Suzy Lamplugh suspects
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The Vanishing of Suzy Lamplugh: What happened to her? Who are the main suspects?

The estate agent disappeared from Fulham in 1986

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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?

New documentary The Vanishing of Suzy Lamplugh on C5 re-examines the mysterious case of the estate agent.

Here’s everything you need to know…

Detective Superintendent Jim Dickie - took over the Suzy Lamplugh investigation in 2000.
Detective Superintendent Jim Dickie took over the Suzy Lamplugh investigation in 2000 (Credit: C5)

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The Vanishing of Suzy Lamplugh on C5

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.

This documentary features testimony from detectives involved in the original inquiry and in subsequent re-investigations.

Suzy’s brother Richard also appears.

He recalls how his parents, Diana and Paul, walked the streets searching for their daughter, calling her name.

The programme explores what went wrong with the original investigation.

It also draws upon the police’s reinvestigation of the case, and follows the emergence of a prime suspect in Suzy’s murder.

Who was Mr Kipper?

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

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

Witnesses say they saw her arguing with a man near the address and then getting into a car.

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

Photo of a Ford Fiesta similar to the one Suzy drove the day she disappeared (Credit: C5)

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Was Suzy Lamplugh’s body ever found?

Suzy’s body has never been found.

She vanished without a trace.

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

Police have tested the DNA of 800 unidentified bodies and skeletal remains that have matched her description.

Who are the main suspects in the Suzy Lamplugh case?

Police desperately tried to identify the client, Mr Kipper, who was the last to see her alive.

They later named their prime, in fact only, suspect years after her disappearance.

He was a charismatic psychopath with a history of violence against women.

The strongest theory to date is that convicted rapist and killer, John Cannan, killed Suzy.

He had a long history of offending and several links to Suzy’s world.

His guilt has never been proven.

Suzy Lamplugh
The Vanishing of Suzy Lamplugh: What happened to her? Who are the main suspects? (Credit: YouTube)

Suspect John Cannan

John Cannan is a convicted murderer and rapist.

The former car salesman was convicted in July 1988 of murder and sexual offences.

He remains the only suspect in the murder of Suzy Lamplugh.

Three days before Suzy’s disappearance, he had been released from a bail hostel next to Wormwood Scrubs prison.

He’d served five years of an eight-year rape sentence.

His nickname in jail was “Kipper”.

He has always denied responsibility for Suzy Lamplugh’s disappearance.

Suitcase theory

In 2019, a witness identified a man looking like John Cannan dumping a “large piece of luggage” in the Grand Union Canal after she went missing.

It was said to be a “very heavy-looking bag on wheels”.

The witness reported the sighting three times to police in the 1980s.

Suzy Lamplugh suspects
Who are the main suspects in the Suzy Lamplugh case? John Cannan is the prime suspect in her disappearance (Credit: YouTube)

Where is John Cannan now?

John Cannan, now 66, is currently serving a life sentence for the rape and murder of Shirley Banks in 1987.

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 less than two years in 2022.

In the C5 documentary, former senior investigating officer Jim Dickie has pleaded with authorities to keep the dangerous criminal behind bars.

Jim Dickie, along with other senior detectives, believes John Cannan is responsible for the death of Miss Lamplugh.

Suspect Steve Wright

In 1982, Suzy worked as a beautician on the ocean liner Queen Elizabeth 2.

At the same time, Steve Wright was working as a steward.

He was convicted in February 2008 of murdering five prostitutes in Ipswich.

The Metropolitan Police investigated him at the time for Suzy’s disappearance.

However, a senior Met police officer described the link as “speculative”.

Suzy Lamplugh
Estate agent Suzy has been missing since 1986 (Credit: YouTube)

Suzy Lamplugh’s parents

Suzy Lamplugh’s mum Diana died in 2011 after suffering a stroke.

The personal safety campaigner, 75 at the time of her death, died without knowing what had happened to her daughter.

She gained an OBE in 1992 after setting up the Suzy Lamplugh Trust.

Mrs Lamplugh campaigned on issues ranging from making minicabs safer to protecting victims of stalking.

In 2018, Suzy’s dad Paul died in his sleep surrounded by his three remaining children, Richard, Tamsin and Lizzie.

The Vanishing of Suzy Lamplugh airs at 9pm on C5 on Wednesday December 16 2020.

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