The Mysterious Disappearance Of Suzy Lamplugh

On the afternoon of July 28, 1996, 25-year-old Susannah "Suzy" Lamplugh left the offices of Sturgis and Sons, where she was employed as a real estate agent, with plans to show a house at 37 Shorrald's Road in Fulham, England, to a prospective buyer. As reported by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, Lamplugh's appointment book indicated she planned to meet a man named Mr. Kipper at the house at 1 p.m.

When Lamplugh left the office, her supervisor confirmed she left her purse behind. However, she took her key ring, which had keys to her vehicle and home, and a smaller wallet, with several credit cards and approximately $15 inside.

Lamplugh's supervisor thought she may have decided to have lunch after showing the home, but he became concerned when she did not return to the office. He eventually called Lamplugh's mother, Diana, who became concerned, as she had not heard from her daughter either. The Suzy Lamplugh Trust reports Suzy was expected to return to the office shortly after showing the property. However, she seemingly vanished without a trace and has not been seen again.

Susannah 'Suzy' Lamplugh vanished after leaving her office for a meeting

As reported by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, Suzy's mother, Diana Lamplugh, said, "My initial reaction of frozen shock gave way to a flood of adrenalin which shot me into overdrive. We must find her; physically all that energy must be directed into action."

Suzy was officially reported missing at around 6:45 p.m. by her supervisor. Amid their search for the missing woman, authorities found the company vehicle she had been driving. It had been abandoned approximately one mile from the Sturgis and Sons office. Law enforcement officials confirmed the driver's side door was unlocked and there were no signs of a struggle within or outside the vehicle. Although Suzy's keys were not found in or around the vehicle, her wallet was found inside the glove compartment. Authorities dusted the vehicle for fingerprints, but were unable to find any prints that were identifiable.

The Suzy Lamplugh Trust reports at least one witness saw Suzy at the 37 Shorrald's Road property with a man. However, the witness was unable to identify the man and said he last saw Suzy and the man walking away from the property.

Suzy Lamplugh's family tried to maintain hope

Suzy Lamplugh's family maintained hope that she had been kidnapped, but was still alive. Early into the investigation, the Suzy Lamplugh Trust reports, Diana said, "I feel she is shut up somewhere, that she is being held against her will. I feel that because she hasn't contacted us. She is a very strong, very fit lady ... So she should be able to cope with most situations."

Diana also disclosed that she had received hundreds of cards and letters from members of the community. Although a vast majority of the correspondence included expressions of sympathy, some of the letters were more unusual. In one letter, the writer said Suzy purchased a vehicle from her and her husband, and that they had been impressed with her.

Within one week of her daughter's disappearance, Diana said, "I can face up to the fact that she has died. But I cannot face up to what has happened between. That's too much."

Suzy Lamplugh was declared dead in 1993, but her body has not been found

In April 1989, a woman contacted authorities to report she had reason to believe her former boyfriend, John Cannan, who went by the nickname "Kipper," was involved in Suzy Lamplugh's abduction and possible death. As reported by The Guardian, Cannan, a convicted killer — he got his nickname in prison — was interviewed by law enforcement officials a total of three times. However, they were unable to prove any link between Cannan and Suzy.

In 1993, Suzy Lamplugh was declared legally dead and it was assumed that she had been murdered. However, as reported by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, no trace of her or her remains have ever been found.

Between 1994 and 2000, authorities received at least one confession to Suzy's abduction and murder, which was proven to be false. The Guardian reports the police also received several tips about where her remains may have been buried, but those reports were also determined to be unfounded. In November 2002, authorities admitted John "Kipper" Canaan was the "only known suspect" in Lamplugh's abduction and likely death. However, they simply did not have enough evidence to secure a conviction.

Authorities identified two persons of interest with the nickname 'Kipper'

As reported by The Guardian, authorities also apologized for what they determined to be "significant opportunities ... missed during the original inquiry." In 2008, Suzy's father, Paul Lamplugh, suggested there may be another possible suspect in Suzy's abduction and possible murder. Steve Wright, who was convicted of murdering five women in and around Suffolk, was serving life in prison when authorities noted similarities between the crimes he was convicted of committing and Suzy's disappearance.

Paul was specifically suspicious of Wright, who had worked with Suzy in the early 1980s and maintained contact until around the time of her death. Paul was also concerned as Wright also used the nickname "Kipper," which was the name of the person Suzy was scheduled to meet with on the day she vanished.

Also in 2008, The Guardian reports, police investigated possible links between Wright and Suzy's disappearance. Wright had been convicted of the murder of five sex workers. However, authorities have not confirmed that Wright is a suspect in Suzy's abduction and assumed murder.

The only known suspect in Suzy Lamplugh's death is reportedly terminally ill

A spokesperson for the Met Police said, "We are not prepared to discuss who we may or may not wish to interview in connection with any ongoing investigation." As reported by The Guardian, Paul Lamplugh said Scotland Yard approached him and discussed Steve Wright's possible involvement in his daughter's death. Wright's former wife, Diane Cole, said she also discussed her ex-husband with authorities and alerted them to the fact that he was in the area when Suzy Lamplugh vanished.

In June 2022, Birmingham Live reported John Cannan, who according to authorities remains the only known suspect in Suzy Lamplugh's death, was diagnosed with a fatal illness and was receiving palliative care. Lamplugh's family and authorities are hoping Cannan will provide some answers about what happened to Suzy.

Foreigner Met Detective Superintendent Jim Dickie said, "The indications are that his time is limited. He has not got much quality of life ... This is an opportunity for Cannan to cleanse his soul and above all give solace to the Lamplugh family. It is a chance for him to give them closure and bury Suzy with dignity ... "