UK UK - Suzy Lamplugh, 25, Fulham, 28 July 1986

Discussion in '1980's Missing' started by Pinkizzy, May 31, 2021.

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  1. WiseOwl

    WiseOwl Well-Known Member

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    Just been looking on ebay and someone is selling Stephen's book for a cheaper price, although it does look a bit tatty.

    More extraordinary though is further down the page is a montage of black & white photographs of Suzy being sold by someone from Iceland (the country, not the store). Who in God's name would be selling photographs of an abducted (and presumed murdered) woman? I wonder if her family know about this?

    Out of interest if anyone looks at this do we know who the man is with Suzy in the top photograph? There is also a photograph top right of Suzy with a man in a suit with dickie bow - is this the same man?
     


  2. WestLondoner

    WestLondoner Well-Known Member

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    It looks like someone is selling off a press photo archive. None of those photos is new but all are described as "originals" for which a fee would be due if reproduced.

    IANAL, but there is apparently an abstruse bit of copyright law whereby if you photograph a David Hockney painting, and all that's in your photo is his painting, David Hockney owns your photo. But if you add anything to it, eg your photo shows the painting hung in a gallery with people looking at it, then you own your photo.

    If I have recalled that correctly, maybe that's what's up here; some newspaper or news agency made new originals of old photographs, retouched or processed them in some way, and owns a new version of them.

    It does seem a rather grim thing to be selling. There may be people out there who collect their own Black Museum or whatever but as described this stuff has no connection to the case at all.
     
  3. Pinkizzy

    Pinkizzy Well-Known Member

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    The chap in the bowtie looks like a young Donald Trump
     
  4. Terryb808

    Terryb808 Well-Known Member

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    Now there's a suspect we've not had before, looking at his past record nothing's going to stick to him.
     
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  5. Bohobird

    Bohobird Member

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    The man in the dickie bow tie is AL
     
  6. Konstantin

    Konstantin Active Member

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    Finally I managed to read through the Stephen book in a library, thank you to the person who suggested trying libraries.

    I am going to share some notes below as there is a lot in the book that is helpful, and which does call into question some of the threads that DV raised. In particular, this book was written very close to events, and had access it seems to material from the investigation.

    So here are some notes and thoughts:

    -- AS is pretty adamant that SJL took not only the keys to Shorrolds road with her but also the house particulars. I assume that this comes from material from the investigation rather than him chatting to people from Sturgis? He says that people in her office recall her going behind a colleague's desk to grab the keys from the board and also go into a drawer to get house particulars.

    It would seem odd to me that, if this were mistaken, the police just somehow did not notice or covered it up, it seems like they were investigating from the start the possibility that SJL might have made up Mr Kipper to get out of the office, so her not taking the keys would lend credence to that theory.

    DV deduced that SJL did not take the keys because when police searched the house a day or so later, the door seemed open without being forced. I think on reflection we can find other explanations for this, e.g. the door gave way easily to being forced so no visible damage in a photo, a locksmith just opened it for them. If there was another key, the police would have noted this. It was a part of the timeline they came up with that SJL took the keys and given the level of detail they do seem to have gone into, I don't think this key piece of the timeline (pun intended) was overlooked in such an unprofessional way,

    -- The sighting of a male and a female near/outside 37 Shorrolds by the neighbour: in fact, the neighbour, HR, initially told SJL's colleagues, MG and SF, that he had seen a male and a female leaving the house and looking up appraisingly at it. This was when MG and SF went to the address to look for SJL BEFORE they called the police. So this means that the man and woman HR claims he saw WAS NOT MG / SF. HR gave a detailed description of the young male but was far less certain about the female.

    However, the issue with this is that HR does seem like a rather unreliable witness. When he was later (that same day I believe) spoken to by police he embellished his story to say that the male and female had been arguing and that the female had been bundled into a car, claims that initially led police to think SJL might have been abducted at the address but which HR later backtracked on.

    Also, we don't know what MG and SF initially asked HR. If they turned up and asked him if he saw a woman meet a male at the address at lunchtime then they led him as a witness. All HR then had to do was say yes he saw what he was asked if he saw.

    -- AS mentions that SJL had lost a chequebook, a postcard, and a diary ON THE FRIDAY NIGHT apparently when she was at Mossops with AL. The pub landlord claims, according to AS, that he found these items and called SJL's bank on the Monday MORNING -- so that would be when the real landlord, not CV, was still around. On the Monday, her colleagues recalled SJL being preoccupied with this and calling her bank to cancel the cheques. At some point she learned they were in the pub and at around 12.40, right before she left, she called THE PUB LANDLORD'S WIFE to arrange to pick her stuff up at 18:00 that day but never showed up.

    Some things to note here. If the landlord found them on the Friday night and called the bank on the Monday morning that suggests this was the real landlord and not CV, as the real landlord would have still been around on Monday morning when according to DV there was a stock take going on. There is a lot of confusion here over who did what. There is no mention in AS book of an interim/temp landlord.

    According to AS, SJL and AL did not go into the pub on the Friday. (Does AL give a later interview where he claimed they did?)

    AS goes on to say that the police collected these items fairly soon after as they needed the diary to see what male friends SJL might have had, which could have been connected to her disappearance. There is no suggestion at all that she went near the pub that lunchtime or planned to. Or that she lost her items on the Saturday. There is no mention of a temp landlord finding them on the Saturday, it's stated that the landlord found them and she spoke to his wife on the Monday at 12:40, so the question is which wife did she really speak to.

    -- AS mentions a few times that SJL had told her friends she planned to break up with AL. She had other lovers in the recent past and there is a strong likelihood that she had cheated on AL with a wealthy male who lived in Park Lane and who was one of AL's mates. It seems she very likely and by her own admission stayed the night with him on a weekend when AL was away but he denied it, and said while she had been in his flat that night she had left, then returned on the Sunday morning (that seems very unlikely to me...). This is the chap who lived in the Bahamas. This is one of the things that DL objected to being reported even though it could have had a bearing on SJL's disappearance.

    -- SJL had gone to a party without AL the weekend before she disappeared and told people there that (1) she was about to do a deal that would net her 3000 quid in commission, that (2) she was planning to buy a property with another person. These things seem to be unlinked to her work at Sturgis. So she was doing stuff on the side.

    -- SJL was severely dyslexic and made spelling errors in many words, including in taking dictation, meaning that Kipper could have been a mispelling of another word.

    -- There is a lot of confusion over the sightings of SJL's car on Stevenage Road. That road was not a through road and the car was left abandoned right at the end of it. The timing of the sighting by WJ i.e. that the car was there at 12:40 is noted as being very odd by AS since that is when SJL was supposed to have left the office so how could her car be there.

    -- After the police reconstruction, as DV notes, two other witnesses came forward to say they saw SJL on Shorrolds Road at lunchtime. These are named in AS's book--one is the unemployed cellarman that DV tried to track down. His statement is seen as credible by the police since he went to collect his unemployment benefits that lunchtime so he could time his sighting. He and the second witness crucially also said that the woman they saw on Shorrolds had lighter hair than the woman in the photo of SJL that was circulated -- in fact SJL had had her hair lightened so it was blonder when she disappeared. DV has cast doubt on this sighting, I suppose because it goes against his theory that SJL never went to Shorrolds.

    -- SJL's acquaintance/work colleague (it seems they saw each other for work purposes), BW, claimed she saw SJL that Monday in her car on the Fulham Palace Road driving toward Hammersmith, just after 14:30. BW was on her bike and riding in the opposite direction. She claims SJL was with a male, seemed relaxed, and SJL didn't notice BW waving to her. BW appears to have seen SJL's straw hat in the car although this is odd to me as that was in the back window and BW was facing SJL's car as it passed her on her bike, we don't know the speed it passed at but if this was a fleeting glimpse, how did she notice something in the back window?

    Remember this sighting was AFTER a ton of publicity about SJL being abducted by a male.

    If the timing is correct and this really was SJL, it does beg the question what she was doing for 2 hours and why she risked losing her job to go out for so long?

    -- When SJL left the office she just grabbed her purse but not her handbag. Her purse was found in her abandoned car, suggesting to me that if she had gotten out of her car elsewhere (so if she was not in it when it was driven to and abandoned in Stevenage Road) she had nipped out on a quick errand, because leaving her purse in the car would have been inviting it to be stolen. The keys and house particulars her office says she took with her were not in the car. So that suggests either she never took them, as DV claims, or she did take them and they got left somewhere else.

    More notes later.
     
  7. Terryb808

    Terryb808 Well-Known Member

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    Excellent summary, I generally feel that AS made an honest and accurate account of things with the information available at the time.
    Also as you say it was written close to the actual event, and with a lot of help from the police.
    One Shorrolds Road witness, an elderly lady parking her car highlighted two men in a large dark coloured saloon. She said they were not speaking and looking straight ahead.
    What attracts me to this is the fact that she noticed them, what made them stand out so much?
    Secondly I’ve a copy of a newspaper article from 2000 which says police are looking into the possibility that SJL was abducted by more than one person.
    No one seems to know what generated the police to release this to the press, however, these two things may be linked?
    Sadly if DV is wrong and SJL was abducted from Shorrolds Road by one or more than one person it’s very unlikely she’ll ever be found (as AL said to DV).
     
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  8. WiseOwl

    WiseOwl Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the snippets from AS's book and your own thoughts too @Konstantin - very insightful.

    On the issue of the keys I have mentioned before on this thread that in the Crimewatch show from October 1986 (3 months after Suzy had disappeared), Det. Supt. Nick Carter clearly states that the keys to 37 Shorrolds Road were still missing. This then would confirm that AS was correct in what he said, that Suzy had took the keys and the house particulars as well (these were also confirmed as still missing in the Crimewatch show). So I think we can assume that AS got his information about the keys from the police investigation, rather than Suzy's work colleagues at Sturgis.

    DV in his book of course doesn't believe that Suzy took the keys or visited Shorrolds Road at all that afternoon. He does seem to think that the keys were found in the office, handed over to the police and that's how they got into the property on the Tuesday morning. He even claims to have seen a photograph taken outside the property 5 days after Suzy's disappearance of a blonde policewoman holding a set of Sturgis keys, complete with tag, in her hand. So if this is true then where did these keys come from? And why didn't DV try and track down this policewoman? He tried to trace virtually everybody else involved in the case except, notably, BW. Perhaps he didn't trace the policewoman because possibly she would give him an answer he didn't want to hear - a bit like BW maybe?

    I had no idea that HR had seen and spoken to MG & SF that day. Did MG & SF confirm that he had spoken to them? MG confirmed that he went to Shorrolds Road at 4.30 that afternoon, so this must have been the time he spoke to them but this is the first time I have heard about it.

    On the subject of Suzy's things being found at the pub, it is very confusing. In his book DV states that he watched an old interview with AL and he said that Suzy did lose her things on the Friday night. Of course in his interview with DV, AL says that this event never happened at all, although he didn't seem to be in the best frame of mind to be interviewed. He did state though that he never went into the pub on the Friday night, which would corroborate with what AS said.

    In the book the landlord says that the items were found on the Sunday night while he was still running the pub. The next day he went on holiday (after the stock take) and the acting landlord took over and informed the bank about Suzy's chequebook being left outside the pub. He also said that he spoke to Suzy over the phone, who said she was going to collect them but of course never did.

    Did AS state in his book where he got the information from about Suzy's things, did he actually speak to the pub landlord or, again, was this info from the police?
     
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  9. Pinkizzy

    Pinkizzy Well-Known Member

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    The policewoman in the crimewatch reconstruction may have died and that's why DV couldn't interview her. Nick Carter and HR died before DV could interview them for the nook.
     
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  10. Pinkizzy

    Pinkizzy Well-Known Member

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    *book
     
  11. Konstantin

    Konstantin Active Member

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    That's very interesting. Is the Crimewatch episode available anywhere like YouTube where we can view it?
    The impression I got from the AS book was that the police investigation was very thorough, but that they could find absolutely no leads, as if SJL just vanished into thin air, and some of the witness testimony was just confusing and often mutually contradictory. And that after DL got involved and the media circus kind of took on a life of its own, the investigation got clogged up with sightings that were most likely a result of people overthinking the case and coming up with things that were well meaning but not right.

    So yes, it would seem odd that the police investigation was totally wrong about SJL not taking the keys and the particulars. In any case, if she did make up the Kipper viewing, she would surely have wanted to add some credibility to her lie by taking the keys and particulars as if she did not it would be a pretty obvious lie. I don't think her taking the keys means she definitely went to Shorrolds. I am not certain where AS got his information but I think he obtained it all from the police investigation. He was a professional journalist with good sources and the information he has in the book seems to be accurate, not invented from fresh air.

    Yes, the AS book is very clear that they went to Shorrolds Road looking for SJL before they called the police (which is a very natural thing to do-- she is not there, they are concerned about her (which suggests, and the book does also say, she was NOT in the habit of taking long lunches), so they go and check her last known movements. I even noted down what AS says about this as it is very significant in tracing the origin of HR's story (yes he died before DV could re interview him).

    Basically, according to AS, MG called DL asking whether she had seen SJL for lunch at just before 17:00. He told DL that by the "middle of the afternoon" when SJL had not returned to Sturgis, "he and his colleagues were concerned. It was very unlike SJL to take long unauthorised lunches. They went to where she sat...and found in her desk diary the words "12:45 Mr Kipper 37 Shorrolds o/s"...she had only taken a purse with her, leaving her handbag by her desk: further evidence...that she only intended to be out for a matter of minutes...MG had indeed been back to 37 Shorrolds with a colleague but had found no sign of SJL IN OR OUT OF THE HOUSE, and no indication that anything was amiss. But a neighbour at number 35, an unemployed bachelor named HR, had told them he saw a young man and woman leaving number 37 next door and looking up appraisingly at the house as they did so, possibly a young couple buying a house, he had thought idly. The young man was handsome, 25-30, 5ft 8in tall, clean shaven with a thick combed back dark hair and looked prosperous in a smart dark suit. He had taken less notice of the woman"

    THere are some key things here:
    1. MG told DL (again I think this came from the police investigation NOT DL or MG being reinterviewed by AS) that he and a colleague (most likely SF) had gone to Shorrolds that afternoon (before 17:00 when he had returned to call DL) and had checked it INSIDE AND OUT. Unless MG and his colleague had peered through windows or just knocked on the door and called that checking it inside, it does imply he had either (1) taken the key to the house (if there was only one key, this means that he took that only key and SJL had not taken the key at all, meaning that the police remark that the keys were still missing was a serious mix up, which I really can't see happening or (2) there was another set of keys to the house that he took.

    2. We don't know if he knocked on the door at 35 to ask the neighbour HR or if HR came out to see what was going on, or was out anyway and they just asked him, but it is most likely MG led HR by asking him did he see a male and a female attend the address earlier that day. However we don't know this for sure. If HR was suggestible then him being told by MG that he was looking for a missing estate agent colleague who had been there to attend a house viewing with a client, this might have put in his head the "couple buying a house" thing.

    3. If SJL really popped out to the PoW pub to get her diary, chequebook, and postcard would she not have taken her handbag to put these recovered items in rather than just taking her purse (which implies she planned to grab a sandwich or something when she was out, since back then she would have used cash to do so)? Otherwise, she woudl be left carrying her purse, the chequebook, which would not have fit into a purse most likely, a diary, and a random postcard. I'd have taken my bag to put them in if I had one and was wearing clothes with no pockets as from what she was wearing, SJL didn't seem to have a coat with big pockets?. But maybe a woman would not take a handbag for that?
     
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  12. WiseOwl

    WiseOwl Well-Known Member

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    Yes, go to YouTube and type in Crimewatch Suzy Lamplugh and it comes up with the show from October 1986. The segment on Suzy starts around 17:50 into the show.

    As this was only 3 months after Suzy's disappearance I think the information from the show is very important in relating to what the police believed happened at the time, the events were still fresh in the memory so to speak.
     
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  13. WiseOwl

    WiseOwl Well-Known Member

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    Was there a policwoman in the Crimewatch reconstruction? I was referring to the blonde policewoman as described by DV in his book, the one he saw in the photograph holding a set of Sturgis keys.

    This woman may well be deceased now of course, but DV makes no mention of trying to trace her in his book.
     
  14. Konstantin

    Konstantin Active Member

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    OK, so my next notes from the AS book relates to the man DV identifies as his chief suspect in the case, according to his new theory that SJL went to to PoW pub that Monday lunch time to collect her belongings.

    The male is given a pseudonym by DV, Clive Vole (CV) although he is named in the AS book (I won't name him here of course).

    So AS maintains the same story throughout the book, which is that the pub landlord found SJL's items on the pub front steps late on the Friday night before she went missing. SJL had been to the nearby Mossops restaurant with AL although AL claimed that they had NOT been into the pub.

    Late in the book, AS describes that, following a very thorough review of the case which found that no witnesses had been missed out, a year after SJL disappeared the police reinterviewed everyone again to see if anything fresh could be thrown up.

    As part of the interviews the police spoke again to CV, who AS describes as the acting landlord of the pub. AS once again reiterates that CV, the acting landlord, found SJL's items on the Friday night. Remember that he was interviewed first right after the events and this was his story then--he then called the bank on the MOnday morning. If he had found the items on the Sunday, he would surely have remembered that when he spoke with the police right after these events.

    So it was CV who was present in the pub that Friday night and who found the items then, not on the Sunday (DV I believe theorises that perhaps SJL went to the pub on the Sunday night, or perhaps lost her items when she telephoned AL from the callbox outside the pub, which I think sounds a bit weird, since then they would have most likely fallen out of her bag in the call box? Also why not call him from her house?

    So the acting landlord was already in situ on the Friday.

    Actually this makes more sense when it comes to DV's interview with CV who recalls going out late on the night he found SJL's items to get a takeaway, I think in the 1980s things did close early on Sundays and so even in London it is less likely a takeaway would be open (things have changed now).

    Here are my notes taken from the book on the police interview with CV a year after the events. Note that he brings the story of the two phone calls now, at this stage, they are not something he recalled only when DV interviewed him, this has been his story from a year after SJL disappeared. He was NOT under suspicion at the time at all, came across as honest, he was the one who called the bank to tell them about the lost items, and arranged with SJL (or his wife did) to have her come collect them that evening at 1800.

    "there then followed one curious development which was never satisfactorily explained. CV, the former acting landlord of the PoW pub in Upper Richmond Road--who had discovered SJL's missing cheque book, pocket diary, and a postcard on the front steps of his pub late on the Friday evening before she went missing--talked to police again and this time seemed to come up with some new information. Like most, if not all, the other witnesses in the case, he was a patently honest and straightforward person. He was now 30, and had returned to live in the north of England. SJL had arranged to pick up her lost belongings at 1800 on the day she went missing, he recalled. That afternoon, he now told police, someone who said her name was Sarah had telephoned and left a message for SJL (apparently for when she turned up at the pub) to ring her at a number that he wrote down. Some time later a man also spoke to him on the phone, saying he was a policeman.

    The detectives to whom he told all this were aghast, for they knew no policeman could have phoned CV on the afternoon SJL went missing--well before the disappearance had even been reported to the police. He was adamant, too that he had given the scrap of paper on which he had written the name and phone number to police when he was originally interviewed a day or so later. But the squad certainly had no such piece of paper, which could possibly have been of immense importance. Neither could they place Sarah....was teh called actually made by SJL herself possibly under duress from Mr Kipper? Was it a plea for help? Was the policeman who CV said called him really the abductor himself? It was all very baffling especially as the two DCs who had interviewed CV soon after SJL went missing strongly insisted they were not given any such piece of paper. The two men were valued and trusted members of the team, and finally the senior detectives concluded that, as in the case of so many others, CV's memory was playing tricks."
     
  15. Konstantin

    Konstantin Active Member

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    In that reconstruction, MG is shown visiting Shorrolds Road with a male colleague and not actually going into the property, but we know that he also talked to the neighbour, who is not shown talking to him in the reconstruction, so how accurate was it?
     
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  16. WiseOwl

    WiseOwl Well-Known Member

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    Well as MG actually took part in the reconstruction one would think that it should be an accurate portrayal of what happened that day. Maybe they did film scenes with MG going into the property & speaking to the neighbour but for some reason these were edited out of the reconstruction that was aired - maybe for time purposes?

    There is one glaring inaccuracy however. In the scene where Suzy leaves the office at 12.40, in the background you can clearly see MG sitting at a desk. We know he wasn't in the office at the time Suzy left (he was at the Crocodile Tears) so why did he choose to insert himself in this scene? He should have told the show's producers he wasn't in the office at the time and declined to take part in this part of the reconstruction.

    In DV's book he speaks to MG a couple of times but at no time does MG mention either speaking to the neighbour or going inside the property. He remembers going to the property and knocking on the door but surely he would have remembered going inside as well?
     
  17. Konstantin

    Konstantin Active Member

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    Well, this is another interesting point.

    The AS book seems clear that MG did go inside it as it states he checked inside and outside. And in fact if you were concerned your colleague may be lying injured, harmed, or sick inside a property she was showing then you would be very negligent if you went all the way there to check, and didn't hunt for her inside, since as you can see on Google maps it is a house with more than one floor, and peering through the window is not going to help you check the two upper floors or in back rooms. So I would assume MG and whoever he went with really did check inside. It makes zero sense to just try to knock on the door and peer through a window, since if SJL was hurt or worse she could hardly answer.

    Which suggests that when he went there, he took a set of keys. Otherwise he could only have made a cursory check to see if he could see SJL through the front window, see if her car was in the street, or see if the front door was unlocked meaning she had unlocked it when she arrived but then remained inside.

    The neighbour was unemployed and at home, and he may have come out to see what was going on when he heard MG banging on the door (if he did--if I were MG and had a set of keys, I would just enter the property and start shouting for Suzannah.
     
  18. Terryb808

    Terryb808 Well-Known Member

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    This adds weight to DV’s narrative regarding the keys to 37 Shorrolds Road, if they had just the one set, MG must have had them when he went to check where SJL was.
    It would also make sense to take a female member of staff to assist you in case SJL inside.
     
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  19. WiseOwl

    WiseOwl Well-Known Member

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    What doesn't make sense is that if MG found the set of keys in the office, he would have known that Suzy couldn't have possibly visited the property that afternoon. Also the other staff in the office would have known as well, so why did no-one from the office relay this information to the police?

    The only thing that would make sense is that there were a spare set of keys to the property, and maybe over time MG and the other staff have forgotten about this? I know it has been said that Sturgis only had one set of keys to their properties but perhaps occasionally one or two properties on their books did have a spare key and Shorrolds Road was one of these?

    It would explain how MG got into the property that afternoon and also how the police were able to access the property on the Tuesday morning.

    It would also explain the set of keys in the blonde policewoman's hand in the photograph DV saw.
     
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  20. Konstantin

    Konstantin Active Member

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    Yes, I see what you mean, the AS book says that MG reported checking both inside and outside the house. We don't have explicit confirmation that he went inside using a key. If I were him and I went to the property and didn't have a key, I would be very worried that SJL might be inside and hurt and not able to respond, and my first action would probably be to get inside by calling out a locksmith (having done so when I've been locked out once myself, the locksmith managed to open the door without destroying it but I did change the locks afterward IIRC).
    But if there was one set, MG would have known that and twigged immediately that SJL could not have taken the set, thus most likely was not going to the property--that would have surely been something he would have told police.

    However, the AS book says that SJL's colleagues (doesn't say which I think) recalled her going behind a desk to get the keys and then into a drawer to grab particulars.

    Everyone involved were convinced she had taken the keys and that a set was missing, whether this was THE only set, we don't know for sure.

    I am less and less convinced about DV's arguments. His argument that SJL did not take the key and that there was only one set relies on her colleagues being wrong about their claims to have noticed her taking them AND particulars, and for them AND THE POLICE to have found the ONLY set that existed in the office and not make the obvious leap that this means she could not have taken the keys.
     
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