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Sonia Newlands (ne้ McCann)
19th December 2007

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Sonia Newlands - daughter of Wilma McCann  - sadly took her own life in December 2007, aged just 39. She was just 7 when Sutcliffe murdered her mother on playing fields near the family home in Leeds and had been left in charge of her younger siblings despite her youth.

The McCann's background was already coloured by ill-treatment at the hands of their father Gerry. Following the murder of Wilma McCann the children were sent back into his care. Sonia's brother Richard - now an inspirational speaker - has described their story in a series of books.

As she grew up, she was plagued by mental torment, health issues and problems with addiction. To try to escape the stigma of her name, she took her mother's maiden name later in life. Two years before her death, she spoke poignantly to the BBC about the Yorkshire Ripper's legacy and the sense of grievance felt by the children of his victims.

"I think most people remember the number 13 - for the number of women he killed. But what about the children - there's 25 of them and no-one remembers them."

In a sense, when she committed suicide she became Sutcliffe's final victim.


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