Mystery killing of 'Yorkshire Ripper victim', 14, battered to death as cops STILL hunting killer 50 years later | The Sun

A MONSTER who battered a 14-year-old girl to death is still on the loose 50 years later amid fears she was murdered by the Yorkshire Ripper.

Judith Roberts was found in a field on the outskirts of Tamworth, Staffs, on June 7, 1972.

Her body was partially hidden beneath hedge clippings, plastic fertiliser bags and an asbestos sheet.

In one of the UK's biggest miscarriages of justice, squaddie Andrew Evans served 25 years in prison after confessing to her murder.

His conviction was overturned in 1997 after it was discovered the semi-literate soldier was suffering from false memories at the time of the killing and was delusional due to his depression.

Judith's murder has since spawned a number of theories as police continue to hunt her killer half a century on.

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Among the most chilling is a link to serial killer the Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe.

A man matching the monster's appearance was spotted near the scene of her killing.

The mystery suspect, who had black, curly hair and long sideburns, was seen chatting to Judith before she was dragged from her bike and beaten to death.

In another sinister echo, he was wearing work clothes and Wellies – the same clothing the Ripper admitted he wore when hunting his victims.

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Four eyewitnesses also noticed a grey Ford Escort trailing the schoolgirl as she rode her bike to the local shops.

One local revealed the car was backed into the field where Judith was discovered and the boot opened.

Sutcliffe drove a grey Ford Escort at the time that had been loaned to him by his fiancée’s mother.

Judith had also been bludgeoned with a blunt object, which was Sutcliffe's grisly weapon of choice.

A blow on the teen's head revealed the impression of a wailing hammer, which the Ripper used to kill victim Yvonne Pearson in 1978.

She was also found with a Y-shaped injury on her face – almost identical to a mark discovered on 19-year-old victim Josephine Whitaker.

WRONGFUL CONVICTION

Police extended their hunt for the killer to parts of Yorkshire frequented by Sutcliffe back in the 1970s after appearing to receive a tip-off.

But the potential investigation into the Ripper was halted when Evans – then aged 17 – handed himself into police.

The teenager, who was stationed at nearby Whittington Barracks, walked into the police station and asked to see a photo of Judith.

When asked if he murdered the schoolgirl, the serving soldier replied: “This is it. I don’t know. Show me a picture and I’ll tell you if I’ve seen it.”

Riddled by depression, he signed a confession three days later which he later retracted.

Despite this and a lack of evidence, the case ploughed ahead and Evans was handed a life sentence in 1973 after being convicted of murder.

He remained in jail for two decades before his case reached the Court of Appeal in 1997 and he was freed with £750,00 compensation.

COLD CASE RIDDLE

Evans said at the time of his release: "I will never be fully free – every time I lock a door I have flashbacks to being in prison."

"For the past two and a half years we have been fighting for this money and at last it has been sorted. I am relieved."

Despite over 15,000 sets of fingerprints, 11,000 door-to-door inquiries, more than 11,000 statements taken and over 4,000 pieces of information acted on, Judith's killer remains at large.

Sutcliffe died in 2020 while rotting in jail for 13 murders and the attempted murder of seven other women.

He has been linked to more than 20 unsolved murders and attempted murders that unfolded during his reign of terror.

His death means he may have taken Judith's murder to the grave.

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Staffordshire Police told The Sun Online: "The investigation has been subject to a number of formal independent reviews since the wrongful conviction and acquittal of Andrew Evans.

"Serious investigations of this nature remain under scrutiny so when new information becomes available it is examined in the context of the overall case and every opportunity is exploited to bring offenders to justice."



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