Disappearance of Suzy Lamplugh
Susanna "Suzy" Lamplugh (//; born 3 May 1961) 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. The last clue of her whereabouts was an appointment to show a house in Shorrolds Road to someone she referred to as "Mr. Kipper". Following her disappearance, police tested the DNA of 800 unidentified bodies and skeletal remains that matched Lamplugh's description.
In August 2010, police began a new search of a field off the B4084 between Pershore and Drakes Broughton. The area is about three miles away from the former Norton Barracks in Worcestershire, which was searched in December 2000 and February 2001. In December 2000, police had searched a nearby brickworks, which several witnesses had mentioned in their original statements. The search proved unsuccessful and her remains have not been found.
Lamplugh was an estate agent reported missing after going to an appointment with someone calling himself "Mr Kipper", to show him a house in Fulham. Her office diary recorded the essential details of the appointment: "12.45 Mr. Kipper – 37 Shorrolds Road O/S", with the "O/S" annotation meaning outside the property. Witnesses reported seeing Lamplugh arguing with a man in Shorrolds Road and then getting into a car.
Her white Ford Fiesta (registration: B396 GAN) was found that night outside a property for sale in Stevenage Road, Fulham, about a mile and a half away. The ignition key was missing and Lamplugh's purse was found in a door storage pocket.
Police suggested that a black, left hand drive BMW vehicle might have been involved, because of an eyewitness account of a car at the same location as Lamplugh's in Stevenage Road. It was thought for some time after her disappearance that "Kipper" was her pronunciation of the Dutch name "Kuiper" but despite police investigations, nobody of this name was found to be connected to Lamplugh.
In November 2002, it was reported that convicted rapist and killer John Cannan could have killed Lamplugh as he was released from a hostel only days before she went missing. That month, Scotland Yard held a press conference at which, in a rare move, officers named Cannan as the man they believe murdered Lamplugh.
It was claimed that Cannan's nickname in prison was "Kipper". However, investigations failed to produce any evidence linking him to Lamplugh's disappearance. In December 1999, Cannan denied any involvement.
In April 2001, a former girlfriend of John Cannan, Gilly Paige, told police that he had suggested Lamplugh's body was buried at Norton Barracks, a former army barracks in Worcestershire. 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.
Lamplugh had been working as a beautician on the ocean liner QE2 in 1982. Steve Wright, who was convicted in February 2008 of the murder of five prostitutes in Ipswich, worked as a steward on the QE2 at the same time. In 2008 police were investigating whether Wright was connected to Lamplugh's disappearance. However, the Metropolitan Police have stated that this is not a strong line of enquiry.
In June 2006, there was a similar case involving a 48-year-old female estate agent in Wiltshire, who met a client called Mr. Herring. She was attacked with a sharp object, causing cuts to her arm, and was pushed to the ground, but managed to free herself. The assailant ran away. Police have said there is no connection between this case and the disappearance of Lamplugh.
In January 1992, Michael Sams kidnapped Stephanie Slater. She was an estate agent working in Birmingham. Slater's employers paid a ransom and she was released. He was later found guilty of her kidnap, and of murdering 18-year-old Leeds prostitute Julie Dart. Sentenced to life imprisonment, he is still imprisoned as of 2015, and is currently being held at Whitemoor Prison in Cambridgeshire. Crime writer Christopher Berry-Dee, in Unmasking Mr. Kipper: Who Really Killed Suzy Lamplugh?, has put forth the case that Sams killed Lamplugh, but this has been dismissed by police.
Gloucestershire-born 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.
The Suzy Lamplugh Trust was established in 1986, to help people avoid becoming victims of aggression, and to offer counselling and support to relatives and friends of missing people.
Trust founder Diana Lamplugh, Suzy's mother, died in August 2011, having suffered a serious stroke the previous year and also being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. She was 75 years old and was survived by her husband Paul and three children.
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- "About All Saints". All Saints Church, East Sheen. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
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- The Suzy Lamplugh Trust An organisation created by Diana Lamplugh – Suzy's mother – to promote personal safety.
- The search for Suzy from the BBC.
- BBC On this Day BBC page on 30 July 1986, the day the appeal was made by Lamplugh's parents for her safe return.
- Witness describes 'Lamplugh kidnap' from the BBC.