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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 February 2008, 14:48 GMT
The 'lucky girl' who knew killer
Lou
Lou, who works as a prostitute, was described an 'open, honest person'

As the bodies of women were being found around Ipswich, a woman named Lou became a focus of media attention.

She was interviewed by the local newspaper, the Evening Star, which described "Lou's life of hell" and was a source of quotes for television news.

She knew the women murdered by Wright, and like them, Lou was drawn into prostitution to pay for her drug addiction.

But the 28-year-old said she was "one of the luckiest girls" - as Wright had also been a client of hers.

She said: "Why wasn't I killed as well? You know, what I mean is, because within the time that the killings were taking place I was going to the house with me and him there and doing business with him, the bloke.

"And that's making me think was that him? If that is him then maybe I'm one of the luckiest girls out there."

'Getting wasted'

Lou had a 1,000 a week drug habit. She became heavily addicted to heroin and crack at 20 when her three children were taken away.

But now she is being prescribed methadone, a heroin substitute.

Lou's home was in an electricity cupboard
I started living here (in an electricity cupboard) two years ago, it's crap really
Lou

BBC East followed Lou between May and October 2007 and looked at the efforts of Suffolk resident Frances Harper in trying to find her accommodation and lead her away from her life of vice.

She said that when she went on the streets her main thoughts were "about how quickly I can get out of my head. How quickly I can get wasted".

Lou was living in an electricity cupboard when the BBC first contacted her.

She said: "I started living here two years ago, it's crap really. At least it's out of the wind and rain. It's better than not having a roof over your head at all."

Insight into life

She also spent some nights sleeping in a squat, which she had shared with her friend Paula Clennell just before Ms Clennell was murdered by Wright.

"She stayed two nights and the third night she was going to stay in the front room but there was a dead beetle in there and she wouldn't stay," said Lou.

That was the last time she saw her.

Steve Wright
Steve Wright was found guilty of murdering the five women

Lou said she hoped the BBC East programme, Where Angels Fear to Tread, would "give everyone more of an insight" into her life.

"We are not stereotypical whores. There is someone behind that. Things can only get better," she said.

During the filming Mrs Harper helped Lou find accommodation, but found her efforts were hindered by her need to help fund the drug addiction of her boyfriend Liam.

Mrs Harper told BBC News in January she hoped she had been able to help Lou, whom she described as "such an open, honest person".

"Together we battled with forms and meetings, faced closed doors and frustrations until she was finally offered a council flat in September - four months after I met her - her first home for eight years," she said.

"I became far more involved with her life than I had imagined I would.

"But I always said I had not come into her life to tell her what to do, just to give her a chance, an opportunity. This she has had. Now its up to her."

  • The feature Where Angels Fear to Tread will be shown on 21 February at 2335 GMT on BBC1 in the East.

  • VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
    Friend of the victims describes her struggle with drugs



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