Who is Suzy Lamplugh? What happened to her and was she killed?
Estate agent Suzy Lamplugh was a young woman who went to work one day and completely vanished – so who was she and what happened to her?
According to police in 2021, the case is “still active” more than 35 years later.
But is she dead?
And who are the main suspects?
Here’s everything you need to know about the disappearance of Suzy Lamplugh.
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What happened to Suzy Lamplugh?
Susannah Jane Lamplugh was a British estate agent who went to work one day and tragically never came home.
At around 12.30pm on July 28 1986, Suzy got ready to leave the office to meet a potential buyer at 12.45pm.
She took the barest essentials with her – her house and car keys, and her wallet – thinking she’d be back soon.
She drove to see a ‘Mr Kipper’ at 37 Shorrolds Road, a location conveniently close to the office.
However, approximately 10 minutes later she was spotted waiting outside the property alone.
Suzy was last seen shortly after 1pm, coming out of the house with a smartly dressed man.
She was last seen wearing low stiletto heels, a black jacket, grey skirt and peach-coloured blouse.
Suzy did not return to the office.
The young woman disappeared and has never been seen since.
Police never found any trace of Suzy again, and her body was never found.
It’s one of the most baffling and frustrating crimes in recent history.
She was officially declared dead, presumed murdered, in 1993 – eight years after she vanished.
At the time of her death, there was no CCTV, no mobile phone intelligence and no DNA to help track down her killer.
Her car, a white Ford Fiesta, was found abandoned in Stevenage Road, Fulham, by another house being sold by Sturgis and Sons.
One theory is that she had also shown ‘Mr Kipper’ around that property, too.
Police believe the so-called prospective buyer abducted Suzy and subsequently murdered her.
Who did she work for?
Suzy Lamplugh worked at Sturgis and Sons estate agency at 654 Fulham Road.
She’d been working as an estate agent for just over a year.
The estate agency no longer exists.
Before that, Suzy had worked as a beautician on the famous ocean liner, the QE2.
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Who was Mr Kipper?
On the day of Suzy’s 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.
The man calling himself Mr Kipper had telephoned the Sturgis and Sons estate agency and asked to view the £130,000 property.
Police later found that his name and address were false.
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.
Where did Suzy Lamplugh live?
Suzy lived in a two-bedroom flat in Putney.
The estate agent owned the flat.
She was part of the trendy ‘Putney set’ and enjoyed a very busy social life.
Her friends described her as a happy, outgoing and conscientious young woman.
When and where did she go missing?
Suzy Lamplugh was last seen on July 28 1986.
Her work colleagues saw her leave her Fulham office at around 12.30pm for a 12.45pm appointment with a prospective buyer.
Witnesses saw her around 1pm waiting outside the property – 37 Shorrolds Road, Fulham – just minutes away from her office.
Suzy was last seen shortly after 1pm, coming out of the house with a man who called himself ‘Mr Kipper’.
Despite a police reconstruction and extensive media coverage, no information was forthcoming on Suzy’s fate.
As her mum Diana wrote five years later: “There has not been a single trace of her. Nothing.
“Just as though she has been erased by a rubber.”
Where was Suzy Lamplugh’s car found?
Police found Suzy Lamplugh’s company car just minutes from where they suspect she was abducted.
Her car, a white Ford Fiesta, was found abandoned in Stevenage Road, Fulham, about a mile from her office on Stevenage Road.
The Fiesta was left outside another house being sold by Sturgis and Sons estate agents.
This led the police to believe Suzy also showed ‘Mr Kipper’ around that property too.
There were no signs of a struggle and no fingerprints unaccounted for.
The driver’s door was unlocked, the handbrake off and her purse was in the glove compartment.
However, her keys were missing.
The car was found badly parked, and the position of the driver’s seat led police to suspect that Suzy wasn’t the last person to drive the vehicle.
How old was Suzy Lamplugh when she disappeared?
Estate agent Suzy was just 25 years old when she went missing from Fulham, London, on July 28 1986.
She was born on May 03 1961.
When was Suzy Lamplugh born?
Suzy Lamplugh was born on May 03 1961.
The estate agent was born in Cheltenham, England.
She later moved to Fulham, London, to pursue her career.
Where is Suzy Lamplugh? Was Suzy Lamplugh ever found?
Sadly, no one knows where Suzy Lamplugh is.
It is highly unlikely that she is alive.
Police officially declared her dead, presumed murdered, in 1993.
A body has never been found in the missing persons case.
There are those who believe she was dumped in a suitcase in the Grand Union Canal (see below).
Was Suzy Lamplugh stalked?
There is no evidence that Suzy Lamplugh was ever stalked beyond the fact her assailant lured her into a meeting under false pretences.
Her brother Richard says he believes Suzy’s kidnapper was someone she knew.
He even believes she may have got into his car willingly.
He told The Sun newspaper in 2021: “I’m sure Suze was stalked.
“We don’t know but I think he groomed her and got her to do what he wanted.”
Is Suzy Lamplugh dead?
Suzy Lamplugh’s family and friends have sadly been forced to come to terms with the fact that she is dead.
Although no body has ever been found, it’s assumed her assailant killed her.
Police officially declared her dead, presumed murdered, in 1993.
However, they insist the investigation is still ongoing, even 35 years later.
Who killed Suzy Lamplugh?
John Cannan remains the prime, in fact only remaining, suspect in the disappearance of Suzy Lamplugh.
He 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.
He’d served five years of an eight-year rape sentence.
His nickname in jail was “Kipper”.
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.
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.
In 2002, police named John Cannan as their prime suspect.
Where is Suzy Lamplugh prime suspect John Cannan now?
John Cannan, now 68, 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 this year, in 2022.
He will appear before a panel in the hope of being transferred to an open prison.
John once told his solicitor that he “may well tell all when my mother dies”.
Jim Dickie, Detective Chief Inspector, has said: “I have come across people like Cannan, who I believe is a psychopath – clear and simple.
“My view is if he ever was released, he would still be a danger to the female population of this country.”
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.
Police questioned him about Suzy’s disappearance in 2000 and he was eventually arrested for the murder in 2000.
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.
Due to a lack of forensic evidence, the police were unable to charge John with Suzy’s murder.
In 2021, police named John Cannan as the monster who killed Suzy in July 1986.
But the Crown Prosecution Service ruled there was insufficient evidence to prosecute him over the estate agent’s disappearance.
Were there any other suspects in Suzy Lamplugh’s disappearance?
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 was ruled out as a suspect.
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.
The Metropolitan Police investigated him at the time for Suzy’s disappearance.
However, a senior Met police officer described the link as “speculative”.
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.
Is Suzy Lamplugh in the Grand Union Canal?
Suzy’s body has never been found.
Police have tested the DNA of 800 unidentified bodies and skeletal remains that have matched her description.
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.
How old would Suzy Lamplugh be now?
Suzy Lamplugh would be 61 today (at the time of writing).
She was born on May 03 1961, so would have celebrated her 60th birthday in 2021.
Sadly, she didn’t get to see her 26th birthday.
What is the Suzy Lamplugh Trust?
Suzy Lamplugh’s parents set up the Trust in 1986 after her disappearance.
The mission of The Suzy Lamplugh Trust is to reduce the risk of violence and aggression through campaigning, education and support.
On their website, they say: “Our vision is a society in which people are safer – and feel safer – from violence and aggression; we want people to be able to live life to the full.”
The Suzy Lamplugh Trust is the UK’s pioneering personal safety charity and leading stalking authority.
It’s widely regarded as a field expert in lone-working and personal safety training, stalking training, as well as consultancy, campaigning, and support services.
The National Stalking Helpline was set up by the Trust in 2010, and has helped over 45,000 victims since its inception.
Are Suzy Lamplugh’s parents still alive?
Tragically, Suzy’s parents Diana and Paul never saw their daughter again after her disappearance in 1986.
In The Vanishing of Suzy Lamplugh which aired on C5 in 2020, Suzy’s brother Richard recalls how his parents walked the streets searching for their daughter.
They relentless called out her name, hoping someone would hear.
Sadly, both Diana and Paul died without discovering what happened to their daughter.
Suzy’s mum Diana died in 2011 after suffering a stroke – possibly as a result of her daughter’s disappearance.
The personal safety campaigner was 75 at the time of her death.
Mrs Lamplugh campaigned on issues ranging from making minicabs safer to protecting victims of stalking.
Hence, she gained an OBE in 1992 after setting up the Suzy Lamplugh Trust.
In 2018, Suzy’s dad Paul died in his sleep surrounded by his three remaining children, Richard, Tamsin and Lizzie.
Where is Suzy’s brother Richard now?
Suzy was one of four siblings – the second child of four.
She had one brother called Richard and two sisters called Tamsin and Lizzie who live in New Zealand.
Suzy’s brother Richard is frequently on TV appealing for information on his sister’s whereabouts.
During at interview for In the Footsteps of Killers, he reveals the distress at his younger sister Suzy not having a grave.
Talking about her disappearance, he says: “You don’t want to believe that something really bad has happened to her.
“But your hope dies, and you try to stay positive.
“She’s somewhere out there, but we have nowhere to remember her.
“We don’t have a grave, or anything like that.
“It would be great to have a place where we could bury her.”
Richard was 26 and working on a fish farm in Hertfordshire when his sister disappeared.
Richard, now 62, lives in Aberdeen with his wife Christine and their daughters.
What is the latest news in the case?
In March 2021, police said the investigation into Suzy’s disappearance was still open.
They said “it is not too late” to come forward with information about the disappearance of Suzy Lamplugh even after 35 years.
The Metropolitan Police said detectives remain committed to the investigation.
Detective Chief Inspector Rebecca Reeves urged anyone with information to come forward.
She said: “Whether you saw something that you thought was unconnected at the time or you felt under pressure to protect someone you knew – it is not too late.
“The passage of time has not weakened our determination to seek justice and get the answers that the Lamplugh family continue to wait for.
“They have always been supportive of our efforts to make progress in the investigation and they have shown remarkable strength despite the immense sadness they have endured over the years.”
Where can I watch a Suzy Lamplugh documentary?
The Vanishing of Suzy Lamplugh is a Channel 5 documentary.
It examines the case surrounding Suzy’s disappearance in 1986, tracing the dramatic twists and turns of the case across more than three decades.
The 90-minute film is currently available to watch on My5.
In the Footsteps of Killers on Channel 4 showed Silent Witness actress Emilia Fox team up with criminologist David Wilson.
The pair narrowed the suspects down to one man…
You can still watch it on All 4.
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