Richard McCann, son of Peter Sutcliffe’s first victim, Wilma McCann, has written an open letter to Netflix, pleading with the company to change the name of their upcoming documentary. The docu-series, which is set for release on 16th December, will detail his 13 murders – as well as the investigation that surrounded the string of murders that took place between 1975 and 1980.
In his letter to Netflix, McCann points out that its current title, The Ripper, is insensitive towards the families that have had to live with the aftermath of his vicious crimes. McCann goes on to suggest that the repeated use of the word ‘ripper’ “comes from ‘ripping flesh’ and the repeated use of this phrase is irresponsible, insensitive and insulting to our families and our mothers’ legacies.”
McCann said in a public post on his LinkedIn page: “On behalf of our mothers, who were murdered by Peter Sutcliffe, we demand that Netflix demonstrates respect and sensitivity to our families by changing the name of your new production ‘The Ripper’, due to air on 16 December.
“The moniker ‘The Yorkshire Ripper’ has traumatised us and our families for the last four decades. It glorifies the brutal violence of Peter Sutcliffe, and grants him a celebrity status that he does not deserve. Please remember that the word ‘ripper’ comes from ‘ripping flesh’ and the repeated use of this phrase is irresponsible, insensitive and insulting to our families and our mothers’ legacies.
“We feel betrayed by Netflix, as some of us participated in this production with the understanding that the title was ‘Once Upon A Time In Yorkshire’. Those who participated would not have done so had we known this title would change.
“We urge you not to cast aside our right to dignity, sensitivity and respect in the interests of boosting your ratings. Do not encourage desensitization to the violence that occurred, or the long-lasting grief and trauma it has caused our families.”
Just last month, Richard McCann also spoke with PA about the continued use of the prolific killer’s pseudonym – expressing that the use of the ‘R’ word “serves to retraumatise” the victim’s families.
The Yorkshire Ripper, as he came to be known, was at large in and around West Yorkshire and the North West of England in the 70s – with his first murder taking place in 1975, the 28-year-old mother of Richard McCann, Wilma McCann from Leeds. His detestable crimes continued to grow over the years, and it eventually became unsafe across Yorkshire and the North West for women to go out at night alone, so much so, police actually advised against it.
Netflix is yet to respond to McCann’s call-out.
[Featured image: Netflix]