Suzy Lamplugh’s suspected killer is launching a bid for freedom by appearing before a Parole Board.
John Cannan, a convicted rapist and kidnapper, is the man who police believe murdered the estate agent following her disappearance in 1986.
However, the 67-year-old has never been charged with the killing and could even be released back on the streets in the not too distant future.
Cannan – who was jailed following the murder of Shirley Banks in Bristol in 1987, along with an attempted kidnapping and the rape of a woman in Reading the previous year – faces a panel hearing next year to try and move to an open prison.
If that effort is successful, he could be allowed back into the community within as little as 18 months, according to the Sun.
The move angered former Jim Dickie, a former Detective Chief Inspector with the Met Police, who led a fresh probe into Suzy’s murder 20 years ago.
‘Cannan should never be released, full stop,’ he told the paper.
‘He is a psychopath and serial sex offender who, in my opinion, has murdered at least three women.
‘He will remain a danger to women until the day he dies and it would be a grave risk to ever release him.’
John Cannan (left) is suspected by police of killing Suzy Lamplugh (right) but he has never been charged
Suzy’s brother Richard said ‘it would be lovely to find her’ and scatter her ashes (Pictured: Richard holding a framed photo of his missing sister)
Suzy was last seen on July 28, 1986, when she left the Fulham office of the Sturgis estate agency in her company Ford Fiesta.
Her diary said she had an appointment at 12.45pm to meet a prospective buyer called Mr Kipper.
The car was later found abandoned outside another house on the Sturgis books. The ignition key was missing and her purse was in the glove box.
Investigators most recently carried out searches at a property in Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, in 2018 and on land near Drakes Broughton in Worcestershire in 2019, but nothing was found.
One of the most dangerous men in Britain, Cannan had been living at a West London bail hostel after serving five years of an eight-year sentence for rape at knifepoint.
He has always denied any involvement in the case and the absence of a body or forensic evidence means there has been little chance of linking him to Suzy.
But a Channel 5 documentary – The Vanishing Of Suzy Lamplugh, screened at the end of last year – pointed to intriguing evidence that was originally ignored by police.
A lorry driver called Dave had seen someone looking like Cannan on the towpath of the Grand Union Canal 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 running away empty-handed.
‘Dave went to the police three times about what he saw back in 1986 but felt he was never listened to and no action was taken,’ a friend told The Mail on Sunday.
‘It troubled Dave for the rest of his life until he died six years ago. Why would someone be dumping a suitcase in the canal at that time of the morning?’
Cannan is serving three life terms at HMP Full Sutton, a top security prison in East Yorkshire.
In that time, however, he has suffered a stroke and serious subsequent health problems.
His parole hearing will determine whether he is fit and able to be moved to open conditions, where he would then be allowed home leave and visits into the community.
Police officers search an area near Pershore in Worcestershire in 2019 as part of further investigations into Suzy’s disappearance
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
In August this year, Suzy’s family told how they pleaded with police to question Suffolk Strangler Steve Wright over her suspected murder.
The 25-year-old estate agent worked alongside the serial killer on the QE2 luxury cruise liner and he is even said to have chatted her up.
But according to his ex-wife, when Suzy vanished and her disappearance hit the headlines, he denied ever knowing her.
Wright, 63, is currently serving life for murdering five women in Ipswich within a fortnight in 2006 and was arrested in July this year on suspicion of killing Victoria Hall, 17, whose naked body was found in a ditch in 1999.
Now Suzy’s family are demanding he also be quizzed over her suspected murder.
Suzy vanished after leaving her London office to meet a ‘Mr Kipper’ for a viewing at a Fulham flat.
Killer Wright is coincidentally said to have used the word ‘kipper’ as slang for ‘face’.
Suzy’s body was never found and she was declared dead presumed murdered five years later.
But Wright was jailed for the Ipswich killings in 2008 and ruled out of Suzy’s case by police in 2012.
But Suzy’s brother Richard, 61, told the Sunday Mirror: ‘I don’t see any reason why police couldn’t speak to Wright about Suzy’s murder.
‘They are trying to solve another case and are probably concentrating on that one.
‘But if Wright has been linked, if the police thought it was relevant, then it would be worthwhile.’