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  1. ITV Report

Claudia Lawrence 'may have been a victim of double murderer Christopher Halliwell'

Claudia Lawrence, 35, went missing in 2009 Credit: PA

The disappearance of Claudia Lawrence fits double murderer Christopher Halliwell's "pattern of behaviour", a former senior detective has said.

Former detective superintendent Steve Fulcher, who brought him to justice, caught the 52-year-old following the abduction of Sian O'Callaghan from outside a nightclub in Swindon in 2011.

The taxi driver then went on to confess to murdering both Miss O'Callaghan and Becky Godden, and now Mr Fulcher believes Halliwell's links to the area Miss Lawrence vanished in should be investigated.

Christopher Halliwell was recently convicted of murdering Becky Godden. Credit: PA

Miss Lawrence was last seen on March 18 2009 and was reported missing the next day after she failed to turn up for work.

Police have said they believe the 35-year-old chef was murdered, although no body has been found.

Mr Fulcher told the Sunday Express: "Claudia Lawrence disappeared from York seven years ago. Halliwell's father lived a few streets away from where Claudia went missing.

"It fits his pattern of behaviour - abducting women walking alone either late at night or early in the morning."

The detective also linked Halliwell to other unsolved crimes, including the murder of Melanie Hall.

Mr Fulcher said: "The circumstances match his modus operandi in abducting a girl, late at night, from a nightclub. Evidence of her being tied up with rope is consistent with Halliwell's interests."

Steve Fulcher, who brought Halliwell to justice Credit: PA

Halliwell was already serving a life sentence for the murder of Miss O'Callaghan, 22, when he was convicted and sentenced last week to a whole life term for the killing of Miss Godden, 20, in 2003.

The father-of-three originally confessed the crime to Mr Fulcher after leading the detective to the field where he dumped Miss O'Callaghan's body.

The confessions were later ruled inadmissable by a High Court judge because Mr Fulcher breached police procedural rules for interviewing suspects as he failed to caution Halliwell.

Mr Fulcher was later found guilty of gross misconduct, keeping his job which he then resigned from some months later, ending his 27-year police career.