No, Netflix's 'The Ripper' Isn't About Jack—Meet the Yorkshire Ripper

There's already a bit of a miscommunication between excited Netflix subscribers and the streaming platform's latest serial killer documentary series. A four-part series called The Ripper was released on Wednesday, but it's not about the "Ripper" most people know about.

Twitter users are celebrating the "Jack the Ripper"–based release, but it actually has nothing to do with Jack.

tw// jack the ripper

im watching the ripper on netflix no one disturb me :D

— ⋈fangs⁷≷ HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME💚 (@ygdesires) December 16, 2020

Seen TOO MANY tweets saying “can’t wait for the Jack the Ripper document on Netflix” 🙄 Jack the Ripper and The Yorkshire Ripper are different people guys! #TheRipper #therippernetflix

— chelsssss👸🏻 (@chelsapril) December 16, 2020

netflix is putting out a docuseries on jack the ripper so i know what i’m doing tomorrow

— exˢᵘᶻᵉme (@buckybarne) December 15, 2020

Netflix is coming out with a series about Jack the Ripper on Wednesday and IM EXCITEDDDDDDD

— 艾赛亚 (@aysxah) December 15, 2020
The Ripper
The Yorkshire Ripper is the subject of Netflix's "The Ripper," which premiered Wednesday. Netflix

This "Ripper" is actually the Yorkshire Ripper, his real name is Peter Sutcliffe. He killed 13 women in the U.K.—mainly sex workers—between 1975 and 1980, and he attempted to kill seven others. Sutcliffe was then captured by police in 1981 and spent the remainder of his life in prison. He died very recently from COVID-19.

Netflix's series chronicles Sutcliffe's wrongdoings of Sutcliffe as well as how he was caught. Specifically, a woman was in his car when Sutcliffe was arrested, meaning the timing of his capture possibly saved a life.

The series' summary on the Netflix press website reads: "Chronicling the twists and turns of the largest police manhunt in British police history, this evocative four-part series re-examines the crimes within the context of England in the late 1970s: a time of radical change, de-industrialization, poverty, masculinity and misogyny, all of which contributed to the Ripper evading capture for so long."

It's important to remember, Jack the Ripper acted almost 100 years before Sutcliffe. That infamous serial killer was never identified. There are hundreds of theories about who Jack the Ripper was, and some of those say that he could have actually been a handful of different murderers. There's almost no chance Sutcliffe is related to Jack, given his murder spree happened in the 1970s, not the 1880s, like Jack.

So far, there have been a few complaints about the series name. Some want "Yorkshire" ripper to be clear, as they walked into the series believing it would be about Jack. Others, however, sided with victim families affected by Sutcliffe. The loved ones left behind took offense to the title The Ripper as the gory word was created based on the idea of a murderer ripping human flesh. They articulated their concerns in an open letter to Netflix.

Sooo I’ve been waiting for The Ripper to drop on Netflix for weeks because I thought it was about Jack the Ripper but it’s actually just about a similar case lmaooooo absolute trickery but still a good show so far 😂🤷🏻‍♀️

— Melody Mirage (@MelodyMirage) December 16, 2020

#TheRipper Netflix should have titled the series ‘The Yorkshire Ripper’, they confused most of the people with ‘Jack the Ripper’

— ⋆˚. ☃️* . tanya⋆˚. ☃️* . (@engivor) December 16, 2020

Listen @netflix you can’t just call something The Ripper if it’s not about Jack the Ripper the original and best ripper. Will I still watch this show? Well yeah but I’m not happy about this misleading

— Lauren Montgomery (@ROARinLauren) December 7, 2020

@netflix you need to change the title of your new series, The Ripper, think of the families this name affects as well as the victims, you know one of the children is trying to change the name of that evil man, @netflix should be supporting that, so I won’t be watching!!

— Boolujc 🌼🌻💐🌹 (@ItalianMamaLu) December 16, 2020

So far, those who have started The Ripper have issued praise for the docuseries. Not everyone is excited about the true-crime addition, though. Richard McCann, the son of Sutcliffe's first victim, is concerned about potentially inspiring other sadistic killers. While McCann revealed The Ripper is a respectfully-created program, he, along with other victim family members, disapproved of the series name. "It's so disappointing that we hear it over and over again, possibly inspiring the next serial killer," McCann told BBC Radio 2 in reference to the idea of glamorizing a serial killer with a flashy name.