Katie Piper was stunning. She had a look and a life in London that seemed to promise a bright future as a model.
"I was quite wild, carefree, 24 years old, I thought I was invincible, lived for the moment and loved life," she said. "If I went somewhere, people I met for the first time would say, 'Oh, you're really pretty.'"
Piper said her looks were the key to her aspiring career as a model and television presenter. But her dreams were destroyed when a complete stranger threw sulfuric acid in her face.
"This is when my life changed completely, forever…" she said, "This is when I lost my beautiful face."
Piper was raised in a small English village by a loving family. Her father, David Piper, said his daughter always had big dreams.
"I think always to make it in the media in some way or another. She always wanted to perform, I think. She always liked to have an audience. She was quite happy with that," he said.
At 22, Piper moved to bustling London -- two hours and a world away from her home town. Her parents let her move out on her own, but not without some reservations.
"Every father worries about their daughter when she leaves home, and going to a big city like that," David said. "One thing with Kate that I was always worried about: She was a bit too trusting."
Piper's looks and lively personality were a big hit in London. Within months she had freelance jobs as a model and as a host on a shopping channel -- all stepping stones to her ultimate dream.
"I was auditioning, trying to climb higher and higher," she said. "I hoped to become an established presenter on primetime television."
Piper also started making friends and enjoyed the London nightlife. "I was quite the party animal," she said.
One of Katie's constant companions was her best friend, Kay Little.
"Katie has got the best personality I think I've ever met. She was physically very beautiful and we would go out to a bar or to a club or just shopping and heads would turn at this girl," Little said.
In March 2008, Piper's family got word that there was a new man in her life. Piper seemed smitten.
"She texted... 'I've met a new guy. His name is Danny and I'm really happy,'" Piper's younger sister Suzy said.
33-year-old Danny Lynch was a martial arts enthusiast who likely first saw Piper when she was working at martial arts matches as a ring girl. She said they initially met online.
"The first initial contact was on Facebook, where he messaged me...his profile picture was him in a martial arts outfit. And then, the next few days we carried on, talking online, and eventually swapped numbers," she said. "I really sort of quite fancied him, and the whole image he portrayed to me I really liked."
The two agreed to go out on a date. "The first date we went on, he was very attentive, maybe a little nervous and shy as well," Piper said.
A night out together led to another and the relationship moved very quickly. She now says there were some red flags. "Signs were becoming apparent that, you know, he had a short fuse," she said.
One night after a date, Piper learned just how terrifying her new boyfriend was. After a frightening incident, Lynch made Katie promise to keep what had happened between them a secret. Scared for her life, she agreed.