The Yorkshire Ripper made a daring attempt to escape Broadmoor with the help of fellow patient Ronnie Cray.
A London gangster provided a hacksaw that Peter Sutcliffe was using to cut through the metal bars on his window.
The plot was derailed by accident after serial killer Sutcliffe was transferred to another room in a maximum security hospital.
But when the bosses noticed it, they REJECTED that it was the work of the Ripper.
Now, 30 years after what should have been Britain’s most shocking breakthrough, The Sun is finally able to reveal that Sutcliffe was trying to escape and Cray was instrumental in the plot.
The whole truth is revealed in my new book I am the Yorkshire Ripper with Alfie James, who had been in contact with Sutcliffe for almost 20 years before the killer died in November 2020 at the age of 74.
Based on hundreds of phone calls and letters from the Ripper, it tells the story of his life in more detail than ever.
During an escape attempt in 1992, Alan Franey, Broadmoor’s general manager, stated: “The stories that Peter Sutcliffe planned to escape from the hospital are not absolutely true. The stories being circulated are causing unnecessary public concern, and those responsible for them are acting irresponsibly.”
But our book refutes this when Sutcliffe himself says: “I almost managed to cut one of the bars.”
He also talks about his love for his ex-wife Sonia and finally answers the question of whether she knew about his reign of terror – 13 murders and seven attempted murders between 1975 and 1980 – which struck fear into northern England.
For the first time, he details the voices he says made him kill – how they sounded and how he interacted with them.
He also reveals the extent of his relationship with Cray when they were both locked up in Broadmoor after each was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.
Sutcliffe dismisses reports that Kray hated him and put a price on his head, and reveals that they were such good buddies that he cut Ronnie’s hair.
He talks about the rumor mill: “They said that Ronnie had a contract with me, but when I met him I told him about it and he completely denied all such things. If it was true, he must have been afraid to admit it, but I believed him and we got along.
“I used to cut his hair and we sat and chatted. Ronnie hated when he had long hair, he always had to wear it short and look elegant.
“He always thought people were talking about him, but he trusted me, he trusted me to cut his hair, and we were fine.”
Cray, sent to Broadmoor in 1979, ten years after being sentenced to life in prison for the murder of George Cornell at the Blind Beggar pub in Whitechapel, East London, had a reputation as a stylish dresser.
He wore a suit, monogrammed scarf and cufflinks to meet friends and celebrities who visited him inside.
They included actress Barbara Windsor, The Who frontman Roger Daltrey, and pop star brothers Kemp Martin and Gary as they explored their roles as gangster twins Ronnie and Reggie in the 1990 film The Krays. But Sutcliffe says it was just for public viewing.
He says of Kray: “In the ward he dressed like a tramp. Frayed old jeans and a shabby shirt. He wore suits to show off, to impress people, but when he got back to the ward, he was a bit of a slob.”
When you got up in the morning, you walked out of your room completely naked as hell and waited for them to open your locker with your clothes. It was supposed to humiliate people.
Sutcliffe also reveals that Ronnie was never far from the drama.
He says: “I remember him returning with a bloody suit after a visit when the guest punched him in the face.
“Ronnie was a little gullible. He thought that everyone who wanted to visit him was a good friend. He hadn’t seen this guy in ass years, and he held a grudge against Ronnie and slapped him. They had to take him out.
“The Kemp brothers came to visit Ronnie and Reggie (who was in prison) many times and discussed everything, got to know their personalities to portray them. Ronnie was pleased with this, as was Reggie. They thought they did a pretty good job.
“He didn’t like it when his mother was portrayed as cursing. But they were quite happy with the result of the film.”
Sutcliffe denies rumors that Ronnie received Broadmoor privileges and says he even cleaned toilets for extra money.
He says: “He was treated the same as everyone else. At one time his job was to clean toilets. The employee entered the booth and looked up, shouting at Ron.
“He said, ‘Ron, did you clean the toilets?’ To which Ron yelled back that he had done it. To this, the employee said: “Well, come back and clean up the shit properly.” “Ron came back and cleaned the toilet. After that, Ron packaged this work. in. It was volunteer work to earn some extra money.”
Recounting his quest to escape, Sutcliffe reveals that he hid the hacksaw blade behind a baseboard during the day and used it at night to cut the plank.
He says: “It came from a friend of Ronnie’s, a patient from Broadmoor. “He could have been brought in because the security was not very good at the time. But we had workshops in Broadmoor, that’s where I think it all came from. All I know is that Ronnie Kray was involved in getting us the blade.
“For some reason, I was transferred to another cell that had nothing to do with what I was trying to do. After some time, this cell was decorated and it was noticed that the lattice on the window was almost cut through.
“Because I haven’t done this for a long time, it became rusty, so there was no connection with me.”
Sutcliffe arrived at Broadmoor in 1984, three years after he had been sentenced to life in prison for a series of murders.
The regimen he found at the Berkshire hospital was much harsher than it is today. He recalls: “You are taken to the bathroom, completely undressed, and you take a bath, wash your hair.
“There were about ten of them around you, grinning and talking. You feel like you are in a goldfish tank.
“I was only locked in pajamas for three days before I was allowed to join the community in the day room.
“In those days it was very strict and you just had to sit in your chair. If you wanted to use the toilet, you had to raise your hand and ask permission.
“When you get up in the morning, you walk out of your room naked, stand in the hallway and wait for them to come and open your locker, which was bolted to the wall on the other side of the hallway with your clothes in.
“You had to leave your pajamas in your cell and everyone was standing in the hallway fucking naked waiting to get dressed. It was strange.
“And at the same time, at night, I had to take off all my clothes, stand in the corridor, put everything in the closet.
“They came and locked the closets and then opened your doors so you had to stand there naked until they came and opened your doors to let you in at night and then you put on your pajamas. This was done in order to humiliate people.
“And you had to wear a shirt and tie while eating. Now everything has changed.”
Still, Sutcliffe enjoyed certain aspects of Broadmoor, especially the food. His weight had increased partly due to medication and diabetes, but mostly due to a large meal.
He recalls one barbecue at Broadmoor: “It was very nice. The food was great and plentiful. There was everything you could think of for meat, and a lot of drinks, as well as various cakes.
One day at a Christmas party, Sutcliffe outdid himself when he managed to eat THREE dishes.
He says: “I ate steak, chips, onion rings and mushrooms, then sausage and mashed potatoes with peas and thick sauce, and then chicken curry with rice and peas.”
He ended it with “a big ice cream pie”. Eating is such a favorite hobby among Broadmoor patients that food and non-alcoholic drinks take on a value that far exceeds their real value, leading to huge drama if anything goes missing.
One day, Sutcliffe discovered a pair of two-liter bottles of cola belonging to him, and another patient disappeared from the refrigerator, which was usually locked, only employees had the keys.
He was furious and said: “By the way, sneaky – we have tea leaves in the ward.
“Stole two bottles of Diet Coke. It’s devilish to steal our things.
The UK’s most notorious serial killer treasured his friendship with the country’s most prolific pedophile.
Peter Sutcliffe and fellow Yorkshireman Jimmy Savile hit it off at Parkhurst Prison on the Isle of Wight when a television host, a volunteer prison visitor, asked Sutcliffe to paint his portrait.
Sutcliffe says: “He came to chat with me, asking how I feel, do I miss Yorkshire? He said, “I wonder if I can ask you a favor? Could you make a portrait of me for the Stoke Mandeville Hospital?
“I said, ‘Yes, fine.’ So I took a big picture of him, very big, in a tracksuit, and he had to put it up there.”
Their friendship was strengthened when Sutcliffe moved to Broadmoor, where Savile was the unofficial entertainment manager.
The Ripper added: “He used to go into the visiting room to chat. I presented it to my visitors. He had his funny sayings: “Well, well, well.”
“Great guy. Always had a good laugh with him.”
Sutcliffe refused to believe that his old friend was a sexual abuser after the full extent of his crime was exposed after his death in 2011. And he was horrified when asked if he had ever been a victim.
He said, “I got a questionnaire in the mail that said, ‘Did you know Jimmy Savile, would you like to do an interview and see if you can list any wrongdoings?’
“I have nothing to do with this. They are trying to use him as a scapegoat to dig up more dirt. That’s what happened all the time.”
Even as decades of Savile’s abuse came to light, Sutcliffe still denied it. He said, “I don’t believe half of it. No one stands up for Jimmy.
- I am the Yorkshire Ripper by Robin Perry and Alfie James is published by Mirror Books March 3rd for £8.99. Also available in e-book.