Much is known of Jimmy Savile, the most prolific sexual predator in UK history. Savile never faced any charges for his crimes of assaulting over 450 people; he died before the depth of his depravity was unearthed.
In contrast, Peter Sutcliffe, known as the Yorkshire Ripper, killed thirteen women and attempted to murder a further seven, feeling the full force of the law when convicted. He died still in prison in 2020 of Covid.
What is less well known is that many of those who investigated Sutcliffe thought he had an accomplice. The name of the accomplice being spoken about is Jimmy Savile.
At first sight, this suggestion might seem far-fetched, and the stuff of conspiracy theories, but the evidence for this being true is very compelling, none more so than the strange relationship the pair had whilst Sutcliffe was in Broadmoor.
Predators such as paedophiles and serial killers are products, however, of common forces. Both of them inhabited a world where men were encouraged to take by force what they wanted and then discard their victims. Both use sex and violence instead of intimacy.
When captured, Sutcliffe stated that his master told him to kill. The master that he met in a graveyard and spoke to him about ridding the planet of sex workers.
When convicted, many people assumed that Sutcliffe was talking about God. It is now thought that he may have been speaking about Jimmy Savile.
Savile was a man who was known to the police at the time as a frequent user of prostitutes.
Evidence also shows that Sutcliffe may have claimed more victims than those he was tried off, including victims he may have killed when he travelled as a lorry driver.
Sutcliffe's death leaves a number of issues unresolved, including murders that he could be linked to that were never proven, both in this country and abroad, and in relation to his relationship with Jimmy Savile. - Professor Wilson, Former prison officer and head of criminology at Birmingham University
Savile was a Ripper Suspect
Initially, Savile was a suspect for the police investigating the vicious attacks. A dentist was sent to make a cast of Savile's teeth to check them against bite marks found on the Ripper victims. The cast was made in 1980 before Sutcliffe was captured.
When the Ripper was really active, one of the suspects put forward by the public was, in fact, Jimmy Savile - Stainthorpe, who spent 40 years in the force, told ITV
Other coincidences exist between the two men. Sutcliffe's third victim, Irene Richardson, was murdered yards from Savile's penthouse. A second victim was also found near his home in Leeds.
Most of the victims were attacked close to where Savile would spend his time in Yorkshire and Leeds
Further still, when captured and interviewed, Sutcliffe named Savile as a possible suspect in the murders.
Change of MO
Jayne McDonald was sixteen years old when Peter Sutcliffe murdered her. She was working as a shop assistant, having recently left school.
On her way home from a night out dancing with her friends, she was killed on 26 June 1977. Sutcliffe was said to have stalked her on the way home and killed her with a hammer.
Jayne was the first victim who was not a sex worker; at the time, it caused a media sensation. A second victim who went against his regular pattern was that of nineteen-year-old Josephine Whittaker.
Josephine was walking home from her grandparents' house when she was attacked and killed by Sutcliffe on Savile Park Moor; she was three hundred yards from her house.
Both girls were younger than his other victims and were not sex workers. Although serial killers evolve their MO, it is unusual for them to fluctuate from one victim type to another and then back to the original. This is especially unlikely with a disorganised killer, which is the profile Sutcliffe fits.
Whether these were victims of Savile that Sutcliffe eliminated for him will never be proven.
At the time, Savile had used his celebrity status to get free access to the hospital and many victims. Savile was given his keys and allowed to park his caravan in the car park. It is well known that some of his victims were Broadmoor patients of both genders.
When convicted, Sutcliffe went straight to Broadmoor. The pair appeared instantly friendly towards each other. On one occasion, Savile was heard to refer to Sutcliffe as 'mate.'
Savile would also donate generously to Sutcliffe's charities. The relationship may also explain the strange privileges that Sutcliffe was given in prison. He was treated as a superstar, with bags of fan letters arriving every day.
Sutcliffe was allowed to take art classes where he painted pictures for his female admirers and Savile himself. He was also granted conjugal visits with some of his female visitors.
In his book, Charles Bronson references the strange and generous privileges Sutcliffe gained in Broadmoor.
Sutcliffe's ex-cell mate, James Grant, stated he always put the men's camaraderie down to both being Northern but, in hindsight, wondered if they were pals before The Yorkshire Ripper was brought to justice.
Professionals urged the police to look into the strange relationship, but as with all the cases against Savile, it wasn't.
Whether the two men knew each other prior to the Ripper's conviction will never be proven. They could have bonded over their shared northern sense of humour. Maybe they bonded over something more sinister.
Sutcliffe was an ardent defender of Savile, stating he was innocent of all allegations when 450 people came forward to accuse Savile of rape. Some were as young as five.
Sutcliffe died in 2020 of Covid. Savile died in 2011, having never been charged with any crime. Whether he was an accomplice to Savile will never be known. What is apparent is that his relationship with Sutcliffe was unprofessional and inappropriate, which can be said of all Savile's interactions.