05/01/2017 10:41 GMT

'Ripper' Murder Of Amala Ruth De Vere Whelan In 1972 Is Subject Of Fresh Police Appeal

The word 'ripper' had been sprayed on the wall of her front room.

A fresh appeal has been made by police for information to help solve a chilling 45-year-old murder.

Amala Ruth De Vere Whelan was just 23 when she was brutally beaten, raped and strangled to death with a stocking at her flat in north west London on 12 November 1972.

Her body was found several days later.

When officers entered the property, on Randolph Avenue in Maida Vale, they found that the word ‘ripper’ had been sprayed onto the front room wall using detergent from a washing up liquid bottle.

Metropolitan Police
Amala Ruth De Vere Whelan was murdered at her flat in Maida Vale in 1972

Although a full investigation was carried out, no suspect was ever identified.

But now the Metropolitan Police have appealed for anyone who might remember anything about Whelan or the incident to come forward to speak to them.

They are particularly keen to speak to any friends or relatives of Whelan.

At the time of her death, she had a younger sister who was about 12 years old, who would now be about 56. 

Whelan had been living at the flat for just three weeks when she was killed.

Before that she had been working and lodging at The Bar Lotus on Regents 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. 

Metropolitan Police
An original appeal about the crime

“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 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.”

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