FOLLOWING the recently screened ITV drama The Long Shadow, about the Peter Sutcliffe manhunt, TONY EMMOTT recalls his own concerns about the police investigation, as a solicitor and councillor in Bradford at the time:

The Long Shadow brought back to mind my own concerns in respect of the police investigation, when I was Heaton Ward Councillor in the late 1970s.

I was particularly worried about the tape message and letters which took up and wasted so much police time.

On July 5, 1979 the Telegraph & Argus reported: ‘Macabre links between the minds of the Yorkshire Ripper and the infamous Jack the Ripper who haunted the Whitechapel area of London in 1888 have been identified by a Bradford councillor.

Phrases such as ‘You are still having no luck catching me’ (from the 1979 tape) and ‘I keep on hearing the police have caught me...good luck yet (from a letter in 1888) are picked out by Cllr Anthony Emmott of Heaton Ward.

He draws the information from letters sent to the police by the two mass murderers.

Coun Emmott said: “Whether these similarities support the hoax possibility or substantiate the genuineness of the recent communication is not for me to say, but the investigating officers might just pause for thought about them - there is nothing to lose.

I have set out the bizarre similarities between the 1888 letter, regarded as genuine, and the recently published communications. Point include:

‘Dear Officer, I wasn’t kidding last time I wrote’ (1979) and ‘Dear Boss, I was not codding dear old Boss when I gave you the tip’ (1888); ‘I will strike again, maybe September or October, even sooner if I get my chance’ (1979) and ‘I want to start again...I want to get to work straight away if I have chance’ (1888)”.’

Looking back at the article, more than 40 years on, it is hardly surprising that the 1979 tape with the Wearside accent was ultimately shown to be a hoax and was clearly the wrong horse for the police to back.

It is obvious to me that the hoaxer used the 1888 material as a base or theme for his communications and that is all he - 23-year-old John Humble, later convicted of perverting the course of justice - wanted to get out of it, for some weird and misguided reason.

Sadly the police fell for it, even though at least two surviving victims said the perpetrator had a Yorkshire accent.

Also from the beginning, voice experts were unable to dissuade the police that the tape was created by a hoaxer and I think although with hindsight, I do feel my comparisons showed that the hoaxer was no more that an amateur sleuth playing a sick “prank” in attempting to replicate the original Victorian killer.