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Police appeal over 1972 'ripper' murder of Amala Ruth De Vere Whelan

A fresh appeal has been launched for information about the historic rape and murder of a woman whose living room wall had the word "ripper" sprayed onto it.

Amala Ruth De Vere Whelan was strangled to death with a stocking on November 12 1972 and her body was not discovered until several days later.

Detectives said there was no sign of forced entry to the flat in Randolph Avenue, Maida Vale, west London, leading them to believe the 23-year-old knew her attacker or had allowed the person in to the property, where she had lived for three weeks.

No suspect has been linked to the murder, despite a full forensic examination at the time.

Police working on the case said they are particularly interested in speaking to Ms Whelan's friends and relatives, one of whom is a sister who would now be aged around 56 years old.

The victim had previously worked and stayed at The Bar Lotus on Regent's Park Road in Camden.

Detective Inspector Susan Stansfield, from the Met's special casework investigation team at the homicide and major crime command, 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 (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) 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."

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