Our history of Serial killers does go back as far as American killers. They had Jesse Pomeroy, H.H.Holmes, Carl Panzram, Albert Fish and others, whereas we had the usual baby farmers, or poisoners like Neill Cream or the Sisters from Liverpool who killed lodgers and family members simply for the insurance money. Of course you cannot forget ole Jack. Then we had the so-called Brides in the Bath Murders before and during WW1, committed by George Joseph Smith and the controversial evidence of Bernard Spilsbury. In this Spilsburys` demonstration showed how the murders could have been committed but ultimately did not prove that this was how they happened. This was a build up to the saga that ran for years that the mere word of Spilsbury was enough to send somebody to the gallows, and his deification.
The next I can think of was Gordon Cummings, otherwise known as the "Blackout Ripper" who murdered four women in a short killing spree in London in 1942. He left a trail of evidence that led him to the gallows. Then we had John Reginald Halliday Christie of the infamous address, 10 Rillington Place, in Notting Hill in London. He murdered at least eight people, including his own wife, and that of Beryl Evans. Her baby was murdered and her husband Tim, hung for it. It is still a disputed point as to which of them did kill the baby. Scotland then produced one of the worst remorseless killers ever, Peter Manuel, killer of nine people.
The conception of serial killers has changed over the last forty years, as we then had Sutcliffe. Just how many did he kill? I do not believe he murdered Marguerite Walls, as she was strangled and I do not think Sutcliffe had the guts to do such a close up personal thing as a strangling. His victims were struck with blunt instruments like a hammer, to incapacitate them, and from behind. To me, if it came to a woman possibly fighting back, Sutcliffe was a coward. The Byford inquiry into the investigation, examined twenty similiar attacks. They believed Sutcliffe was responsible for ten of them and that he should be considered a suspect for the other ten.
Following on, we had Michael Lupo, Dennis Neilson, Peter Tobin, Colin Ireland, Stephen Griffiths, Levi Bellfield, Robert Black, Fred West & Steve Wright. Not as many as the USA or as many victims but becoming a very worrying trend.