The son of the Yorkshire Ripper’s first victim gave an inspirational talk on overcoming adversity to the north-east business community this week.
Richard McCann was just five years old when his mother Wilma was killed by serial killer Peter Sutcliffe.
Sutcliffe struck her twice with a hammer before stabbing her 15 times in the neck, chest and abdomen in the first of 13 murders that spanned five years.
McCann has several bestselling books under his belt, telling the story of his unusual upbringing – including a stint in the army and in prison.
He now works with businesses to enhance communication and presentation skills.
McCann appeared at a Business Connect networking dinner at the Norwood Hotel on Thursday night, his first appearance in Aberdeen.
The event brought together small to medium enterprises and the oil and gas industry in one room.
He explained his background and how he turned his life around after ending up in jail 20 years ago following a troubled upbringing.
Mr McCann said: “Mum’s killer was arrested in 1981. 24 children were left without a mum by the time he finished…
“But from every negative thing that has happened something positive has come out of it eventually…
“The conversations we have with ourselves are the most important ones. I said I can overcome this fear…
“We can always do more. Doing the scary stuff is when you have the greatest capacity to grow…”
McCann spoke at the event for an hour, during which he detailed how he eventually forgave his father, revealed how his sister eventually took her own life and how he found happiness with his wife and children.
He also spoke about how he chased after Desmond Tutu after hearing him speak and went on to set up the ICan speaking academy delivering more than 2,000 talks worldwide.
Business Connect UK bring together business professionals at regular networking events.
The organisation currently has two groups running monthly in Aberdeen.
Connect Oil & Gas and Connect SME have been running since November 2015.