Fresh bid to find ‘ripper killer’ who murdered Maida Vale woman in 1972

Amala Ruth De Vere Whelan was murdered in November 1972

Amala Ruth De Vere Whelan was murdered in November 1972 - Credit: Archant

Police have launched a fresh bid to find the killer of a young woman who was murdered in her Maida Vale flat 44 years ago.

Amala Ruth De Vere Whelan was brutally beaten, raped and strangled to death with a stocking at her address in Randolph Avenue on November 12, 1972.

The 22-year-old’s body was found a few days after she was murdered and her killer sprayed the word ‘ripper’ on the wall of her lounge using detergent from a washing up liquid bottle.

Detectives investigating her killing at the time believed Miss De Vere Whelan either knew her killer or had allowed him access to the flat as there were no signs of a forced entry.

The case has remained unsolved as a full forensic and fingerprint examination failed to link to a suspect.


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Today police have renewed an appeal for anyone with information to come forward.

They are also keen to trace Miss De Vere Whelan’s younger sister who would be now be aged around 56 years of age.

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Miss De Vere Whelan had lived at her flat for three weeks before she was murdered prior to that she working and lodging at The Bar Lotus on Regents Park Road, Camden.

Detective Inspector Susan Stansfield, who has launched the fresh bid to catch the killer, said: “More than 44 years have now passed since Amala’s death but I am convinced that someone, somewhere, knows the circumstances of her brutal murder.

“It was a long time ago but I’m sure there are people in the local area who remember Amala’s murder.

“Did you live in the vicinity of Randolph Avenue in the early 1970s? Did you see or hear anything suspicious on 12 November 1972?”

She added: “Amala suffered a brutal death and the identity of the suspect has remained a mystery.

“She was a very popular and attractive female who had a wide social network of friends. She was an active member of the CND party, and had numerous friends in the art world.

“If you have any information, no matter how insignificant you think it might be, please come forward. Maybe you didn’t contact police at the time as you were too scared, but with the passage of time now feel able to tell us what you know in confidence.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 020 7230 4294 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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