Looking at the life of John Cannan can bring the layman to a number of conclusions. He committed his known first offence at just 14, then nothing officially until he sexually assaulted his girlfriend at the end of 1980, for the horrible crime of ending their relationship. What about the intervening years, were there offences not pursued or not linked to him? Then within three months, he had robbed with a knife, raped at knifepoint and also threatened to stab a baby. He showed consistently what happens when he does not get his way. There were the series of rapes across the West Midlands. Was a concerted effort made to link Cannan to these, as in the Lamplugh case, she went to meet a "Mr Kipper" over a house sale?
The cases of Shirley Banks, Julia Holman, the reading rape, Sandra Court, all were opportunist attacks and abductions, all fitting the modus operandi of one John Cannan, and as we know he was convicted in two. I do have trouble with the Melanie Hall case, as she had a boyfriend and as far as is known, did not communicate with Cannan. Cannan claimed a woman from Bath was obsessed with him, and the tie - in to Cannan is circumstantial. She did fit the pattern of a Cannan victim, and the man thought to have abducted her, sexually assaulted a woman in Bath, one month after the disappearance of Melanie, and was jailed.
There have been a number of claims of confessions to other inmates in prison about where he buried Suzy Lamplugh, but despite intensive searches, her body has not been found. What do I think? I believe he killed Suzy, Sandra Court, was the "House for sale" rapist, but not wholly convinced over Melanie. I believe he committed many more attacks in the seventies, in the intervening years up to 1980 - 1981, that have not emerged. The prison confessions to me, is simply Cannan playing games, knowing somebody will report it and then watching news reports of the searches and him having a good laugh. No doubt in my view, Cannan should only come out in a pine box. He is a compulsive predator and no matter how old he is, women will be in danger.