The 68-year-old killer, suspected of the unsolved 1986 murder of Suzy Lamplugh, will be heard on Monday after serving 35 years in prison for beating newlywed to death
- John Cannan, 68, will appear before a Yorkshire parole board on Monday
- He served his minimum 35-year term for the 1987 murder of Shirley Banks
- Cannan may face questions over new evidence surrounding Suzy Lamplugh’s disappearance
- His transfer to an open prison could pave the way for release in 18 months
Suzy Lamplugh’s suspected killer is making a bid for freedom next week and is trying to convince a parole board to send him to an open prison.
John Cannan, 68, wants to leave his Full Sutton Prisoner in East Yorkshire after serving his minimum term of 35 years for the 1987 murder of Shirley Banks in Bristol.
Cannan said he will appear before the council on Monday The sunfaced with questions about new evidence gathered since he was last questioned in connection with Suzy’s murder.
His transfer to an open prison could pave the way for release in about 18 months.
Cannan, a former car salesman serving a prison sentence for multiple sex offences, is the sole suspect in the disappearance of estate agent Lamplugh, who went to meet a London house buyer who called himself ‘Mr Kipper’ in 1986 and has not been seen since.
She was only 25 at the time and the case officially remained unsolved.
But in a rare move in November 2002, Scotland Yard said they believed Cannan was behind her disappearance, despite there being insufficient evidence to charge him.
Cannan claims he knows the killer’s real identity, saying that the same person also killed Banks, the crime of which he himself was convicted.
John Cannan (left) is suspected by police of the murder of Suzy Lamplugh (right), but has never been charged. He wants to be released from his Full Sutton Prisoner in East Yorkshire after serving his minimum term of 35 years
Newlywed Shirley Banks was kidnapped by Cannan while out shopping in Bristol
The Murder of Shirley Banks: How Cannan Snatched Newlywed Before Killing Her
Newlywed Shirley Banks was kidnapped while shopping in Bristol in 1987.
She was held in Cannan’s flat and forced to call in sick at the factory where she worked as a textile manager.
Cannan then killed the 29-year-old by hitting her head with a rock before dumping her naked body at Dead Women’s Ditch in the Quantock Hills in 1987.
He received three life sentences for the murder of Shirley, the attempted kidnapping of Julia Holman the previous night, and the rape of a woman the previous year.
Cannan is serving three life sentences at HMP Full Sutton, a maximum security prison in East Yorkshire.
Since he was in prison, he has had a stroke and serious health problems afterwards.
His parole hearing will determine if he is fit and able to be transferred to open conditions where he will then be allowed to go home and visit the community.
Cannan has always denied any involvement in the case and the absence of a body or forensic evidence means there was little chance of linking him to Suzy.
But a Channel 5 documentary — The Vanishing Of Suzy Lamplugh, shown late last year — pointed to intriguing evidence initially ignored by police.
A lorry driver named Dave had seen someone resembling Cannan on the towpath of the Grand Union Canal in Brentford, west London, carrying ‘a very heavy bag on wheels’.
Moments later, the witness – now deceased – heard a loud splash and saw the man run away empty-handed.
Investigators last conducted searches of a property in Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, in 2018 and land at Drakes Broughton in Worcestershire in 2019, but nothing was found.
A 2019 police search of a wooded area (pictured) is believed to have found no significant new evidence in Suzy’s case
Police officers search an area near Pershore in Worcestershire in 2019 as part of further investigation into Suzy’s disappearance