A former colleague of a Playboy Bunny who was brutally murdered in her own home in 1975 has made a plea for the case to be re-examined, saying there are only a few people left now to ‘protect her’.
The killing of German-born Eve Stratford, 22, has never been solved and – along with two similar killings her death has been linked to – is the subject of a new ITVX true crime series.
Filmmaker Marcel Theroux interviews Barbara Haigh for the two-part series, who once worked as a Playboy Cocktail Bunny at the Playboy Club in London‘s Mayfair with Eve, and posed for a photo with her in the brand’s trademark bunny outfit just a few weeks before she was murdered.
The Playboy Bunny Murder, which airs on Monday and Tuesday at 9pm next week, examines her death in east London in 1975.
The Playboy Cocktail Bunny was found in her bedroom; her throat had been slashed between eight and 12 times.
Stratford, who also went by the name Eve Van Bock and Bunny Ava, was found tied up with a scarf with a stocking tied round her leg – she is believed to have been raped.
Haigh tells Theroux that she felt ill when she heard the news of her friend’s murder. She said: ‘ [I felt] Rather sick. Really quite sick, that somebody could be so cruel as to murder a kid like that for no reason.
She added: ‘She would never have done anything to provoke that sort of murder. She’s only a kid, and there’s nobody left to defend her.
Eve Stratford, 22, far left, a Playboy Bunny, was stabbed between eight and 12 times when she was murdered on the evening of March 18, 1975. A new ITVX series re-examines her unsolved murder
A former colleague of Eve Stratford, Barbara Haigh, appears in ITVX’s The Playboy Bunny Murder; she says there’s now no family members left of Stratford’s ‘to protect her’
Filmmaker Theroux said: ‘This is a story that has obsessed me for years. How could a serial killer kill multiple victims in 1970s London and remain unknown? What evidence was missed?’
The two-parter, presented by filmmaker Marcel Theroux, re-examines the case. Pictured: A photo of model Stratford, left, taken just a few weeks before her murder
Haigh who also worked as Playboy Cocktail Bunny in the Seventies, says she felt ‘really sick’ when she found out what had happened to her former colleague
The Playboy Cocktail Bunny, pictured with Eric Morcambe in 1974, was found in her bedroom; her throat had been slashed between eight and 12 times
‘Her parents are dead, her whole bloody family’s dead. There’s no one but us old boilers who were around in 1975 who can protect her.’
Detectives at the time said there was no sign of forced entry to the flat, leading them to believe the model had invited the killer in and may have known them.
Six months after Eve’s death, Lynne Weedon, 16, was brutally attacked and raped in an alleyway near her home in Hounslow at 11pm on September 3. She died after being found barely alive at an electricity sub station the next day.
Eve and Lynne’s murders were linked in 2007 after matching DNA was discovered on the victims, who did not know each other.
In 2015, Lynne’s mother Margaret Weedon made an impassioned plea for information. She said: ‘It has been 40 years since our beautiful young daughter Lynne was violently taken from us.
‘We are well aware that whoever murdered Lynne also murdered Eve Stratford. That young lady also had her life snubbed out. Her family have died now. Another true life sentence.’
Theroux has spent four years looking into Stratford’s murder, which has been linked to two other murders: Lynne Weedon, was 16 when she was killed in September 1975 and croupier Lynda Farrow, who was murdered in 1979
The case has been linked to the death of Lynne Weedon, just four months after Eve Stratford was killed. The 16-year-old was beaten and raped 30 yards from her home in Lampton Avenue, Hounslow
The series also examines the murder of Lynda Farrow, a croupier with years of experience working in nighttime London. Many believe Farrow, who was knifed to death in her home in 1979, was also a victim of the same killer.
Theroux has spent four years trying to find police files on the case and looking for potential breakthrough information.
The filmmaker said: ‘This is a story that has obsessed me for years. How could a serial killer kill multiple victims in 1970s London and remain unknown? What evidence was missed?
‘What clues were the police of the time unable to make use of? As witnesses reach the ends of lives and memories fail, this might be the last chance to get justice for the three victims.’
The Playboy Bunny Murder is on ITV1 & ITVX at 9pm on Monday and Tuesday