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Ipswich: Serial killer Steve Wright linked to more killings by ‘new evidence’

KILLER: Steve Wright

KILLER: Steve Wright

Archant

Serial killer Steve Wright may have murdered more women than the five he was convicted of, a criminologist has claimed.

The man dubbed the Suffolk Strangler was found guilty of murdering five Ipswich sex workers during a ten-day killing spree in the town in December 2006.

But criminologist Professor David Wilson claims he has uncovered new information linking former Felixstowe dock worker Wright, 54, to a number of other unsolved killings in Norwich.

Prof Wilson fears Wright preyed on prostitutes for years before being caught. His claims are backed by Wright’s dad, Conrad Wright, who – speaking exclusively to the Star – believes there is a possibility his son murdered more women.

A documentary, Killers Behind Bars: The Untold Story, to be aired on Channel 5 tomorrow, shows Prof Wilson returning to Ipswich to re-examine the brutal murders which shook the heart of the community.

It will also show him in Norfolk where he discovers numerous cases of sex workers killed in similar circumstances.

Mr Wright, who lives in Felixstowe, said: “I never thought he was guilty, even after he was arrested and during the trial, but if he was innocent wouldn’t he be calling me crying out for help? But instead I’ve heard nothing from him.

“I’ve met with David Wilson and asked if he thought Steve was guilty because I never thought he was capable – but he told me he thought he was guilty.

“He said for someone who was almost 50 years old, it was old to start killing and he may have killed more.”

He added: “It could be possible. I don’t know what went through his mind.

“He used to come round here and watch cricket and it never crossed my mind he was capable of killing someone and then resume a normal life but serial killers are crafty and lead a double life.”

Before moving to Ipswich, Wright ran the Ferry Boat Inn in the red light district of Norwich.

Prof Wilson, head of criminology at Birmingham City University, is calling on police to reopen the case of at least one woman, 22-year-old prostitute Michelle Bettles, who was strangled. Her body was found in woodland near Dereham in March 2002 – in similar circumstances to the five Ipswich deaths.

A Suffolk police spokesman said: “Suffolk and Norfolk’s joint Major Investigation Team has its own team of police staff who routinely review unsolved major crime from both counties, predominantly murders and rapes, in order to identify any new lines of enquiry that can be developed based on advances in forensic science and new information received.”

Killers Behind Bars: The Untold Story will be shown on Channel 5 at 8pm tomorrow.

- Do you think Wright could have killed more women? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail starletters@archant.co.uk

THE bodies of the five victims were discovered in various locations in Ipswich in December 2006.

Tania Nicol, 19, and Gemma Adams, 25, were found in a stream at Copdock and near Hintlesham.

Anneli Alderton, 24, was found a few days later in woodland next to Amberfield School at Nacton, while the bodies of Paula Clennell, 24, and Annette Nicholls, 29, were discovered near Levington on December 12.

Forensic analysis revealed Wright’s DNA on three of the women, and fibres linking him to all five.

Wright, who was 49 at the time of his trial, had always denied being responsible for the killings but was found guilty by a jury at Ipswich Crown Court in February 2008 and sentenced to life imprisonment.

The inquiry involved one of the largest manhunts the country has ever seen.

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