Sydney Jackson: What Happened to Emily Jackson’s Husband?

The first few episodes of the crime series, ‘The Long Shadow,’ entail the exploration into the early investigation of the serial killer lurking in Yorkshire during the 1970s. As such, Emily Jackson, an unfortunate victim of The Yorkshire Ripper, revealed to be Peter Sutcliffe, maintains a significant presence within the narrative. Following the struggling Jackson family, the show depicts the circumstances that pushed Emily into becoming a part-time sex worker as a grave catastrophe befalls the family after her murder.

Thus, the Jacksons remain an inherent part of the police investigation revolving around the Yorkshire Ripper, which becomes the narrative center throughout the show. As such, viewers may grow curious about the Jackson family and how they fared after their matriarch’s death. Sydney Jackson, Emily’s husband, likely garners particular interest.

Who Is Sydney Jackson?

At the age of 42, in January of 1976, Emily Jackson, mother of three and the breadwinner of her household, met a cruel end after a vicious encounter with Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper. Since the woman was Sutcliffe’s second victim since his reign of terror started in 1975, the police weren’t any closer to finding her murderer. Yet, the dreadful morning after her death, the police called the Jackson family in to identify Emily’s body.

Sydney Jackson, Emily’s husband, was so shaken up by the news that his seventeen-year-old son, Neil, shouldered the burden of identifying his mother’s dead body. When the younger man talks about the incident now, he asserts that, in a sense, his life ended that day. “Dad did eventually go to see her,” Neil shared years later in a conversation with The Sun. “But it was me who had to identify her, and I was only seventeen. I would not wish that on my worst enemy.”

Emily Jackson was a part-time sex worker who took to the trade due to her family’s poor financial instability. Even though Sydney worked as a roofer, his business was at an all-time low, leaving little means of income for the family. Although ‘The Long Shadow’ depicts the decision as Emily’s personal choice, allowing her character to have agency over her own narrative, the reality is far from the same. While the show’s Sydney Jackson remains a kind husband, who even attempted to talk Emily out of the profession, the real-life Jackson son, Neil, confirms a different story.

“It wasn’t her [Emily’s] idea to go on the game [prostitution]– it was dad [Sydney] who forced her,” said Neil, setting the record straight. “But in the show, it’s the other way round.” The man doesn’t harbor any negative feelings toward the show, understanding the nuance of their interpretation. Instead, if there’s anyone Neil shares a complicated relationship with on account of his mother, it’s his father, Sydney.

“I had a difficult relationship with my dad,” Neil told The Mirror. “He was a bully and was abusive towards my mum.” It wasn’t long before the Jackson family broke down under the weight of Emily’s predicament, sending Sydney on a different path than most of his kids.

Sydney Jackson Died in 2007

Sydney Jackson rarely made a public appearance or discussed his family’s past with the Yorkshire Ripper. As a result, any update about the man’s life after his wife’s murder comes from his son Neil’s account. According to the Jackson heir, who is now in his 60s, the family split up soon after the news of Emily’s passing.

One of Sydney’s kids, his daughter, was sent to live with her aunt while the man’s younger son continued living with him. Neil, who was at odds with Sydney, left home to join the army. Furthermore, Sydney went on to remarry after Emily. Neil claims that his father never gave his mother a headstone, a practice that continues to date. Perhaps the same played a part in the pair never finding a hope to repair their relationship with even trivial topics leading to arguments. As a result, Sydney went on to have no connection with Neil for most of his life.

Inversely, Sydney’s other kids remained by his side, leading to an estranged relationship with Neil. Eventually, Sydney passed away in 2007. However, no specific information about his passing was ever made public. The man is survived by his kids. Still, Neil continues to have a strained relationship with his siblings due to their closeness to Sydney. As such, the oldest Jackson son hasn’t spoken to his siblings in decades.

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