Philippe Naughton, Adam Fresco and Fran Yeoman
London Times | July 3, 2008

One of the two French research students found dead in a burnt-out London flat had been stabbed 196 times, the detective leading the murder investigation said today. His friend had 47 separate injuries.

The deaths of Laurent Bonomo and Gabriel Ferez, both aged 23, came as a massive shock to their families and fellow students at the Polytech in Clermont-Ferrand, central France, where both studied bio-engineering and where Mr Bonomo had recently been student president.

The horrific nature of the attack against them shocked even experienced detectives. “I have never seen injuries inflicted to bodies like this before,” Detective Chief Inspector Mick Duthie told a press conference at Scotland Yard.

Mr Duthie told The Times that the two men had been playing a computer game before the attack in the flat at Sterling Gardens, New Cross, which had been rented by Mr Bonomo.

Bound up by their attacker or attackers, they received multiple stab wounds in the head, neck, back and torso.

Mr Bonomo was stabbed 196 times, Mr Duthie said. Almost 100 of those wounds were inflicted to his back after his death. Mr Ferez was stabbed 47 times.

The two were talented and committed students on a three-month research placement at Imperial College, London, who had impressed colleagues with their maturity. They were enrolled on the university’s research opportunities programme, which allows students who have not yet graduated from their Masters degrees to take part in research.

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