The case of the Suffolk Strangler, also known as the Ipswich Ripper, is my closest encounter with murder, luckily. It refers to the murders of five women in the Suffolk area in 2006. The Ipswich murders began on October 30th 2006 until December 10th, with Wright arrested on suspicion of murder on December 19th. All five victims were sex workers in the Suffolk area where Wright picked them up.
On December 2nd, the body of Gemma Adams, 25, was found in the water of the Belstead Brook. 6 days later the body of Tania Nicol, 19, was discovered in the water at Copdock Mill; Nicol, had been missing for over a month. On December 10th, a hiker found the body of Anneli Alderton, 24, in woodland by the A14 road. Two days later, police found two further bodies near a main road in Nacton: Paula Clennell, 24, and Annette Nicholls, 29. All five victims were naked with no signs of sexual assault and three of the five victims had evidence of asphyxiation. Police found all five bodies positioned like a crucifix.
Due to the magnitude of the investigation and the fact that Ipswich is a very small town, the Suffolk police depended heavily on the Metropolitan Police. Police concluded that the locations of the five bodies were deposition sites instead of murder sites. But police found no evidence indicating the murder site of the women.
On December 18th 2006, police arrested a 37-year-old man on suspicion of murder. The following day, police arrested a second suspect, a 48-year-old man. Police released the first suspect and named the second as Steve Wright, charging him with murders of all five women. Wright’s DNA matched that of the DNA at three of the crime scenes, a crucial breakthrough for the case; it was a result of a possible robbery by Wright in 2002, meaning his DNA was on the database.
During a trial at Ipswich Crown Court, Wright admitted his sexual involvement with the women; yet, he pleaded not guilty for their murders. There were suggestions that Wright did not act alone as the bodies were some distance from nearby roads. However, there is little evidence to support this claim. Throughout the trial, Wright continued to plead not guilty. To this day, Wright has not admitted to any involvement with the crimes. Wright’s dad, Conrad, spoke to the BBC, displaying his guilt for bringing his son into the world and saying he ‘feels sort responsible’ for the deaths of his son’s victims. In February 2008, the jury gave Wright a full-life sentence.
There are continuing investigations over Wright’s possible involvement in other crimes; there is a possible connection to Suzy Lampugh’s disappearance in 1986. A further possible connection is to the murder of Vicky Glass in 2000.
To this day, my mum still points out the places where the victims were found when we drive around my hometown. The intricacy of the case and the justice served for these women pulled me into the true crime world.