© 2018

Revisiting the Yorkshire Ripper Murders

Histories of Gender, Violence and Victimhood


Part of the Palgrave Studies in Victims and Victimology book series (PSVV)

About this book


Between 1975 and 1980, Peter Sutcliffe, who became known as the Yorkshire Ripper, murdered 13 women in the North of England. The murders provoked widespread fear amongst women and impacted the public consciousness at both the local and national level. This book revisits the case, applying a feminist and cultural criminological lens to explore a range of criminological concerns relating to gender, violence and victimhood. Combining research findings from oral history interviews, analysis of popular criminological texts and academic commentary, this volume explores what the case can tell us about feminism, fear of crime, gender and serial murder and the representation of victims and sex workers. The volume contributes to a creative cultural criminology, highlighting how excavating recent criminal history and reading across texts presents new ways for understanding violence, gender and representation in the contemporary context.  


crime and gender history of crime british history victims sutcliffe murder serial killer feminism british academy feminism

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social Sciences, Business, LawTeesside UniversityMiddlesbroughUK

About the authors

Louise Wattis is a senior lecturer in Criminology and Sociology in the Department of Criminology, Law and Policing at Teesside University, UK.

Bibliographic information


“Situating serial murder in the context of feminist analyses of systemic male violence, Wattis provides us with a much-needed critical contribution to the structural and cultural analysis of one of the world’s most voyeuristic topics, the serial killer. In her case study of the notorious Yorkshire Ripper, she combines a unique oral history approach with a close reading of key cultural texts to reveal the power of emergent forms of popular and creative criminology. After this book, no longer can or should serial murder be understood outside of the complex dimensions of culture and violence against women.” (Michelle Brown, Professor in the Department of Sociology, The University of Tennessee, USA)