Steve Wright

Steve Wright, a violent male transvestite, was convicted of murdering five women in Ipswich over six weeks in 2006. He is suspected of being responsible for further unsolved murders of women in East Anglia.

Wright, 49, was given a whole life jail term at Ipswich Crown Court in 2008 for the murder of Gemma Adams, Tania Nicol, Anneli Alderton, Paula Clennell and Annette Nicholls.

At sentencing Mr Justice Gross, said: “This was a targeted campaign of murder. It is right you should spend your whole life in prison.”

Dr Glenn Wilson, a consultant psychologist, commented in The Daily Telegraph that Wright’s motive was almost certainly sexual, and that he strangled the women to satisfy a long-standing fetish.

Wright was well known to women selling sex in Ipswich, many of whom were afraid of him because of his behaviour which included cruising the streets dressed in high heels, PVC skirts and a wig or sitting naked in his car with the headlights on.

Wright had a history of domestic violence against his former wife, Diane Cassell. A former friend recalled that “Steve used to strangle Diane right in front of us. He would pin her up against the wall and put both hands around her throat. There were at least three times when he did it in front of witnesses. It would end when either my ex-husband or I would pull him off or he would come to his senses.”

In 2001, Wright worked as a barman in Kent where he was sacked for stealing hundreds of pounds – he had gambling debts of many thousands of pounds. He received 100 hours of community service for the offence. The DNA sample he provided when he was convicted of the theft was still held on a criminal database and he was arrested when it matched DNA found at the murder scenes.

In 2012, Professor David Wilson, head of criminology at Birmingham City University, called for police to reopen the 2002 case of Michelle Bettles, one of a number of other unsolved killings of women in Norwich. Ms Bettles’ parents told Professor Wilson that just before she went missing she had talked about having a cross-dressing client. At the time, Wright ran a pub in Norwich’s red light district. In Channel 5’s Killers Behind Bars: The Untold Story Professor Wilson described the murders Wright was convicted of as “These crimes were far too practised for someone murdering for the first time.”

In July 2021 Wright was arrested, at HMP Long Lartin, on suspicion of murdering Victoria Hall, a 17-year-old girl who was murdered on her way home from a Suffolk nightclub in 1999. He was bailed pending further enquiries.

*Update December 2023*

Wright was re-arrested in connection with the unsolved murder of 17-year-old Victoria Hall in December 2023. Ms Hall went missing on the 18 September 1999 and her naked body was found in a ditch five days later.

Suffolk police asked for anyone with information about the case to contact them.

*Update May 2024*

Steve Wright has been charged with the murder and kidnap of Victoria Hall in September 1999. Now aged 66, Wright was also charged with the attempted kidnap of a 22-year-old woman the previous night.

Photo via BBC

Media reports:

BBC ‘Steve Wright charged with 1999 murder of Victoria Hall’  archive

BBC ‘Serial killer Steve Wright arrested over 1999 murder of Victoria Hall’

Ipswich Star  archive

BBC  archive

BBC  archive

BBC  archive

Daily Telegraph  archive

Daily Express  archive

Daily Express  archive