Second man held in killings in England


Police arrest suspect in 5 prostitutes' deaths

December 20, 2006|By Janet Stobart | Janet Stobart,LOS ANGELES TIMES

LONDON -- British police arrested a second suspect yesterday in the killings of five women who worked as prostitutes in eastern England.

Detective Chief Supt. Stewart Gull of the Suffolk County police said a "48-year-old man was arrested at his home address in Ipswich at approximately 5 a.m. this morning. He has been arrested on suspicion of murdering all five women: Gemma Adams, Tania Nicol, Anneli Alderton, Paula Clennell and Annette Nicholls."

The suspect was not identified by police, who had also refused to release the name of a suspect arrested Monday. Neither man had been formally charged. Police sought court permission yesterday to hold the first man for 36 more hours while the investigation continues.

Police officials asked that British news media refrain from naming individuals involved in investigations. Despite the plea, the press quickly identified the second man as Stephen Wright.

Newspapers and television reported this week that the first suspect arrested was Tom Stephens, identified as a supermarket worker and a part-time taxi driver. Stephens had given earlier interviews to the BBC and The Sunday Mirror acknowledging that he knew all five victims, had been a habitual client of prostitutes in Ipswich, and was a possible suspect who matched the police profile of the killer.

"I know I am innocent. But I don't have alibis for some of the time," he told an interviewer.

Yesterday, police cordoned off an area of London Road near the red-light district of Ipswich. Neighbors reported seeing a man being escorted out of a house about 5 a.m., and police activity there and at Stephens' home in the nearby village of Trimley St. Martin was shown on televised news reports throughout the day.

A neighbor of the man led away from the London Road address told The Times of London that police had been giving out questionnaires to residents asking for their physical descriptions and where they were when the women disappeared.

The bodies of all five victims, ages 19 to 29, were found near Ipswich during a two-week period beginning last month. All were reported to be drug users who worked as prostitutes.

Janet Stobart writes for the Los Angeles Times.

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