‘I love London and I want to stay for months’: Heartbreaking last text from American tourist, 64, to her best friend before she was stabbed to death…

  • Darlene Horton, 64, messaged her friend Liz on the day she was killed
  • The former teacher said she ‘loved London’ before her brutal murder
  • 19-year-old Zakaria Bulhan is accused of murdering her in stabbing attack


‘I love London’: Darlene Horton, 64 in her final text message before she was murdered

The American tourist stabbed to death in Russell Square told her best friend ‘I love London and I want to stay for months’ in a heartbreaking final text. Darlene Horton, 64, messaged her Florida friend Liz Jordan on Wednesday, before she was killed in a vicious knife attack allegedly carried out by 19-year-old Zakaria Bulhan. The Tallahassee tourist was walking through London with her husband Rick during the last night of their two-month stay, before being caught up in the attack around 10.30pm.

Earlier that morning she messaged her friend Liz to say she was looking forward to a tennis match when she returned home, reports The Sun1. Darlene wrote: ‘Yes! I am looking forward to that, at least. But I do LOVE London and could stay until November easily.

‘Rick and I took our tennis rackets this year and found some courts within walking distance from our flat so I’m hoping I won’t be as rusty as I usually am when I come back.’

Nurse Liz, from Tallahassee in Florida, told The Sun: ‘One minute we were arranging to play tennis, the next my best friend is dead. We have always texted a lot, we would have joke message exchanges. She always put a smile on my face.’

‘She loved life but said she’d die young because her mother died young. It’s unfortunate she was in that part of London at that very moment in time.

Perhaps her premonitions were true.’

Five other people were injured during the attack, named as Martin Hoenisch, Lillie Selletin, David Imber, Bernard Hepplewhite and Yovel Lewronski in court. Heartbreaking: Retired teacher Darlene’s final text message to her best friend Liz in Florida

19-year-old Zakaria Bulhan, left, is accused of murdering Darlene during a stabbing attack

Flowers continue to be left at the spot in Russell Square where the American tourist was killed

Bulhan, a Norwegian national of Somali origin who moved to the UK in 2002 and lives in Tooting, south London, appeared before Westminster Magistrates’ Court accused of the crime. He stood in the dock yesterday wearing a light grey tracksuit and carrying a handful of paperwork.

Unrepresented he was hunched over throughout the short hearing and held his face in his hands as the list of victims were read out to him. Zakaria Bulhan has appeared before Westminster Magistrates and was remanded in custody

He was ordered to reappear at the Old Bailey on August 9. Retired teacher Darlene was married to former university professor Richard Wagner, who was visiting London to teach summer classes.

She had chosen to stay in London for an extra day to enjoy time in the capital, and was due to fly back home just six hours after her murder.

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  1. ^ The Sun (www.thesun.co.uk)

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