Bedford-based Yorkshire Ripper victim writes book, 40 years on

She repositions herself as a survivor with a success story

By Clare Turner
Tuesday, 20th October 2020, 4:04 pm
Updated Tuesday, 20th October 2020, 4:08 pm

A survivor of the Yorkshire Ripper has put pen to paper, 40 years after her horrendous attack at the hands of the notorious serial killer.

Called Facing the Yorkshire Ripper: The Art of Survival, the book reveals how Mo Lea has given a new, fresh perspective after wrestling with the past and struggling to come to terms with the attack.

In 1980, she was followed home and attacked by Peter Sutcliffe, who hit her over the head repeatedly with a hammer. She was stabbed with a screwdriver, leaving her with life-threatening injuries.

Mo Lea

She said: "As a survivor of a brutal attack by the Yorkshire Ripper, this book gives fresh insight into the consequences of being labeled a victim of this notorious serial killer."

She repositions herself as a survivor with a success story.

Mo had no control over unwanted media interventions. Sometimes the Ripper story would appear on the morning news while she was getting ready to go to work.

She says she learnt to contain her anxiety but could neither predict or escape these uncomfortable moments that reminded her of her past trauma.

Mo's art practice has been an important factor in her life. She has been fortunate to use this as an outlet to explore her pain, anger, suffering and recovery.

The book also includes a selection of unseen artwork that convey the authors state of mind after the brutal attack.

After years of recovery, a short film was also made of Mo creating a drawing from the iconic photograph of Sutcliffe. She was filmed ripping up the Ripper.

The book - Facing the Yorkshire Ripper: The Art of Survival - is available hereIn 1981, Sutcliffe was convicted of murdering 13 women and attempting to murder seven others.