Man questioned about backpack girl's killing

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The Independent Online
DETECTIVES questioning a man in north London in connection with an attempted stabbing attack yesterday said they had not ruled out a link between the incident and the murder of a 23-year-old New Zealand backpacker who was knifed to death on Friday.

The dead woman, Louise Crowe, was stabbed seven times in the neck, stomach and arm as she walked home from work at about 5.30pm. Police investigating the attack, in Lausanne Road, Wood Green, described it as "demented". It left Miss Crowe bleeding in an alleyway off the tree-lined street of Victorian houses. She staggered to a nearby house for help and was flown by helicopter to the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, but died three hours later.

Yesterday another woman was attacked only a quarter of a mile from Friday's murder scene. Witnesses said a black youth lunged at her outside Turnpike Lane Underground station. She escaped without injury. British Transport Police said they had arrested a man at the scene. Scotland Yard confirmed they were questioning the man in connection with the murder of Miss Crowe. Police could not confirm that a knife they have recovered was the murder weapon.

Louise Crowe, who was single, was temporarily living in Britain. She shared a house in Lausanne Road with her boyfriend, whom she had known since her schooldays, and other backpackers. She arrived in Britain about a year ago from her home near Dunedin and had travelled around Europe, working as a barmaid and a temp. Police contacted relatives in New Zealand and England before releasing her name. Her boyfriend was described as "extremely distraught".

Residents in the area near where Miss Crowe was murdered are shocked by the murder. One neighbour, who lives opposite the murder scene, described how the young New Zealander had staggered into her house with blood pouring from her wounds. Victoria Billing said she had tried to comfort the dying girl as they waited in her house for the air ambulance to arrive. Miss Billing said: "It was a terrible shock. I wondered what on earth had gone on. There was a young girl I had never seen before with knife wounds all over her surrounded by doctors. She was in a dreadful state."

Although she was conscious and able to walk, doctors fitted a drip to her because she had lost so much blood. "She was in a terrible state. It was horrible," said Miss Billing.