The chilling letters and tape sent by Sunderland hoaxer John Humble to detectives investigating Yorkshire Ripper

After the death The Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe we look back at the notorious case of Wearside Jack hoaxer John Humble.

Tuesday, 20th August 2019, 10:58 am
Updated Friday, 13th November 2020, 12:16 pm

Here we re-run exact translations of John Humble's letters, complete with grammatical errors, which were published in the Echo in 2006 after John Humble had been jailed.

First letter – to police

Dear Sir, I am sorry I can't give my name for obvious reasons. I am the Ripper. I've been dubbed a maniac by the press but not by you, you call me clever and I am.

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Police images released in 1979 of four envelopes and two signatures of 'The Yorkshire Ripper' - which were actually from John Humble
Police images released in 1979 of four envelopes and two signatures of 'The Yorkshire Ripper' - which were actually from John Humble

You and your mates haven't a clue that photo in the paper gave me fits and that bit about killing myself, no chance.

I've got things to do. My purpose to rid the streets of them sluts. My one regret is young lassie McDonald, did not know cause changed routine that night.

Up to number eight now you say seven but remember Preston 75, get about a bit you know. You were right I travel a bit. You probably look for me in Sunderland, don't bother, I am not daft, just posted letter there on one of my trips.

Not a bad place compared with Chapeltown and Manningham and other places. Warn whores to keep off the streets cause I feel it coming on again.

Image released by West Yorkshire Police

Sorry about young lassie

Yours respectfully,

Jack the Ripper.

Might write again later I not sure last one really deserved it. Whores getting younger each time. Old slut next time I hope. Huddersfield never again, too small close call last one.

Picture dated 26/06/1979 of West Yorkshire's Assistant Chief Constable, Mr George Oldfield, at a police theatre at Wakefield, listens to an eerie tape recording of the man thought to be the "Yorkshire Ripper", which turned out to be Wearside Jack hoaxer John Humble. Picture by PA

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Second letter – to the Daily Mirror

Dear Sir,

I have already written to Chief Constable George Oldfield "a man I respect" concerning the recent Ripper murders.

John Humble

I told him and I am telling you to warn them whores I will strike again and soon when the heat cools off.

About the MacDonald lassie, I didn't know that she was decent and I am sorry I changed my routine that night.

Up to murder eight now you say seven but remember Preston 75.

Easy picking them up don't even have to try you think they're learn but they don't.

Most are young lassies, next time try older one I hope.

Police haven't a clue yet and I don't leave any I am very clever and don't look for me up there in Sunderland cause I not stupid just passed through the place not a bad place compared with Chapeltown and Manningham.

One of the letters

Can't walk the streets for them whores. Don't forget warn them I feel it coming on again.

If I get a chance sorry about lassie I didn't know.

Yours respectfully

Jack the Ripper.

Might write again after another week gone by maybe Liverpool or even Manchester again. To hot here in Yorkshire. Bye. I have given advance warning so its yours and their fault.

Third letter – to police

Dear Officer,

Sorry I haven't written, about a year to be exact, but I haven't been up north for quite a while.

I wasn't kidding the last time I wrote saying the whore would be older this time and maybe I'd strike in Manchester for a change, you should have took heed.

That bit about her being in hospital, funny the lady mentioned something about being in hospital before I stopped her whoring ways.

The lady won't worry about hospitals now, will she. I bet you be wondering how come I haven't been to work for ages, well I would have been if it hand't been for your cursed coppers I had the lady just where I wanted her and was about to strike when one of your cursing police cars stopped right outside the lane, he must have been a dumb copper cause he didn't say anything, he didn't know how close he was to catching me.

Tell you the truth, I thought I was collared, the lady said don't worry about the coppers, little did she know that bloody copper saved her neck.

That was last month, so I don't know when I will be back on the job but I know it won't be Chapeltown too bloody hot there maybe Bradford's Manningham.

Might write again if up north.

Jack the Ripper

PS Did you get letter I sent to Daily Mirror in Manchester.

Transcript of the tape which fooled detectives

"I'm Jack. I see you are still having no luck catching me.

"I have the greatest respect for you George, but, Lord, you are no nearer catching me now than four years ago when I started.

"I reckon your boys are letting you down, George. It can't be much good, can ya?

"The only time they came near me was a few months back in Chapeltown when I was disturbed. Even then it was a uniform copper, not a detective.

"I warned you in March that I'd strike again. Sorry it wasn't Bradford. I did promise you that but I couldn't get there.

"I'm not quite sure when I will strike again but it will definitely be sometime this year, maybe September or October, even sooner if I get the chance.

"I am not sure where, maybe Manchester. I like it there, there's plenty of them knocking about.

"They never learn, do they, George? I bet you've warned them but they never listen.

"At the rate I'm going I should be in the book of records. I think it's 11 up to now, isn't it?

"Well, I'll keep on going for quite a while yet. I can't see myself being nicked just yet. Even if you do get near I'll probably top myself first.

"Well, it's been nice chatting to you, George.

"Yours, Jack the Ripper."

Image issued by West Yorkshire Police.