Tracy Browne
27th August 1975

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Tracy Browne

Tracy Browne

Despite Sutcliffe's later claims to have been driven by God to kill prostitutes, one of his earliest known attacks was on a 14 year old schoolgirl, far from the seedy red light districts that would become his hunting grounds.

Tracy Browne had been visiting her friend in Silsden, just a mile from the farm where she lived with her parents and sister Mandy. Under strict instructions to be home no later than 10:30pm, she had left her friend to make her way up the narrow lane that led up the hill to her home.

As she did so, she fell into step with a man, who engaged her in a little light conversation - pausing now and again to blow his nose and fasten his shoelace. In apparently companionable silence, the two continued up the lane until the man fell back a little way behind Tracy.

Suddenly, she was attacked from behind. She would later describe her attacker as grunting like tennis star Jimmy Connors with each blow of his hammer. Five blows rained down on her head, causing massive injuries. Had a car not approached up the lane, any more blows would almost certainly have spelled her death. As it was, Sutcliffe picked up her body and threw her over a hedge before making his mistake.

Despite her massive head trauma - surgeons would later remove a sliver of bone from her brain - Tracy managed to stagger back to her home and raise the alarm. More amazingly, she was able to recall her attacked in considerable detail and provide police with a photofit that would prove to be uncannily reminiscent of Sutcliffe when he was arrested.

Because of her age and the rural location of the attack, police refused to consider her a ripper victim. As the investigation progressed, she would make her father drive her to the police station to try and make them release her photofit.

Sutcliffe finally confessed to the attack on Tracy Browne during his interviews with Keith Hellawell in 1992.

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