ITV has commissioned a new factual drama series based on the infamous case of the Yorkshire Ripper.
From 1975 up until his arrest in 1981, Peter Sutcliffe was responsible for the deaths of 13 women and attempted to kill seven others across West Yorkshire and Manchester.
The story of his victims and the resulting police investigation are to be the basis of a new six-part drama, to be written by screenwriter George Kay, best known for creating Netflix anthology series Criminal.
Kay said: “In a story full with eye-watering statistics, one for me has always stood out: Peter Sutcliffe rendered 23 children motherless. That one fact in itself demands that any definitive drama about this case should encompass far more than just the story of a police investigation.
“We will focus not just on the police, therefore, but the victims, their families, those who were attacked but not believed, those whose lives were permanently changed. This is not the story of a Ripper who hailed from Yorkshire, but the story of how Yorkshire was ripped apart.”
No casting has been announced just yet, but we do know that director Paul Whittington will helm the series, having previously worked on other hard-hitting dramas like White House Farm and Little Boy Blue.
Whittington added: “By placing the victims, their families and the survivors at the heart of this story, George has crafted an excavation of British social history that goes far beyond the infamy.
“His writing sensitively reveals and humanises the untold number of lives devastated by these crimes, and powerfully exposes the enduring legacy of the failings of the biggest manhunt in British criminal history.
“This is a vital story about class prejudice, pervasive and entrenched societal sexism and women simply not being heard that still has relevance today.”
ITV has seen great success with its true crime content this year, with both White House Farm and David Tennant’s Des proving to be hugely popular.