Roger Ratcliffe. Sunday Times Insight journalist.
“I couldn’t put it down. I stayed up all night reading it”
This review of my self published book was received from Colin Wilson
on 14 october 2004. Colin Wilson is one of the top selling authors of
true crime works in the UK of many years standing. Therefore his
opinion is valuable.
‘When Noel O’Gara first sent me his book The Real Yorkshire Ripper, my
first reaction was scepticism. I had written about the case several
times, read books about it, and had no doubt whatever that Peter
Sutcliffe was the one and only Yorkshire Ripper. Then an Irish friend,
a Dubliner, came to stay with me, found the book on my crime shelves,
and immediately became totally absorbed in it. And I was surprised
when, after reading it from beginning to end, he told me that the
author had convinced him that Sutcliffe was not the only Yorkshire
Ripper, and that Noel O’Gara’s suspect might well, as the author
insisted, be the original Ripper.
I have no doubt that my friend, being Irish like the author and his
suspect Billy Tracey, simply felt that the whole story somehow ‘rang
Then I read the book myself, and began to see why.
Noel O’Gara, it seems, was a highly successful businesss man and
property developer when he met Billy Tracey who, like so many of his
countrymen, is a man of considerable charm, wit and humour –‘a
comedian’, as O’Gara says. So it came about that Tracey became
O’Gara’s friend, then his employee, and Tracey moved into his house.
O’Gara knew that Tracey had spent many years in prison, mostly in
short stretches, but that he was a Category A prisoner, ‘high
security’. He talked freely about his past, and O’Gara found his
anti-authoritanism appealing, since he shared the feeling. But as
Billy talked about his crimes, and how he had often fooled the police,
it slowly dawned on O’Gara that he was living with a ‘controlled
psychopath’ with a grudge against women. And when his guest tried to
persuade him that they should take O’Gara’s beautiful Dutch girlfriend
into a field and murder her, O’Gara was sufficiently concerned to send
her back to Holland.
This is while the Yorkshire Ripper murders were going on. And it was
when he read the psychological profile of the unknown killer released
by the police that O’Gara became suddenly convinced that this was his
friend Bill Tracey. It was, he told me, ‘as if an amazing connection
had been triggered’. In a state of shock, he began reviewing all the
evidence, hoping he was wrong and could forget the whole thing. The
more he studied it, the more convinced he became that he was right.
Peter Sutcliffe, the man who is serving a life sentence for the
Ripper murders, was arrested on January 2, 1981, and there can be
little doubt that he was responsible for some of the murders with
which he is charged, and that he had every intention of killing the
prostitute, Olive Reivers, who was in his car at the time of his
arrest. But it is O’Gara’s belief that Sutcliffe was basically a
‘copycat’ killer, and that Tracey is ‘the real Yorkshire Ripper’. He
argues that the Yorkshire police suspected this, and that they were
glad enough to close the case and see ‘the Yorkshire Ripper’ behind
bars. It is not, he says, in their interest to pursue his own
conviction that there was more than one Yorkshire Ripper.
I read the original draft of Noel O’Gara’s book, and listened to the
tapes of his conversations with the man he believes to be as guilty as
Sutcliffe, and ended up convinced that he could be right. But I also
recognised that, right or not, no one now ever going to want to
re-open the case.
I recognise that Noel O’Gara is a man with an obsession, and that men
with obsessions arouse suspicions in the rest of us. But if he is
correct, then his obsession is perfectly understandable, and what he
has to say deserves to be looked into.
That is, for obvious reasons, as far as I am prepared to go. Except to
say that I believe that those who are willing to look into The Real
Yorkshire Ripper will find themselves as concerned and disturbed by it
as I was.’
Sent By Andrew Abram
Between 1975 and 1981 a series of more than a dozen ritualistic and vicious murders terrorised the north of England, and caused one of the largest manhunts in British criminal history. His victims were mainly prostitutes, as well as other vunerable women and girls. The murders were seemingly connected by the killer’s m.o., and were accompanied by chilling letters and an infamous tape recording sent to the police, which accurately promised more killings. Encompassing the West Yorkshire, Greater Manchester and Lancashire police regions, the investigation employed up to 350 detectives for five years and cost over 4. In January 1981 Ronald Gregory, Chief Constable of the West Yorkshire Constabulary, announced that a man was being held in connection with the murders. Bradford lorry driver Peter Sutcliffe confessed to all of the offences, except one, and was subsequently convicted at the Old Bailey for the murders of thirteen women.
First published in 1989, ‘The Real Yorkshire Ripper’ presents a compelling and disturbing challenge to the accepted official version of events, perpetuated by the media, books and recent T.V. programmes, by offering convincing evidence that Sutcliffe was a copy-cat killer, guilty of onlt four of the murders he ‘confessed’ to. His m.o. was fundamentally to the other killer’s, and, rather than being interviewed and ‘released’ twelve times by the police, he was eliminated by them because hi blood group and teeth marks were unlike those of the suspect they were hunting. The police knew that he was not the ripper.
Bite marks, semen and saliva left on some of the victims, as well as saliva and bite marks on an envelope belonging to letters sent to the police, releaved that the Ripper possessed B blood group, whilst Sutcliffe’s was group O. Mr Ogara’s evidence shows that detectives knes that two men were responsible for the murders, and as early as 1976 they possessed a despcription of their prime suspect, known to be a ‘stocky bearded Irishman’ with stained teeth, gold rings, tatoos and scars. Numerous press reports confirmed this. For example, on 28 March 1978 the ‘Daily Mail’ reported a ‘Copy-Cat Ripper at Large’, while in 1980 the ‘Sunday Times Insight’ stated ‘[Assistant Chief Constable George] Oldfield conceded to us – that there is not one Ripper, but – at least – two’. Likewise, many newspapers in 1976 and 1977 carried accurate descriptions of the bearded Irish suspect.
‘The Real Yorkshire Ripper’ points out that faced with enormous operational errors and desperate to conclude the enquiry, the West Yorkshire Police, lead by Gregory, Oldfield and Detective Chief Superintendent James Hobson, concocted a ‘deal’ with Sutcliffe, in which they accepted his ‘confession’ to all the murders in return for Detective Chief Superintendent Dick Holland’s promise of no trial and a private room in a psychiatric hospital, with the possibility of parole after ten years. Sutcliffe’s ‘confession’ remains highly questionable, especially as the officer most closely involved in it, Holland, was responsible for the ‘confession’ of the vunerable Stefan Kiszko for the murder of Lesley Moleseed in 1975/6 (of which Holland faced serious criminal charges).
Critically, O’Gara asserts that the real Ripper was not a hoaxer, but was responsible for the ‘Geordie’ letters and tape, not only to deride the police, but in order to implicate the carbon-copy killer. As the former employer of the man he identifies as the real Ripper, O’Gara appears to possess a particular ewareness of the case. Both during and after the enquiry he attempted to present his evidence to the police, but was met by suspicion, closed attitudes and an unwillingness to comminucate with him. His book convincingly reconstructs the police prosecution of the case, their framing of the psychologically unbalanced Sutcliffe, and the extent of the police deception, described by O’Gara as ‘the cover-up of the century’.
Moreover, it reveals a picture of Billy Tracy as a cruel and manipulative psychopath, who is apparently at large in the UK. It is also possible that he is resposible for other murders and serious offences. By writing this book Mr O’Gara has thus placed himself in a potentially dangerous position. Although the findings of the book have been officially denied or ignored, it is a highly significant document that demands serious attention. The extent of the cover-up and the level at which particular senior policemen are implicated is both criminally and morally significant as it undermines the victims, their families, the Sutcliffe family, the public at large, and the truth, whilst failing to identify, apprehend and convict the man who perpetrated the majority of the murders.
Sent by attymarco
Dear Mr. O’Gara,
I’m truly intrigued by your website. I was living in Manchester during the ripper period and well remember the publicity surrounding the manhunt. After Sutcliffe was arrested and convicted, I recall speaking with a friend, who was then stationed at Bootle Street nick, who was adamant that Sutcliffe wasn’t guilty of all the murders and that there was an “Irish connection” to the killings. At the time, I didn’t pay much heed to this as it was really just said in passing over a pint.
A lot of water has passed under the bridge since Sutcliffe went down. Subsequent revelations about police methods of clearing up crimes in the seventies and eighties have caused a lot of us to pause and examine the evidence.
Mr. O’Gara. You may be quite potty. You may well lead the reader into a labyrinth far more sinister that the one encountered by Theseus but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and, with an open mind, I’ll buy and read your book. I’ll write you again when I’ve read it.
Lastly, did you ever correspond with Paul Foot on this subject?
THE NEWSPAPERS ROLE
comment by Noel O’Gara
The Tabloid press made a meal of Barry George because he was convicted in Court and because of Jill Dando and her association with Crimewatch there is great public interest. Copy and outrageous pictures like the one with a gas mask on George will sell millions of newspapers. That’s the name of the game. What many of the public dont realise is that a few sensational stories such as this are used by the newspapers which are making millions of pounds selling advertising space in 50 per cent of the paper. The ads are sold off the backs of the news stories which are of much greater interest to the reader. A single small classified ad costs about 50 pounds and a quarter page can cost many thousands. Thats why they use sensational stories like this to increase circulation figures and thus to generate higher advertising revenue.
Newspapers are neither charitable nor philantropic organisations. Robert Maxwell comes to mind. They are huge profit making corporations which sell advertising space off the back of spicy public interest stories such as this. Fred West,Ronnie Biggs and the like gave them great mileage or sales potential. Then comes page 3 pornography. Who wants to read boring political stuff anyway? Their paper with advertisements alone would not sell, period. They sold millions of papers on the back of the Yorkshire Ripper over 5 years and then on Peter Sutcliffe’s trial and aftermath because the courts convicted him and they continued to perpetuate the lie that Sutcliffe was the Ripper with follow up stories over the years. They dont care that the hit man who shot Dando is having a pint around the corner while he is polishing his silencer nor that the Real Yorkshire Ripper is living it up in the West End of London today. Selling newspapers is their business.
Reply to Keith Brannen by a reader
Dear Keith Brannen, regarding your comments and criticisms of Noel’s book, I would just like to congratulate you on your apparently extensive library and your self-confessed knowledge of murder cases.
I, and no doubt many others have read quite a bit on serial killers, but you seem to fall into the familiar trap of appearing to proclaim yourself as some kind of ‘expert’.
To my mind, one of the major hurdles to serious investigations into certain cases, such as the Whitechapel murderer and the Yorkshire Ripper is that there are so many ‘experts’ who claim to know all the ‘facts’ and will not or cannot be deflected from their theories.
In defence of Mr O’Gara, he states clearly in his book that there are inconsistencies in his argument that require further explanation and possibly research. What surprises me is that if you are as well read as you say, you cannot or will not see that the police handling of the Yorkshire Ripper case was shambolic and to some degree criminally negligent.
I have recently read an excellent book on the Stephan Kishko case, which outlines the largely criminal actions of Dick Holland in obtaining a ‘confession’. I really don’t see how anyone can read anything on the ripper case without getting the impression that the police were and still are involved in a major cover-up, as well as a serious manipulation of the ‘evidence’, including the various books and tv programmes that have appeared subsequently.
Whatever your views are regarding the case and Noel’s argument, you are entitled to them, but please stand back from the official ‘evidence’ for a moment and another, more realistic picture might reveal itself.
Having just read Noel’s amazing book regarding the real Ripper I feel compelled to put my feelings on paper. Not only is this book a fascinating read, it is immensely upsetting to think that the British Police Force were not prepared to listen to what Noel had to say regarding the man he feels is the Real Ripper. I have no doubt that Noel’s findings are true. The book is not a book of fiction but one of fact that has taken years of painstaking research to rid us the British Public of a menace to society. To this end the Real Ripper still walks free. An unforgettable read.
“The Desert Wives Club”
050 551 2502
Mr P ( name withheld)
Generally speaking, Noel O’Gara is right about newspapers such as the Daily Mail. I want to write some more on that later today, although no one is forced to read anything. Personally I delete most of my emails now, as I prefer telephone contact. That’s the test of a serious reply.
Regarding the Yorkshire Ripper scandal – I agree with Noel O’Gara that Peter Sutcliffe committed only some of those murders and that the real or principal Yorkshire Ripper is still at large, unless he’s been jailed for a separate matter.
A man is now awaiting trial as ‘Wearside Jack’ – meaning the man with a strong north-east English accent who sent letters and tapes to the West Yorkshire Police at the time, confessing to the murders. The man in custody is not William Tracey. The William Tracey theory has also been criticised on the ground that the principal Ripper was a driver, and William Tracey was learning to drive during his time as Noel O’Gara’s employee.
A major scandal now is that modern DNA testing could prove that Peter Sutcliffe killed only some of those women and could possibly identify the principal Yorkshire Ripper, who is almost certainly known to the police in connection with other matters. It’s not going to happen. The West Yorkshire Police and the media are going to stick to the myth that Peter Sutcliffe committed all those murders. It’s too embarrassing for all concerned. The police and the media have gone so far down the wrong road that they are not about to admit their ‘mistake’ and turn back. Case closed.
The recent book by Richard McCann, son of Wilma McCann, shows how both Sutcliffe and the principal Ripper wrecked the lives of the children and parents of those murdered women. Richard McCann survived emotionally and writing and publishing his book was an integral part of his personal recovery. Other relatives of the Ripper victims didn’t do so well. That makes the police cover up about the real Ripper all the more scandalous.
In short, I agree with Noel O’Gara that Peter Sutcliffe committed only some of the Yorkshire Ripper murders, and that the real Yorkshire Ripper went on killing after Sutcliffe’s arrest, while the West Yorkshire Police closed the case to cover up their blunders, and the media meekly printed unchallenged anything the police said. However, I don’t know if Noel O’Gara is right about William Tracey being the principal Ripper. William Tracey is not the major issue. The point is that there were two Rippers and only one was caught.
Noel O’Gara’s book and site and tape recordings about the Yorkshire Ripper scandal are quite fascinating and well worth a read.