Karen Hales


Karen Hales; cold case

Read the 25th Anniversary appeal

Karen Hales – Operation Lavenham

Karen Hales was a 21-year-old woman living in Lavenham Road, Ipswich, with her partner and their 18-month-old daughter.

On Sunday 21 November 1993 Karen Hales was stabbed to death in her home in Lavenham Road, Ipswich and an attempt had been made to set her body alight – in the presence of her young daughter.

On the day she was murdered there was at least two inches of snow on the ground and although it was not exceptionally cold, there were few people on the streets. Darkness fell that day around 4pm and Karen and her daughter were alone in the house, her partner having left for work earlier.

Shortly before 4.40 pm Karen’s parents called at the house and entered through the unlocked front door. They were confronted with smoke and flames within the house and found that Karen had been stabbed and an attempt made to set her alight.

Original Investigation

Despite extensive media attention over a long period of time, together with the huge investigation, which was carried out, Karen’s killer was not identified.

Since that time, the case has been subject to regular reviews and further media coverage, but this horrific case remains unsolved.


Karen Hales; house

Home address of Karen Hales Nov 1993 & Sept 2014

 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.

 Current Progress

 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.

Contact details

Senior Investigating Officer: Detective Chief Superintendent Andy Smith

Email: [email protected]