The copper who arrested the notorious Yorkshire Ripper has given his first interview to 'put the record straight' – and described the brutal serial killer as a 'devious and a consummate liar'.
Peter Sutcliffe slaughtered at least 13 women, and was given 20 life sentences for the killings which took place between 1975 and 1980. The twisted killer targeted vulnerable women in red light districts, leaving those working in Leeds and Bradford in a constant state of terror.
Sutcliffe, who claimed he'd been told to murder by "the voice of God", was eventually caught in January 1981, after he was stopped in his car by police, including now-retired 77-year-old Bob Hydes.
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He and a colleague arrested Sutcliffe on suspicion of theft while he was in his vehicle with sex worker Olivia Reivers. Back at the station he was asked to empty his pockets before producing a two-foot long coiled piece of cord, having earlier disposed of a hammer and knife under the noses of police.
"I assume it was part of his strangulation kit," Hydes, who was 31 at the time, said of the discovery in a chat with the Daily Mail.
A fellow officer called Duty Sgt Arthur Armitage saw the suspect and thought he looked like the Ripper, Hydes said.
"[Armitage] looked at my suspect, then back at the poster. He turned to Sutcliffe and declared: 'You're the Yorkshire Ripper, you are.'
"Sutcliffe stared at Arthur but never flinched or said a word, staying as cool as a cucumber."
Hydes admitted "my heart started pounding."
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When asked if anyone could verify his identity, Sutcliffe provided the number he said belonged to his wife Sonia. An Asian man answered the phone.
"I thought he was devious. I think he was possibly frightened at how deep we were looking into him," Hydes told the Mail.
"He was a consummate liar, trying to get away from us to get his hammer and knife and get back to Bradford. I said to him: 'You gave me a wrong number. What's your real one?' He refused to give it to me. 'I don't want Sonia to know,' he muttered."
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Suspicion grew and cops went back to the scene where they lifted Sutcliffe, finding his blade and hammer.
"That was when we realised we'd found Sutcliffe's killing kit. It was a spine-tingling moment. I knew we had got our man," the ex cop said.
On Sunday January 4, Sutcliffe admitted he was the Yorkshire Ripper. He was jailed for life for the murders of 13 women and attacks on seven more.
He died in 2020 aged 74.
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