Mid-20th century prostitutes were often given colourful names by their acquaintances. We have already heard of Russian Dora now it was the turn of Red Helen, who went up to her Pimlico, London, room for sex with an American air force sergeant shortly before she was murdered on Monday, September 6th, 1954.
Red Helen was in fact Ellen Carlin, 28, from Ulster. Neighbours heard screams around midnight as she was punched round the head and then strangled with one of her black nylon stockings.
A week later a girl flower-seller in Piccadilly who saw the man who went to Red Helens room was threatened by a US serviceman. Detectives discreetly watched the American, but he never spoke to the flower-seller again. Despite this American dimension, the crime was subsequently linked to the Scottish serial killer Peter Manuel, who shortly before he was hanged in 1958 for seven murders confessed additionally to the murder of Red Helen.