DNA reveals ex-officer is French serial killer
PARIS – For decades, the crimes of a notorious serial killer haunted the Paris criminal squad.
But now a former military police officer has reportedly confessed to being the murderer known as Le Grêlé – the pockmarked man – before his death, BBC News reported.
Known locally as François Vérove, his DNA has been matched with several crime scenes related to Hail.
His murders and rapes shocked Paris between 1986 and 1994 but have so far never been elucidated.
Among the shocking crimes attributed to him is the murder of 11-year-old Cécile Bloch. She was reported missing after failing to attend school in Paris in 1986.
“We will never know all the crimes committed by Le Grêlé,” said Didier Saban, lawyer representing the families.
Vérove is linked to four murders and six rapes, but Mr Saban said there were undoubtedly more and her death left many families unanswered.
A painting by Le Grêlé has hung for decades on the walls of the criminal brigade of the Paris judicial police.
This cold case was finally cracked when an examining magistrate recently decided to send letters to 750 gendarmes (military police) stationed in the Paris region at the time.
The 59-year-old man found dead had been a gendarme before becoming a police officer and then retiring. He was summoned by police on September 24 to give a DNA sample five days later. His wife reported him missing on September 27.
His body was discovered in an apartment rented in Grau-du-Roi on the Mediterranean coast, accompanied by a suicide note. Prosecutors say his DNA matches evidence found at multiple crime scenes.
The contents of the letter have not been confirmed but French reports say he confessed to having experienced “previous impulses” while claiming that he has since “recovered”. He apparently admitted to murders without detailing the victims or the circumstances.
The nickname of Le Grêlé dates back to testimonies given during the murder of Cécile Bloch.
The victim’s half-brother, Luc Richard, was among residents who remembered seeing a man with an acne-scarred face on the day of the crime in their building in the 19th arrondissement in northern Paris.
Bloch’s body was later found under an old carpet in the basement. Authorities said she was raped, strangled and stabbed, and the case sent shockwaves across France.
His brother, who helped police draw a sketch of the suspect, remembers sharing an elevator with the man, who seemed “very confident”.
“He said something to me like: ‘Have a very, very good day'”, he recalls in an interview with the newspaper Sud Ouest in 2015. Mr. Richard has already explained how the affair haunts him. , claiming that he had lived with a “great sense of injustice”.
DNA evidence linked Bloch’s killer to other murders and rapes.
This included the 1987 murder of Gilles Politi, 38, and his German au pair Irmgard Müller.
Local reports say he was linked to the 1994 murder of 19-year-old Karine Leroy, who was found dead on the edge of a woodland more than a month after she went missing on her way to the school.
In the rapes of a 26-year-old German woman and two girls aged 14 and 11, the suspect allegedly identified himself as a police officer.
“We had this conviction that he was either an officer or a gendarme, both by the violence he exercised against his victims and by the tactics he adopted”, told France Info TV the lawyer representing the victims. Sometimes he even presented his card with the French tricolor on it.
Saban believed the killer had done everything he could to make sure his DNA was not left at the crime scenes. But now that his identity has been revealed, he wants unsolved crimes to be reopened in which DNA techniques have never been used.