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Monday, 21 October, 2002, 17:47 GMT 18:47 UK
DNA tests in prostitute murder hunt
DNA
Police have taken DNA samples from a Wearside man
Detectives investigating the murder of a Wearside prostitute 16 years ago have taken DNA samples from a suspect brought in for questioning.

Divorcee Julie Perigo was knifed during an attack at her council flat in the Downhill area of Sunderland, in May 1986.

Now a 46-year-old local man has voluntarily agreed to be DNA-tested. He has not been arrested or charged.

It is also understood the man is being tested in connection with the infamous "Wearside Jack" hoax letters and tapes linked to the Yorkshire Ripper inquiry.

Julie Perigo
Julie Perigo was murdered in May, 1986

The bloodstained body of Ms Perigo, 51, a former stripper, was found a week after she was killed, when police, alerted by her sister Pam, broke into her flat.

A spokeswoman for Northumbria Police said: "We have had a local man in for questioning over the Julie Perigo murder. Forensic samples have been taken and we are awaiting the results of those samples."

"Wearside Jack" was the hoaxer who claimed to be the Yorkshire Ripper, and who taunted police with three letters and two audio tapes in 1978 and 1979.

Client list

Voice analysts traced the accent to Castletown, which is within a mile of Downhill on the outskirts of Sunderland.

While detectives pursued him, the real Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe, who lived in Bradford, continued his killing spree, and was later convicted of 13 murders.

Detectives believe the mother-of-two was killed by a client.

But despite interviewing 6,000 people in a nationwide investigation, including an extensive list of clients found in her diaries, their inquiries drew a blank.

The Northumbria Police spokeswoman said: "We will continue to investigate any new evidence if and when it emerges."

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 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Rod Stewart
"Julie died after a fericious knife attack"

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23 Sep 02 | England
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