still-living Rytka to a more secluded corner. The unexpected arousal he had experienced was still on him and he proceeded to have sex with her (later he would claim it was to keep her quiet).

Afterwards, she began to stagger away from him but, with his hammer was still at hand and he brutally bludgeoned her back to the ground. As he busied himself disposing of her possessions he noticed that she was still breathing. Grabbing a knife, he stabbed her several times through the lungs before finally leaving her corpse behind a stack of timber in the corner.

In the morning, her knickers would be found by workmen in the yard, who treated them as a humourous addition to their working environment.

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