The British serial killer known as the Yorkshire Ripper — convicted of murdering 13 women and attempting to kill seven others — died in the hospital Friday after refusing treatment for COVID-19.
Peter Sutcliffe, 74, died at 1:10 a.m. after his lungs collapsed, The Sun reported.
Sutcliffe, who was serving concurrent life sentences for the murders in Yorkshire and northwest England between 1975 and 1980, spent almost 40 years locked up in prison and a high-security psychiatric hospital.
After testing positive for COVID-19, he was transferred to University Hospital of North Durham. The devout Jehovah’s Witness refused to allow doctors to treat him medically, according to the report.
He said he did not want to prolong his life “artificially” and that he did not expect to live much longer.
By Wednesday, his condition was “rapidly deteriorating,” sources told the Sun.
Sutcliffe — who notoriously claimed after his arrest that he was “a beast” controlled “by a devil” inside him — showed no emotion in his final moments, a source told the outlet.
“No tears were shed,” the source said. “His death was as pitiful as the vile life he had lived.”
A Prison Service spokesman confirmed Sutcliffe’s death in a statement.
“HMP Frankland prisoner Peter Coonan (born Sutcliffe) died in hospital on November 13,” the statement said. “The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman has been informed.”
Sutcliffe also reportedly suffered from a range of health problems before his death, including heart trouble, diabetes, and obesity.
Richard McCann, the son of Sutcliffe’s first recognized victim, Wilma McCann, told BBC Breakfast that the killer’s death “brings me some degree of closure.”
“Not that I wished him dead, far from it,” McCann said. “Every time we hear a news story about him, and my mum’s photo is often shown, it’s just another reminder of what he did.”
“One positive to come from this is that we’ll hear much less about him and no more reminders about what happened all those years ago,” he added.
Another victim’s son praised the virus for taking the murderer’s life.
“Good riddance,” he said. “Who’d have thought that coronavirus could produce at least one happy ending?”