Few names conjure as much revulsion and horror in crime circles than that of Peter Sutcliffe, better known as the Yorkshire Ripper. Responsible for murdering 13 women and trying to murder seven more, his reign of terror left an indelible mark on British public opinion until his demise on November 13, 2020. But three years after that eventful date, ITV offers viewers new insight into this turbulent chapter in history, and For such crime-related updates, you can read more through this website.
|Peter Sutcliffe’s Notoriety||Known as the Yorkshire Ripper; murdered 13 women and attempted murder of seven others.|
|Final Days||Died on November 13, 2020. Battled health issues including diabetes, angina, and paranoid schizophrenia. Suspected to have contracted coronavirus. Demonstrated severe symptoms like continuous coughing, vomiting, and diarrhea.|
|ITV’s ‘The Long Shadow’||A seven-part drama highlighting Sutcliffe’s crimes, with a focus on his victims and their families. Features a prominent cast including Toby Jones, David Morrissey, and Katherine Kelly.|
|Title Significance||Originally titled ‘The Yorkshire Ripper’. Renamed to emphasize the lasting impact of Sutcliffe’s crimes and to avoid inadvertently glorifying him.|
|Concerns in Sutcliffe’s Treatment||Delays in obtaining secure transport, hesitation in removing restraints during his final hours, challenges in direct communication with his next of kin during his last moments.|
|Intention Behind the Series||Beyond Sutcliffe’s crimes, the series aims to delve deeper into the trauma and stories of the victims and their families.|
Revisiting Sutcliffe’s Final Moments
While Sutcliffe’s crimes remain at the forefront of public memory, the details of his final days add another dimension to this tale. Struggling with a myriad of health issues including diabetes, angina, and paranoid schizophrenia, Sutcliffe’s deteriorating condition saw him transferred from a maximum-security prison to a hospital for a pacemaker implant in late October 2020.
Although Ms. Sue McAllister’s report touches upon the possibility of Sutcliffe contracting coronavirus during this hospital stay, what remains undeniable is the rapid decline in his health post the diagnosis. Confined to bed, unable to stave off continuous coughing, and later exhibiting severe symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea, his final days were a stark contrast to the fear he once instilled in others.
However, amidst the account of Sutcliffe’s health, concerns arise. McAllister’s report highlights the procedural delays that plagued his treatment, from the nearly eight-hour wait for a secure vehicle for his return to HMP Frankland to the delay in removing his restraints even as he neared death. Such lapses not only reflect the challenges of handling high-risk prisoners but also pose questions on the humanity of the prison system.
Shifting the Narrative: ‘The Long Shadow’
Amidst this backdrop of Sutcliffe’s last days, ITV’s “The Long Shadow” takes center stage. Boasting a stellar cast, including Toby Jones, David Morrissey, and Katherine Kelly, this seven-part drama aims not just to revisit Sutcliffe’s crimes but to delve deeper into the lasting trauma borne by his victims and their families.
The choice of title is particularly notable. As writer George Kay reflects, the initial working title, ‘The Yorkshire Ripper,’ was soon deemed inappropriate. The moniker, despite its widespread recognition, inadvertently glorifies a man who brought untold misery to many. By rebranding the series as ‘The Long Shadow’, the narrative shifts from the man himself to the prolonged aftermath of his actions – the lingering pain, the memories, and the stories that need to be told.
While the shadow of Peter Sutcliffe’s heinous acts will forever loom large, it is essential to bring to light the stories overshadowed by his infamy. ITV’s “The Long Shadow” offers a fresh perspective on a well-trodden tale, emphasizing the broader ramifications of such crimes.
It’s not just about a serial killer’s life and his final uncomfortable moments but about the systemic challenges in handling such individuals, the importance of narrative sensitivity, and most importantly, the countless lives affected, forever trapped in the long shadow of one man’s deeds.