Margaret Muller, 27, an American artist, was found dying from repeated stab injuries in the Hackney park’s secluded rose garden on 3 February 2003.
Twenty years on from the brutal murder detectives believe she may have been a victim of a robbery attempt and have renewed appeals for anyone who saw a man sprinting back through the Queen’s Gate entrance to the park before vanishing into the nearby Gascoyne Estate.
Ms Muller had been living in a warehouse in nearby Wallis Road, Hackney Wick coming from America to study at the Slade School of Art, University College of London.
Her inquest heard that she was last seen alive on Saturday 1 February out drinking with friends in Camden before she was found dead after her regular morning run in the park at about 8.30am two days later.
A witness spotted her lying on the floor on the path between the rose garden and a children’s play area and gave her mouth-to-mouth resuscitation before a second witness walking a dog came along to help.
While detectives retain an open mind on motive, intelligence suggests that Margaret could have been the victim of “a failed robbery attempt”.
They are also keen to hear from anyone who may have seen anything suspicious around the Gascoyne Estate on the day of the murder.
They are particularly keen to trace anyone who witnessed a person walk past The Britannia pub, formally called The Victoria Park Inn, and enter the park through the Queen’s Gate entrance at about 7.10am on the morning of the murder.
They asked if potential witnesses could recall a person sprinting back through the Queen’s Gate entrance along Gascoyne Road and towards the Gascoyne Estate between 8.30am and 8.40am, shortly after the murder.
“There is no doubt that someone who did that to her will strike again and perhaps kill someone else who is out jogging. The police thought it was a spur-of-the-moment attack,” she said.
She told the Standard of her struggle to understand why anyone would want to kill her daughter. “It is very difficult to find a possible motive,” she said. “She really was a beautiful young lady who was very talented and had many friends. She was content and she loved London.”
DCI Amanda Greig of the Met’s Specialist Casework Team, said: “It is now 20 years since Margaret’s shocking murder – an attack that left an indelible mark on the consciousness of a generation.
“I know people may think that too much time has passed for someone to be held to account for this heinous crime, but that is simply not the case.
“We are very keen to receive new information that, for whatever reason, someone has felt unable to provide previously. I want to appeal to anyone who has information that could help us to identify the person responsible for Margaret’s murder to do the right thing and come forward.“
She added: “For two decades, Margaret’s family have had to endure the agony of not seeing her killer face justice – this is something no family should have to live with and I urge anyone who can help to get in contact immediately.”
Anyone who can assist is asked to contact the Specialist Casework Team on 0208 785 8267; if you wish to remain anonymous please call Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.