Disappearance of Suzy Lamplugh

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Suzy Lamplugh

Susannah "Suzy" Lamplugh (/ˈlæmpl/; born 3 May 1961,[citation needed] Gloucestershire)[1] 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.[2] 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.[3]

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.[3] In December 2000, police had searched a nearby brickworks,[4] which several witnesses had mentioned in their original statements.[5] The search proved unsuccessful, and to this day, her remains have not been found.

Disappearance[edit]

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.[6] 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.[citation needed]

Her white Ford Fiesta (registration: B396 GAN) was found that night outside a property for sale in Stevenage Road, Fulham, about one and a half miles away.[7] The ignition key was missing, and Lamplugh's purse was found in a door storage pocket.

Police suggested that a black, LHD, BMW vehicle might have been involved, due to an eyewitness account of a car, at the same location as Lamplugh's car 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.

Police investigations[edit]

Further information: John Cannan § Suzy Lamplugh

Lamplugh was officially declared dead in 1994,[8] while further police investigations in 1998 and 2000 failed to uncover any trace of her.[9]

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.[10] That month, Scotland Yard held a press conference at which, in a rare move, officers named Cannan as the man they believe murdered Lamplugh.[11]

Also, it was claimed that Cannan's nickname in prison was 'Kipper'. However, despite investigations, there is no hard evidence. In December 1999, Cannan denied any involvement.[12]

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.[13] 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.[14]

Lamplugh had been working as an 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 an steward on the QE2 at the same time.[15] Police are investigating whether Wright was connected to Lamplugh's disappearance.[16] However, the Metropolitan Police have stated that this is not a strong line of enquiry.[17]

In August 2010, a new investigation began, centred on an area in Worcestershire, near to Pershore and Drakes Broughton.[18]

Similar cases[edit]

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.[19]

In January 1992, Michael Sams kidnapped Stephanie Slater.[20] 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.[21]

Sentenced to life imprisonment, he is still behind bars 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.[22]

Legacy[edit]

With her family she was a member 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.[23]

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.[24]

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.[25] She was 75 years old and was survived by her husband Paul and three surviving children.[26]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Births England and Wales 1837–2006
  2. ^ Batty, David (22 February 2008). "Police investigate 'link' between Wright and Suzy Lamplugh". The Guardian (London: Guardian News and Media). Retrieved 2 April 2009. 
  3. ^ a b "BBC News – Suzy Lamplugh: New search in Worcestershire for body". BBC Online. 10 August 2010. Retrieved 8 March 2011. 
  4. ^ "Lamplugh police search for body". BBC Online. 11 December 2000. Retrieved 8 March 2011. 
  5. ^ Camber, Rebecca (10 August 2010). "Suzy Lamplugh: Police to search for remains at old Army barracks". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 8 March 2011. 
  6. ^ "Fresh lead in Lamplugh case". BBC News. 28 May 2000. Retrieved 2 April 2009. 
  7. ^ Bennetto, Jason (27 July 2001). "Lamplugh police to re-examine unknown bodies". The Independent (London). Retrieved 2 April 2009. 
  8. ^ "Suzy Lamplugh Cops Ponder Steve Wright Link". The Daily Record. 22 February 2008. Retrieved 2 April 2009. 
  9. ^ "Man quizzed over Suzy Lamplugh case". BBC News. 5 December 2000. Retrieved 2 April 2009. 
  10. ^ Carter, Helen (16 November 2002). "Lamplugh suspect denies playing games with police". The Guardian (London: Guardian News and Media). Retrieved 4 June 2008. 
  11. ^ "Police name man who 'killed Suzy Lamplugh". telegraph.co.uk. 6 November 2002. Retrieved 5 July 2015. 
  12. ^ Orr, Deborah (7 December 1999). "False hopes that prey on every woman's fear". The Independent (London). Retrieved 2 April 2009. 
  13. ^ Alderson, Andrew (29 April 2001). "Police switch search to barracks in West Country". The Daily Telegraph (London: Telegraph Media Group). Retrieved 2 April 2009. 
  14. ^ "Police study Lamplugh claims". BBC News. 1 December 2002. Retrieved 4 June 2008. 
  15. ^ "Is Steve Wright Mr Kipper in Suzy Lamplugh murder case?". Daily Mirror (London). Retrieved 2 April 2009. 
  16. ^ Addley, Esther; McVeigh, Karen (22 February 2008). "Motive still unknown as serial killer faces rest of life in prison". The Guardian (London: Guardian News and Media). Retrieved 4 June 2008. 
  17. ^ "Wright 'not linked to Suzy death'". BBC News. 14 May 2008. Retrieved 14 May 2008. 
  18. ^ "New search in Worcestershire for Suzy Lamplugh's body". BBC News. 10 August 2010. Retrieved 10 August 2010. 
  19. ^ "Estate agent assaulted at house". BBC News. 22 June 2006. Retrieved 4 June 2008. 
  20. ^ Stephanieslater.org
  21. ^ Tingle, Len (6 November 2003). "Yorkshire and Lincolnshire: The Price of Justice?". BBC News. Retrieved 4 June 2008. 
  22. ^ "The Suzy Lamplugh Trust". BBC h2g2. 7 June 2007. Retrieved 19 July 2010. 
  23. ^ "About All Saints". All Saints Church, East Sheen. Retrieved 30 December 2014. 
  24. ^ The Suzy Lamplugh Trust, Registered Charity no. 802567 at the Charity Commission
  25. ^ "Suzy Lamplugh's mother Diana dies after having stroke". BBC News. 18 August 2011. Retrieved 29 January 2015. 
  26. ^ Pilkington, Sue (18 August 2011). "Diana Lamplugh obituary". The Guardian (London). 

External links[edit]