Police charges man connected with "Ripper" hoax

Police charged a man on Thursday in connection with a notorious hoax which diverted officers during their hunt 25 years ago for the "Yorkshire Ripper".Police in West Yorkshire said they had charged 49-year-old John Humble from Sunderland with perverting the course of justice and ordered him to appear before magistrates in Leeds later.

Detectives have been searching for a hoaxer who sent letters and an audio tape to them in 1979 goading them for failing to catch the Ripper, who killed 13 women between 1975 and 1980.

The hoax diverted resources from the hunt for the real killer, lorry driver Peter Sutcliffe, who was jailed for life in 1981 for the murders.

The "Yorkshire Ripper" case is one of the most high-profile in British criminal history.

Police have been criticised for falling for the hoax and moving resources from Yorkshire to a northeast area where accents match the voice of the hoaxer, dubbed "Wearside Jack".

The tape, sent to Assistant Chief Constable George Oldfield in June 1979, taunted the police manhunt.

"I see you are still having no luck catching me," the message said. "I have the greatest respect for you George, but Lord, you are no nearer catching me now than four years ago."

Police questioned thousands of men and eliminated those without a "Wearside" accent. Sutcliffe did not have such an accent, reports Reuters. I.L.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team