Murders of Eve Stratford and Lynne Weedon
Eve Stratford (28 December 1953 – 18 March 1975) was an English Playboy Club bunny and model, murdered in 1975. Lynne Weedon (11 November 1958 – 10 September 1975) was a schoolgirl raped and beaten to death six months after Stratford. Their killer has never been found. After Weedon's cold case was re-opened in 2004 new DNA techniques showed that she and Stratford were killed by the same person. Stratford's case was re-opened in 2007.
Eve Stratford was born in England in 1953 to Albert and Liza Stratford. Her mother was German, and met her father, a medic in the Royal Army Medical Corps, in the 1940s. The family moved around the world during Stratford's childhood, eventually settling in Aldershot. In 1972 she moved with her boyfriend to Leyton.[dead link] At the time of her death, Stratford was working as a bunny in the Playboy Club in Park Lane. She had started work at the club in 1973, recommended by a friend.[dead link] Shortly before her death she appeared as the March 1975 centrefold in Mayfair magazine.[dead link]
Stratford was found dead by her boyfriend, on March 18, 1975, at their Lyndhurst Drive flat in Leyton. Her throat had been cut between eight and 12 times. She was found partially unclothed with a nylon stocking tied around one ankle and her hands were bound with a scarf.
Police tracked Stratford's movements on the day of her death, visiting Camden and Bayswater; there was no sign of her being followed. At 4:30pm the women living below her flat heard a male and female voice talking, followed by a bump.
16-year-old Lynne Weedon was hit over the head with a blunt object and raped on 3 September 1975, six months after Stratford's death. She was attacked while taking a short-cut to her home in Hounslow. She was discovered the next morning, and despite her injuries was still alive, but died a week later in hospital without regaining consciousness.
No killer was found in either case.
In 2004 the Weedon investigation was re-opened. In 2007 new DNA technology showed that both murders were committed by the same person. As a result of the link Stratford's case was re-opened. Both were featured in September 2007 on the BBC Crimewatch programme, where DCI Andy Mortimer suggested that both murders were sexually motivated. Operation Stealth, the police operation which has been investigating unsolved murders since 2008, received funding to continue work until the end of 2011.
On 29 August 2012, London's Evening Standard newspaper reported that police will continue investigating the deaths using the same new forensics techniques that helped convict the killers of Stephen Lawrence. On 25 March 2015, police issued a fresh appeal to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the murders.
In September 2015 the police made an appeal for new information on the murders.
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- Davenport, Justin. "Police find DNA link in murders of school pupil and Bunny girl". Evening Standard.[permanent dead link]
- Menhinnitt, Dan. "DNA evidence links murders after 32 years".
- "Bunny slain in London". Daily Mail. Retrieved 15 January 2011.
- "Silent witness: Police find DNA link in murders of school pupil and Bunny girl". Daily Mail. London. 25 September 2007.
- Campbell, Duncan (26 September 2007). "DNA link in 1975 murders". The Guardian. London.
- "New funding for unsolved murder cases". BBC. 28 March 2010. Retrieved 15 January 2011.
- London double murders BBC retrieved 14 August 2016[dead link]
- "Bunny Girl And Teen Murders: Appeal 40 Years On". Sky News. Retrieved 3 September 2015.