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Somebody's Mother, Somebody's Daughter

True Stories from Victims and Survivors of the Yorkshire Ripper
Narrated by: Sophie Roberts
Length: 11 hrs and 23 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (86 ratings)

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Summary

Much has been written about the brutal crimes of Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper, and - 35 years after he was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of 13 women - scarcely a week goes by without some mention of him in the media.   

In any story featuring Sutcliffe, however, his victims are incidental, often reduced to a tableau of nameless faces. But each woman was much more than the manner of her death, and in Somebody’s Mother, Somebody’s Daughter, Carol Ann Lee tells, for the first time, the stories of those women who came into Sutcliffe’s murderous orbit, restoring their individuality to them and giving a voice to their families, including the 23 children whom he left motherless.  

Based on previously unpublished material and fresh firsthand interviews, the audiobook examines the Yorkshire Ripper story from a new perspective: focusing on the women and putting the listener in a similar position to those who lived through that time. The killer, although we know his identity, remains a shadowy figure throughout, present only as the perpetrator of the attacks.   

By talking to survivors and their families, and to the families of the murdered women, Carol Ann Lee gets to the core truths of their lives and experiences, not only at the hands of Sutcliffe but also with the Yorkshire Police and their crass and ham-fisted handling of the case, where the women were put into two categories: prostitutes and non-prostitutes. In this audiobook they are simply women, and all have moving backstories.  

The grim reality is that not enough has changed within society to make the angle this audiobook takes on the Yorkshire Ripper case a purely historical one. Recent news stories have shown that women and girls who come forward to report serious crimes of a sexual nature are often judged as harshly - and often more so - than the men who have wronged them. The Rochdale sex abuse scandal, the allegations against Harvey Weinstein and the US President's deplorable comments about women are vivid reminders that those in positions of power regard women as second class citizens. At the same time, the discussions arising from these recent stories, and much of the reporting, show that women are judged today as much on their preferences, habits and appearance as they were at the time of the Yorkshire Ripper attacks. The son of Wilma McCann, Sutcliffe's first known murder victim, told the author, 'We still have a very long way to go', and in that regard he is correct.  

Hard-hitting and wholly unique in approach, this timely audiobook sheds new light on a case that still grips the nation.

©2019 Carol Ann Lee (P)2019 Michael O'Mara

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

BRILLIANT

If you have have never come across Carol Ann Lee previously then you must read her books. All her true crime books are not like the normal trash that's published to sensualize murder and murderers. Carol Ann's books are well-researched and balanced, but most importantly look at the lives of the victims, which are often ignored. Her latest book investigates the lives of the victims and survivors of Peter Sutcliffe. I have read a few books on Peter Sutcliffe and many of the authors have only touched on the lives of the victims. Carol Ann examines the lives of these women, looking at their upbringing and lives, and the prejudices they faced in 1970's society. I was only a child during this time, and lived in a different part of the country, so I cannot imagine how terrifying it must have been to have lived in Yorkshire/Manchester during this time. This book looks at the murders at another angle, from that of the victims, their parents and children, examining the long-term effects. Brilliant!

6 people found this helpful

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Riveting

Being from Leeds, I thought I'd grown up knowing all about the story of the ripper. Now I realise how little I knew because I never thought of the victims. Really opened my eyes, especially to the dangers my mother and other family lived through.

4 people found this helpful

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forget the ripper this is the real womens stories

at last, the women's perspective. sutcliffe was a coward unlike the brave women and their families who finally get the opportunity to portray the people behind the tabloid parodies of "good and "good time" girls. well read, but personally I think the narrator should have had a Yorkshire accent but didn't detract from this informative book

2 people found this helpful

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EXCELLENT

Highly moving incredibly sad very very good probably the best true crime book out there excellent highly recommended

2 people found this helpful

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Gripping book

What a gripping book could not put it down. Amazing insight into the victims story

1 person found this helpful

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A book that every person should read!

I remember waking up one morning as a child... he had struck in our Village of Farsley.

I listened to the author on an interview and decided to buy the book.

I thought this would be written with understanding and as it’s from the perspective of a woman, not a man, it is an incredible account intertwined with their lives, their backgrounds and their lives.

Hearing these stories is heartbreaking.

Seeing how these women were referred to in the press... will bring you to tears.

Hearing how many times he could have been caught will frustrate you beyond belief.

This book will stay with me forever, the frustration, the broken lives and how they and their families are still living with this today.

Touching, delicate and humanely written, you will get to know a little about each of them as women, the people they were and of their lives.

This is then layered with “his” accounts on top.

A difficult subject written with such skill it’s a book that sadly is not fiction and I only wish it was.

An amazing narrator too.

1 person found this helpful

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Gripping

It is difficult to review this book because it is fact not fiction. Written with sensitivity to the victims and their families it is worth reading. (Saying that, the narrator is not one I would choose to listen to again but that is just my own preference.)

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A refreshing acount.

This is a refreshing account of the dreadful atrocities suffered by the victims of Sutcliffe and at the attitude of the police at that time. I highly recommend this book, compelling to the last.

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A refreshing take on an old tale

I'm familiar with the story. I'll be fifty soon, I vividly recall my own mum & grandma being terrified. My dad was a long distance lorry driver, and it seemed like he was not only trying to protect is family, but prove it's not him. I also read a lot of true crime. A lot... For once an author has chosen not to be clinical and just recite facts and figures, but bring some humanity to the victims. Last year on BBC4, Liza Williams tried with "The Yorkshire Ripper Files: A Very British Crime Story". It was a decent attempt, much better than any previous TV programme on the murder series, and much like this book, much more emphasis on the victims and their families. Compared to other books, it wins hands down. Nothing in modern times would dare repeat or uphold the 1970's West Yorkshire Police's mantra of respectable victims versus good time girls. And thank goodness for that. They were all victims. No further adjective required. The only victims mentioned in this book are the Yorkshire & Manchester ones. In Chris Clarke & Tim Tate's "Yorkshire Ripper - The Secret Murders: The True Story of How Peter Sutcliffe's Terrible Reign of Terror Claimed at Least Twenty-Two More Lives" there are convincing arguments that the devastation goes much further afield than Northern England. Though the coward took long enough to admit to assaulting 15 year old Tracey Brown, I doubt he'll admit to more murders 😢

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Great apart from the feminist slant

This is a very well written and interesting book but it is marred by the feminist slant. I fail to see what a Peter Sutcliffe has in common with Harvey Weinstein and Donald Trump (as implied in the introduction) apart from the same genitals. In any case, I am glad to have listened to this book and to have learnt about the victims and the wider impact of his crimes. I would recommend.