Jimmy Savile was quizzed by detectives investigating the Yorkshire Ripper murders, a senior officer who worked on the inquiry says.
Former West Yorkshire Police detective John Stainthorpe said the disgraced presenter was a suspect in the notorious case more than 30 years ago.
Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe has jumped to the defence of Savile, who he claims is innocent and befriended him during visits to Broadmoor high security hospital.
Mr Stainthorpe, who spent 40 years in the force, told ITV's Calendar News: "When the Ripper was really active, one of the suspects put forward by the public was, in fact, Jimmy Savile.
"Obviously, it was not he, but he was interviewed along with many others."
Mr Stainthorpe said the person who gave police the anonymous tip-off was "aiming in the right direction".
"Child perverts soon become child killers," he added.
Peter Sutcliffe was convicted of murdering 13 women in 1981 and was sentenced to life imprisonment.
He is held at Broadmoor and has been told he will never be freed.
Sutcliffe today claimed Savile regularly visited him in custody and the pair became friends.
Rubbishing claims the late DJ abused around 300 victims over six decades, he said those making allegations were "jumping on the bandwagon".
Sutcliffe, 66, told the Sun: "It's a load of rubbish. People are just getting carried away.
"He visited a lot. He'd always come and chat with me on visits and I would introduce him to my visitors. Several times he left £500 for charities I was supporting."
Savile, who died a year ago aged 84, is now believed by police to be one of the UK's most prolific child abusers.
Scotland Yard is leading a national investigation into the television and radio star's activities. Detectives are following 400 lines of inquiry while the BBC has launched an inquiry into the culture and practices at the corporation in the era of Savile's alleged sexual abuse.