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Investigation into stabbing death of FSU professor's wife continues

Attack took place on couple's final night in London

Darlene Horton
Darlene Horton

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Police in London are continuing their investigation into the stabbing death of the wife of a Florida State University professor teaching in the UK. The attack took place on the couple's final night in London.

Police in London believe the rampage, which took the life of Darlene Horton, 64, and injured five others, was the work of a madman and not terror-related. The investigation, though, is continuing.

"I emphasize that so far we have found no evidence of radicalization that would suggest that the man we have in custody is in any way motivated by terrorism," Metropolitan police assistant commissioner Mark Rowley said.

A picture of Horton was taken with her daughter, Shannon, this summer in London. In a text statement, Shannon said, in part, "I will never forget her heart of service, her love of traveling and her smile that warmed the hearts of all who knew her."

Horton was in London, as she has been for the last four years, while husband Richard Wagner taught  psychology to about 30 visiting students.

"We normally send about 2,000 students abroad each year," said Dr. Jim Pitts, of the FSU international studies program. "On his program, it's usually about 30, 35."

The couple was together out for a final walk just before dusk on the night before they were due to come home. The attack took place outside a block square park known as Russell Square.

"Russell Square is a very beautiful park, not far from our study center and it's very tranquil," Pitts said.

There were 214 fatal stabbings in all of England and Scotland last year. In Florida alone, there were 106.

The couple had been in London for eight weeks.

Horton was stabbed from behind with no chance of defending herself. FSU has spoken to Wagner and said he is calm. Arrangements to bring her remains home are incomplete.