A GRAINY CCTV image of a white van seen where murdered teen Victoria Hall‘s body was found may have prompted cops to arrest Suffolk Strangler Steven Wright 22 years on.
The 63-year-old, who is already serving a life sentence for the murders of five women, was arrested over Victoria’s death at Long Lartin prison in Worcestershire on Wednesday.
The CCTV image was taken roughly three weeks after 17-year-old Victoria was killed in 1999.
It shows a grainy figure get out of a van before walking around and driving off at 12.34 on October 7 that year.
The clip was captured after cops set up a camera with the intention of catching the killer if he returned.
At the time, it appears Suffolk Police did not follow up or identify the driver.
The information was made public for the first time on BBC Crimewatch in 2019, which staged a reconstruction of Victoria’s abduction.
The Daily Mail reports that a member of the public with extensive knowledge of the case contacted Crimewatch after seeing the CCTV on the BBC.
He said the van was identical to the one owned by Wright at the time and the man closely resembled his profile, age and height.
Victoria Hall was last seen on September 19, 1999, after a night out with pals at a nightclub in Felixstowe, Suffolk.
But the teen never returned home with her body discovered five days later in a water-filled ditch 25 miles away near Stowmarket.
None of her clothes or possessions have ever been found.
Wright, a former steward on the QE2, had been living in the area at the time.
In 2008 he was convicted of the murders of five sex workers in the Ipswich area which took place between October 30 and December 10 2006.
He admitted having sex with the women but denied murdering them.
He was found guilty at Ipswich Crown Court of all five murders on 21 February 2008, and was sentenced the following day to life imprisonment.
It was recommended that he should never be released.
Wright has never previously been arrested in connection with Victoria’s case.
Schoolgirl Victoria, who was studying for her A-levels at Orwell High School, Felixstowe, had not been sexually assaulted.
In November 2001, a businessman was cleared of her murder after a two-week trial at Norwich Crown Court.
A fresh probe was launched in 2019 after new evidence came to light.
Victoria was walking home from the Bandbox nightclub with best friend Gemma Algar in the early hours of the morning when she vanished.
The pair had stopped at a takeaway before saying goodbye at 2.30am just 300 yards from Victoria’s home.
Gemma later heard screams but believed someone was messing around.
Her parents woke up the next morning and realised Victoria had not come home – and alerted the police.
Tragically Victoria’s body was discovered on September 24.
22 YEARS LATER
Unseen CCTV was released as part of the new murder probe as Victoria enjoyed her night out with Gemma.
Speaking in 2019, Victoria’s dad Graham said: “They are sifting through those calls but it’s a painstaking thing.
“It gives us hope. Don’t forget it’s 20 years, it’s a long while, but there’s hope still.”
Cops are continuing to ask anyone with information about Victoria’s death to contact the Major Investigation Team on 0800 092 0410 or 0207 158 0124 or through the portal here.
Last year Detective Chief Superintendent Eamonn Bridger said: “We still believe there are people out there who will know something very significant about this case, but have still as yet not told us.
“It is never too late to come forward and we are ready to take their call.
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“We know allegiances can change over the years and someone who may have been compelled to keep a secret to protect another person may no longer feel the same obligation.
“Any information we are given will be treated with the utmost confidence.
“Please help us to solve this shocking crime and provide Victoria’s family the answers they deserve.”