7.6/10
40
2 user

Manhunt: The Search for the Yorkshire Ripper 

Two-part documentary focusing on the investigation to capture the Yorkshire Ripper by the West Yorkshire Metropolitan Police.
Reviews

Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
1999  
1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Edit

Cast

Series cast summary:
Janet Suzman ...  Narrator 2 episodes, 1999
Christa Ackroyd Christa Ackroyd ...  Self - News Reporter 2 episodes, 1999
Dick Holland Dick Holland ...  Self - Detective Superintendent 2 episodes, 1999
Andrew Laptew Andrew Laptew ...  Self - West Yorkshire Police 2 episodes, 1999
Megan Winterburn Megan Winterburn ...  Self - Police Sergeant 2 episodes, 1999
Learn more

More Like This 

Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

This is a dramatisation of the real-life investigation into the notorious Yorkshire Ripper murders of the late 1970s, showing the effect that it had on the health and career of Assistant ... See full summary »

Stars: Gerard Horan, Stephen Moore, Claire Webzell
Documentary | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A new three-part look at the story of psychopath Peter Sutcliffe, dubbed "The Yorkshire Ripper", this series focuses on how the flaws of the police investigation and the social attitudes of the time enabled his five-year crime spree.

Stars: Liza Williams, Diana Muir, Tracy Browne
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A vivid drama that documents the notorious "Moors murderers", Ian Brady and Myra Hindley.

Stars: Joanne Froggatt, Maxine Peake, Sean Harris
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Based on the personal testimonies of many of those most closely involved, Five Daughters recounts the final weeks in the lives of the five young women murdered in Ipswich in 2006.

Stars: Adam Kotz, Juliet Aubrey, Natalie Press
A Is for Acid (TV Movie 2002)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

John George Haigh, the notorious "acid bath murderer" in 1940s England, becomes the subject of this dramatization.

Director: Harry Bradbeer
Stars: Martin Clunes, Keeley Hawes, Richard Hope
Dark Angel (2016)
Crime | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A two-part drama about the Victorian serial killer Mary Ann Cotton.

Stars: Joanne Froggatt, Alun Armstrong, Isla McMonigle
Crime | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The life story of compulsive gambler and spendthrift William Palmer, nicknamed "Prince of Poisoners" who killed various friends and family members (including his own children) for financial gain without anyone so much as batting an eye.

Stars: Keith Allen, Jayne Ashbourne, Judy Cornwell
The Jury (2002–2011)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Twelve men and women are called for jury service in the retrial of a man accused of a triple murder after the High Court overturns the original verdict.

Stars: Paul Bhattacharjee, Gerard Butler, Nina Sosanya
Edit

Storyline

Two-part documentary focusing on the investigation to capture the Yorkshire Ripper by the West Yorkshire Metropolitan Police.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary | Crime

User Reviews

 
Fascinating.
10 August 2014 | by rmax304823See all my reviews

It's a straightforward documentary and consists of period photos, accounts from witnesses and survivors, narrated by Janet Suzman. There are virtually no reenactments, no gruesome shots of dead bodies, and not much about Peter Sutcliffe, who murdered some fourteen women with a hammer and knife in the north of England at the end of the 1970s.

Instead we follow the municipal police as they gradually come to terms with the fact that a serial murderer is in their midst. The first four victims, prostitutes, don't get that much attention but when a pretty, young, middle-class girl is offed, interest rises and, among the general public, almost to the point of hysteria.

As the number of victims mounts, the number of police officers is increased, the higher-order personnel recalled from holidays, and all together several million man hours are expended on the search, most of them wasted on a hoaxer who writes the police letters imitating those of Jack the Ripper.

The letters -- and one phone call -- are taken so seriously that those suspects whose local dialects don't match those of the caller are shunted down to the bottom of the list, among them, Peter Sutcliffe.

The narration continually refers to this decision, and to minor clerical errors and erroneous judgments, as "mistakes", and indeed they are. But the mistakes look inevitable with hindsight. A vast uncoordinated bureaucracy receiving more than 200,000 reports on suspects and clues simply were overwhelmed by data. Without computers, all the evidence on all the suspects was filed and managed manually -- on index cards in drawers like those in a library's card catalog. Sutcliffe left few clues, but those that were found might be indexed under different categories. His known shoe size might be in one drawer, his past police record in another. And no official had before him all of the data available on Sutcliffe -- or on any other suspect.

The narration seems to me at time too critical of a police force that was giving the crimes its every effort. The public response was hardly better. Worse, the endangered citizens began blaming "men" in general, calling for a curfew on men because they victimize women, and so forth. Of course serial murderers concentrate on women and young children. Who can expect them to attack a man who might turn out to be the image of Mike Tyson? They don't necessarily hate women and children. They may just need the joy of killing and pick the weakest victims, like a lioness pruning an antelope herd.

At one point in the investigation, with panic setting in, a television broadcast was made in the area, involving ministers, policemen, and a psychiatrist. Fortunately, no psychiatrist is featured among the talking heads, nor is any explanation given for Sutcliffe's killing spree. I say "fortunately" because no one knows why these people do what they do. I sighed with relief when the narrator described Sutcliffe's childhood as "unremarkable." It would have been so EASY to slip in as an explanation that he'd been beaten as a child. (My mother used a wooden cooking spoon called a Kochloeffel. What did your mother use?) My guess is that the answer lies chiefly, but not entirely, with biology. When we know more about the function of subcortical structures like the limbic system, we'll have a better picture of what prompts this socially pointless savagery. We don't have the technology now, any more than the police had computers in 1975.

It's a good thing they do now, when they may be needed more than ever in uncovering some of the mysteries associated with terrorist attacks. At the time of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, there were 16 independent intelligence agencies in the US, none of them communicating with the others. All the information was in separate shoe boxes.


1 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 2 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 September 1999 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(2 parts)

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed