Prime suspect in murder of Suzy Lamplugh is on his deathbed as family plead to tell what he knows


Prime suspect in murder of Suzy Lamplugh is on his deathbed in prison as family plead with him to ‘tell us what happened, if he does know’

  • Prime suspect in unsolved disappearance of Suzy Lamplugh is at death’s door
  • Suzy’s family hope he might finally reveal what happened to her before he dies
  • John Cannan, 68, is chief suspect in Suzy’s disappearance in West London 1986 
  • However, Cannan has always denied her murder, despite already being in prison 

The prime suspect in Britain’s biggest ever missing person’s inquiry is on his deathbed, sparking hopes from the family that he might finally reveal anything he knows.

John Cannan, 68, who is already serving 35 years in prison for a separate murder, was named as the prime suspect by police in the disappearance of Suzy Lamplugh, 25, in Fulham, West London, in July 1986. 

But he has always denied any involvement in Suzy’s murder, even as he receives end-of-life palliative care in Full Sutton jail, East Yorks.

Nonetheless, family of Suzy, whose body has never been found even after three decades of searching, are now hoping that they might finally get some answers, almost exactly 36 years later.

Suzy’s brother Richard urged Cannan to reveal the truth before he died.

He told the Mirror: ‘I would like Cannan, if he does know, to tell us what happened to Suze. After all these years, I would like him to finally let us know what happened.

‘It would mean a lot to the family.’

John Cannan, the chief suspect in the disappearance of estate agent Suzy Lamplugh in 1986

Suzy Lamplugh, who disappeared at the age of 25 in 1986

John Cannan, 68, was named as the prime suspect by police in the disappearance of Suzy Lamplugh, 25, in Fulham, West London, in July 1986, but the CPS said they had insufficient evidence to prosecute. He is now on his death bed

A photofit of the client Suzy went to meet before she disappeared was released, but police did not name Cannan as the prime suspect until 2002

A photofit of the client Suzy went to meet before she disappeared was released, but police did not name Cannan as the prime suspect until 2002

Estate agent Suzy had gone to meet a 'Mr Kipper' to show him around a house in Shorrolds Road, Fulham. After her disappearance, her white Ford Fiesta was found outside a property for sale in Stevenage Road, about a mile and a half away

Estate agent Suzy had gone to meet a ‘Mr Kipper’ to show him around a house in Shorrolds Road, Fulham. After her disappearance, her white Ford Fiesta was found outside a property for sale in Stevenage Road, about a mile and a half away

Suzy's brother Richard is urging Cannan, who is on his deathbed, to reveal what he knows about the disappearance of his sister before it is too late

Suzy’s brother Richard is urging Cannan, who is on his deathbed, to reveal what he knows about the disappearance of his sister before it is too late

Enough time has passed that Cannan, who has been in ill health for some time, would have been eligible for parole this year. 

Suzy went missing on a summers night in West London back when Madonna’s Papa Don’t Preach was top of the UK charts.

The estate agent had gone to meet a ‘Mr Kipper’ to show him around a house in Shorrolds Road, Fulham. 

After her disappearance, her white Ford Fiesta was found outside a property for sale in Stevenage Road, about a mile and a half away. 

The doors were unlocked, the handbrake was off and her purse was found in a side door pocket.

A photofit of ‘Mr Kipper’ was released, but police did not name Cannan as the prime suspect in Suzy’s disappearance and murder until 2002. 

However, the CPS said there was insufficient evidence to charge him. Detectives have not given up the case, conducting a series of digs in search of the body including in in Worcestershire just three years ago.

Suzy went missing on a summers night in West London back when Madonna's Papa Don't Preach was top of the UK charts

Suzy went missing on a summers night in West London back when Madonna’s Papa Don’t Preach was top of the UK charts

Supt. Neil Andrews with a picture of John Cannan, who at the time was helping them with their inquiries. Detectives who worked on the investigation for 22 years tell of their frustration at failing to solve the mystery

Supt. Neil Andrews with a picture of John Cannan, who at the time was helping them with their inquiries. Detectives who worked on the investigation for 22 years tell of their frustration at failing to solve the mystery

The year before, in 2018, the garden at Cannan’s mum’s previous home in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, was searched. 

Cannan was eventually arrested for the murder of Shirley Banks, 29, in 1987. He was convicted and given three life sentences for her abduction and murder in a case that had eerie parallels to Suzy’s. 

His whole life tariff was later reduced to a 35-year minimum sentence.

In 2019, as police were still searching for Suzy’s body and his health was failing, Cannan again denied any knowledge of the 25-year-old’s fate, blaming the police for scapegoating him and seeking to undermine his parole prospects.

By then Cannan was suffering from partial paralysis and needed to use a wheelchair following a stroke. 

Retired Det Supt Jim Dickie, who spent six years investigating Suzy’s abduction, said: ‘Cannan is still a suspect for the disappearance and murder of Suzy Lamplugh.

‘He’s extremely manipulative and must not be trusted.’

In a previous interview, Suzy’s brother Richard added: ‘If he’s done it then I would like him to tell us her whereabouts and we can then bury her where we want to bury her, rather than where whoever killed her has buried her.

‘We’ve been through so many developments you don’t get your hopes up.’ 

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