Son of Ripper victim called Sutcliffe’s brother to ‘offer condolences’

The son of the Yorkshire Ripper's first recognised victim said he reached out to the serial killer's brother "to offer my condolences" after hearing the news of his death.

Richard McCann was only five years old when his mother, Wilma McCann, was murdered in 1975.

He revealed he had been in touch with one of Peter Sutcliffe's brothers, Carl, following the news that the murderer had died in prison on Friday.

Yorkshire Ripper case
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Yorkshire Ripper case
September 1979: Six of the young women murdered by Peter Sutcliffe, known as the Yorkshire Ripper. Top left to right; Vera Millward, Jayne MacDonald, Josephine Whittaker and bottom left to right; Jean Royle, Helga Rytka and Barbara Leach. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
A photofit issued by the police of Peter Sutcliffe, aka 'The Yorkshire Ripper', 1979. In 1981, Sutcliffe was convicted of the murders of thirteen women and assaults on seven more. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Detectives and Pathologists in Savile Park, Halifax, where the body of Josephine Whitaker, a victim of Peter Sutcliffe, was found, 5th April 1979. (Photo by Peter Stubbs/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
British serial killer Peter Sutcliffe, a.k.a. 'The Yorkshire Ripper,' in police custody, 1983. (Photo by Express Newspapers/Getty Images)
(Original Caption) January 5, 1981 - Bradford, England: This retouched photo shows Peter Sutcliffe, 35, at the wheel of his truck. It is a file photo. Sutcliffe was arrested by police January 2, 1981 and charged with the slaying of Jacqueline Hall, the last of the victims of the so-called "Yorkshire Ripper."
Police searching the ground behind the home of Peter Sutcliffe in Bradford following his arrest. 9th January 1981. (Photo by Andrew Varley/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
Yorkshire Ripper Murder Case Forensic police officers search for clues where the body of 20 year old Jacqueline Hill, a victim of serial killer Peter Sutcliffe, was discovered November 1980 (Photo by Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)
Scenes outside the Old Bailey during the trial of Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper, 29th April 1981. (Photo by John Varley/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
Manifestation lors de l'arrestation de Peter Sutcliffe, 'l'éventreur du Yorkshire', le 5 janvier 1981 à Bradford, Royaume-Uni. (Photo by Jacob SUTTON/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Scenes outside the Old Bailey during the Peter Sutcliffe, Yorkshire Ripper, trial. Pictured, sleeping through to dawn - the queue for the public gallery for the second day of the trial. London, England, 6th May 1981. (Photo by John Varley/Alistar MacDonal/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
Scenes outside the Old Bailey during the trial of Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper. Women demonstrate for Prostitutes, outside the Old Bailey, 8th May 1981. (Photo by John Varley/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
His head covered with a blanket, Peter Sutcliffe, aka 'The Yorkshire Ripper', is escorted into Dewsbury Magistrates Court to be charged with murder, 6th January 1981. (Photo by Jack Hickes/Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Yorkshire Ripper incident room (Photo by Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)
The front page of the London Times , Tuesday, Jan. 6, 1981 the arrest and charges brought against Peter William Sutcliffe for the murder of Jacqueline Hill; a 20 year old student who police said was a victim of the Yorkshire Ripper. The Times of London, along with other British papers, simply reported that a truck driver had been charged with the murder of a student due to Britain’s restrictive press guidelines. (AP Photo/Caulkin)
Bradford lorry driver Peter William Sutcliffe (blanket on head) in Dewsbury on Friday, in February 1981, where at the Magistrates Court he was committed in custody for trial at Leeds Crown Court, charges with the murder of 13 women and attempted murder of seven others. (AP Photo)

Mr McCann told the BBC: "I gave him a call when I got the news to offer my condolences.

"Carl Sutcliffe reached out to me many years ago when he read about my journey — he reached out to me with compassion and I felt the same.

"I know he obviously did some horrendous things but he was still his brother so I felt like I wanted to call him."

He said news of Sutcliffe's death had brought him "some degree of closure", but that he had never wished him dead, nor was he celebrating the news.

He said: "Every time we hear a news story about him, and my mum's photo is often shown, it's just another reminder of what he did."

He said "one positive" to come from Sutcliffe's death is that "we'll hear much less about him, and no more reminders about what happened all those years ago".

A mother of four, Wilma McCann was just 28 when she was killed on playing fields in Chapeltown, Leeds, just yards from her home.

Her son said he was left terrified after his mother's death, and when Sutcliffe killed Jayne MacDonald, who also lived in his street.

Wilma McCann - First Yorkshire Ripper Victim
Wilma McCann was 28 when she was murdered 45 years ago (PA)

Mr McCann said: "I was convinced as a child, having had no therapy of any description, that he was out there and that he was going to kill me."

He added: "It really affected me. I was ashamed of being associated with Sutcliffe and all his crimes and, possibly, to do with the way that lots of people in society looked down, and the police and some of the media – describing some of the women as innocent and some not so innocent.

"I'm sorry to harp on about this but I've had to live with that shame for all these years.

"There's only one person that should have felt any shame – although I doubt that he did – and that was Peter Sutcliffe."

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