It was after a shopping trip to Broadmead on October 8, 1987, that Shirley Banks failed to meet her husband Richard for a drink as planned.
The 29-year-old textiles factory manager had used her credit card to buy a new top in Debenhams at 7.40pm before she made her way back to her battered orange Mini Clubman.
But somewhere on route to the car park, Shirley from Clifton, met with horrific killer John Cannan.
The former car salesman with a sadistic mind, targeted women – subjecting them to violent sexual attacks.
And Cannan had a particular type of woman he would target for his crimes – young professionals.
He would pretend to be a businessman, shower women with gifts of chocolates and flowers, but then attack – normally after he had suffered rejection.
His ex-girlfriends – some of whom he had been violent towards – included a Bristol solicitor and other intelligent women.
Another woman, like Shirley, who fit Cannan’s ‘type’ was businesswoman Julia Holman.
The evening before Shirley’s disappearance, the 30-year-old had a lucky escape from Cannan as he tried to abduct her at gunpoint, again in a Bristol car park.
Despite Cannan having the weapon, she bravely fought him off – leaving Cannan’s desires unfulfilled and Shirley his next target.
The first clues to Shirley’s horrific fate, were felt by her husband Richard, then 30, when she failed to return home from that shopping trip.
At 8.30pm she still hadn’t come home and so he began a tour of the couple’s favourite pubs and bars and phoned family and friends – desperate to find her.
The next morning he called his wife’s work place and was told she had called them 15 minutes earlier and said she would not be coming in because of a stomach bug.
But that evening, Shirley didn’t come home for the second night and Richard called the police.
A huge investigation was launched with 150 officers from five forces searching for Shirley in the hope that she would still be found alive.
Her car was missing and police thought it could hold the information vital to the case, which it eventually did.
Some 140,000 man hours were spent on the case, which toyed with the idea that Shirley had simply just upped and left her newlywed husband.
But it was still taken seriously by officers and police searched the Bristol Docks, turned to Crimewatch and looked into links between Shirley’s disappearance and the attempted abduction of Ms Holman a night earlier.
Three weeks after her disappearance Cannan, then living in Leigh Woods, was arrested in Leamington Spa for a knifepoint assault on a worker at a dress shop.
Passers-by chased him down and discovered the weapon and a bag with blood on it. They called police and officers later spotted Cannan with a bleeding hand before finding his BMW car containing an imitation handgun and rope.
He was arrested and also in his car, hidden in the glove box, was Shirley’s car tax disc.
A search of his home discovered her distinctive orange car found in his garage, but Cannan denied any involvement with Shirley’s disappearance and insisted he had bought the car at an auction.
A dry cleaning ticket for a raincoat was also found at his home, which was later analysed and confirmed to have been bloodstained.
Ms Holman was brought into the police station and immediately identified Cannan as her attacker in a line-up.
Police released Cannan’s picture to the media in the hope that Shirley was still alive.
A 69-year-old woman came forward to say she had heard a violent struggle in woods near Cannan’s house, the day after Shirley was abducted.
Police began building up a composite of Shirley’s fingerprints and discovered her thumbprint at Cannan’s flat and he was charged with her kidnap and murder.
Six months after she was last seen shopping, on Easter Day, Shirley’s naked body was discovered decomposed in the Quantock Hills in an area known as Dead Woman’s Ditch.
A post mortem revealed she had been repeatedly hit over the head with a rock, and police believed she had been held overnight and persuaded into calling in sick at work the following day.
Cannan had a history of violence carrying out his first indecent assault on a woman in Erdington, Birmingham in 1968 when he was aged just 14.
But as he grew older, his crimes became more violent. In 1980 he assaulted a girlfriend when she attempted to leave him and the following year he robbed a petrol station at knifepoint.
By March 1981, Cannan committed the first of his truly horrific crimes that showed his most heinous ability. Robbing a knitwear shop at knifepoint, he tied up the assistant’s mother with tights, while he raped the shop assistant and threated to stab her baby. He was jailed for eight years.
But 10 weeks after he was released from that crime in October 1986, he raped a woman at knife-point in Reading. He was arrested and questioned, but provided an alibi, and police didn’t have enough evidence to hold him.
But after his arrest for Shirley’s murder, a reassessment of the DNA evidence, saw Cannan charged with her rape.
A three-week trial in April 1989, saw a jury at Exeter Crown Court find Cannan guilty of Shirley’s murder, raping the woman in Reading and for the attempted kidnap of Ms Holman.
He was jailed for life by Mr Justice Drake, who told him: “You are extremely attractive to some women. But under that there lies a most evil violence and horrible side to your character.”
Cannan’s extreme sexual violence, led him to be named as a suspect in the disappearance of 25-year-old estate agent, Suzy Lamplugh, in July 1986.
Three days before she vanished, Cannan was released from his jail hostel in London. Suzy was supposed to meet a ‘Mr Kipper’ for an appointment when she vanished.
Cannan has been questioned several times by police over her murder, but has never been charged and denies his involvement.
He has also been linked to the murder of 27-year-old insurance clerk Sandra Court by strangulation, in Bournemouth, May 1986, but has not been charged.
Detective Superintendent Jim Dickie has previous said: “Cannan will reoffend. He should never be released. If you look at his profile, I have no doubt he will strike again.
“He has been released from prison before and committed crimes. He is a danger to the female population, particularly the blonde, twenty-something professionals like Suzy. Even if he wasn’t released until he was 60 he would go on to abduct, rape and murder women.”
In October 2018, police stepped up their investigation into Suzy Lamplugh’s disappearance by digging up the garden of Cannan’s family home.