Norwich Prostitute Murders

Welcome to part two of our series of articles reviewing the unsolved murders of street prostitutes in Norfolk and Suffolk, England. We continue to look at the mysterious disappearances and killings, explain what we believe may have happened, and who the evidence suggests was responsible.

We are delighted to be able to announce that we are now working with an experienced documentary maker/producer to really bring this story and others back into the public domain.

Sex workers disappeared from the red-light district of Norwich and were ultimately found murdered, to date the killings remain unsolved

There have been several unexplained murders of young women in the Norwich area, of which at least three of the victims have been street prostitutes.

The first victim of these unsolved murders was 16-year-old Natalie Pearman whose body was found in a lay-by on Ringland Road, some 5 miles outside of Norwich city at 3.50 am on 20th November 1992.

Natalie had been working as a prostitute in Norwich’s red-light district and was last seen in Rouen Road at around 1.15 am.

Natalie Pearman was a bit of a “lost soul” who had turned to prostitution

As part of the murder enquiry, a post-mortem examination was carried out on the body of the 16-year-old and the cause of death was determined as asphyxia. Using forensic swabbing samples of semen were found to be present inside Natalie’s body and on her underwear.

A full murder investigation ensued with more than four thousand people interviewed and a large number of DNA samples taken from men, but the profile from the semen has not been matched.

A general, non-specific search was carried out using the National DNA Database, but to no avail.

Of course, it does not necessarily follow that the semen found was from Natalie’s killer as despite her being an active prostitute it is not known whether she had sex with her killer.

28-year-old Kellie Pratt disappeared on June 11th 2000, she has never been found

The next street prostitute to vanish from the red-light district of Norwich was Kellie Pratt. She was twenty-eight and had moved from her home town of Newcastle to Norwich in her early twenties and had family in the Norfolk town of Great Yarmouth.

Kellie was last seen outside the Rose pub on the corner of Queens Road and City Road, Norwich at around 11.20 pm. She had received a telephone call on her Nokia mobile telephone at 11.30 pm and told the caller that she was with “a punter”.

The said punter has never been identified and it is not known whether there is any connection between that person and Kellie’s disappearance. Of course, there has been no discovery of a body, but because the disappearance is within the timeline of other Norwich prostitute murders it is assumed that she was almost certainly murdered.

There have been quite a few possible leads in this case over the last 21 years including areas being searched with cadaver dogs but despite this, Kellie Pratt has never been found.

Unfortunately, most sex workers lead a very difficult and chaotic life, but Kellie didn’t know many people from Norwich as she was not a local girl.

The final one of the three street prostitutes, (as far as we are aware) was Michelle Bettles. I published a separate article on that case which you can read here

Norfolk Constabulary file picture of 22-year-old Michelle Bettles who vanished from the streets of Norwich in March 2002 at the start of Easter weekend

Michelle Bettles was 22-years-old when she disappeared from the red-light district of Norwich in March 2002 and was found dead in woodlands at Scaming, near Dereham, Norfolk just three days later, she had been strangled.

Dereham is approximately twenty miles from Norwich city centre and it is thought Michelle’s killer may well have killed her, before taking her body to the deposition site

These three murders could have been the work of three separate killers, but it is extremely unlikely. The chances are all three of these young women’s disappearances and murders were the responsibility of the same man.

Police say that the most obvious suspect, the Suffolk strangler, Steve Wright is not likely to have been responsible for these killings, but we strongly disagree and feel that vital clues and evidence have been overlooked, simply because these unfortunate young women were prostitutes.

Steve Wright, aka the Suffolk strangler, was convicted of five murders on 14th January 2008. All five of his victims were street prostitutes from Ipswich, Suffolk

Wright had local connections to both Norfolk and Suffolk, including being the landlord of a public house in 1986/87 that was in the heart of Norwich’s red-light district. The Ferry Boat Inn has now closed down but was frequented by many local sex workers as well as the street area outside being used by prostitutes to ply their trade.

The former Ferry Boat Inn, where Steve Wright was the landlord

Steve wright did leave the region for a while and so far as I can establish no disappearances or killings of prostitutes took place whilst he was living in Kent and London. When he returned to the region of East Anglia things happened again.

There was also another prostitute murder in the region, in Ipswich in 1993, but I am yet to be able to gather enough evidence to really consider whether that could have been linked to Steve Wright.

If anyone does have information with regard to Amanda Duncan who disappeared from the Ipswich red-light district at around midnight on July 2nd 1993, please get in touch.

Amanda Duncan was 26 when she disappeared from Ipswich, she has never been found

Amanda left her home in Balliol Close, Woodbridge that evening and made her way to a property in London Road, Ipswich at around 11.10 pm to arrange a drug deal. She was supposed to return after she had finished working as a prostitute but never returned. She was then given a lift by someone from London Road to Portman Road and was expected to be picked up again about an hour later but when the lift arrived she was nowhere to be seen.

This may not be connected to Wright as when police visited Amanda’s home in Balliol Close, they discovered a note which was unsigned but it threatened that if she did not “pay-up” for a drug deal then her life was in danger. Whether this was connected to her disappearance we cannot be sure at this juncture.

Interestingly Steve Wright lived in London Road, Ipswich in 2005 and whilst that was much later we would like to establish if he may have had contacts there as early as 1993. Once again if anyone reading this has any information in regard to this point do get in touch.

As mentioned earlier, Lolly True Crime World is working with a highly experienced documentary producer to undertake a deep-dive investigation of the case of the Suffolk strangler and whether he may well also have been responsible for other murders, including those of the Norwich prostitutes mentioned in this article

We will be publishing more articles on this case as we go deeper and dig down into the dirt that previous investigations have ignored or at least failed to get to the bottom of.

The young women whose disappearances and murders remain unsolved deserve justice and so do their families left behind. It is not right that so many cases remain cold and unsolved.

You can help us by sharing this work via social media and your sites. We really appreciate your assistance in getting to the truth.

You can contact the documentary team themselves at:

Documentaries@lollytruecrimeworld.co.uk

or you can contact me:

lolly.adams@lollytruecrimeworld.co.uk

or

Lolly-truecrime@pm.me

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Lolly True crime

Lolly True crime

Lolly’s True Crime World cold case review specialists, researchers, and Unsolved crime investigation is our passion. Buy me a coffee https://www.buymeacoffee.co