Peter Sutcliffe. A name synonymous with Bradford. A name with the power to still send a shiver down the spine. A name I have been around professionally for 30 years.

That name was brought vividly and forcefully to life at tonight’s screening of ‘Peter – A Portrait Of A Serial Killer,’ a film about the Yorkshire Ripper and his murders, and described as “the first full-length feature film based on Sutcliffe’s evil rampage.”

I was working as a journalist in Sheffield the night Peter Sutcliffe was arrested there. And in 25 years as a reporter in Bradford I got to know survivors of Sutcliffe’s attacks, police officers who worked on the case, and members of the Ripper’s family.

So did this film teach me anything about the story I have been so close to? And did it ring true? Well, yes and yes.

The first thing to say about this production is how convincing actor Walt Kissack is as Sutcliffe. Not only does he look like we knew he looked before his incarceration and how we think he looks now, but he brings the human side of the character to life. This is not just a portrayal of our most infamous mass murderer, but also a powerful insight into what could lay in the mind of the monster behind the crimes.

I don’t know how much of the Ripper’s psyche portayed here is true, but Kissack leads you by the nose into believing what he presents before the camera.

The bond that develops between Sutcliffe and his psychiatrist, superbly and sinsterly played by Gary Sharkey, is fascinating. “You’re odd,” Sutcliffe tells the shrink at their first meeting. The film ends with the modern day psychiatrist firmly on Sutcliffe’s side. True or false? I don’t know, but the on-screen relationship is convincing.

“It’s my professional opinion you are ready for society – but is society ready for you?” asks the specialist. It’s a question still unanswered.

The film is interspersed with real-life images, ranging from the Ripper’s arrest to shocked locals describing their thoughts while Sutcliffe is at large, and the tired, desperate face of police chief George Oldfield – “This man will continue to kill unless he is caught,” he stated. Sutcliffe did and Oldfield died before he could catch his prey.

One of the poignant parts of the film for me personally were the clips of interviews with Sutcliffe’s dad, John, a man I met on a number of occasions and who was, in my experience, always an honest, straight-talking and decent Bradfordian.

The film explores the supervised visit in 2005 of Sutcliffe to the Lake District where his father’s ashes were scattered, a trip that caused furore.

It shows an interview with John Sutcliffe.

He states: “I hope that someday, someone will fathom his mind and give us a logical explanation. It could have been anyone’s son, it just happens to be mine. ”

The statement, which he made to me in the past, remains true. But as the film highlights, they are still trying to fathom the mind of his son.