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Every unsolved murder in Suffolk currently being investigated by police, including the cases of Victoria Hall and Richard Clarke



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Across Suffolk there remains unsolved murders that police are keen to solve.

Teams in the force work day in, day out to resolve the mysteries and bring their families justice.

A Freedom of Information request has revealed that 17 cases are currently being investigated - with three currently under active investigation - many of which date back a number of years.

Linda Smith was just 12 years old when she disappeared. Picture: Suffolk Police
Linda Smith was just 12 years old when she disappeared. Picture: Suffolk Police

Linda Smith

Linda Smith is the oldest homicide cold case still being investigated by Suffolk Police, as she died more than six decades ago in 1961.

The 12-year-old was strangled to death between January 16 and January 20, with her body found in farmfield off Stackford Road in Polstead.

Linda had left her home, in Earls Colne, on January 16 to make a trip to the newsagents, but did not enter the store and did not return home.

The area where Linda Smith was last seen. Picture: Suffolk Police
The area where Linda Smith was last seen. Picture: Suffolk Police

She was last seen talking to the local cobbler - a shoemaker - after crossing the road in Burrows Road.

Nobody has ever been charged with her murder.

The case is subject to an unsolved homicide review process.

Richard Clarke died after sustaining a head injury. The identity of his attacker remains a mystery. Picture: Suffolk Police
Richard Clarke died after sustaining a head injury. The identity of his attacker remains a mystery. Picture: Suffolk Police

Richard Clarke

From the oldest case to the most recent, the death of Eye resident Richard Clarke remains a mystery to this day.

The 73-year-old died from a fatal head injury on August 22 2009, and Suffolk Police believe that he could have been the victim of an assault at his home in Park Lane/Cranley Green Road.

Richard had visited the Three Horseshoes Pub in Billingford, before leaving in a taxi at 7pm.

He stopped at a Chinese Takeaway restaurant on his way home, before returning to his address in Cranley Green Road at 7.15pm.

At around 8pm, a witness saw Richard in his driveway holding his head. It is believed that he could have sustained the injury by this time.

He was then discovered the following morning.

The identity of Richard's attacker remains a mystery, as does the identity of the witness, who is still unknown almost 13 years on.

Lillian Wright

Initially treated as a missing person appeal, the death of Lillian Wright on April 17, 1980, has been investigated as a no-body homicide since 2004.

Lillian, 55, was known to be a regular bingo hall in Lowestoft. On the day of her disappearance, she left her house to visit the bingo hall in Battery Green Road, but she never made it inside.

She was last seen in her car in Lovewell Road.

Her case was last reviewed in 2014.

Dora Pratt was the victim of a burglary before she was killed in 1982. Picture: Suffolk Police
Dora Pratt was the victim of a burglary before she was killed in 1982. Picture: Suffolk Police

Dora Pratt

Dora Pratt died of her injuries six months after an attack at her shop in Bulstrode Road, Ipswich.

The 76-year-old was found lying unconscious in the doorway of her home, which was also part of the shop, on January 9, 1982. It is believed that she suffered heavy blows to the head.

The assailant's motive has never officially been revealed, but Suffolk Police believe that her shop was robbed, with several items taken.

Around 4,700 people were interviewed as part of the investigation, with customers who visited the shop during the lead-up to the attack interviewed and eliminated from the investigation, one by one.

However, one person could never be traced. A man wearing steel-rimmed glasses has never been found, and was subject to an e-fit released by Suffolk Police.

The suitcases Bernard Oliver's body was discovered in. Picture: Suffolk Police
The suitcases Bernard Oliver's body was discovered in. Picture: Suffolk Police

Bernard Oliver

London-born Bernard Oliver is one of the more grisly homicide cold cases under investigation in the county.

Aged just 17, Mr Oliver's dissected body was found in two suitcases in Tattingstone, near to the Shotley Peninsula.

Bernard left his home, in Muswell Hill, London, on January 6, 1967, to go and see some friends, but failed to return.

His father subsequently reported him missing the following morning. People who did not know about the circumstances had reported sightings of him, but Bernard was never seen again.

Suffolk Police joined forces with the Metropolitan Police to investigate, with national attention fixated on Suffolk.

Officers took more than 2,000 statements from those potentially involved, but to date, no name has ever been attached to the murder of the 17-year-old.

Jimoh Plunkett

As police were investigating the killing of Tania Nicol, one of five women murdered by Steve Wright, their attention was turned to a second murder in Ipswich.

Jimoh Plunkett, 24, was shot in the chest in Zest nightclub after a night of hostility at the hotspot. Three people were also believed to be wounded by gunshots, while another was stabbed.

In 2013, a coroner ruled that his killing was unlawful.

Originally from London, Plunkett was one of hundreds who had travelled to Ipswich for the event at Zest, which has now shut down, on December 9, 2006.

Police believe that his murder could relate to gang violence, but are still yet to trace his killer.

19-year-old Luke Durbin has not been seen since 2006. Picture: Suffolk Police
19-year-old Luke Durbin has not been seen since 2006. Picture: Suffolk Police

Luke Durbin

While treated as a missing person inquiry, Luke Durbin's case has also been investigated as a potential homicide since 2012.

The 19-year-old, from Hollesley, had been for a night out in Ipswich on May 12, 2006, and visited Zest nightclub.

He left the nightclub, before attempting to get a taxi home.

A person seen in the distance on Dog's Head Street on the night of Luke's disappearance
A person seen in the distance on Dog's Head Street on the night of Luke's disappearance

CCTV last captured Luke in Dog's Head Street, in Ipswich Town Centre, at around 4am, but there has been no trace of him since.

Read our in depth feature on Luke Durbin's disappearance here

Jeanette Kempton was last seen in February 1989. Picture: Suffolk Police
Jeanette Kempton was last seen in February 1989. Picture: Suffolk Police

Jeanette Kempton

Another London resident found dead in Suffolk is 32-year-old Jeanette Kempton.

Her body, partially decomposed, was found in a ditch adjacent to the B1518 in Wangford, on February 18, 1989, 16 days after she was last seen.

The Brixton resident was in the Loughborough Hotel pub in Brixton, London, with a man who was known to her on the day of her disappearance.

Despite widespread national attention, her killer was never located.

Jeanette Kempton's body was found here in Wangford. Picture: Suffolk Police
Jeanette Kempton's body was found here in Wangford. Picture: Suffolk Police

Amanda Duncan

The case of Amanda Duncan is one treated as a missing person which could also be a possible homicide.

Originally from Woodbridge, the 26-year-old was last seen in the Portman Road area of Ipswich on Friday, July 2, 1993.

Suffolk Police believe the single mum of two had been working in the red light district of the town at the time.

Amanda was seen talking to the driver of a dark Ford Sierra at around midnight that evening, but appeals to trace this vehicle or the driver were unsuccessful.

Amanda Duncan went missing from the Portman Road area in 1993. Picture: Suffolk Police
Amanda Duncan went missing from the Portman Road area in 1993. Picture: Suffolk Police

Victoria Hall

Perhaps one of Suffolk's most famous murder cases, the killing of Victoria Hall returned to the limelight last year.

On September 18, 1999, the 17-year-old had been for a night out with he friends in Felixstowe.

She left the nightclub with friends to walk home, before going their separate ways at around 2.20am. It was the last time Victoria she would be seen alive.

An arrest was made last year in the investigation into Victoria Hall's murder. Picture: Suffolk Police
An arrest was made last year in the investigation into Victoria Hall's murder. Picture: Suffolk Police

Five days later, her body was found in a ditch in Stowmarket, after a dog walker reported seeing a dummy.

A person was tried for her murder after being arrested in 2001, before the jury returned a not guilty verdict and they were acquitted.

Last year, Suffolk Police said they were making 'significant progress' in their investigation, after it was reopened in 2019 following fresh information.

It was also reported last year that Suffolk Strangler Steve Wright was arrested as part of the investigation, although Suffolk Police did not comment on the matter.

Read our in depth feature on the Suffolk Strangler murders here

The jacket that Victoria was wearing on the night she went missing. Picture: Suffolk Police
The jacket that Victoria was wearing on the night she went missing. Picture: Suffolk Police

Edna Harvey

Aged 87, police believe that Edna Harvey's death is a 'burglary that went wrong'.

On Tuesday, August 28, 1984, Edna was found by neighbours at home in Finchley Road, Ipswich, after they noticed smoke coming from her front door.

Despite their efforts, Edna could not be rescued. Police believe that she may have been assaulted before being set on fire.

Several known offenders were arrested as part of the murder investigation, but to this day, nobody has ever admitted to Edna's death.

Edna Harvey was murdered in her home in 1984. Picture: Suffolk Police
Edna Harvey was murdered in her home in 1984. Picture: Suffolk Police

Unidentified one-week-old baby

On March 11, 1984, one of the Suffolk's most tragic cold homicide cases was unearthed.

Police received reports that the body of a baby had been discovered at Bramford Marshes in Bramford.

Conclusions were drawn that the baby had not died of natural causes - police put its death down to anoxia, a lack of oxygen to the body.

Police said attempts had also been made to burn the body.

Little is known about the baby or its murder, and attempts to trace a couple who were seen nearby are still yet to come to fruition.

Karen Hales died at her home in Ipswich. Picture: Suffolk Police
Karen Hales died at her home in Ipswich. Picture: Suffolk Police

Karen Hales

Questions still remain over the death of 21-year-old mother of one Karen Hales.

Karen, who lived in Lavenham Road in Ipswich with her partner, was stabbed to death on Sunday, November 21, 1993, before the assailant tried to set her body on fire.

The 21-year-old was at home with her 18-month-old daughter at the time of the incident, with her partner heading out to work only hours before.

At around 4.40pm, her parents arrived at the house and were confronted by smokes and flames as they unlocked the front door.

Her daughter was saved from the flames, but Karen could not be recovered, and the person behind the act remains unknown.

Karen Hales' house in 1993 and how it looked in 2014. Picture: Suffolk Police
Karen Hales' house in 1993 and how it looked in 2014. Picture: Suffolk Police

Doris Shelley

The 82-year-old, from Martlesham, lived a quiet life in her small bungalow.

Doris had several people looking after, doing small errands for her. This was as a result of a previous robbery at her home only months prior to her death.

Between 2pm on Wednesday, February 10, 1993 and 12.45 the following day, an unknown individual broke into her bungalow.

Officers investigating the case believe that the 82-year-old suffered a blows to the head.

Several people were arrested in connection with the burglary, but nobody has ever been brought to justice.

Doris Shelley died after suffering blows to the head. Picture: Suffolk Police
Doris Shelley died after suffering blows to the head. Picture: Suffolk Police

Diane Jones

Mystery still surrounds the death of Diane Jones. Her body was found almost 34 miles away from her home, almost three months after her disappearance in 1983.

The 35-year-old lived with her partner, a doctor, at their home in Coggeshall.

On July 23, they went to the local pub for a drink, leaving at about 11pm. While her husband parked their car, Diane went to open their house.

Diane Jones' body was found at a site in Martlesham. Picture: Suffolk Police
Diane Jones' body was found at a site in Martlesham. Picture: Suffolk Police

She went to the front gate, but this is the last time she was seen. Diane was not reported missing for nine days.

Three months later, almost to the day, on October 22, she was found in trees next to the A1093 in Martlesham with a fractured skull.

Further investigation have come to light in the 39 years since she died, and while the case is regularly reviewed, nobody has ever been charged with her murder.

Diane Jones, 35, of Coggeshall. Picture: Suffolk Police
Diane Jones, 35, of Coggeshall. Picture: Suffolk Police

Perry Wenham

In 1992, Perry Wenham was the victim of a violent murder in Ipswich.

The 31-year-old was stabbed numerous times and had his throat slashed. A passer-by found him in St Lawrence's churchyard in Dial Lane, but unfortunately, they were unable to save him.

In a trial later that year, two men accused of his murder were acquitted.

Investigations into his death are continuing.

Anyone with information about any of the cases should contact Suffolk Constabulary on 101.