Steve Wright - The Suffolk Strangler
"The only way I can describe it, is to say he was a real Jekyll and Hyde character. He definitely had a psycho side to him.”
Elizabeth Roche, Neighbour to Steve Wright and his wife in 1987.
The Telegraph, 21 Feb 2006
It is 1958 and Steve Gerald James Wright is born in the Norfolk village of Erpingham, as the second of four children of military policeman Conrad and veterinary nurse, Patricia. As an army family, the Wright family moves around, living in Malta and Singapore.
His mother walks out when Wright is eight years old. It would be 26 years until they see each other again. His father remarries and Wright has a good relationship with his stepmother, staying with them when his own relationships break down.
Starting what would be a pattern for Wright, he moves from job to job. As a school -leaver, he joins the Merchant Navy, working as a chef. Wright would be married and divorced twice, with domestic violence becoming a feature of his relationships with women.
When Wright marries Diane Cassell in Braintree in 1988, neighbours would bear witness to Wright’s violence towards Diane, talking about the way her husband could switch from normal conversation to strangling his wife until people around would make him stop.
In the later 1980’s his addictive behaviour manifests itself; while managing a pub in South London, debts come to light. Wright is sacked from this job over gambling and heavy drinking. He is convicted of theft in 2001, stealing £100 to pay off his gambling debts. It seems this was his only criminal conviction prior to the murders. Police enter Wright’s DNA on the national database. It was to prove crucial to his arrest for the Suffolk murders.
Wright tries to commit suicide, first by carbon monoxide poisoning in his car in the mid-1990s; secondly in 2000, by an overdose of pills. Observers would talk about Wright’s growing appetite for prostitutes. This would take him from Thailand to the streets of Norwich and eventually to Ipswich’s red light district and becoming one of worst series of killings ever witnessed in the UK.