Britain

Getting away with murder? The death of Martine Vik Magnussen

When a vivacious Norwegian woman was found raped and strangled in the basement of a London flat, suspicion fell on a fellow student. But two years on, the case remains unsolved. We reconstruct her last night from interviews and previously unseen pictures, and speak to her father about his campaign to find justice for Martine Vik Magnussen

In the early hours of Wednesday 6 February 1985, Odd Petter Magnussen drove through a police roadblock in his haste to get to the local hospital. His wife, Kristin, was in labour and the contractions were coming so rapidly that Odd Petter was anxious she might give birth in the car. He pressed down on the accelerator, ignoring the speed limit. There had been an accident on the motorway leading into Oslo but, when the police tried to flag him down, Odd Petter was having none of it. "I just drove completely through the roadblock," he recalls. "I went through the red lights, everything, until we got to the hospital."

Within three minutes of arriving there, the baby was born. They called her Martine. Their first child, Magnus, born a year earlier, had been a fortnight overdue. By contrast, Martine seemed determined not to hang about. "Her mother has said that Martine came into this world very speedily, very early," says Mr Magnussen, "and she left very early as well." His voice trails off.

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