Police in London charged an unemployed 33-year-old man Wednesday in the stabbing murders of two French students, a frenzied killing that shocked people on both sides of the English Channel.
Metropolitan police charged Nigel Edward Farmer with the June 29 murders of Gabriel Ferez and Laurent Bonomo. Farmer is to appear at Greenwich magistrates' court Thursday.
Farmer has also been charged with arson and attempting to pervert the course of justice.
The burned bodies of the victims were discovered in an apartment by firefighters. Bonomo had been stabbed nearly 200 times, Ferez nearly 50 times — an attack so ferocious the press dubbed the killings the "Tarantino murders" because its senseless brutality is reminiscent of movies by the American filmmaker Quentin Tarantino.
The French victims, both 23, were promising bioengineering students taking part in a three-month DNA research project at Imperial College in London, one of Britain's top universities.
London soul searches
The gruesome killings have spurred soul-searching in a city already alarmed by a rising number of knife attacks. Nineteen teenagers have been killed violently in London this year, compared to 27 in all of 2007. Most were stabbed, and police in the city say the fight against knife crime has overtaken terrorism as their top priority.
Farmer turned himself in to a London police station on Monday and was treated for burns in the hospital before being questioned and, ultimately, charged.