New Bodies Found in Hunt for Serial Killer
By RUKMINI CALLIMACHI
IPSWICH, England (Dec. 13) -- Detectives hunting a serial killer were expected to identify the two latest victims on Wednesday, as police warned prostitutes to stay off the streets for their own safety.
Five bodies have been discovered in the past 11 days, and the latest discoveries -- the bodies of two women, discovered at the side of a busy road -- are believed to be two prostitutes who were recently reported missing.
Police have not officially confirmed bodies are those of Paula Clennell, 24, and Annette Nicholls, 29, but Detective Chief Superintendent Stewart Gull said that it was a "natural assumption."
Clennell's father Brian said that he didn't know his daughter had worked as prostitute, and that he was "going through hell."
"I never knew that she lived the life that she did," Clennell told the British Broadcasting Corp. "Somebody out there must know, somebody that's doing this. He's sick, he's got to be caught. It could be somebody's father, it could be somebody's uncle, it could be anybody."
Suffolk police were already investigating the deaths of three other women -- all of whom had worked Ipswich's red-light district -- whose naked bodies were found a few miles apart. One body was found in a stream, another in a pond and a third in the woods, about 30 yards from a road.
The two bodies discovered Tuesday were lying near a busy road near Levington, Suffolk, a village about five miles south of Ipswich.
All five corpses were found within a few miles of Ipswich, a small city about 70 miles northeast of London.
Ipswich only has about 40 prostitutes working the street, said Hannah Besley, a community safety officer in Ipswich who chairs of the city's Prostitution Steering Group. When the first women went missing, most of the prostitutes -- including Clennell, who went missing after the first two bodies were discovered -- kept working, but that's no longer the case.
"It's now gotten to such a critical stage that they are terrified and last night it was very quiet -- reassuringly so," Besley said.
Forensic officers remained at the scene where the latest bodies were found, and a wide cordon had been set up to secure the area. Two protective tents had been erected to protect them from the damp weather as officers worked inside.
So far, police have only been able to determine the cause of death in one of the five cases. Anneli Alderton, a 24-year-old whose body was discovered in a wooded area on Sunday, had been asphyxiated, and likely strangled, Gull said.
Police are uncertain how 25-year-old Gemma Adams and 19-year-old Tania Nicol were killed. Their bodies were both discovered in water and Gull said that has hampered the forensic investigation.
The killings have stirred memories of the so-called Yorkshire Ripper, one of Britain's worst serial killers. Peter Sutcliffe admitted to killing 13 women, mostly prostitutes, in the 1970s. He was sentenced to serve a minimum of 30 years in prison.
His reign of terror recalled Jack the Ripper, the notorious Victorian serial killer who murdered at least five East London prostitutes in 1888. He was never caught and speculation about his identity continues.
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