Exclusive: Suffolk Strangler Steve Wright arrested over unsolved murder of 17-year-old Victoria Hall

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Steve Wright seen in a handout released by Suffolk Police January 14, 2008 - Reuters
Steve Wright seen in a handout released by Suffolk Police January 14, 2008 - Reuters

Steve Wright, the Suffolk strangler, has been arrested by detectives investigating the unsolved murder of 17-year-old Victoria Hall in Felixstowe in 1999, the Telegraph can disclose.

The 63-year-old, who is serving a whole life tariff for the murder of five women, was arrested at Long Lartin prison in Worcestershire on Wednesday.

Miss Hall, from Trimley St Mary, went missing on her way home from a nightclub in Felixstowe, Suffolk, in September 1999.

Her naked body was discovered in a water-filled ditch five days later in Creeting St Peter - about 25 miles away from where she was last seen.

Post-mortem examinations showed that she had been asphyxiated.

Wright, a former steward on the QE2, had been living in the area at the time.

Victoria Hall's body was found in a ditch on September 24 1999 - PA
Victoria Hall's body was found in a ditch on September 24 1999 - PA

In 2008 he was convicted of the murders of five sex workers in the Ipswich area which occurred between October 30 and December 10 2006.

He admitted having sex with the women but denied murdering them and stood trial at Ipswich Crown Court in January 2008.

He was found guilty of all five murders on 21 February 2008, and was sentenced the following day to life imprisonment, with a recommendation that he should never be released from prison.

Wright has never previously been arrested in connection with the Miss Hall murder case.

The teenager was last seen alive in the early hours of Sunday 19 September 1999, in Trimley St Mary having enjoyed a night out with a friend at the Bandbox nightclub in Felixstowe.

On the way home she and her friend stopped for some takeaway food before walking back to Trimley St Mary.

Her friend last saw her just yards away from her house, but when her parents woke-up that morning they discovered that she had not returned home and reported her missing.

In 2001 Adrian Bradshaw, the owner of the local Felixstowe Flyer newspaper, was tried but found not guilty of her murder at Norwich Crown Court.

The prosecution argued that Mr Bradshaw had been seen near Miss Hall's home on the night of her murder.

Traces of soil in Mr Bradshaw's Porsche car were found to be similar to soil at the crime scene.

But the jury took less than 90 minutes to acquit him of the charges.

In 2019 Suffolk Police reopened the investigation after receiving fresh information.

A new team of cold case detectives have spent the last two years investigating the circumstances of the murder.

In 2008 Wright was convicted of the murders of five women in the Ipswich area which occurred between October 30 and December 10 2006. The women L-R (from top) Anneli Alderton, Tania Nicol, Paula Clennell. Below- Annette Nicholls, Gemma Adams
In 2008 Wright was convicted of the murders of five women in the Ipswich area which occurred between October 30 and December 10 2006. The women L-R (from top) Anneli Alderton, Tania Nicol, Paula Clennell. Below- Annette Nicholls, Gemma Adams

Suffolk Police said the man in custody was still being questioned but would not confirm any details about his identity, age or where the arrest took place.

A spokesman for the force did confirm that the person being questioned had not been arrested previously as part of the investigation.

The spokesman said: "In September 2019, Suffolk Police revealed that the case – known as Operation Avon - was now a live inquiry again and being fully reinvestigated by a new team of detectives, after fresh information had been received that was not previously known.

"As a result of the work that has been ongoing for the past two years, officers have arrested a man on suspicion of murder on the morning of Wednesday 28 July.

"He has been taken into police custody where he currently remains for questioning. This individual is not someone who has previously been arrested as part of this inquiry.”

On Thursday afternoon a spokesman for Suffolk Police said the suspect had been released under investigation pending further inquiries.

Suffolk Police said they were continuing to appeal for witnesses who may have information about the Miss Hall murder case.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting