In December 2006 the bodies of five young women were discovered around the Suffolk town of Ipswich. All of the victims worked as prostitutes and had been targeted by a regular punter, Steve Wright.
Steve Wright was born to a military family in Norfolk in 1958.
He married young, at 20. But he couldn’t make the marriage work, so looking for a new start, he took a job on the QE2 working as a steward.
And where he first got his taste for prostitutes.
He’d visit them in massage parlours when the ship docked, safe in the secrecy of being a stranger in each new town.
It was a habit he couldn’t break, even when he married again in 1987 and settled down as the landlord of a Norwich pub.
The pub was in the heart of the city’s red light district.
After closing time, he’d trawl the streets looking for women.
To his delight, he found he could buy sex from them for as little as £20.
He even got a thrill out of dressing up as a prostitute himself, in stilettos, PVC mini skirts, and a wig.
Other times, he’d drive around looking for women.
But he was weird, and the prostitutes were scared of him.
One working girl recalled that if you refused to get into his car and give him sex, he’d take all his clothes off and sit behind the wheel with his headlights on.
To the outside world, he was a normal bloke who ran a pub with his wife. But at night, he became a man who seemed to enjoy taunting prostitutes and scaring them.
Unsurprisingly, Wright was unable to stick at his second marriage either, his wife reporting that he was violent towards her.
After that, there was another failed relationship. He started drinking, gambling, visiting Thailand and lavishing local prostitutes with gifts.
There was also a criminal conviction for theft in 2001 at a Felixstowe hotel, where he was working behind the bar.
Wright’s life was spiralling out of control. He was heavily in debt. And he tried to take his own life twice.
Next he met another woman, and they moved in together in Ipswich. She worked shifts at a call centre, often leaving Steve alone at night.
It was then the murders started.
It was October 2006 was his first known kill was Tania Nicol, 19. She was strangled and her naked body dumped just outside the town.
Over the next six weeks, Steve Wright killed four more times, taking the lives of Gemma Adams, Anneli Alderton, Annette Nicholls and Paula Clennell.
The women’s bodies were found in countryside around Ipswich, stripped naked and, in two cases, arranged in the shape of a cross
Anneli and Paula were both strangled, earning Steve the nickname the Suffolk Strangler in the media as the manhunt continued.
Known the women who worked the Ipswich red light district, Steve Wright was already a suspect for the task force hunting the serial killer.
But finally police were able to find a forensic link between the victims and Steve Wright, who was on the DNA database from his earlier theft conviction
Five innocent women were dead. But Steve Wright’s six week murder spree was over.
He was found guilty on five counts of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. The Suffolk Strangler is never to be released.