Dying Suzy Lamplugh murder suspect said: ‘Confess and cleanse your soul’


An ex-detective convinced John Cannan murdered Suzy Lamplugh has urged him to clear his conscience and uncover the truth.

Jim Dickie spoke after the Mirror revealed today that Cannan – the prime suspect in the case – is likely to take his secrets to his grave as he is being treated in prison for the end of his life.

Mr Dickie said: “He can tell anything, cleanse his soul, cleanse his conscience and go to his Maker after doing the right thing with the families, which is the most important thing.

“I would urge him to take that course of action as it would give the families the closure they deserve.” He added: “The outcome of this is entirely in John Cannan’s hands.”

Cannan, 68, who has already served 35 years in prison for a separate murder, was named in 2002 as the person police believe abducted 25-year-old Suzy in July 1986 in Fulham, west London and has murdered.

Suzy is said to have been murdered



He has always denied involvement in the estate agent’s murder, even while receiving palliative care at Full Sutton Prison in East York.

Suzy’s body was never found and her parents died unaware of what happened to their daughter. Mr Dickie, an ex-Met Det Supt, said he believes Cannan was also responsible for the murder of Sandra Court, 26.

The body of the Bournemouth insurance clerk was found in a water-filled ditch on the Avon Causeway in May 1986.

Mr Dickie, who investigated Suzy’s case in the early 2000s, said: ‘There’s a chance he does [Cannan] die without ever saying what he knows.

Suzy’s car at Stevenage Road Fulham where it had been left


mirror image)

“The problem is nobody can force him to tell us what happened in relation to Suzy Lamplugh and also Sandra Court.

“I firmly believe he is responsible for the deaths of these two girls and as far as I know there may be other victims out there.

“When he was interviewed in 2001, he said to me, ‘There are some things I haven’t been caught for.’

“It may well be that he is referring to these or other victims.

“There is no doubt John Cannan is a serial sex offender and a convicted murderer.”

Here, the Mirror examines the details of one of the UK’s most notorious missing persons cases…

The prime suspect

John Cannan was brought to life in 1989 for murdering newlywed Shirley Banks, 29, in Bristol in 1987.

He was previously convicted of raping a mother in Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, and suspected of a number of other sexual assaults.

A few days before Suzy disappeared, Cannan checked out of a bail home in White City, west London, after serving five years of an eight-year rape sentence.

John Cannan was sentenced to life in prison for the 1989 murder of newlywed Bristol Banks, Shirley Banks


Ex-Metropolitan Police Detective Superintendent Jim Dickie


AFP via Getty Images)

In 2020, it was revealed that a witness had come forward to say he believed he saw Cannan throwing a large wheeled suitcase into the Grand Union Canal in Brentford, west London, three days after Suzy’s disappearance. The Metropolitan Police said the stretch of water was searched during the investigation into the 2014 murder of 14-year-old schoolgirl Alice Gross.

In 2010, police raided a site in the former Norton Barracks, Worcs, where Cannan’s former girlfriend, skater Gilly Paige, said he buried Suzy’s body.

In 2018, the home of Cannan’s mother, Sheila, in Sutton Coldfield, West Mids, was searched by experienced officers.

Who was Mr Kipper?

Estate agent Suzy disappeared in the middle of a busy Monday after appearing to be showing a client a house a few minutes’ walk from her Fulham office.

A note in her diary read: “12:45 p.m., Mr Kipper, 37 Shorrolds Rd o/s (outside)”.

It could not be determined when the meeting with the mystery man was arranged or if he had come to the office or telephoned.

Artist’s rendering of a man calling himself Mr. Kipper



Suzy left her office after 12.40pm and a woman fitting her description was seen at the Shorrolds Road house.

Police officials say Cannan bears a close resemblance to an E-fit from “Mr. Kipper,” and he was reportedly given that nickname while he was behind bars for a rape charge before Suzy disappeared.


At 12.50pm a woman believed to be Suzy was seen brandishing keys while standing alone at the gate of the house in Shorrolds Road.

A neighbor said she appeared happy when she was greeted by a well-dressed man aged between 25 and 30.

He had slicked back dark hair and wore a bottle of champagne with a red, white and blue ribbon around his neck.

The witness said the couple walked away happily together.

Police re-enact Suzy Lamplugh’s last moves on Shorrolds Road


mirror image)

At 2.45pm an old friend of Suzy’s was cycling down Fulham Palace Road when she said she saw Suzy riding with ‘Mr Kipper’ looking ‘serious but not distressed’.

Suzy’s company car, a white Ford Fiesta hatchback, was found by police at 10:01 p.m. on the day of her disappearance.

It was on Stevenage Road, about a mile from Shorrolds Road.

The handbrake was off and Suzy’s purse was still in the pocket on the door.

A car identical to Suzy’s was seen at the same location at 12.45pm, five minutes before she was spotted on Shorrolds Road.

The seat was not in its usual position but pushed further back, suggesting Suzy was not the last person to drive it.

Police officers later conducted a reconstruction of the house inspection.

Other suspects

Michael Sams


PA archives/press association images)

Steve Wright



In 1994, claims by one-legged killer Michael Sams, who was serving life for murder and kidnapping, that he killed Suzy were dismissed by her family as a “sick hoax”.

Suzy had been working as a beautician aboard the ocean liner QE2 at the same time as Suffolk Strangler Steve Wright.

Met detectives were looking into whether Wright was linked to Ms Lamplugh’s disappearance, but officers found no evidence he was involved.

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