Margaret Muller was out on an innocent run through London’s Victoria Park when her life was brutally ended in broad daylight by a suspected mugger.
The American art student, just 27, was found covered in blood on a path leading to a rose garden within the East London on February 3, 2003.
Margaret, who had a “bright and exciting future” as an artist, lived in Hackney after moving to the UK from the United States in 1998 to study at the Slade School of Art – part of University College London.
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The father and sister of Margaret Muller visit the scene of her death in 2003
She had set up her own art studio in Hackney and had exhibited at the Slade School, as well as George Mason University and the University of Maryland in the US.
The death shocked the community and led to Metropolitan Police advising women to take care and avoid jogging through the area alone.
Around 70 people gathered at a special memorial in the days following her death, including friends and strangers alike, to pay their respects and sign a book of condolences.
However, more than 18 years on from the killing, no one has been formally charged or convicted with Margaret’s murder.
Her killing remains one of the country’s most notorious unsolved murders.
The police investigation
Detectives believe Margaret was the victim of a bungled burglary.
It took almost 24 hours to identify her and the only lead was two people being spotted by witnesses running from the area of the stabbing.
There were concerns regarding a rise in “thrill killers” and that Margaret may have been murdered in order to provide her killer with the “thrill” of taking a human life.
That, in turn, makes it difficult to establish a motive. Margaret was likely just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Seven arrests were made following the incident, but the Met issued a public appeal on the eighth anniversary in February 2011 that included a £20,000 reward for anyone that came forward with information that led to her killer’s conviction.
Officers believe the suspect likely sprinted out of the Queen’s Gate entranced to the park, then past the Britania pub.
A month afterwards, detectives staged a large reconstruction and asked more than 100 witnesses to retrace their steps within the park.
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Officers also carried out more than 1,000 house-to-house enquiries and took more than 1,000 statements.
It is understood that the killer likely stalked the park beforehand, before picking the 4ft 10ins Margaret at random.
Police interviewed other convicted killers in connection with her death, but all were released without further action.
Detectives do believe, though, that the killer has spoken to someone in the medical profession about fantasies that may be related to the stabbing.
With the aid of criminal profilers, police were able to issue a description of the suspect being white, then aged between 18 and 20, between 5ft 6in and 5ft 8in tall, with short brown hair and a London accent.
Margaret had a ‘bright and exciting future’
Detective Chief Inspector Nicola Wall said in a 2011 public appeal that police believed there were “some people who still hold vital information” about the murder..
She added: “Margaret was a talented young woman with a bright and exciting future ahead of her. That was all taken away when she was brutally struck down in Victoria Park eight years ago.
“Officers have worked tirelessly on this case and have managed to sift through literally hundreds of pieces of information and leads.
“Despite the tremendous support from the local community, we know that some people still hold vital information about Margaret’s murder.
“Together with information already gathered they could help us achieve justice for Margaret and her family and friends. We urge anyone with new information to come forward and assist us.”