Forty years have passed since a serial killer committed at least two brutal murders in London, but with a continued lack of suspects, police have marked the anniversary of the first killing by issuing a new appeal for information, according to BBC News. DNA analysis connected the Playboy Bunny Murder to the killing of a schoolgirl, but authorities have yet to uncover the identity of the attacker.
The case began on March 18, 1975, with the Playboy Bunny Murder of 22-year-old Eve Stratford, an employee of the Playboy Club in London. She was discovered at her flat in Leyton, bound with a scarf and with numerous catastrophic slash wounds to her throat. She had been seen walking in Lyndhurst Drive, Leyton, at around 4 p.m. that day, and her neighbor reported hearing calm conversation between a man and a woman in her flat at around 5 p.m. The woman’s body was found by her boyfriend at 5.30 p.m.
Six months later, 16-year-old Lynne Weedon was apparently followed home along the Great Western Road (now the A4) and turned into an alleyway that is known as The Short Hedges. Here, her attacker struck her with a blunt instrument and threw her over a fence surrounding a nearby electrical substation. Lynne was raped and left for dead. She lay undiscovered until the following morning, and died one week later.
The Playboy Bunny Murder and the killing of Lynne Weedon were regarded as separate, unsolved cases until 2006, when DNA analysis proved the same assailant perpetrated both crimes. Evidence suggests that while the attacker was probably known to Stratford, the brutal slaying of Weedon was more likely to be a crime of opportunity, as she was seemingly unconnected to Eve Stratford and was attacked from behind.
The family of the Playboy Bunny Murder victim, Eve Stratford, are known to have died in the intervening decades, but the mother of Lynne Weedon, Margaret, has issued a statement, published by the Guardian, hoping to find some closure in the tragedy.
“It has been 40 years since our beautiful young daughter Lynne was violently taken from us. 1975 seems long ago and it is.
“40 years without her. We have missed out on so much; she has missed out on life, no relationship or marriage, no career or children or even travelling around the world, all taken from her. We are left 40 years on always wondering what it would have been like – a true life sentence.
“We are well aware that whoever murdered Lynne also murdered Eve Stratford. That young lady also had her life snubbed out. Her family have died now. Another true life sentence.
“I will make a mother’s plea for anyone who can tell us some information about the person who took my daughter and Eve Stratford’s lives to come forward. Please, please give us some sort of closure.”
Working on this active Playboy Bunny Murder investigation, DCI Noel McHugh detailed in a statement what authorities have surmised about the suspect they are searching for.
“The man who carried out these murders is now of a different, older generation. I would imagine he must have reflected upon his actions every day over the past 40 years. It’s a heavy burden to carry and he must have let details slip over the years – maybe to a partner, a friend, even a cellmate – and I would appeal to anyone with information to contact us.”
Information about the Playboy Bunny Murder and that of Lynne Weedon can be passed to the U.K Incident Room by phone on 020 8785 8099 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
[Image: Harry Engels/Getty Images]