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Ripper fear as three prostitutes murdered

FEARS of a new Yorkshire Ripper have returned after the murder of three prostitutes.

Thirty years after the Ripper's reign of terror, police confirmed that a 40-year-old man was being held in Bradford after the discovery of body parts in the river Aire in Shipley, near the former home of Peter Sutcliffe.

Police are also examining possible links to three other unsolved murders in the city.

The man, who is believed to be local, was being questioned by detectives over the disappearances of three Bradford prostitutes -- Suzanne Blamires (36), Shelley Armitage (31) and Susan Rushworth (43). It is believed the body parts are those of Ms Blamires, who has not been seen since last Friday.

Concern that a killer targeting prostitutes could be at large again had already mounted after her friend, Ms Armitage -- described as a "much loved daughter and sister" -- failed to return home on April 26.

Both women sold sex in the Sunbridge Road red light area of the city. Last month, police launched a poster appeal hoping to persuade witnesses to come forward.

But now the disappearances of the two friends is being linked to that of Ms Rushworth, a grandmother.

She was known to have had problems with heroin and suffered from epilepsy.


She was last seen in June last year leaving her flat in Manningham -- a short walk from the home of the Yorkshire Ripper victim Patricia Atkinson, who was stabbed and bludgeoned to death in 1977.

West Yorkshire Police Assistant Chief Constable Jawaid Akhtar said officers had been granted extra time to question the 40-year-old man, who was arrested on Monday.

It was reported today that he is a mature student, described by neighbours as a loner. He was arrested by armed police.

Sutcliffe, a lorry driver from Heaton in Bradford, was convicted in 1981 of 13 murders and seven attempted murders of women, mainly prostitutes working in West Yorkshire and Manchester.

Three of the victims, including university student Barbara Leach, were from Bradford.