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Wednesday, 2 May, 2001, 15:49 GMT 16:49 UK
BBC to broadcast Ripper's voice
The Yorkshire Ripper
It was recommended Sutcliffe serve at least 30 years in jail
The voice of the Yorkshire Ripper will be heard for the first time since he was jailed for killing 13 women in 1981.

The BBC's Everyman programme will broadcast a taped prison conversation between Peter Sutcliffe and a graphologist.

The programme, entitled Dear Peter - Letters To The Yorkshire Ripper, focuses on three women who have kept in constant contact with Sutcliffe while he has been in Broadmoor high security psychiatric hospital.

I guess I'm a guy who needs friends

Peter Sutcliffe
Between 1976 and 1981, Sutcliffe killed 13 women, mostly prostitutes, in the north of England. Many of their bodies were horribly mutilated.

It is believed to be the first time that his voice will be heard in public since he was sentenced 20 years ago with a recommendation that he serve at least 30 years in jail.

Despite his notoriety, Sutcliffe receives an average of 30 letters a week from women, many of them admirers.

Broadmoor Prison
One woman moved closer to Broadmoor to be close to Sutcliffe
The extracts, which will be broadcast next Wednesday, arise from a conversation Sutcliffe had with Diane Simpson, a graphologist who interviewed him in prison.

On the tape, a softly spoken Sutcliffe says: "I won't let anybody down who visits me. I will always give them a really nice visit. I guess I'm a guy who needs friends."

The programme also features interviews with two women who were admirers of Sutcliffe's.

Artist Sandra Lester even moved closer to Broadmoor to be near Sutcliffe, but her hopes were dashed when he refused to allow her to visit him in prison.

Olive Curry, from Tyneside, did visit Sutcliffe and believes he used to visit the Seaman's Mission Cafe in Sheffield where she worked before he was caught.

She said he was always accompanied by a man with a Wearside accent who she believes could have been his accomplice in many of the murders.

The programme's producer Christine Morgan said: "Most people would express some surprise that anybody would like to write to him.

"There are elements of curiosity, grim fascination and excitement for these women.

"A lot of woman believe they can heal him.

"In all cases women have been disillusioned and dejected and played one off against another by him."

Everyman will be broadcast on Wednesday, 9 May at 2245GMT on BBC One

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31 Jan 00 | The Shipman files
Shipman joins Britain's chamber of horrors
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