Paul Taylor, of Valentine Close, Fareham, Hampshire, was also found guilty of three rapes, an attempted rape and a serious sexual offence.
Today, at Chelmsford Crown Court, Judge Mr Justice Owen said: "I think it is clear there was a sexual element to the murder of Sally McGrath.
"The evidence revealed a pattern of behaviour in which you lured your victims in under the pretence of giving them a lift home.
"You then drove them to a rural or isolated area and forced yourself upon them.
"Your predatory sexual attacks took place over 30 years ago but your victims have been left scarred for life.
"I have no doubt the brutal murder of Sally McGrath followed the same pattern and resulted from her resistance to your sexual demands."
More top news
Four golden Labrador puppies that were dumped over a garden fence in Essex have been rescued by the RSPCA.
2017 will be the year that Britain triggers its exit from the EU and Anglia Late Edition looks at how that will affect the East of England.
A joint investigation will be carried out between the Police and the Maritime and Coastguard agency.