Dora Pratt was a 76-year-old lady who lived alone and ran a shop in Bulstrode Road, Ipswich, living at the premises.
At about 5.00 am on Saturday 9 January 1982, Dora was found lying on the floor of her home. She had received three heavy blows to the head, which rendered her unconscious. Dora spent several weeks in hospital before being discharged into the care of a relative but died on 6 July 1982.
It was believed that the motive was robbery as a search of the premises had been made and items stolen. On the night of the attack it was particularly cold and several inches of snow fell overnight. On Saturday 9 January Ipswich Town had been due to play Manchester United in a third round FA Cup tie football but this had been postponed because of the weather, though some Manchester supporters were already in the town. All of the customers at the shop during the afternoon were traced and eliminated, with the exception of a man wearing steel-rimmed spectacles who was never found and did not come forward.
Photograph of Dora Pratt’s house
A major investigation was undertaken at the time with significant media attention, resulting in some 4700 people being interviewed, including a number of persons considered suspects at the time but eliminated.
In the intervening years there has been huge progress made in forensic science and that, together with information which may have been thought insignificant or withheld at the time, may hold the key to finding Dora’s killer.
E-fit of suspect
Why has this case been looked at again?
In line with Suffolk Police’s commitment to solving crime this case has been one of a number, which have been subject to regular review. This case now forms part the unsolved case review process and is subject of continual review for lines of investigation that can progress this case.
There may also be witnesses who might, for any number of reasons, have been unable or unwilling to provide Police with information they hold. With the passage of time, those witnesses may now be in a better position to come forward in order to assist.
A review of the forensic evidence has been carried out and the findings are subject of analysis to help provide direction to take the case forward.
Major Crime Review Manager Mr Andy Guy
Email to be [email protected]