Child of Ripper victim's new nightmares

A SON of the Yorkshire Ripper's first victim has today told how events in Suffolk has brought back horrendous nightmares of his childhood.Peter McCann, 37, said the murders of five young women in Ipswich in the last six weeks, have brought back memories of his mother Wilma who was murdered 31 years ago to the day that Ipswich's first victim Tania Nicol disappeared.

A SON of the Yorkshire Ripper's first victim has today told how events in Suffolk has brought back horrendous nightmares of his childhood.

Richard McCann, 37, said the murders of five young women in Ipswich in the last six weeks, have brought back memories of his mother Wilma who was murdered 31 years ago to the day that Ipswich's first victim Tania Nicol disappeared.

He said: “It is a difficult time and it is reigniting the memories. It never goes away. It is almost a replica of what happened when I was a young boy.

“It is disturbing, especially the rate it is happening. I am being affected by it and having nightmares.


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“My immediate thoughts are with the families - their lives have been turned upside down.”

Mr McCann, who is involved with national charity Support After Murder and Manslaughter (SAMM) said he is prepared to travel from his home in Leeds to Ipswich to help lend support to the victims' families.

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He said the murder of his mother in 1975 has shaped his life and he hopes the children of those killed in Suffolk will get the support which was not available to him.

Victims Anneli Alderton and Paula Clennell both had children and Annette Nicholls, who is yet to be confirmed as the fifth victim, also had a child.

Following his mother's murder, at the hands of Peter Sutcliffe, Mr McCann was taken into care and suffered an abusive childhood which led to crime and an almost suicidal low.

Mr McCann was just five when his mum was killed close to the family's Leeds home.He and his sister, then seven, went to search for their mum but to no avail.

It was police who broke the news to them that their mother had died.

Mr McCann added: “It has taken me more than half a lifetime to get over what happened and that is because a few mistakes were made.

“I hope those mistakes won't be repeated, for the children in particular. We didn't get to speak about mum, we didn't get to go to her funeral and we had no photos, we only saw the ones in the paper.

“It was quite a disturbing time and, as a young boy, I used to have fantasies about going out and killing random white males to settle the score.

“No one sat me down and explained what had happened. It would have helped if someone sat me down and gave me some real information.”

He said media coverage at the time of his mother's death had been difficult to cope with and he thought some of the descriptions of the women today will be harrowing for their families.

Mr McCann added: “These women have been referred to as prostitutes as if they are not sisters, daughters and mothers, no one deserves to lose their life, no matter what they do.

“I would hope things have changed from when my mum died. It wasn't until the fifth victim died that she was described as being an innocent victim because she was a 16-year-old girl.”

To contact Mr McCann or for support after the death of a relative or friend through murder or manslaughter call SAMM on 0207 7353838.

n. See page 6 and 7 for the families of tragedy this Christmas.

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