Suzy Lamplugh, the main suspect, launches an offer to free herself
- John Cannan, 68, will appear before a parole board panel in Yorkshire on Monday
- He served his minimum sentence of 35 years for the murder of Shirley Banks in 1987
- Cannan may face questions over new evidence of Suzy Lamplugh’s disappearance
- His transfer to an open prison could pave the way for release in 18 months
Suzy Lamplugh’s alleged killer is bidding for freedom next week, trying to convince a parole board to send her to open prison.
John Cannan, 68, is seeking release from his prisoner at Full Sutton in East Yorkshire after serving his minimum 35-year sentence for the 1987 murder of Shirley Banks in Bristol.
Cannan will appear before the board on Monday, according to The Sun, facing questions about any new evidence that has come to light since he was last told about Suzy’s murder.
His transfer to an open prison could pave the way for release in about 18 months.
Cannan, a former car salesman serving time for multiple sex offences, is the only suspect in the disappearance of estate agent Lamplugh, who went to meet a homebuyer in London calling himself “Mr Kipper” in 1986 and has not been seen since.
She was only 25 at the time, with the case officially remaining unsolved.
But in a rare move in November 2002, Scotland Yard said they believed Cannan was behind his disappearance, despite insufficient evidence to charge him.
Cannan maintains that he knows the true identity of the killer and says the same person also killed Banks, the crime for which he himself was convicted.
John Cannan (left) is suspected by police of killing Suzy Lamplugh (right), but he was never charged. He is looking to get out of prison at Full Sutton in East Yorkshire after serving his minimum 35-year sentence
Newlywed Shirley Banks was abducted by Cannan while shopping in Bristol
The murder of Shirley Banks: How Cannan snatched the bride before killing her
Newlywed Shirley Banks was abducted while shopping in Bristol in 1987.
She was held captive in Cannan’s apartment and forced to telephone the factory where she worked as a textile manager.
Cannan then murdered the 29-year-old by hitting her head with a stone before dumping her naked body at Dead Women’s Ditch in the Quantock Hills in 1987.
He received three life sentences for Shirley’s murder, the attempted kidnapping of Julia Holman the night before, and the rape of a woman the year before.
Cannan is serving three life sentences at HMP Full Sutton, a high security prison in East Yorkshire.
Since his incarceration, he has suffered a stroke and subsequent serious health problems.
His parole hearing will determine if he is fit and able to be transferred to open conditions, where he would then be entitled to home leave and community visits.
Cannan has always denied any involvement in the case and the lack of body or forensic evidence means there was little chance of linking him to Suzy.
But a Channel 5 documentary – The Vanishing Of Suzy Lamplugh, shown late last year – uncovered some intriguing evidence that was initially ignored by police.
A lorry driver called Dave had seen someone resembling Cannan on the Grand Union Canal towpath in Brentford, west London, carrying ‘a very heavy bag on wheels’.
Moments later, the witness – who has since died – heard a loud splash and saw the man run away empty-handed.
Investigators recently searched a property in Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, in 2018 and land near Drakes Broughton in Worcestershire in 2019, but nothing was found.
A search of a wooded area by police in 2019 (pictured) is not believed to have found any significant new evidence in Suzy’s case
Police officers search an area near Pershore in Worcestershire in 2019 as part of further inquiries into Suzy’s disappearance