THE HUDDERSFIELD CONNECTION
Helen Rytka an attractive 18 year old girl was murdered by the Ripper in Garrards timber yard in Great Northern Street on the 31st january 1978.
Helen and her sister Rita were soliciting motorists for prostitution outside the toilets at the far end of the street on that night. These girls were worried about the Ripper and had left Bradford only two months before because of the Ripper murders. They worked together. When they would agree the price with a punter the other noted his car and description and let the punter know this and both would go with a punter each at the same time. It was their safety mechanism of avoiding the Ripper who had murdered 5 girls in Leeds and Bradford. The police hunt was concentrating on motorists to catch the Ripper, a fatal flaw in the investigation.
Billy Tracey took a half hour flight from Dublin to Manchester that day, having left his home town in the Irish Midlands a few hours earlier by train. He was on business to murder a prostitute in Huddersfield to taunt George Oldfield. He arrived by taxi outside Huddersfield Railway Station after dark and got a local taxi to show him where he could find a prostitute.
A stocky well dressed man was seen lurking in the toilets at the crucial time. He was never traced.
This was Billy Tracey . He emerged from the toilets immediately after Helen was returned by a punter and propositioned her with an offer of big money for a few minutes to masturbate him. She never suspected him for a second because he had no car and as an experienced punter and pimp he probably made her a tempting offer. Her sister would be back in a few minutes and here was a chance to make a nice bonus . It all happened quickly. She agreed , took his money and walked 100 yards to the entrance to Garrards timber yard which prostitutes used occasionally and entered it with him. Perhaps one or two motorists saw them walk there but none would now be interested in her because she was gone with him. Once in the darkness of the yard and while she opened her blouse and bra with her head turned from him Tracey drew the hammer from his inside pocket and struck her senseless . He then buggered her before delivering the heavy blows that were his hallmark .The ground was heavily stained with blood in this spot indicating that she had lain here for some time. There was evidence of the rare B secretor semen found by police on the victim just like Joan Harrison in Preston.
While all this was going on Rita, her sister, was dropped back at the corner by her customer where she expected to find Helen. Anxiously waiting for her she would not go with any of the motorists who were cruising around looking for sex . When Tracey had performed his ritual injuries and rearranged the victims body and clothing theatrically and was ready to go, he found there was a lot more activity outside because Rita was staying there, and motorists were driving around the block trying to pick her up. She was agitated and attracting attention. The police squad might arrive at any time and could drive into the gateway searching for Helen if Rita told them the story. He was in a tight spot. He probably waited quite a time before deciding to change his plan. Wittnesses say the man was seen a few times over a period of about 2 hours.
He returned to the body .He took off her tights and pulled them over his hands to hide his fingerprints.
Then he dragged her away from the visible area and lifted her over a stack of timber and covered her body with a sheet of asbestos. She was hidden from easy view. Then he wiped his prints from his hammer and knife with her panties and hurled them to the railway embankment as well as her shoes . He tidied himself up and with Rita still standing forlornly at the corner waiting and hoping Helen had gone with a motorist and would return soon, he walked away towards the town centre only minutes walk away, when he saw a lull in the traffic.
At the Station toilets he washed and tidied himself before stepping outside and getting into a taxi to Manchester. He stayed in a B & B overnight and returned to Dublin the next morning and home.
His thrill was to wait for the news reports on the Daily Mirror as he carried on the only job he ever had ,cutting the flesh from cows heads in a meat factory in Ireland , while the West Yorkshire police were scouring Yorkshire for the stocky bearded Irishman whose photo fit they had published and who was seen at 3 murder scenes. They never looked in Ireland for the Irish suspect.
This murder in Huddersfield was a clear signal to George Oldfield and from this point on Oldfield became personally involved. He appealed for help from the public and was to get a letter from the Ripper posted from Sunderland. In the letter he wrote ” Huddersfield, never again too small close call last one.”
As the hunt for the Ripper moved into 1980 Peter Sutcliffe the disturbed copy cat killer who had been eliminated so many times by the police that his workmates called him “the Ripper” became more desperate to be apprehended. He wanted to be caught but the police knew he was not the Ripper. He would have to prove he was the Ripper. He attacked several women in 1980 ,one was a journalist in Ilkley, and he was described by all of them. The police had some potty people who claimed to be the Ripper and he was one who was thoroughly eliminated.
On bonfire night he came to Huddersfield and attacked Teresa Sykes who gave an accurate description of him. He chose Huddersfield because the Ripper had been there before. The police had their sights set on a sensational capture of the Ripper and didn’t want a mental case to spoil their end game as they waited for Tracey to return to England and catch him with blood on his hands.
The statement Peter Sutcliffe made as part of his plea bargain deal with Dick Holland about how he killed Helen Rytka outside Garrards didn’t fit the facts . It is surprising that no journalist ever compared the known facts and evidence before his arrest with his statements . They accepted without question the police accounts and actions as they did with Stefan Kiszko and Judith Ward .To this day they don’t want to reveal their shortcomings. It is more comfortable to believe that Sutcliffe is the Ripper.
George Oldfield was the Assistant Chief Constaple for crime and he assumed overall responsibility for the Rippper investigation after the murder of Jayne McDonald in Leeds. Earlier in his career he secured a conviction for theft of a man whom he saw taking stones from a wall as he went to work. He also was instrumental in getting the confessions for planting a bomb on a bus from Judith Ward who was exonorated after serving 16 years in jail.
Read the newspaper article “Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!” Mirror 5/6/92.
Oldfield was unfit to handle a murder investigation because he had a serious alcahol addiction . He lived in Huddersfield and this was to be the next port of call for the Ripper who went on to taunt him with letters and a tape recorded message.Tracey confidently knew the police would catch the copy cat killer and this was his means of helping them. He was including Sutcliffe’s murders in his count ,and this was the main motive for sending the letters. Nobody knew better than Billy Tracey the experienced criminal that the police want a conviction above all costs. Every criminal knows that people are stitched up for crimes they didn’t commit every day and this was no different. The police view is that they are criminals anyway.
What excited the police in this case was the wealth of evidence they had about the Ripper. They felt sure they would get him but he was pulling their strings.