Suzy Lamplugh John Cannan documentary
TV

Did John Cannan kill Suzy Lamplugh? Documentary In the Footsteps of Killers on C4 investigates

Emilia Fox and criminologist David Wilson investigate

| Updated:

The baffling disappearance of Suzy Lamplugh is the crime focused on by Emilia Fox and Professor David Wilson in this week’s In the Footsteps of Killers – but who are the main suspects, including John Cannan?

Suzy Lamplugh disappeared from Fulham, London, in 1986 and has never been seen since.

But who are the main suspects in the Suzy Lamplugh case?

And what happened to her?

Suzy Lamplugh suspects
Emilia Fox investigates the Suzy Lamplugh case in In the Footsteps of Killers (Credit: C4)

Read more: In the Footsteps of Killers on C4: Who is Professor David Wilson and where’s he from?

Who was Suzy Lamplugh?

Suzy Lamplugh’s disappearance remains one of the most baffling mysteries in recent history.

The 25-year-old estate agent went missing from Fulham, London, on July 28 1986.

Police never found any trace of Suzy again, and her body was never found.

Suzy was declared officially dead, presumed murdered, in 1994.

At the time of her death, there was no CCTV, no mobile phone intelligence and no DNA to help track down her killer.

Who was Mr Kipper?

On the day of her disappearance, an entry in her diary read that she’d gone to meet a client called Mr Kipper.

She was due to meet the man at 12.45pm at a house for sale on Shorrolds Road.

However, there was no record of a Mr Kipper at the estate agents where she worked.

Eye-witnesses say they saw Suzy arguing with a smartly-dressed man in a black BMW or Mercedes.

For more than 30 years, police have been unable to identify Mr Kipper.

He’s thought to be the last person to see Suzy alive.

Suzy Lamplugh
Suzy Lamplugh disappeared in 1985 and is presumed dead (Credit: YouTube)

Read more: Who is in Emilia Fox’s famous family, and is she still married to Chernobyl star Jared Harris? 

Suzy Lamplugh suspects: John Cannan

John Cannan remains the prime, in fact only remaining, suspect in the disappearance of Suzy Lamplugh.

Three days before Suzy’s disappearance, he had been released from a bail hostel next to Wormwood Scrubs prison – which was only 4.3 miles away from where Suzy worked.

He’d served five years of an eight-year rape sentence, and his nickname in jail was ‘Kipper’.

The likeness between Suzy and Shirley Banks, who John went on to kill, is remarkable.

Also, the photo fit of Mr Kipper closely resembles that of John.

When he was eventually arrested for the murder of Shirley Banks, John was driving a black BMW like the one linked to Suzy’s disappearance.

Former senior investigating officer Jim Dickie believes John Cannan is responsible for the death of Miss Lamplugh.

However, John Cannan has always denied killing Suzy – although he HAS admitted on tape that police aren’t aware of all of his crimes.

Where is John Cannan now?

John Cannan, now 67, is currently serving a life sentence for the rape and murder of Shirley Banks in 1987 (15 months after Suzy vanished).

The body of newlywed Shirley was found in a stream in Somerset six months after she was abducted from Bristol in 1987.

John Cannan is also a key suspect in the murder of 25-year-old Bournemouth insurance clerk Sandra Court.

Her body was found in a water-filled ditch on the Avon Causeway in May 1986.

DS Jim Dickie says: “A common feature in Shirley and Sandra’s murders is that their bodies were deposited in water.”

John Cannan is due for parole in 2022.

Suzy Lamplugh suspects
John Cannan is the prime suspect in the disappearance of Suzy Lamplugh (Credit: YouTube)

Why wasn’t John Cannan charged with Suzy’s murder?

Despite the evidence against him, John was not treated as a prime suspect in the first investigation into Suzy’s disappearance.

There are claims that the lead police officer had fallen out with Suzy’s mum, believing she was behind media leaks to the case.

John was never put in an ID parade, and key witnesses were not spoken to.

He subsequently became the prime suspect during the second investigation.

However, due to the abuse of process, John Cannan was not charged.

The CPS believed John had been a victim of trial by media.

They also accused police of mislaying clues in the original investigation.

Suzy Lamplugh suspects: Michael Sams

Michael Sams is currently serving a life sentence for the murder of teenager Julie Dart in 1991.

He was also found guilty of the kidnap of Birmingham estate agent Stephanie Slater in 1992.

However, in the 1970s, Michael had his right leg amputated as a result of cancer.

No eyewitness testimony ever said the so-called Mr Kipper walked with a limp.

Hence, he’s been ruled out as a suspect.

Suzy Lamplugh suspects
Suzy Lamplugh’s brother Richard still wants answers (Credit: C5)

Suspect Steve Wright

Steve Wright is serving a life sentence for the murder of five women in Suffolk.

We worked with Suzy on the QE2 in the 1980s.

His ex-wife claimed that he was on shore leave on the day that Suzy went missing.

However, QE2 records say he was working and on board the ship at the time.

Unnamed suspect

Suzy briefly dated an unnamed man around the time of her death.

She met him in a wine bar and he apparently lives on Shorrolds Road, the very street she went missing on.

However, he has a watertight alibi for the day she disappeared.

In the Footsteps of Killers continues on Wednesday June 16 2021 at 10pm on Channel 4.

What do you think of In the Footsteps of Killers on C4? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix.