Former detective chief inspector Colin Sutton, who career was portrayed in ITV drama Manhunt, said he has “no doubt” the same man killed all three women
The detective who brought down killer Levi Bellfield and was the subject of ITV drama Manhunt is convinced the Playboy Bunny killer has a third victim.
Eve Stratford’s horrific rape and murder has already been linked to that of 16-year-old schoolgirl Lynne Weedon, after DNA revealed they were both killed by the same man.
But former detective chief inspector Colin Sutton, who was played in the hit TV show by Martin Clunes, believes the same man was responsible for the death of 29-year-old Lynda Farrow.
Eve Stratford was attacked in her own home in March 1975, almost four years on in January 1979 Lynda Farrow was also killed in her home just five miles away.
Both women were attacked so savagely their heads were almost severed.
Lynda was pregnant with her third child when she finished her shift at the International Sporting Club and headed home to Woodford Green in east London.
PA Archive/PA Images)
As she arrived at her front door she heard the phone ringing and rushed inside, forgetting to pull the door shut behind her.
Two girls walking by heard a woman shriek before they saw the front door slam shut.
It had been snowing heavily and Lynda’s daughters Sam, 11, and Justine, 8, had returned from school just 20 minutes later, it is believed they disturbed the killer who was still in the house.
They eventually peered through the letterbox after getting no answer and saw their mother’s body face down in the hall.
The 29-year-old had been brutally battered and stabbed to death, but had not been sexually assaulted.
Police found footprints leading to the front door in the snow, the imprints came from size seven wellington boot and witnesses say a man running up the road.
Former DCI Sutton, who was also responsible for locking up the Night Stalker Delroy Grant, carried out a review of the evidence in Lynda Farrow’s case in 2002.
He said he had no doubt that whoever killed Eve Stratford and Lynne Weedon, also murdered Lynda Farrow.
“I have no doubt the same man committed all three,” he said.
“I was quickly struck by the similarities with that of Eve Stratford.
“A woman killed in her own home by having her throat slit? That is rare enough today, in the 1970s it was almost unheard of.
“For this to have happened twice, with identical wounds, within a few miles of each other was just too much of a coincidence.:
During a 2015 interview he said: “It has tantalised and burned in me ever since.
“With Eve Stratford all the evidence was available, which enabled us to send items away for modern scientific analysis.
“In Lynda’s case it was the reverse.
“This was particularly disappointing, as the physical evidence in Lynda’s murder has never been checked for DNA, cutting off an important detection route.
“The fact that the Eve Stratford and Lynne Weedon DNA profile remains unmatched tells us their killer has not been arrested in the past 20 years.
“I have no doubt the same man committed all three murders. Did he die, or move abroad? My gut feeling tells me he is still out there somewhere and still nervous about a knock on his door.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.