Police have said there is no evidence linking Suffolk Strangler Steve Wright to the murder of Norwich prostitute Michelle Bettles 10 years ago.

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They reaffirmed their position on her death as Channel Five was due to screen a documentary in which criminology professor David Wilson explains why he believes Wright, who killed five prostitutes in 2006, could be linked to unsolved killings including the murder of Michelle.

The killing of the 22-year-old, who disappeared from the city’s red light district in March 2002 and whose body was found in woodland 200 yards from the A47 at Scarning, near Dereham, a few days later, will be featured in Killers Behind Bars: The Untold Story tonight.

A Norfolk Constabulary spokesman said: “Since Wright’s conviction, Norfolk and Suffolk major investigations team have carried out extensive inquiries into his activities prior to the offences for which he has was imprisoned. There is no evidence to link him to the death of Michelle Bettles.

“The case into the disappearance and murder of Michelle Bettles remains an open and live inquiry. As such it is subject to regular review, which includes the re-examination of forensic exhibits and inquiries being made into any new information that is brought to our notice.

“We remain in touch with the Bettles family and, as is the case with all cold cases, we will update them if and when we have any significant news.”

In the Killers Behind Bars series – which also looks at the killers Robert Black and Peter Tobin – Professor Wilson examines serial killers’ known crimes to build up a criminal profile and then applies the latest techniques that he teaches as head of criminology at Birmingham City University to compare them to unsolved crimes to see if they can be linked.

His work about Wright took him to Norwich because Wright had previously lived in the city.

About his theory that Wright could be linked to the murder of Michelle, he said: “All I can hope for is that this nudges this case from being cold to hotter.

“I think the key for me is just that I have found her murder to be strikingly similar to what happened in Ipswich and I try to show why that is the case within the documentary.”

Killers Behind Bars: The Untold Story will be on Channel 5 tonight at 8pm.

Anyone with information about the Bettles case should contact Norfolk Constabulary on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

emma.knights@archant.co.uk

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