Amala Ruth De Vere Whelan, 22, was found dead at her home in Maida Vale, west London, on 16 November 1972.

She had been raped, beaten and strangled with a stocking.

There was no sign of forced entry at the flat at 61 Randoph Avenue and the word ‘ripper’ had been sprayed on to the wall of the front room with detergent from a bottle of washing up liquid.

Detectives believed she either knew her attacker or let him into the flat, but no suspect was identified and the case remains unsolved.

Amala had worked and lived at The Bar Lotus on Regents Park Road in Camden before moving to the Randolph Avenue flat about three weeks before her death.

She was an active member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and had a wide circle of friends, including many in the art world.

Amala Whelan
Amala Whelan

The original appeal poster stated that she was last seen alive at 10.30pm on 12 November 1972 at the Warrington Public House in Sutherland Avenue, Maida Vale.

She was described as 5ft 5 inches tall with long brown hair and wearing a purple coat and multi-coloured long dress.

In January 2017 a new appeal for information was launched by Detective Inspector Susan Stansfield, from the Met’s Special Casework Investigation Team at the Homicide and Major Crime Command.

She said: “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?

“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.

“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.”

Police said they were keen to trace friends and relatives of Amala. At the time of her death, Amala had a younger sister aged around 12.

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


This case is included in our historical murder map of London.

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