A retired French policeman and former gendarme was most likely a famous French serial killer called Le Grele, reports the BBC. Francois Verove was said to have admitted it in a farewell letter that was found on Wednesday next to his body in the town of Le Grau-du-Roi. According to the prosecutor’s office, the man’s DNA corresponds to that found on evidence from several crime scenes. Verove’s body was found days after he received a summons for DNA testing in connection with one of the Le Grele cases.
The crimes of a serial killer nicknamed Le Grele have shaken France for several decades. In one of the Le Grele cases, years later, the investigating judge returned. He sent letters to 750 gendarmes who were stationed in Paris in 1986–1994. One of them was 59-year-old Francois Verove – a former gendarme and retired policeman. On September 24, he received a summons to report for a DNA test five days later. On September 27, the man’s wife reported him missing.
He was called in for a DNA test, and a few days later his body and a farewell letter were found
His body was found Wednesday in a rented apartment in Le Grau-du-Roi, near Montpellier on the Mediterranean Sea. The town is about 800 kilometers from Paris. A letter was found on Verove’s corpse in which the man admitted he had experienced “impulses” in the past, adding that he had “picked up on it”.
According to the BBC, the man in the letter probably confessed to the murders, but did not provide details about the victims and the circumstances of the crime. According to the prosecution, the man’s DNA corresponds to that found at several crime scenes.
On the other hand, the website of the daily “Le Parisien” reports that one of the sentences written by the man read: “I confess to being a great criminal who committed unforgivable acts until the end of the 1990s.” He also reported that the man had overdosed on his medication.
The crimes shook Paris
The crimes that Le Grele was supposed to commit in the 1980s and 1990s shocked France. It is linked to four murders and six rapes. He was hunted by the criminal brigade since 1983. So far, however, these issues have not been resolved. Didier Saban, a lawyer representing the victims and their families, estimated that there were more crimes, and that Verove’s death – if he turned out to be a murderer – would leave many questions unanswered.
The nickname Le Grele (from French – smallpox scars), which was referred to as a serial killer, is associated with the testimony given on the occasion of the murder of 11-year-old Cecile Bloch in 1986. The girl’s body was found in one of the tenement houses in Paris. It was in the basement, covered with an old carpet. The authorities then reported that the 11-year-old showed signs of rape, strangulation and stabbing.
Her half-brother Luc Richard testified that on the day of the murder he saw a man in his tenement house whose face was covered with smallpox scars. Richard, who assisted the police with a memorial portrait, said he was riding the elevator with a man who seemed “very confident”. “He said something to me like, ‘I wish you a very, very, very, nice day’,” he recalled in an interview in 2015.
The DNA traces discovered during this investigation matched those found in several previous and later crimes. These included the murder of 38-year-old Gilles Politi and German Irmgard Mueller. According to reports, the same person was linked to the murder of 19-year-old Karine Leroy. The girl was found dead at the edge of the woods more than a month after she disappeared on the way to school.
The same attacker also allegedly raped a 26-year-old German woman and two girls, aged 14 and 11. This person was to introduce himself to them as a policeman.
“We were convinced that he was either an officer or a gendarme. Both because of the violence he used against his victims and the tactics he used,” the victims’ lawyer told France Info TV.
BBC, Le Parisien, Le Monde
Main photo source: MAXPPP / Forum