Calling all true-crime fans: a new Netflix miniseries on one of Britain’s most notorious serial killers is coming. The Ripper will be released next month and will tell the true story of Peter Sutcliffe’s five-year reign of terror across Yorkshire and Greater Manchester, which saw over a dozen women brutally murdered and countless more assaulted.
Dubbed the Yorkshire Ripper because of the similarities of his crimes to the legendary Victorian killer, Sutcliffe was finally caught and jailed for life in 1981. However, as we see in the trailer, at the height of his killing spree many didn’t believe the police would ever be able to bring the killer to justice. In archival footage collated for the series, we see a woman remark, “Five years is too long. If they haven’t caught him yet, I don’t think they ever will,” while another interviewee reflects, “He had successfully hoodwinked the entire police force.”
The four-part series, produced by the same team behind 2019’s Don’t F**k With Cats, promises to be a careful examination of the harrowing crimes Sutcliffe committed against women. Featuring testimonies from investigators, journalists, survivors, and family members of victims, The Ripper explores how the prejudices and misogyny of the time led to police mishandling the case, which hampered the investigation and ultimately allowed Sutcliffe to evade capture. The synopsis for the series reads: “Investigators and witnesses recall the Yorkshire Ripper murders, which cast a dark shadow over the north of England in the late 1970s.”
Netflix’s announcement of the series comes following the news that Sutcliffe has died at the age of 74 after contracting COVID-19 at HM Prison Frankland. Following his incarceration in 1981, Sutcliffe had been committed to Broadmoor Psychiatric Hospital in 1984, where he stayed until 2009 when he was declared “no longer mentally ill.” The families of some of Sutcliffe’s victims have said his death has brought them some closure.
Ahead of the docuseries landing on Netflix on Dec. 16, watch the chilling trailer for The Ripper above.