|aka Suffolk Ripper
|... : ...
20061226: UK: first court appearance in serial killer case
|A 48-year old forklift truck driver has been charged with murdering five prostitutes in the English town of Ipswich and dumping their bodies in rural locations. The arrival of Steven Wright at court was watched by a small group of locals and a huge corps of media. After the brief committal hearing, Wright's solicitor spoke to some of them outside the court:
"I think I can do no more than say that he's bearing up well under all the circumstances," said his lawyer, "obviously it's distressing to be accused of these offences and to be under the scrutiny of the media as he is. Given those circumstances, he's bearing up as well as anybody could be expected."
The five victims were aged between 19 and 29. Their bodies were discovered over a 10-day period. The first body, that of 25-year-old Gemma Adams, was discovered on 2 December in a stream. Police launched a huge operation to find the killer. They initially arrested another man who has since been released. Wright was arrested on Tuesday at his home.
20061222: Man remanded over Suffolk murders
|A 48-year-old man has been remanded in custody on charges of murdering five prostitutes whose bodies were found near Ipswich.
Steven Wright, of Ipswich, is accused of murdering Gemma Adams, 25, Anneli Alderton, 24, Tania Nicol, 19, Paula Clennell, 24, and Annette Nicholls, 29.
Mr Wright was remanded in custody until 2 January when he is due to appear at Ipswich Crown Court.
Another arrested man, Tom Stephens, 37, has been released on bail.
Mr Wright, a former fork-lift truck driver, was arrested on Tuesday at his home in the Suffolk town and charged by police on Thursday night.
At Ipswich Magistrates' Court he confirmed his personal details before the list of charges were read to him.
Before the hearing Mr Wright's solicitor, Paul Osler, said: "Of course, anybody accused of these sorts of offences is going to experience trauma, but he is bearing up well."
The naked bodies of the five women were discovered in countryside near the Suffolk town over 10 days this month.
iss Nicol vanished in late October, sparking a police inquiry.
When Miss Adams's body was found in a stream at Hintlesham, Suffolk on 2 December, police began a murder inquiry.
The bodies of the other four victims were discovered in rural locations nearby over the following 10 days.
Police said Miss Alderton had been strangled, and Miss Clennell had died as a result of "compression" to the neck.
Police have not said how Miss Adams, Miss Nicol or Miss Nicholls died.
20061222: Charged with five murders
|DRIVER Steve Wright was dramatically charged last night with the Ripper murders of five Ipswich prostitutes.
Wright, 48, will appear at Ipswich court today accused of killing Gemma Adams, 25, Tania Nicol, 19, Anneli Alderton, 24,
Paula Clennell, 24, and Annette Nicholls, 29. He was arrested at his Ipswich home on Tuesday.
A second suspect, former special constable Tom Stephens, 37, held since Monday, was freed on bail without charge pending further inquiries.
Hunt leader Det Chief Supt Stewart Gull said: “Wright is charged with murdering all five women.”
A TERSE one-minute statement from a police chief last night marked a dramatic turning-point in the Ripper hunt for the killer of five prostitutes.
Murder hunt leader Det Chief Supt Stewart Gull recapped on the arrest this week of forklift driver Steve Wright, 48, and former special constable Tom Stephens, 37.
Then he briefly announced that Wright was charged with the murders of Gemma Adams, 25, Tania Nicol, 19,
Anneli Alderton, 24, Paula Clennell, 24, and Annette Nicholls, 29. Wright will appear in court today. Stephens was released on police bail pending further inquiries. He may be questioned again later. Mr Gull said: “You will be aware
that on Monday as part of our investigation into the murders of five women in the Ipswich area, we arrested a suspect at his home address in Trimley. The next day, a second suspect was arrested in Ipswich.
“There have been significant inquiries and interviews during the period that these men have been in custody.
“As a result, the 37-year-old man from Trimley was this evening released on police bail. Police will not name this man at
“The second man, Stephen Wright, from Ipswich, has been charged with the murder of all five women – Gemma Adams, Tania
Nicol, Anneli Alderton, Paula Clennell and Annette Nicholls.” Sitting beside him at Suffolk Police HQ Michael Crimp, Senior Prosecutor for Suffolk Crown Prosecution Service, said: “As this case has developed we have been carefully examining the
evidence to come to a charging decision at the earliest opportunity.
“This evening we made the decision that there is sufficient evidence and authorised that Stephen Wright, of London Road, Ipswich, should be charged.
“We will continue to keep this case under constant review as it develops. Mr Wright will be kept in custody to appear before Ipswich magistrates’ court tomorrow.”
Press were not allowed to ask questions and the two men left the platform as soon as they had finished reading their short statements.
The decision to charge Wright came as it emerged he mingled with top police officers at his golf club.
He takes takes part in regular weekend competitions at Seckford golf club, near Woodbridge, Suffolk, which he is thought to have joined about five years ago.
Suffolk’s former Chief Constable Paul Scott-Lee belonged to the club until he left the county in 2002 to become Chief Constable of the West Midlands. Other senior police officers are also thought to be members of the club which is less than two miles from the Suffolk force’s HQ at Martlesham. Police have visited the club premises to ask staff how often Wright plays and who he mixed with.
Last night one member said: “I don’t think Steve and Paul played together – but they might well have seen each other.”
Wright likes to play off a handicap of 19 or 20 in black clothes and is a man of few words, said members. The club’s professional, Simon Jay, 30, said: “He likes to play in black trousers, a black jumper or rollneck and a black baseball cap with a golfing motif on it.
“We were shocked to hear of his arrest. We know him as a quiet chap who is very unassuming. “He doesn’t socialise very much and likes to go straight home.” Former club captain Colin Harrison, 67, said: “Steve came up here last Sunday.
“He just sat in the club having a coffee waiting for his tee time. He was very quiet but that was normal.
“I can’t say he is particular friends with anybody. He’s a very quiet fellow who keeps himself to himself. “He’s one of 20 to 30 players who are very keen on playing in the Saturday club. “He’s always obliging and will fill in if we’re short of a member for a competition.” It is believed Wright’s membership was due to be suspended this month due to his failure to pay his monthly £47.50 membership.
Wright is also a member of the Brigands golf society based at the Brook Hotel in Felixstowe, Suffolk. He is believed to have joined about five years ago when he worked as a barman at the hotel. A Brigands’ member said: “It’s difficult to hold a conversation with him. He hardly says a word to anyone. He’s so quiet that you can’t even recall him being at the table
after we’ve sat down to eat.”
The naked bodies of all five women were found near villages south of Ipswich during a 10-day period earlier this month.
Gemma was found in a stream at Hintlesham on December 2. Tania was found in the same stream at Copdock on December 8.
Anneli was discovered in woods at Nacton on December 10. Paula and Annette were found in woods at Levington on December 12.
Anneli was strangled and Paula died from “compression“ to the neck. Police have not said how the other three victims died.
# DO YOU know Steve Wright? If so, please call the Mirror on 020 7293 3831 and we’'ll ring you straight back
20061222: Ripper Suspect in Court
|DRIVER Steve Wright - charged with the Ripper murders of five Ipswich prostitutes - appeared in court today amid tight security.
The 48-year-old of Ipswich, Suffolk, appeared before magistrates in Ipswich accused of murdering Gemma Adams, 25, Tania Nicol, 19, Anneli Alderton, 24, Paula Clennell, 24, and Annette Nicholls, 29.
He arrived at court in a police van escorted by two police cars and motorcycle escorts.
Wearing a dark blue suit, white shirt and blue striped tie, Wright spoke only to confirm his name, address and date of birth. He was seated throughout the five minute hearing in the dock at court number three flanked by three police officers.
He was remanded in custody to appear before Ipswich Crown Court on January 2.
Wright was charged last night after being arrested at his home on Tuesday morning.
The five women were found dead near villages south of Ipswich during a 10-day period earlier this month.
20061222: UK serial killer charged
| British police have finally charged the man they believe is responsible for the murder of five prostitutes near Ipswich - Britain's worst serial killings in years.
British police have charged a man with the murder of five prostitutes in eastern England. Another man arrested a day earlier has been released on police bail
According to Detective Chief Superintendent Gull, "The 37-year-old man from Trimley was this evening released on police bail pending further enquiries. Police will not name this man at this stage. The second man, Stephen Wright from Ipswich, has been charged with the murder of all five women."
Five women were found murdered in an eleven-day period at several locations around the town of Ipswich.
The charges follow intensive police activity at the homes of Wright and the other suspect.
More than 500 officers from more than 30 forces are working on the investigation.
20061221: Police review old cases as hunt for serial killer widens
|# Both suspects have Norfolk links
# Investigations go back as far as 1992
A cold-case review of the unsolved murders and disappearances of four prostitutes in East Anglia will be conducted as part of the hunt for the Ipswich serial killer, according to police sources.
Detectives investigating the murders of five young women in Suffolk have previously played down the possibility of links with other killings.
Their focus at the moment is on interviewing the two men arrested this week, tracing their recent movements, searching their homes and speaking to their friends and families.
Intensive efforts are also being made in scanning CCTV footage from the Ipswich red-light district, recovering material for scientific examination from the bodies of the victims and conducting toxicology tests on the women’s blood samples.
Significant DNA material has been found at three of the crime scenes and important CCTV images have been captured from cameras in Ipswich.
Tom Stephens, 37, and Steve Wright, 48, were arrested separately and are being questioned by different teams of officers about the murders of Tania Nicol, 19, Gemma Adams, 25, Anneli Alderton, 24, Paula Clennell, 24, and Annette Nicholls, 29.
Magistrates gave Suffolk police an extra 36 hours last night to continue questioning Mr Wright. A further extension for Mr Stephens is likely to be sought this morning.
Officers are examining potential links between the two suspects. Mr Stephens, a supermarket worker from Trimley St Martin, near Felixstowe, acted as the street workers’ “protector” and, according to prostitutes, had collected the phone numbers of most of the women’s regular clients.
A police spokesman said: “Both men came to our attention separately but obviously we will be looking to see if there is any connection between them.”
The officers leading the investigation will liaise with detectives in Norfolk at a later stage about the cases of three prostitutes in Norwich between 1992 and 2002. The file on a woman who went missing from the Ipswich red-light district in 1993 will also be re-examined.
Criminal profilers have suggested that the rate at which the Ipswich killer struck — especially the taking of three lives in a week — suggests that he was coming to the end of his killings rather than beginning them. It has not escaped the attention of officers that both men arrested as suspects in the Ipswich murders have connections with Norwich.
Mr Wright, a fork-lift truck driver and keen golfer, managed the Ferry Boat Inn in the heart of the Norwich red-light district for five months in 1988.
Mr Stephens was a special constable with Norfolk police, based in Norwich, who is reported to have been forced to resign in 1997 over inappropriate relationships with prostitutes.
Two former Norwich prostitutes told the local Evening News that Mr Wright had been a regular client in the 1990s.
A woman who gave her name as Tina, 45, claimed that she saw Mr Wright once or twice a week between 1996 and 2002. She said: “He wore these camouflaged trousers — I called him The Soldier. He used to speed up and down the block here. He had lots of different cars.”
The former prostitute said that Mr Wright was clean- shaven, of medium build and often used to dress up as a woman. She added: “He wore a wig. When he got out of the car he had a PVC skirt and high heels.”
Another former prostitute who said that she remembered Mr Wright was Tracey Kennett, 32, who worked in the Rouen Road and Ber Street areas of Norwich from 1998 until 2002.
“I did recognise his picture,” she said. “I never got in the car with him. He wore wigs and was into cross-dressing — I’ve seen him dressed as a woman with a black wig.”
He took over the tenancy of the Ferry Boat Inn on May 10, 1988, leaving on September 6 that year. Mr Wright next worked as a steward on the QE2.
He married his first wife, Angela, in 1978, they moved to Wales and had three children. The couple divorced and he remarried Diane Cassell in 1987, but they too divorced.
Mr Wright now shares a £100-a-week, two-storey flat in London Road, on the edge of the Ipswich red-light district, with his partner, Pamela Wright, who works nights at a call centre.
Ms Cassell now lives in Hartlepool, and is remarried and known as Diane Cole. She said: “It’s been an absolute nightmare for me, this. I couldn’t believe it when I saw his name on the telly. I’m curious about the whole thing like everyone else, but I’m curious in a different way because I know the person. I don’t want to say too much but I will say that our marriage wasn’t great. It wasn’t good and I was glad when it ended.”
Ms Cole said that she had met Mr Wright, a father of three children, when they were both working on the QE2.
Last night it was claimed that Mr Wright also met the missing estate agent Suzy Lamplugh while he was working as a steward on the ship. Ms Lamplugh, then aged 22, was a beautician on the cruise liner taking a break to see the world.
When she returned to shore, she started work as an estate agent in West London but vanished in July 1986 aged 25 after arranging to show a “Mr Kipper” around a house. She was never seen again and was declared dead in 1994.
Steve Adler, a former teward on the QE2, told The Sun: “Steve wasn’t really one of the lads and was on the periphery — but he liked the girls. He would ‘sniff’ around all the girls and particularly the beauticians like Suzy.” Another crew member, who wanted to remain anonymous, told the newspaper: “Steve knew Suzy pretty well. Mind you, she was gorgeous and everyone wanted to know her.”
Mr Wright has never been implicated in Ms Lamplugh’s disappearance.
Mr Adler also claimed that Mr Wright on one occasion visited prostitutes alone when they landed at Pattaya in Thailand. He said that most men would tell colleagues where they were heading for security reasons, but Mr Wright went off by himself.
Mr Wright went on to marry Ms Cole in 1987 in Braintree, Essex, because they needed a marriage licence to get a pub.
The brewery offered them the Ferry Boat Inn, in Norwich. Ms Cole, 52, said: “Our marriage didn’t even last a year and he went off with someone else.”
Police were speaking to Mr Wright’s friends and relatives yesterday. His father, Conrad, who lives in Felixstowe, spent a number of hours with detectives and officers also visited the landlords of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, where Mr Wright and his partner, Pamela Wright, were regulars. Conrad Wright said that he could not believe that his son could have been responsible for the murders.
Mr Wright’s mother, Patricia, is understood to be living in San Diego, California.
Police continue to search properties connected with Mr Wright and with Mr Stephens, who was arrested on Monday morning after an interview with him appeared in a Sunday newspaper. Mr Stephens said in the article that he knew all the murdered women and had no alibis for the periods when they disappeared from the red-light district. But he insisted that he was innocent.
Norfolk police said that they were sharing information from their database with the Suffolk force but had not established any clear links with the unsolved cases.
Those case files remain open and are regularly reviewed.
The cases begin with the murder of Natalie Pearman, 16, who was strangled in 1992. She was taken from the Norwich red-light district and her body was found at Ringland Hills, on the outskirts of the city.Michelle Bettles, 22, was also strangled; her body was discovered in woodland at Scarning, near Dereham, in 2002. Kellie Pratt, 29, was last seen outside the Rose Pub, in Queens Road, in 2000 and her body has never been found.
A Norfolk police spokesman said: “We have never formally linked these cases, but we cannot discount the possibility that they are linked.”
Another case that will be re-examined for possible links to the present inquiry is that of Mandy Duncan, 26, who disappeared from the Ipswich red-light district in July 1993 and has not been seen since.
20061220: Police arrest second man in hunt for serial killer
|The hunt for the Suffolk serial killer yesterday turned to a second suspect when police arrested a 48-year-old man who lived in the red light district where the five women worked.
Steve Wright, a forklift truck driver and former steward on the QE2, was being questioned after being taken from his home in London Road, Ipswich, at 5am yesterday.
Police said Mr Wright was being questioned on suspicion of all five murders, as was Tom Stephens, a supermarket worker arrested on Monday morning. He also remained in custody last night after detectives were granted a further 36 hours in which to question him.
Police sources indicated that the arrest of Mr Wright was significant, however they do not believe the two men are connected or knew each other. They insisted the inquiry was focused and making progress.
Shortly after Mr Wright was arrested, police erected a white tent on the front lawn outside his two-bedroom flat within an Edwardian conversion, which is on one of the main roads bordering the red light district.
Officers wearing white forensic suits were later seen removing articles from the building. Mr Wright's blue Ford Mondeo Zetec, was removed from the road outside on a flatbed lorry shortly after 9am.
His girlfriend of five years last night protested her partner's innocence. Pamela Wright, 48, told a friend she had spent the day with detectives and had insisted to them that her partner had nothing to do with the murders.
"Pam is distraught," said Sheila Davis, who has known the couple for several years. "She is shattered and she is tired; she is not allowed to go home and she is not allowed to speak to Steve."
The couple, who are not married but share the same surname, moved into the rented flat about three months ago. Previously, they were living in a privately rented one-bedroom flat in Bell Close, near the newly fashionable docklands area of the city.
Friends at Mr Wright's local pub, the Uncle Tom's Cabin, yesterday described him as a shy man, a golf fanatic, who sometimes played 36 holes a day, and was "entirely ordinary."
Eddie Roberts, the landlord, said: "He was a member of Hintlesham Hall golf club. He would come in here a couple of times a week and enjoy a few Carlsbergs."
Detectives refused to be drawn on the details of the arrest. At a press conference within hours of the arrest, Detective Chief Superintendent Stewart Gull said only that a 48-year-old man had been arrested at his home in Ipswich.
"He has been arrested on suspicion of murdering all five women," he said. "The man is currently in custody at a police station in Suffolk, where he will be questioned about the deaths later today. Police will not be naming the police station where the man is being held."
Forensic teams were also continuing their search at the home of Mr Stephens, a former special constable from Trimley St Martin, Felixstowe. Officers were seen in the garden on their hands and knees probing the grass with gloved fingers. Police applied to a magistrate last night and were given extra time to question Mr Stephens, who protested his innocence of any involvement in the murders in a newspaper interview published at the weekend.
The naked bodies of the five women were found near villages south of Ipswich during a 10-day period this month. More than 500 officers are working on the inquiry, including officers from neighbouring forces and detectives from Scotland Yard.
Gemma Adams, 25, was found in a stream at Hintlesham on December 2; Tania Nicol, 19, was discovered in the same stream at Copdock on December 8; Anneli Alderton, 24, was found in woods at Nacton on December 10; and Paula Clennell, 24, and Annette Nicholls, 29, were found in woods at Levington on December 12. Police said Ms Alderton had been strangled and Ms Clennell had died as a result of "compression" to the neck. but as yet there is no cause of death for the other three women.
20061219: Second man held in murders probe
|A second man has been arrested over the murders of five prostitutes found dead in the Suffolk countryside.
He was named locally as Stephen Wright, 48, and is suspected of killing Gemma Adams, Anneli Alderton, Tania Nicol, Annette Nicholls and Paula Clennell.
The first suspect, Tom Stephens, 37, was arrested on Monday.
Magistrates have granted police an extra 36 hours to continue questioning Mr Stephens. Mr Wright was arrested at his Ipswich home earlier.
Forensic teams have been searching an address in the London Road area of Ipswich where Mr Wright was arrested.
Det Ch Supt Stewart Gull said: "The man is currently in custody at a police station in Suffolk where he will be questioned about the deaths later.
"Police will not be naming the police station where the man is being held."
Former special constable Mr Stephens was arrested at his home at Trimley St Martin, near Felixstowe.
He remains in custody at an unidentified police station in Suffolk. Detectives can hold him for up to 96 hours, that is up to Friday evening.
"As legal proceedings are active, Suffolk Police will not be issuing any further comments or appeals at this stage," Mr Gull said.
Police have not confirmed or denied the identities of the people in custody.
Inquests into the deaths of four of the five prostitutes found murdered near Ipswich are to open on Wednesday, a police spokesman said.
The inquests into the deaths of Miss Nicol, Miss Alderton, Miss Nicholls and Miss Clennell will be opened and adjourned by a coroner at Ipswich Crown Court, said a police spokeswoman.
The inquest into the death of Gemma Adams was opened last week.
Forensic scientists and police teams have been carrying out searches at Mr Stephens' home, in Jubilee Close, and his mother's home in the market town of Eye, Suffolk.
Mr Stephens has said he knew the women who died but he denies any wrongdoing.
Speaking in an interview with BBC News last week for background purposes, Mr Stephens said he "was probably the closest thing Tania [Nicol] had as a boyfriend".
Mr Stephens, who worked for Tesco in Martlesham, said he had spoken to Miss Nicol's mother in the days following her disappearance.
He said he had known 19-year-old Miss Nicol for about six months but had known Miss Adams for 18 months, "about as long as I've known any of the girls".
Police interviewed him at his home earlier in the investigation and had taken his mobile phone and laptop computer, he added.
The five dead women were all found naked in rural settings, within 10 miles of Ipswich and close to the A14.
The body of Miss Adams, 25, who went missing on 15 November, was found in a brook at Hintlesham, Suffolk, on 2 December.
Miss Nicol's body was found by police divers at Copdock Mill, near Ipswich, on 8 December.
The body of Miss Alderton, 24, from Essex, was found in woodland in Nacton, near Ipswich, on 10 December.
On 12 December detectives found the bodies of Miss Clennell, 24, and Miss Nicholls, 29, near the village of Levington.
20061218: Man held over prostitute murders
|A 37-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murdering five women whose bodies were found at sites around the Ipswich area.
Supermarket worker Tom Stephens was arrested by police at his home at Trimley St Martin, near Felixstowe.
He is being held on suspicion of murdering prostitutes Gemma Adams, Anneli Alderton, Tania Nicol, Paula Clennell and Annette Nicholls.
Mr Stephens is in custody at an unnamed police station in Suffolk.
Police have said the inquiry is ongoing and have not withdrawn advice to women on the streets of Ipswich.
Meanwhile forensic scientists have been carrying out searches at the home of Mr Stephens' mother in the market town of Eye, Suffolk.
Neighbours said police officers arrived at the quiet cul-de-sac at about noon and began searching the semi-detached property.
Speaking in an interview with BBC News last week for background purposes, Mr Stephens said he "was probably the closest thing Tania [Nicol] had as a boyfriend".
"It wasn't a relationship like that, although Annette [Nicholls] in fact thought that we were an item," he added.
Mr Stephens, who worked for Tesco in Martlesham, said he had spoken to Miss Nicol's mother in the days following her disappearance.
He said he had known Miss Nicol for about six months but had known Miss Adams for 18 months, "about as long as I've known any of the girls".
Police had interviewed him at his home in Jubilee Close earlier in the investigation and had taken his mobile phone and laptop computer, he added.
Det Ch Supt Stewart Gull said: "We will not be naming the police station where the man is being held.
"As legal proceedings are now active, Suffolk Police will not be issuing further comments or appeals at this stage."
Detectives can hold Mr Stephens for 24 hours from the time he is booked into the custody suite.
He can be held for a further 12 hours with permission from a superintendent and up to 96 hours with permission from the courts.
The five dead women, aged between 19 and 29, were all found naked in rural settings within 10 miles of Ipswich.
They worked as prostitutes and all were drug-users. Their bodies were found close to the A14.
The body of Miss Adams, 25, who went missing on 15 November, was found in a brook at Hintlesham, Suffolk, by a member of the public on 2 December.
Tania Nicol's body was found by police divers searching areas of water at Copdock Mill, near Ipswich, on 8 December.
Miss Nicol, 19, was last seen after leaving her home in Ipswich on 30 October.
The body of Anneli Alderton, 24, from Essex, was found in woodland in Nacton, near Ipswich, on 10 December.
On 12 December detectives found the bodies of Paula Clennell, 24, and Annette Nicholls, 29, near the village of Levington.
Mr Stephens was arrested at 0720 GMT on Monday in the village, which is close to the A14 road between Ipswich and Felixstowe.
Trimley was last in the national news when 17-year-old Vicky Hall vanished on her way home from a nightclub in Felixstowe in 1999 and was found dead in a water-filled ditch at Creeting St Peter - 25 miles from Felixstowe.
It was believed she had been asphyxiated but a post-mortem examination proved inconclusive.
Police have not linked this case with the deaths of the five prostitutes.
On Monday they were unable to confirm Mr Stephens would be questioned about Miss Hall's murder.
The Association of Chief Police Officers say the number of officers deployed from forces outside Suffolk, under the control of the Police National Information and Co-ordination Centre, was the biggest ever for a murder inquiry.
In total 36 forces have sent 412 detectives, uniformed officers and police staff.
20061218: Serial Killer's Victim Was 3-Month Pregnant
|Anneli Alderton, one of five prostitutes murdered in Ipswich was pregnant, a senior police officer said yesterday.
Alderton was three months pregnant, Suffolk's assistant chief constable Jacqui Cheer said, as quoted by The Sun-Herald.
"We do not regard that as having any relevance to the inquiry, however sad it may be," Cheer said.
The body of Alderton, 24, a mother of one, was found in woods last Sunday. The cause of death has only been established in two cases: Alderton was strangled, while Paula Clennell, 24, died of "compression to the neck". The bodies were discovered over 10 days, just kilometres apart.
The victims' corpses were naked, unmarked by signs of struggle, which prompted the suggestion that a suspected serial killer drugged the women before murdering them. None of the Ipswich women showed signs of significant trauma or sexual assault.
Detective Chief Superintendent Stewart Gull, heading the probe, said on Friday that police were "looking at a number of interesting people." British media says there are as many a 50 suspects in the case.
Among the five suspects, The Sun newspaper said that detectives wanted to talk to a taxi driver, a businessman and a man with a liking for outdoor sex, all of whom were clients of Tania Nicol, one of the dead working girls.
More than 300 police officers around the country have been hunting for the murderer, already one of Britain's most notorious serial killers. The Ipswich serial killings evoked the memories of London's Jack the Ripper, who murdered five prostitutes in 1888, as well as the Yorkshire Ripper, who murdered 13 women between 1975 and 1980.
20061218: Police hunting serial killer offer amnesty to local drug dealers
|Dealers who sold heroin and crack to the Ipswich murder victims can speak to police without fear of prosecution for drugs offences, the detective leading the hunt for the serial killer said yesterday.
Detective Chief Superintendent Stewart Gull said that reliable information about the victims was welcome from any source. He said: “Our priority remains finding the person responsible for these murders. I’m not interested in any other offences at this time.”
Prostitutes said that police had asked them about their tattoos and jewellery, raising concerns that a list of distinguishing features was being compiled to assist identification in the event of further murders.
The five murdered women — Gemma Adams, 25, Anneli Alderton, 24, Paula Clennell, 24, Annette Nicholls, 29, and Tania Nicol, 19 — were all street prostitutes in the Suffolk town and used hard drugs.
One line of inquiry is that the killer knocked them unconscious with a drug overdose or some other substance before asphyxiating them. Their bodies were all found naked without any sign of serious injury or sexual assault. Suffolk police also repeated their call for all clients of street prostitutes in the red-light area to make themselves known to officers. Mr Gull has emphasised that the inquiry would seek to trace anyone who had been kerbcrawling in the area where the murdered women worked.
One team of police officers has been assigned to recovering the victims’ clothing and personal belongings, which may have been retained as trophies by the killer or destroyed to eliminate evidence.
So far only one pair of trainers has been located. The result of tests to determine if they had been worn by Ms Adams is expected this week.
Further details of the final days of Ms Alderton’s life have emerged. She was seen on closed-circuit television on the 5.53pm Harwich to Colchester train on December 3. It is believed that she changed at Manningtree to catch a service to Ipswich. Police carried out witness appeals at four stations last night in the hope that passengers may have seen her.
The boyfriend of Ms Alderton said last night that she had been carrying their unborn baby when she was killed. Sam Jefford, 21, told The Sun that the past week had been a “living nightmare”, adding: “When the police told me she was a victim, I collapsed to the floor and cried all day. She’s gone, gone for ever now and she’s never coming back. Neither is our baby.”
A man who was arrested and later bailed in connection with the attempted abduction of a prostitute in Ipswich a month ago is understood to have been ruled out as a suspect.
Police have released full descriptions of what each woman was wearing the last time she was seen:
Tania Nicol was seen on CCTV at 11.02pm on Oct 30 on London Road. She had a light-coloured top, cut-off jeans and sparkly pink high heels. Her body was found in Copdock on Dec 8
Gemma Adams was last seen in West End Road in the early hours of Nov 15, wearing a black hooded jacket, light blue jeans and Nike trainers and carrying a black bag. Her body was found at Hintlesham, Dec 2
Anneli Alderton was at Manningtree railway station on Dec 3 at 6-7pm. She was wearing a black jacket with fur-trimmed hood, a white top and blue jeans and had a shiny nylon shoulder bag. Her body was found at Nacton on Dec 10
Annette Nicholls was last seen on Dec 5 at 9.50pm on Norwich Road. She was in grey patterned leggings, calf-length boots, a black top and dark bomber jacket. Her body was found in Levington on Dec 12
Paula Clennell was last seen on Dec 10 at 12.20am on Handford Road. She was wearing a navy blue anorak, grey, hooded top, jeans and Reebok trainers. Her body was found near Levington on Dec 12
20061217: Public appeal over suspected serial killer in UK
|British police has shown CCTV footage of one of the five prostitutes murdered in eastern England as they continue a search for a possible serial killer. The video shows Anneli Alderton travelling on a train between the towns of Harwich and Colchester on 3 December, a week before her body was found.
Detective Chief Superintendent Stewart Gull has called on anyone who saw her that day to come forward. "We now need to piece together Anneli's movements after this image was captured," he said. "At what station did Anneli get off the train? And where did she go after that?"
More than 300 police officers are involved in the investigation into who killed the five women. Investigators say the victims all knew each other and believe the cases are linked. They have watched 10,000 hours of CCTV footage and fielded 9,000 telephone calls.
They have also been searching for clues at railway lines skirting the town of Levington near Ipswich where the bodies were found, looking for items of the victims' clothing. The five women were discovered naked - two in a brook, the third in a wood and the last two close to a road. Police have contacted more than 300 sex offenders in the country. They say they are interested in speaking with around 100 other people.
20061216: Find the killer who took away our Tania
|The parents of the murdered prostitute Tania Nicol yesterday appealed for help to catch the Ipswich serial killer and vowed the murders would not destroy "our love, our fortitude, our courage".
'Find the killer who took away our Tania'
By Nick Britten
Last Updated: 1:42am GMT 16/12/2006
The parents of the murdered prostitute Tania Nicol yesterday appealed for help to catch the Ipswich serial killer and vowed the murders would not destroy "our love, our fortitude, our courage".
Jim Duell and Kerry Nicol and Tania Nicol
Jim Duell and Kerry Nicol said Tania was a caring, loving sensitive girl who never hurt anyone
Jim Duell and Kerry Nicol, said their 19-year-old daughter, the youngest victim, was a "caring, loving sensitive girl who never hurt anyone".
But Miss Nicol, like the other victims, became hooked on heroin and saw her life fall apart.
Mr Duell said drugs took their daughter away into "her own secret world — a world that neither of us were aware of". He added: "Tania has been taken by someone who needs to be found. We ask for anyone who knows this person or persons to come forward.
"For the families who have lost their daughters, including us, they can't take away our memories, they can't take away our love, our fortitude, our courage.
"There is a time for sadness and a time for gladness. A gladness that they belonged to us, a gladness that they are at peace."
Miss Nicol was the first prostitute to go missing when she vanished from her home in Ipswich on Oct 30. Her naked body was found on Dec 8 by police divers searching areas of water at Copdock Mill.
Her parents, looking drawn and nervous, were the first to make a public appeal to catch the killer. Miss Nicol's uncle, Alhusain Nicol, 45, from Brighton, said her family were unaware of her drug habit or that she had turned to prostitution
Mr Nicol, Kerry Nicol's brother, said: "She was just a normal, loving family girl who got in with the wrong crowd I suppose. Her mother did not know what she was doing. She did not know until the police told her.
"Despite the label she has been given, she was a nice girl. But once you get hooked on something, that is it. I think she probably had a bright future and if we had known we would have stopped what she was doing and made sure she was okay, but obviously it was too late to do that."
In an attempt to keep prostitutes off the streets until the killer is caught, drug counsellors have been given a £10,000 fund to help the women pay bills and buy Christmas presents at a time when they have no money coming in.
The money, donated by a national charitable trust that does not wish to be identified, will not be handed out as cash in case the women spend it on drugs. However, drugs counsellors in Ipswich are paying their heating, electricity and rent bills and giving the women vouchers to buy presents. About 30 women work full time as prostitutes in the Suffolk county town but all but a handful are now off the streets.
Prayers were held at a candlelit vigil last night for the five murdered women as well as the person responsible for their deaths.
More than 100 people gathered to light candles in memory of the women whose bodies were all discovered in Suffolk in the last two weeks.
One large candle was lit for each woman at St Peter's Church in Copdock, near Ipswich. Photographs of Tania, Gemma Adams, Anneli Alderton, Paula Clennell and Annette Nicholls were pinned to the church doors and beneath the candles.
Reverend Chris Wingfield, rector of the North Samford Benefice, led the prayers, calling for support for the families and friends of those who died.
He said: "We pray for the person or persons who have committed this atrocious crime.
"They are evil acts of weakness. Let realisation dawn so that this brutality will cease, let justice prevail."
20061215: Police fear killer may look for victims in other parts of the country
The man leading the hunt for the Ipswich serial killer warned yesterday that the murderer might strike in other parts of the country as it was confirmed that the fourth of five bodies to be found was that of the missing sex worker Paula Clennell.
Detective Chief Superintendent Stewart Gull revealed that Suffolk police had urged neighbouring forces to implement preventative strategies to safeguard prostitutes in their areas.
The massive hunt for the killer, or killers, of five women was expanded even further yesterday, with as many as 350 police officers from nine forces working on five major murder inquiries.
Assistant Chief Constable Jacqui Cheer revealed that even more officers were expected to be drafted in, but remained adamant that Suffolk police could cope with the scale and the speed of the crimes.
Meanwhile, detectives confirmed that the first body removed from beside the A14 at Levington was - as expected - Miss Clennell, 24, and that she, like the third victim, Anneli Alderton, was apparently strangled to death. They added that the last sighting of Miss Clennell was at 12.20am on Sunday morning in Handford Road, around the town's red light district.
"It is quite possible Paula picked up a client or clients after this time who could have crucial information. I would appeal for them to come forward as a matter of urgency," Det Ch Supt Gull said.
For the first time investigators were able to describe what she wore on the night she disappeared. Ms Clennell was dressed in a navy blue anorak with a horizontal, light-blue band across the chest and one sleeve, a grey hooded top, light-coloured jeans with a pattern on the pocket and Reebok Classic trainers with a navy blue and grey flash.
The young woman, whose drug problem was said to have cost her up to £500 a day, had always believed she would die young, a friend said. In her last letter home, she described how she dreaded a lonely Christmas without her three daughters.
Her body was found by a walker on Tuesday afternoon near Levington village. A helicopter sent up to photograph the scene spotted another body, believed to be that of another prostitute, Annette Nicholls, 29.
A post mortem by the Home Office pathologist Nat Carey at Ipswich Hospital concluded that Miss Clennell died as a result of "compression to the neck". The second body was due to be removed from the site last night for a similar autopsy.
Detectives are still awaiting toxicology results for the first two victims, Gemma Adams, 25, and 19-year-old Tania Nicol. The fact that their bodies were left in water for some time has made it difficult to assess cause of death.
Yesterday, officers continued to sift through information from more than 5,500 calls and 1,000 e-mails - many of which have reported the discovery of discarded women's clothing, which will now be analysed to see if it belonged to any of the dead women. Investigators are also looking through hours of CCTV footage, as well as film from roadside cameras across the county and examining mobile phone records.
Detectives have already interviewed a number of known kerb crawlers and have appealed for anyone else who had visited the red light district to come forward before they receive "a knock on the door". To date, however, Det Ch Supt Gull said there had been no arrests or search warrants issued.
While the "striking similarities" led him to conclude that he was dealing with a single prolific killer, the senior detective said he could still not discount the possibility that they were dealing with more than one murderer.
20061215: Police narrow their hunt for Suffolk serial killer
|Police hunting the serial killer of five prostitutes in Sufffolk have drawn up a list of fewer than 50 suspects whose movements and activities are being actively monitored, sources have told The Times.
Detectives investigating the killings say some of the suspects were clients of the dead prostitutes.
At a press conference at Ipswich police headquarters Detective Chief Inspector Stewart Gull, who is heading the inquiry, insisted that his detectives were making "good progress". He said his message to the people of Ipswich was: "Don’t panic."
He said: "We have got a range of individuals who have been suggested to us. Some are local and some are not. We are determined to find the person or persons responsible."
He confirmed that the fifth woman to be murdered was Annette Nicholls, 29, whose body was found close to that of Paula Clennell, 24, at Levington, near Ipswich. In common with two of the other victims Ms Nicholls was naked except for her jewellery.
A post-mortem examination carried out late last night failed to reveal how Ms Nicholls died but tests are continuing. The others murdered women were strangled or asphyxiated.
Ipswich police confirmed that they were treating her death as murder and that they are linking it to the other four murders.
Mr Gull said: "The launch of a fifth murder inquiry in such a short space of time is unprecedented for Suffolk Constabulary."
In an appeal for information that could catch the killer, the father of the youngest victim said that drugs had taken his daughter into a "secret world" of prostitution.
Jim Duell said that neither he nor Tania's mother, Kerry Nichol, had known that the 19-year-old was working as a prostitute.
Seated beside Kerry Nichol, who Tania lived with, he said: "Tania was a lovely daughter – she was a caring, loving, sensitive girl who would never hurt anyone. Unfortunately, drugs took her away into her own secret world – a world that neither of us were aware of.
"Tania has been taken by someone who needs to be found. We ask for anyone who knows this person or persons to come forward and contact the police.
"We would like to thank all the people who have offered help so far but ask if anyone has any information, however small, please tell us - even if they come forward anonymously."
Tania Nicol, a former Ipswich hotel worker, was reported as missing by her mother on November 1 after she had not seen her for 48 hours. Ms Nicol's body was found just over a month later, on December 8. Hers was the second of the five bodies to be recovered.
Mr Duell also made a point of making his own personal statement to the families of the other women.
He said: "They cannot take away our memories, they cannot take away our love, our fortitude, our courage.
"Grieve for our daughters but not unnecessarily ... they would want to see us getting on with our lives and not going round with our heads bowed down.
"There is a time for sadness and a time for gladness. A gladness that they belonged to us and a gladness that they are now at peace."
Kerry Nichol, who remained silent throughout their joint appeal, seemed overawed by the number of television cameras and photographers, taking deep breaths as if trying not to cry.
The killer is believed to have knocked out his victims with drugs before strangling or suffocating them.
The Forensic Science Service said that it had made its priority to run toxicology tests on the five women’s bodies, to discover whether any drug or chemical had been administered to knock them unconscious.
Suffolk police have requested extensive tests on the bodies of Gemma Adams, 25, and Ms Nicol, the first of the killer’s victims. Post-mortem examinations on their bodies, which were immersed in water for some time, have proved inconclusive.
The Times understands that the same tests will be requested on the remains of Anneli Alderton, 24, Ms Clennell and Ms Nicholls.
All the women, who worked as street prostitutes in Ipswich, were addicted to heroin, crack or both. Scientists will be looking for evidence that they were given an overdose of a Class A drug or some other substance that left them incapable.
The tests have been ordered partly because detectives are puzzled that none of the bodies of the murdered women, whose bodies were left naked in rural locations on the edge of Ipswich, showed signs of a struggle.
Other than evidence of strangulation on the bodies of Ms Alderton and Ms Clennell, there are no signs of serious injury to the women. None of the dead was subjected to a violent sexual assault.
Mr Gull said today that he could not yet confirm whether the women had been drugged and warned that the tests will take some weeks and may be complicated because of the women's drug use.
He said five separate inquiry teams had been set up to investigate each murder.
"Each is staffed with specialist staff and headed by a fully-trained senior detective," he said.
"All these resources are committed solely to catching those responsible for the murder of these five vulnerable women."
He said more than 250 police officers were working on the inquiry and Suffolk police had received assistance from 26 police forces around the country.
Detectives have received 1,800 calls from the public in the last 24 hours, on top of the 5,500 already received.
Mr Gull described the response as fantastic. He appealed for information from anyone who might have seen Ms Nicholls between December 5 and December 12 when her body was found.
He reiterated his appeal for information about anyone who may have used two lay-bys on the Old Felixstowe Road near where the bodies of Ms Nicholls and Ms Clennell were found in Levington.
He said Ms Nicholls was wearing dark-grey patterned leggings, calf-length boots, a black top with a low neckline and a dark-coloured bomber jacket.
"We are extremely keen to trace Annette’s clothing, as well as the clothing of the other women," he said.
Ms Nicholls, who had no fixed address, was last seen in Norwich Road in Ipswich on December 5.
He said that there were a number of people of interest to the police but did not give further details.
The inquest into the death of Ms Adams has already opened. The other inquests are expected to be opened early next week.
20061215: British Police Identify 5th Victim of Serial Prostitute Killer
| British police said Friday they have identified the fifth woman believed to be the victim of a serial killer targeting prostitutes, but were uncertain of the cause of her death.
The last of the five victims to be formally identified was Annette Nichols, 29, said Detective Chief Superintendent Stewart Gull of Suffolk Police.
"A post mortem last night failed to reveal a clear cause of death," Gull said.
Gull also confirmed to FOX News that his office is monitoring the investigation into the murders of four prostitutes in New Jersey whose bodies were found in a ditch outside Atlantic City last month.
"I am aware of those deaths, but my focus is on the five murders here in Suffolk," Gull said, adding that he is willing to get in touch with American agencies, but his investigation is not there, yet.
On Thursday, police confirmed the death of Paula Clennell, 24, who told reporters days before her death that she was afraid, but that she needed to carry on working to support her heroin habit.
Police said she died from "compression to the neck," which a pathologist said almost certainly means strangulation.
20061214: Moors murder link to serial killer?
|POLICE investigating the murder of a prostitute found dead near Danby are probing a link with the murder of five vice girls in Ipswich.
Vicky Glass (21) was last seen outside a Middlesbrough pub in September 2000.
Her naked body was discovered in a stream at Danby by a dog walker two months later.
Her killer has never been found but detectives from Cleveland Police intend to speak to colleagues in the Suffolk force about similarities in the case.
So far five women have been found dead near Ipswich. Like Vicky two of them were naked and in water when found while another had been stripped of her clothes.
A spokesman for Cleveland Police said: "As a matter of course we always liaise with senior investigating officers from other forces dealing with crimes that may mirror outstanding offences in Cleveland. We will be speaking with Suffolk to see if there any links with the death of Vicky Glass."
Vicky's mother, Debbie Goodall, has spoken of her fears that Vicky's murderer may have struck again.
She said: "The news of the killings in Ipswich came as a shock and it made me feel sick to my stomach.
"I cried as I watched the news and kept thinking of Vicky. It brought everything back to me because everything is so similar to the way Vicky was found.
"As I watched I thought, 'Is the same person who killed Vicky responsible? Could he have moved? Is he travelling from one area to another?'
"I know how the families of those girls are feeling now and my heart goes out to them. I'm thinking of them and I just hope they get strength to carry on."
Mrs Goodall added that she hoped seeing the events in Ipswich would "prick someone's conscience" and that they would come forward and speak to the police about Vicky's murder.
The investigation into Vicky's murder was one of Cleveland police's largest and involved 3,400 separate lines of enquiry and the taking of 700 statements.
l Anyone with information on Vicky's death should call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
20061213: Killer will strike again if not caught
|A CRIME expert today warned the killer will strike again and again until he is caught.
Ipswich-based criminology teacher Rebecca Allen told the Evening Star the maniac assumed to be responsible for the deaths of five prostitutes will carry on until he is stopped.
She said she was unsurprised at the shocking discovery yesterday afternoon of two further bodies dumped within a few hundred yards of each other near Levington.
Mrs Allen added: “I was surprised they were both together at the same place, but not surprised there were more girls found dead. It would be very unusual if he stopped now.
“In previous cases that has just not happened. I do not want to scaremonger but don't think after this series of crimes he will stop out of the blue.”
As observers remain divided on whether Ipswich is facing a serial killer or a spree killer, or even if the murders are the work of one killer it is now horrifying clear that evil is at large in Suffolk.
Five of an estimated 30-40 prostitutes in the town have died leaving a significantly reduced number of women to prey on. The question on many lips today is where will he strike next?
Mrs Allen said: “It all depends on his motive. It could be he has got something against prostitutes and he is enacting some sort of revenge killing.
“It is also possible the prostitutes are easy prey and they are the only women who are likely to get into a vehicle with a strange man.
“They are more vulnerable but at the moment we just do not know his motive and we won't until he is caught.”
Mrs Allen said there are a number of theories which could explain the shocking murders.
She said: “There are some that have had a bad experience with women or been rebuffed by a woman. The Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe said he heard voices in his head telling him to kill prostitutes.
“But it could be something totally different. Police have said there is no sign of sexual assault and woman are sometimes killed after rape so they do not identify their attacker but this does not rule out lust killing.”
The disposal of the bodies will also tell psychological profilers more about the murderer.
Mrs Allen said: “Where the bodies have been left can say a number of different things. The first two bodies were almost hidden and I believe Tania Nichol was in fact underwater. Now he could be becoming more complacent or he could be beginning to enjoy the attention that killings are creating.
“Some serial killers enjoy the attention and others do not. It's too hard to tell at this stage.”
Mrs Allen said she could think of no historical parallel to what is becoming known as the Suffolk strangler.
She said: “This is unprecedented and no one can predict what will happen next.”
20061213: Britain's most frenzied serial killer?
|DETECTIVES appear to be hunting one of the most frenzied serial killers the country has ever seen - as the naked bodies of two further women were discovered in a Suffolk village.
And the police chief overseeing the inquiry warned it was possible the killer or killers could strike again.
The Yorkshire Ripper - one of the most notorious murderers in English history - killed 13 victims in five years. Five bodies have now been found in Suffolk in 11 days.
Detective Chief Superintendent Stewart Gull said he did not know whether the speed of the killing was due to the murderer “panicking” but he said it had become “virtually a crime in action”.
Police received a call from a member of the public yesterday at 3.05pm who was walking along Old Felixstowe Road, near the Levington turn-off, when he saw what appeared to be the naked body of a female.
The body was located in open pasture land about 20ft from the road. Officers immediately attended and cordoned the area off and closed the road.
They launched the police helicopter to film the scene and 40 minutes later, at 3.48pm, a member of crew onboard spotted a second body a few hundred yards away from the site of the first body.
No formal identification has taken place but police believe the bodies are likely to be those of missing prostitutes Annette Nicholls, 29, and Paula Clennell, 24.
It follows the discovery of the body of a third murdered prostitute in the nearby village of Nacton on Sunday. She was yesterday identified by police as Anneli Alderton, 24, from Colchester.
Det Ch Supt Gull said: “As you will understand, we don't have a great deal of information. But, because of the discovery of two further bodies - close to where the body of Anneli Alderton was found - we can only fear the worst.
“The natural assumption is that these are the bodies of the two missing women.
“But until we have carried out inquiries to establish identification, this of course cannot be confirmed.”
He said police were in the process of talking to the families about this development.
Detectives secured the scene of the latest find in Levington yesterday and said the bodies would remain there overnight so they could maximise the opportunities to recover forensic evidence.
When asked by the media yesterday whether they could be hunting a serial killer, Det Ch Supt Gull said: “Clearly with three murders and the possibility of a further two that's a possibility, yes. He is targeting prostitutes.
“I don't know that they are panicking, but it's virtually a crime in action. We don't know when Anneli was last seen. We know Annette was last seen last week and as recently as this weekend.
“We need to keep an open mind. We formally linked the initial two murders of Tania (Nicol) and Gemma (Adams), then we had Anneli and now tragically we have another two.
“These two bodies are a short distance from where Anneli was found at Nacton in the direction of Felixstowe on the Old Felixstowe Road - again on open rural road.”
Det Ch Supt Gull said officers did not know at this stage how long the bodies of Miss Alderton and the latest two women had been in the location they were found.
He also said they did not know whether the latest two women had been dumped since Miss Alderton's body was found.
“The helicopter had covered the area where Anneli was found and the area of Nacton. This is some distance further east towards Felixstowe.”
Earlier yesterday, detectives named Miss Alderton as the third victim and said she had been strangled.
So far police have been unable to ascertain how prostitutes Tania Nicol and Gemma Adams died and are investigating the possibility they were poisoned or given an overdose. Their bodies showed no sign of sexual assault.
A third murder inquiry was launched and further tests are being carried out to see whether Miss Alderton, whose mother lives in Harwich, was sexually assaulted.
Police said inquiries revealed that Miss Alderton caught the 5.53pm train from Harwich to Colchester on December 3. There were no sightings of her after that.
Her body was spotted by a motorist at around 3.30pm on Sunday but a passing motorist believes her saw the body in situ at about 10.30am on December 7 but mistakenly thought the figure was an abandoned mannequin.
Police said they had had a “tremendous” response to their appeals for information so far, with 450 calls being made on Monday and a significant number today.
They have also received about 25 calls to a dedicated line set up for prostitutes working in Suffolk who might have vital information.
“A number of interesting individuals have come out of the inquiry,” said Det Ch Supt Gull.
“Tania Nicol has been missing since October 30 so we have been six weeks into this inquiry. We have been working hard to find the individual or individuals responsible.”
Detectives last night reiterated their appeals for prostitutes to stay away from the streets and for all women to take “significant precautionary measures”.
“We have three prostitutes murdered now, possibly another two, I do not know what starker warning there can be other than stay off the streets in Suffolk,” he said.
“I would encourage females going out clubbing to take significant precautionary measures.”
Between 30 and 40 prostitutes work the red light district in Ipswich but three were still believed to be working last night, despite the warnings.
Detectives think it is unlikely the killer or killers would make himself known to police.
But Det Ch Supt Gull said: “If he does, clearly this man is a danger - he has significant problems. If he is inclined to make himself known to us I would urge him to do so.”
Anyone with information that could help police with their investigations should call the incident room on 0800 0961011 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
20061213: Serial killer may have struck in last 24 hours
British police believe one of two prostitutes found dead this morning may have been killed as recently as 24 hours before the discovery.
A serial killer is thought to be responsible for the deaths of a total of five sex workers found dead in rural areas around Ipswich in Suffolk in the last ten days.
Police believe one of the recently discovered woman may have made a phone call on Sunday, suggesting her killer had struck within the last 24 to 48 hours.
Forensic criminologist Ian Stephen says the killer may be someone intent on clearing the streets of what he believes are people who commit sexual evil.
20061212: The psychology of a killer
|As police investigate the deaths of prostitutes in Suffolk, speculation has begun to mount about who could commit multiple murders.
Consultant forensic psychologist Dr Ian Stephen has worked on previous serial killer cases and advised the makers of the TV drama Cracker.
He said although there was little information to build up a clear profile of who may have killed these women, it was possible to hypothesise about what the person may be like.
Police have not said they are looking for a serial killer but have said there are similarities in the murder of one of the victims, Anneli Alderton, to the killings of two others, Tania Nicol and Gemma Adams.
Dr Stephen said the suspect was probably male, white, in his late 20s, 30s or 40s, and is someone who probably had been let down by women in his past.
"We need to look at how these crimes are connected," he said.
"The victims are prostitutes, they are in the same area - so he could have a particular issue with women whatever origin that is from.
"He maybe had a mother who has let him down, or a mother who has abandoned him," he added.
"In some sense he may have idolised women and then they let him down."
But he also said the killer might believe he is on "some kind of Christian mission... clearing the world of prostitutes".
Whatever his profile, Dr Stephen said the murderer is likely to try to kill more women and believes he is getting out of control.
"It is an obsession - compulsive behaviour - a compulsion that is becoming stronger and stronger.
"My worry is that his perception of women will change and he will see any woman who's out on the street at night on their own as a prostitute."
Film-maker and criminologist Roger Graef told BBC Five Live he also believes the killer may have had negative experiences with women in the past.
He said: "You can calculate if it's prostitutes that it's somebody who was damaged by a woman, who is ashamed of his own impulses possibly, who is, you know, a religious zealot, who feels that they're corrupting the whole of mankind."
He added: "When you're talking about somebody who is that ill, it's very hard, really, to speculate intelligently about that until we know a lot more about them."
Professor David Canter, from the Centre for Investigative Psychology, said that while "almost certainly" the killings were the work of one individual, there were too few details yet to form a detailed profile of the suspect.
"It is difficult to assume anything at the moment without a lot more detailed information," he told BBC Newsnight.
He said because serial murders are rare, it is difficult to generalise about the killers involved.
"The two or three individuals that come to mind have all been rather disturbed but they have very different characteristics.
"Some of them found their way into these sorts of murders really from a life of crime where they just become ever more extreme in their criminal acts and in their violence."
Some serial killers also have a "bizarre understanding of the nature of women" and may attack women because they believe they are "seductresses who destroy their virtue", he said.
But, he added it was more likely that the case would be solved by using police records to try to discover where the suspect may be based rather than building an "intense personal description of the offender".
20061212: Serial killer almost certainly to blame
| Experts said last night that the murders of the Ipswich prostitutes were almost certainly the work of a serial killer.
David Canter, a professor of investigative psychology at Liverpool University, said: “It's so unusual to find naked bodies in England. It suggests the young women victims who have been killed have no obvious relation-ship to the offender Finding so many, so close together, it has to be the same offender who is killing all these women.”
Tony Rogers, former chairman of the Association of Chief Police Officers homicide working group, said: “The detectives will be looking at what their databases are saying. They will be looking for people with any precursor offences, such as exposure or indecency, as those who commit those sort of crimes first often go on to commit crimes featuring violence against women.”
And the former commander of the Liverpool serious crime squad, Albert Kirby, said: “Police will be looking for someone who lives in that area and has the knowledge to commit a murder. They will be asking what kind of pervert can do this: can take a girl, strip her, murder her and then dump her body.
“The police will be looking to get the confidence of girls who work this area because they will know the clients that come here. They need to know from the girls about the men that they think: 'I will not go with that man because I don't trust him.'”
20061210: Serial killer hunted after second woman found dead
Parents of murdered prostitutes speak of their shock, while police issue warning to red-light workers
A serial killer is being hunted by police after the discovery of a woman's body in a brook downstream from where another young woman was found a week ago. Both were prostitutes.
Police divers found the naked body of 19-year-old Tania Nicol, who disappeared more than a month ago from the red-light district of Ipswich, at Copdock Mill, close to the East Anglian town.
The body of Gemma Adams, 25, had been found face down and unclothed in the same stream about a mile away, near Hintlesham. She also vanished from Ipswich's red-light area.
Officers reiterated warnings to prostitutes working in the town last night to 'look after each other' as the manhunt for a suspected serial killer was stepped up. 'If women are going out to work as a prostitute, we would urge them to tell someone where they are going, who they are going with and perhaps even take a car registration number,' said Detective Superintendent Andy Henwood, who is leading the inquiry into both murders.
Yesterday's confirmation of the identity of the second body fed speculation that the two women may have been killed by the same man, and Henwood confirmed that police had launched a 'linked murder investigation'. He appealed for clients of the two murdered women to contact police with information that might help in the investigation.
Initial police profiles suggested the killer harboured a vendetta against prostitutes and could be a local man with a knowledge of Ipswich and the surrounding countryside. Suffolk Constabulary officers were checking their database for similar cases to try to help establish whether the murderer has struck more than twice.
The parents of Gemma yesterday spoke out for the first time since the discovery of their daughter's murder, describing how she had turned from a piano-playing schoolgirl into a drug addict. They said they had no idea she had been working as a prostitute.
'We are going through hell trying to come to terms with it. It has been shock after shock,' said her father, a businessman, speaking on condition that their first names were not used. He described how he and his wife had tried without success to get their daughter off drugs. 'One of her teachers described her as an "ordinary, intelligent girl from a nice family" and that's exactly what she was,' he added.
He said that she had got in with the 'wrong crowd' after leaving Kesgrave High School near Ipswich, and had soon become addicted to heroin and crack cocaine.
Gemma was last seen alive at around 1.15am on 15 November in the red-light area around Ipswich Town's Portman Road ground. Her boyfriend Jon Simpson, her partner of 10 years and a fellow addict, reported her missing when she failed to respond to two text messages. Her body was found last weekend.
Tania Nicol disappeared from the same area on 30 October. She was reported missing by her mother, Kerry. She, too, had not known that her daughter was working as a prostitute until the police told her.
Officers said it was plausible that the bodies of the two women could have been dumped together, but that Tania's body might have been washed downstream by recent flood water. Another possibility being investigated is that her body might have been dumped in the water from a bridge on the A1071 road and then washed downstream.
20061209: East Anglia serial killer fears
|Fears that a serial killer may be at large in East Anglia were growing last night after the discovery of a second body believed to that of a missing teenage prostitute.
The woman was found naked near a mill at Copdock, Suffolk, yesterday and police said post mortem tests would be done today.
Police were trying to establish whether the dead woman was 19-year-old prostitute Tania Nicol - who has been missing for more than a month.
A week ago the naked body of prostitute Gemma Adams, 25, was found in a brook at Hintlesham, Suffolk - a mile from Copdock and today vice girls in Norwich spoke of their fears as officials warned women to be vigilant.
The cases of Michelle Bettles, 22, found dead at Scarning near Dereham in March 2002, Norwich vice girl Kellie Pratt, 29, missing since June 2000, and Natalie Pearman, 16, found strangled at the Ringland Hills beauty spot outside Norwich in 1992 are unsolved.
Friends of Hayley Curtis, a 23-year-old whose body was found in a shallow grave after she disappeared from Norwich five years ago, spoke of increased concern among prostitutes in the city. Miss Curtis's killer was given two life sentences last year.
Tracey Ensor, who lived with Miss Curtis, said: “None of these girls wants to be on the streets but if you are desperate for the money for drugs or whatever else it gets to the point where you have no choice.”
As reported earlier in the week by the Evening News, Norfolk police officers are checking for links between historic prostitute deaths in the county and the two disappearances in Suffolk.
A force spokesman said: “We are checking our databases to see if there is any information within the inquries which have occurred in Norfolk which may assist the ongoing inquiry in Suffolk.”
Miss Adams, who lived in Ipswich, disappeared in the early hours of November 15. Miss Nicol vanished on October 30 after leaving her home in the city.
20061206: Is there a prostitute serial killer on the loose?
Police who investigated the disappearance of prostitutes in Norwich are checking for information that could help Suffolk police probing the death of one vice girl and the disappearance of another.
Detectives are not linking the cases, but prostitutes in Norwich have been warned to be on their guard.
Gemma Adams, 25, who disappeared on 15 November, was found dead in a stream at Hintlesham, less than 10 miles from Ipswich, on Saturday. The cause of her death has not yet been established.
Fellow Ipswich vice girl Tania Nichol, 19, a friend of Gemma, has been missing since October 30.
Police say the two disappearances have “obvious similarities”.
A Norfolk police spokesman said: “We are currently checking our databases to see if there is any information within the inquiries into prostitute murders that have occurred in Norfolk which may assist the ongoing inquiry in Suffolk.
“At this time there is nothing to suggest there are any links. However, we will continue to check and share information with Suffolk police.”
A Suffolk police spokeswoman said: “We are keeping an open mind. Our main priority is the Gemma Adams murder and the disappearance of Tania Nichol. We will be liaising with other forces where appropriate.”
In March 2002, the body of Norwich vice girl Michelle Bettles, 22, was found at Scarning, near Dereham.
In January 2002, 23-year-old Norwich prostitute Hayley Curtis was found dead in Hampshire. Philip Stanley, 56, was given a life sentence for her murder in November 2005.
City prostitute Kellie Pratt, 29, has been missing since June 2000 while in November 1992, 16-year-old vice girl Natalie Pearman was found strangled at the Ringland Hills beauty spot on the outskirts of Norwich.
Mair Talbot, project manager of city charity the Magdalene Group, which supports prostitutes, said: “The best advice that anyone can give is to get out of prostitution and we're here to help people do that. If someone isn't ready to do that yet, there are other things we can suggest to try and stay safe.
“Work in groups and make sure that if someone hasn't returned by a certain time the alarm is raised as soon as possible.”
Women should avoid getting into cars with more than one man.
20061204: Body of missing prostitute found
The body of a woman found in a ditch was that of a missing prostitute, police have confirmed.
The remains of 25-year-old Gemma Adams were found near Hintlesham, Suffolk, about seven miles from Ipswich where she was last in the early hours of November 15.
Police have not revealed how she died or how long they thought her body had been in the brook.
A spokeswoman said officers were waiting for the results of post-mortem tests.
She said: "Further tests will now have to be carried out to help ascertain the cause of death.
"An area along the A1071 in Hintlesham has been cordoned off whilst police carry out their inquiries."
The spokeswoman said Gemma's body was discovered by a member of the public on Saturday.
"The last confirmed sighting of Gemma was near to the BMW garage on West End Road at 1.15am on Wednesday 15th November," she said.
"Police are appealing for people to come forward who may have information in relation to this inquiry."
Gemma's death raises fears for the safety of Tania Nicol, 19, a prostitute who disappeared from Ipswich more than a month ago.
Both women worked in the town's red light district and detectives said there were "obvious similarities" between the two cases.
20061204: Serial killer fears grow after prostitute's body found in stream
A senior detective today warned a town's prostitutes to "look out for each other" amid fears that two women who went missing from a red light district may have been killed by the same man.
Police said 25-year-old prostitute Gemma Adams had been found murdered two weeks after disappearing from the red light area of Ipswich, Suffolk.
Officers fear that 19-year-old Tania Nicol, a prostitute who disappeared from the same area of Ipswich more than a month ago, might have met a similar fate.
Detectives said they were checking similar cases in East Anglia to try to establish whether a serial killer could be at large - but stressed that nothing had yet been found to link Miss Adams's murder to any other crime.
Police said prostitutes in Ipswich - and their clients - may have vital information and urged them to come forward.
Miss Adams, who lived in Ipswich, disappeared in the early hours of November 15 and her naked body was found in a stream seven miles away at Hintlesham, Suffolk, on Saturday.
Detectives have not revealed how she died or how long they thought her body had been in the stream. They said they were waiting for the results of post-mortem tests.
Miss Nicol vanished on October 30 after leaving her home in Ipswich and she remains missing.
"Our message to prostitutes would be to look out for each other - let friends know where you are going and who you are with," said Detective Chief Inspector David Skevington, who is leading the hunt for Miss Adams' killer.
"And trust the police. If you have any concerns about anyone tell us. Our priority here is to solve a murder and we need information."
Mr Skevington also urged anyone who may have seen suspicious activity in the Hintlesham area to come forward. He said Miss Adams may have been killed elsewhere and dumped in the brook - her body may have been dropped from a bridge.
He added: "When Gemma was found her body was naked and we therefore need to find her clothing as a matter or urgency."
Police said she was wearing a black, hooded waterproof jacket, light blue jeans, a red top and chrome Nike trainers when last seen.
Officers urged anyone with information about Miss Nicol to come forward.
Detective Superintendent Andrew Henwood, who is heading the inquiry into Miss Nicol's disappearance, said the two women knew each other and worked in the same area of Ipswich.
"We have got grave concerns for Tania," he said. "We know the girls were both working as prostitutes. They knew each other and worked in the same area of Ipswich."
Police urged anyone with information to come forward even if they disapproved of prostitutes.
"We understand that some people may disapprove of this type of lifestyle," said a spokeswoman.
"We want to reassure you that Suffolk Constabulary is committed to reducing any form of anti-social behaviour. However, clearly our priority is to find Tania and find Gemma's killer."