John Cannan

John Cannon
DOB20 Feb 1954
OccupationCar Sales
Kill Total1 ?
Kill PlaceBristol
Kill DateOct 1987
VictimShirley Banks
CourtExeter Crown Court
JudgeMr Justice Drake
Case No:

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1968, at age-14, Cannan was put on probation after sexually assaulting a girl in a phone box.

1980, Now married he started an affair with another woman, whom he then assaulted when she tried to leave him.

February 1981, Sentenced to eight years in prison after two robberies. Both at knifepoint, and in one case tying up a victim while he raped another. He served five of the eight years.

1986, He was on day release from HMP Wormwood Scrubs when Suzy Lamplugh went missing. - (See note at bottom)
Later in 1986, after being released from prison. he was suspected of at least two further rapes, and although arrested and questioned there was insufficient  evidence to proceed.

8th October 1987, Cannan tried to abduct a Bristol businesswoman at gunpoint at around 6:50pm. from a city centre car park, she fought him off.
That same night, Shirley Banks a 30-year-old factory manager was shopping in Bristol town centre, she had arranged to meet her husband for a drink at 7pm in a local bar.
She was abducted by Cannan, somewhere around 7:20pm - 7:40pm.
When she did not show up, her husband searched local bars, and eventually went home but still no sign.
The next morning he called her work place, they said she had called in sick, with an upset stomach just fifteen minutes previously.
This possibly proves that after abducting her, Cannan kept her alive overnight.
29th October 1987, Cannan, still living in Bristol, had travelled to Royal Leamington Spa, once there he held up a dress shop at knife point. Passers-by heard shouting and as Cannan fled they gave chase, and called the police. 
They found a knife and a bag with blood on it. Police were out looking for Cannan, and spotted a man with blood on his hand, they arrested him. Back at the shop they found Cannans' black BMW car, it contained an imitation gun, and lengths of rope, in the glove box they found the tax disc from Shirley's Mini Clubman.
Back at his block of flats in Bristol police found Shirley's mini, previously yellow, but now pained blue, hidden in garages.
Police had various witness statements, and some evidence, but nothing concrete.

23rd December 1987, Police managed to put together a composite fingerprint for Shirley, taking samples from her home and work. They also found this print on a piece of paper from Cannans' flat, he admitted the paper was from his flat before he knew about the fingerprint. they subsequently charged him with kidnap and murder.

3rd April 1988, (Easter Sunday), Six-months after her disappearance, Shirley's decomposed body was only found by a woman walking her dog.
The body had been dumped in a ditch called 'Dead Woman's Ditch'.
She was badly decomposed, but her thumbprint was intact, enough to identify her.

28th April 1989, After ten hours of deliberation the jury found Cannan guilty of the murder of Shirley Banks.
The judge at Exeter Crown Court, Mr Justice drake sentenced Cannan to life imprisonment, with a minimum 35-year tariff.

Notes:- Cannan  was a 'person of interest' to the police in the disappearance of 25-year-old estate agent Suzy Lamplugh in July 1986 and also to the murder of 27-year-old insurance clerk Sandra Court by strangulation, in Bournemouth in May 1986 but he has never been charged with either case

2002, Cannan complain after police named him as a suspect in the Suzy Lamplugh inquiry.

2006, Cannan appealed to the high court to have his 35-year sentence reduced, this was rejected.

Cannan is currently in HMP Full Sutton.

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