Irene Richardson
5th February 1977

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Irene Richardson

Irene Richardson

Poor, luckless Irene was already on the cusp of destitution - living in a practically homeless state - when fate dealt her the final blow of an encounter with The Yorkshire Ripper. She left her rented room in Cowper street saying she was going to visit a popular night club in Leeds city centre. In fact, she never made it past the Harehills/Chapeltown red light district.

Sutcliffe - who had found Wilma McCann in the vicinity of the Gaiety pub on Roundhay Road was once more in the area. He had already been rebuffed by several women whom he had tried to lure into his car, but Richardson got in without saying a word.

While Sutcliffe drove her to Roundhay Park, she said she needed a toilet. On arrival - and despite the nearby presence of some public toilets - she removed her coat and boots and squatted on the grass.

In such a vulnerable position, she stood no chance when Sutcliffe attacked. With 2 or 3 blows of his hammer so forceful that parts of her skull were driven nearly an inch into her brain, she was dead in seconds. But by now, death alone was not enough to satisfy the Ripper.

Taking out a Stanley knife, he proceeded to slash her neck, throat and abdomen. So severe and deep were the cuts that her intestines spilled out of her body. Hearing voices nearby, Sutcliffe arranged her clothes - covering her legs with her coat - and then fled the scene, home to safety in Bradford without even discarding any of his clothes.

By now, as Sutcliffe would tell police, he was beyond control:

"By this time, after Richardson killing, prostitutes became an obsession with me and I couldn't stop myself, it was like some sort of a drug."

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