Did police unmask the Hammersmith Nudes Killer – and cover it up?
Did certain Scotland Yard detectives discover the identity of the 1960s’ Hammersmith Nudes Killer and keep it a secret?
That’s the mind-boggling question I’ve been asking myself after chatting with a forensics officer of the time who contacted me this week.
Having written a book on the series of six murders and the ensuing failed investigation – The Hunt for the 60s’ Ripper – I received a message from a man called Anthony Phillips, who worked on the case while at the Metropolitan Police Forensic Science Laboratory.
Was the killer’s car traced?
Mr Phillips, who is now 83, discovered the most vital piece of forensic evidence that detectives had during the enormous manhunt – the particles of paint found on the bodies of four of the women who were asphyxiated and left in the open.
His extraordinary account centres on evidence brought to him in 1969, four years after the final murder. He was asked to test samples found in a car boot, which he did.
‘Whoever that car belonged to, he was the murderer,’ Mr Phillips told me.
However, no arrest was made, no announcement followed.
If Mr Phillips’ account is true, it raises huge questions.