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Due to the graphic nature of this killer's crimes, listener discretion is advised these episodes include discussions of murder, assault and domestic violence that some people may find offensive. We advise extreme caution for children under 13. It was a crisp winter morning on the east coast of England.


Trevor Saunders was out for his regular walk along a stretch of water he knew well, a secluded stream just outside the port town of Ipswich. Bolstad Brook was renowned among local fishermen for its car as a volunteer water bailiff. Trevor was trained to recognize obstructions in the waterway, but he was not prepared for what he saw in the stream that morning.


How strange, he thought, staring at the pale, muddy figure. Why would anyone dump a plastic dummy here?


As Trevor waded into the water, moving debris aside, a pit of dread formed in his stomach, fighting the urge to run. He reached out a hand and touched the figure.


Pure horror gripped him. He saw dried blood beneath the nostril and knew that this was not a dummy. It was the body of a young woman in her mid 20s. She was naked and had been in the water for some time back on dry land. Trevor struggled for composure as he called the police.


Trevor had stumbled upon the body of Gemma Adams, a 25 year old sex worker who had been missing for two weeks. She was one of several women who were murdered by Steve Wright. And though she was the first to be found, she was not his first victim.


Hi, I'm Greg Polson.


This is Serial Killers, a Spotify original from podcast. Every episode we dive into the minds and madness of serial killers. Today, we're exploring the horrific killing spree of Steve Wright, also known as the Suffolk Strangler. I'm here with my co-host, Vanessa Richardson. Hi, everyone.


You can find episodes of Serial Killers and all other originals from podcast for free on Spotify or wherever you listen to podcast.


Today, we'll look at the abuse and abandonment that shaped right as a child. Then we'll explore the roots of his obsession with sex workers and how his Jekyll and Hyde personality obscured his violent tendencies for many years.


Next time, we'll cover Wright's murder spree, the media frenzy over his crimes and the DNA evidence that brought him undone. We've got all that and more coming up. Stay with us.


Some people believe that everyone has a dark side, a hidden nature that lies somewhere beneath the surface waiting to bubble up and reveal itself to the world.


Some walk among us expertly concealing this dual nature from everyone they meet. But every now and again, the facade slips, the hidden facade is exposed. And when that happens, the consequences can be deadly. But what is it that causes this fracture in someone's personality, if you look to their past, you might just find where the problems all began. Steve writes, Childhood was marked by instability, writes, Father Conrad was a corporal in the Royal Air Force, which was a job that required constant relocation sometimes across the globe within the first few years of his life.


Right. Lived with his family in such far flung locations as Malta, Cyprus and Singapore. Exciting though the travel could be, it created a sense of unease that was only compounded by his parents troubled marriage. In the mid 1960s, when Wright was about six, his family returned to England, settling in the seaside town of Felixstowe. But the returned home did not bring calm to the family. In fact, it was quite the opposite.


Patricia Wright's mother was at her breaking point. Her marriage to Conrad was said to have grown increasingly violent during their time overseas, and she finally made up her mind to leave. She arranged to move in with her sister, which wasn't ideal since her sister lived in Bedfordshire two hours away. But she had no other choice.


Patricia didn't want to leave without her children. She saw how much her young son Steve feared his strict father. But after a hard fought custody battle, she was barred from taking the children with her. Authorities deemed her temporary living situation unsuitable for raising kids, so custody was awarded to Conrad, and Patricia reluctantly left her children behind. She didn't leave behind a happy home throughout his childhood, right, suffered physical and mental abuse that his older brother David described as about as bad as it can get.


Conrad remarried in 1968 when Wright was 10. Unfortunately, the children didn't get along well with their new stepmother, Valerie, who was once their babysitter, despite the abuse he reportedly dished out.


Conrad insists it was Patricia's departure that traumatized his son. His mother's abandonment could have left right with a complex which drove him to search endlessly for a maternal figure to replace her.


Vanessa is going to take over on the psychology here and throughout the episode. Please note, Vanessa is not a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist, but she has done a lot of research for this show.


Thanks, Greg. Losing his mother at such a young age would have had a profound impact on right. Often when we think about loss, we think of bereavement. But what right experienced was more ambiguous. His mother was still alive, but no longer in his life. The psychological term for this is, in fact, ambiguous loss. Dr. Pauline Boss, a family therapist and researcher, defines this broadly as a loss that occurs without closure or full understanding.


In some cases, the lost person may be physically present, but mentally absent, for example, a loved one with dementia. In other cases, the person is physically absent but still alive, like when a person goes missing. That's the kind of loss Wright would have been dealing with after his mother's departure. As a boy, he likely spent hours on the curb outside of the family house, waiting in vain for his mother to come home. But we have to remember, this is only one side of the story of his parents divorce.


Patricia left because her husband was violent and she was forbidden from taking her children with her. Despite Wright's fear of his father witnessing or being the victim of physical abuse by his father likely influenced Wright's personality just as much as his mother's departure. Perhaps as a result of all these factors, Wright struggled to thrive. In 1974, he left school at 16 with no qualifications, and his future seemed uncertain. Soon enough, though, he found his calling at sea.


In 1975, the year after he left school, Wright joined the Merchant Navy at the age of 17, working on ferries and cruise ships sailing out of Felixstowe.


His father's iron fist had shaped him into a shy, withdrawn teenager, but out on the open sea. It seems he flourished, given how much he moved around as a child.


It's no surprise that the seafaring lifestyle suited right? Well, he had a short attention span and rarely stayed in one place or with one woman for long. On board, he developed a reputation as a charming and flirtatious lady killer two years into his time at sea when Wright was 19.


He met Angela O'Donovan. The couple married in 1978 and had a son together, after which Angela settled in Wales while Wright continued working on cruise ships. We don't know much about Wright and Angela's marriage, but it's likely they spent a lot of time apart.


In the early 1980s, Wright landed a dream gig on the QE two, the iconic transatlantic cruise liner, perhaps because Wright spent most of his time at sea. His marriage floundered and the couple split after a reported four years.


It was likely during his years on the QE two that Wright first began using sex workers. The crew was young, eager to experience the pleasures of their numerous exotic destinations. So whenever the ship docked at a foreign port, it was common for a group to seek out the local services of sex workers at massage parlors.


Wright was an enthusiastic participant in these trips and continued to partake even after he had met his second wife in the mid 1980s.


When Wright was about 27, he was passing one of the many gift shops on board. I was drawn to the window dresser. Her name was Diane Cassell.


Wright was smitten throughout the next few months at sea, he swept Diana off her feet, courting her on board and taking her on dates wherever the ship happened to be docked in New York, Australia, the Seychelles, the Everglades.


But even in the honeymoon phase, Diane saw glimpses of her new Beau's dark side. Wright's attention toward her bordered on obsession everywhere she went, there he was. And he had a jealous streak.


One night, when Diane was late returning to their cabin, he hit her in the face, leaving her with a black eye. He accused her of being unfaithful to him, even though he openly flirted with other women in front of Diane.


But in other moments, he was romantic, even chivalrous. After fights, he sometimes showered Diane with affection in an apparent attempt to apologize.


The schism between his two selves was dizzying, and Diane felt unable to stand up to him. By early 1987, when Wright was 28 and Diane, 32, they were engaged.


But Wright had become so possessive that Diane was effectively his prisoner. In contrast to their early dates in exotic locales, he later forbade her from leaving the ship.


When it was docked, she obeyed him staying in their cabin rather than risk a fight until one day Wright brought the fight to her.


When the ship arrived in Hawaii, he suggested that Diane go ashore with some of her co-workers to enjoy the local sights. Astonished, she jumped at the chance. But the moment Diane returned to their cabin that night, she knew she had made a terrible mistake.


Right left a note on their cabin door that accused her of cheating on him. Inside the cabin, she found her uniform cut to shreds, wielding a knife. Wright told her You liked Hawaii that much? I thought I would make you some grass skirts with those words. Right. Lunged at Diane, plunging the blade of his knife into the door behind her. Diane was terrified of him, but felt helpless, unable to end their relationship. Things went from bad to worse after the couple's time at sea was abruptly cut short.


Later in 1987, Wright was laid off from the Merchant Navy. Now 29, he had little professional experience on dry land and was in need of a fresh start. And having spent his entire life either by the coast or out at sea, Wright was ready for a change of scenery.


He and Diane moved together to Essex, northeast of London, and settled into a house there. But putting down roots didn't make their relationship any less tumultuous. Just as his parents abusive marriage had crumbled upon their return to England, Wright's own violent nature caused history to repeat itself on the QE to right had kept his abuse of Diane behind closed doors, maintaining a. Good natured mask for the rest of the world, but no longer, the couple's neighbor, Elizabeth Roche, recalled that Wright used to strangle Diane in front of her and her husband.


He panter against the wall with his hands around her throat, stopping only when Elizabeth or her husband intervened. Recalling these horrifying fights, Elizabeth said, The only way I can describe it is to say he was a real Jekyll and Hyde character. He definitely had a psycho side to him. In a moment, rights abuse finally pushes Diane over the edge. Podcasters, you know, the world can be chaotic and unpredictable, but how far would you go to turn the tides of favor in your direction?


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You can find and follow superstitions free on Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts to hear more podcasts, shows, search, podcast network and Spotify search bar and find a growing slate of thrilling new series to enjoy. Now back to the story in the summer of 1987, having lost his job on the QE two cruise liner, 29 year old Steve Wright was in search of a new beginning. He moved in with his fiancee, Diane, as he searched for work in Essex, near London.


But his violent temper poisoned, their already brittle relationship horrifying their neighbors who witnessed him strangling Diane.


Yet Diane stood by right when a job opportunity came up in the county of Norwich, two hours up the coast. The couple relocated. Wright was to become the landlord of a pub in Norwich, which he and Diane would run together the name of the pub, the ferry boat in on paper.


It seemed almost too perfect to be true. The PUP's name harkened back to right in Diane's courtship at sea, and she saw a glimmer of hope in this opportunity. Perhaps running the place together, building something together could mean their fractured relationship. There was just one catch.


The owners of the pub insisted that whoever ran it must be married. So under less than romantic circumstances. Right.


And Diane finally tied the knot at the reception.


It became clear to Diane that her new husband had only married her for the in. The moment of realization came when Wright turned to her, surrounded by their guests and said matter of factly, I suppose we had better consummate the marriage than. So much for romance. It was obvious in that moment that they were man and wife in name only. Similarly, the inn was a ferry boat, only a name yet for Diane, it soon came to represent the same thing.


The QE two had a prison where her husband kept her locked away.


Right. Even refused to give Diane her own set of keys for the pub at night. After the last patrons left, he'd locked the door and left her inside. If she wanted to leave. Her only option was to use the emergency fire exit, where Wright may have once been remorseful after his vicious outbursts showering Diane with affection, he no longer showed her any tenderness at all. Now that they were married, he seemed to resent her more than ever.


After months of abuse, Diane finally reached the end of her tether. The breaking point came when she discovered that Wright was sleeping with two other women. She'd known for some time that her husband was a flirt. But this was a bridge too far.


One night, the rights through a leaving party for a co-worker at the pub, Diane got a hold of the microphone to make a toast to her departing colleague. Once she was done, Diane announced to the entire room that her husband was having an affair and sarcastically thanked all of the acquaintances who had kept this secret for him.


Right. Who valued control, above all, didn't respond well to this public callout from his ordinarily meek wife.


While the guests kept drinking downstairs, Diane barricaded herself in their bedroom above the pub, but Wright broke in and beat her unconscious.


It's not clear whether any of the party goers realised what was happening upstairs or whether Wright's employers knew of his behaviour.


What is clear is that Wright kept himself busy during this period in Norwich on top of carrying on two affairs outside of his marriage. He was well known to the sex workers of Norwich, not only as a frequent client but also as an unusual character.


Some of the girls knew him as the soldier because he wore camouflage clothing.


Others knew him because he sometimes cruised the streets dressed in high heels, tight skirts and a wig.


According to one sex worker, the local police knew about Wright's bizarre behavior.


The police may have known about Wright, but he wasn't on their radar as anything more sinister than a kook. Nonetheless, his new life in Norwich was nearing its expiration date.


In 1988, he left town having been landlord of the ferry boat in for just five months to write, leaving his life and his wife behind was as easy as breathing after being uprooted so often in childhood and spending his 20s at sea, being in constant motion was probably more comfortable for him than staying still.


Diane packed his suitcase for him when he left her that summer, a striking indication of just how downtrodden she had become after, Norwich writes.


Next stop was a town in Kent where he took a job running another pub. There, he met and began dating a barmaid named Sarah Whitely. We don't know many details about right and Sarah's relationship, but at least for a time, they seemed committed to each other. Together, they moved to Plumstead in East London, where Wright began another stint as a pub landlord in 1992, when Wright was 34. The couple welcomed a baby daughter.


And this wasn't the only momentous event that shook up Wright's world. That year, Wright hadn't seen his mother since he was a child. She had remarried and moved to the U.S. So when Patricia got in touch to tell him that she was visiting England for Christmas.


Wright was startled all those times he sat on the curb outside the family home waiting for her to come back. She never did. But now, almost three decades later, he or she was and despite the festive setting, this wasn't to be a happy reunion, the visit itself went smoothly.


We don't know exactly what was said between mother and son, but Patricia came away feeling pleasantly surprised. They had gotten along well. Perhaps this could be the beginning of a real relationship. But after Patricia said goodbye, Wright called her in a rage. He left a terrible drunken message on her answering machine during which he hurled expletives at her. She was struck by the sudden transformation in her son, who had been quiet and mild mannered during their visit.


This incident calls to mind Elizabeth's description of Wright as a real Jekyll and Hyde character in the famous novella by Robert Louis Stevenson. Dr Henry Jekyll is at war with himself, trying to be a good man in spite of his evil alter ego, Edward Hyde.


Although there is a real psychiatric disorder that involves multiple personalities, dissociative identity disorder or did it doesn't at all fit with Wright's pattern of behavior. According to the DSM five, one of the key criteria for diagnosing did is significant memory loss, dissociative amnesia, where a sufferer experiences gaps in their recall of everyday events or personal information. There's no evidence that right experienced any kind of memory loss or detachment from reality. It's possible, though, that Wright suffered from intermittent explosive disorder.


According to the DSM five IED involves recurrent behavioral outbursts, representing a failure to control aggressive impulses.


Significantly, it's common for people with this disorder to have grown up in households where explosive behavior was on display and where physical or verbal abuse was common. Being exposed to that kind of violence as a child makes it more likely that a person may exhibit similar traits in their adult life, right?


Clearly had aggressive, violent outbursts dating back to at least his mid 20s when he met Diane. But there's no evidence that his relationship with Sarah was violent. It's possible he was able to get a handle on his explosive temper during this period.


If that's the case, though, his mother's visit brought it all roaring back to the surface. The Christmas of 1992 precipitated a downward spiral.


His relationship with Sarah broke down sometime in the following year before their daughter turned one right, started drinking heavily and also developed a gambling addiction which quickly became unmanageable. As a result of both, he was fired from his job at the Rose and Crown Pub.


The double whammy of losing both his job and his partner was devastating for Wright. With a trail of broken relationships and lost jobs behind him, he likely felt adrift, unable to carry on.


In 1994, at the age of 36, Wright penned a suicide note to his now ex girlfriend, Sarah. He opened up about the despair he felt, how much he missed their daughter. He had lost everything. After sending the note, he tried to end his life by gassing himself in his car.


He was found by police and brought to the hospital before he died. And while some people might come out of a near-death experience with a renewed appreciation for life, Wright seemed more haunted than ever.


After leaving the ICU, he returned to Felixstowe, the seaside town where he'd grown up and where his father and stepmother still lived. Wright's half brother, Keith, described a radical change in his personality around this time. Previously outgoing, Wright was now quiet and withdrawn and largely kept to himself.


But Wright wasn't spending all of his downtime alone. His fascination with sex workers never faded. And now, without a relationship or job to stabilize him, his addictions to both sex and gambling spiralled further out of control.


Throughout the mid to late 90s, Wright sank closer and closer to rock bottom. As his debt continued to snowball. He ran up more than 30000 pounds in unsecured loans and credit card charges to fund his gambling habit. Staying in constant motion was no longer working for 42 year old Wright. His natural restlessness and addictive nature left him debt ridden, suicidal and alone with no professional prospects. By the year 2000, Wright couldn't see a future for himself. Despair overwhelmed him, just as it had six years ago, and he tried once more to end his life again.


He survived, but before too long he saw a glimmer of light in the dark. In the spring of that year, Wright found a job as a ticket seller at a local bingo hall, although this might seem a risky choice for a gambling addict. It was through this job that he met Pamela Wright, no relation who worked there as a cook.


Pamela was 10 years older than Wright, but he made her feel like a schoolgirl again. She was unhappily married at the time, but by the end of 2000, she left her husband. A few weeks later, she and Wright moved in together.


Unlike many of Wright's prior relationships, which burned bright and fast, this seemed like a true commitment for Pamela Wright, seemingly swore off paying for sex altogether and devoted himself to a cozy, ordinary life.


It seems that at last, Wright had found the maternal figure he'd been subconsciously seeking ever since his own mother abandoned him.


Pamela doted on him in their new home, cooking him homemade meals like lasagna and shepherd's pie. He found regular work as a driver and laborer and started making an effort to be part of his community, becoming a fixture at his local golf club but writes, Self-destructive and reckless nature could only be suppressed for so long.


His first brush with law enforcement came by 2003, when he was caught stealing money from the arcade where he worked. He moved on from that job, reviving his old pub days by working behind the bar at a hotel. Once again, he was caught stealing money and the owners of the hotel pressed charges. Wright was arrested and the police took a sample of his DNA, which was stored in Britain's national database. Wright's arrest didn't scare him straight. If anything, it was a catalyst to his partner and his friends.


He was a regular guy, quiet, polite, well presented, but in private. Wright was slipping back into old habits. His lust for illicit sex was too powerful to keep at bay. Satisfying that urge alone was no longer enough, and his cravings were slowly turning darker. Coming up, Wright's killing spree begins.


Now back to the story.


After hitting rock bottom in the year 2000, 42 year old Steve Wright finally found what had eluded him for so long a stable, ordinary life. His doting partner, Pamela, jokingly described herself as a golf widow. At the time, she claimed her boyfriend's worst quality was that he spent so much time on the course. Little did she know that after his regular game on Saturdays, Wright made visits to two local massage parlors. Though Wright was happy with Pamela, he couldn't resist seeking out sex from women who charged for it.


It might seem hard to understand why men solicited sex workers if they're in a happy relationship or if they have no trouble attracting women otherwise. But people's motivations for paying for sex are complex, according to an article from Dr Nicholas Westhoff. Some believe that men pay for sex because the relationship is less emotionally risky than with a romantic partner in a regular relationship. Rejection is always a possibility. In contrast, according to gender researcher goondas Schoeman, sex workers accept their clients unconditionally offering intimacy, validation and empathy on demand as a child right couldn't stop his mother from leaving.


It's possible that in response, he grew up with a deep rooted desperation to control women to ensure that they would not or could not leave him. This could explain why he literally kept Diane prisoner, locking her in their cabin and later the ferry boat in. As a client, Wright may have felt safe, secure in the knowledge that his partner for the evening couldn't leave unexpectedly, even in his stable relationship with Pamela, who adored him, writes Jealous Streak reemerged.


If she went out with friends, he bombarded her with phone calls demanding to know who she was with. He even told her that if she ever left him, he would kill himself. Pamela wasn't spooked. By 2004, the couple were going strong and moved together to the town of Ipswich, which offered a more buzzy environment than their suburban life.


And Felixstowe, two years later, in 2006, they moved into a flat on London Road, a street at the heart of Ipswich as red light district. Perhaps because of their new location, Pamela began to suspect that her devoted partner was paying for sex outside of their relationship. But she tried to block the thought from her mind. The. That year, right, found even more justification to seek out sex elsewhere. Pamela began a new job, working night shifts at a call center while right spend all day at his own job as a forklift truck driver at the docks.


The couple were like ships passing in the night, allowing right. Plenty of time to indulge. And though he didn't seem worried about Pamela discovering his secret, he did have another cause for concern in the 1990s.


Writes, Addiction to using sex workers had contributed to his financial ruin, and he didn't want to go back into debt. So when he discovered that women working on the street were willing to accept far lower rates than what he was used to paying in massage parlors, he was ecstatic. His habit was finally affordable.


It became like a ritual. Nearly every evening, right came home from work at the docks, showered and changed into comfortable clothes. He'd eat dinner in front of the television, usually one of Pamela's homemade specialties at eleven thirty PM, right drove Pamela to her job at the call center. He kissed her goodbye, dropped her off, then drove away as far as Pamela knew.


Right. Drove home and went to bed. She had no idea that this nightly drive back from the call center was also the dividing line between Wright's light and shadow selves.


By day, he was dependable, devoted, even boring. By night, he became something else.


Wright was getting bolder and less careful, even bringing sex workers home to their flat.


But now he was craving something more than sex. It was a notion that might have been taking shape in his mind for years, perhaps for his whole life, a fantasy of revenge, of domination and of absolute power over a woman.


As the days grew shorter and darker, he prepared to make his move.


On October 30th, 2006, Wright picked up Tanya Niccolò, a sex worker who used the alias Shantell. A sensitive nineteen year old Tanya once dreamed of becoming a hairdresser but fell into a heroin addiction, which she funded through sex work.


Tanya left her mother's house that night at about 10 45 p.m. and was seen for the last time soon after 11 getting into Wright's car. According to Wright's version of events, he picked up Tanya that evening intending to have sex with her but didn't go through with it.


Wright claimed that he was put off when he noticed that Tanya had acne on her face. So after driving her for a short distance, he stopped the car and told her he'd changed his mind.


After trying to persuade him otherwise, she got out of the car.


Having been in his passenger seat for about five minutes, Wright has never confessed to any of the murders he is charged with. For that reason, we can only piece together a partial picture of what happened the other night that Tanya disappeared.


We do know that he was the last person to see Tanya alive. No one else saw Tanya after Wright claims he dropped her off. In all likelihood, she never did get out of his car alive. Crucially, just before midnight that evening, Tanya's phone disappeared from the cellular network, meaning it could no longer be detected.


Based on that, we can take a guess at how the night went right. Picked Tanya up to have sex with her, as he had done so many times with other women before. But something was different that night. Something within him snapped. It's possible that after he had sex with Tanya in his car, he couldn't let her leave. He locked the doors, keeping her captive. When she tried to fight him, he overpowered her and strangled her to death.


Despite the murderous rage that consumed him in that moment, Wright was calm and methodical. In his next steps, he wore a pair of thick gardening gloves to handle Tanya's body and even to dispose of the condom that used at 139 a.m..


A traffic camera captured right driving out of Ipswich headed in the direction of Bolstad Brook. With Tanya's body likely headed on the carpeted floor of his car, he drove for less than ten minutes, stopping near a mile southwest of town. There, he dumped Tanya's body in the water and was soon on his way home.


When he arrived home, right. Put his clothes straight in the laundry and cleaned his car thoroughly. One neighbor heard the sound of the washing machine running at the dead of night, while others noticed dry cleaning and vacuuming his car in the pitch black street. But after that, all was quiet for a couple of days.


On November 1st, after Tanya had been missing for two days, her mother alerted the police. Her decision? Parents devastated her family and sent a chill through the local community of women who knew and worked alongside Tanya, the sex trade in Ipswich was fairly small.


Between 15 and 20 women worked the area regularly and up to 50 more worked occasionally. The sudden disappearance of one of their own, especially someone as young as Tania, was frightening. Throughout November, local police search for Tanya, releasing CCTV footage from the night she disappeared and asking the public to come forward with any leads. Tanya's mother publicly implored her daughter to get in contact, still clinging to the hope that she had simply left town right. Watch the unfolding media frenzy with a sense of mounting confidence.


The police had no leads. He had been fastidious, he thought, between the gloves and the laundry in the car washing. Sure, his neighbours might think I'm a little eccentric, but there wasn't any chance any of them could suspect him.


He had gotten away with murder. And for a man with an addictive nature, one hit of an adrenaline high like that was never going to be enough. After laying low for two weeks, the craving overcame him on the night of November 15th. Again, we can't be sure exactly what happened that night, but based on the evidence that later came to light, we can piece together one possible scenario a little after 1:00 a.m. on November 15th.


Right. Picked up 25 year old Gemma Adams. Gemma grew up in a loving, prosperous family in a village on the outskirts of Ipswich where she rode horses and was a member of the Brownies. But in her teenage years, she spiraled into drug addiction and isolated herself from her family after working in insurance in her early 20s. Gemma lost her job and turned to sex work to support herself. Right, admitted to picking Jema up and having sex with her around the time of her disappearance, but as with Taniya, he claimed that he dropped her off and had no involvement in her death.


The evidence suggests otherwise.


Jema was likely eager to get home. She rarely stayed out this late and knew that her boyfriend, John, would be worried. But Wright didn't let her leave. He locked the doors, relishing the feeling of control he had craved for so long. Jemma fought him hard, but as with Tanya, he had the height and weight advantage. He put her into a headlock until she stopped breathing right now, knew exactly what to do.


He deposited Jemma's body on the floor of his car and drove out of town.


He headed southwest for ten minutes before stopping along a desolate stretch of road. There, he dumped Jemma's body into the water of Felsted Brook a couple of miles upstream from where he had left Tanya on his way back into town.


Right. Might have driven right past Gemma's boyfriend, John, who was by now driving around looking for her. It was normal for Gemma to stay in touch with John while she worked, so when she failed to answer to texts, he became worried and reported her missing.


By then, Wright was back home once again, going through his clean up routine.


He laundered his clothes, washed and vacuumed the interior of his car and was in bed long before Pamela arrived home from her night shift.


Gemma's disappearance two weeks after Tanya's stoked the flames of fear that were already growing in the town. A large scale police investigation was launched under the name Operation Sumac, with teams of officers combing the streets where both women were last seen.


The ensuing panic drove some sex workers off the streets altogether. Even women who weren't in the sex trade avoided going out alone after dark. The sleepy town of Ipswich now felt charged with danger.


One night, as Wright and Pamela watched the evening news together, an item aired about Gemma and Tanya's disappearance. Pamela commented on how awful it was, right? Put another fork full of food into his mouth, not looking away from the TV. Then he said, they're probably together somewhere.


Of course, he knew only too well that the girls were, in a sense, together, their bodies yet to be found in the water of Bolstad Brook.


Gemma's parents, like Tanya's, had no idea that she was a sex worker. Both families spent the last weeks of November in a state of limbo, unable to grieve. They also struggled to make sense of the details that came to light about their daughter's lives.


Their worst fears were realised on the morning of December 2nd, when water bailiff Trevor Saunders went for his morning walk along the brook, glimpsing what he thought was a plastic mannequin floating in the water.


Trevor waded in to retrieve the strange debris. He reached out a hand and found the figure was cold to the touch and then seeing blood. He recoiled in horror.


17 days after her disappearance, Gemma had been found. An exact cause of death couldn't be established during her autopsy, though asphyxiation was noted as a possibility, with Gemma confirmed dead and Tanya still missing.


Ipswich police weren't sex workers in the area to be vigilant and look out for each other. Across the country, the story began to take hold. Headlines proclaimed the rise of a modern day ripper, a murderer targeting sex workers just like Jack the Ripper in 19th century London, and all the while in a flat just minutes away from where Gemma Adams was last seen alive.


Ipswich is monster was hiding in plain sight. Thanks again for tuning into serial killers.


We'll be back soon with Part two, where we'll explore the peak of Wright's murder spree and the DNA evidence that brought him down.


You can find more episodes of serial killers and all other originals from podcast for free on Spotify.


Will see you next time. Have a killer week.


Serial Killers is a Spotify original from podcast. Executive producers include Max and Ron Cuddler Sound Design by Jay Cohen with production assistance by Ron Shapiro, Carly Madden and Bruce Kaktovik. This episode of Serial Killers was written by Emma Daybed in with writing assistants by Joel Kaplan and stars Greg Poulsen and Vanessa Richardson.


Hang a horseshoe above your door, keep a rabbit's foot in your pocket and follow superstitions free on Spotify, listen every Wednesday for the surprising backstories, stories to our most curious beliefs and thrilling tales that illuminate the mystical eeriness of our favorite superstitions.