John David Guise Cannan is a convicted violent rapist, kidnapper and murderer. Cannan was convicted of the kidnap and murder of Bristol woman Shirley Banks, plus two other rapes. He attempted to abduct a woman called Julia Holman. He is the prime suspect in the still longtime disappearance of estate agent Suzy Lamplugh, but there was insufficient evidence to charge him. He is also suspected of the murder of Sandra Court, and of arranging the murder of Bath girl, Melanie Hall.
Cannan was born on February 20th 1954, and his prelediction for sexual assault began in 1968, when at the age of 14, he indecently assaulted a woman whilst she was in a phone box. Nothing more was heard of Cannan, and he married in 1978 and had a child, but two years later, he had a girlfriend, Daphne Sargent, but in December 1980, she ended her relationship, for which Cannan sexually assaulted her. Then in February 1981, he robbed a petrol station at knifepoint. The following month, he attempted to rob a knitwear shop at knifepoint, but his resulting actions showed the increasingly sick nature of his perversions. The shop assistant was joined in the shop by her mother who was minding her child. Cannan tied up the mother and then threatened to stab the baby if she did not submit. He then raped her. Fleeing the shop, Cannan was chased by two members of the public but they lost him. They did find a bloodied knife and bag, dropped by Cannan, who was soon arrested by Police. They found his black BMW nearby, and inside they found rope and an imitation handgun.
Cannan was convicted in June 1981 and sentenced to eight years, in which he served five. Between 1979 & 1981, there was a series of rapes across the West Midlands, known as the "House for sale "rapes which ceased once Cannan was incarcerated. In 1986, Cannan was on day release from Wormwood Scrubs, and it was during this, that estate agent Suzy Lamplugh went missing after going to meet a client "Mr Kipper" and was never seen again. Whilst on temporary release, Cannan began an affair with a solicitor but she ended it, but as a result, both she and her family were threatened by Cannan. When he was finally released from prison, Cannan raped a woman at Knifepoint in Reading in October 1986. DN A profiling was in it`s early stages and was not conclusive enough, and Cannan provided an alibi that he was in his home town of Sutton Coldfield. He was released, and it was not for another two years before it was retested. With DNA technology slowly advancing, it did give a match for Cannan, but before this Cannan continued his violence towards women.
In 1987, he attempted to abduct Julia Holman from a carpark at gunpoint, but despite the fact that he was armed, she successfully fought him off. She identified him to Police, but the next day, Cannans` sick obsessions went beyond the pale. He abducted a textile factory manager, 29 years old newly wed Shirley Banks on October 8th 1987. She did not return home so her husband searched bars and any of her haunts but nobody had seen her. The next morning, he phoned her works who said she had phoned in saying she was sick. Enquiries by Police cleared her husband of any involvement and they came upon Cannan. They searched his car and found the tax disc of Shirley Banks` car, in the glovebox. Her Mini Clubman car was found in the garage of the block of flats where he lived. It had been resprayed. Cannan claimed he bought it from a guy. He was bailed from Warwick Police Station but he was then arrested by Bristol Police over Shirley Banks. They also were to question him as Julia Holman picked out of an identification line-up.
A 69 years old woman came forward and said that she saw a small fire in a copse close to Cannans` home, and said she heard a woman saying "no, no" and a man screaming "I warned you what I would do". She shouted and a dark and curly haired man emerged from the copse and lunged at her. Cannan has dark, curly hair. Police were initially sceptical about this, but later admitted she may have witnessed something. Documents from Cannans` flat revealed a print belonging to Shirley. They also found a cleaners stub for a shop in Sutton Coldfield. Tracing the shop, Police discovered that the raincoat Cannan took in for cleaning, had red marks on it. Cannan claimed it was red mud, after a tryst in a field.
On December 23rd 1987, Cannan was charged with the kidnap and murder of Shirley Banks. Shirley Banks had made the call, presumably from Cannans` flat, and only because it was believed that Cannan assured her he would release her. Her body was discovered on 4th April 1988, by a woman, in an unfortunately named ditch known as "Dead Womans` Ditch" at Quantock Hills. The pathologist, the eminent Bernard Knight concluded she had been murdered by repeated blows to her head with a rock. In April 1989, Cannan was sentenced to a minimum of thirty five years for the kidnap and murder of Shirley Banks and the two rapes, in the shop and at Reading. He is now on a whole life tariff, but still maintains he is a completely innocent man.
Cannan is the prime suspect in the Suzy Lamplugh disappearance, as many details of the man seen with her and what he did when meeting women, perfectly fits Cannan. Even old girlfriends of Cannan think he is responsible. He is in the frame for the murder of Dorset woman Sandra Court in 1986, who disappeared from by her parents home in Throop, Dorset. Her body was later discovered in a place with a similarly sinister name as where Shirley Banks was found. On the day she disappeared, Cannan WAS in nearby Bournemouth, and it fits his profile; the abduction of a pretty, young professional-looking woman, no doubt it was an opportune snatch. Then there was the disappearance of young Bath woman, Melanie Hall, whose body was not discovered for thirteen years. It has been claimed that Cannan organised her murder from prison, telling a visitor named Clark about a woman from Bath that was obsessed with him, and talked of the "perfect abduction", but nothing has been positively proven.