Patricia Atkinson
23rd April 1977

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Patricia Atkinson

Patricia Atkinson

Manningham in Bradford has become infamous for its links to prostitution, largely thanks to the works of Kay Mellor, who has set several of her books and screenplays in the area. However, in 1977 even that dismal claim to infamy was usurped by the murder of Patricia Atkinson.

Particia Atkinson - also known as Tina - was, like several of Peter Sutcliffe's victims, drunk when she met him. On the evening of the 23rd April she had consumed something like 20 units of alcohol according to the pathologist's report. She had been steadily drinking in two of her regular haunts; the Perseverance and the Carlisle where at 10:30 she loudly announced she was leaving.

On her weaving, unsteady path home, Sutcliffe saw her banging on the roof of a car and screaming obscenities at the driver - another dispute between prostitute and client. But like others before her, she got in Sutcliffe's car with no preamble.

Arriving at her flat, they entered - the Ripper concealing a claw hammer about him. And soon, it was in grisly use, as he hit the back of her head with four deadly blows. Heaving her up onto the bed, Sutcliffe exposed her body - pulling up her bra to reveal her breasts, as he had done in several cases already - and set about his evil works.

Alternatively clawing at and hitting her with the opposing ends of the hammer, he left grazes and oblong marks, before attempting to slash her body with a knife. His lust satisfied, he threw a sheet over her body before leaving, noting that she was still "gurgling".

For the first and only time, he had killed indoors. And by moving his operations to Bradford he had thrown more strain on the fledgling police investigation which until this date had only been concerned with Leeds. The bloody footprint he left behind matched that that he left at the scene of Emily Jackson and by now the police were aware that they were facing a brutal, random assassin and one that would not respect geographic bounds.

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