The murder of 21-year-old model and club hostess Eve Stratford in 1975 remains unsolved but has been linked to the killing of a schoolgirl six months later.
Eve, who worked as a ‘bunny girl’ cocktail waitress at the Playboy Club in Mayfair, was found at her first-floor flat in Lyndhurst Drive, Leyton.
She was last seen by a witness walking alone through the snow near her home at around 3.58pm on 18 March 1975.
Half an hour later another resident of the building heard the voices of a man and woman in conversation followed by a loud thud noise coming from her flat.
Her body was found in her bedroom by her boyfriend Tony Priest when he returned home from work at around 5.25pm. Her throat had been cut between eight and 12 times and she had a nylon stocking tied round one ankle and a scarf round her hands.
A post-mortem examination held at Walthamstow mortuary gave cause of death as knife wounds to the throat.
There was no sign of forced entry to the flat and no weapon was ever recovered.
The case was investigated by Leyton CID but nobody was ever charged and the inquiry was wound down after a year.
However a review of the case in 2004 led to the recovery of a DNA profile from Eve’s clothing.
In July 2006 this profile was linked to the DNA profile of the unidentified killer of 16 year-old Lynne Weedon in Hounslow on 10 September 1975.
Both cases were featured in a public appeal on BBC’s Crimewatch programme in 2007.
In a renewed appeal in 2015, investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Noel McHugh said: “I firmly believe there is someone out there who has information about who carried out these murders.
“It’s inconceivable the killer of Eve and Lynne has kept the perfect secret for 40 years. It’s a heavy burden to carry and he must have let details slip over the years – maybe to a partner, a friend, even a cellmate – and I would appeal to anyone with information to contact us.
“The families of Eve and Lynne had spent decades not knowing who brutally killed their loved ones and they surely deserve some answers.”
Detectives said in 2015 that they believed the suspect for both murders may have known Eve, who had a huge circle of friends and acquaintances and had appeared as a centre-fold model in Mayfair magazine shortly before her death.
The man who carried out these murders is now of a different, older generation. I would imagine he must have reflected upon his actions every day over the past 40 years. Does he feel guilt, remorse, a need to explain what happened? I am directly appealing to that person to come forward and speak to us and make things right for the sake of the families affected.DCI Noel McHugh, speaking in 2015
Police also reportedly investigated possible links to the murder of Lynda Farrow, who also had her throat cut in her own home, in Woodford Green, east London, on 19 January 1975, but no DNA was recovered from that case.
This case is included in our historical murder map of London.
Further details on the police investigation and Eve’s background were reported in The Times in May 2009.