Disappearance of Suzy Lamplugh
She was officially declared dead, presumed murdered, in 1994. The last clue to Lamplugh's whereabouts was an appointment to show a house in Shorrolds Road to someone she referred to as "Mr Kipper". As of 2020[update] the case remains unsolved.
Lamplugh was an estate agent who was reported missing after attending an appointment with someone calling himself "Mr Kipper", to show him round a house in Fulham. Her office diary recorded the details of the appointment as: "12.45 Mr. Kipper – 37 Shorrolds O/S". The 'Shorrolds' in question referred to Shorrolds Road, but this final aspect of the address was not included in the entry. The "O/S" annotation means "outside the property". Witnesses reported seeing a woman, who resembled Lamplugh, talking with a man in Shorrolds Road and then getting into a car.
Lamplugh's white Ford Fiesta (registration: B396 GAN) was found on the night of 28 July, outside a property for sale in Stevenage Road, Fulham, which is about a mile and a half away. The hand brake was off and the car key was missing. Lamplugh's purse was found in a storage pocket in one of the car's side doors.
Police suggested that a black, left-hand drive BMW vehicle may have been involved, because of an eyewitness account of a car of that description seen at the same location as Lamplugh's car in Stevenage Road. For some time after her disappearance, it was believed that "Kipper" was her pronunciation of the Dutch name "Kuiper", but police investigations failed to identify anyone of that name in connection with Lamplugh.
In June 2019, a former police detective suggested that the 'Mr Kipper' diary entry might have been a cover story.
Following Lamplugh's disappearance, police tested the DNA of 800 unidentified bodies and skeletal remains that matched her description. Lamplugh was officially declared dead in 1994; she was presumed to have been murdered. Renewed police investigations in 1998 and 2000 failed to trace her. The investigation was summarised in an ITV Real Crime programme in 2002.
In November 2002, it was reported that convicted rapist and murderer John Cannan could have killed Lamplugh. He had been released from a prison hostel only days before she went missing, and it was claimed that his nickname in prison was "Kipper". That month, Scotland Yard held a press conference at which officers named Cannan as the person they believed to have murdered Lamplugh. Cannan denied any involvement and police investigations failed to produce any evidence linking him to the disappearance.
In April 2001, a previous girlfriend of Cannan, Gilly Paige, told police that he had suggested Lamplugh's body was buried at Norton Barracks, a former military base in Worcestershire. However, 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.
In 1982, Lamplugh had worked as a beautician on the ocean liner Queen Elizabeth 2. At the same time, Steve Wright, who was convicted in February 2008 of the murder of five prostitutes in Ipswich, was working as a steward on the QE2. In 2008, the Metropolitan Police investigated whether Wright was connected with Lamplugh's disappearance, but this was not a strong line of enquiry and a senior Met police officer described the link as "speculative".
In August 2010, police began searching a field off the B4084 between Pershore and Drakes Broughton, about three miles from the former Norton Barracks in Worcestershire, where a search had previously been carried out in December 2000 and February 2001. In December 2000, police had also searched a nearby brickworks, which had been mentioned in several of the original witness statements. The 2010 search proved unsuccessful and Lamplugh's remains were not found.
In late October 2018, police began searching the former house of Cannan's mother in Sutton Coldfield, the same property that was searched in 2002. They dismantled the garage and began removing its concrete floor, whilst also carrying out a search of the back garden. On 12 November 2018, police announced that the search of the property had ended and no evidence had been found.
Suzy Lamplugh TrustEdit
The Suzy Lamplugh Trust is a charitable foundation that was established in 1986 by Suzy's parents, Paul and Diana, after the disappearance of their daughter. The mission of the Trust is to raise awareness of personal safety through training and various projects, to help people avoid becoming victims of aggression, and to offer counselling and support to relatives and friends of missing people. The Trust runs the UK's National Stalking Helpline and organises National Personal Safety Day, an annual event that was first held in 2006.
Paul and Diana Lamplugh were appointed to OBE, in 1992 and 2005 respectively, for their charitable work with the Suzy Lamplugh Trust. Diana Lamplugh died in August 2011 at the age of 75, and Paul Lamplugh died aged 87 in June 2018. Rachel Griffin, CEO of the Trust since 2012, died of cancer in August 2019.
Lamplugh and her family were members 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.
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- The Suzy Lamplugh Trust An organisation created by Diana Lamplugh – Suzy's mother – to promote personal safety.
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- BBC On this Day BBC page on 30 July 1986, the day the appeal was made by Lamplugh's parents for her safe return.
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- Casefile True Crime Podcast – Case 48: Suzy Lamplugh – 4 March 2017