Vera Millward
16th May 1978

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Vera Millward

Vera Millward

Sutcliffe's choice of victims was, until 1978 exclusively prostitutes (accepting that he really believed that Jayne McDonald was a prostitute) and all led troubled existences. Perhaps Vera Millward most fitted the popular image of 'human chaff' that (often unfairly) surrounded sex workers then as much as now. The Spanish-born 40 year old was sallow and thin, and had been through 3 major operations between 1976 and 1977 - operations which had cost her one of her lungs.

On the night of 16th May 1978, she left her boyfriend to "get some cigs" - an explanation which he knew only too well was nothing but a pretext for her other assignations. According to his testimony, she had a "regular" client on Tuesday and Thursday nights who would meet her outside her flat.

However on this fateful night, the client didn't show and she remained in the alleyway outside her house until a car flashed its lights. The car was driven by Peter Sutcliffe. As they drove the couple of miles to the grounds of Manchester Royal Infirmary - a popular haunt for prostitutes - Vera had no idea what fate awaited her.

As she got out of the car, Sutcliffe attacked her with his hammer. A witness later claimed to have heard 3 screams but put them down to the probability of being from a patient at the hospital. When finally she was dead, Sutcliffe used his knife to stab her repeatedly under the ribs and slash her stomach so violently and deeply that her intestines spilled out

"I didn't get any blood on me on that occasion. I think I was wearing my brown car coat, which you've got. Following Millward, the compulsion inside me seemed to lay dormant, but eventually the feeling came welling up, and each time they were more random and indiscriminate. I now realised I had the urge to kill any woman and I thought that this would eventually get me caught, but I think that in my sub-conscious this was what I really wanted."

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