ITV's gripping drama series, The Long Shadow, is drawing to a close as it delves into the disturbing case of the Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe. The show has garnered praise for placing its emphasis on the victims of Sutcliffe's crimes and shedding light on the tireless efforts of the investigators. Here’s a recap of the chilling true story.
The series takes a unique approach by minimizing the portrayal of Sutcliffe, with actor Mark Stobbart appearing as the murderer only in the final two episodes. Instead, the focus remains on the victims and the impact of their tragic experiences. The trailer for the series cleverly showcases the Ripper only through a police drawing.
Peter Sutcliffe's reign of terror lasted over five years, during which he committed 13 murders and numerous non-fatal attacks. Shockingly, he was interviewed multiple times by West Yorkshire Police, but his crimes continued to go undetected. Sutcliffe gained the nickname "Ripper" due to the way he left the bodies of his victims.
One of Sutcliffe's first victims was Wilma McCann, a 28-year-old mother-of-four. She was brutally attacked and murdered just steps away from her own home. The series opens with a heart-wrenching scene of Wilma's children waking up to find their mother missing. Actress Gemma Laurie portrays Wilma in her first major on-screen role.
Another victim, Emily Jackson, is played by Katherine Kelly. Emily, a 42-year-old from Morley, fell prey to Sutcliffe's violence when she was stabbed 52 times. The series captures her desperate struggle to make ends meet and the tragic moment she enters Sutcliffe's car.
The Long Shadow also sheds light on the story of Irene Richardson, the mother-of-three who tragically lost her life at the hands of Sutcliffe. Actress Molly Vevers brings her character to life in an emotional portrayal. Sutcliffe's fifth victim, Jacqueline Hill, is played with great sensitivity by Daisy Waterstone, highlighting the devastating impact on the 20-year-old Leeds University student and Sunday school teacher.
The TV drama also delves into the police investigation led by Detective Chief Superintendent Dennis Hoban, played by Toby Jones. It explores the dedication of investigators like Detective Superintendent Jim Hobson, portrayed by Lee Ingleby, and Assistant Chief Constable George Oldfield, portrayed by David Morrissey. These police officers faced immense challenges as they pursued the elusive Yorkshire Ripper.
The Long Shadow not only sensitively portrays the victims' stories but also captures the frustrations and missed opportunities of the police investigation. This gripping series stands out for its commitment to presenting the true impact of Sutcliffe's crimes and the tireless work of those who sought justice for the victims.
The Long Shadow is a chilling reminder of the dark chapter in British history known as the Yorkshire Ripper case. As the series draws to a close, viewers are left haunted by the chain of missed opportunities that allowed Sutcliffe to continue his reign of terror.