Richard McCann fears Netflix doc might ‘inspire new serial killers’ (Picture: Getty – SWNS)
The son of the Yorkshire Ripper’s first victim has said he is worried the new Netflix documentary series about him will ‘inspire new serial killers’.
Peter Sutcliffe was finally caught in January 1981, and was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of 13 women and attempted murder of seven others. He spent 40 years in prison before he died of coronavirus in November.
A new four-part documentary on Netflix features first-hand accounts and retraces the five year long reign of terror in Yorkshire which claimed so many lives.
Richard McCann’s mother Wilma was murdered by Sutcliffe in October 1975, and Richard is concerned about the impact of the new series on the streaming platform.
Richard spoke to Jeremy Vine on BBC Radio 2, revealing that he cooperated with the Netflix documentary under the working title Once Upon a Time in Yorkshire and was ‘gobsmacked’ and ‘heartbroken’ when it was changed.
Richard also urged people to stop using the name ‘Ripper’ while discussing his crimes.
Wilma McCann, the Yorkshire Ripper’s first victim (Picture: SWNS.com)
‘It’s called The Ripper, which is nothing like it’s Once Upon a Time in Yorkshire,’ he said. ‘The production company told me “there’s nothing we can do”, the name has been chosen, that’s it. We weren’t given the option to object. What a miscommunication.’
He added: ‘The stupid thing is the programme itself, because I’ve watched all four episodes, is done really well and is done sensitively.
Richard went on to say that he was concerned that using the name ‘Ripper’ while discussing the killer could ‘inspire the next serial killer’.
He said: ‘It mythologises him and almost makes him a larger than life character and I wonder whether or not that actually inspired him to go and do more because, ‘oh I’ve got this term now, I’ve got a brand’.
‘It’s so disappointing that we hear it over and over again, possibly inspiring the next serial killer.’
A Netflix spokesperson told Metro.co.uk: ‘This is not a series about Sutcliffe but a sensitive re-examination of the crimes within the context of England in the late 1970s.
‘This was a time of radical change: a time of poverty and misogyny in which Sutcliffe’s victims were dehumanised by the media and the police, and which resulted in the perpetrator evading capture for five years. This series has at its heart the stories of the women who died.’
The new series focuses on the serial killer Peter Sutcliffe (Picture: REX)
Meanwhile, it was previously announced that ex Coronation Street star Bruce Jones will appear to discuss becoming a suspect in the case.
The actor, who played Les Battersby on Corrie from 1997-2007, will open up about becoming involved in the police enquiries.
Bruce first came to the police’s attention in 1977 after finding victim Jean Jordan’s body and calling the police.
The Ripper is available to watch now on Netflix.