An exploration of the social and cultural significance of the Yorkshire Ripper murders

Dr Louise Wattis has won funding from the British Academy to investigate the Yorkshire Ripper murders of the 1970s and 1980s. Dr Wattis believes that the socio-cultural significance of these murders has not been fully explored within social science research, both in relation to local communities and more widely. This project will investigate how the murders shaped fears, well-being, interactions with others, spatial and temporal movements and conceptions of place both retrospectively and contemporaneously.

Oral history interviews will be conducted with individuals who lived in Leeds and Bradford at the time when the murders took place. This project aims to investigate the significance and impact of the murders on the local communities who experienced them, albeit vicariously. The project is underpinned by key themes from within criminology which explore the meaning and impact of crime and fear of crime, gendered experiences of fear, and the links between place and crime.