The widow of one of the ‘Ripper Squad’ police teams who brought Peter Sutcliffe to trial remembers the chilling words that were between the two men this week.
The Yorkshire Ripper admitted that “I should be hanged” to Det Con Alan Foster just after he was sent down for murdering 13 women.
The exchange took place in the bowels of the Old Bailey, where Sutcliffe had been on trial.
The serial killer turned to the officer and said, “I should be hanged for this, wouldn’t I, Mr. Foster.”
The detective replied, “Yes, you should.”
Det Con Foster, 71, died four years ago – and his widow Christine Foster has shared his experiences with the Mirror.
Christine says her husband and many of his colleagues can finally rest in peace after Sutcliffe’s death last Friday (Nov. 13).
“My husband and all those who have passed away will wait for him wherever he is. They were all so moved by the case, ”she told the Mirror.
“It became their life for the police officers who worked on the case. They worked and worked and worked.
“We never saw Alan, the only way I knew he’d been home was because there was a dent on the pillow next to me.
“He would come in after I went to bed and go in the morning before I got up.”
And anything he would do would be talking about the matter all the time with anyone who would listen.
‘He couldn’t get rid of it. He would even talk about it when we were on vacation.
“He bought every newspaper he played in – we still have it.”
Even after being incarcerated, Sutcliffe continued to dominate their lives.
West Yorkshire police officer Foster, who was charged with tracking down other possible crimes committed by Sutcliffe, discovered 47 violent incidents possibly linked to the twisted Bradford trucker.
It is feared that he could have murdered a further 22 women in addition to the 13 he was convicted of manslaughter during his five-year campaign of terror between 1975 and 1980.
Christine, 73, said her husband became “obsessed” for fear the Ripper would kill again if he were ever released.
Clinging to one of the many files of newspaper clippings and documents compiled by her husband, she told the Mirror : “After his retirement he became obsessed with Peter Sutcliffe, he could never leave it alone. Alan worked his way through that case and he knew what a monster he was.
He was sure he’d attacked more women and he knew he would never see the light of day.
“Alan always said ‘he should never, never be released’.”
Mr. Foster was the exhibit officer at Sutcliffe’s May 1981 trial and held onto a secret stockpile of evidence despite being told to burn it after the verdict.
It included homemade open-crotch leggings, which the Ripper wore under his jeans on the night he was arrested in Sheffield, South Yorks in January 1981.
He also kept items containing DNA, including the killer’s hair and nail clippings, in the hope that future advances in forensic science would help pinpoint additional crimes on the Bradford truck driver.
Mr. Foster returned the laying to the police in 2003, along with other items.
Sutcliffe, who has been detained at HMP Frankland in Co Durham since 2016, died in hospital on Friday at the age of 74 after contracting Covid-19 and refusing treatment.
Mrs. Foster of Leeds, West Yorks, received a text message from a relative last week with the simple message: “Sutcliffe is dead.”
She said, “It’s such a shame Alan never saw this day. I hope it would have shut him down.
And she added, “Alan was a good man who loved his job.
“I’m glad this is over now for Alan and the officers and the families of those poor women.
“It is now judgment day for that man and he will go to hell.
‘I’m glad he’s gone. It is a good solution for bad waste. He was a monster. “