Cannan was caught on 29th October 1987 when he tried
to rob a petrol station. When he was arrested for it, the police found
the tax disc for Shirley's car in his glove compartment.
Shirley's body was only found on Easter Day in 1988 -
it had been dumped in a ditch called Dead Woman's Ditch. She was badly
decomposed, but her thumbprint was intact. When Cannan's house was
checked for fingerprints, a match to Shirley's thumbprint was found.
Cannan is the main suspect of two unsolved murders -
those of Suzie Lamplugh and Sandra Court. Suzie Lamplugh went missing on
28th July 1986 in Fulham, London, after meeting "Mr Kipper" in her role
as an estate agent. Cannan, until three days before, had been serving a
sentence at Wormwood Scrubs prison, less than three miles from where
Suzie was last seen. Her body has never been found. Sandra Court was
found strangled on 3rd May 1986 in Bournemeouth. On this day, it is
known that Cannan had made a trip to Bournemouth with a friend.
Shirley Anne Banks 1987
Shirley Banks disappeared from a Bristol multi-storey carpark during the
early evening of Thursday 8 October 1987. She had been shopping in
Debenhams and a sales receipt for a dress placed her in the store at
19.26 hrs. With her went her orange-coloured Mini, index number HWL
507N, and she was not seen alive again. At about 2.15 p.m. the following
day, an elderly couple, Mr and Mrs Hart, were driving along Bridge Road
near the Clifton Suspension Bridge, when they noticed a pall of smoke
coming from Leigh Woods, so they slowed down to investigate. Suddenly a
man's voice shouted, 'Come on, come on'. The tone expressed annoyance
and urgency. It sounded as if a fight were taking place in the thickly
were no people to be seen - only the thumping of heavy blows as if
someone was hitting a punch-bag. Suddenly, the dark-clad figure of a man
was highlighted by a shaft of sunlight breaking through the canopy of
trees. He appeared to be holding something with one hand and punching it
with the other. The object of this assault screeched in protest, leaving
no doubt that the victim was human. The man shouted several times, 'I
told you what I would do,' and continued to punch and kick his victim
who was now on the damp ground screaming in terror.
that, apart from a dreadful choking sound, there was an ominous silence.
Amelia told her husband she thought something terrible was going on and
she was frightened. The screaming was now over and the man who was
crouched down became aware that he was being observed and looked over
his shoulder. Amelia Hart opened the car window and shouted to him,
asking what he was doing. The man moved out of sight but then suddenly
loomed up on the pavement beside the car. Raising his hands, he yelled 'Cow!'
at her. Mrs Hart saw a crazed look on his face and he appeared to be
breathing heavily from his exertions.
quickly wound up the window and shouted to her husband to drive off, and
although they were unaware of the fact, they had just witnessed the
murder of Shirley Banks. Her body was found in the Quantock Hills in
Somerset on 3 April 1988. At the autopsy, it was determined that Shirley
Banks had been bludgeoned to death, and her skull smashed like an
eggshell. John Cannan was caught on 29th October 1987 when he tried to
rob a petrol station. When he was arrested for it, the police found the
tax disc for Shirley's car in his glove compartment.
Shirley's body was only found on Easter Day in 1988 - it had been dumped
in a ditch called Dead Woman's Ditch. She was badly decomposed, but her
thumbprint was intact. When Cannan's house was checked for fingerprints,
a match to Shirley's thumbprint was found. The judge at Exeter crown
court told Cannan: "You are extremely attractive to some women. But
under that there lies a most evil violence and horrible side to your
character." Cannan is also the main suspect of two unsolved murders -
those of Suzie Lamplugh and Sandra Court.
Lamplugh went missing on 28th July 1986 in Fulham, London, after meeting
"Mr Kipper" in her role as an estate agent. Cannan, until three days
before, had been serving a sentence at Wormwood Scrubs prison, less than
three miles from where Suzie was last seen.Her body has never been found.
Sandra Court was found strangled on 3rd May 1986 in Bournemeouth. On
this day, it is known that Cannan had made a trip to Bournemouth with a
friend. Suzy Lamplugh - local man still police suspect
former Congresbury car salesman has been revealed as the main suspect in
the murder investigation into estate agent Suzy Lamplugh. The
Metropolitan Police confirmed this week that John Cannan, a former car
salesman at Holders Garage, is the key suspect for her murder. Miss
Lamplugh, aged 25, vanished in 1986 as she went to show a man a house in
London. Bristol born Cannan, 47, is currently serving life for the rape
and murder of newlywed Shirley Banks in Bristol in 1987. He has been
questioned twice in the Lamplugh case but Crown Prosecutors decided
there was too little evidence to bring charges.
detectives have launched a renewed appeal for information. Metropolitan
Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Bill Griffiths said: "John Cannan
has been interviewed twice by police in connection with Suzy's murder
since his arrest. "He has not been eliminated from our inquiries as a
suspect. "As this investigation has progressed more and more questions
about his involvement remain unanswered. "We know that there are still
people who have not come forward to us - maybe they think what they saw
was unconnected or maybe they were trying to protect someone they cared
about. It is never too late to speak to us." Cannan, who worked at
Holders Garage as a salesman in 1986, has previously denied any
involvement in Suzy's disappearance.
understood Cannan only worked at Holders for a few months before moving
on to set up his own sales business. Cannan, 37, a Bristol car dealer,
has always protested his innocence of the Lamplugh murder, and senior
police officers have stressed their belief that there was no concrete
evidence linking him with Suzy. "Four years after the unanimous guilty
verdict of the jury, John Cannan continues to deny any responsibility
for the series of crimes for which he was convicted -- the murder of
Shirley Banks from Bristol and the rape and attempted abduction of two
other women. Sentencing Cannan, Mr Justice Drake expressed his horror of
the crimes by saying Cannan should be jailed for the rest of his natural
life. In doing so, the judge removed any possibility that Cannan would
make a post-conviction admission to hasten his release or improve his
conditions in prison.
the convictions Cannan denies is the rape of a woman in Reading for
which there was overwhelming DNA evidence."
Susannah "Suzy" Lamplugh (born 1961 -
officially declared dead, presumed murdered 1994) was a British estate
agent reported missing on 28 July 1986 (aged 25) in Fulham, west London.
She was officially declared to be dead, presumed murdered in 1994. The
last clue to her whereabouts was an appointment to show a house in
Shorrolds Road to someone she referred to as "Mr Kipper".
Lamplugh was an estate agent, reported missing after
going to an appointment with someone calling himself "Mr Kipper" in
order 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 was found that night outside a
property for sale in Stevenage Road, Fulham, approximately one and a
half miles away. The ignition key was missing and Lamplugh's purse was
found in a door storage pocket. Police suggested that a black BMW car
might have been involved due to an eye witness 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.
In 1994 Lamplugh was officially declared dead.
Further police investigations in 1998 and 2000 failed to uncover any
trace of her.
There has been speculation that a convicted murderer
and rapist named John Cannan could have killed Lamplugh because he was
released from a hostel only days before she went missing. Also, it has
been claimed that Cannan's nickname in prison was 'Kipper'. However
despite investigations there is no hard evidence. Cannan has denied any
In 2000 a former girlfriend of John Cannan's, Gilly
Paige, told police that he had suggested Lamplugh's body was buried at
Norton Barracks, a former RAF barracks in Worcestershire. One of
Cannan's fellow prisoners told police that Cannan had buried Suzy under
the patio of his mother's house in Sutton Coldfield in the West Midlands.
There was a similar case in 2006 involving a 48-year-old
female estate agent in Wiltshire who met a client called Mr. Herring.
She was attacked with a sharp object which caused her to have cuts to
her arm and she was pushed to the ground, but she managed to release
herself and Mr Herring ran away. Police have said there is no connection
between this case and the disappearance of Lamplugh.
Michael Sams kidnapped Stephanie Slater in 1992. 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 behind bars as of 2008, and is currently
being held at Whitemoor Prison in Cambridgeshire.
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. Police are investigating whether Wright was
connected to Lamplugh's disappearance.
We'll finally nail Suzy killer by growing DNA
By Jeff Edwards Chief Crime Correspondent
July 20, 2006
SUZY Lamplugh's killer could be brought to justice 20
years after she vanished, thanks to a breakthrough in DNA technology.
Forensic experts will use a tiny spec of DNA found in
her car to grow a larger piece they can examine properly.
Police are convinced it belongs to sex killer John
Cannan, their only suspect, and are confident it will land him in the
dock for Suzy's murder.
Detective Superintendent James Dickie, who is
reinvestigating her disappearance, said: "We believe new developments in
technology mean we will bring John Cannan to justice.
"Everything from Suzy's car was carefully stored.
Today we know every contact leaves a trace and if Cannan was in that car
his DNA will be, too.
"We now have a tiny piece of tissue we can work on
scientifically. Ten years ago trying to work on a sample this small
would have been impractical. The mere act of analysing it would destroy
it and thus destroy the evidence itself. What specialists now do is to
use that piece of human tissue to grow another piece of identical tissue.
"It means you have a piece to analyse and still have
your evidence intact. We think Suzy was abducted in her own car, then
transferred to another. Scientists used adhesive tape on every inch of
every surface to collect every piece of available scientific evidence
from her car. But in the 80s DNA testing was in its infancy and we did
not have the ability to analyse what we had."
Estate agent Suzy, 25, disappeared on July 28 1986
after arranging an appointment to see a client called Mr Kipper in
Fulham, West London, to view a house.
Cannan, 53, has already served 18 years for the 1987
murder of newlywed Shirley Banks in Bristol. He also violently raped a
women in Leamington Spa.
Detectives have interviewed him three times at Full
Sutton jail in Yorkshire about Suzy. He has always refused to admit he
Det Supt Dickie said: "I hope we will have him
convicted for the murder of Suzy. I don't think he should ever be
released. He will always be a serious danger to women."
Lamplugh suspect linked to 'killer's car' 20 years
By Andrew Alderson, Chief
Detectives investigating the murder of Suzy Lamplugh,
the estate agent, have made a potential breakthrough in the case, just
days before the 20th anniversary of her disappearance. A new witness has
come forward with evidence that John Cannan, the man police have
previously named as their chief suspect, had access to a dark BMW at the
time she vanished.
Officers have long suspected that 25-year-old Miss
Lamplugh's killer used a black or dark BMW to abduct her after she went
to show "Mr Kipper" a house at 37 Shorrolds Road in Fulham, west London,
in July 1986. Her body has never been found, but she was officially
declared dead in 1994.
Scotland Yard reviewed the Lamplugh case in 1999.
Among the new evidence collected was a statement from a jogger who saw a
woman struggling with a man in a car, believed to be a black BMW, close
to where Miss Lamplugh's Ford Fiesta was abandoned. The car may,
unusually, have been a left-hand-drive vehicle.
Det Supt Jim Dickie, who is in charge of the case,
confirmed to The Sunday Telegraph: "We are looking at a new line of
inquiry which could be very interesting." He refused to comment further
on the breakthrough.
It is understood, however, that officers want to
discover how Cannan might have obtained the car - it could have been
borrowed from a friend, a BMW dealership or a car rental.
Scotland Yard has not given up hope
of charging Cannan with Miss Lamplugh's murder. A
conviction would give closure to her family, who three
years ago, suffered another tragedy.
Diana Lamplugh, who launched a
charity in her daughter's name, suffered a massive
stroke. She is currently in a care hospital and cannot
recognise her family or friends.
The Lamplughs spent 16 years
desperately hoping that their daughter's killer would be
convicted but, in 2002, accepted that there was not
enough evidence to charge Cannan, who was convicted in
1989 of murdering Shirley Banks, 29, a sales manager
from Bristol, in 1987. He was given three life sentences
for that murder and a series of sex attacks.
In November 2002, Scotland Yard held
a press conference at which, in a rare move, officers
named Cannan as the man they believe murdered Miss
Cannan, who has been interviewed in
prison by detectives over the case, has always denied
any involvement in her disappearance. There is, however,
a mass of circumstantial evidence linking him to Miss
Cannan, now 52, is alleged to have
used the alias "Kipper" while in prison for a previous
offence and resembles a photofit of a man seen with Miss
Lamplugh on the day she vanished. The estate agent also
said she had been pestered by a man from Bristol -
Cannan's home city.
Miss Lamplugh's father, Paul, 75,
still lives in the family home in East Sheen, west
London. This weekend he said that he still hopes his
daughter's body will be found and that her killer will
be convicted, although the family has "moved on". There
is no longer an all-consuming desire for justice. "If
her body was found, it would be massively important," he
His attentions have turned to caring
for his wife. "The stroke totally destroyed her memory
relay system which means she has no recollection of
facts and no understanding of concept," said Mr Lamplugh.
His wife will be 70 on July 30, 20 years and two days
after their daughter disappeared.
After his wife's illness, Mr Lamplugh
stepped back from The Suzy Lamplugh Trust, the charity
set up months after his daughter's disappearance to
promote personal safety. The couple ran it together for
17 years. Mr Lamplugh, who has three other children,
remains a trustee of the charity.
Mr Lamplugh is delighted at the
charity's new slogan, Live Life Safe, because it
represents the way his daughter relished life, as well
as encapsulating his wife's philosophy after their
SEX: M RACE: W TYPE: N MOTIVE: Sex.
MO: Rape-slayer of young women.
Life sentence on one count, 1988.
Susannah "Suzy" Lamplugh was a British estate agent reported
missing on 28 July 1986 (aged 25) in Fulham, west London. She was
officially declared to be dead, presumed murdered in 1994.