Irene Richardson (1949? to 5th February 1977)

 

Here I am on Soldier=s Field at Roundhay Park in Leeds, an affluent area of Victorian stone block mansion and flats. Peter Sutcliffe - the Yorkshire Ripper - attempted to murder two prostitutes at the same spot. Firstly he=d picked up Marcella Claxton and brought her here for sex but couldn=t go through with it. At some point she got out of the car to wee or lie on the grass and Aget the ball rolling@ but Sutcliffe walloped her head with a ball hammer a few times. She managed to stagger to a telephone box for help.

 

Secondly he picked up Irene Richardson and killed her. The 28-year-old was desperate for money and homeless except for a rented room on Cowper Street in Leeds. For a few days before her end she had been hanging round the streets to earn some money. On Saturday 5th February 1977 she left her room at about 11:15pm saying she was going to a pub and disco in the centre of Leeds. Sutcliffe was cruising around in his car and spotted her near the Gaiety pub  (he had not attacked anyone for nine months by this time.) He stopped and Irene was so penniless she jumped in without a word. Sutcliffe said he might not have wanted her but she said she=d show him a good time and told him to drive to Soldier's Field. They came here up West Avenue where I=m stood, a broad quiet cul-de-sac lined with mansions and apartment blocks.

 

As you can see from the photographs there=s a building here which must contain toilets as Irene got out of the car for a wee. Sutcliffe got out too and pushed a hammer and Stanley knife into his pocket. The toilets were locked so Irene removed her coat and boots and squatted down to wee on the grass. Sutcliffe smashed her on the back of the head three times with his hammer (one blow drove her skull nearly an inch into her brain.) The hammer was the type to knock in rivets and probably didn't kill her initially. While he was still conscious he stabbed her in the neck and throat and three times in the stomach. These downward strokes caused her intestines to spill out of the wounds. He ripped her jacket and blouse open. He pulled the right leg of her tights off. Irene was wearing two pairs of knickers (as she was menstruating) and he stuffed one into her tights. He placed her brown boots over her thighs and left her skirt pulled up. Suddenly he heard nearby voices and saw a car coming out of a block of flats, covered Irene=s body with her coat and drove away. Oddly a couple had been sat on a bench nearby but didn't witness the murder. An autopsy showed Irene had had sex within the twenty-four hours before death but this was probably with another man.

 

Early the next morning a man jogging saw Irene=s face-down body and though she maybe ill. When he asked if she was okay there was no reply so he brushed her blood-matted hair away from her face and saw glazed eyes and blood on her neck. Sutcliffe had left a clue. Though the road is wide he=d parked his car on the grass and left behind tyre marks. They were a common type though and 100,000 vehicles in West Yorkshire alone would match them. Sutcliffe drove home to Garden Lane but strangely no blood had splashed onto his clothes so he kept them. Later he told police he was out of control and obsessed with prostitutes.

 

I'd took a few photographs of the grass. Litter was strewn about and it was obvious there'd been a recent fun-run or something ended there with drinks and sandwiches. A family with remote control cars watched me as I took photos. Some young children gawked at me but I'm used to it. I'd been here a couple of years earlier as Jimmy Savile lived nearby in a penthouse flat. The block was being refurbished then but it's been finished now. I went round the back to look as his balcony. I've found that you only have to get your worm out for a wee or start pointing and taking photos of something for someone to appear and they did, wondering what I was pointing at. I ignored them and got back in the motorhome for a coffee. They followed me and I was expecting them to knock on the window to have their nosiness sated but they didn't.

 

 

 

 

 

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Image result for irene richardson, murder victim

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outside Lakeside Court where Jimmy Savile lived...

 

Around the back...

Looking up West Avenue...

 

...and looking down. Irene was found on Soldier's field to the right...