Disappearance of Suzy Lamplugh

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Suzy Lamplugh

Susanna J. Lamplugh (/ˈlæmpl/; born 3 May 1961[1] in Cheltenham)[2] was a British estate agent reported missing on 28 July 1986 (aged 25) in Fulham, southwest London, England. She was officially declared dead, presumed murdered, in 1994.[3] The last clue to her whereabouts was an appointment to show a house in Shorrolds Road to someone she referred to as "Mr Kipper".

Disappearance[edit]

Lamplugh was an estate agent who was reported missing after attending an appointment with someone calling himself "Mr Kipper", to show him round a house in Fulham.[4] Her office diary recorded the details of the appointment as: "12.45 Mr. Kipper – 37 Shorrolds Road O/S", where the "O/S" annotation means "outside the property". Witnesses reported seeing a woman, who resembled Lamplugh, arguing with a man in Shorrolds Road and then getting into a car.[5]

Her white Ford Fiesta (registration: B396 GAN) was found on the night of 28 July, outside a property for sale in Stevenage Road, Fulham, which is about a mile and a half away.[6] The hand brake was off and the car key was missing. Lamplugh's purse was found in a storage pocket in one of the car's side doors.[7]

Police suggested that a black, left-hand drive BMW vehicle may have been involved, because of an eyewitness account of a car of that description seen at the same location as Lamplugh's car in Stevenage Road. For some time after her disappearance, it was believed that "Kipper" was her pronunciation of the Dutch name "Kuiper", but police investigations failed to identify anyone of that name in connection with Lamplugh.

Police investigations[edit]

Following Suzy Lamplugh's disappearance, police tested the DNA of 800 unidentified bodies and skeletal remains that matched her description.[8] Lamplugh was officially declared dead in 1994;[9] she was presumed to have been murdered. Renewed police investigations in 1998 and 2000 failed to trace her.[10] The investigation was summarised in an ITV Real Crime programme in 2002.[11]

In November 2002, it was reported that a convicted rapist and killer John Cannan could have killed Lamplugh. He had been released from a prison hostel only days before she went missing, and it was claimed that his nickname in prison was "Kipper".[12] That month, Scotland Yard held a press conference at which officers named Cannan as the person they believed to have murdered Lamplugh.[13] Cannan denied any involvement and police investigations failed to produce any evidence linking him to Lamplugh's disappearance.[14] In April 2001, a previous girlfriend of John Cannan, Gilly Paige, told police that he had suggested Lamplugh's body was buried at Norton Barracks, a former military base in Worcestershire.[15] However, in December 2002, one of Cannan's fellow prisoners told police that Cannan had buried Lamplugh under the patio of his mother's house in Sutton Coldfield, in the West Midlands.[16]

In 1982, Lamplugh had worked as a beautician on the ocean liner QE2. At the same time, Steve Wright, who was convicted in February 2008 of the murder of five prostitutes in Ipswich, was working as a steward on the QE2.[17] In 2008, the Metropolitan Police investigated whether Wright was connected with Lamplugh's disappearance,[18] but this was not a strong line of enquiry and a senior Met police officer described the link as "speculative".[19][20]

In August 2010, police began searching a field off the B4084 between Pershore and Drakes Broughton, about three miles from the former Norton Barracks in Worcestershire, where a search had previously been carried out in December 2000 and February 2001.[8] In December 2000, police had also searched a nearby brickworks,[21] which had been mentioned in several of the original witness statements.[8][22] The 2010 search proved unsuccessful and Lamplugh's remains were not found.

In late October 2018, police began searching the former house of Cannan's mother in Sutton Coldfield, the same property that was searched in 2002.[23] They dismantled the garage and began removing its concrete floor, whilst also carrying out a search of the back garden.[24] On 12 November 2018, police announced that the search of the property had ended and no evidence had been found.[25]

Suzy Lamplugh Trust[edit]

The Suzy Lamplugh Trust[26] is a charitable foundation that was established in 1986 by Suzy's parents Paul and Diana, after the disappearance of their daughter. The mission of the Trust is to raise awareness of personal safety through training and various projects, to help people avoid becoming victims of aggression, and to offer counselling and support to relatives and friends of missing people. The Trust runs the UK's National Stalking Helpline and organises National Personal Safety Day, an annual event that was first held in 2006.[27]

Diana and Paul Lamplugh were appointed to OBE in 1992 and 2005 respectively, for their charitable work with the Suzy Lamplugh Trust.[28][29] Diana Lamplugh died in August 2011 at the age of 75,[28][30] and Paul Lamplugh died aged 87 in June 2018.[29]

Aftermath[edit]

Suzy Lamplugh and her family were members of the congregation at All Saints Church, East Sheen, in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. She is commemorated there in a stained glass window which was installed in 1996.[31]

The case was covered by Casefile True Crime Podcast on 4 March 2017.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ McGredy-Hunt, Graham (January 2012). Searching for Suzy. Lulu.com. p. 14. ISBN 9781447804253.
  2. ^ "Susanna J Lamplugh - Ancestry.com". www.ancestry.co.uk. Retrieved 2018-10-30.
  3. ^ Batty, David (22 February 2008). "Police investigate 'link' between Wright and Suzy Lamplugh". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2 April 2009.
  4. ^ "Fresh lead in Lamplugh case". BBC News (archive). 28 May 2000. Retrieved 2 April 2009.
  5. ^ Newton, Michael (October 2009). The Encyclopedia of Unsolved Crimes (Facts on File Crime Library) (2nd ed.). Infobase Publishing. pp. 213–214. ISBN 9780816078189.
  6. ^ Bennetto, Jason (27 July 2001). "Lamplugh police to re-examine unknown bodies". The Independent. London. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  7. ^ Bennetto, Jason (13 May 2000). "Suzy Lamplugh 'seized by more than one person'". The Independent. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  8. ^ a b c "Suzy Lamplugh: New search in Worcestershire for body". BBC News. 10 August 2010. Retrieved 8 March 2011.
  9. ^ "Suzy Lamplugh Cops Ponder Steve Wright Link". Daily Record. 22 February 2008. Retrieved 2 April 2009.
  10. ^ "Man quizzed over Suzy Lamplugh case". BBC News (archive). 5 December 2000. Retrieved 2 April 2009.
  11. ^ ITV. "Real Crime - Suzy Lamplugh". YouTube.
  12. ^ Carter, Helen (16 November 2002). "Lamplugh suspect denies playing games with police". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 4 June 2008.
  13. ^ Laville, Sandra (6 November 2002). "Police name man who 'killed Suzy Lamplugh". The Telegraph. Retrieved 5 July 2015.
  14. ^ Orr, Deborah (7 December 1999). "False hopes that prey on every woman's fear". The Independent. London. Retrieved 2 April 2009.
  15. ^ Alderson, Andrew (29 April 2001). "Police switch search to barracks in West Country". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 2 April 2009.
  16. ^ "Police study Lamplugh claims". BBC News (archive). 1 December 2002. Retrieved 4 June 2008.
  17. ^ Armstrong, Jeremy; McGurran, Aidan (22 February 2008). "Is Steve Wright Mr Kipper in Suzy Lamplugh murder case?". Daily Mirror. London. Retrieved 2 April 2009.
  18. ^ Addley, Esther; McVeigh, Karen (22 February 2008). "Motive still unknown as serial killer faces rest of life in prison". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 4 June 2008.
  19. ^ Alderson, Anderew [sic] (24 February 2008). "Steve Wright 'did not kill Suzy Lamplugh'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  20. ^ "Wright 'not linked to Suzy death'". BBC News. 14 May 2008. Retrieved 14 May 2008.
  21. ^ "Lamplugh police search for body". BBC News (archive). 11 December 2000. Retrieved 8 March 2011.
  22. ^ Camber, Rebecca (10 August 2010). "Police begin new hunt for remains of missing Suzy Lamplugh at old Army barracks". London: MailOnline. Retrieved 8 March 2011.
  23. ^ "Suzy Lamplugh: Police search Sutton Coldfield house". BBC News. 30 October 2018. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  24. ^ "Suzy Lamplugh: Search in Sutton Coldfield enters second week". BBC News. 5 November 2018. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  25. ^ Weaver, Matthew (12 November 2018). "Met finds no evidence in Suzy Lamplugh case after digging up garden". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 13 November 2018.
  26. ^ Charity Commission. The Suzy Lamplugh Trust, registered charity no. 802567.
  27. ^ "Suzy Lamplugh Trust – National Personal Safety Day 2018 – Stay Safe At Work". Suzy Lamplugh Trust. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  28. ^ a b "Suzy Lamplugh's mother Diana dies after having stroke". BBC News. 18 August 2011. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  29. ^ a b Blewett, Sam (12 June 2018). "Suzy Lamplugh: Murdered estate agent's father dies". The Independent. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  30. ^ Pilkington, Sue (18 August 2011). "Diana Lamplugh obituary". The Guardian. London.
  31. ^ "About All Saints". All Saints Church, East Sheen. Archived from the original on 17 March 2015. Retrieved 30 December 2014.

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