Huge boost to catch the killer

VIDEO Detectives hunting Britain's most prolific serial killer today said are determined to catch the killer or killers behind the quintuple murder.On the day the reward to catch the killer was upped to £300,000, police were calling in specialist help from across the country.

DETECTIVES hunting Britain's most prolific serial killer today said are determined to catch the killer or killers behind the quintuple murder.

On the day the reward to catch the killer was upped to £300,000, police were calling in specialist help from across the country.

The News of the World has boosted the bounty on the killer's head by £250,000, bolstering the £50,000 reward offered by Ipswich businessman Graeme Kalbraier.

Detective chief superintendent Stewart Gull told how there was a stark silence when the news was broken that two more bodies had been found close to where 24-year-old Anneli Alderton was found on Sunday.


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He said: “Yesterday's developments were tragic. It was desperate, desperate news.

“I was in a meeting with chief officers just after 3pm when we got the breaking news and there was a stark silence.

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“I had been appealing for Annette and Paula to make contact with us and we knew the very nature of their lifestyle is chaotic and transient and it is not unusual for them to disappear for a number of days.

“We had hoped we would find them but we fear for the worst at this time.”

Police today praised the public's response and continued their appeal for anyone with information to get in contact.

Between 6am and 11pm yesterday the constabulary received 2,199 calls from the public.

Last night three more prostitutes were also reported missing but they have since been found safe and well.

Det chf supt Gull said it was important that anyone who feared for the welfare of a prostitute or another woman should contact police immediately.

He stressed again that the murdered women could have been snatched from the red light district or could have arranged to meet their killer elsewhere.

He said: “The response from the public for our appeals for information has been massive.

“Our task now is to sift through this vast volume of information to prioritise our inquiries into these murders.

“However, it is vitally important that people continue to ring in if they have information. In each of the three murder inquiries we have a significant gap between when the women were last seen and the discovery of their bodies.

“We need to find out where these women were between these times.”

He confirmed it was the biggest inquiry in the force's history and today spoke of the pressure being faced by officers.

Det chf supt Gull added: “It is a crime in action that we find ourselves in and it is developing all the time. It makes the job that much more challenging.

“I am pressured and I think the whole force feels under pressure. It is our responsibility to make sure we provide a safe county and before these tragic events the county was safe.

“These tragic deaths are unprecedented, not only in Suffolk but in the UK. I can't rule out anything and the tragic events have clearly overwhelmed us (emotionally) in many respects both in terms of capability and capacity.

“We need to find the person or persons responsible as quickly as possible.

“Suffolk police are determined to find the person or persons responsible. We have got tremendous support from experts, mutual aid from across the region and the UK.”

Police yesterday uncovered their fifth body in just ten days.

Two naked women's bodies were found 100 metres apart in Levington, about one mile from where Anneli Alderton's body was found on Sunday.

More than 30 officers, including specialist inquiry officers and detectives trained to use the Holmes computer system which forms a part of major investigations across the country, have been called in.

Others with expertise as document readers and exhibits officers have also been drafted in from around the country to assist with the dragnet.

He said: “These are huge inquiries but the extra help could make a crucial difference.”

He tried to reassure the wider public that a normal policing service was continuing for lower level crime.

Already the Association of Chief Police Officers has been drafted in, including top experts from Scotland Yard.

The latest victims are thought to be Annette Nicholls, 29, and Paula Clennell, 24, who were reported missing earlier in the week, but have yet to be identified.

Det chf supt Gull said it was potentially more disturbing if the women turned out not to be Annette and Paula, and were in fact further victims.

He also said it was unlikely that the identities of the latest two bodies will be released today.

Speculation among psychologists is that the killer is now playing games with police and could have dumped the latest two bodies within metres of the cordon set up following the discovery of Anneli Alderton's body on Sunday .

Det chf supt Gull added: “The bodies could have been dumped before or after the cordon went up (in Nacton) we don't know when they were dumped so we have to keep an open mind.

“The bodies could have been deposited recently. The Old Felixstowe Road is fairly well used and I would ask anyone who has travelled it to cast their minds back. If you saw anybody or anything, in particular a vehicle, we need to know the details.”

He urged anyone with the slightest information to contact police, adding: “The wider community will have a view on prostitution and working girls but they mustn't forget that these young women will have families that care for them.”

Yesterday it was revealed that the third victim Anneli Alderton was strangled, however police are still not certain what caused the deaths of Tania Nicol and Gemma Adams, the first two victims.

They have not ruled out the possibility that the women may have been poisoned and are currently awaiting toxicology results.

Post mortems into the latest two deaths are yet to be conducted.

Despite pleas from officers yesterday, det chf supt Gull said the killer, or anyone pertaining to be the killer, has not yet contacted police.

He said if contact was made specialist officers were trained to deal with it.

Det chf supt Gull added that police were not interested in prosecuting kerb crawlers or prostitutes, their priority was catching the killer.

He said they had a number of lines of inquiry they were following up and several people were helping them with their inquiries but no warrants have been executed and no cars seized in relation to the inquiry.

Asked if the killer is likely to have taken the latest victims from the streets, despite the high police presence, he added: “Clearly the timeline under which these girls disappeared is crucial to us. I can't exclude anything.

“However, a number of prostitutes do operate off street via mobile phone calls or other methods.”

Although it is likely all five murders are linked, det chf supt Gull would not be drawn on whether it was the same murderer.

He said linking the murders now could create problems in future legal proceedings.

However he added there was “a symmetry” between the murdered girls, pointing out they were all prostitutes whose bodies were dumped naked away from the scene of their murders.

Officers are still appealing for information about any of the women's clothing and have retrieved clothing from some locations but police cannot confirm if any of it is connected with the inquiry.

However, it is still not known what the last three victims were wearing.

Tests are currently being conducted on trainers found outside the Wilco garage in Norwich Road, Ipswich to ascertain if they belonged to Gemma Adams.

n. How do you feel about the developments? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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