One year and one month ago  the fatal shooting of the Iraqi-born Brit Saad Al-Hilli, his wife and her mother, as well as that of Frenchman Sylvain Mollier took place in France on a lay-by in a forest near to a hamlet named Chevaline. The Al-Hilli couple’s eldest child, a daughter named Zainab, […]



One year and one month ago  the fatal shooting of the Iraqi-born Brit Saad Al-Hilli, his wife and her mother, as well as that of Frenchman Sylvain Mollier took place in France on a lay-by in a forest near to a hamlet named Chevaline. The Al-Hilli couple’s eldest child, a daughter named Zainab, was also shot and she was also badly beaten over her head, but she survived.

Without it having been my intention I have started this on-line discussion about this foul slaughter of ‘innocent’ people which, alas, remains unsolved.

One of our commentators – Lars – has done a most informative summary of the case, known here in France as ‘L’Affair Chevaline’. You will find it here.   Do read it.

You will not be able to comment on any of the past 14 threads, but would have to come to comment here on this thread. I am sure you would want to come and talk to us about this slaughter.

You can also read down below what I’ve written about this case up to today and the very interesting comments from September 7, 2012, by over 100 commentators.

here – September 6, 2012

here – September 8, 2012

here – October 25, 2012

here – November 7, 2012

here – December 9, 2012

here – March 3, 2013

here – April 20, 2013

here – May, 31, 2013

here – June 16, 2013

here  – July 1, 2013

here – July 17,2013

here – July 30, 2013

 here – September 2,2013

 here – September 19, 2013
Saad Al-Hilli

Saad Al-Hilli

Marilyn Z. Tomlins

1,095 Responses

10-3-2013 at 09:10:46

Hi, I herewith open comments on Marilyn’s behalf. (Celeste here btw.)

10-3-2013 at 09:12:05

Good Morning!
A new thread has dawn.

10-3-2013 at 09:28:20

I might have a reasoning for the following standing ‘ammo’ question:

– If only one(1) target (SM) why did X bring so much ammo?

(the way around this was e.g. ‘nutter’, or ‘SM was meeting, so X was after the party’ or ‘he is policeman so out of habit’, etc.)

But suppose we cut out SAH from the picture. We have SM alone going to Martinet. Perhaps there was no party and perhaps SM just went to bike to Martinet. Now X wanted SM dead … so how come X brought so much ammo to kill one guy?

Now, the facts are that X evidently was prepared to kill all present at Martinet. X was not afraid to use bullets, and even was the ‘show off’ guy, with headshots and all that. So …. that leads me to an X who loves shooting, showing off, etc. Now THIS TYPE OF X would I guess always take mucho ammo, just, you know, for the fireworks. Why bring only 1 mag if you can bring 3? For X this was no problem. He wanted to go ‘loaded’ even if he only needed to take down 1 guy (SM).

(Why only 3 mags then? Perhaps he could not carry much more)

So we could look at an X who likes to shoot, is not afraid to shoot, likes to ‘show off’, is irresponsible, not held back at killing innocent ppl, has an ‘anger’ towards SM, sees it as his ‘duty’ to take him down and anyone standing in the way.

An X dedicated enough to take down SM, and crazy/irresponsible enough to create the massacre.

If I gauge it to my own person … I might be dedicated enough to take down SM (depending on what he did:) and in that case I would not have a problem bringing 3 mags (no problem at all really) … but I can NOT seeing me taking down these innocent SAH family.

To bring down the SAH’s as well must point to some sort of craziness or irresponsibility with X

(I once held the ‘mask’ scenario. But I think the logistic problems involved are too massive. Anyway, also the ‘mask’ scenario points at an X who does NOT care about the SAH’s at all)

– M

10-3-2013 at 10:53:20

@ Max
youre on a roll.
Why not bring 3 mags if you mix in the drugs industry in middle management. Be ready to take commands as well orders. Sm could have been a supplier. A pharmacie, worth one million does not generate much cash-flow, but it does have great access to product. A lux bike, energy, three years to roam them there hills. All those customers on MCs, in BMW, 4×4.
Decent parents of Claire would be worried and silent. Ex-wife likely a runner, phoned to check on delivery for distribution.
The senior management does not tolerate inefficiency, so SM might have been “disrespectful”.
Where did he get that bike. That’s a lot of cash from a mountain village pharmacist. Why take off three years to care for a child when his mother works virtually at home.
The logistics mentioned here are nitpicking. There was more than enough time and space for all the activities to have melded together – we know they did. So look for motive.
The Iraqis had an agenda to be in the region during the start of the school year. It is not responsible for educated parents to be lax. And why change camp grounds in such a short time. Did they pull the caravan to France. I think not. Most sites are full of per enact campers.
The dad wanted to do some banking business in Geneva. End of story. He was on the fiddle, but not enough to be killed.
Sylvain was also on the fiddle and as in every village he met up with the local psycho who also works for the local drug industry, which loves wild ass feral idiots who terrorize all with their violence. The Lugar is the gun of choice, so many lying around in greener of grandpop.

10-3-2013 at 10:54:42

@ Max

Maybe should we better refrain from “circular reasoning” ie justifying assumptions through other assumptions that are then justified by the former..

To me, another standing question, as you put it, is to understand why none of occupants of the BMW tried to escape, as the car was stuck by the embankment. If a single shooter, however skilled he was, it would have taken quite a few seconds to move from side to side to shoot the 3 adults repeatedly. Survival instinct tells us that at least one of the victim should have tried to open a door and just run for his/her life in the midst of the massacre.
To me, the only rationale that can explain none of them tried has to be that there were attackers on both sides, close to the car. So victims couldn’t think of anything better than ducking down in their seats, but to no avail.
Of course, this would imply the 2 or 3 shooters were equipped with the same type of gun and used ammo from the same batch. But, considering the very unusual caution otherwise involved (no DNA anywhere), this doesn’t sound unlikely at all: if you’re tricky enough to get hold of a vintage Luger to make your crime look like the act of a psychopath, you can certainlly manage to have 2 such weapons. Collectors collect. They often have several identical items.
It’s just simpler to look at things this way, less assumptions..

10-3-2013 at 11:13:51

@ Max, 10-3-2013 at 09:28:20

Turn the question around and ask yourself what the killer didn’t bring: a shotgun, for example. A shotgun would have been the weapon of choice both for shooting SM off his bike and for attacking the al-Hilli family inside their car, much more effective than the P06. It would also have left no useable clues for forensics.

If this was a local crime, then the killer almost certainly possessed, or at least had access to, a shotgun. Yet he didn’t use one. To my mind, that means that he never intended to do what he did and/or that he faced some sort of space constraint. My money is on the space constraint: he did not have enough room for a shotgun because he was on a motorcycle. Even if he had been on foot, he could have taken a shotgun inside a rucksack or a sports bag, together with a change of clothes.

10-3-2013 at 12:05:55


A: Because he held Zainab hostage maybe (and forced the AH’s to look him in the eye, before he shot them through the head).

Sequence being: Escape – Get stuck – Try again to escape – X takes Zainab hostage – DONT MOVE OR …! – Executes AH’s


A: Because SAH was not his (multiple) target, he had 1 single target (SM). Because as you say a shotgun is more big maybe. Because it was local but X is not a criminal (maybe), ‘normal’ people don’t have/carry shotguns:)


There is this weak ‘line’ between SM and FB (Frederic Br.) who ‘fell of the road’ 2 weeks later. It goes SM – LR – Coiffure – Cathy – Beauty – FB … Ugine being small town AND coiffure/beauty in the same line of business … perhaps SM and FB knew each other. On the one hand this is highly speculative, on the other hand there ARE 2 mysterious deaths in 2 weeks in small town Ugine.

– M

10-3-2013 at 12:08:13

Eugene’s comment yesterday about “constitution de partie civile” stimulated my imagination.

I wonder what is in Sylvain Mollier’s file? An empty paper? Or just collateral victim on it? Would be fantastic to read.

10-3-2013 at 12:18:00

I guess you all heard about the razzias against the Greek nazi-party ‘Golden Dawn’ and that’s its leader is in custody waiting for trial.

Guess what I saw on television? I saw one of the offices of ‘Golden Dawn’ that the police had raided. You could see a lot of papers thrown around and among all these papers a gun. What kind of gun? It was definitely a Luger and probably a P06!

For me who know nothing about guns it is a remarkable experience to suddenly see a gun on TV and immediately recognize it.

10-3-2013 at 12:59:15


I know what you mean. I was on vacation in France. In a town, on some building block I saw ‘Office National des Forest’ … and you go DzzzzinGGG!

Or when playing GTA5 and my car ‘catches’ an NPC under the wheel and drags it (esp. when driving backwards) … also a DzzzzinnnnggGGG experience:)

Or the blue gendamerie or a simple X5 … you start to see ‘Chevaline’ everywhere:)

10-3-2013 at 14:02:30


The thing with guns….

From what I can recall ( and by no means from personal experience ) is that “guns” can be hired. The “gansta” element seem to have little “sub businesses” of hiring them out. Then, like all things in life, there appears to be “add on charges”. Like bullets etc.

Then of course there are the “owner/drivers” who are more like the groups we see on the news. No doubt these are more organised than the “gansta” element. (PIRA, ETA, Golden Dawn….and so on)

Chevaline looks more like the weapon is either “owned” by a group.
OR an avid “collector” type loner. OR a “privately” employed person.

I don’t see the luger in this instance being “owned” (or rented) by a “gansta” type. Or a “one man band” out to commit a robbery.

10-3-2013 at 14:10:22

I think the inaction of the adults in the car do speak of ,ore than one shooter, and that the hold was held as a threat to the parents. She could have been dragged from car when dad tried to drive away.
Shot gun is hard to conceal if you carry a gun all the time. I can visualize a cold blooded, arrogant strutting local wannabe trying to earn his stripes in a flourishing new local industry.
Drugs! Drugs! Customers, customers, pickup, distribution, payments, delivery. Distraught parents, foolish young pharmacist, trapped by rogue. Take another look at the paintings on the side of the road to martinet, next to the police barrier, what do you see.

10-3-2013 at 14:25:56

The theory that Zainab was “dragged out of the car” and held hostage obviously conflicts with the notion that all doors were locked when WBM arrived. And as far as I’m concerned, watching some thug holding one of my children at gunpoint would give me even more impulse to rush and try something desperate. Certainly not stay put until I’d get shot in the head myself. That’s parental love, happens every so often.
Explaining none of the Al-Hillis tried getting out of the car because of Zainab doesn’t sound very credible. So what else than several shooters?

10-3-2013 at 14:36:16

@ Lars

I wonder too whatever can be in Mollier’s prosecution file. But we don’t qualify to have access to it. Meanwhile, many people do, as I pointed out yesterday.
So the alternative is whether neither of them cared at all (unlikely) or some of them did but were answered those files were “classified”: had they found a blank sheet of paper crossed out with the mention “collateral victim, no investigation necessary”, I’m sure they would have broken the wall of silence.

10-3-2013 at 15:34:34

@ James, 10-3-2013 at 14:02:30

Yes, guns can be hired, but not from your average street-corner gangsta, but from specialized indviduals: underworld armourers, often trained gunsmiths.

The fact that this particular P06 and its three magazines all were in perfect working order makes it quite likely that it had been recently serviced by somebody like that. Also, that individual arrested and detained in Geneva on suspicion of having supplied the gun could have been somebody like that – they would not have locked up a collector or a bona-fide arms dealer for a full month.

I don’t think that this particular P06 was hired (if it was, whoever hired it has forfeited his deposit and is in a world of trouble with his armourer). Usually, weapons for hire are heavy, showy pieces such as Kalashnikovs, pump-action shotguns or even RPGs, to be used in armed robberies, chiefly to threaten rather than to kill with. However, an untraceable P06 with three full magazines is just the kind of thing that such an underworld armourer would have for sale.

10-3-2013 at 15:50:29

@ Peter

How about 3 such guns with 3 + magazines?
Whether for sale or for hire, could a good underworld dealer make the deal?After all, we’re being told there are thousands of such Lugers stored in Switzerland and elsewhere.
It’s not everyday you kill 4 people at a Haute-Savoie beauty spot, it can imply a little investment.

10-3-2013 at 16:13:36

@ Eugene, 10-3-2013 at 15:50:29

Sure, the “right” kind of underworld armourer would probably be able to supply three such pistols.

However, ballistic tests would have shown that three similar pistols rather than just one were used. Thus far, reports have only ever spoken of a single gun being used. Moreover, from the way in which the shooting unfolded, with Saad almost managing to get away, it seems highly unlikely that there was more than one shooter.

10-3-2013 at 16:25:40

@ Peter

As you underline, “reports” tend to favor the single shooter theory. But this could be to keep the criminals blindfolded. Or something else.
As for Saad, I don’t think he “almost managed to get away”. He probably got first shot while returning to his car, and then only had 5/10 seconds left alive to engage reverse, and that was it.

10-3-2013 at 17:02:09

When BM arrived the doors where locked, but they could have locked while the child was being held or when the shots broke the glass. How long does it take to change a magazine. That WE think there is only one gun does not mean that is correct. Confuse the perp is a normal police tactic. Sometimes witnesses even trip themselves up just on the basis of such misinformation.
Guns for hire is commonplace in the underworld.
Research the increase of gun crime in uk and how it parallels drug sales. Same with bike couriers, especially underage school kids. The picturesque mountains are not immune to crime. The locals all have cell phones and tv and are very materialistic, besides being a haven for eastern euros and Balkans criminals.

10-3-2013 at 18:16:53


So…a gun with such a “pedigree” (pretty much untraceable) and serviced and supplied with three magazines….would be a rather expensive item would it not. And most likely a “bought” item, rather than a “hired” item, in your view ?

10-3-2013 at 18:35:17

Referring to Rashomons thoughts about Sylvain Mollier and Eugenes comment in the last thread, about the bridegroom that wasn’t.

You said that you didn’t want to kill him, but you didn’t wish him well.

That made me think, is a great deal of the silence around ‘Mollier’, that in view of his past behaviour, his latest style of life, people have taken the attitude ‘if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all’ or could it be a ‘Chicago’ moment, ‘he had it coming, he only had himself to blame’, even if the murders were nothing to do with him?

10-3-2013 at 18:36:33

Weapons, ammo, vehicles, phoney expenses, … That criminal endeavor certainly was more expensive than a day at the zoo. If it is a “lone nutter”, it must br a rather affluent one.

10-3-2013 at 18:39:57


What I mean is, such an expensive item may well have been bought for a “specific” task in mind. And it could have been bought with a “general task” in mind. (for example a “hit” or “protection”) ?

For a “hit” would you (not you, but you know what I mean) acquire such an expensive item…..with that much ammunition ? Would it not be so well planned that ONE magazine would be all that is required ? No reloading. Just walk up, shoot the target …and leave ?

I suppose you would have “extra” magazines….just in case your planning was “off”…but would you really need to use them if you weren’t in “mortal danger”.

“This” seems like a massacre…not a “well planned hit” on a target.
That’s what I struggle with.

10-3-2013 at 18:45:47


Phoney expenses !

So the hitman is Italian. Bald. Over 70. And is dating ex “models” !
And had a career in Italian politics… !!!

10-3-2013 at 19:46:44

I think the killer might have done this without paying a nickel from his own pocket, that’s what many criminals do.

10-3-2013 at 20:07:54

@ Peter 10-3-2013 at 11:13:51

Peter, you wrote:-

Turn the question around and ask yourself what the killer didn’t bring: a shotgun, for example. A shotgun would have been the weapon of choice both for shooting SM off his bike and for attacking the al-Hilli family inside their car, much more effective than the P06. It would also have left no useable clues for forensics.

Apart from the spent cartridges. . . . i.e. striker mark on the primer and witness marks on the brass base from expansion into the breech.

Even if the killer counted and collected the spent cartridges, the isotopic composition of the lead shot (or lead free possibly) would be a strong lead.

At the range used, there would also be usable amounts of unburned propellant on the car and on clothes. Combined with the spent wadding, plastic or otherwise, and I dont think that “shot” gives many advantages over “bullet”.

I am open to argument.

10-3-2013 at 20:24:27

@ James, 10-3-2013 at 18:39:57

A legal, registered P06 is an expensive pistol. Insofar as an unregistered one is concerned, I don’t know, but I would expect it to sell at an intermediate pricing point: more expensive than a modified Bruni starter pistol
also more expensive than the rusty WWI revolver that blew up in one of the killers’ hands during the attack on this “drummer”
but certainly a lot cheaper than a brand-new Glock or some such, for which the paperwork would have to be fiddled.

As its threat potential is quite low (many or most people are familiar with the basic Luger shape, and many or most people who had such a thing pointed at them would assume it to be a soft-air gun), it is not a good weapon to use in a robbery.

I don’t think that what went down at the Martinet was planned, let alone well-planned. To my mind, the most convincing explanation for the seeming discrepancy between the killer’s knowing pre-offence behaviour (sterilizing the gun and ammunition beforehand, not calling his best mate immediately after the deed on his mobile, etc.) and his haphazard manner of executing the actual assault, is that he was high on drugs. The latter is just an unsupported assumption, and please feel free to disagree with me, but it makes a lot of sense to me.

10-3-2013 at 20:45:30

@Peter, or alcohol, enough to have control but lose conscience. Inhibitions lifted, blown away.

Whether drugged up or drunk, would the assailant be able to identify his quarry ?

What if, the cyclist that was due into that space was Brett Martin, it would certainly explain his TV appearance. I wonder where he is now ? Does he have police protection ?

I suspect he does. Apparently so does Zaid, but the Brunt from Sky News still managed to approach him from the rear of his flat beside Graffitti covered garage doors.

@Freda, yes the ‘kids’ have been at the old Sawmill as well, the interior appeared to be accessible with a leg up.

PS: Freda, Saad took his own caravan, she’s called Spotty, Lars synopsis of discussions will give you the link to the article that states this.

10-3-2013 at 20:58:33

Rashomon, 10-3-2013 at 20:07:54

You sound fairly knowledgeable. So, first, I have to ask you, what spent cartridges exactly would there be with a double-barrelled shotgun? (Ownership of pump-action shotguns, as you no doubt know, is heavily controlled in most EU countries – but double-barrelled shotguns are as common as hammers or other household tools in rural areas.)

Secondly, there are of course no rifling marks, no chamber marks, no magazine marks with a shotgun – solely, as you say, striker marks on the primer and witness marks on the base. With a newish shotgun, I should very much dispute the forensic value of the latter, however – and both of those clues require spent shells to be dropped in situ, which they wouldn’t be anyway. In addition, there is the wadding, the exact chemical composition of the shot and of the propellant, plus the gun’s choke.

As long as both the type of shotgun and the type of ammunition fired were fairly common in the area, this type of lead would lead absolutely nowhere. Conversely, do look up the “Essex Boys” murders to see how lethal a common-or-garden shotgun can be at close range.

10-3-2013 at 21:22:09

@ partlucid 10-3-2013 at 07:09:08

Re post on previous thread

I accept your point about there being insufficient ballistic and effects data to support my view that the murder of Sylvain was ‘personal’. Shot ‘first’ and shot ‘most’ could be happenstance or training.

You also wrote:-

“the investigators must surely have combed through people who might’ve held a grudge, either personal or ‘professional’, against both the Al-Hillis and SM.

It is not clear to me that they thoroughly investigated SM’s background and the gritty detail of his employment. The real issue might not be a grudge, but merely mutual recognition and the knowledge that Sylvain was honest and would report him.

I think that they thought that they had hit the jackpot with SAH. There are so many plausible pistes, with so much indicative evidence, that the investigators must be giddy.

10-3-2013 at 22:27:14

@Peter 10-3-2013 at 20:58:33

“You sound fairly knowledgeable. So, first, I have to ask you, what spent cartridges exactly would there be with a double-barrelled shotgun?”

I don’t own a shotgun and never have, however I live in a largely rural area and occasionally shoot with friends maybe once a year. If I understand your question correctly you seem to be assuming that you manually load cartridges, fire, then manually unload the spent cartridges.

With older, more traditional guns, this may be true but modern O/U guns eject the cartridges a fair distance. See photo on this URL for example;

The trade-off is speed. I cannot imagine someone intending to fire a large number of shots using a gun with a capacity of two shots that was slow to reload. Especially at close quarters.

The ‘close quarters’ issue would lead me to think that a full length shotgun would not be suitable as it would be too slow to bring to bear and the bearer could be rushed easily.

The only way to lower the risk of being rushed would be to stand off a fair distance, preferably behind an obstacle like a wall.

10-4-2013 at 00:14:37


A good explanation re the pricing of such an item and it’s “fit” in relation to other weapons “of choice”.

And whilst “high on drugs” wouldn’t be my first thought with regard to the killers mindset, I do see where you are coming from. Certain a user of substances (and not completely “whacko” and “lets party” type drugs scene).

And also…and most importantly….you clarify the “pre offence” behaviour (a degree of planning) verse the “offence” behaviour (haphazard) .
It is a curious mix indeed.

So clearly the weapon was planned. The actual shooting, not so.
If you were to take a guess, how would “profile” such a persons “target selection” ?

For example…would you determine such a person to select a target…or a location ? By that I mean….if we “forget” what happened that day and just concentrate on this “weapon considering” / “action chaotic” killer, what would you think his thought process might begin with ? Just from your thoughts on choice of weapon…and execution of the “task”.

Just picking your brains as I think your knowledge with regard to the weapon used, best suits the provision of a profile (or outline) of this killer.

The luger and it’s preparation…is probably the least chaotic thing we have.

10-4-2013 at 00:33:39


One of the reasons I stuggle with the idea of Sylvain as a target, is because I just can’t fathom out why that killer would decide to include the Al-Hillis in his murdering. Obviously there’s the angle of needing to remove witnesses, and your version last night – of the encounter between SM and the killer initiating around the corner (which sounds not so very different from Lars’ proposition) is not implausible either…but surely if it’s a local thing, then wouldn’t the guy just wait for a better opportunity…
Perhaps your ‘recognition factor’ does come into play…

But for me, it’d be such an extraordinary escalation: to wipe out an entire and innocent family in pursuit of your original quarry…that really does strike me as a different level of madness…and distinctive from a calculated, and very motive-laden, stalking of a specific target…

And although there’s always the possibility of something having gone massively wrong – as a number of commentators consider – I’m reminded here that Sylvain was supposedly shot in fairly close proximity to Saad (the blood spatters)…

And your other point about the police focussing so willingly on Saad as the target: I’m intending to return to the footage of those first press conferences where that emphasis is apparent from the start. There must have been something there from the outset which has steered the police in that direction. I don’t think that necessarily implies they’ll have enquired inadequately about Sylvain, but it does point to a very strong conviction on their part. I believe Maillaud rather grudgingly considers that it might have been a ‘hit’ on the Al-Hillis, but that “it had been very badly done”. That is obviously an early police opinion, and I must admit I’m beginning to find it difficult to oppose that, although I couldn’t really begin to lay out the baffling logistics of that…

….and on that timely note; a query from my brother…

@all ….would a motorbike fit inside an ‘X5’….???

10-4-2013 at 01:58:43

@ Rashomon, 10-3-2013 at 22:27:14

Unloading the spent cartridges still requires some sort of voluntary action on the part of the shooter, even if it only consists in “breaking” the shotgun. In the absence of any such action, the spent shells remain inside the shotgun (their forensic value is questionable anyway).

If you have a strong stomach, please do follow my suggestion and look up the Rettendon / “Essex Boys” murders. I have forgotten the technical term, but when a shotgun is fired at a pane of glass from close range, the glass particles become secondary, lethal projectiles of their own. Thus, even a single shot from a shotgun fired through one of the windows of Saad’s BMW from the outside would certainly have either injured him very badly (if a hit) or probably injured everybody inside the car (if a miss).

In the Rettendon murders, the killer used a standard double-barrelled shotgun, with a Browning Hi-Power pistol as back-up. The results speak for themselves – very, very nasty indeed.

I think that the Rettendon scenario is quite comparable to the Martinet murders (regarding the number of victims, the victims sitting inside a vehicle, the rural setting), and it just goes to show what a brutally effective weapon a shotgun can be at close range.

10-4-2013 at 08:15:07

@Peter, Rashomon

Are shotguns as common in France etc as they are in the UK? In my ignorance I tend to think of them as being ‘slightly British’, but maybe they (or an equivalent) do have a similar criminal history over there as well…?

Plus a supplementary question, which goes back to views previously expressed: if you were targeting the Al-Hilli family, as a lone gunman, how could you possibly have any confidence in pulling that off with just one seven shot magazine to start with…

….that, to me, seems like the kind of improbable challenge that surely flies in the face of the careful, indeed meticulous, preparations the gunman has demonstrated. And I reiterate here that I think there are signs of an ordered ‘numerologist’ at work: 3×7, 4×2 head shots, 2×3 for the backseat women, and possibly my earlier muted 2×5 for the men…

10-4-2013 at 09:04:53

Morning all…

A couple of earlymorning speculations…

(a) If you were Denis Janin, and wanting to avoid a media scrum on your doorstep for the next week…then it would be quite prudent to declare publicly that you’d seen the biker on your land AFTER the shootings…
I don’t know if that thought’s already been issued on the blog. If so, then of course apologies…

(b) …and a thought on why the two women seemingly didn’t try to escape/ confront the killer: it seems to me that they’ve taken the decision to sacrifice themselves in order to save little Zeena – which they may have heroically achieved. They’ve spent their last seconds instructing the girl to hide under Iqbal’s skirts, and then further concealed her by arranging the luggage around her in the foot space.

10-4-2013 at 10:54:29

@ partlucid, 10-4-2013 at 08:15:07

“Blagging” a Post Office with a sawn-off shotgun may have been a specifically British tradition, but shotguns are ubiquitous in rural areas across Europe. For example, I would bet that Denis Janin kept one within reach, in a case a stray dog worried his cows or some such, and I think that this was why the killer didn’t even think about attacking him.

I still maintain that a shotgun would have been the weapon of choice to initiate the attack on SM and/or the AHs, with the killer perhaps switching to his pistol if required. It certainly was not forensic considerations, i. e., concern aboout spent shotgun shells left lying around at the scene of the crime, that prevented him from doing so, because he had no such concerns about spent cartridge casings from his pistol. Thus, there must have been another reason: either he couldn’t get hold of a shotgun (which I find difficult to believe) or he had no room for it on his motorcycle or underneath his jacket.

10-4-2013 at 11:21:53

or mooted! even…

Thanks Peter. Any views on whether a shotgun would/ or wouldn’t fit into either a motorbike’s side panniers or what seems to be called a ‘topbox’…?

10-4-2013 at 11:41:58

@ partlucid, 10-4-2013 at 11:21:53

That’s the point I was trying to make: unless drastically shortened (barrels sawn off, stock sawn off and converted to / replaced with a pistol grip), there is no way that a shotgun would fit into even large motorcycle panniers.

As there are no conceivable lawful uses for a shortened shotgun (okay, some police units have them for blasting doors off their hinges), such conversions are prohibited and there is no innocent explanation for possessing such a thing.

10-4-2013 at 12:13:41

@Peter et al

So, given that the killer has specifically chosen his pistol (see his preparations) over other ‘better’ options…then the following inferences occur to me…I stress in no particular order!

(a) a feral psychopath, probably not expecting or intending to find himself taking on such a sizeable target

(b) a targeted assassination of SM (for which a pistol would be adequate) which has become spectacularly complex…

(c) a planned, or opportunistic? assault on the Al-Hillis, which most likely involves an assisting vehicle

And of course there may well be other variations, but those are the ones that occur to me currently. I’m sure there’s nothing new there, but I just thought it might be useful to set them down (again)…

10-4-2013 at 12:43:50

@ partlucid, 10-4-2013 at 12:13:41

I love the phrase “a feral psychopath,” but I think that one should further differentiate between different triggers that could have led to the killer revealing that psychopathic personality trait:

A1. A robbery-gone-wrong, committed by a drug-addict who was both high at the time and under enormous pressure quickly to score the money for his next fix.

A2. A road-rage incident, committed by somebody with paranoid tendencies who carries a pistol “for protection,” who is forensically aware because “the cops are out to get him,” and who was already wound up after being chased away by the ONF (representatives of the authorities that he hates so much) earlier.

A3. A truly random stranger attack motivated by nothing but a lust for violence. Although conceivable, this is the rarest and therefore least probable option.

10-4-2013 at 17:27:10

Someone here made the remark that ‘a policeman’ might have recognized SM and chimed in CS, and this would explain why she ‘went looking for SM’ so early (if true)

But, if the ‘CS jumps into car’ is true, there could be and even more direct explanation, namely the ONF, the same ONF who later came up with the X5.

Suppose ONF is implicated, and ONF knew/saw something went completely wrong, he possibly would have chimed in CS, and CS went to look for SM directly …

(and afterwards there was the construction of ‘got lost’, ‘wall of silence’, ‘wrongplace/wrongtime’, X5, ‘about the kids’, etc)

– M

10-4-2013 at 17:32:02

Just to pen down a thought which is so simple, yet so deep(ly in line with a LOT of facts)

Suppose L shot SM, and ONF regonized the kid

(wouldn’t it not come all together)

– M

10-4-2013 at 18:47:55

@Max re: wouldn’t it not come all together

To me it wouldn’t. You have to add someone ‘crazy’ enough and with as much determination, and perhaps desperation enough, to kill the whole Al-Hilli family as well, compare e.g. Alois Huber.

I still would like to include the Chablais-killings and that makes it even less probable.

10-4-2013 at 19:52:22

Rebus (can NSA softwares flag a rebus?)
Did the

10-4-2013 at 19:53:30

Yes they can

10-4-2013 at 20:05:59

@Peter your 12.43

Peter, it seems to me you’re like one of these TV evolutionary scientists, separating the species into different genetic? strains which then go off in different directions..!

So here’s a supplementary listing – doubtless equally discussed already – which may/ or may not pique your interest…

In terms of how the killer has travelled to, and/ or from, Le Martinet, I’d suggest there are even less options to choose from. Again in no particular order…

(a) on foot, as favoured by Lars and perhaps others

(b) by motorbike, and here I’d have to mention, most obviously, the 15.15 sighting by the ONF and subsequent secondary sighting by Brett Martin (I believe a Times article put this encounter within three or four hundred yards of the lay-by)

(c) here I want to offer a choice of vehicles. So we have either…

(c1) the ‘X5’ as featured on Crimewatch, and perhaps espied fleeing the scene by BM…


(c2) an ONF vehicle, which seems to have thus far eluded the police…

And again, I’ll slip in my disclaimer that these seem the only options to me…but of course I’m sure others may be able to add to them. Personally I’m struggling to see many other possibilities. One of Claude Antoine’s four, pehaps?….although we’re told reportedly that everything else has been identified…

10-4-2013 at 20:35:03

d) a bicycle

10-4-2013 at 21:06:36

e) a canoe on Ire

10-4-2013 at 21:11:13

No reports of either Lars….in all the hundreds/ thousands? of articles…

10-4-2013 at 21:13:06


To me it would

– M

10-4-2013 at 21:19:49

No reports of bicycles at Martinet?

10-4-2013 at 21:56:15

f) a horse ?

10-4-2013 at 22:12:14

g ) an old Swiss army drone

10-4-2013 at 23:13:17

Keenly awaiting those links….

10-5-2013 at 07:01:51
10-5-2013 at 10:10:44

Good Morning!

From a criminological point of view it is interesting to study cases where we know who the perpetrator was.

Take Alois Huber in Austria as an example.

If he had got away from that police checkpoint in the night a couple of weeks ago, would anyone in Austria have suspected that Alois Huber was the perpetrator? I don’t think so.

From the outside there was nothing pointing at this rather well-to-do businessman, owning a small transport company, and well respected hunter. But in hindsight we can see that there were actually a lot of things pointing in his direction.

He transported logs from the forests around Austria. He was thus well acquainted with all small transport roads in these woods. He also sometimes, as a transporter and hunter, delivered food to the wildlife in different hunting districts. He had as a wellknown hunter visited the hunting cabins that he later broke into, stole the guns, a burnt down. He was thus well equipped to know where to find his game, kill them and behead them, get away unseen, and to steal the weapons he wanted. He also lived alone so nobody knew what he was doing at night.

But why this massacre in the night. It is hard to know if he had planned to end his life in that way, fighting to the end. Perhaps the police will find some clues in his home one day. It is though quite unusual that this type of perpetrator doesn’t try to run away but instead gets involved in a sort gun battle with the police.

I think the answer might lie in the fact that his criminal record was much longer than just poaching and stealing some weapons. He knew when his car crashed at the police checkpoint that the game was over, and then his only intention was to fight as long as possible.

Alois Huber is still a psychological mystery. Why did he do it? What was his motive? It was probably not for the money since he doesn’t seem to have sold anything he stole. He was a said also pretty well-to-do.

Hardly for the adventure. He was a middle-aged man, not a juvenile delinquent. He could go on hunting travels in exotic countries whenever he wanted.

So why he did it is still a mystery, but that he certainly had all the capabilities necessary to do it seems pretty obvious in hindsight.
He was well suited to perpetrate this type of crimes.

10-5-2013 at 10:20:38


As far as I’m aware, there have been no reports of any rogue bicycles around the crime…this from Maillaud at the recent press conference…

He said police had identified all other people and vehicles who were in the area at the time, but were still looking for a white motorbike and a dark-coloured 4×4 vehicle – possibly a BMW – that witnesses reported seeing

The point I was rather clumsily trying to make was that, if the above is accurate, then there really are remarkably few options for the killer to have got to and from the car park. And personally, I see no advantage to the police in being dishonest about that, one year on.

10-5-2013 at 10:57:30

Let me try to get this straight:

SM went on his bicycle ride at 14:30 hours. If he had taken a straight route from his home to the Martinet, he should have arrived there at 15:15 at the latest, rather than at 15:30 – 15:40. Thus, he either took a detour or he stopped somewhere along the way for at least 15 minutes. As we don’t know where he utimately intended to go, all we can say is that, if he had intended to take the shortest route to the Martinet and back, he would have been back home at 16:00 (or a few minutes earlier, as the Combe d’Ire stretch would have been downhill all the way). If he took a detour on the way to the Martinet (adding that extra 15-30 minutes of journey time) and had intended to take the same detour on the way back, he should have been home by 16:30 hours. All of those estimates assume that he was not in the habit of stopping at a café along the way for a lemonade or dropping in on friends (as his uncle has reported him frequently doing).

Yet, at 17:00 hours, CS raised the alarm and reported him missing. At some point shortly before 15:30 – 15:40, his ex-wife had rung him on his mobile. That is one heck of a coincidence, and a lot of concern for a man “sans histoire” out on a peaceful bicycle ride.

@ Max, 10-4-2013 at 17:27:10
I struggle with the notion of the ONF guys being close enough to recognize SM or bis bicycle, yet not stopping to render first aid, and still being considerate enough to inform CS that SM may have been killed.

A more likely scenario, in my opinion, is that SM already felt under some kind of threat when LR rang him, and that he mentioned that threat to LR. Perhaps LR called CS afterwards and told her what SM had told her? (The police should know.) LR and CS appear to be quite close; perhaps they already were close before SM died.

10-5-2013 at 11:20:20

As to access to crime scene, what about looking at routes beyond the top of the col down into the next valley. Easy to come up and down there if you know the terrain. Get up ther, camp overnight wait for sylvain. Deliver your goods to him, but he twigs on to the intention to kill him turns to go back down followed by gunman. Comes across family, yells to them, but too late they get hit, but jump in car, as gunman grabs child, now frantic gunman threatens and shoots family and then goes back to finish off sylvain, disappears into woods, and hikes back down away from martinet, so not seen by BM.
4 x4 is ONF and his girlfriend having a lunch tryst in lower laybyes, so to speak. They hurry away passing BM and don’t want to speak up due to illicit rendezvous, but realize they must shortly afterwards. Why do you think French have such long lunches?

10-5-2013 at 11:27:12


You’re getting into quite interesting territory here Peter. Did Claire formally report him as missing…!!

….and if so, do we know what form that report took…

…or did she ‘simply’ make her way up to the Combe d’Ire road, and express her anxieties there…?

10-5-2013 at 11:32:45

…and I still think there’s an enormous chance that he used your ‘missing’ 15 minutes to climb his 2km hill…

10-5-2013 at 11:48:28

I think that we already now can conclude that there will be no mysterious shootings/killings in Haute Savoie this year, like there were in 2009 (1), 2011 (2) and 2012 (2).


Because the police have arrested the killer? No!

Because the killer has no more suitable victims? No!

I think the answer spells Chevaline.

10-5-2013 at 11:58:09


I think you make a mistake. The police (and E-Maillaud) can only report what the witnesses have seen, or say that they have seen. They can not report what no witness has seen.

Ergo: we can (if we want) believe the police’s (few) informations of what has been reported by witnesses, but that doesn’t mean that we can exclude anything else just because it wasn’t seen. A good explanation why anyone wants to introduce a new player/vehicle is of course valuable.

10-5-2013 at 11:58:19

@ partlucid, 10-5-2013 at 11:27:12
I don’t know about France specifically, but, in all the jurisdictions that I’m familiar with, one can report a small child as missing right away (and the police will do something about it right away), but with an adult male, police will usually recommend waiting 24 hours before filing a missing-person report, unless the circumstances of the disappearance be extremely suspect.

In this particular case, however, they will have taken CS seriously at once, because they must have been aware that there was a dead cyclist on the scene. She herself almost certainly never got further than a gendarmerie roadblock.

@ partlucid, 10-5-2013 at 11:32:45
I think so, too. I need to have a look at the topography, though, because those 2 km would have to be awfully, awfully steep for the climb plus the way back down to take 15 minutes.

What may have happened – this is complete supposition on my part – is that SM did make the climb, got into some sort of argument with the motorcyclist (the one with the big panniers later seen by Janin), turned around and was followed downhill by the motorcyclist.

10-5-2013 at 12:16:22


I obviously can’t argue with that logic Lars! The police statement seemed to indicate a confidence that they had literally identified all parties (that they knew of!) who’d been at, or around, the scene….so I simply took that at face value…

…but clearly, if we’re dealing here with an invisible bike-, skateboard-, horse-, pedal-car rider….then our task does become that bit trickier…

10-5-2013 at 12:38:51


This business about Claire ‘raising the alarm’ or reporting Sylvain missing has always intrigued me, although I’m not sure we’ve got clarity on what actually happened there…?

For me, the overwhelming likelihood is that Claire has got wind of something awry up at the Combe d’Ire and responded to that…

If Sylvain was able to take a call along that road, then presumably he could also have phoned out, no?

10-5-2013 at 12:57:45

@ partlucid, 10-5-2013 at 11:32:45

Unless I’m very much mistaken, those 2 km of road above the Martinet represent a climb of approximately 400 metres of altitude. That’s a slope of approximately 20%, a brutal climb that only “un bon amateur” would even think of tackling.

10-5-2013 at 13:10:22

There were 2 identified cyclists at the crime scene: SM (a victim) and WBM (a witness). Both of them are supposed to have left their start point at the same time, 2:30 pm. Both had an estimated riding time of 45 minutes to reach Le Martinet by their respective logical routes. Yet, according to later reports, they happened to be midway up the final climb to Martinet about 60 minutes after their start time. So there’s obviously a time gap of 15 to 30 minutes for each of them. EM’s “honesty” has nothing to do with that. And for SM, it couldn’t be explained, as suggested, by riding an extra 2 miles towards the Col and back down to Martinet: the time gap lies *before* they ride by each other, not after.
Incidentally, there’s also a timeline issue for the motorist victims (Saad and family) since the 3:15 pictures contradict the builders’ statement. And this discrepancy happens to be in the same time bracket.

10-5-2013 at 13:15:00

@ partlucid, 10-5-2013 at 12:38:51

The timings that I set out earlier, plus the fact that SM was supposedly “lost”, not meant to be at the Martinet in the first place, render it overwhelmingly unlikely that CS would have associated news of something awry at the Combe d’Ire with SM right away. The entire area is crawling with cyclists, and SM was only a little late in coming home, if at all, by 17:00 hours.

Thus, it seems that CS feared or was tipped off about a specific threat to SM. Given that LR was able to phone SM, he would have been able to make a call, too, as you point out. Why didn’t he? Either he didn’t feel threatened at all, or he thought he could deal with it himself, or he was up to no good.

Anyway, to my mind, the sequence of LR calling SM shortly before his murder and CS raising the alarm shortly afterwards is too close together in time, too big a coincidence. Add to that the fact that LR didn’t mention that call to the police, and you have a highly suspicious constellation.

10-5-2013 at 13:16:34


That’s impressive research Peter. I’d seen from a video Lars had posted of the overhead helicopter footage that it was a ‘proper climb’. It was always Lynda who described Sylvain as a ‘grimpeur’ I think…and so to me it does make some sense to see the hill as maybe even the main pull of the Combe d’Ire road for him (although the uncle of course doesn’t say that; indeed he refers to the cool shaded nature of the ride I think).
The phrase I retain from memory of that early Telegraph piece (since disappeared) was that Thierry had sent him out ‘on a good little climb’, which always smacked of comic understatement to me…

10-5-2013 at 13:32:45

@ partlucid

I have no problem at all with seeing the attraction of that climb for SM. The nastiest hill in my area (which the Dutch, without a hint of irony, call the “Dutch Alps”) has a similar profile. Cyclists from all over the Netherlands travel there to climb that hill, sometimes over and over again.

Haute Savoie is comparatively blessed with steep climbs, and SM would have been spoilt for choice, but I can still see the attraction.

10-5-2013 at 13:35:11

@ Peter

What reliable sources do we have (I don’t keep track) that CS somehow “raised the alarm” as early as 5 pm?
Bearing in mind her baby Louis was hardly 3 months old, and very possibly still nursed considering the mother’s age and occupation, it sounds rather unlikely to me that she could have just left at the snap of a finger, even assuming she got somehow “tipped off”.

10-5-2013 at 13:36:07


But don’t you think that Claire knew Sylvain was going up the Combe d’Ire? Perhaps she did, perhaps she didn’t…
I don’t think he was remotely ‘lost’, or ‘trompe de route’ at all; I see that as simply Maillaud’s casual fiction to protect Thierry Schutz…

And I’m not looking to challenge your thinking on the combined actions of the two women here – I think it’s an interesting angle – but I don’t think it necessarily follows that it was their perception of a threat to Sylvain, rather than Claire hearing of an actual incident, which made her act and react in whatever way she did…

…most women, and even more so those who have just given birth, would be naturally anxious upon hearing that there’s been some sort of terrible incident (possibly involving a cyclist) in the area where her partner is cycling…

10-5-2013 at 13:46:33

I know very little of how the French gendarmerie behaves, especially in a case like this, but I can explain what I think would have happened in Sweden, under these circumstances.

A wife or someone in a similar position is worried about ‘husband’, she goes looking for him along his expected cycling route.

She comes to a roadblock with policemen. She gets out of her car and asks the policemen what has happened. In Sweden I guess the police would inform her directly that there has been an ‘accident’ with a car a bicyclist involved. In France she might have to ask a policeman if there was a bicyclist involved.

She then informs the police of her worries that her husband was going on his bike along precisely this route and she hadn’t been able to get in touch.

The policeman then alerts his superiors that there is a woman at the roadblock who suspects that her husband might be involved. He gets instructed to ask the woman about the bike and the clothes and of course his name.

The woman give him that information.

The police check on the computer in the car for the cyclist’s driver’s license and instantly get a photo of him. This information is transfered to the policemen at the scene who can directly affirm that it is indeed the woman’s husband.

This whole procedure might take 5 minutes.

This is what I would find normal procedure in Sweden under these circumstances. And that is why I find that whole story about Claire’s actions so strange.

10-5-2013 at 13:50:36

@ Lars

Agreed. And as far as I know, things go about the same way in France. So it is weird. Who’s to blame?

10-5-2013 at 14:02:36

Incidentally, can anybody confirm for me on exactly which junction? the ivy covered house sits in Doussard? On Rue de la Poste and Macherine? or on the corner with Route d’Arnand? I’m keen to understand the routeing they’ve taken after seemingly taking fright at the Dangerous Road sign…

10-5-2013 at 14:15:14

@ Partlucid

Should be Poste and Macherine, according to accepted reports. Yes, it’s Boston Ivy, rather than Virginia creeper.
I’m not sure what you mean about getting scared at a sign??

10-5-2013 at 14:39:01

As we all know, today is September 5. Plus one month. As Inspector Clouseau said, we’ve already made a lot of progress. But not towards solving the case.
Can we perhaps leave aside the HOW, and try to focus on the WHY and the WHO?

10-5-2013 at 14:39:20

@partlucid & Eugene

It is in the corner of Rue de la Poste and Route d’Arnand (see the summary).
The house is easy to find in Google Street View.

10-5-2013 at 14:40:47


I think WHO is the important question now.

10-5-2013 at 15:00:27

@ Lars

Certainly. But to answer this question, we have to find out why. Why so many time gaps, why so much privacy concerns, why so much flip-flopping in official reports, why such enduring online roadblocks. Guess the answer isn’t pretty, and won’t console the orphaned children.

10-5-2013 at 15:16:49

To quote my own ‘hero’ in criminology: ‘A motive is a pleasure for the class of people who read crime stories’. 🙂

To be more sincere: I am not certain if anybody but the killer can tell why, and when he does we already know the answer to the question who. The rest, why the whole investigation became such a strange mystery, is probably also only possible to answer when the murders are solved, and people are a little more willing to speak.

10-5-2013 at 15:20:51

@ Lars

You may be right, but let’s hope otherwise..

10-5-2013 at 19:11:28

@Eugene your 14.15

I think there’s a school of thought which sees the Al-Hillis pass by the builders, as reported, before 3 o’clock but then turn back when they see the wording Dangerous Road on the Route Forrestiere sign at the start of the Combe d’Ire road. They then find themselves enchanted by the ivy clad house, take their family snaps, before deciding to risk the ‘dangerous road’ after all, and go on a flower walk up at Le Martinet, as recommended by the campsite owner’s daughter…


Thanks for locating the house. That probably increases the likelihood that they have then ‘returned’ up the Arnand/ du Moulin route, out of sight of the builders, no?

10-5-2013 at 19:21:27


It at least adds something to the mystery of their itinerary, since Route d’Arnand and Route du Moulin is the straight way from that house to Route de Forestiere and Le Martinet.

10-5-2013 at 20:29:09

@ Partlucid

I know. Previously, that was the “cuddly toy” theory. But these fairy tales don’t sound very convincing to me. As to the route, unless Saad had studied a detailed roadmap before leaving, he was probably relying on either his navigation system or the road signs. And I don’t think he was the type of guy to be scared by a “dangerous road” post, far less if he had been advised by locals to drive there.

10-5-2013 at 20:51:42


Can I ask which bit(s) of that is/ are the fairy tale(s) in your eyes…
I think you’re sceptical about the time stamp on the photos, aren’t you?…so I just wonder what your thinking is on this…

As Alexander said, the route is actually fairly easy to find: after turning off for Doussard you simply continue ‘tout droit’, and obviously any local, if asked for directions, would simply have stretched their arm out to indicate ‘straight on’…

10-5-2013 at 21:05:15

Right or wrong, I think the Al-Hillis made a single trip to Le Martinet, never to come back.
Whether it’s the time-stamped photo or the builders’ account that’s inaccurate, I don’t know. But it comes to that.

10-5-2013 at 21:18:11

@Eugene, to an obvious fellow gardener, without getting up close I would not be able to tell the difference:

Either way irrelevant, it was a house covered in leaves that were taking on their autumn shades before losing they drop off, leaving an ugly mess !

@Partlucid, use Google streetview and you’ll see exactly where the house is, at the end/beginning of the road that leads to route du Moulin, no cuddly toy scenario, just hesitation or if you have looked back many moons ago my suggestion that if Al-Hilli was going to a rdz at Le Martinet, he drove nearby in advance to check out where it was.

That makes the 14:40 and maybe a bit later be no problem at all, bear in mind Paul Ducher thinks he saw the car ‘about and hour’ before the Emergency Services arrived, I still think the builders were being a bit keen in their timing, nevertheless before 3pm.

Of course, the family then stopped and took other photos of traditional chalets and farmhouses before the final one at 15:15.(reported).

10-5-2013 at 21:21:37

Yes, I also think it easier to explain how the builders could be wrong.

Remember also that Alex came on D180 while the Al-Hillis probably came on D181 to end up at Rue de la Poste.

10-5-2013 at 21:42:45

@Eugene and Lars, they did only pass the builders/Ducher once. From the famous ivy covered house, following your ideas, then they had to go around the one way system in Doussard to do that, okay it isn’t big, but it isn’t direct.

Of course, I could be completely wrong, if only we knew where those other photos were taken, if they were on route du Moulin into Arnand, then I think we would have our answer.

And Lars you are right, Alex didn’t pass the house, he approached directly from Saint Jorioz, the nearest junction, for Al-Hilli to have arrived there by chance he would have arrived from the big roundabout, nevertheless on the otherside of the road.

That is why I favour, he did take the hairpin at the old sawmill, returning to Doussard, then went back, encouraged by his daughter, oh come on Dad, lets have a look, the wife and mother-in-law, well, a roll of the eyes and if you must, hence they didn’t get out of the car, they weren’t interested.

10-5-2013 at 22:07:00

Re X5

As you know I have a problem believing there was an X5. I think it is an ‘invention’. Or in other words a lie. So (in that scenario) the guy who said X5 is a liar, and could have told more lies. I know of one other lie, the ‘cant remember seeing BM’ lie.

In this scenario, 4×4=ONF=liar

But perhaps he did not stop there. He told us that ‘he redirected a motorbiker who was roaming the woods’ … now this could be a lie too:)

BM only saw the 4×4 and MC1 … ON THE ROAD

Suppose both 4×4 (ONF) and MC1 were always on this road. They would have come straight from Martinet. In essence this could mean that MC1=X and that ONF might protect X, because it was ONF who told all the lies, it was not MC1 … because WHERE IS MC1????? (he has vapourised into thin air … or in other words, MC1=X is protected a.o. by said ONF)

Of course there is the question why ONF and MC1 took the road downhill with the risk being seen??? Perhaps both (or at least MC1) had to get back to base before anyone would notice their absence?

In short the scenario:

4×4=ONF and arrives just after the killing (recognizes MC1)
‘What have you done???’
ONF decides to ‘protect’ MC1
‘Lets go away quick’

Much later ONF comes forward (after having settled for a ‘story’)
MC1 is never found/explained (but it is hinted he was redirected by said ONF (lie))
ONF says ‘cant remember BM’ (lie)
ONF says ‘I saw an X5’ (lie)

ONF is said to be ‘fiable’ and ‘mis hors de cause’

And who is to argue about ONF? If he sticks to his lies, and MC1=X keeps his head down, all is well

– M

10-5-2013 at 22:21:48


Thanks for the directions. I had been briefly working on some sort of Claude Antoine-type scenario that sees a miscreant parked up somewhere to await a tourist making for the Combe d’Ire road…but I’ve jettisoned it because it would make more sense for a car-jacker etc to simply lie in wait somewhere along the route itself, no?….and also the police seem to have fairly quickly discounted this robbery-gone-badly-wrong notion. I guess the much more ordered assassinations they encountered up at Le Martinet were unlike anything you’d expect from a run-of-the-mill mugging…

And can I just ask….your ‘come on dad, let’s have a look’ does refer to going up to Le Martinet for a look at the flowers, or whatever…?

10-5-2013 at 22:49:20

@Partlucid, Al-Hilli had apparently asked at the campsite where they might go for a ‘walk’, please remember that Le Martinet is the furthest point into Les Bauges where a car can legally be driven.

I see that as an excitement for little and big explorers from the suburbs of London. A fast running stream tripping over rocks, tall, scented pines and quiet, away from the noise of busy roads.

The French use the word ‘bucolique’

A getaway from it all. I know that isn’t everyones idea of holiday, it is mine, so I can see the attraction.

As a personal preference for me it is something similar near the sea, although I have to admit to having enjoyed a late summer holiday in Les Landes, collecting mushrooms, although that really is an art ! Walking in woods, spotting badger sets and moving ferns, wondering what that was !

From Fat Bastards description of the family these would be the things they adored, that is no doubt why they chose to camp on the shores of Lake Annecy, a bit wild and a bit civilised, and a very pretty backdrop to a holiday.

10-5-2013 at 23:05:43


Yes, I think your scenario is as good as mine. But it doesn’t change much. They just offer two different explanations for the builders statement. Possibly your scenario could open for the scenario that someone did follow the Al-Hilli family from Doussard even though the builders did not see anyone following them on Route de la Chevaline.

10-5-2013 at 23:42:09

It’s tricky this business of the Al-Hillis maybe being tailed up the road. On the face of it I find it pretty improbable really; a car, or a motorbike, following them around in these small villages, and having to pause and take cover as they pose for holiday snaps…before the family then finally take itself up a convenient cul-de-sac so that the assassin can now kill them with impunity. That really does sound like one of Eugene’s fairy tales!

I had asked mooted a long time ago…the possibility of the car being bugged (this is very secret service stuff, I know). But with all this modern electrotelly stuff, would it be at all possible to follow someone on a sat-nav street map , with just their mobile phone number as a ‘signal’. Or is that out-and-out nonsense..? There may have been some talk of this at the time, but I can’t recall the consensus, sorry…


I’ve also got no problem with the notion of them going up to Le Martinet for a walk. In my experience, the concept of la nature/ or die Natur tends to be even more favoured on the continent than in the UK. A nearby woodland walk in a national park would be an obvious suggestion for the camp site to make…

10-5-2013 at 23:56:23

Yes, Lars it could, and although Claude Antoine says he didn’t see anything doesn’t mean it wasn’t there.

If you turn that on its head a bit, accepting the JDD article that has been posted over and over, mostly latterly I did in the last thread, then PB and friends did pass the builders on route Chevaline.

There is a big difference between ‘was the Al-Hilli car followed?’ to Bossy passing over half an hour later, isn’t there ?

If we accept Claude Antoine seeing nothing pass by in the afternoon, then he didn’t see SM or BM, I feel certain the former did cycle that route (logically from the direction of Ugine), problem is a bike doesn’t make a sound.

Vehicles, well as BM has said depends if you are looking for them, any vehicle could have climbed the route via Moulin during the ‘lunch hour’, and not been seen.

There is a joke, if you want to invade France, do it between 12 and 2, or on a Sunday, because nobody will be at their post !

_Makes me wonder, when would have been the best time for someone to have taken up their position, be that from Chevaline or Jarsy.

Either way, this is nothing to do with Chevaline, the sweep is a far greater area.

10-6-2013 at 00:13:22

@Partlucid, what annoys me sooo much is this GPS/satellite thing, on holiday can’t anyone use a local map, with all the highlighted areas to visit, picked up in the hotel lobby or campsite reception ?

I accept this family were essentially on holiday, Saad had planned a visit to the bank in Geneva to prove that he was owner/part owner of the account in his fathers name, he didn’t get to that appointment (Dario Zanni).

The only nagging doubt I have, well two really, is did the family go to Geneva/Switzerland that day, Les Flics will know. The second, was he planning a move to the area on the basis of possibly getting a job at CERN ?

That doesn’t make him a terrorist or spy, just a guy that knew he was going to have to sell his house in Claygate, unless Zaid had been compensated, I would say rightly so, morally.

Forgive me, guys, the place of these murders and the unfolding of them seems too bizarre for them to have been organised externally. The whole making it seem like something else, why ? If you were the paid to do it guy, would you give a stuff about confusing the police, press and media ?

10-6-2013 at 01:27:31

Probability Theory – Who was targeted?

I am of the opinion that EM had made the a priori assumption that the SAH party were targeted and that they were

the only targets.

As an exercise I have been trying to clarify my current thinking by assigning probabilities to the various options. The

probabilities obviously have to add up to one.

(1) [0.05] Both the Al Hilli party and Sylvain Mollier

(2) [0.4 ] Al Hilli party only

(3) [0.1 ] Al Hilli party and another party

(4) [0.2 ] Sylvain Mollier only

(5) [0.1 ] Sylvain Mollier and another party

(6) [0.1 ] Another party or parties

(7) [0.05] No one

Thus P that the Al Hilli party were targeted would be 0.55

And P that Sylvain Mollier was targeted would be 0.35

I think that I am still underestimating ‘another party or parties’.

I guess that EM would have P the Al Hilli party were targeted >=0.8 and P that Sylvain Mollier was targeted <0.2


In this case 'targeted' means specifically targeted for killing or serious harm, including robbery with violence or

threat thereof.

In this case 'another party' means a person or persons other than the Al Hilli party and Sylvain Mollier. It could refer

to a person or persons who are known to have been near Martinet in the relevant timeslot, or it could be someone who

arrived afterwards, or who did not arrive at all.

In this case 'No one' is a catch-all and would include Peter's scenario where the killer was so high that he was shooting

giant red beetles or witches on broomsticks.

10-6-2013 at 06:08:20


A disrupted night at my end..

I quite like your idea of Saad maybe nosing around Doussard and checking out his route prior to a 3.30? meeting up at the car park…and in giving voice to that I’m simply trying to find a way to make the Maillaud proposal – of a targeting of the Al-Hillis – work…

Because otherwise I’m struggling to see how a killer has tailed them, undetected, around such minor roads. Or even across France! for that matter. For such a scenario, the only nonsense I can come up with is some sort of ultra-sophisticated, secret service plot involving listening bugs, tracking devices, probably a British registered ‘X5’ and possibly a decoy motor-bike. Whether that sort of fiction ever actually happens, I wouldn’t know…

But a pre-arranged meeting – presumably with either the biker, or the ‘X5’, or Sylvain Mollier (if you’re of that persuasion) or even BM if you doubt him – eliminates this improbable tailing aspect. Saad strikes me as a pretty worried and troubled figure: tasers, lock changes, a corrosive dispute and a couple of heart attacks. I just can’t see him missing that car or motorbike that’s been following him since the campsite…

10-6-2013 at 09:06:33


No, it is not Celeste, it is Marilyn. I’m still on the highway to hell, but … it is the Lord’s Day and he rested on it after having made the world … do I sound like Bacchus now, and am I scaring the whole lot of you? Don’t worry, I’m only joking.

Yesterday – 5th – ‘it’ had happened 13 months ago. For the families, time must not be passing fast.

No mention of Chevaline yesterday in any of the French media. I predict that there will be mention of it again when Saad’s brother’s bail hearing comes up at the end of the month, and then there will be silence again. It may be a silence which will continue for a very long time – years perhaps. However, silence makes the loudest noise, so the noise will continue.

Have a nice commenting day.

10-6-2013 at 11:42:45

@ All

Before dismissing the idea that the AHs were electronically tracked as nonsense, let’s not forget our Nigerian friend Abiodun David John, who allegedly attempted to defraud Saad both before and after his death – another coincidence surrounding this case that is simply off the scale. In order to get as far as he did with that attempt, he must have had some kind of inside track to Saad’s personal and confidential data. To my mind, Saad’s smartphone appears the most likely attack vector. A hacked smartphone would make a perfect tracking device, although, like all tracking devices, incapable of predicting where the target is going to go next.

However, I still don’t see this as a targeted assassination of Saad or of the entire AH family. There would have been so many easier ways and better locations to accomplish this.

10-6-2013 at 13:55:06

I like the idea of the low-cost hit man, hired through an international criminal network..
Guess the franchise must be called “Pistol Hit”. You reach them on their 800 toll-free number in Romania:

– Good evening, Pistol Hit at your service, this is Slovan speaking, may I take your contract please?
– Yes, I’d like to order a large, country-style, massacre..
– For 2?
– No, better make this the family size..
– Family size kills 3 or 4.
– Perfect. Do you only do Chicago weaponry base, or do you have any other options?
– Certainly. We also carry the traditional Marseille AK 47 style, the ethnic Soviet plutonium dart or our special of the month, the Swiss vintage Luger..
– I’ll have the Swiss vintage.
– Fine. Any extra toppings?
– Make it double taps, and one extra head-whip.
– Would you like any collaterals to go with your massacre?
– Just one. Do you do passers-by?
– We certainly do. Local or imported?
– Just 1 local please. A bicyclist if available..
– And the delivery is for.. Le Martinet, Chevaline, Upper-Savoy?
– Correct.
– Will this be debit or credit?
– Credit. I have this escrow account for you with the Credit Suisse in Geneva.
– Okay. So your total comes to £ 13,500 plus tax. Your massacre should be delivered within 30 hours, otherwise it’s on us. Thanks for using Pistol Hit, hope to be able to serve you again soon. Good-night.

But Inspector Clouseau doesn’t believe in “Pistol Hit”. He thinks they’re just junk thugs.

10-6-2013 at 14:14:11

Possibly a missed vocation there Eugene….or maybe it’s not been missed…

10-6-2013 at 14:36:19

@ Partlucid

Thanks. You’re too generous.
No, don’t give me too much credit: once you’ve read enough fairy tales, it’s no big deal to imagine another one.

And to be serious, I think Mollier was the target. He was easy to track..

10-6-2013 at 15:29:03
10-6-2013 at 15:49:45

@ Peter


Do you agree with me about Mollier being the target?

10-6-2013 at 16:31:08

@ Eugene, 10-6-2013 at 15:49:45

Whichever way I look at it, the Chevaline murders make no sense at all as a planned assassination with (a) predefined target(s). Prima facie, Mollier, as a local man, being the target is slightly more plausible than the Al-Hilli family being the targets, but then killing an entire carload of random strangers just to get at a local cyclist whom one could kill anywhere at one’s leisure makes no sense, either.

The trouble is that, in any most-likely-to-be-whacked-contest, both Saad and SM would have been amongst the finalists. At least hypothetically, both men had enemies who might have considered killing them, or having them killed. In addition, there are several bizarre coincidences surrounding the case, on both sides. Plus the bizarre behaviour of the Schutz/Mollier families in the aftermath, plus the bizarre behaviour of the police both in France and the UK.

However, once one abstracts from those details and contemplates the big picture, one is left with what appears to be a spontaneous, pointless outburst of savagery.

10-6-2013 at 16:59:56

The question I would like to ask Prosecutor Maillaud is: “What information did you have which had enabled you to immediately state that Sylvain Mollier was not the intended target?” If we know this, a lot of questions we’re asking here will be answered.

Eugene, a agree with Partlucid; you should take up writing screen scripts.

Peter, Those links — Most days I think the internet is a menace!

10-6-2013 at 17:29:29

Back just to test a weapon theory with the small arms experts here.

I think that the use of a Luger P-06 is almost set in stone, when it comes to the Chevaline murders. All because of the 7.65 Parabellum casings and the small fragment of a Luger grip, found at Martinet.

As I see it, the fragment could have been laying around there for ages.
But what about the casings ?

EM said, late last november : (Google Tr. from a link at the end)
the magistrate is not certain that the “piece of weapon” found on the crime scene comes from one who fired twenty bullets on the four victims. Because on clay this forest park, “we also found plenty of butts and shotgun cartridges do not have necessarily linked to crimes” “We do not care about a single weapon, but several who can take this class, “7.65 mm.

Now, that is interesting because, most likely there were other handguns in the vicinity of Martinet that afternoon, more than 13 moons ago.

Namely 9mm. semi-automatic pistols (MAC-50 ?) carried by the ONF agents.

I’ve heard from an un-reliable source that the 9mm para. cartridge is very close to the 7.65 in size. and in spite of the under-dimensioned bullet of the latter, it will work good enough in a 9mm. pistol, especially at close range .

So, true or false…will it work ??

In this video you can catch a glimpse of an ONF service gun : (Not very close up, I’m afraid).

You can also see an off-road biker gettin’ caught and fined .

Our “MC 1” wasn’t fined, in fact he wasn’t even identified, nor was his bike !!
Still, he’s now said to be ‘accounted’ for…

“MC 1” was either a friend of the ONF guys OR he was an ONF agent himself,
riding one of their own off-road bikes…If so, there could have been 3 pistols
perhaps capable of firing 7.65 parabellums.

EM again:

In any case, agents NFB “chased a guy on a motorcycle to 15 h 15, traveling in the forest of the Combe d’Ire, closed to traffic, and were renewed in the way” the prosecutor said: “They have not specifically noticed this type. He did not hit. He left without being fined. ” Suddenly, his identity remains unknown. And the driver of the bike was never found, despite appeals for witnesses. The killer is gone

Occam’s razor folks…Shave off the shady stuff, like Col de Chérel motor bike and the even more shady X5.

I bet that the ONF guys would not have come forward at all, if it wasn’t for the WBM testimony..

10-6-2013 at 18:08:28

Very interesting footage Ron, and good to see you back (even on a visit).

Are these guys armed as a matter of course? – which would surprise! – or perhaps just for special operations…

10-6-2013 at 19:03:40

@ Ron, 10-6-2013 at 17:29:29

Regarding your question of whether one can fire 7.65 Para. ammunition from a 9 mm Para. pistol, all I can say is that it might work, that it probably depends upon the specific model of pistol used, but that I should not expect the ejection/feeding cycle to be particularly reliable even if it did work.

What I can say with absolute certainty, though, is that ballistics experts would have immediately picked up on those bullets having been fired through a too-large barrel. This would have been obvious even to the naked eye. Vice versa, the act of firing non-standard ammunition from an ONF officer’s handgun would have left highly unusual chemical and mechanical traces on that officer’s pistol.

In short, I don’t see what a malign ONF officer could have hoped to gain from using the “wrong kind” of ammunition. If he had used the right kind (9 mm Para.) of ammunition, ballistics experts would have been able to tell that the killer had used the same type of pistol as the one issued to ONF officers, would therefore have impounded his pistol as well as those of his colleagues, and most probably individuated his personal pistol as the one from which the fatal bullets had been fired. If he had used the wrong kind of ammunition (7.65 Para), ballistics experts would have spotted that straight away, would still have impounded all the ONF guys’ pistols (at least I hope so), and would *still* have identified his personal pistol as the murder weapon.

10-6-2013 at 19:36:44

@ Peter 10-6-2013 at 11:42:45

Peter, you wrote:-

“A hacked smartphone would make a perfect tracking device, although, like all tracking devices, incapable of predicting where the target is going to go next.”

But, as I have advocated previously, if his accounts were hacked, particularly his Google or Microsoft accounts, then someone could see his search history, including maps and route planning, from another PC.

Thus they could see that just after lunch he looked up the route from ‘campsite #2’ to ‘Martinet’. You dont’t have to be 007 to guess where he was going.

So, someone could potentially predict where their target was going to go next.

Plus, if SAH’s Android smartphone was hacked, then his current location (from GPS) could be known as well.

I see this this as drive to somewhere remote as precipitating the attack.

P.S. Peter I have not forgotton your points re shotguns, I just have not had time to craft a reply.

10-6-2013 at 20:07:55

@ Ron

Very interesting! Do you have any infomation as to the kind of selection and training that is given to ONF agents prior to the issue of firearms?

Is there ongoing training and assessment? Do they issue firearms to agents without training?

10-6-2013 at 20:15:59

@ Ron @ Peter

ONF officers don’t carry guns. I failed to see anything else than walkie-talkies on the linked video, but if there is a gun somewhere it has to be because *police* officers joined them for the occasion.
What you *can* see, is that the notion of “ONF 4×4” in fact implies minuscule Renault or Citroen minivans that a valorous former RAF hero like WBM wouldn’t count as such.

@ Rashomon

Right. Everybody must get hacked. The urban legend is that at the campsite the manager’s daughter suggested the Martinet trip to the Al-Hillis, but I tend to file this together with the cute story of the kids picking apples on the trees the same morning. No problem guessing where Saad was headed. Especially if he was going for a meeting.

10-6-2013 at 20:51:35

Chaos Theory

A number of commentators have remarked on the contrast between the apparently thorough, orderly preparation by the killer and the disordered, chaotic execution.

Some, including myself and Peter, have suggested that the switch from order to chaos was induced, or exacebated, by drugs such as steroids or halucinogens.

Another possibility is that the following military dictum applies; “No plan survives first contact with the enemy”.

In this perspective the chaos was precipitated by some unexpected event, e.g. the arrival of Sylvain Mollier.

Following this to its logical conclusion, one could say that the killer was sufficiently skilled to regain control of the events.

If this was football not murder, and this recovery took place in the goalmouth, then the commentator would say “well played”.

Now, I realise that even using an analogy, that this perspective is not going to be popular.

However, if the killer is skilled we must recognise that fact as it raises some important questions.

Questions such as; Were they trained? Is the ballistic and other scene-of-crime evidence indicitive of the style of shooting? Does this point anywhere useful?

10-6-2013 at 21:00:08

Eugene, 10-6-2013 at 20:15:59

At least one of those guys is definitely armed

When you consider the likelihood of these guys encountering poachers (they do exist, you know, even today), I think that it would be madness to send them out unarmed.

10-6-2013 at 21:17:15

@ Peter

Yes, but the French are mad. The city police for instance are unarmed, and yet they do face worse than poachers sometimes.
As for your screen grab, OK. Is it an actual gun or a taser?
But also notice the red armband on the other guy. That was a special op for the video, so they wore their best shirt and took all the accessories.
In everyday work, they don’t carry guns.

10-6-2013 at 22:01:32

I’m contemplating on the LR2SM phone call, the ONF/X5, MC1 and the CS alert. Atm I have nothing to add to the ongoing discussion

– M

10-6-2013 at 22:23:00

@partlucid: Thanks, but I have no idea, regarding Your question.

@Peter : Thank You very much for Your detailed reply. (it will be passed on to my source)

@Rashomon : I don’t know,but I guess their small arms training is similar to French Police.
After all, they are the ‘Police’ of the forests.

@ Eugene : Sorry that you missed the short glimpse at 00:57 and the one later.
I guess you missed the white 4×4 Mitsubishi L 200 too 😉 Very common in the snowy alpine districts, I would think.

Wikipedia has some information on what small arms you can expect to see if you meet an agent l’ONF… MAC’s , PAMAS etc.

France French Military
French Administration Police Nationale
Douanes Françaises
Banque de France
Office National des Forêts

10-6-2013 at 22:25:56
10-6-2013 at 23:03:30

Ref. ONF service weapons.

A bit off topic, but l’ONF doesn’t seem to be a bunch of very Happy Bunnies
these days…

The NFB has lost over a third of its workforce in 25 years, he now has 9,500 agents including 6,300 officials. Thirty-one suicides have been recorded since 2005, according to the unions, including six in 2011. Thursday, an Alsatian ranger 56 years ended his days with his service weapon, fifteen days after a logger in the forest of Chaux (Jura).

10-6-2013 at 23:10:01

Arrgh ! Not again :

Promise…I will recline and continue pulling lint from my belly button.

10-6-2013 at 23:46:15

More unsolved murders in Haute Savoie:
Non Elucide – L’affaire Magalie Part

10-6-2013 at 23:55:04


If ONF was important, this case has been solved a long time.

@Marilyn Z. Tomlins 10-6-2013 at 09:06:33

I’m happy to read you again. You are my favorite admin.

Why do you make a mistake about the Lord’s Day ?

About religion’s questions, I remember to Piscine Molitor Patel.

AC/DC is for an another night.


10-7-2013 at 08:54:31


Ron, thanks for the links. I’ve never been ‘into forests’ – do not like creepy crawlies – but I’ve also thought that it would be wonderful to be a lighthouse keeper.

Bacchus & All, did I make a mistake about the Lord’s Day? Christians are told, are they not, that He made Heaven and Earth and all on it, in 6 days and then on the 7th, he rested? As for me: I’m a Darwinist. Voila.

Now, I will start living the first day of this week, by saying: Have a nice commenting day.

10-7-2013 at 09:30:58


I will start this day by commenting a little on “l’affarie Magalie Part”, see above.

In this affair the police in Haute Savoie adviced the next-of-kin not to speak to the press. The police never talked to the next-of-kin about the murder or informed them about the investigation. The police have not been able to solve this case in 12 years, so they have even passed Maillaud’s 10 year. I am sure that all ‘piste’ are open.

Do we recognize this? The police in Haute Savoie obviously got a huge problem.

Just the other day a Swedish criminologist said in the media that if you want to kill somebody in Sweden you should do in the XXX district (no names here), because the investigators there are totally incompetent.

I give the same recommendation for France. If you want to kill somebody in France you should do it in Haute Savoie. The probability is very low that the police will ever solve it. See more below…

10-7-2013 at 09:58:07

@ Lars

Thanks for your advice on where in France to commit murder. I wonder whether actual criminals take the pain to perform such analysis, but why not..

@ All

Firearms forensics are a tricky science; it only provides useful clues under specific circumstances.
In particular, when it comes to GSR (gunshot residue), it originally is found on the weapon itself, the victim’s body and clothing, and the shooter’s hands and clothing.
But these microscopic particles have physical properties close to those of flour: they transfer very easily. If we take the case of a first-aid witness providing help to a gunshot victim, it will very likely lead to him/her to testing positive for GSR, just because the victim has been handled in the process.
In the Chevaline case, we have at least 2 such persons: WBM and PD/B. The former had handled SM and Zainab, possibly SAH too when reaching for ignition. The latter may have touched Zainab too. So assuming GSR tests were performed on their hands and clothing (which was never confirmed but would sound obvious), they should have shown positive without leading to much suspicion. Ruling them out as potential perpetrators must then have relied on other factors, the most likely being their inability to be at the crime scene at the time the crimes were committed. Hence the vital importance of the later reconstruction, the importance of the timeline: the time-stamped photos, the builders’ report, the Lydie phone call mostly matter in this regard: excluding the witnesses’ presence at the scene at the time of the crimes.
And it should be underlined that we have very scarce information about the whereabouts of these witnesses prior to their arrival at Le Martinet.

10-7-2013 at 10:04:28

@ Marilyn

I agree. These arguments about which day the seven-day-week starts are rather confusing to the secularist. In any case, my computers always politely ask me which day I want weeks to start with. For personal reasons, I had for many years picked Friday..

10-7-2013 at 10:12:12

Morning all


Your ONF segment was interesting Ron, because it does start to open up that area, I think. I had no idea of their role or internal ‘culture’ – and still don’t to be honest. I’m still sceptical that they would have had an involvement – for reasons I’ll maybe come on to later – but your comments did make me look back to a previous exchange ‘between us’, where you had the ONF performing a blocking manoeuvre on Saad’s BMW…

On Sep 12th at 00.59 you wrote: ” Anyways, I think You are getting close and even closer if you could imagine in your mag. GIF the ONF 4WD making those arc-tracks ,”closing the door” for SAH, forcing him to do a “hard reverse” (but short and straight) in his first move to escape…Sadly too hard. Not saying ONF = X but somehow allied with the motorbiker who I suspect is X – See more at:

This time, I had a look at your tinypic image, which seems to have had some magic red dust applied to the juicy bits. In my view, this seems to suggest that the prominent tyre tracks, which start off towards that ‘top right-hand corner’ of the lay-by, continue their arc round to a position just to the front right of Saad’s BMW (as seen from above). However even the heightened image is far from conclusive, because the tracks are anything but continuous. But presumably this is the ‘blocking manoeuvre’ you’re referring to…?

….and I know these tracks haven’t been made by Saad’s BMW because a simple paper template showed them to be around one sixth wider than the track width for Saad’s 525…

Please advise further…

10-7-2013 at 10:19:41

Eugene wanted us to start discussing who and not talk so much about how. So I will below put the w up in the front, instead of in the end, and ask who?

I think a good starting point could be to study Roberto Succo.
I hope I will not destroy your sleep at night, because he is not a very nice character. He had a serious problem with his anger management.

He was born in Italy close to Venice and started his career in the nineteen-eighties by killing his parents because they wouldn’t lend him their car (his father was a policeman by the way).

He was then put in a psychiatric clinic, diagnosed as schizophren and paranoic. He escaped from that clinic and started his ‘grand tour’ in France and Switzerland where he committed a number crimes and killed a number of people, often just because they came in his way.

Part of his sojourn in France was in Haute Savoie. Also in this case the French police were unable to understand that they had a serial killer at large.

Succo was at last arrested near his hometown in Italy. He tried to escape again but failed. He then committed suicide in his cell.

Succo was, I think, another kind of serial killer, but I still think that there are lessons to be learned from his history.

So where should we look for the Chevaline-killer?

I would look for a man.

I would start with the organisations I have mentioned earlier: Guide de haute montagnes, ONF/CRPF, Chasseurs alpins or hunters with a ‘license to kill’ in Les Bauges. Those who are familiar with Les Bauges are of course of special interest in all these organisations.

I would look for people in these organisations with a history of mental disorder, especially those known for problems with their anger management.

I would look for a man with a strong hatred against the police/gendarmerie and the authorities in Haute Savoie.

Those with a shooting experience are of course of special interest. Members of the Chasseurs alpins and the hunters have that of course.

Then I would start looking at those individuals among the above selected, who have no alibi for 5 September 2012, and who were close to Les Bauges and Haute Savoie that day.

Reading about Roberto Succo the thought also struck me that the killer perhaps is no longer in Haute Savoie after all, depending on how strong his ties to Haute Savoie is. Maybe he felt the ground burning under his feet after Chevaline and decided to move his ‘business’ elsewhere in France, Switzerland or Italy?

10-7-2013 at 10:34:14

Addendum: I still believe that criminologist Michel Bénézech gives a correct characterization of the killer in the article: Metro: Tuerie de Chevaline : “Selon moi, le tueur est un homme de la région”, published 4 September 2013

10-7-2013 at 10:35:18

@ Lars

Even though my personal gut feeling doesn’t lead me towards the “lone wolf” theory, I think your last post makes a lot of sense, if only to exclude it.
Here, we can’t be talking about hundreds of people, probably hardly a dozen. If EM hasn’t checked that, he should retire.

10-7-2013 at 10:42:58

@ Lars

But if we retain from Michel Benezech’s characterization the two points “local” and “military background”, don’t we have a candidate?

10-7-2013 at 11:05:15


I am not certain what you mean with a ‘lone wolf’. Was Roberto Succo a ‘lone wolf’?

I am though quite certain that we here (in Haute Savoie) have a single killer, not a gang.

You know Maillaud is looking in Iraq, the US and England. He is not looking for a Frenchman. And yes he should have retired long ago.

I am not certain who your candidate is and since we can’t name any names here I can’t propose a candidate myself.

10-7-2013 at 11:15:22

@ Lars

By lone wolf, I just mean a psychopath who may attack anybody randomly.
Being a local in Haute-Savoie doesn’t necessarily imply being a Frenchman.
And being a candidate doesn’t mean being the culprit. But it’s worth examining.

10-7-2013 at 11:24:51


Ok, then I think that the Chevaline-killer (and for that matter the Chablais-killer) is not a ‘lone wolf’. These are, according to me, premeditated, well planned, murders. But this in no way excludes the possibility that the killer has a psychiatric diagnosis, which I think he has.

10-7-2013 at 11:30:41

If we go along with Bénézech’s characterization, these would be exclusion criteria:
– not married or in a stable relationship
– few friends, if any
– no significant educational or professional achievement
– no client-facing job

Inclusion criteria would comprise:
– history of psychiatric treatment in his youth
– previous convictions for assault, arson, cruelty to animals
– hunter or poacher

I believe that such a person should have been quite easy to find, if he be a local man. His local community probably do not consider him a suspect for the murders (if they did, they would have shopped him to the police), but if anybody asked them to name the village weirdo whom one had better stay clear of, they would point towards him: Mr Hyde.

Things become infinitely more complicated if psychotropic drugs are involved, because these can temporarily turn a Dr Jekyll into a Mr Hyde. As I consider it quite unlikely that even Inspector Clouseau could have missed an obvious Mr Hyde, I believe that there is a possibility that the killer was under the influence of disinhibiting, paranoia-inducing drugs.

10-7-2013 at 11:55:08

@Eugene, the ‘fairy story’ of the campsites daughter having a long conversation with Saad about where to go was apparently told by the campsite owner, I do not recall if EM has mentioned it.

Again, wihout going back over things, I think PB said he tapped the girls hand, and spoke in English to her, although he implied it wasn’t very good Englidh, afterall had he been fluent in English then BM would not have needed his pigeon French.

Regarding the carrying of guns, I suspect the ONF do carry weapons, probably in the back of their vehicle, as protection against and for the disposing of angry or injured wild boar for example.

Lars, thankyou for putting those thoughts in some order, did you see that the Mountain Guides from Mont Blanc were at the National Assembly in the past week ? Have a look in Le Dauphine, there was a photo. Do you think that in being pre-planned there was a specific target or planned for any target ?

Unless EM and the team have found a motive, which apparently they haven’t, then to me the random element would be top of my list, then Mollier, then Al-Hilli, then the two together.

The suicides of the ONF, there have also been a number in France Telecom/Orange in the recent past.

I’ve known four people, one in France and three in the UK who have committed suicide, a fish farmer, two farmers and an office worker, why they did it has never been clear, oh I should add a friends son, 17 years old, that was because his girlfried finished with him.

I realise we are ALL blinkered, favouring our own ‘pistes’.

10-7-2013 at 12:22:53

Just a thought, when did Military Service stop in France ? I mean proper, guntoting stuff ?

Sylvain Mollier would surely have done so and those in his age group, over 40 ?

Thinking of Eugenes comment, there could be loads of candidates, although I don’t think it’s ‘him’ 😉 !

Thinking about my earlier post, EM did say that Saad had planned to go for a walk.

10-7-2013 at 13:21:31

I think if we are going to discuss Who?, we have to be careful with our definitions and acknowledge that there are a lot of nuances and variations.

That you have a psychiatric diagnosis doesn’t mean that you are a ‘nutter’. A nutter is just a very special variant.

To take an example from another area: I guess you have all heard about the woman who was shot in her car (with her baby in it) by the police in Washington recently. She was diagnosed with a postpartum depression.
That is a terrible decease. I have seen two women close-by who were afflicted by this illness. One sympton is often paranoia. That doesn’t mean that these women are ‘nutters’. The women I knew continued to work without problems, and behaved normally (as they did before the childbirth) 95% of the time. But then something happened, they got in a situation they couldn’t handle, or the pressure got too high, and they started to behave irrationally, often believing they were pursued by malevolent people.

I read Bénézech’s analysis accordingly. I don’t think he means that the killer is a ‘nutter’/maniac.

I therefore also think that Peter’s list above (11:30:41) is too limited. It describes one type, but not all possibilities. I think e.g. that he could very well have a ‘client-facing job’. I think it is more a question if he could control the situation or not.

Yes Lynda, I think that Mollier was the target. But also here there could be many variants. Mollier could e.g. just represent something that the killer hated. (I am still trying to understand how the Chablais-killer picks his victims).

10-7-2013 at 13:28:53

I think even Roberto Succo, who I mentioned above, could be described as intelligent, pehaps over the average, but that didn’t stop him from behaving as a maniac in certain situations.

10-7-2013 at 14:03:36

@ Lars, 10-7-2013 at 13:21:31

Bénézech covers all the bases:
Pas forcément fou mais peut-être avec une idéologie extrémiste. Ou une personnalité pathologique avec une grande indifférence affective. Peut-être une forme de psychose type hébéphrénie

1. “Fou” in the sense of suffering from a cognitive mental disorder dissociating the killer from reality.
2. Ideological extremism that led the killer to dehumanize his victims, viewing their lives as worthless or even intrinsically bad.
3. Suffering from an affective personality disorder.

Lars, you have to be careful not to conflate cognitive and affective disorders. I consider it very unlikely that the killer is “fou” in the sense of suffering from a cognitive disorder, for example that he thought that SM and the AHs were evil extraterrestrials who had come to destroy our planet, and that it was his moral duty to kill them before they could wipe out the human race. His pre- and post-offense behaviour was too pragmatically sound for that.

However, that does not mean that he is not batshit-crazy, and, at least in the mental frame in which he committed those murders, he is unlikely to be a loving husband, the life and soul of the party, or even a succesful salesman. The question is how close that frame of mind is to his default mode: he could be like that all the time, but cunning enough to dissimulate 99.99% of the time; he could have suffered a bad psychotic episode at the time and gone back to his pleasant, normal self soon afterwards; or he could have been temporarily unhinged through the influence of drugs.

10-7-2013 at 14:18:02


On Saad and the walk…

Was there not also (recently?) a comment released from ‘Zainab’ confirming that ‘dad had wanted to go for a walk’…

….however that doesn’t necessarily rule out a meeting, in my view. Saad could have easily asked for a very peaceful, quiet spot with exactly that purpose in mind…

10-7-2013 at 15:08:51


Of course ‘Bénézech covers all the bases’. He seems to be knowledgeable and wise man. And so do I (knowledgeable or not). There are so many possibilities and variants.

I think the Chevaline-killer (and the Chablais-killer) usually is a very well organized man, perhaps more well organized than you and me. He has at least more determination, or you could say obsessions if you want, than the average man. I don’t think he is regarded as a ‘fou’ in his neighbourhood, perhaps as somewhat of a ‘character’, but then “Oui, decidement, la Haute-Savoie a connu beaucoup de personnages etranges, …” (Les mystères de la Haute-Savoie, Jean-Philippe Buord).

And I think he is/was able to keep up a ‘job’ as a Guide de haute montagnes, in ONF/CRPF, in Chasseurs alpins or being a hunter in Les Bauges.

But that doesn’t mean that he could not under certain circumstances or in certain situations lose control, due to his mental handicap, and do things that we think irrational or abnormal.

10-7-2013 at 15:20:04


I think Alois Huber fulfilled all your criterias: “to be a loving husband, the life and soul of the party, or even a succesful salesman” (perhaps to loving though).

Still he was crazy enough to commit all these thefts, arsons and murders without any obvious reasons.

I think it shows how difficult it is to predict what people with mental disorders can do and how little we (the whole society) know about these kind of disorders and their symptoms.

10-7-2013 at 15:55:20

@ Partlucid @ All

When was the last time you guys took a stroll on mountain hiking trails with a 4-year-old?
It’s a great experience, but it usually implies certain logistics:
– you need a child-carrier. Otherwise, after 400 yards, the kid will start whining “I don’t wanna go on..” While you could just carry the child on your shoulders on some Annecy sidewalk, you can’t do that for long on a steep uneven surface in the wilderness.
– you need to start early. Otherwise, after 15 minutes, the 4-year-old will start napping in your back, feel heavier than a log and then cry when waking up. You don’t start such a stroll at 3:30 pm
– you need good sturdy hiking shoes. Not “city clothes” like the Al-Hillis were reportedly wearing.

But then, it’s different if you only plan to do some sight-seeing and mostly remain in your car. With or without an arranged meeting, that’s what I think Saad had in mind.

10-7-2013 at 19:29:15


I don’t think they were necessarily ‘going for a walk’ as in ‘come on guys, only another 2km to go’. And with three adults and two small children, then there’s obviously any number of permutations available. I’ve written previously of Maillaud referring to five or six hundred metre strolls up there, offering pretty flowers, which sounded as though he was simply ‘reporting’ that part of the conversation between Saad and the camp site owner’s daughter. Currently I’ve got no preference for whether Saad had arranged a rendezvous or not…and I’m equally clueless on whether the Al-Hillis could have been the target or not (I’ve actually always thought that pretty improbable). I’m simply playing around with options, and as you must have noted, I don’t mind being wrong as part of that. The arranged rendezvous theory does away with the tricky business of Saad allowing himself to be followed up the road; that’s all. It’s probably only fractionally more credible, in my eyes, than some ‘foreign agency’ tailing him on their sat-nav street map? as he crawls his way up to the car park.

10-7-2013 at 19:30:37

@Eugene, they weren’t going hiking, I think the ‘walk’ was no more than a mooch about, a four year old used to being in the countryside, riding a childs bike, even picking flowers (FB), would just love to wander about with her parents, looking at the fast running, noisy stream.

If you look at the track that runs along the Ire after Martinet, beside the second sign, a bit further is what appears to be a footbridge, made of wood and rope, that would be ideal for kids to throw stones in, throw bits of wood or leaves to see how far down stream they go, wouldn’t it ? There is a photo of this bridge, I’ll see if I can locate it again.

That is why I have no problem with them going as far up into Les Bauges that can be allowed legally in a car.

So, we agree, this wasn’t a hike it was nothing but a leisurely look at nature….

I also agree with Peter, it was someone who, for whatever reason lost their senses.

I bet they are nowing sweating their pants off, probably were within hours of events, or as Peter suggested before, getting off on it – the latter would be very worrying, the bloodlust will return (Lars).

10-7-2013 at 20:07:42

@Partlucid, you bring up the ‘intelligence agency’, angle, if it was done by a friendly agency, my own feeling is that the hunt for vehicles would have been closed down very quickly, unless of course all the people involved in this have been sworn to secrecy, that I can’t buy as most involved in this will not be highflying individuals, but plods.

Lars, with the Chablais killings, do they fall inside the same jurisdiction as Chevaline, in other words, had Maillaud been in place would he have been the Public Prosecutor ?

I am wondering if the challenge of these murders isn’t to the ‘authorities’ in general but to Maillaud personally, there are some people who don’t think very highly of him – would someone go so far in trying to destroy him, discredit him ?

A bit off the wall, I accept, we’ve been to other as far off ideas !

10-7-2013 at 20:48:42


Sorry Lynda, I was wrong to use the phrase ‘foreign agency’; that’s not primarily how I see that scenario…

….I was only really playing around with the notion of the Al-Hilli car being tailed, perhaps even at a safe distance of some 500? metres or so, by someone using some sort of tracking device. I’ve no idea whether that’s even possible or not, although Peter and Rashomon do seem inclined to think that it might be? Whether a contract killer might rise to that level of sophistication?…again, no clue whatsoever. But having placed an ‘X5’ pretty close to the scene, then I’ve found myself having to consider other scenarios…and I suppose I’ve just been starting to wonder whether Maillaud could actually be telling it as it is…

10-7-2013 at 21:06:40


Maillaud is the prosecutor for the Chablais killings, at least all after 2010. And he says the same thing, ‘homme sans histoire’, ‘toutes pistes ouverte’ etc.

I don’t think someone is after Maillaud specifically it has to be bigger than that.

10-7-2013 at 21:25:09

‘it’ has to be bigger than that – hmmmm, thinking, so are we looking for someone who feels done unto, I can follow that, to deliberately target a family including girls, that is the bit I struggle with.

So, an individual as target, the family not expected but make a damn good cover up, sorry FB.

Lars, had the Al-Hillis not been murdered, do you think the random/targetted killing of Mollier would be more easily explained and subsequently solved ?

I still see the family as being the anomaly in this.

10-7-2013 at 21:29:26

Without ‘the family’, we would never have heard of it – maybe our guy didn’t expect them either and therefore the publicity, just supposing it had been a French family, it would not have been international news, unless it was terrorist related.

Does anyone know if the Mafia, as in Italian, operate in this region ?

10-7-2013 at 21:49:32

@Peter 10-5-2013 at 10:57:30 your question in response of my post 10-4-2013 at 17:32:02

Answer: SM was having meeting with ONF

– M

10-7-2013 at 21:51:32

Haute-Savoie is back in the news.

Lars, this will undoubtedly interest you.

Three young men have been missing since Saturday night from a forest close to Annecy. Police are looking for them with helicopters and dogs.

What is it with Haute-Savoie?

Have a good commenting night.

10-7-2013 at 21:52:04

In other words, the modified for the better reads:

ONF has meeting with SM, L shot SM, and ONF regonized the kid


– M

10-7-2013 at 22:26:22


Thanks. I will certainly look into that.

@Lynda re:’do you think the random/targetted killing of Mollier would be more easily explained and subsequently solved’

Yes and no I am afraid.

On one hand if the Al-Hillis had not been there, Maillaud had no choice but to look inwards, at Haute Savoie.

On the other hand, like in the Chablais killings, the police would have a murder in their hands with no technical evidences, in fact no witnesses, and a man ‘sans histoire’.

In the Roberto Succo case I think he was caught not because of the police investigation but because of mistakes he made (he was too ‘crazy’).

I can understand that the police don’t want to air any suspicions about a serial killer every time a number of murders occur in an area, but I think that in general the police (in Europe) are too reluctant to consider that possibility.

10-7-2013 at 22:27:48

This is the story about the three young men:

This sort of thing happens all the time in the region, cars come off the road, tumble down ravines and are only found days or even weeks later. As far as I know, this year there have been two cases like that within the region. In one case, the wreck of a car was found, but not its young driver, who is still missing.

The high incidence of accidents of this kind, no doubt as much due to drink-driving as to the terrain, is also the reason why I would rule out an intelligence agency being involved in the murder of the Al-Hilli family. It would have been so, so easy to stage a fatal road accident for them: walk up to Saad at the Martinet, threaten his family with a gun, get into their car, make him drive further up into the hills. Then zap him with a Taser, push the car off the road into a ravine and finally set fire to the wreckage. This scenario would have been an open-and-shut case for Eric Clouseau.

10-7-2013 at 22:49:18

I noticed that there is another Peugeot 206 missing. This time black.

10-7-2013 at 22:57:37

Popped up as a link on Twitter today.

An article on the Chevaline murders, written by an ex. MPS investigating officer.

Well…At least he got one thing right, imho. :

It is an old and trusted maxim that investigators should clear the ground under their feet. I agree. This means France, not Surrey, not Iraq and not fanciful espionage theory land.
The answers are in France, not in England. This is where I believe the focus of the enquiries should be.

10-8-2013 at 00:21:01


Think about the following very weird ‘omission’

The Crimewatch call for an X5 is very specific. 15h20 and 2 kms from Martinet. (I wont go into what I think of the X5 but …) How come the call is so specific yet it does NOT mention if the X5 went UP or DOWN?

I mean, on that road you only can go UP (to Martinet) or DOWN (to Chevaline). But why the omission when the rest is so specific??

It does NOT make sense! Unless we have another ‘Ohhh, we forgot to tell, the X5 went … (fill in)’

Lol. I do not know what they are playing but things don’t add up. And the incredible childish way in which the investigators make clear that they ‘work hard’. Oh yes, we have already collected a kzillion cubic meters of documents.

Pfff. You have to THINK hard, not WORK hard. Ppl who work hard have no talent. I know. The WORST programmer I have ever met, he wrote the most code. Lol, he had zero talent (for this profession) but I also felt some sympathy for the guy because he actually worked (much) harder than me. Producing lines of code like there was no tomorrow. He managed to write 50 lines of code what I could do in 1 line, so go figure;) It is only normal that you would make some little mistakes in all those lines, soo … but no manager would understand that, lol, they think more is better. After 1 year the whole project ended as an utter failure, because the software stubbornly refused to work without weird hickups, and most ppl had left (crying) and managers did not know what to do, I stepped in and rewrote from scratch what was needed in 2 months, together with a bright girl who knew what was needed. Problem solved;)

Cubic meters of ‘Chevaline documents’ now c’mon:D

– M

10-8-2013 at 00:22:24

@ Ron, 10-7-2013 at 22:57:37
Many thanks, Ron! The author is the consultant whom the Sun used for its recent “It’s a random nutter wot dun it” article. Tabloid or no, to my mind, Ian Horrocks is the voice of reason here; he has nailed it.

One part of his article that I consider highly salient is this:
If my theory is correct, the killer is psychologically distressed, angry, and looking for some sort of release, an internal reason that we do not know as to why he carried out this act. Often this anger and stress will dissipate by itself, but now and again, albeit rarely, it will not. This is where the danger lies. Has he killed before? This is possible, but it is just as likely that he has confronted people in the past in situations that have not ended with such savage consequences. An act of this intensity is unlikely to have been the first time his anger has come to the surface. Have appeals been made in relation to any such incidents.

@ Lars, 10-7-2013 at 15:20:04
Alois Huber is almost a perfect example. Put Huber in his 4×4 near the Martinet, have SM slap that 4×4’s bonnet because Huber overtook him too closely, as cyclists sometimes do, and the result could have been very, very similar to the one that we have seen.

Huber was one of those cunning (cognitively-sound, affectively-fucked-up) nutsos who dissimulate 99.99 per cent of the time. After his wife died, he no longer needed to dissimulate vis-à-vis her, and therefore gradually decompensated, escalated his offences, from random vandalism and theft to arson to burglary-cum-arson to murder.

10-8-2013 at 01:12:32

well, just to give a few thoughts after having read in the discussion again, I think that Lars (as so many times we all have stated before) in his @Lars
10-7-2013 at 11:24:51 statement is correct: it was a premediated murder, because:
a) so many things went in favor of the murderer, that could (and should) have been in his disfavor (too many victims, got away with whatever transport, almost impossiblt timings etc.)
b) no valid forensic traces (=> definitely points to a semi-pro or Pro)
c) a carefully choosen gun – for the region. Remember, if you murder in Miami take a Magnum .45, if you have a job in switzerland, take a Luger, etc. pp.
d) fear! There is a lot of diffuse fear in Savoie these days. I can almost feel it and its the companion of lie! And there are definitely too many lies in this story. Everybody knows but nobody tells.
“Love treason, hate the traitor.”

just my 2 cents, folks

10-8-2013 at 01:52:40

@ Ron 10-7-2013 at 22:57:37

Thanks for pointing out this article by former MPS Officer Ian Horrocks.

If I were a betting man, I would wager that Ian Horrocks has, on occasion, frequented this very forum. Assuming I am correct, I would ask him to post if he is not precluded from doing so. I am sure he would be welcome.

Overall I am generally in agreement with the article and the conclusion to re-focus onto forensics and detective work.

In particular, I strongly agree with the likelyhood of precursor anger management incidents.

An act of this intensity is unlikely to have been the first time his anger has come to the surface. Have appeals been made in relation to any such incidents.

Anger management issues, yes indeed! However, I am not fully on board with the following paragraph because I consider that the gunman was able to tamp his rage and focus on a goal, likely due to training :-

This indicates that his car was facing inwards by the map, and he then reversed at speed no doubt with the intention of turning his car round and escaping down the hill. At some stage seven year old Zainab was shot in the shoulder. We will never know her father’s intention of picking her up and getting her away. I am of the view that the gunman would have been firing wildly at the car, and it was during this that all the occupants with the exception of four year old Zeena were killed.

I do not think that the gunman was firing ‘wildly’ during the ‘reversal at speed’. In my view, this is the phase where the gunman regained control of events. To achieve this the gunman needed to stop the vehicle.

This was done by killing or seriously injuring the driver with gunshots directed at his head or upper body. These were directed, aimed, shots. Some may have missed their target, but In my view none were wasted by being aimed at passengers in the rear seats.

Once the vehicle was stopped the gunman turned his attention away from the driver and his behaviour could certainly be described as wild or berserk.

10-8-2013 at 05:23:47


How come the call is so specific yet it does NOT mention if the X5 went UP or DOWN? – See more at:

My take on this…is that the police don’t want to expose the person who reported the sighting (I strongly think it’s BM) and so they’ve left this deliberately vague. That’s the only reason I can think of for the oddity, because, as you say Max, they obviously MUST know the car’s direction of travel. From memory I believe the appeal then goes on to mention Chevaline and Doussard, in the hope that a visiting tourist may have spotted the ‘X5’. I actually think the police have been rather wily in the way the appeal’s been presented…

10-8-2013 at 07:59:01


RiffRaff, nice seeing you here again.

Rashomon, only Ian Horrocks knows whether he has been on this blog, but he has never commented. No journalists will admit getting info or ideas here because his/her editor will kick his arse out of the office pretty fast.

Peter, yes Haute-Savoie is a place of drunkenness and plunging into lakes – or disappearing. What I find interesting is that no one here in France has ever pointed this out. Anchors do not even blink an eye when they announce another ‘mysterious’ disappearance on prime-time news.

Have a nice commenting day.

10-8-2013 at 08:47:25

@partlucid 10-8-2013 at 05:23:47 Re X5 up or down

I have a big problems with BM calling the X5

EM (and/or BM) must be a pretty damn good actor ( 8m50 into )

From this very early (and imho not ‘acted’) conference I can not see BM calling the X5. Perhaps another witness ADDED the X5 (RHD) to this 4×4 ‘vert’. Could be, but who is this other witness? And where exactly did HE spot the X5?

… to me, I dont believe in the X5. I think it was the ONF. I dont know what is going on and why, but I dont buy it:)

– M

10-8-2013 at 08:54:59


I have maybe to come back on my previous post

On multiple listenings to 8m30 into I have to ask to someone who is very fluid in french WHAT DOES EM SAY AT 8m30 EXACTLY?

He says something like ‘autres temoin’ alongside BM.

My french is not good enough to make out what EM exactly says. Does he say that ‘autres temoins’ possibly also saw this 4×4.

Can somebody please translate the 8m30 bit as precise as possible?


– M

10-8-2013 at 09:03:13


You seem to have missed the substantive point of my post…

…namely, why the police have been so coy about the sighting…

10-8-2013 at 09:35:46


coy? Idk, perhaps because the X5 is not true

Because perhaps if EM says the uk biker saw the X5 coming down, then a clever journo might ask ‘But hey, it was a 4×4 vert, and witness was not able to say something more … how come it is now a RHD BMW X5???’ … and what would EM say to this?

Of course he could say:

– BM remembered later
– We found traces
– Other witnesses also saw this car

But all we know is that THAT info was never shared with us, so …

But perhaps MC1 = Melvin and Melvin did call the X5. This could be it. (ONF would still be roaming the woods though, having perhaps chased off Melvin just prior, or so they (ONF) say)

(in other words, if BM saw X5, where is the ONF?)

– M

10-8-2013 at 09:38:50

@ Max

What EM says ih his press conference @ 8:30 is that what was seen by the “British cyclist” was a “green 4×4″, make and model unknown, going down” and that this had been “confirmed by other witnesses”.
For what it’s worth..

10-8-2013 at 09:46:11

Morning all,

This is maybe slightly off-topic because recent talk has mostly centred on the psychology and profile of the killer, and then just last night Ron posted the Ian Horrocks piece which has also drawn interest…

….however, this morning I went back to the excellent overhead shot of the lay-by, and further studied the geometry:

I’ve always been slightly troubled by the received wisdom that Saad’s BMW has performed a reversing arc from the ‘top right’ of the lay-by, to finish up impaled on the bank in the ‘top left-hand’ corner. Now Alexander has always said that the ‘river bank’ falls away very steeply and threateningly below the road. When you factor that in, and consider the dimensions of both the car and the lay-by…then is it really possible that such a manoeuvre could have been performed at speed, and in such a way as to produce the final positioning of the BMW?

And here I’ll reiterate my ‘proof’ that the prominent tracks have not been made by Saad’s BMW. The BMW website, I believe, declares the track width to be effectively as wide as the car itself (or at least that’s my reading of it). Ergo my simple paper template of Saad’s 525 measures 18 millimetres…whereas the heavy tyre tracks come out at 21mm, roughly one sixth wider; quite a significant difference in my view…

10-8-2013 at 10:27:13

Good Morning! (…or is it already lunch time 🙂 )

Thanks Ron for that piece by Ian Horrocks.

I agree with 99% of what he writes (I still however believe it was premeditated). Even though he doesn’t add much new material I think he sums up the situation pretty well.

Well we then have at least a French expert (Michel Bénézech) and an English expert (Ian Horricks), who have a view very different from the one expressed by E-Maillaud.

Makes me wonder how the situation is in that investigation. Have they kicked everybody out who has another opinion (not so unusual) or are there a lot of tensions within the investigation. I still think that they will kick/sacrifice Maillaud before they change course (kill the messenger 😉 ).

10-8-2013 at 10:57:50

Annecy news:

Arrêté à l’entrée d’un établissement de nuit avec un énorme revolver

10-8-2013 at 13:02:12

@Lars ‘mais factice’….. immitation.

@Partlucid, when Saad swept into the clearing, coming to a rest, he may well have left the tyres still at an angle, surely if a car can pull in from the tarmac and not overhang it, then it can hard reverse the same.

There are so many articles, reports and Press Conferences that indicate the tracks were made by the BMW, I think it is true. Any photo other than one directly above and equidistant from the tracks and the car will be out of perspective.

My eye also follows the rear passenger side to the marks on the ground, but not exactly to the position we see it in the photos, chances are that the car had jumped a bit forward when the engine was cut or that the forensics had moved it, to gain access to the boot, straightened the wheels before being hooked up to the tow truck.

EM referred to them in the first Press Conference, when he mentioned that everyone had seen them on BFMTV, he wasn’t amused.

10-8-2013 at 13:31:11

@Eugene, thanks to I think Bibi, we were able to see a Land Rover style ONF vehicle outside no. 12 route du Moulin, Doussard at the junction of Chemin du Pralet. It is green with a white roof.

Google Streetview passing there in 2011, as the snows were melting.

There is another vehicle in the grounds of a neighbouring property, I don’t recall what it was, I have trouble accessing Streetview due to poor internet connection.

10-8-2013 at 13:43:30

@ Lars

As the efficient messenger he is, Inspector Clouseau won’t be kicked out. He might be “moved” to another position if the day ever comes when the French DoJ (ministère de la Justice) decides to change the storyline..
Possibly, there’s another investigation conducted outside of his realm?
In any case, for the few of us who believe that was planned, targeted murder, we should admit he has been brilliant at confusing the public with false flags that lead to dead-ends. In particular, if in 2 weeks Zaid’s bail is revoked for lack of evidence (which sounds very likely), the natural outcome will be to return to the lone psychopath theory.
And as we know, these are very elusive characters, everybody may endlessly wonder whether it belongs to one psychiatric diagnosis or another, as the British and French “experts” you allude to can endlessly lecture about. To no avail. Full circle.
In my opinion, the only chance to make any progress on the case would imply starting by positively discounting the most obvious motives, namely private life issues related to not only the victims but also the so-called witnesses.

10-8-2013 at 13:55:04

With regard to DNA, and Partlucid mentioning the gun and whether the piece found near the bike belonged to the weapon used.

More latterly it was written that fragments were found in the injuries suffered by Zainab, thinking about this even more, she had been hit by the ‘cross’ of the gun, the butt, grip or handle as The Telegraph most recently put it.

Could it be possible to discern the type of gun by the bruising and marks left on her ?

DNA – we all leave DNA behind us, everywhere we go, I have no doubt so did the killer, but where, beyond the victims, the car, the bike do you look, in such a dense area of woodland and rough terrain. How many have taken a piss against a tree, spat on the ground, touched the Map Board, etc.

I suppose it is fairly safe to say it would be difficult to discern what could be relevant and what isn’t especially if you don’t know what you are looking for.

You recall the DSK, Sofitel scandal, when forensics did a sweep of the hotel suite he’d been occupying and where the incident took place, they found traces of 26 different sperm !

@Lars, this is where I agree with you regarding a link with the Mercier case and the Chablais killings, even add in Xavier Balignant, okay maybe a footprint, but DNA in such instances, highly unlikely to be identified.

As for the bullets in this case, what were they kept in to keep them so clean, turn one of your coat pockets inside out, you’ll find plenty in there that would contaminate whatever you put in !

Sorry, about the three posts, I only have a short while to look in and comment on what you’ve all written and add my overnight thoughts.

Can someone recall if the Col de Cherel motorbike was ever described as a Touring Bike by Janin ?

Will now read the links posted.

10-8-2013 at 14:01:56

@ Lynda

Thanks. I know. I’ve seen these Google Streetview shots before. But I’m not sure what we can infer from them. I don’t think the ONF has Land-Rovers in its fleet, for financial and chauvinistic reasons. That doesn’t exclude the possibilty of an ONF agent using such vehicle on a personal basis, and why not having a sticker on it.
But in any case, what’s the difference? ONF field-officers are small-time goverment agents, I’m fully convinced their daily itinerary is planned from and known by the command chain. I agree with you they may according to circumstances carry a shotgun in the back in case of need for encounters with big game, but not handguns except on special and specific policing assignments.

10-8-2013 at 14:17:38


Yes, ‘kicked out’ might mean promoted to a higher administrative post, where he can sit an turn papers without doing so much harm.

As I have said before, to understand a killer’s motive can, for a group of perpetrators at least, be very difficult. I have heard several such explanations that to me just sound totally weird. I have mentioned earlier a killer how motivated a murder by the fact that his then girlfriend had said 10 years earlier (!) that she thought that the victim was nice.

10-8-2013 at 14:22:48

Thx Lynda for the ONF 4×4 reference (again), because I tried to find the streetview picture but was looking for the car on Route de Chevaline (and not du Moulin;)

So … I snapped it now for keeps in×4-route-du-moulin-chavaline/


10-8-2013 at 14:26:18

@ Partlucid

I fully agree with you: those obnoxious tire tracks were not made by the AL-Hillis BMW. Beside their width, the turning circle isn’t available, unless fully locked the whole time, which sounds impossible under the circumstances.
Also, it wouldn’t at all be equivalent to the maneuver for pulling in, as some of us have suggested: to pull in from the tarmac, it’s a 90 d angle. To reverse into an opposite position, it would be a 180 d angle. A slight difference..
But then, we still can tell whose vehicle left those tracks..

10-8-2013 at 15:11:04

@Eugene, I respect you and those who think they are not the BMW’s tyre tracks, I’m on the side of those that think they are.

As you say, of course to completely end up facing the other way is a full half circle, whether they are the BMW’s or not, that turning circle was made by something, wasn’t it ? So it is possible to complete the manoeuvre, Fat Bastard has said that Saad was a good driver, towing a caravan is an art.

I am inclined to think Saad just pulled up, he didn’t ‘park’ as such, swept in and may even have left the tyres still turned.

With regard to your comment about the ONF vehicle on route du Moulin, Rons Youtube video showed different vehicles, have a look at other videos of the ONF and depending on where they are there are many variations !

Lets use a bit of logic, if Maillaud writes off a green 4×4 as belonging to the ONF, whether this was the vehicle or not then they must have them operating in the area.

Same goes for the motorbike spotting ONF vehicle, the ONF must have been on the Combe d’Ire route, even if only partially or otherwise how could it be said they didn’t see WBM, wouldn’t they say ‘we didn’t go down that route, so we wouldn’t have passed him anyway’.

Ian Horricks article, to me covers all bases and maybe that is the point, in doing so it leaves little to be discussed, other than who the heck lost the plot up there .

@ Max, if you go back on Streetview and go towards the Combe, there is a house between 12 and 8, which will be on the left with another ONF vehicle in the garden, close to the house, can you screen grab that as well ?

With regard to Maillaud Press Conference as he says 4×4’s are the vehicles of choice in the region and with good reason, so unless behaving bizarrely, they pass without alerting interest, Streetview confirms this easily !

10-8-2013 at 15:39:39
10-8-2013 at 16:03:38

Max, whilst this is of a 4×4, green, the one I’m referring to is a small green one, looking again it appears to be inside the garden of the same house that the ONF 4×4 is parked infront of.

On the screen it comes up as no. 20, when looking at the 4×4 parked in the road, from the rear, it is to the right of the ’30’ and ‘hump’ sign.

If this is the same house, then I think it proves my theory that the 4×4 is part of the ONF in the area.

I hope that makes sense, my screen blocks so I can do nothing with it, sorry.

10-8-2013 at 16:16:11

I wonder if the police have checked if someone searched for information about Sylvain Mollier the days/week prior to the murders.

I can’t remember having read anything about that.

10-8-2013 at 16:17:41

If not, call NSA please.

10-8-2013 at 16:42:09

@ Lynda, 10-8-2013 at 13:55:04

The P06 has a wooden magazine bottom. It is almost certain that this was the bit that came off as the killer pistol-whipped Zainab.

Interestingly, it seems that the magazine bottoms of Luger P08s were marked with serial numbers (I only found out about that just now, whilst searching for a picture of such a magazine bottom. I have no idea whether the same holds true for P06s and their magazine bottoms, and I have not been able to find any information on this.)
In that picture, the numerals correspond to the gun’s serial number, and the plus-sign denotes that this is a spare magazine.

If Swiss Army P06’s magazine bottoms were similarly marked (which, to reiterate, I don’t know), that could explain why that guy in Geneva was arrested and kept locked up for an entire month – he might have legally owned a registered P06 with the same serial number as that found on the magazine bottom discovered at the Martinet.

10-8-2013 at 16:46:39

I was thinking today that See_Bee has not joined a discussion for some time.

See_Bee where are you? We valued your comments, and we miss you, but you may no longer be interested in this case.

10-8-2013 at 16:48:16


Found and added the ONF car


The Luger fragment was supposedly found ‘near the bike’ (!?)

10-8-2013 at 16:54:19

@ Max, 10-8-2013 at 16:48:16

There are two versions of where “Luger fragments” were found. Early reports said near the bike, later reports said in Zainab’s injuries.

Perhaps both are true, perhaps neither is true, but, if I had to choose one option on the basis of plausibility, then I would choose “in Zainab’s wounds”.

Anyway, I am quite excited by the idea that this fragment, wherever it was found, might have been marked with a serial number. That would be a difficult lead to follow up for the gendarmerie, but it would be a solid lead.

10-8-2013 at 17:02:25

Thanks Max, number 7 occupier IS one of the managers of the PNR des Bauges.

@Peter, there was once a photo that showed the section of gun, supposedly, this was a piece of the grip, I will try again to find it and the article to which it relates.

What you’ve written makes a great deal of sense, even the UK Detectives, Nick May(?), said that the Luger P06 was the only thing they were sure of.

10-8-2013 at 17:19:15

Clicking through these offers
it seems that some Swiss P06s had serial number markings on the magazine bottoms whereas others didn’t. Let’s hope that the gun that the killer used did.

Given that they arrested this guy in Geneva, I would bet that it did, actually 😉 Given that they subsequently cleared that guy, I would also bet that the serial number on the magazine used by the killer did not match his gun’s serial number. Still, this could be one solid lead for the police to follow up.

10-8-2013 at 17:21:57

@Lynda your 13.02

I quite liked your what-goes-in-must-come-out logic! although, as Eugene points out, a virtual U-turn at speed is rather different to simply sliding the car in at an angle of your choosing. Not being a driver, I’ve no way of knowing…although looking at the overhead shot this morning, I just thought that ‘dangerous front edge’ might prevent such a manoeuvre…

And in a similar vein, I’m no aerial surveyor? either (does such a calling even exist?) but I don’t believe the perspective in what is a pin sharp image could distort those tyre tracks to that extent. True, the helicopter does slightly prefer the BMW, but the distance between the car and the tracks is so small (and I’m not sure that we’re actually THAT high either) that I just can’t see those tracks being magnified by one sixth…

Of course whether they actually relate to the crime or not…well, that’s a separate matter entirely…!

10-8-2013 at 17:28:13


“Des morceaux brisés des plaquettes de la crosse retrouvés sur la scène de crime ont permis d’identifier cette arme.”

Worth a read, well some of it …… fragments found by Mollier …. how many fragments were there !

10-8-2013 at 17:38:59


Of course there are ‘aerial surveyors’, at least in practise, their title in English I am not certain of.

Since I have worked a large part of my life creating maps and pictures from and for airplanes I can tell you that the major problem is to correct all errors that occur during imaging. Presenting these pictures in a way that the human eye perceives correct is also no small feat.

10-8-2013 at 17:43:22


I’m grateful for your guidance in this matter Lars; it was a slice of professional life entirely unknown to me. The term was an out-and-out guess…

10-8-2013 at 17:45:12

@ Lynda, 10-8-2013 at 17:28:13

“morceaux brisés des plaquettes de la crosse” – I’m not sure whether to believe that. To my mind, the most obvious bit to come off a P06 is said magazine bottom, and the most obvious way in which it might come off is by pistol-whipping somebody.

It may be the case that it came off while the killer pistol-whipped Zainab, but that it was discovered near SM’s bike. It is unlikely to have lodged inside Zainab’s wounds, but, after police had found that piece, they would have been able to tell that its very specific shape corresponded to the shape of the item that Zainab was beaten with.

Perhaps they *also* found a piece of grip plate, but I very much doubt that such a piece (without a serial number) would have led them to an individual in Geneva, who they felt so sure was guilty of having supplied the murder weapon that they kept him locked up for an entire month. They probably only let him go after ballistic tests showed that his own P06 had not been fired recently, or that its chamber markings did not match those of the cartridge cases found at the Martinet.

10-8-2013 at 18:06:35

@ Eugene 10-8-2013 at 14:01:56

Eugene, you wrote:-

“I don’t think the ONF has Land-Rovers in its fleet, for financial and chauvinistic reasons.”

But they do! I am speculating here, but I think that the reason is that Land Rovers are narrow and flat sided. Essentially they have not changed their form factor since the late 1940’s.

So, a SWB Land Rover can drive up and down steep and narrow tracks that other more modern vehicles, cannot access safely. Thus they are particularly suitable for mountainous forests such as Les Bauges.

I am sure that the ONF use French vehicles in lowland forests.

10-8-2013 at 18:12:47

@ partlucid 10-8-2013 at 05:23:47

partlucid, you wrote:-

“How come the call is so specific yet it does NOT mention if the X5 went UP or DOWN?”

The answer could simply be that it was seen in a side road. It could have been parked-up discretely, as if having a tryst or moving towards the junction with La Route. The person spotting it would not know which way it later turned.

10-8-2013 at 18:15:57
10-8-2013 at 18:43:37

@ Rashomon

Whatever. What’s for sure is that it took weeks for the Gendarmerie to match the “green 4×4” mentioned by Brett with an ONF service vehicle. Unless assuming these investigators are complete morons, it’s hard to imagine that it was sitting 2 miles away, as pictured on Streetview..

10-8-2013 at 19:27:58

@Rashomon your 18.12

You make a good point Rashomon, I never thought of that: I was probably too fixated on the BM sighting…

What do you make of my paper template technique?

10-8-2013 at 19:46:04

@Marilyn & all

Since the three lost boys were mentioned above: They are now found dead.


10-8-2013 at 19:57:50

@Rashomon, I said as much months ago, in fact if the vehicle was parked with its nose towards the route, then the BMW grill would be obvious and possibly the steering wheel, a good guess as to being an X5 by its size, colour may not be so obvious.

@Eugene, I suppose they (PNR/ONF) have more than one 4×4 operating in the area, nevertheless I found this from the 14th October :

“Quels sont les véhicules recherchés?

Le 4×4 de couleur sombre, qui avait été vu par le cycliste britannique ayant découvert la tuerie, appartiendrait à des agents de l’Office national des forêts (ONF). Un doute subsiste cependant, les agents en question n’ayant pas souvenir d’avoir croisé un cycliste sur leur route.”

So, the doubt has been there all along…..

10-8-2013 at 20:04:40

@Lynda Re: BFMTV Report

thanks for posting this one. although my french is (still) too bad to understand everything, I understood, that all the french parties “buy” the story of EM of SM being a collateral… strange still

10-8-2013 at 20:06:55


I am sorry that I haven´t been more active recently, but you know: job, kids, wife, life – its all taking its toll. Nevertheless reading comments and thinking though it every single day.


10-8-2013 at 20:34:15


I know that quote already for a long time. It is a key quote. And I think (but that is me) that ONF tries to get out of that situation by playing the ‘not remember’ stuff

BV: So, you were on that road?
ONF: Errrr, yes, we were
BV: and you saw that biker?
ONF: Errrr, no I can not remember seeing a biker
BV: How is that possible??? You must have seen him!!
ONF: Errr, no sir, no we really did not see a biker …
ONF: … but we did see a RHD BMW X5 … with no number plate (happy face)
BV: A what?
ONF: An X5, that is a 4×4 car, I’m very fond of cars you know
BV: Ah, so where exactly did you see that car then?
ONF: Errrr, on the road?
BV: On the road?
ONF: Errr, yes
BV: Going up or down?
ONF: Errrr, parked?
BV: Parked???? Ok, parked it is … and … but … where were you then??
ONF: Errrrr (thinks deep) Errrr…rrrr..rrrr
BV: On the road perhaps?
ONF: Oh yes, that is right, on the road, we were on the road ….
ONF: … errr, but we went back into the woods ….errrr … so that is why we just missed seeing the biker … (begins smiling)
ONF: … and when the biker, who we did not see, had passed, we went on the road again and we went home
BV: Home? Where would that be
ONF: Oh, just the odd 4 kms from Martinet, rue du Moulin 12. You know Rue du Moulin?
BV: Rue du Mou…?
ONF: Moulin … Moulin!
BV: Never heard of it … You may go … NEXT!

– M

10-8-2013 at 20:52:51

RiffRaff, Don’t worry, I know you are following the blog. And there was your move too.

Lars, Thanks for the link to the bodies of the three missing young men having been found. French 8 p.m news did not mention it.

There is a horror novel in these disappearances.

Young people, late in the night, driving home drunk, and suddenly they see some odd object ahead in the sky … The rest you can imagine.

There are indeed several odd things about these Haute-Savoie ‘drunken accidents’.

Why do these young people not crash into a tree or into another car, or why do they not just turn the car over on the road, and why are there never any eye witnesses. Also, why do they all plunge into a lake or a river? And why all in that region?

OK, I will say: have a good commenting night.

10-8-2013 at 20:57:45

@Max et al.

With all these dialogues this blog is beginning to be a crash course for creative writing. 😉
Can perhaps be used in our Chevaline-doc.

10-8-2013 at 21:14:27

@Max, I agree that it doesn’t absolve the ONF, unless of course after the 15:15 motorbike, they left the Combe pdq. As I said earlier they must have been on the road at some point, as they admitted to be.

If this was truly days later, then I’m not a happy bunny.

A multiple murder, massacre takes place on your patch, you were insitu that day, you passed the scene before it happened and you don’t volunteer that you were there or what you witnessed (stray MC).

No different I suppose to LR not telling that she’d called SM that afternoon, if FR and CS knew of this call, why didn’t they say, ‘oh, in all the events, I forgot to mention it’ – MY EYE, now a Frenchman points to his eye and pulls the lower lid, as an ‘I know you are lying’, doesn’t he Eugene ?

@Marilyn, I would agree about See_Bee, he went to the trouble of finding out where Sylvain Mollier had worked, telling us it was UGITECH, then due to family problems doesn’t return. I would so like to ask him if the original reports that he worked at Ugitech for some 20 years were true, maybe Sylvain moved recently, it ‘could’ account for the negotiation to take three years off. Only saying.

10-8-2013 at 21:23:08

@ Max

Excellent, Max. You could write a TV show. The teaser would say: “You’ve liked the X-files, you’ll love the EM-files” and the tagline “The truth is out there. In Surrey”.

10-8-2013 at 21:29:49

@Peter, I’ve looked and looked to find the photo of the gun with an outline of the piece missing, I have come to the conclusion it was on television, so I’ve checked out Daily Motion, Youtube, TF1, BFMtv, so far no luck, then again not everything is available in full after events.

I did see it, it wasn’t one of my dreams or continous thoughts of Chevaline, been through the X5 scenario, waiting to be picked up, now I see bloody great motorbikes everywhere, Goldwing type and Honda’s !

And in paying attention to motorbikes, even at 50 metres, it is easy to say if it was a ‘tourer’ type or a more traditional style, add to that trial, or slow moving scooters, zippy 125cc and the like, to not know anything about such a bike is a blatant lie !

If the forests of Les Bauges had been l’Etoile, I would get it, how many motorbikes do they shoo off in a day !

Then, what the f was it doing there in the first place, I refer to the one seen at 15:15 by the PNR (ONF) ????

Always thinking of Claude Antoines ‘two in the morning’ ….. who would flip, if a new dealer was operating on your patch or our killer detested that his precious place was being used for such encounters ?

10-8-2013 at 21:39:15

@ Lynda

I can tell you’re an expert in French body language, but for those who would need a primer, here’s a link:

10-8-2013 at 21:55:15

@ Max at 20:34 – Dialogue

Number 12 ? I’d go for “number 7” …

10-8-2013 at 22:08:03

@Eugene, no expert just living in France with my French husband, I tell you what though, yesterday in the local Café Tabac, having a small ‘biere’, I struggled to understand the new owners, took at least another biere to get into the accent, well at least that’s what I tell myself.

I do struggle with the local Patois, who doesn’t ! After all these years it takes a while to get to grips with local accents, my husband was educated in a Catholic school in Paris, then in what was the English School of Paris, which occupied the Chateau Monte Cristo, Dumas’ home and where he wrote so many of his famous novels. My husbands parents lived in a road off l’Etoile.

He was a border and actually slept in the Chateau d’Iff, of course this was in the 1950’s, the school and Mrs Cosyns moved on thanks to Douglas Macran, where the school is now called the British School of Paris, at the beginning there was just one class of all ages, about 30 kids, the stories are like fairy tales. Now the number is in the thousands.

If any of you find yourself in Paris, take a trip out to Monte Cristo, apart from the chateau, the garden is full of grottos and enchanting water pools, just let your imagination run wild! Take a step back in time, your entrance fee helps to ensure that this historical building is kept alive.

Well at least it is a change from discussing Marilyns ‘murder most foul’ !

10-8-2013 at 22:11:53

@Bibi, on Google Earth it shows as being number 12, when searching, but yes it is number 7 and the guy who lives there works for the PNR (ONF):

Here is a list of people operating in Les Bauges:

Mr Number 7 is included.

10-8-2013 at 22:37:33

@ partlucid 10-8-2013 at 19:27:58

partlucid, what do I make of your paper template technique?

Well, I am a ‘probability’ and ‘psychology’ man. So, if there were something seriously amiss with the EM interpretation of the hard reverse, then someone on the inside would have blabbed to the press by now.

Why? because they just could not resist doing so.

My guess would be that there may be something subtle going on with regard to weight distribution, suspension geometry, tyre distortion etc. that makes the tyre marks from that manoever left in the gravel wider than that of the same vehicle stationary without its four passengers and luggage.

10-8-2013 at 23:04:30

@ Lynda, 10-8-2013 at 21:29:49

I have seen that video, too, but it was just an animation, not an image of the actual “grip-plate fragment” found at the Martinet or anything like that. Thus, its evidential value is no higher than that of any text-only article pertaining to the case (some of which called a pistol grip a “handle” :D).

Do feel free to disagree with me, but, insofar as I am concerned, the mystery arrest of that guy in Geneva on suspicion of having supplied the murder weapon has now been cleared up to my satisfaction: that guy legally owned a P06 with the same serial number as that stamped onto the P06 magazine bottom which the gendarmerie found at the Martinet.

10-8-2013 at 23:09:49

@Rashomon your post above:

“then someone on the inside would have blabbed to the press by now. Why? because they just could not resist doing so. ”

And that is why I think that anything EM has said is a fact, of course accepting that it was said with the knowledge he/they had at the time, logically apt to change at a later date.

Isn’t that how we all make decisions, judgements, based on the elements we have to hand at the time, of course such elements can change 30 seconds later, we have chosen our path.

It takes a very big man to admit he took the wrong path…. I underscore we all do this every day of our lives, base a decision on the knowledge we have to hand, so at that moment we are not wrong.

10-8-2013 at 23:29:04

@Peter, I’m glad that someone else ‘saw’ the piece, I find I dream and think so much about Chevaline !

Your scenario makes so much sense, if you add in the injuries to the child, I have no doubt that the forensics would be able to offer a likely candidate as the weapon, great stuff, young man.

As you saw and as I noted a ‘handle’, talk about dumbing down, obviously needed for Telegraph readers, the previous article wasn’t any better, read like a Mills and Boon !

Yet, Marliyn says the journalist is well respected, just an off day no doubt. He’d get far more sense reading this blog wouldn’t he ? As would the Telegraph readership 🙂

And I’m sure they all do !

10-8-2013 at 23:51:09

@ Lynda, 10-8-2013 at 23:29:04

I made a mistake in referring to the shape of that magazine bottom as the only clue that would allow investigators to identify it as the likely object that Zainab had been struck with – of course it would have had her blood and DNA all over it, making the match 100% conclusive. Whatever that “fragment” was, they would have been able to tie it with absolute certainty to the attack on her.

Anyway, I know what you are talking about when you say that you dream and think so much about the murders. Not a day goes by on which I don’t think about them, but I really resent those thoughts intruding upon my dreams. In that sense – have a very good night!

10-8-2013 at 23:53:49

Talking about cyclists, murders and strange motives…..

I just listened to the most complicated and strangest murder story I have ever heard. If it was a murder or rather two….

It’s about a man, Rodrigo Rosenberg, a lawyer in Guatemala, who hires a group of hitmen to kill him when he is out cycling. The motive is revenge for the murder of his ‘girlfriend’ and her father. The girlfriend was married.
In a video recorded shortly before his death he blames the president in Guatemala for his murder (that he himself had ordered).

I will not even try to recapitulate the story. It is so complicated and so weird…

10-9-2013 at 00:40:35

@Lynda Re ‘It takes a very big man to admit he took the wrong path’

I don’t agree, there is nothing more simple than say e.g. ‘Ok we were after SAH but it turned out to be SM’

You don’t have to be a big man, you simply have not to be afraid of making ‘mistakes’ (and that are not even mistakes)

In the beginning of Chevaline you had 2 (or 3 or more) ‘choices’. It was or SAH or SM (or …) So you pick one. If in the end it happens to be the ‘other option’ who cares? Not me.

… only ppl using ‘hindsight’ ‘know better’ (but in my book those ppl are losers;)

Point in case. If in the end it happens to be SAH after all. I’m the first to congratulate EM and say ‘Jeeez Eric, I could have sworned it was all about SM’ … really no problem:)

– M

10-9-2013 at 00:44:09

Anyway, I’m in a good mood. Pretending to be ‘Hutch’ (from the 70’s Starsky and Hutch) in GTA online 🙂

– M

10-9-2013 at 08:52:22

Hi!(Want to be with-it this morning.)

Anyone ever thought that Chevaline might indeed have been all about SM — the other kind, that is.

Lars, the Guatemala case sounds interesting. It’s my kind of story, but I must say, I am trying to get ‘murder’ out of my head. I’ve even stopped my nightly serial killing. Next, I will be Bible thumping … I’ll be *that* good a person.

Lynda, I want to go to the Monte Christo chateau. And Lynda, I’ve learnt quite a few hand gestures since I came to live in France. The ‘my eye’ is the least offensive of these. And about regional accents. There are times when I cannot understand a word of what is being said, especially by the rugby players from the south-west. But, this has happened to me in the UK too. On my very first visit to the UK, my husband and I were in a train going from Ldn to Bournemouth (no, Bournemouth was ‘straight’ those days) and there was this young guy sitting opposite us. Very soon, he was talking to us, but I just sat there taking no part in the conversation. When we pulled into Bournemouth my husband said to me, “You did not understand a word he was saying, did you?” and I had to admit that I had not. “That was Cockney,” he said. Oe ba gum!

Not only has See_Bee disappeared, but so has Oui.

Oui, if you are reading this, we are all missing you. Or have you abdicated along with Queen Beatrix?

Ok, do have a good commenting day. I am going to the new Frida Kahlo expo this morning. She’s one of my favourites, but part of it, is her and Diego Rivera’s friendship with Trotsky.

10-9-2013 at 09:30:54

Gaining from my GTA5 experience I wonder (again) why SAH did not use the only weapon he had … namely his massive BMW? From (gta5) experience I now know that Vehicle versus Man = vehicle always wins:)

Think about it. X was positioned at the ‘barrier’. SAH made his return arc. Why is there NO attempt to go forward and run over X? Which btw would have as 2nd effect that if SAH would miss X he could continue towards ‘hairpin’ and effectively escape.

So, WHY not?

Is there even (track/dust) proof SAH tried to put it in forward?

Because he got stuck … and was found with the wheels spinning. Perhaps the ‘heavy foot’ or ‘crocks’ or ‘doormat’ argument is valid. Some bad luck made the gas pedal stuck?

– M

10-9-2013 at 09:44:02


I had considered the elements you mention apropos the tyre tracks, but you’ve forced me into a rethink Rashomon: perhaps a moving, laden car DOES make tracks one sixth wider than its technical data profile. Some Google research required methinks…


Did Maillaud and/ or the police ever actually ‘confirm’ the story of Saad’s much reported reversing arc? My sense of things is that they’ve been consistently sparing with any crime scene details. I believe there was some talk of Sylvain receiving a heavy blow, but I’m not sure if M or the police specifically attributed that to Saad’s reversing BMW. Obviously the dramatic reverse will have found favour with the media…

…just a thought…

10-9-2013 at 09:57:35


….although when I was out yesterday, BRIEFLY looking for tyre treads and ‘X5’s….I couldn’t help noticing that the part of a tyre, in contact with the ground on a stationary car, is actually around an inch LESS at either side as the tyre is chamfered that way…

That will presumably change in motion…although I’m still struggling to see that factor, plus any aerial photographic distortion, swell the thing by around 16%. I would think that figure must be ‘statistically significant’.

10-9-2013 at 12:29:44

@ partlucid, 10-9-2013 at 09:44:02

The story of Saad reversing in an arc, in the process dragging SM along the ground etc. has been bandied about so extensively and for such a long time that I agree with Rashomon: if it were untrue, Eric Clouseau would have contradicted it by now. Thus, I assume that manouevre to be a fact.

However, this does not logically entail that those tyre tracks were caused by that manoeuvre. To my untrained eye, they do indeed look far too wide apart for them to have been caused by Saad’s BMW. Likewise, plowing such deep furrows whilst accelerating in reverse from a standing start into the direction of the narrow road, with a sharp drop behind it, would be evidence of very bad driving, even for a driver in a panic.

I think the tow truck is the most likely culprit, as its track width matches the width of those tracks. Also, braking such a heavy vehicle will cause the kind of deep gouges in the ground that we see in those photos.

10-9-2013 at 12:35:58

Morning all, well afternoon, really – just throwing something in the mix, the ‘reliable car nut’, could it have been Zainab ?

Sounds a bit off the wall, her Dad was mad about BMW’s apparently always fixing them up, could she have seen what was ‘probably/possibly’ an X5 type vehicle ? Maybe parked up ?

Would it have been taken seriously at the time from a nearly 8 year old girl ?

Maillaud has said that she’s been talking to her family.

@Partlucid, EM did refer to the tyre tracks, he also many times has referred to a ‘hard reverse’, it is Le Parisien who says that Mollier was dragged by the vehicle, and Le Monde before that, he suffered injuries to his ribcage and side (flanc).

@Max, why didn’t he reverse out and up, he didn’t know what was after the bend, or was something blocking his way ? Could the barrier have been put in place, then laid down again or was there something else there, a car that had arrived from above after the shooting started ?

10-9-2013 at 12:45:17

@ partlucid 10-9-2013 at 09:57:35

partlucid, EM has stated publicly thathe will ‘correct’ any statement made by the press if it is wrong or misleading. The hard reverse in an arc has been a feature of diagrams of the crimescene published in the French press since the beginning of this saga. It seems reasonable to me that he would have ‘corrected’ this by now if it was substantially incorrect.

I understand what you mean about the chamfer on a tyre. However, it seems likely to me that a car accelerating in an arc on full lock would leave tyre marks on a loose gravel that are wider than the nominal tyre/ground contact width.

Think about where gravel would be thrown by a wheel losing traction under power.

10-9-2013 at 13:05:49

@ Marilyn

If you care to take a peek at the “French gestures” manual I gave a link to yesterday, I’m sure you’ll find both the commentaries and the demonstration pics really amusing, even though you’re certainly familiar with all of these common signs and expressions. Many visitors are not.
But vice versa how many French people realize what it means to “flip the bird” until they see it?

@ Partlucid

This controversy about the tire tracks has been going on for ever. In fact, if I recall correctly, EM himself has never been very specific about this issue: he only stated several times that Saad had obviously attempted an escape by reversing his car, but never literally mentioned the now-famous “reverse arc”. This is more -I think- like an elaboration made by journalists and later supported by several commentators here and elsewhere. And I beg to disagree with Rashomon: EM always said he *would not* correct any incorrect statement from the media.
Why does it matter anyways? Mostly because the alleged maneuver is the cornerstone of several other theories about the unfolding of events at the crime scene: if there was no such “reverse arc”, it becomes unlikely that the BMW could have dragged Mollier’s body to whbere it was found, it becomes necessary to reassess the position of the shooter(s) to account for the spent shells found *under* the car, it undermines the idea of the doors auto-locking, etc..
Not to mention that it raises 2 questions. a) what over vehicle left those tracks? b) why didn’t Saad try to drive away uphill (towards the hairpin) which would have been simpler in any case if no other car was blocking passage?

Even though I don’t have the answer to these questions, I’m still personally convinced that the “reverse arc at speed” is just a myth. Not only because of the tire marks width, in excess of what should be expected, but also of the unrealistic turning circle implied, especially since in its final position the front wheels were perfectly aligned.
But if I’m proven wrong, I won’t feel offended at all.

10-9-2013 at 13:10:42

Still on my fanciful speculations…

I’m not sure that EM would have felt obliged to correct that particular bit of press fiction…should it prove to be so. It harms nobody really, distracts the press, and removes other speculations around the tyre marks…

My ‘research’ continues…


Like your notion that Zainab could have contributed to the ‘X5’ sighting. Having clocked the badge, it’s just the sort of thing a child might offer up to impress a father…

10-9-2013 at 13:38:55


Just a random thought.
Isn’t reloading a luger a bit of a “pain” due to the angle of the hand grip.
For “speed” it isn’t the easiest hand gun to reload ?

And re cocking it. It’s not the most “elegant” thing to make ready.

I am wonder if there was some significance in the choice of a luger.
It does carry a certain reputation.

A “planned” murder, yet chaotic and almost “random” in execution.
Rather than “lone wolf”, I can’t get away from thinking “isolated individual from a former weapon related background”. Like Former soldier Alfredo Galan.

This a report from the Daily Telegraph prior to his capture.

10-9-2013 at 13:50:03

“To my untrained eye, they do indeed look far too wide apart for them to have been caused by Saad’s BMW”.

Perspective from a height and at an angle is a funny thing.
Add in a “zoom lens”….and who knows.

From the marks left on the ground, if they were from rear wheels outer most to the tarmac….where was the “front end” of the car ?
Yet….perspective from a height and at an angle is a funny thing.

The one thing that can be stated as “fact” (I think) is that Saad was in reverse just prior to his death.

10-9-2013 at 13:54:07

The official Crimewatch report was explicit that the X5 was seen around 15:20. Where was the Al-Hillis vehicle at that time? Somewhere close to Chevaline downtown: remember, the 15:15 time-stamped photo facing the Virginia creeper.
I have no doubt Zainab must be a brilliant child, and with Saad’s genes able to spot a BMW miles away. But still, while the traveling direction of that X5 was never specified, it’s one of the 2 things: if it was going down at that point in time, then it’s not involved. If it was going up, for Zainab to spot it, it must have been in front of the Al-Hillis. And if so, why would she have claimed there was nobody there when they reached Le Martinet? Doesn’t work.
Houston, we have a problem.

10-9-2013 at 14:00:46

@ Eugene 10-9-2013 at 13:05:49

Eugene, you wrote

“And I beg to disagree with Rashomon: EM always said he *would not* correct any incorrect statement from the media.”

In which case I am mistaken, I apologise for misleading everyone.

10-9-2013 at 14:11:57


The ‘Zainab sighting’ is just a speculation Eugene…

And as others have pointed out this morning, it could apply if the ‘X5’ subsequently drew up somewhere along the route…

10-9-2013 at 14:12:24

@ Rashomon

No problem. Actually, all of us would like these people (DAs and police) to correct media reports whenever those are misleading. They just can’t: it’d be a full-time job. And that’s not what they’re being paid for..

10-9-2013 at 14:16:38

@ Partlucid

Even if the X5 “drew up somewhere” (???), it stills has to go up or down, and my remarks still apply.
But, granted, the Zainab sighting is speculation.

10-9-2013 at 14:38:26

@ James, 10-9-2013 at 13:38:55

Thanks for the reference to the “Playing Card Killer”. I had never heard of that fascinating case before.

I would agree that a P06 is not the easiest pistol for a quick reload, although in my opinion it is not so much the angle of the grip that is the problem, but the fact that one must pull back the toggle after inserting a fresh magazine. With more modern pistols, that is not necessary, one merely has to thumb the topslide release catch.

Of course a P06 is not quite the same thing as a “Nazi Luger”, but it could certainly have been chosen for its symbolic value. (I keep watching the old series “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”, where all the bad guys carry Lugers.)

Speaking of symbols, I keep thinking about SM’s eldest son L’s first tweet after his father’s death: “666”. I know what number is supposed to mean, but it seems an incredibly odd comment to make after just having lost one’s father. Upon the other hand, if the Martinet killer was into symbolism, that would have been a rather pithy messagel for him to leave behind at the scene of the crime. Thus, sometimes I wonder whether that tweet revealed a bit of inside information, in the sense that the killer actually did leave that symbol on the scene, and that the police had told the family (but not the media) about that fact. This is just idle speculation, of course.

10-9-2013 at 15:14:09


When (timestamp, date) did L tweet this ‘666’?

– M

10-9-2013 at 15:18:23

Obvious detail I know, but do realize that the rue du Moulin 7/12 4×4’s (ONF) are not only are ‘close to Martinet’ but also on the route which SM most probably had taken to go to Martinet, in other words, SM passed by RdM 7/12 … and curiously, perhaps the LR 2 SM phone call could be in ‘sync’ with SM passing RdM 7/12 (some minutes after SM passed a 3rd biker 5-6 kms from Martinet)


10-9-2013 at 15:53:12

Sticking my neck out, all comments have been about whether Saad was followed, conclusion is he wasn’t.

I still don’t think the family were the target, nevertheless here is a proposal that might fit:

15:15, above Martinet ONF warn off MC1, (why was MC1 there)

15:15/15:30, Crimewatch, 15:20, a German Marque 4×4 seen on the Combe d’Ire, appears to be an ONF car nut, plus others who saw this vehicle.

So, conclusion is it is the ONF from above Martinet that sees the parked X5, this X5, does in fact go to Le Martinet, but doesn’t stop. Turns around and returns down Combe d’Ire, being seen by Brett Martin and possibly Zainab, the BMW by now on the Combe going up and ahead of Mollier and Brett Martin.


For me this leaves a question, the X5, did it in fact arrive at Le Martinet just after events, then left without reporting what it had seen, which of course is an offence ?

The ONF having left the Combe before the others started the climb.

Now, why didn’t the motorbike follow the ONF closely, because when it was seen above Martinet it was in front of them, went around the zigzag and hid, letting the ONF pass. MC1, remained at or near Le Martinet, it’s real position was to have been higher up and after the ‘interdit’ sign.

Could the arrival of another vehicle be what stopped the bloodshed, rather than a silently approaching cyclist ?

I do not think that the PNR/ONR 4×4 type vehicle could ever be confused with a sleek X5, no matter how out of breath a cyclist might be.

If the engine was still running when Brett Martin arrived at about 15:40, allowing 5 minutes or so up there, then returning to the route, encountering Bossy and the phone call at 15:48, how long would it have been continuing to bump up against the bank ?

MC1 passing Brett Martin some minutes AFTER the, I assume, X5.

10-9-2013 at 16:00:18

The reverse arc wheel tracks probably came when the dad parked with nose out to the road, which is little more than a track about one and half car widths. The 5x went up before the family and could have been around the bend just before the final barrier, causing the the dad to back up into the laybye which is much smaller and tighter than in the pics. The family, dad and daughter got out to look down at the roaring stream. SM passes by but is also stopped by the 5x and retreats only to be followed by the gun men as he had interrupted a drug deal. The two or more maniacs follow with their purloined Lugars and proceed to shoot all the witnesses. One took shortcut through woods behind dads car and his shell casing were covered by the reversing station wagon. Dad had tried to back up a bit to gain a better angle to speed down hill, but got stuck.
Sm had dropped his bike while running into forest to take cover possibly getting caught on bumper of car as he fell and ran which may have been why dad backed up.
Child was grabbed by the third perp, the one not so viscious, perhaps the ONF girlfriend. With so many old Lugars stuck in attics it’s not impossible for there to have been three in this little drug cell.
Drugs guns and sex. Poor tourists caught because they wander where no local dares to go. All the other vehicles could have been customers going to buy a stash. Local trade local economy, who dares to speak up. And yes, there is a mafia in haute savoie, referred to in Geneva as the Annecy mafia. Old ties to Italy are very strong. Haute savoie is an Italian culture nothing like the France of Paris etc.

10-9-2013 at 16:14:42

@ Max, 10-9-2013 at 15:14:09

No idea when that was. Perhaps Lynda might remember?

10-9-2013 at 16:28:55

@Peter and Max, I do not see the tweets around the time of the killing the most recent strange comments were earlier this year.

Maybe Lars, can help ?

I have no doubt that Sylvains boys will be the first to question what happened, the elder being at an age where he is aware of the horrors that exist in our world. Papa is in heaven will not suffice, and with all the blogs, Police conferences and Press Reports, there just isn’t any getting away from it.

It will be a little

10-9-2013 at 16:42:24


I also don’t think BM would have confused an ONF vehicle with an ‘X5’/ Pajero, even if he didn’t particularly clock it.

His Lathuile house – which has presumably been within his family for some years? – is effectively on the doorstep of the national park and the forests. He must be very familiar with the ONF vehicles, and although I’m sure they come in all shapes and sizes, from the Google page that I previously put up they do mostly appear to share a uniform green livery and of course the fairly distinctive logo. I think if you’re around those vehicles for any length of time then you would pretty much come to recognize them intuitively, without even thinking or particularly registering them. And a further clue, in my mind, is that he refers to the ‘three cars’ as being simply ‘arbitrary’. For me, a very commonly seen, working vehicle wouldn’t come into that arbitrary category, in the same way that a police car wouldn’t. It’s unlikely we’ll ever know just what he has/ or hasn’t seen but I just can’t see him as being the one responsible for any confusions around ONF vehicles…

I don’t doubt that there were also ONF vehicles in the vicinity, by the way, and that genuine confusions will have arisen…

10-9-2013 at 17:04:02

@Partlucid, I recall that Brett Martin had the property in Lathuile for about two years at the time of the murders.

10-9-2013 at 17:11:26

Tyre tracks – the ONLY argument that I see nobody using is that some of the rear window drivers side glass was found at the top end of the clearing, so the car must have been at that end, presumably when the shooting started.

So, whether they are the BMW’s or not it was further up, nose in before ending up in its final position.

10-9-2013 at 17:31:29

@ Lynda 10-9-2013 at 17:11:26


Yes, the side window glass fragments, good point!

So EM implicitly holds with some variation on reverse-turn, whether it is from your ear-of-corn diagonal parking or from a straight-in parallel to the sign position.

10-9-2013 at 17:31:32


Exactly:) … the glass

(of course any paranoid could argue it was put there, because it IS indeed strange that ‘they’ did not clean everything up, and left ‘evidence’ behind)

10-9-2013 at 17:39:02

If an ONF 4×4 was in the car park….and left tyre tracks, then it would be easy for the police to establish that.

I guess the ONF use their 4×4’s off road ?

Try “off roading” with standard road tyres on a 4×4.
You’ll get stuck alot !

10-9-2013 at 18:05:37

I’m not sure that the glass is conclusive; reportedly the lay-by was littered with glass…

…and an unrelated point: do we have final clarity on the number of empty cartridges (douilles) found at the site. I thought Maillaud fixed this definitively at 21, at the recent press conference….but there still seems to be some persistent talk of the original 25…ie…3X8 plus one in the chamber.
Sorry to be so pesky on this…

10-9-2013 at 18:19:03

@Partlucid, most of that is covered by looking at the dates of the press articles.

EM has STATED 21. Which could be argued that if there were three chargers of 8 then 3 are still in the gun, was it the Ian Horrocks article that suggested some may have got lost in the undergrowth, bullets maybe, but wouldn’t the spent casings fall near to where they were fired ?

The glass, can you post a link to the ‘reportedly the lay-by was littered with glass…’ ? Thanks.

I’ll look my side.

10-9-2013 at 18:50:35


Lynda, I’m sorry, I simply don’t have stuff on file; I’ve only very recently started to retain some bits and pieces…but I know that I’ve read that there was a lot of glass, pretty much all over the lay-by…

…and thanks. So 21 douilles it is; that’s what I thought we’d come out at. And I still very much like Peter’s elegant 3×7 which seemingly spares the magazine springs…

10-9-2013 at 19:22:26

@partlucid, there are many references to the glass, this being the most precise, that isn’t behind a paywall, dated 7th September 2013

“A patch of broken glass could still be seen some 15 yards from where the family’s red BMW estate was discovered.”

10-9-2013 at 19:25:24

7th September 2012 !!!!!

10-9-2013 at 20:12:11

Of course the lay-by was littered with glass, but I suppose forensic officers picked up those pieces they thought were connected with the crime. I doubt the Daily Mail reporter could have seen them 2 days later !! The Le Monde article referenced in Lar’s summary alludes to a window broken during the escape attempt, but doesn’t specify a location.
As for the bullets count, 21 or 25 doesn’t make that much of a difference. If we give any credit to the reports from gentle giant and his dad, it’s more the 30 seconds lapse of time that’s interesting: I still think it’s very short with 2 changes of magazines and while shooting at moving targets.

10-9-2013 at 21:32:37

@Eugene, the area wasn’t completely emptied of all loose gravel, blood on stones, glass, even fag ends and empty cartridge casings were still there.

Here I think you’ll find our Franck the Paysagiste, who was no doubt using an engined hedge cutter, they are noisy, so did he hear the end of the rat-tat-tat only:

And his son Melvyn, again the noise of a trial bike could block out other sounds, so he could have heard it only partially:!/melvyn.mirabellsii?fref=ts

10-9-2013 at 21:51:25

@Eugene, the Le Monde illustration:

This more than alludes, besides which the British Police have complained that the area was re-opened too quickly, well it isn’t the Alma Tunnel in central Paris, where was the hurry, not even a through road !

Because some hikers and cyclists would be disappointed ? I reckon it was because they wanted to show that there was nothing to fear, the killer being from outside, the targets being the Al-Hillis.

I back up what I write with links, whether they are worth taking into consideration is for each individual to make up their own minds, I prefer to see links from commentators as then I am more likely to follow their reasoning.

Aren’t we all using the internet to discuss this case, as far as I know none of us were there, maybe that statement is completely wrong and one amongst us IS the murderer.

10-9-2013 at 22:17:05

@ Lynda

Absolutely. That’s what the Internet is for.
So by the way, what’s your backup link for your 17:04:02 of today: “@Partlucid, I recall that Brett Martin had the property in Lathuile for about two years at the time of the murders.”
I had always thought it was quite longer, since he mentioned in his BBC interview that he had been at Le Martinet “10 or 20 times in the course of years”, which would sound like a lot in just 2 years.. Or did Ms Martin have a different property in the area before?

10-10-2013 at 02:28:40


“of course any paranoid could argue it was put there, because it IS indeed strange that ‘they’ did not clean everything up, and left ‘evidence’ behind”

Actually a good point. It was after all a big cleaning vehicle. What were they cleaning ? And why so badly ?

Blood is generally considered a “contaminant”.
As such that requires specialist cleaners…that which is not consider evidence that is. So what was this cleaning vehicle doing ? Cleaning glass ?

It would appear it missed some.

10-10-2013 at 07:46:36

Morning all

Succinctly, on the tyre tracks…

I think yesterday I allowed myself to wilt, in the face of others’ persuasive reasoning. However I feel this morning, insulated from all your venomous! counter-arguments, that I’ve been able to regain my analytical mind…


BMW declares the external tyre width of Saad’s 525 to be 1860mm/ 6ft 1″

My paper templates (BOTH made from the same overhead helicopter shot) show the tyre marks to be one sixth wider than this (21 mm v. 18 mm)

In real life that becomes a discrepancy of 323mm/ or just over a foot

Now I’m willing to consider that there were 3 adults in the car, that the tyres may have been underinflated? for caravan pulling, that we’re on a damp? gravelly surface, and that there is a helicopter perspective (although this is positioned BETWEEN the two relatively close objects; we’re not a hundred yards to the right of the tyre marks!)…

…but unless some qualified tyre mark analyst can reason otherwise…then I can’t see that even those combined considerations can produce a six inch! discrepancy on either side. I concede that I’ve never had reason to examine skid marks on gravel, but currently I believe that those marks have come from another vehicle, which may/ or may not pertain to the crime…

And although an X5 is 78mm/ 3 inches wider than the 525, the same flawed logic also disqualifies this vehicle from having made these tracks

@Lynda your 12.35 of yesterday

You wrote yesterday that Maillaud had often referred to the car tracks, and that would of course imply that they do pertain to the crime, but do you know if he’s ever actually confirmed this? It would be interesting to know exactly how he’s framed that, although I accept that could now be irretrievable…

10-10-2013 at 07:52:46

@ James

On the other hand, a very efficient cleaning job must have been done immediately in the BMW: on the pictures taken the next morning, not one blood stain to be seen on the seats, not one chunk of glass either.
And this before the vehicle has even been towed away to the forensics lab. No contamination hey?

10-10-2013 at 08:00:40

….and none of that precludes Saad from still making the dramatic hard reverse turn, which is the commonly reported version of what happened.

But I’ll leave it to others to dissect spatial constraints, and the 525’s turning circle should they so wish…!

10-10-2013 at 08:46:51

… especially since Saad’ s BMW was registered as a 5.30. Let’s not such details take too much of our time. The crime scene can only give us that many clues. It’s the motive only that can point to the killers.

10-10-2013 at 09:16:58

Good Morning!

The blog seems to have been down a couple of hours yesterday evening.
Happy to see it’s functioning again.

Especially since there are interesting news:

10-10-2013 at 09:25:14


Doubtless you’ll be aware Eugene, having checked the BMW technical data as carefully as I did, that the 530 series shares exactly the same wheelbase as the 525…

Lars has the car down as a 525d SE in his summary.

And I look forward to you discerning a motive before you’ve understood – even in the broadest terms! – what sort of a crime we’re looking at here…

….indeed the last time I looked, we were collectively undecided between a targeted killing of either one man, or against an entirely separate adult group, or a vicious random killing spree….or a vicious planned killing spree

…so if you can distil a decisive ‘motive’ from any of the crime scene information, or from the extensive background (hi)stories we have of the victims….

….then I shall not only doff my cap to you Sir, but I shall also eat it as well. And with the news that Marilyn is shortly to publish a new book on cookery, then I shall have few fears on that last score….

10-10-2013 at 09:31:03


Interesting indeed. I’ve tried to open it Lars, but it doesn’t seem to offer anything beyond the title page. Am I missing something there…

10-10-2013 at 09:36:18

I was not aware that the blog was down.

10-10-2013 at 09:57:20

Came across this fairly strong vote for the biker this morning…

Les enquêteurs en savent donc toujours aussi peu sur le meurtrier, sinon qu’il s’agissait probablement d’un professionnel qui se serait déplacé à moto. L’arme, un Luger P06 “ne ressort dans aucun fichier et est aujourd’hui intraçable”, a expliqué le procureur d’Annecy. Quand à son véhicule, les enquêteurs recherchent toujours moto blanche et une BMW X5 couleur sombre, aperçus sur les lieux du drame

10-10-2013 at 10:15:19

The X5 is a *BIG* obstacle for SM to come back into the picture. Esp. the RHD part. It does not make sense, unless of course the 3rd woman is non-french, and SM was fooling around with the wife of a tourist:)

10-10-2013 at 10:16:12


Thanks for the excellent research on the ‘gentle giant’ and his father.
I will add that to the summary.

I was a bit disappointed though by the looks of ‘le jeune colosse’. I thought he was a ‘hefty’ guy, not so bony. 🙂

10-10-2013 at 10:17:58


Someone of us will solve the problem with reading that article. Just wait awhile. 😉

10-10-2013 at 10:21:45


Good morning dear chap (and good morning Marilyn)….read the “strap line”, very interesting. But what do they reveal on page three ? I can’t get inside.

10-10-2013 at 10:37:36


As said the news will be revealed in due time (if you don’t want to buy the article yourself). 😉


As said earlier the BMW model is now changed from 525 to 530. The summary online is not yet updated, but I hope Marilyn and I will be able to do that pretty soon, since a number of informations need to be added.


10-10-2013 at 10:46:15

@ Peter 10-9-2013 at 12:29:44

think the tow truck is the most likely culprit, as its track width matches the width of those tracks. Also, braking such a heavy vehicle will cause the kind of deep gouges in the ground that we see in those photos.

I Think one can exclude the “tow truck” from making those tracks.
Ntimm, but Nissan Cabstars (all series) are equipped with ABS-brakes as standard, since launch 2008 (Europe).
The brake path on gravel should be similar to this: (left one)

@ Lynda 10-9-2013 at 17:11:26

Tyre tracks – the ONLY argument that I see nobody using is that some of the rear window drivers side glass was found at the top end of the clearing, so the car must have been at that end, presumably when the shooting started.

I’ve searched , but failed to find ref. to “rear window drivers side glass”.

Source/link please .

10-10-2013 at 11:00:46


Le Monde: Tuerie de Chevaline : les secrets d’une scène de crime, published 27 October 2012

I hope we all could be a little more understanding, please. We commentators can’t keep a reference list for all statements said and written during the investigation. If you want to believe another commentator here or not, it is your own choice.

I have actually heard/read Maillaud saying that he was only going to correct the gross errors made in the media (discussed above), but I can’t see that I have to search for a reference if I can’t remember where. If somebody don’t want to believe that it is his/her privelege, if not everybody is able to search for himself/herself.

10-10-2013 at 11:00:54

@partlucid, Lars and all
while trying to get hold of page 3 I cam across this article from june in the same source
I don’t know if its already been recognised. If yes sorry for reposting.

10-10-2013 at 11:13:04


I bought it. very interesting. I sent it to marilyn to resend it to all frewuent commentators.
“Depuis le début de l’affaire
Chevaline, Sylvain Mollier
est présenté comme une
victime collatérale,
l’homme qui était là au
mauvais endroit, au
mauvais moment. Les
enquêteurs n’ont pourtant
pas négligé la piste
uginoise, affectant un
gendarme à temps plein à
l’exploration de cette
hypothèse. Des dizaines et
des dizaines d’auditions
ont eu lieu, et si aucune n’a
délivré d’éléments
probants, rien ne permet
d’écarter une théorie que
de nombreux paramètres
rendent plausibles. A
commencer par un aspect
de la personnalité de
Sylvain Mollier resté da”


10-10-2013 at 11:39:25

@ Ron @ Lars

Regarding the tow-truck, considering its specifications, it seems indeed unlikely that it would have left such tracks while braking if ABS was enabled. Same can probably be said about most recent vehicles. Meanwhile, it’s fairly common to have an “ABS off” switch, and some drivers do disable the system when driving on rough terrain.

I had myself previously recalled the Le Monde article mentioning a broken window on the rear driver side. The thing is it doesn’t specify the exact location where corresponding broken glass would have been found. And even assuming the assumption that it was by the top end of the lay-by would be correct, that doesn’t quite explain other factors.
When it comes to EM’s attitude, Lars is also right: the only problem is whether he considers the “reverse arc” maneuver as a “gross error” or not. Let’s not forget that on his first press conference, he made a few gross errors himself, not even giving Zainab’s first name correctly..

@ Partlucid

No need to make things personal. Correcting factual errors can only help everyone. And I personnally share most of your views on the tire tracks.

10-10-2013 at 11:44:29

Thanks to Max and Lars for the heads up on Le Messager.

In the earlier threads, Lars and I discussed whether the MC1 and MC2 might be linked, often if a woman rides a motorbike so does her partner, so are we back at the beginning ?

I feel for the family of Sylvain Mollier, as I’ve always done for the Al-Hilli family, this will no doubt be distressing for the boys as they are older and can understand the implications.

Maybe the term ‘a leopard never changes his spots’, could be applied.

Pity the article is using the photo of a Sylvain Mollier from Mandeuvre, no doubt they’ll have to pull it as did the Mail last year. Unless of course it is him !

Our Mollier has been described as dark, which from an old photo of one of his younger brothers, would appear to be a family trait, you only need to look at LM.

And just for Eugene a quote from Le Parisien:

“Ce mercredi 5 septembre William Brett Martin a quitté vers 14 heures sa résidence secondaire de Lathuile Haute-Savoie achetée il y a deux ans.”

Eugene I accept that I’m not your cup of tea, but please I don’t make things up, unless I specifically say, ‘maybe this happened’, or ‘speculation’ or ‘did it go like this’ etc. the same as everyone else on here has done.

Finally Lars, were you able to open the two links I post about Franck and Melvyn, I can’t open them myself this morning !

10-10-2013 at 11:48:36

@ Lars

Thanks , I found it.

More on the news today..

The “Wall of silence” is somewhat crumbling, but still standing…

10-10-2013 at 11:50:36

@ Marilyn

Yes, please. Do forward to us the article RiffRaff has kindly obtained.

Whenever I open this thread on my device, and read the headline, I always think of the full Hamlet quote you use in part:
” Murder most foul, as in the best it is,
But this most foul, strange and unnatural. ”
It’s all the more interesting as Hamlet’s father was actually murdered by his.. uncle. Did you at any point think Zaid was the best lead?
In any case, the Chevaline killings too were quite “strange and unnatural”.

10-10-2013 at 12:08:06

@ Lynda

Lynda, it’s not a question of “making things up”. I never question the honesty of any of us here. It’s just a matter of consistency in the reports we are building theories upon.
In this case, anything is possible. Maybe the Brett-Martins were formerly renting that house, before buying it, maybe the Parisien journalist was imagining such specifics. What’s for sure is the quote I gave of William Brett, mentioning 10/20 visits to Martinet “in the course of years”, even stating that he had taken his whole family there “the year before or maybe two years ago”. So I tend to think this issue is unclear. I don’t have time to check this, but I guess a good way to find out would be to see what year the “Silver ferns” company was started: they must have owned the place before renting it.

10-10-2013 at 12:10:56

@Ron, in the article, this statement confirms that the BMW did reverse over the body of SM and it is a quote from EM, Le Parisien article said the same but not as a quote from the man himself.

Sur le sujet, “on n’a aucune certitude”, affirme M. Maillaud. En revanche, “on est certain qu’il avait pris une balle lorsque le véhicule des al-Hilli lui est passé sur le corps”, reconnaît-il. “Cela ne veut pas dire pour autant qu’il était la cible du tueur”, a-t-il ajouté.

Max, I hope you have your Twitter Account on everything #Chevaline !!!!

10-10-2013 at 12:20:08

@Eugene, in my experience, when Brits buy in France, they generally look to an area they like and have been to be before, so maybe Brett and his family had taken holidays often in the region. To me that would be a normal course of events.

I am not sure, but putting things together I think he was preparing the house for its first season of renting, the internet site was new, of course it could have been let out via other sources ‘Gites de France’ for example.

As I pointed out to Partlucid earlier, if you open up Michelin Maps for the area, you will see that there is a road that passes through the Marceaus from Lathuile that ends up in the middle of Chevaline, by passing Doussard.

And of course, it is the road that passes furthest into Les Bauges for vehicles.

Having seen the latest newspaper reports, I am wondering how often SM ‘popped’ in to see his Uncle in Faverges ? Before enjoying the cool of the Combe d’Ire.

10-10-2013 at 12:42:23
10-10-2013 at 12:42:40

“Pourtant, le procureur indique que, joint par sa compagne sur l’itinéraire, l’Uginois aurait répondu qu’il était en plein effort et qu’il la rappellerait une fois arrivé. Il ne lui a pas déclaré s’être perdu.”

This says his companion, so just following a train of thought, why did CS go looking for him so early, 17:00 (?), because he didn’t call back and he didn’t respond again to any of her calls – I bet she was fuming !

Does that mean that both LR and CS had called him that afternoon, maybe LR had called the house first, then his mobile, receiving a similar reply, I’ll call you back.

The wrong route/lost bit is to save the blushes of the young woman who no doubt was still in the throws of recent childbirth and all the emotions it brings in its wake. We are back to the famous word used early on ‘discretion’.

10-10-2013 at 12:48:57

The Essor Savoyard sounds even more explicit, if you can read it.

10-10-2013 at 12:53:42


As you said, the wall of silence is crumbling. At least now “friends” start to talk and it is enough for a local (!) newspaper to jump in. Afaik local papers tend to be very hesitating with information that could make the region look not well. So this is a definitive statement for me. Even more as the paper managed to force EM to comment and elaborate a bit on this “piste”.

Good work L’essor savoyard 🙂

10-10-2013 at 12:57:31

I’m with Lynda on this

How can 2 women who should be enemies become friends? The old ‘enemy in common’ perhaps. The 3rd woman, and X possibly being the boyfriend/husband of that 3rd woman.

LR (est. 1515 call to SM) and CS (est. awaiting 1600 call from SM, 1700 raising alarm) very possibly knew more. What? It has to be something they have in ‘common’

Big, big problem is the X5 … and the ‘person who called the X5’

(unless, in this scenario, the 3rd woman has a ‘connection’ to the RHD drive aspect of this X5 … I do not believe this X5 exists)

666 reads ‘SM had it coming’ (perhaps)

– M

10-10-2013 at 13:02:45

Pssst don’t tell anyone (*the* article)

– M

10-10-2013 at 13:18:02

For what it’s worth, the Essor Savoyard uses as a portrait of Mollier the same photo I posted many moons ago, only to be told it was a complete error.
I then assume, since Prosecutor Maillaud has vowed, as it was recently mentioned, to offwrite any “gross mistake” in media reports, that he will soon do so if such is the case.

10-10-2013 at 13:18:26

@All, I only have one niggle on this, if SM was meeting a lover, I think the place more likely is above Martinet, I’d put Max’s MC1 as the likely candidate, it doesn’t necessarily follow that the cuckold did it. I also think this motorbike rider has been identified, probably came forward discreetly, the detectives then checking out the husband/boyfriend.

Maybe some of you recall a very long time ago I said there would be a woman in fear of her life. Use your imagination, when she realises where the event took place, who the dead cyclist is, oh my ! Sh ethen has to carry on as normal at home, because our cuckold may no even have known what was going on !

So, whilst the above and the phone calls and the ‘wall of silence’ fits the clandestine lovers meeting, it doesn’t automatically follow that was why Mollier was killed, it could explain many of the events.

So, who saw the ‘X5’ at 15:20 and who are the others, ONF/WBM/Zainab/MC1, stating such at different dates into the investigation, would also explain the delay in the public appeal, maybe they genuinely thought they would find it on CCTV or still in the region, without alarming its occupants.

Which leaves MC2 on the Col at 16:00 going towards Le Martinet, was it the pick up, the killer making its way towards the Motorbike, regardless of who was the target.

10-10-2013 at 13:22:48

@ Ron, 10-10-2013 at 10:46:15

Most ABS systems have a minimum speed threshold (often 20 km/h). If they didn’t, one would never be able to bring a car to a complete standstill. Pulling into that lay-by at a speed in excess of 20 km/h would have been foolhardy; thus, in my opinion, the ABS issue is not relevant here.

Also, many ABS systems do not work in reverse gear anyway, regardless of the speed. Finally, the act of extending the platform of the tow-truck is going to place *a lot* of weight on the rear wheels (and temporarily unweight the front wheels). Thus, I should expect a tow-truck being manoeuvred into position to leave quite distinctive tyre marks.

10-10-2013 at 13:30:51

@Eugene, I posted earlier that is the photo of a guy from Mandeure, who apparently is still alive and well !

Daily Mail had to pull that photo within hours of its online publication last year.

10-10-2013 at 13:34:04

@ RiffRaff

Exactly. Something stinks.
And it’s probably a coincidence if this happens 2 weeks before Zaid’s bail is reconsidered.

10-10-2013 at 13:37:05

@ Lynda

I know. So do you think EM can afford to ignore this big-time error, and still be considered as a reliable speaker on the case?
Let’s wait and see.

10-10-2013 at 13:41:25

Just a fine tune of train of thought:

To me it implies that he was messing about, there is a cuckold, who no doubt has had his whereabouts checked out, the woman was on the motorbike, their meeting due to take place above Martinet, it was foiled by the ONF.

She let the ONF pass, hid her bike and then after it had passed, went downhill, calling off the meeting with SM by stopping to tell him, she’d been seen.

As a result, he wasn’t going to cycle any further up beyond Martinet, maybe slowed down and dismounted, someone was lying in wait, frustrated that the meeting hadn’t taken place between the lovers, he, the killer ran from above firing wildly at Mollier, hitting the Al-Hillis by mistake, the rest then becomes obvious.

The killer was sufficiently armed to take out TWO people, Mollier and the lover (wife) ……..

This covers, no DNA, it covers ammunition, it covers anger.

10-10-2013 at 13:45:15

@ Linda

I don’t know for sure, but you may be getting close here!!

10-10-2013 at 13:46:26

@Eugene, in the article it says that if Zaid was put in front of a court, it would be thrown out in under 20 minutes, to be fair to EM he has always said there wasn’t enough against him, but he would have put him under questioning much earlier had he lived in France.

I don’t think Zaids bail will be extended, what do you think ?

10-10-2013 at 13:58:11

@ Lynda

I don’t think either. To the point that I assume this is why other lines of investigation are currently being reopened, so that the public couldn’t think it’s a cul-de-sac.

10-10-2013 at 14:00:58

Wow, I say that the commentators have something to talk about today.

Perhaps you should delete RiffRaff’s posts earlier, no longer necessary, see Max’s link.

I have no problem with your first link. The second link should be:

@Eugene re: glass on the ground
See also the drawing that accompanied the Le Monde article. The idea that the window had been shattered at that point stems from the fact that they found glass fragments from the car on the ground there. There is also somewhere a photo of a journalist pointing at these fragments (but then again there are a lot of photos with pointing journalists to look through).


Since I am still in my ‘bisexual period’ as Lynda put it. What says that it was a woman that Sylvain was meeting?

Many (?) of us have speculated from the little information we have got that Sylvain was a philandering man, now we have got some substantial support for that speculation.

An alternative to Lynda’s scenario above could be that Lydie tried to call Sylvain, but he didn’t answer, so she called Claire, who called Sylvain, who said that he was ‘busy’ but was going to call later.
But that would destroy the story that Lydie woke the boys up late in the evening to tell them that their father had been killed.

10-10-2013 at 14:07:21

It is taking the time of ONE police officer !

You start to think that the police don’t want to find what they are looking for.

So who would Mollier be going to see, if he was indeed going to see anyone ?
A lover ? Yet his plan was foiled when it became known to “the other”.
A husband for a “mano y mano” ? But it became too “mano”.

Whatever is going on…. I think the next few days could prove interesting.
Someone is trying to get that cat amongst the French hens.

10-10-2013 at 14:08:19

@Eugene your 8.46

I’ve obviously got no quibble with factual corrections; somebody really would be very unsuited to public debate, if they thought in those terms…

But what I didn’t like was the first part of your post:

“especially since Saad’ s BMW was registered as a 5.30. Let’s not such details take too much of our time…”

…which, to my Scottish ear, read as a rather snide aside…rather than a helpful correction…

However, in this as in all other matters, I’m always only too willing to be proved incorrect…

Now I gather there may be some further talk of relationship seepages – courtesy of Riff-Raff…

10-10-2013 at 14:24:33

@Lynda, (all)

Something made LR call SM (just 15 minutes before he was shot)

If SM was on his way to ‘meet’ someone at Martinet (or above), and that ‘someone’ has to do with SM’s love life (motive gaining credibility here:) … How did LR know about this (meeting)??

There is a direct explanation if LR = X or working alongside X

But if LR is not X or connected to X how could she have become ‘worried’ over a ‘meeting’ at that timestamp? How would she have known that SM was on his way to Martinet??

In other words, the LR 2 SM phonecall is imho an indication LR is somehow involved/in-the-know PRIOR to the killings

– M

10-10-2013 at 14:44:07

@Max LR call relation

Thats what I thought, too. this call is too strange to have no meaning. I am pretty confident that “the wall” will be coming down mch quicker now as rumors apprear and infromation sources become less traceable locally.

But, I am not quite sure that LR is directly connected with X and I am perfectly sure that she didn’t want the father of her children to be killed. However I think that she knows something about what SM was up to this day originally.

10-10-2013 at 14:45:14

Jean Marc Ducos, 14h40:

“#Chevaline: Encore le fantasme du cycliste cible du tueur. Être premier visé sans doute ne le designe pas comme cible.”

“#Chevaline: Once again the fantasy that the cyclist was the shooter’s target. Being the first shot at does without doubt not qualify as target.”


10-10-2013 at 14:48:50

Jean-Marc Ducos, 14h41:

“Chevaline. Faudrait que certains arrêtent de recopier bêtement des blogs britanniques ou chacun y va de sa théorie!”

“Chevaline. Certain people have to stop stupidly copying British blogs where everybody goes by their own theory.”



10-10-2013 at 14:53:16

Jean-Marc Ducos, 14h43:

“#Chevaline. Sans faire injurer aux confrères britanniques ils n’ont rien mais jamais rien sorti sur l’enquête.”

Not absolutely sure but would read it:

“#Chevaline. Not to insult our British colleagues they have nothing but really nothing ever published out of the inquiry.”


10-10-2013 at 14:57:50

Jean-Marc Ducos, 14h46:

“#Chevaline. Je me souviens encore des certitudes de certains sur l’arme du crime un Skorpio (sic!) alors qu’il s’agissait bien d’un Luger P06.”

“#Chevaline. I still remember the certitude on the crime weapon being a Skorpio (sic!, AC) when we were well dealing with a Luger P06.”


10-10-2013 at 15:06:35

@Max, if the LR to SM call is minutes before he was killed, then CS also called him, have the reports got themsleves muddled over which ‘companion’ made the call, the ex-wife or his current partner ?

I would favour LR called the house first, afterall they are so friendly, he wasn’t there so she called his mobile, CS also called him to say his ex wanted to speak to him about looking after the boys.

He replied to BOTH, I’ll call you back, I’m climbing a hill, of course for LR, him not calling back didn’t alert her to anything amiss, CS was annoyed, especially when he didn’t answer his phone again, always going to voice mail ‘what the f is he up to? I’ll kill the bastard when I get hold of him’, I suppose you get the picture.

Then, CS was wound up, ‘I bet he’s up to his old tricks again’ (men, apparently like to have more sex than women, he probably wasn’t getting much attention at home).

You can finish that part of the story.

LR didn’t bat an eyelid that he didn’t call back, annoyed maybe, possibly decided to call again tomorrow, afterall she has a business, two boys and a husband to take care of and maybe, just maybe didn’t want to impose too much on the new couple.

For me, she is out of the frame, BUT when events came about she had great sympathy for CS because she’d been subject to SM’s philandering. Maybe they don’t know who the lover was, male or female ?

Absolutely NO PROOF whatsoever, of course, just using a female brain.

10-10-2013 at 15:18:49

@Alex, Jean-Marc Ducos, isn’t a very happy bunny today is he ? Obviously not up for the challenge !

I’m not sure, was the Skorpion gun first mentioned on David Icke, is there a new thread on the forum ?

Afterall, Marilyns blog is generally written in English, but it emanates from Paris.

He probably thought he was the only one with the ‘rights’ over Chevaline, liked his moment in the spotlight, as have a few others.

10-10-2013 at 15:29:34


Don’t forget that LR supposedly ‘forgot to mention’ her call to SM. I can’t see why she would forget this, esp. if the call would signify that SM at that moment was still ok … that would be ESSENTIAL info for the police.

So, she did ‘forget’ to tell … OR … she did not want to tell?

– M

10-10-2013 at 15:30:23

@ Lynda, 10-10-2013 at 15:18:49

No, I think the UK tabloids first came up with that formula: 7.65 ammo (albeit of a different kind) + lots of shots fired = Skorpion sub-machine gun.

10-10-2013 at 15:42:03

I do not know what is going on here anymore. Some of you are sending private emails to a ‘chosen few’ and the information in these emails are then discussed in private emails. I therefore no longer know what is being discussed here on the blog for all to read.

I ask you all now, please, if you have something to say, say it here on the blog. It is unfair to cut faithful commentators out.

10-10-2013 at 15:45:52


There is no need anymore to discuss anything. The train is (finally) in motion and it will lead to the inevitable conclusion.

I did my thing. I’m off to play GTA online:)

– M

10-10-2013 at 15:55:51

I’m not sure whether anything momentous is happening, or has happened, in Ugine.

Sure, that quote from a female friend of SM confirms something that many here had long suspected, that he was a bit of a womanizer. However, how close to him can that “friend” have been, given that she apparently didn’t have a single photo of him that the paper could have published?

It is good that a local paper has been trying to shed some light upon the SM angle, and I obviously welcome that development, but the paper doesn’t seem to have made much progress in tearing down that local wall of silence.

10-10-2013 at 15:59:26

@Max, I agree, the tree has been shaken, now we watch the fruit fall.

Maillaud must have given those quotes, so we assume he knows what he is doing and how the article was going to be presented.

How long before the British Press pick it up from AFP, looking forward to seeing their take on things.

If I recall didn’t FB say there was another TV programme he’d been interviewed for ?

10-10-2013 at 16:07:57


So sorry, RiffRaff, but I deleted your two comments for copyright reasons. Thank you all the same for having gone to the trouble to share it with us.

10-10-2013 at 16:20:37


Thanks for sharing the tweets. Ducos is obviously unhappy for some reason.


If it was a man that Sylvain was going to meet. It really starts to look similar to the Gregory Mercier murder. A man lured to a lay-by in a secluded area for a rendezvous. As Lynda said the wife-to-be was perhaps not so willing 3 months after childbirth.

10-10-2013 at 16:38:32


Sorry for violating the copyright rules. should have known better :-/ However, I still find the fresh interest in the SM side very promising; and I am still getting angry when EM states that there is nothing to discuss or comment in public on the SM side when the same thing was leveraged by him and his comments on the Al-hilli side.

also many thanks for the hint.

I like your closing statement regarding the “female brain” look. Maybe a good question: what would be a sufficient reason for a female brain of the female protagonists in this case to a) kill SM? or b) kill 3 SAH party? or c) violate a child?

To my “male” brain an active part in the assasination of any of the parties by CS or LR can be ruled out. So, why then the hesitation of either party to cooperate? Aren´t LR or CS interested in getting Killer X?

I suppose they are, well unless, they know in principle who X is or to which group of people he belongs.


10-10-2013 at 17:01:42

D.M jumped on the train .

Were British family gunned down in the Alps NOT the intended target after all? Friend of murdered cyclist says he ‘feared he would be shot’ in crime of passion

10-10-2013 at 17:37:58


can anybody confirm a second source for the “custody” thing in the daily mail article from Ron (thanks BTW)?
Now that would form a motive: Two sons decide to live with their father and the new wife-to-be. I could imagine that this could flash also a female brain …

“As Mr Mollier climbed the picturesque mountain road where he would meet his death, he received a call from hairdresser Lydie Ringot, his ex-wife.

She was complaining about custody of their two sons, Leo and Mathis, who had gone to live with Mr Mollier and his new girlfriend, Claire Schutz, along with the couple’s new baby, Louis.

‘The cyclist’s ex-wife wanted to discuss problems about custody of the two older boys,’ said the source. ‘He said he would call back.’”

Things get moving …

10-10-2013 at 17:39:56


Thank you for telling us about the DM’s article. I’m giggling … I wonder who reads this blog and quickly rushed off to read the original French article?

I like the way Sylvain Mollier’s ‘girlfriend’ is according to the DM very wealthy.

Sorry, but from where I am sitting, wealthy doesn’t have a small chemist in a village. Wealthy lives in a penthouse in Monte Carlo.


I think it’s all speculation.

So two ‘friends’ have now revealed that Sylvain Mollier was a womaniser and ‘searching’ after his divorce.

That remark to a friend about having to watch out when he walks down the street because he might be shot, sounds to me like a man, having failed at marriage, desperately wanting to make himself out as this super man in bed. All just bragging.

I am not saying that he was not the target, but Zainab said there was no one at that lay-by when they got there. Therefore, if the killer was lying in wait for Sylvain Mollier, why would he have shot the Al-Hillis? Would he not have called the killing of Sylvain Mollier off, thinking that he will get the s.o.b. some other day?

I am also not saying that the Al-Hillis were the targets.

I guess what I am saying is that the killer was someone with a disturbed mind and a Luger which was burning a hole in his right hand.

I wonder what is Ducos’ problem? Is he angry because the ‘English blogs’ are stealing his thunder? And which are these English blogs? I have a good idea and I am sure so do you all.

10-10-2013 at 17:46:21

Thanks, Ron,

It certainly shows how things change between a French article and an English one in the very same day of publication !

So, is the implication that Mollier had several lovers at the time of his death ?

There are obvious errors in there, maybe they’ll correct it later, he was divorced, his ex-wife remarried, no mention of the call from his current companion, only the Le Parisien one from LR, they are probably playing catch up.

It would be nice just once to read an article in the British Press that was a real copy of the French one.


Male, strong enough to control the Luger in rapid fire, and be accurate. I don’t see that either LR or CS would have done this, a knight in shining armour, well now that is worth a thought.

Ultimately, by a few he won’t be missed.

10-10-2013 at 18:13:07

@Lynda (all),

We wondered why X simply could not have postponed/rescheduled the attack on SM when X saw the SAH’s

A: Because the ‘meeting’ was there and then, the ‘confrontation’ of SM and X

X went to Martinet because of said ‘meeting’. It was on-rails, not something which could be rescheduled (by X).

The SAH’s were ‘at the wrong place, at the wrong time’ … so, in a way EM was right. He only mixed up some letters. The S was always ok but it should be S…M, in stead of S…AH.

– M

10-10-2013 at 19:03:00

Now that we know that some posters have been sharing privately can we know what they shared?
The daily mail pic of the road is quite illustrative, showing the width of the road and that while the layby is longish, it is narrow. While looking at it I wondered if the tyre tracks could have been made by the car when it first parked. Certainly I would back into that type of parking so as not to have to back out into the road near a bend. It is standard in remote forests to do so.
May I ask why the width of the tyre has such importance? What would we learn if we knew?
I wonder why the two sons moved in with their dad. Any news of the step father and his “comportment”?

10-10-2013 at 19:28:48

@ Freda @ All

a) as you mention, the DM picture of the lay-by clearly shows how unrealistic the usual “hard reverse arc maneuver” appears with a station wagon, and under such stress. Otherwise, the article is mostly a bland paraphrase of the stories published in the French media. So far no comment from EM about the alleged photo of SM the Essor has used.

b) I was unaware that the two elder boys had moved with SM and CS. Did we have previous mentions of this, I can’t recall?? It sounds bizarre, because to be official, it would have taken a ruling from the family Court, whether or not the parties had agreed to that move. And if it wasn’t granted by the family Court (juge des affaires familiales) then both SM and CS could have been charged with child abduction, even if the kids were willing. I doubt the S family would have run such a risk..

10-10-2013 at 19:34:49

I was quite impressed that Daily Mail got so many thing right after all. Though they could have checked the age of the Schutzes in our summary.

I doubt that it is correct that the boys were living with Sylvain and Claire. Reading old tweets from way back (no longer available and not saved) I got the impression that they primarily lived with their mother but walked quite freely between the two homes.

That doesn’t mean though that someone could not have thought the Schutzes were paying also for them since Sylvain had no income, only the money payed during his paternal leave.

10-10-2013 at 19:43:13

I think that perhaps Ducos was planning to write the same story around the 23rd Oct., but Le Messager et al. beat him to it, hence unhappy.

10-10-2013 at 19:58:13

@ Lars

The DM piece is signed Peter Allen. One of the usual suspects. Not a rooky, he probably called Annecy before sending his copy to Londonderry.

10-10-2013 at 20:05:57

@Eugene, nevertheless even EM is quoted as saying the BMW ran over Mollier, so it must have been further up the clearing, Maillaud also admits to a hard reverse.

I can’t see any other way, tyre tracks or not, the car pulled in nose first, as said by EM ‘en epi’.

@Freda,”It is standard in remote forests to do so”, is it ? Take a look at more recent photos of the clearing with vehicles there, only one faces outwards, I still feel they pulled in to look primarily at the sign, what if they were on their way to the second sign beside the track on the hairpin when it all kicked off.

@Lars, wasn’t the cat a giveaway, it lived with the Ringots, put it this way the boys weren’t at Sylvain and Claires that night were there – shared responsibility I would say, before and after the birth of their brother. Hence a call about a change in plan would be entirely possible, ‘can you take the boys Saturday instead of Friday’ sort of call.

10-10-2013 at 20:20:04


Since Peter Allen has a news agency I understand it that he delivers a lot of background material, which DM, Sun or whatever newpaper ‘jazz up’ to suit their readers/means.


Sounds plausible. I had forgot about the cat, but you are right there.

I think we should remember what was said in another article by Peter Allen that the investigators had only spoken to Sylvain’s family for around half an hour (Christophe Mollier). Compare that with Maillaud’s description of a very thorough investigation of the ‘piste locale’.
Remember also how fast they were 99,9% sure that Mollier was only collateral.

10-10-2013 at 20:29:20

There are no internal secrets. Everything is in the open. Peter Allen, JMD, and others are available through twitter, and twitter quite possibly is the info channel through which most journo’s got the scoop from LeMessager

Twitter is also used (by me, dz61) to popularize MZT esp. regarding the SM side of Chevaline

– M

10-10-2013 at 20:45:52

For those who think that the police is always very thorough and smart when they make their investigations:

I have never been interested in the Madeleine McCann case in Portugal. I can’t really explain why, but it was so inflamed right from the start, with accusations thrown all around, difficult to get a clear view.

Now when Ian Horrocks got involved in Chevaline I wanted to learn more about him. I noticed immediately than he also has been, and is I guess, involved in the Madeleine case and has written about it. To understand what he wrote I also read a little about the case itself. As you might know the whole Portuguese investigation is available online (McCann files).

Reading the interrogations of the witness, e.g. the people working at the resort, is something of a nightmare. The interrogator has no idea what he/she wants to know and thus doesn’t know what to ask. He/she has no strategy, doesn’t even let the witness speak freely.
A typical interrogation is like this:
Interrogator: What is your name etc?
Witness: XX
Interrogator: Did you see anything suspicious?
Witness: No
Interrogator: Ok, sign here.

Sometimes the interrogator might add a question if the witness had seen the McCann family during their stay. That’s all.

What are these kind of interrogations meant for? What’s the use? These witnesses were after all also possible suspects.

I don’t want Bacchus to get angry so I will immediately say that I don’t think that this is just typical for the Portuguese police, but that it could happen in France and Sweden as well. It wouldn’t surprise me if the interrogations in the Chevaline case have had the same quality.

10-10-2013 at 21:38:20

@Lars, do you recall Max’s comment that if you continue looking in one direction, you’ll never see what is in the other.

I’m playing a bit here, EM has obviously given quotes to todays article, he has said in the past he would prefer to give information to local journalists as he has to deal with them all year round. I get that, is it his ‘get out clause’ when Zaid’s bail is lifted in the coming days ?

For me, the article (French one), doesn’t point to a killer or to Mollier being the target, what it does is, as many of us have thought, he wasn’t lost, he didn’t take a wrong turn. He knew where he was going and POSSIBLY why.

There was one article that said he deviated from the route given to him by CS father, that I think would be a more accurate description.

I’ll be honest here, whilst I feel that SM was more likely a target than the AH family, my blood runs cold thinking that it could have been someone wound up enough, drugged up enough to commit these murders.

The latter being far more dangerous than any cuckold or paid assassin.

10-10-2013 at 21:38:43

I wonder what will happen tomorrow?

Is it time for damage control again?

10-10-2013 at 21:43:26


But think about it Lynda. A year has passed and no more shootings in Haute Savoie. This killer might be crazy, or rather have a mental disorder (as we discussed above), but he can definitely control himself, so the danger is probably not imminent.

10-10-2013 at 21:46:28

Probably we untrained sleuths don’t know what police are doing. Their training involves so much psychology these days, that the direct answers to their questions are not always what informs them.
They have been Very active in the region as all residents are aware, since there is palpable fear in the lake villages – perp still out there.
This case has many, many layers as we believed in earlier times. The perp is whoever but this case has uncovered parts of many crimes, not yet ready or prosecution.
The one lone policeman patrolling the road to the site is just that, patrolling a road. The investigation is deep on the ground – nonstop, even including road blocks sometimes. EM is a spokes person, not a major decision-maker, even though a procureur.

10-10-2013 at 21:54:35

Tomorrow, we may know whether CS and/or LR are suing l’Essor and others for libel. That will be interesting.

10-10-2013 at 22:11:46

@ Eugene
… both and together ???

If you go to LR fb (work) if you open the posts of the 25th of May of this year, you’ll see that CS has put a “Like”…

10-10-2013 at 22:16:07

@ Eugene 10-10-2013 at 07:52:46

Eugene, you wrote:-

“@ James
On the other hand, a very efficient cleaning job must have been done immediately in the BMW: on the pictures taken the next morning, not one blood stain to be seen on the seats, not one chunk of glass either.
And this before the vehicle has even been towed away to the forensics lab. No contamination hey?”

There is a large bloodstained area clearly visible on the upper right
hand side (off side) of the drivers seat. By large I mean at least 100 square centimeters in area by my estimation.

10-10-2013 at 22:25:05

@Peter, this is for you.

Now that we know SM was not only caught by the BMW, but runover, what do you think the long ‘black mark’ is on the tarmac, and a ‘pool’ near the towtruck ? I recall you thought it might be something made by a bike.

I wondered if it was ‘oil’, could it be a blood trail ?

10-10-2013 at 22:44:07

I haven’t read the article it is purely for the photo, do you really think a car can’t do a reverse turn here ? This appears to be the middle of the clearing, if Saads wheels were still at an angle when he pulled in, then it must be
possible, besides which he ran over/picked up Mollier in the process.!SjrmT26sQGUsM/

Sorry Freda, Saad was under pressure he also knew his car well and was a good driver, what to do, take a chance to reverse and get out of there regardless of the drop to the Ire, as a driver I would say yes and brave.

Hesitation would have cost them their lives, in the end a thump against the bank did, I only wonder would I have tried to reverse to the next clearing, if we accept Saad was injured, maybe the lock was something he couldn’t get out of ?

The photos we see of the car the next day, it was being prepared to be winched on to the towtruck, the wheels could easily have already been straightened, couldn’t they ?

For blood stains in the car, there appears to be one on the drivers seat as well, try Max’s photos to confirm. You’ll also see close up what appears o be tape on both front side windows, the rear ones fallen out when the doors were opened – see early reports, all windows were holed and shattered not shot out …..

10-10-2013 at 22:46:44

@ Rashomon

That’s news. Nobody has ever noticed that. Which picture?

10-10-2013 at 23:17:28


Don’t worry.

More important is solve the cases,

I have a little job for you. I have no more time to find more informations about a new subject.



“However, according to local news site, an unnamed officer involved in the investigation says this is only one theory being examined and that it would be a mistake to focus solely on the notion of a contract killing of the al-Hilli family. “Was it the work of a frappadingue – a nutcase?” he asked. “And were the family really the target – or was it perhaps the cyclist?””

ALP X’TREM – COURCHEVEL (73) 25/08/2013

AQ X’TREM – BOURG SUR GIRONDE (33) 7 abril 2013

ARDENNES X’TREM – SEDAN (08) 05/05/2013

OPALE X’TREM – MONTREUIL (62) 07/10/2012


BASK X’TREM – CIBOURE/SOCOA (64) 01/04/2012

If you have time to search, it is interesting to know if have strange murders to close these dates.

Thanks and goodnight.

10-10-2013 at 23:42:44

The first snow for the season fell in Haute Savoie today.
Perhaps it is symbolic.

Have a good night!

10-11-2013 at 00:34:57

SAH and SM, the sunflower and the dragon …

I’m not bothered at all by anything that is going on here in the ‘Chevaline case’:)

There are pieces … which have to be fitted. You fit certain pieces … and an images (e.g. a Dragon) starts to emerge. If somebody comes along and shuffles all the pieces … does not matter … YOU still know that the fitting will make reappear the Dragon, because you can not fit the pieces in another way, and a dragon does not become a sunflower (no matter how hard you try or how deeply you want it).

So … the Chevaline case is about SM. No matter what re-shuffling is done and/or what stalling techniques are applied. As soon as you start the fitting, the image of SM emerges. Simple.

Case in point? The LeMessager article … it was about …. tada … SM. And NOT about SAH. All new pieces will be about SM.

Another case in point. The investigators reviewed all mobile traffic. Surely to look for SAH mobile traffic. But what did they find? Not SAH traffic, but a call from LR to SM! Not exactly what they were looking for (which was SAH evidence) 🙂

The investigators are trying to create an image of SAH with pieces which only can produce an SM image. There simply is NO SAH image. The RHD aspect in the search for X5 is a tragic failure in trying to produce an SAH image despite everything pointing to SM:)

The best strategy to stay with SAH is not to look for new pieces, because I can foretell that every NEW piece found, will point in one direction only, and that is SM:)

EM tried to stay away from SM by stating within 24 hours that SM was only collateral and a piste number 23, and allocated 1 full-time manpower to SM while sending 40-60 men and women on both sides of the channel looking for SAH pieces, so he reserved mucho less than 5% into the real target, making the time to solve this case a factor 20 longer than needed.

If EM gets the chance he FIRST goes to Iraq and then to SM … not the other way around

EM trumpeted that SAH said he was ‘afraid’ … now why did EM not say the same about SM? No … it had to be a journo from the LeMessager group to uncover that SM ALSO SAID HE FEARED FOR HIS LIFE!

But true, when you are not looking that way, and worse, when you do not want to look that way you will not find that second thing (SM fearing for his life) important

This whole X5 business is ridiculous. It does not exist!

What essentially happens is that somebody throws in 2 pieces of a sunflower puzzle into the mix, bring them up and state … HEY the whole image is a sunflower … Lol, nope, the image is a DRAGON and those 2 sunflower pieces are thrown in by a cheater!

– M

10-11-2013 at 00:37:40

@ Max

Ref : 666 reads ‘SM had it coming’ (perhaps)

Maybe 666 is meant to be just a creepy riddle, leading nowhere…Or ? 😉

“Let him that hath understanding reckon the number (name) of the Beast”.

10-11-2013 at 00:41:01

@ Lynda, 10-10-2013 at 22:25:05

Now that we know SM was not only caught by the BMW, but runover, what do you think the long ‘black mark’ is on the tarmac, and a ‘pool’ near the towtruck ? I recall you thought it might be something made by a bike. I wondered if it was ‘oil’, could it be a blood trail ?

That’s a really, really tricky question. Upon reflection, these long black drag marks on the road surface, I think, can only have been caused by the tyres of SM’s bike – soot or carbon-black from the running surfaces of his bicycle’s tyres. Other bike components such as the frame of his bike would have contained (black) carbon-fibre as well, but, as that carbon-fibre material would have been encapsulated within colourless resin, I don’t think that it could have left those drag marks.

Regarding that puddle near the end of those drag marks, I don’t believe that it could be blood. “The red stuff” is visually highly distinctive, and there are enough undisputed blood traces at the scene of the crime, caused contemporaneously, to rule out the possibility that this particular blood stain would have turned black whilst others had remained dark red.

However, I must confess that I’m stumped insofar as the likely consistency of that puddle is concerned. Yes, I did suggest lubricant from a wheel hub or from a bottom bracket before, but I really should expect those lubricants to be more viscous, a semi-solid goo rather than a dark liquid. In short, I have no idea what that puddle could consist of, except that it’s probably neither blood nor bicycle oil.

10-11-2013 at 00:59:25

@ Eugene 10-10-2013 at 22:46:44

You wrote re bloodstains on the BMW drivers seat “That’s news. Nobody has ever noticed that. Which picture?”

A number of people noticed it, Lynda for one, she mentions it in the post immediately preceeding yours:-

“For blood stains in the car, there appears to be one on the drivers seat as well, try Max’s photos to confirm.”

And she is indeed correct, try this page on Max’s excellent site:-

It is clearly visible (to me) in these photos. Try Max’s enhanced photo in the middle. Click on the photo to get the large version.

Also review Lars’ summary page on this very site. In the section headed “Some important photos”

“Le Martinet, helicopter view, day after, car almost right from above”

This particular photo was taken a few seconds before the one on Max’s site and from a slightly different angle. The bloodstain is clearly visible.

10-11-2013 at 01:03:26

SM is described as a ‘superpapa’ (and perhaps he was, I would not know)

So, why would a son’s first (public internet) words be ‘Life goes on’ in stead of the normal and understandable ‘I want the murderer of my father to be found and to hanged from the highest tree’

Life does NOT go on … first X has to be found, and only then life can go on. It is human nature to try to understand and know what has happened, and get piece of mind afterwards … ‘Life goes on’ does not fit!

Or, turned around, if you show ‘piece of mind’ you already know what has happened:)

– M

10-11-2013 at 01:18:01

@Peter, Eugene has made me think about the purpose of the road sweeper that went up there.

It is obvious that all the gravel from the clearing wasn’t removed, a road sweeper passing over that would just throw anything loose to one side or just circulate it. Blood was still seen on stones when the clearing was re-opened.

So, it must have been to clean the tarmac, looking at the photos of the journalists on the 7th, nobody appears to see or are conscious of any markings on the road, which makes me wonder if in fact they are blood or oil trails.

Blood that hasn’t been disturbed can appear very dark, 24 hours later, not sure, excepting that tarmac isn’t as porous as the loose gravel, earth, mud of the clearing.

Maybe I need to look at various photos again from different angles, when things appear and when they don’t, just like the ‘marks’ on the front windscreen, real or reflection.

I’m posting this because it contains the telephone number of the witness appeal and then I looked at the illustration of ‘events’, this isn’t Le Monde, it refers to someone in the rear of the BMW being shot. Make of it what you will, it is from TF1:

The French detectives know where the shell casings were found, surely they have let some of that information out, otherwise the whole scenario is a nonsense and one of Eugenes ‘fairy tales’ or ‘urban legends’.

We question the ‘Crimewatch’ appeal (next Monday to feature the McCann case), maybe this link from TF1 is just as suspect.

Oh, and to Fat Bastard, I also picked up your radio interview on RTL, text only, where you refer to the girls as still being held in ‘captivity’, so I see you are no closer to seeing them.

My dear fellow, I have a doubt that you’ll ever get to see them, certainly not while this matter is unresolved, far too risky that you’ll be followed. I was pleased to see that they are attending school.

10-11-2013 at 01:47:13

@ Lynda, 10-11-2013 at 01:18:01

Blood is hard to overlook. I have always thought that nature must have had its reasons for making it so, but the fact remains: from bright-red arterial blood to deep-red venous blood to old blood, one knows it when one sees it.

However, there are plenty of other (fairly disgusting) bodily fluids that SM could have shed whilst / after being run over by a car: cerebrospinal fluid, for example.

10-11-2013 at 01:56:00

@ Peter & Lynda

I agree with Lynda. The roadsweeper was primarily sent up to Martinet to clear up the oily sludge from the recovery vehicle.

A while ago, I spent a lot of time looking at the marks and stains on the road because I thought that they might reveal something of significance. In the end I came to the conclusion that there was a lot of sludge dropped by either the emergency vehicles, or the recovery vehicle.

It seemed to me that the recovery vehicle must collect accident damaged vehicles, some of which leak oil and sump sludge. There is almost certainly a ‘catcher tray’ to stop this pouring onto the road. I surmise that the operator tilted the deck, catching the tray, allowing sludge onto the road as the deck is lowered.

Thats my 2C worth!

10-11-2013 at 02:10:31

@ Rashomon, 10-11-2013 at 01:56:00

I’m not 100% persuaded yet, but I do love having my assumptions challenged, having fresh perspectives pointed out to me that I would never have discovered on my own.

Good night @ everybody 😉

10-11-2013 at 08:25:05


Lars, if you are not going out in the woods today gathering mushrooms, Bacchus’ comment of last night seems something you can dig your teeth into.

Bacchus, thanks for the comment and the links. Very interesting.

Do all have a good commenting day.

10-11-2013 at 08:31:53

@ Rashomon

Looking at the particular photo you designated, I certainly see a stained surface as you mentioned: thank you, it obviouly leads me ti change my opinion about this particular issue.

10-11-2013 at 08:52:25

Morning all

Interesting stuff last night. I too like the shout on the roadsweeper mostly tidying up the emergency services’ own mess, and also Lynda’s query on the BMW’s wheels maybe being straightened for the towing?
That could well tie in with the white-suited policeman having the driver’s door open at this point?….I dare say our car specialists will advise…

And on the thin bike? tyre? mark on the tarmac: I fancy that I can just make out that line continuing diagonally, right across the road to the riverside verge…although it is very faint. It seems to me to continue its line underneath the left foot of the dark-haired, standing policeman (hands on hips, I think) and pass maybe a foot above what looks like the fairly identifiable brown blood mark, about 18 inches in from the verge. This is using the third image of the Important Photos on Lars’ summary.

And if it is a mark which has been caused by the action of a bicycle being dragged underneath a car…then firstly that may well support the account of Saad pulling off his reverse sweep around the car park…

…but secondly, if that’s the case, then doesn’t that also open up the possibility of the killer having removed the bike to the Max position (which I would say IS now conclusive on his website)….

…to confuse the investigators?….to ‘tidy’ things up?…or to allow a vehicle, presumably a car, to pass by unhindered…?

10-11-2013 at 09:20:34



I will let the mushrooms grew bigger until the weekend (Sunday).
I will look at Bacchus riddles later and see if I can decipher them.

10-11-2013 at 09:52:10

….plus a query of my own this morning:

The 2km tarmac hill above Le Martinet….would that have been out of bounds for a motor-bike…ie…would the ONF have intercepted the 3.15 biker on that hill?

….or is the implication that the 3.15 encounter occurred further up on the gravel trails? My only sense of it is that it took place (somewhere) ‘above Le Martinet’…

10-11-2013 at 10:11:04

@ Partlucid

According to the Park map (the pdf item #1 in Lar’s summary photos) there’s a ” no access ” zone right after the barrier at Martinet, going along the tarmac to the right side going up. So you’re probably right in assuming the ONF spotted the motorbike beyond the barrier, but exactly where is hard to say.

10-11-2013 at 10:20:15

Just a quick thought:

Why did Jean-Marc Ducos did not critizise the use of a wrong photo in the French article?

I mean, it would be the most striking error of all.


10-11-2013 at 10:33:16
10-11-2013 at 10:40:27

déjà posté, désolé

10-11-2013 at 10:40:50

@ Alex

Agreed. It’s possibly because he doesn’t know for sure himself.

But other parties (Mollier’s family, CS, LR, etc) should feel offended as well. Not to mention “the other” Mollier, if that’s what it is!
Let’s keep our eyes peeled for a correction notice in the media.

10-11-2013 at 10:46:18

Thanks Eugene, well spotted.

10-11-2013 at 10:59:37

A quick catch from being up with the eagles and the gods….and I’m back in the room.

Interesting tweets. Do birds bark. They sound like angry barks not tweets to me.

Maybe “a source close to the investigation” was beaten to the draw (or beaten to the pen). Then again, maybe he wasn’t. I don’t think he was personally.

Which makes me wonder.

Ducos has seen and has reported on the ballistic report.
I assume that this report demonstrated that blood molecules of SM were found on SAH and no blood molecules of SAH were found on SM.

Further, EM recorded that particles on the shoes of SAH indicate that he was outside his vehicle when the first shots were fired. (and so supports the ballistic reports findings)

Zainab “said” that there was no one else in the car park when they arrived.

So if the ballistic report, the particles on the shoes of SAH and Zainab’s “testimony” indicate that the first shots were fired struck SM….and that no shots were fired before those shots….then can it not be said that “not only was SM the first person struck…but also the trigger of this shooting” ?

And yet “a source close to the investigation” tweets “this is simply not the case” !

Am I missing something here….

10-11-2013 at 11:02:33

“The lady doth protest too much, methinks”

…and @Alex, maybe “the lady” sometimes doesn’t protest at the obvious mistakes at all.

10-11-2013 at 12:18:15

@ Alexander Cartier, 10-11-2013 at 10:20:15

Why did Jean-Marc Ducos did not critizise the use of a wrong photo in the French article?

I have an even more salient question. Two questions, actually: why did Sylvain’s oh-so-close female friend not notice that error? How come she didn’t provide a better photo of her late friend?

10-11-2013 at 12:21:30


You wrote — The lady doth protest too much, methinks”

…and @Alex, maybe “the lady” sometimes doesn’t protest at the obvious mistakes at all.

What lady is this?

10-11-2013 at 12:45:00


Jean-Marc Ducos earlier reports that “ballistics” show SM was the first struck.
Forensics report that SAH was outside his vehicle.
Eric records that Zainab said there was no one there when they arrived.

Ducos tweets…… the first struck does not mean that this is the “target”.

And yet no one was struck until SM arrived.
So why does Ducos “bark” so loud yesterday !

(Read the Ducos tweets that Alex kindly posted)

10-11-2013 at 13:01:13

@James re:’do birds bark’

Haven’y you heard of ‘Angry birds’. 😉

I guess Ducos is a very angry bird.

10-11-2013 at 13:15:07

Ducos is in the habit of dissing other journalists on Twitter; there is nothing new about that. However, his usual gripe is that they steal his stories, not that the theories presented in their articles are wrong.

I think that he must have developed a kind of Stockholm syndrome towards Eric Clouseau 😀 The Chevaline killer must, must, must not be a local man.

10-11-2013 at 13:19:25


Ducos is a man. Or he was at birth. Had the little … ugh … you know what, so was registered as male.

I can’t find Alex’s posts about Ducos.

@Peter and All

Ducos sounds a pain in the a…. if he is discussing other journalists on Twitter.

10-11-2013 at 13:27:36


re: Jean-Marc Ducos.

I’ve now answered him on Twitter about the British blogs.

10-11-2013 at 13:33:55

@Partlucid, re your comment:

“And if it is a mark which has been caused by the action of a bicycle being dragged underneath a car…then firstly that may well support the account of Saad pulling off his reverse sweep around the car park…

…but secondly, if that’s the case, then doesn’t that also open up the possibility of the killer having removed the bike to the Max position (which I would say IS now conclusive on his website)…. …to confuse the investigators?….to ‘tidy’ things up?…or to allow a vehicle, presumably a car, to pass by unhindered…?”

Maillaud has stated that the bike was ‘thrown’, I agree with you this could have been to get it out of the way, I was coming at it from a more personal angle, a resentment to not only the cyclist but the bike itself.

As for the reverse action, Maillaud confirming that the body of Mollier was rolled over, then it can only have been whilst the car was in reverse, I’m sure forensics bear this out.

10-11-2013 at 14:17:00


Ah yes, “He” certainly is a “He”.

However Hamlet’s mother was commenting on her players role.
And the queen (and so the player) was indeed a she !

….methinks !

10-11-2013 at 14:26:28

@ Lars re “Angry Birds”:

That was just too funny, haha!

@ Peter re close female friend who did neither protest the wrong nor provide the right photo:

She (in the context of the article) has never existed.


10-11-2013 at 14:28:29


Hamlet. Act III, scene II

And talking of which, the killer of the king became the king once he had married the widowed queen …and therefore the stepfather of Hamlet.

Life can sometimes imitate art (so the saying goes).
And so, (to keep it Shakespearean) one ponders “the players” in Chevaline.

10-11-2013 at 15:02:24

@ James

Yes, let’s keep that way: one Shakespeare quote a day. Hope nobody will find this pedantic. The Bard still has a lot to tell about true crime..
But then, let’s not forget that in his time, due to sterile bigotry, all parts were being played by men, including female parts, including Juliet or Hamlet’s mother..

10-11-2013 at 15:38:16

For those that may be interested here is the rtl article relating to the girls:

@Marilyn, the ‘angry’ journalist …. when does a reporter become a journalist, become an investigative journalist ?

Far too much of the stuff in press articles is no more than a copy of the Press Release or a slight rehash, pumping up the readerships expectational prose.

If the guy from the local press has actually been out and about talking to people, I have great respect for him for trying.

Those that sit behind a desk, rewriting AFP releases, isn’t exactly journalism, or is it ?

In all this Maillaud could help stop much of the speculation, he should show the too morbid photos, afterall as I understand it, people in the locality of Chevaline, Arnand etc. have seen it. Show it to a wider audience, did you see these people in and around Annecy, even Geneva.

A photo of Mollier, describing how he was attired that day, to humanise and question – did you see this man cycling and where ? Of course there will be false leads, is that any worse than stopping traffic the day after to question them ?

Maillaud is mudding waters, for all the secrecy that by law surrounds this case, if he doesn’t open up then all sorts of rumours and imaginative scenarios will persist.

Maybe he is ‘enjoying’ the limelight, makes him feel important. The publics help should have been called upon at the outset, especially as there were so many tourists in the region, who have since returned to their homes.

10-11-2013 at 15:53:16

@Lynda your 13.33

That’s a nice link Lynda; it was always struck me as a slightly odd phrase for Maillaud to have used, although I concede that we’ve only seen a highlighted, grainy image of the bike. Perhaps with the wheels, or handlebars, or other appendages misaligned then it really could appear ‘just chucked down’. And it was always difficult – for me at least – to attribute this act of ‘throwing’ to the killer: because, with the bike seemingly positioned at the side of the road and just by the barrier, then it could equally have been left there – in various circumstances – By Sylvain himself. I’m sure Bossy said in the French TV report, that the bike’s positioning suggested to him that Sylvain had gone ‘to help’.

But thinking about it now ‘psycholinguistically’, the likelier option does seem to me that Maillaud IS pointing to the killer as having chucked the bike down in a heap like that. I obviously don’t have the clip but it would be very interesting to see in what context Maillaud mentions that. Your personalized anger scenario could clearly apply, although were that me, then I’d have been tempted to launch the thing as far as I could down the river…!

And I can’t help thinking – in the event of the bike being moved to perhaps allow a vehicle to pass – of another Maillaud statement which I’ve queried before, although I’ve never recovered the original French for. I’m sure he said that Sylvain’s body ‘had been moved’ and when I first heard/ or saw that I didn’t think that he was referring to either the car action against him, or to BM’s later act of repositioning Sylvain ‘out of danger’. Why would he feel a need to highlight this latter? That simply doesn’t make any sense.

Again, the original French and the context could be telling…I’ll maybe have a look through early reports…

10-11-2013 at 17:03:30

@Partlucid, while you have a look, consider this, there was a report saying that something or some element of what was found was not going to be passed on to journalists.

I am wondering if this was the reversing over Molliers body, that accounts for movement and secrecy, because it implies he WAS shot either dead or dying before the car went over him, yet the killer still fired shots to him on the ground, we are told a from a different angle to the original volley.

Of course I’ve read the argument it was another vehicle that went over him, etc. the body was then placed beside the BMW, but surely for Maillaud to now come clean and say the BMW did roll over him they must have his DNA on the underside of the vehicle and some sort of markings on him to back it up.

Try Maillauds first press conference on the 6th September, I’ll search later.

Maillaud doesn’t lie, he is often economical and obtuse.

10-11-2013 at 17:35:27

@ Lynda, 10-11-2013 at 17:03:30

Usually, there are two kinds of things that police won’t reveal: clues that they hope will lead them to the perpetrator, and little details that they can use to quickly filter out false confessions.

That sighting of a RHD BMW X5 and the serial number on the magazine bottom found at the scene (which I am wholly convinced they found) would belong to the first category; a little doodle of “666” that the killer may have scratched into the ground (this is pure speculation on my part) would belong to the second one.

10-11-2013 at 19:49:44

Economical maybe, obtuse perhaps (but let him/her throw the first stone, who has never been either), EM is once again in the limelight, and rightfully so.
With his rare, unique capabilities, Eric -as we know him- is becoming a living legend: more than anyone on the investigating team he works 24/7 on the case, hence the French phrase “mouiller le Mailleau” (freely translated from sweating one’s pants off), the Tour de France is offering him a well-deserved tribute by calling the leader of the race the “Mailleau jaune” (yellow jersey) and the capital city, Paris, even has a major piazza named after him, the “Porte Mailleau” (Metro line 1).
No doubt there will one day be room for him in the Pantheon of criminal justice.
Don’t you agree, Lars?

10-11-2013 at 20:23:29

@Peter, so it seems from every detective novel, film or TV series !

At the outset it wasn’t reported that he’d been in contact with the car, so I just pondered.

Although it has made me think, why didn’t Brett Martin SEE more injuries to the man ? Maybe his clothes covered his injuries, just thinking out loud.

@Eugene, that’s made me smile. Apparently President Hollande is due to announce who is going to be ‘moved’ to the Pantheon, your character might have already put in his application, knowing the French Administration they’ll get around to dealing with it several year after he’s dead and then send it back saying there is a box that hasn’t been ticked !

10-11-2013 at 20:44:32

@Lynda et al your 17.03

I always took the differently angled second volley of shots to be the two murderous head shots which seemingly all the victims received; the killer’s non-negotiable final settlement…

….and I haven’t yet managed to view all the Sep 6th press conference yet; the computer started to resist. However one confirmed snippet would be that Sylvain had definitely overtaken BM on the climb itself – Maillaud refers to the slope and says that BM was going at his own pace (so, as I thought, a bit of male pride there from BM…who in his interview simply placed SM ‘ahead of him’).

However a closer examination of Lars’ Important Photo no 3…

further reveals – to my eye at least – that the black trace actually starts (or perhaps even finishes! although I think starting the likelier option) right on the very outermost edge of the tarmac, as though whatever it is has been dragged from the grass and up over the edge of the tarmac…?
This is around two feet to the right of the brown blood pool. The small darkened edge to the road suggests that the tarmac may actually sit above the verge at this point…

To my mind this could point to Sylvain having taken shots, reportedly to his back (with evidence of other missing shots appearing further down the road towards Chevaline) and then falling here with the bike probably mostly on the grassy verge. Saad’s reverse traps the bike? under the car. He perhaps then also careers into Sylvain before scraping some part of the bike diagonally across the road…before it finally becomes released? as he completes the arc…?

To me, there is a pretty consistent and traceable line here, and so I would view these marks as being more plausibly linked to the crime that the car tyre tracks. The car tracks could have easily been made at any time; short of more precise information, we’ve got no way of attributing them. But I would wager that the black line, crossing the road before petering out, does pertain to the killings.

10-11-2013 at 21:14:43


I tend to agree with @Peter.
Not all details are revealed. (Not “TV and film” shows)
There are numerous investigations where this has been so.
….and for good reasons.

Alas, there are also many cases in which the “early focus” of the investigation has led detectives away from the real suspects….and sometimes to the conviction of innocent people.

Both these scenarios maybe true in this case.

And let us not forget that Eric wanted to “question” Zaid in France…and under French rules !

His confidence was such that did Eric believe he could “break him” ?

And yet the latest article it is reported that a trial judge would indeed dismiss such a case in open court.

Confessions of course are treated differently in different countries and subsequently trials are run differently with confessions in these different countries.

Did Eric think he could get a “confession” ?
If so, how does the jury system run in France with “confessions”.
How “unsafe” do their convictions turn out to be when a “confession” is used ?

I do think that “case closed (regardless)” was once an option.
And that is dangerous indeed.

10-11-2013 at 21:41:26


I don’t care where they put him or hide him as long as he is removed.

They could put Brett-Martin in Madame Tussaud’s at the same time as ‘the most disliked witness in the history of crime’. 😉

10-11-2013 at 22:44:51

SM shot

Iirc it has been said that SM first was shot 2x in the chest and 1x in the head, and later 4x in the back (or something like that)

I find this weird. To me it must be

1. SM tries to run away from X (barrier+bike)
2. SM is shot in the back
3. SM falls (halfway lay-by)
4. SM is run over by SAH and dragged
5. SM receives last 3 shots (chest and head)

1. and 2. are necessary to bring SM from the bike to where he was run over … I don’t think a shot through the head and front chest makes sense. As said, to me it sounds more likely that SM tried to run away (like SAH+Zainab to the car)

– M

10-11-2013 at 23:40:59

@Marilyn and All

Have a good rest day tomorrow.


10-11-2013 at 23:47:54

I like you style Max, very succinct and keenly logical. That scenario fits many facts.
I’d still like to know why the tyre tracks are so important. What do they tell us if we can ever figure out what they are?

10-12-2013 at 00:22:42

@Bacchus, what is your day of rest ?

I did look up your ‘nutcase’ trials, more suspicious elements would come from and for the Music Festival that started two days after the murders.

A very goodnight to you, great programme on TV the other night about how Portugal is offering 10 years free of income tax for foreigners who move there – where is the nicest place to live ?

10-12-2013 at 00:53:28

If SM is the “target” and is first shot….and SAH runs for his car and is shot,
then why would SM be shot for the second time ?
In anger (?) seems to be the only answer.

If SM is shot first….and the Al Hilli family second, the (a) reason for this (if SM was the target) may have been for the killer to prolong the discovery of SM.

And yet WBM was on his way to the car park.

The killer would not have known this or he may have saved some ammunition.
Which would mean the killer was at the car park before WBM reached the Combe D’Ire forest route (20/30 mins before 15.40 “approx”).

Or the killer had ammunition but could not fire.
A blockage ? However “21” bullets suggests there was no blockage.
A “stuck” magazine ? Can that happen.

If SM was the target….why did the killer take 3 magazines to kill one man ?

Whichever way you cut it, it doesn’t make sense.

10-12-2013 at 01:01:42


“10 years free of income tax for foreigners”

Seriously ? Do you have the link for the programme or any other info ?

But if you move there, you’d become a resident (for tax purposes), then you would be a “foreigner”. What’s the catch ?

Every pilot will be “moving” there, renting a shack, getting a mail box and forwarding service…and never going “home” for 10 years !

10-12-2013 at 02:24:57

@ James

Alas! This is just a pleasant daydream for most of us: it ony applies to French retirees for their pension income. And they have to actually live there at least 6 months in the year..

10-12-2013 at 05:02:04

An addendum to the ‘continuous’ black line across the road…

Picture 10 of the Important Photos (marks on the ground) has some helpful arrows to highlight this thin black tracing…

10-12-2013 at 05:27:36

@Max your 22.44 of last night

I’m not sure that I’ve ever read that Sylvain was shot in the chest; ages ago Peter put up French reports of (three) shots to the back and then of course the head shots as well. I have a vague sense that the car injury may have been to his chest, but could easily be wrong on that…plus, I’m fairly sure, we’ve never had any confirmation – and certainly not officially – of the total number of shots that he did take…I tend to favour just the five, myself…for reasons I outlined some time back.

I’ve also been thinking about how BM first reported seeing Sylvain. I think he took a fair bit of flak on here for initially not realising that the cyclist HAD been gunned down, rather than it being a car accident. He spoke of not seeing any road rash, which to my mind confirms that – from the front at least – there were probably no obvious visible signs of bullet wounds. Road rash typically occurs on the buttocks or thighs, or shoulders and elbows…ie…on a side limb, as it encounters the tarmac. I can’t see his eye travelling to those areas if there’s an open wound to the chest.

I’m also pretty sure – although of course no link – that I’ve read that Sylvain WAS wearing a helmet. Modern helmets can have a sort of slatted, Venetian blind type construction (to aid air flow presumably). If it was one of those – perhaps acquired along with the lavish new bike – then it’s also possible that there were no immediately visible entry holes either, the killer simply pressing his weapon right up against, and indeed ‘through’ the helmet. Blood of course, but not necessarily a couple of gaping bullet holes to the head…such as Martin went on to describe seeing on the other victims in the car…

10-12-2013 at 08:10:17


Always a catch !

10-12-2013 at 08:57:58


I learnt this week that it is written in the French Constitution that every conversation in France must begin with the salutation ‘Bonjour’ then Madame, Mademoiselle, Monsieur whatever.

If one omits to say ‘Bonjour’ one can be guillotined.

(Rest of comment deleted by Marilyn – and from now on, don’t ask me anything, because I do not have time to reply into the wind.)

Now I will say, have a good commenting day.

10-12-2013 at 09:17:14

Bonjour! (I don’t want to be guillotined 🙁 )

Sometimes I think we are too logical here, or asking others to be too logical.

Sure, the human being is able to think and act logically, but honestly in many situations human beings neither think logically nor act logically. I think we all have experienced such moments.

So it is balancing between being too logical and being too illogical.

10-12-2013 at 09:37:31


I have also looked at these Frappadingues now, but it didn’t make me any wiser. 😉 I am more interested in real ‘fools’.


I wonder if that offer is also valid for Madeira and the Azores? Then I would consider becoming a French retiree quickly. 🙂

10-12-2013 at 09:49:23

Hmm, I wonder what will be the next move by Le Parisien and M. Ducos. I don’t think they want a small ‘hebdomadaire’, weekly newspaper, to set the agenda, and being the newspaper quoted on Chevaline. Will they tweet something from the ‘dossier’?

10-12-2013 at 10:36:54

@ Max, 10-11-2013 at 22:44:51

At least to the pathologist, the angles from which those shots were fired at SM will be beyond doubt. If he or she says that those shots to the chest and head struck SM while he was standing upright or sitting on his bicycle, then so it is. Simple logic suggests that SM didn’t receive a number of shots to the back whilst lying on the ground, then rose to be shot in the chest and head.

The question is why he received that second volley of shots while he was lying on the ground, and why the killer shot him into the back rather than into the head in that situation. I can think of two very different explanations: 1. the killer had already written off SM as dead at that point, when SM suddenly twitched or groaned again, seemingly coming back to life like a zombie. This spooked the killer so much that he reflexively fired all his remaining shots at SM’s centre-mass. 2. The phrase “shot in the back” is a euphemism for “shot in the behind.” This would make those final shots an act of revenge laden with sexual connotations.

10-12-2013 at 11:13:43
10-12-2013 at 11:22:58

@Partlucid, the injuries sustained by Mollier were to his side and ribcage, from Le Monde:

“L’examen médico-légal du corps du cycliste, qui a été retrouvé de l’autre côté du parking, atteste qu’il aurait été accroché par la voiture lorsqu’elle a reculé. Le corps de Sylvain Mollier porte, sur son flanc, des marques d’enfoncement partiel de la cage thoracique. Ce mouvement expliquerait son éloignement par rapport à son vélo.”

I think it was Huffington Post who first mentioned 7 shots, 5 to the body and 2 to the head, also there is the all adults were shot in the head, twice (double-tap) favourite line.

10-12-2013 at 11:27:53
10-12-2013 at 11:29:35

@Peter re SM shot

True. But I’m pondering the situation where SM’s bike is meters from where SM did fall (or was run over). I mean, a bike does not move by itself … and a person with a bullet in his head does not move period:)

But true, it has be said the bullets to chest and head were first.

10-12-2013 at 11:39:13

@ Lynda

So do you think you would be a candidate? As James was wondering, are the tax benefits applicable to people settling in the Portuguese overseas territories, I don’t know.
Meanwhile, this 10 years tax exemption for retirees must be valued according to.. the age at which you may retire, and the family situation. Now Portugal doesn’t practice reverse xenophobia: the incentive is certainly offered to all EU nationals. But to make it worthwhile, there’s got to be a bilateral convention on single national taxation authority, which, depending on countries, may exist or not with Portugal. Also to consider, the implications on healthcare benefits.

10-12-2013 at 11:49:22

@ Partlucid

Regarding the “black line across the road”, what puzzles me is the slight curve it shows that seems to be in a direction opposite to the alleged trajectory of the BMW.
Any idea how this could be explained?

10-12-2013 at 11:51:23

@ Max, 10-12-2013 at 11:29:35

I’m afraid that I still have what you perceive to be SM’s bike as a loop of crime-scene tape.

However, if it is his bike, then I think that the explanation that SM threw his bike at the killer in self-defence (I forget who originally suggested this) would make sense. It is certainly more intuitively plausible to me than the idea of the killer venting his anger on SM’s bike. It could also explain why bits of the P06 were said to have been found near the bike – a pistol getting struck by a thrown bicycle would probably suffer some damage. Finally, if SM succeeded at striking the killer with his bike, possibly injuring him in the process but at least hurting him, that could also explain why the killer shot SM a few extra times, out of anger.

10-12-2013 at 12:17:08

Thanks Lynda, I’ll come back in a bit…


That is a tough one Eugene, because the line definitely does take on a new direction for that last? couple of metres or so, as well as becoming much bolder, as it actually makes the turn. If it is the wheel of a trapped bike – Peter suggests the tyres I believe – which is making this line, then that could actually protrude some distance from the line of the car itself. The actual ‘marking part’ wouldn’t necessarily have to be directly under the car. I think the line IS significant – it does trace right across the road, to my eye – but pinning it down may best be approached collectively, in my view.

I also had a look this morning for signs of wear and tear to the car on that driver’s side, and image 8 of the Important Photos (car and bicycle close-up) does perhaps suggest some distortion to that underside of the BMW, but it’s far from conclusive. Perhaps another image from a different angle?

10-12-2013 at 12:26:25

@Eugene, my husband is French and retired, he has toyed with the idea of moving to Portugal or Spain, we would have preferred to the South of France, mostly for Healthcare, our Assrance is through MMA, but property is expensive. I do not want to live up a mountain in the Var !

Been looking at properties around the Malaga region in Spain, seaviews, pool etc. easily for under 300K Euro, that would leave money in the bank from our house sale here. I am familiar with Spain, from vacations, but also in North East Spain for work.

The question to Bacchus is genuine, I have never been to Portugal, we plan to take a months drive there next spring to a have a mooch about, and ask some questions.

It is certainly worth looking into, a friend is a British Consul here, he has been really helpful in the who to contact and on tax laws, healthcare and of course it is very easy to get information from government websites.

All we really want to do is have a warmer climate and get away from the damp winters, if there is a tax break then it makes that particular country more interesting, although there are always downsides, maybe what is gained in less tax is lost in higher private health insurance.

We do have a friend who lives between France and Marrakech, benefitting greatly from the reduced taxation and lifestyle, he has after three years decided to sell up in France and live in Morocco.

You see, I am already in a ‘foreign’ country, have been for nearly 20 years, so another one – well, not bothered, although I have said no to Argentina, Patagonia and Chile, well not whilst I still have a living parent.

10-12-2013 at 13:02:53


….as the car regains the softer gravel, the bike can begin to release itself…?

….or perhaps it even finds some purchase? on the softer ground, which also allows its release…?

I did even firstly wonder whether the line might’ve been made by a sharply braking motorcycle – coming from Chevaline – although the faint continuation of the line OVER what I see as the raised edge of the tarmac would tend to rule that out for me…

…but these are all just very loose and rather unstable notions really…

10-12-2013 at 13:08:18

@ Partlucid

I agree. On the close-up pic you mention, no sign of dammage to the car, so inconclusive. I think the ground clearance on that type of car, which is rather limited, would have crushed the bike completely. Whether or not is just a loop of tape or the bike that is to be seen by the top side of the lay-by is questionable, but if a bike it doesn’t seem to be totalled. And it’s set up vertically on the tow truck, which should indicate it was still holding together..

@ Lynda

Don’t we all long for more sunshine? Life is a lot cheaper in Portugal than it is in Spain, and the south coast of Algarve is very attractive. So is Corsica of course, but rather expensive in terms of real estate.

10-12-2013 at 13:17:54

@Lynda your 11.22

So side injuries…which maybe even makes more sense if Sylvain’s been prone on his back? as the BMW strikes. I know there was a detailed exchange between Peter and Ron? some time back about exactly how those body parts could have become thus injured…but I didn’t really follow it at that time.

And chest wounds?
Is that part of your understanding of Sylvain’s injuries…?
I must’ve missed that.

10-12-2013 at 13:55:06

@Peter, here is the photo I zoomed, enhanced and flipped, from the original you see just a spec of white below the trees.

I posted it in another thread.

So, is it a bike or are we being lead by the reports that the bike was the other end of the clearing to Mollier.

Yes, Eugene, we like the sun and we like to mess about in the sea ! Maybe one day I’ll be able to tell you we made the move 🙂 !

10-12-2013 at 14:22:39


Peter, I’m just beginning to fear for you visually! Obviously these observational matters are highly subjective….but am I just sensing a slight obstinacy, just the merest hint of ‘refusal’ on you part…when the pictures aren’t conclusive. And by contrast, I think you were a keen advocate for the Shots Against The Windscreen movement…even though most of us believed that the large reflecting surface of the front windscreen was entirely unblemished…

Joking aside, the bike images are clearly NOT as decisive as anyone would want, and I agree that they could be contested. I remember Lars writing when I stumbled across that Isopix image that he’d actually decided beforehand that Max’s ‘bike’ was in fact the real bike, and that also very much echoed my own thinking. Because the larger picture overhead shots – maybe even the newsreel footage, I can’t remember – show the still unladen towing truck, the BMW, the car park, and the empty (apart from the auxiliary rescue vehicles) roads to and from the lay-by…but nowhere is there a bike to be seen….and for me that’s because it simply must be that thing which is tucked in underneath the tree…

All the other pointers seem to head in that direction as well:

….clearly visible to BM as he approaches the car park…
….Maillaud’s ‘thrown down in a corner’…?
….and at something of a remove from the body of SM…

10-12-2013 at 14:41:05

@ Lynda, partlucid

I must admit that I’m a contrarian, but only insofar as my investment decisions are concerned. Thus, I should very much like to please and say that I see a bicycle in Lynda’s picture, or in those

Alas and alack, however, I cannot, because I don’t. All the bicycles I have ever seen in my life have a least one wheel-width of distance between the wheels. By contrast, that thing in the pictures looks like an infinity sign, or an old-fashioned lorgnon, two circular shapes right next to each other.

Nor does that thing underneath the silver-coloured tarpaulin look like an (adult’s) bicycle to me
because it is far too small, the wheels in particular. A racing bike’s wheels have a diameter of approx. 67 centimetres, substantially bigger than the BMW’s wheels.

10-12-2013 at 14:57:08

There is something that I have always found strange about Le Martinet Parking as we see it on the helicopter photos of the 6th September 2012.

Look at it, the clearing, the bank towards the undergrowth and trees, a machine has passed there, breaking down the sapplings, the shrubs and bushes, recently because there is no new growth.

In the more recent photos from Ian Horrocks, there are new leaves covering this area, are the tracks absolutely nothing to do with this but a remnant of a forestry vehicle trimming.

Could that then also be the ‘oil’ on the tarmac.

As much as some of us think it is an odd place to be it is amongst managed forest, promoted to tourists and known by locals, including hunters.

Here is Partlucids link again:

10-12-2013 at 15:27:48

@ Lynda, 10-12-2013 at 14:57:08

Excellent point! As one can see here, the entire roadside above and below the Martinet has been trimmed as well
leaving broken branches on the ground everywhere. Thus, those tyre tracks *could* perhaps been left by that forestry machine backing out of the Martinet.

10-12-2013 at 15:45:09


I take your point about the oddly truncated shape of the ‘bike’ as it lies beneath its leafy cover…

…however on the scale end of things:

…a quick visit to my favourite BMW site (technical data) with my trusty ruler…

…produces a calculation that the ‘handlebars’ – as seen in your Times image – would attain a height of around 1070mm, as they fall just short of the bottom of the BMW windscreen. That is providing that the ‘bike’ is actually on the same plane as the BMW…although the Mirror photo suggests it might be raised a few inches onto the winch platform…

But 1070mm absolutely seemed to be in the frame for me for an adults racing bike handlebars Peter…and no, I’m not trying to browbeat you into accepting that THIS IS THE BIKE, MAN….

10-12-2013 at 15:59:10

And Peter, that very same photo is the one I have zoomed, up the pixels and flipped to come up with my Tinypic above, have a look.

It is not unusual for cutting back and trimming of verges, happens around here often, generally tractor type with attachments, maybe the work at and around Le Martinet (I include the clearing before it) because the new hunt season was about to begin, the dates have been given before, was it to be the Saturday, 8th September ?

Looking harder at the photo, it appears the cutting carried on above Le Martinet as well.

On our roads there is usual a sign that says ‘Fauchage’, this site doesn’t relate to Le Bauges, I’ll search a bit more, it does say it is done in September !

10-12-2013 at 17:07:57

@ Peter 10-12-2013 at 11:51:23

Peter, I suggested that SM used his bike as a weapon back in this post:-

It was a means of explaining the location of the Luger fragments.

Now we have some additional information, Sylvain apparently spoke of the risk of him being shot in the street. We already knew that SAH had spoken about being in fear for his life.

Thus we are in the amazing position of finding that both men could have assumed that a man appearing suddenly with a gun was aiming to kill them.

This might explain why one chose fight and one chose flight. Since I think that there is a low probability that both were specifically targeted, one or both of them may have died because they wrongly assumed that they actually were being targeted.

A botched robbery also seems more plausible now. I guess that a robber waving a gun would expect the victims to be compliant, not kick off the mayhem that ensued.

10-12-2013 at 17:32:11

@ Rashomon

I like your “one chose fight and one chose flight.” Provides a nice introduction to our Shakespeare quote of the day:
“I dare do all that may become a man;
Who dares do more, is none” (Macbeth)

But seriously, what are the odds of a small-time would-be thief showing up at Martinet with a vintage Luger and three magazines and leaving no DNA whatsoever after such an eventful massacre?
Where I follow you though is in assuming that neither Saad nor Mollier were in a peaceful state of mind. Murphy’s law applied.

10-12-2013 at 17:49:20

I have been mulling over the recently revealed information that SM spoke of the risk of being shot, presumably by an angry husband.

If Sylvain over the years used one hobby (cycling) as a cover for his other hobby (seduction) what does that say about his regular routes? Specifically, what does this say about Le Combre d’Ire?

The reasons given for this route being a favourite, the cool shaded ride and the regular visits to his uncle, now sound vaguely contrived. Almost as though they were just a good excuse for being out of cellphone reception for a period of time.

But what if this route went conveniently near to one of his lady friends? A quick text and a tryst is set up, she follows him up the track.

If the husband or boyfriend found out, then regularly saw SM riding past his house then he might get mildly peeved. The affair might in fact be over, but the husband might think SM was continually sniffing around.

Perhaps he took Wednesday off work and went for a walk up the combe.

10-12-2013 at 18:05:45

@ Lynda

So do I read your latest posts correctly in understanding you now find it plausible, or probable, that the famous tire tracks were NOT made by the 5.30 BMW? If so, since the only thing we know for sure about Mollier’s bike is that it’s been “thrown away” in a corner (by person unknown, time unknown, circumstance unknown), what’s left?
The “hard reverse arc” maneuver is no longer supported by any evidence, all the inferred speculations have to be forfeited, and we’re back at square 1.
Now, I don’t feel any more urge than you to assume EM IS lying: if he actually said Mollier got run over, that must be true. But whom by? At what point of the crime unfolding? Where exactly? No answers.
I still think, and can you disagree, that it’s kind of odd that Mollier, run over by a vehicle (perhaps dragged along), shot 5 to 7 times in various parts of his body, smeared in blood, could be looked at by William Brett as the likely victim of a traffic accident for just one second. Brett is by profession an expert in “Situation Awareness”. But that’s another story.

10-12-2013 at 18:16:18


Eugene, did you rule out Lynda’s suggestion that the white-clad forensics man might have straightened up the wheels prior to towing? I’m not sure anybody responded to that…

10-12-2013 at 18:19:17

@ Rashomon

So how many married women do we know in this story that live within a 5 miles radius from Martinet?

10-12-2013 at 18:25:52

@ Partlucid

Yes, I already answered a while ago: nobody knows. But if they did, it was a big blunder. Would imply turning ignition key back to the Start position, and thus lose all data from the trip computer. Besides, everyday of the year, tow trucks tow locked cars away without regard to their wheels position.

10-12-2013 at 18:30:07

@Eugene, the tyre tracks, pass, I’m just saying that the area has been recently cut back with machinery, probably with an attachment to an engine, problem is the tyre tracks don’t seem wide enough for a tractor, but I don’t know what type or style is used up there.

But and a big but, we don’t know when they were made, could have been in the days, or hours before the drama or by the BMW.

If I find a quote from Maillaud that says they do come from the BMW, then they do.

The hard reverse, Maillaud has said that and he now admits the BMW ran over Mollier.

THE BMW, so not another car and this I’m sure is obvious from forensics.

Maybe the tyre tracks are unrelated.

Nevertheless, I question how such injuries would appear, I accept that a body not pumping blood anymore might well show a different trace to one that was alive at the point of impact.

The problem I have with the question of Brett Martins training, if you’ve been with us a while you will know that I have a pilot friend who used to fly for American Airlines, to Europe, now an examiner. I asked him about gun training and who might have them in a cockpit, we also spoke about the First Aid side of things, most go through training but few ever get to use it or see it in real life.

Martin had been out of flying for some years, his RAF days ended I think in 1988, maybe he never actually saw any real life situations – had he been an ambulance driver, paramedic that would be a different scenario. He refers to like something from Hollywood, I suspect I would feel the same.

10-12-2013 at 18:33:32


Apropos your intriguing leaf-trimming idea…

Might the National Park authorities even have sent something up, specifically to ‘tidy’ the car park up, given that the images were probably going to go all around the world…

I don’t suppose there’s any way of telling how old the clippings are. But I think you have identified something there Lynda; I was always slightly bothered by all those ‘horizontal lines’ cluttering up the bank, without ever really considering what they might be…

10-12-2013 at 18:41:51

Thanks Eugene, that seems solid enough logic. Although forgive me, as a non-driver…would you most definitely need to go through the ignition system to turn the wheels? For the power, I suppose?

It couldn’t be done at all manually? I just find it slightly odd that as the car’s being prepared for towing, there’s a guy still fiddling about inside. I mean he’s not collecting last minute evidence, is he…

10-12-2013 at 18:46:30

@ Eugene 10-12-2013 at 18:19:17

Eugene, you wrote:-

“So how many married women do we know in this story that live within a 5 miles radius from Martinet?”

Perhaps you mean:-

So how many married women do we know in this story that live within a 5 miles radius from Martinet and who’s husbands were not promptly tested for propellant residue, interrogated and eliminated from enquiries?

We know so little about PB’s two female companions, and by ‘so little’ I mean ‘nothing at all’.

Not to mention the ONF agents who presumably live very close by. Perhaps they are married, or have daughters.

10-12-2013 at 18:53:09

@ Lynda

I think EM said a) that Saad tried to escape through a reverse maneuver b) that Mollier got run over. As far as I know, he never once specified the “reverse arc” nor that it was Saad’s car that run over Mollier.
If I’m mistaken, please correct me. But otherwise, let’s keep things as they are. I always thought we don’t have enough information about the crime scene to draw conclusions from it.

10-12-2013 at 18:58:00

@ Rashomon

You’re absolutely right. So do you agree we shoud investigate these elements, rather than have our reasoning “spining in circles” about those tire tracks?
PS I do hope “witnesses” were tested for residue, but it’s never been mentioned.

10-12-2013 at 19:04:24

Sorry but I think you are in reverse. Those tracks will never catch any killer.

@Lynda FYI

According to the Supplement to the London Gazette, 10th October 1989:


As Flying Officer (four years):

William Brett MARTIN (S203888) 2nd Jul. 1989.


10-12-2013 at 19:09:09

@ Lars

Yes, let’s forget the tire tracks, the position of the bike, and look for motives.

Do you have any news about the other Haute-Savoie murders or strange accidents?

10-12-2013 at 19:09:17

Just to show the tyre tracks after the car was moved, just a few questions, when we see the forensics and gendarme picking up the greyish/blueish tarpaulin, could this have been to put it on the front passenger seat to allow someone to sit inside and operate the steering ?

If this car had been in reverse, would the gear have had to be disengaged ?

And finally, the steering wheel will turn as long as the ignitiion is clicked to first position rather full ignition, won’t it ?

10-12-2013 at 19:16:24

@Lynda continued…


Junior Technicians:
11th Jan. 1979

John Edward INNES (8122056) (Seniority 19th May
Martin David OXBORROW (8126021) (Seniority 21st
Aug. 1978).
Trevor Stanley LEWIS (8019728) (Seniority 29th fun.
As Acting Pilot Officer :
John Norman MacDonald FYFE (2622534), 27th Sep.
Douglas Neil SCOTT (2621206), 27th Sep. 1978.
John Christopher MAYNARD (5203309), 3rd Oct. 1978.
Ian Charles BURRETT (5203308), llth Oct. 1978.
Timothy John HILL (5203311), llth Oct. 1978.
Daryl Francis DEACON (5203310), 12th Oct. 1978.
David Graham SCORER (5203313), 23rd Oct. 1978.
Kaiser SHAH (2626282), 26th Oct. 1978.
Mark GREASLBY (5203314), 9th Nov. 1978.
Stephen MCLAUGHLIN (2627019), 9th Nov. 1978.
William Brett MARTIN (5203888), 18th Nov. 1978.


10-12-2013 at 19:22:48

One of the beauties of sleuthing, it seems to me, is that you just never know which way things might turn…what new information might turn up…or what can be achieved collectively…

Ergo I think there’s good reason to keep all pistes open! as our favourite prosecutor might say…

@Peter et al

I think it is undoubtedly A Bike on the tow truck, and in all probability, The Bike. We have a car and a bicycle at the centre of an appalling crime. The car is clearly identifiable and therefore on its way to the laboratory as someone identified way back. The overwhelming likelihood is that the bike is accompanying it as well…and even more so given that this appears to be a slightly makeshift arrangement…

….however what I wanted to propose, was that in Peter’s Times image of the car and the bike on the tow truck…

…what I take to be the seat of the bike, which I think is conveniently framed by the small back window of the truck cab, appears to my eye to be possibly rather distorted/ twisted out of shape…or is that simply the back end of it, with a small saddle bag hanging underneath it. It’s extremely difficult to tell. I suddenly wondered whether a leather, or more likely composition saddle, might’ve accounted for the black trace across the road…?

10-12-2013 at 19:25:37


Brett is by profession an expert in “Situation Awareness”.

I think you’ll find that will come under the “NITS Briefing” rather than Situational Awareness…. but I get what you mean.

Moreso as he is a Training Capt and sim instructor.

10-12-2013 at 19:27:52


I said Bonjour as the French constitution requests, now I will say bonne nuit les petits.

I need to do some serial killing tonight. Tomorrow I may open another thread. Soon now, if we string together the threads and we lay the string out on the ground it will stretch to Chevaline.

Have a good commenting night.

10-12-2013 at 19:28:12


Acting Pilot Officer to Pilot Officer:

W. B. MARTIN (5203888), 18th Nov. 1979.



Pilot Officer to Flying Officer :
W. B. MARTIN (5203888), 18th Nov. 1980.


Flying Officers
W. B. MARTIN (5203888) 8th Feb. 1992.
J. JINKS (211178) W.R.A.F.V.R. (T) 15th Feb. 1992.
M. J. DOWSING (211688) 20th Feb. 1992.
M. R. BATES (211734) 24th Feb. 1992.
J. W. METCALFE (210330) 4th Mar. 1992 (retaining the rank of
Flight Lieutenant).

10-12-2013 at 19:34:18

NITS briefing….. “there’s been a terrible accident” !

I must remember that one.

10-12-2013 at 19:36:00

I should of course have posted the above in order so you could follow Brett-Martin’s career.


No, the police put in very little effort if any in the other killings. I try to make the local journalists in Thonon-les-bains interested instead. As said there has been no more shootings in Haute Savoie this year. A policeman was killed recently but I think that case is already solved.

10-12-2013 at 19:39:22

@ Lars

And …

Supplement to the London Gazette, 19th may 1992

Flying Officers : W. B. MARTIN (5203888) 8th Feb. 1992 ….

10-12-2013 at 19:41:24

@ lars

Sorry Lars you had it…

10-12-2013 at 19:46:06

Many moons ago AF flight deck would get wine with their crew food.
Of course times must change.

I wonder if the French police have changed with the times when investigating murders of tourists ?

“Blame zee tourist Mon ‘Amie” !

10-12-2013 at 19:47:12

@Lars, thanks for the date details, does that mean he left the RAF in 1993 ? According to him it went a bit like this ! I found it saved in my files, I’m amazed that I had anything at all ! Pinched from somewhere else ….

St. Kentigern’s College
FRAeS, Aviation
1971 – 1978

Auckland , New Zealand

Consultant B787 PSIP/SFI
Boeing UK Training and Flight Services
June 2012 – Crawley

Consultant CRMI(G), CORE course tutor, B737NG SFI
CTC Aviation Group plc

August 2011 – Southampton

Consultant CRMI(G), MCCI, B737 SFI
Alpha Aviation Group
August 2011 – Present Gatwick, UK

CORE course, MCC course, CRM and B737 type rating instructor
Consultant B777 and B737 Synthetic Flying Instructor
British Airways Flight Training Limited
June 2009 –

Human Factors and Leaership course design and training
Silver Fern (Sussex) Limited
Airlines/Aviation industry
January 2000 –

Training Captain
British Airways
1990 – 2009

DC-10 pilot, 737 Training Captain, 777 Captain, 777 SFI, CRMI(G), founder member of Flight Operations Human Factors Standards Group.
B757 Pilot
Air 2000
1989 – 1990

B757 pilot
Air Defence Weaponeering Instructor (pilot)
Royal Air Force
Government Agency; 10,001+ employees; Military industry
1978 – 1989

10-12-2013 at 19:57:39


You should ask someone who knows more than me about the British military forces. As I read it he was a ‘VOLUNTEER RESERVE’ the last four years (1988-1992).

If someone is familiar with the military in the U.K. , is that number 5203888 a military id number or what? (I got hold of that number that’s how I found this info).

10-12-2013 at 19:57:57

@ Lynda

I think he was in the RAF reserve during the early part of his civilian career as a pilot, so there would be some overlap of dates.

10-12-2013 at 19:59:17

I think I get it he went from the RAF to the Reserves:

“ROYAL AIR FORCE VOLUNTEER RESERVE (TRAINING BRANCH)” whilst he was earning a living as a commercial pilot.

10-12-2013 at 20:03:43

So we are all agreed on something, he went to the Reserves, could be called upon for military action if required. I think that they would go for additional training/excercises with agreement from their employer.

Nice touch, very commendable.

@James, as a Training Captain would he still have been doing commercial flying ?

10-12-2013 at 20:22:53


I would imagine that ex RAF do go into the RAFVR.
They help out with training etc of the young flyers coming into the game.
It’s just how it is. Lots of experience to be given.

10-12-2013 at 20:30:10


..opps sorry. Your question was different.

As training/check four bar, he would be still flying.
Mainly because you can’t watch them from standing on the ground !

My reading of his career however was that he had left BA (Ret’d) and was working on contract for Boeing/BA (sim training), but not full time. (triple 7 rating/training/recurrents etc)

I don’t fly Boeing or “big com” so I don’t know how they work it.

10-12-2013 at 20:33:15

@James, sorry I meant as a Training Captain at British Airways. Are these they guys that often sit in the third seat in the cockpit ?

@Partlucid, I did have a smile that you thought the ONF may have tidied up knowing the world would be watching :-).

That’s a recent cut, without doubt, very woody and no new growth.

10-12-2013 at 20:36:15

“could be called upon for military action if required”

Doubtful indeed. No F4’s around these days.
Airmanship in a “chipmunk” maybe !

10-12-2013 at 20:37:39

Remind me. What years was the first Iraq war fought? Did the coalition forces use RAF personel for their sorties then?

10-12-2013 at 20:45:18

@James, I recall working with people who were in the TA, they would go off for a few weeks from work, the idea of the Reserves was for them to be just that reservist if there had ever been a conflict where additional men were required, first in line after the regulars.

Haven’t they been used recently in Afghanistan ? Reservists, that is.

10-12-2013 at 20:57:16

@ partlucid, 10-12-2013 at 19:22:48

Again, I’m sorry to spoil everybody else’s fun, but that thang framed by the small back window of the truck cab here
looks more like the head of a hooded Golden Retriever (looking at the spectator) than a bicycle saddle. And it still is positioned far too low. If, as you say, the top edge of the bonnet, just below the windscreen, of this type of BMW is 107 cms above the ground – excellent research, by the way; I have searched for those very data myself, but came up with nothing – then the saddle should be almost as high.

As a rough approximation, the top half of a racing bicycle’s handlebars should be around 20 cms above the upper edge of the front wheel = 87 cms. The seat would be positioned at anything between 5-15 cms above the top half of the handlebars. The maximum of 15 cms would equate to 102 cms of height – yet I don’t see anything like that height in the photo that you referred to. I also don’t see anything that looks even remotely handlebar- or saddle- or top-tube-shaped to me.

I don’t believe that it matters either way. All of us are, in a way, fighting with both of our hands tied behind our backs. I genuinely believe that some of us, if granted access to the investigation file, could contribute worthwhile ideas. As it happens, though, we are forced to second- or even third-guess (if such a word exists within the English tongue; if not, then I have just coined it) from sloppily-researched articles and selectively-chosen photos. All we can do is to keep stirring the pot, keep public interest alive, and hope for the best.

10-12-2013 at 21:16:12

Trying to catch up – so what aspect of BMs role do we think is affected by his career in 1970s until now? Have we finished with the tyre marks, having speculated that there are many possible scenarios for their presence.
If the edges of road have been trimmed, how does it affect the investigation?
Will we be influenced by taxation in Portugal as we ponder the crime.
The uncle had the same last name as Claire, so whose real uncle was he and what was his actual relationship with SM.
Interesting that both dead men had one million bucks come into their lives recently
And, was there a festival of sorts in the region on the sat night following the massacre?
I wish i had known how crucial it was to say bonjour I might have saved myself a lot of cross cultural grief. Ho, hum. Hope it’ll make a difference. Anybody know of another nation which needs to legislate common courtesy.

10-12-2013 at 21:16:33

Still nobody knows what kind of number 5203888 is?

Is it what you say when they ask your rank and number?

10-12-2013 at 21:16:52


Think in “Iraq one” the RAF were flying the Tornado.


I guess the “RAFVR” were in the Sandpit somewhere. Maybe flight mechanics, ATC, etc…. I don’t know.

But it wouldn’t be the “older flyers” that were there. It doesn’t work like that.

Not saying they wouldn’t want to go.
Tearing around a dereg’d sky on full after burner… even @Lars would be getting his name on the list for that.

10-12-2013 at 21:41:24

@ James

You bet. And whenever the UK attacks Syria, they might send the veterans, just to save money on retirement benefits.
But Iraq One, as you say. They needed young studs for the Tornadoes. Maybe did Bill drop a bomb on Saad’s father’s house? Things happen

@ Lars

I think this is a question better to leave unaddressed.

@ Freda

In fact, this courtesy legislation is no such thing: a remnant of the first French constitution, written during the 1789 revolution, when people wanted to stress out that all citizens were equal: no more Counts, Barons or Dukes. Only citizens, and later it was phrased monsieur, madame, mademoiselle. And Bonjour goes of course.

@ Peter

I agree. We’re just stirring the pot. But this is probably not intended to keep public interest alive, possibly the opposite..

10-12-2013 at 21:55:47


Sounds ominious. I like questions ‘better to leave unaddressed’. They are often the start of something interesting. I guess I was right then. 😉

10-13-2013 at 05:39:53

@Peter your 20.57 of last night

It’s in the Technical Data section.

I made a minor error in my arithmetic which, remarkably, has come to my attention at 4am! The bottom of the 530’s windscreen should come in around 10cm lower, at 985mm…

…and this was also the page I used to satisfy myself that Saad’s BMW hadn’t made the arcing tracks.

10-13-2013 at 09:42:52


I am handing over to Celeste again today. This will be for the rest of the month.

10-13-2013 at 09:58:01

Morning Marilyn!
I am certainly never correcting you, because, to my knowledge, you are always right.
But why not provide our fellow commentators with some hindsight on local traditions in France?
Besides, I am utterly ignorant when it comes to guns, bicycles or tire tracks, no I try to make myself useful as best I can..
Opening this thread for the first time today, I long for more comments and I’m ready to exclaim like Miranda: ” O. Brave new world / That has such people in it! “

10-13-2013 at 10:15:32

Hello to everyone.

This is Celeste.

@Eugene – Marilyn *is* always right. She is even right-handed.

Have a nice commenting day. It is very cold in Paris this morning – was just 5 degrees when I went jogging with my dad at 6 a.m.

10-13-2013 at 10:23:55

Bonjour ! (legal requirement fulfilled !)


“Still nobody knows what kind of number 5203888 is”

I’ll take a stab at it. It appears to be a “service number”, but you’ll have to do some rooting around (time limited today).

I would suggest that 80xxxxx is UK RAF enlisted.
26xxxxx maybe University Royal Air Force squadron or RAF Auxillary enlisted

And 50xxxxx is …..?

Could be an enlistment from NZ ? Otherwise I haven’t got a scooby doo.

10-13-2013 at 11:05:01

Thanks James!

Perhaps 5203666 had been more appropriate. 😉

10-13-2013 at 11:08:42

I guess that was the only thing Brett-Martin said when interrogated by the French police: “-former flying officer RAF 5203888”.

10-13-2013 at 11:14:30

…and then he added. “-I want to speak to the British ambassador in France!”

10-13-2013 at 11:19:03

I have long thought that there are two questions here:

1. Who killed those people at Chevaline (perpetrator & instigator) ?

2. Who messed this crime investigation up?

10-13-2013 at 11:27:02

For the record:

1. I believe the tracks are from Al-Hilli’s BMW
2. I believe it is Mollier’s bike on the tow truck

10-13-2013 at 11:36:07

Listening to the documentary on the Magalie murder I noticed something that the expert said: The family has always a fundamental role in these type of investigations. That they take active part and read the investigation dossier (see Eugene’s post above).

So what has the Schutz and Mollier family to say? Have they read the files? Are they at all interested?

The Al-Hilli family has another problem since they would hardly be received in a friendly way in France.

10-13-2013 at 11:49:31

It is something I recommend that the Mollier children can do when they come of age and are allowed to read these files. If they want to know why their father was killed.

10-13-2013 at 12:26:20

I hope the children will not listen to what the grownups say but try to find the truth for themselves.

10-13-2013 at 12:35:52

Afternoon All !

Weather so bad here, electricity flicking on and off !

Have a look at the British Press regarding the Maddie McCann case, you’ll find it interesting Lars, the investigation apparently was misconducted from the outset.

The Crimewatch piece to be screened tomorrow will be 25 minutes long, with appeals going out in Holland and Germany in the following days.

10-13-2013 at 13:07:10


Do you have a paper to recommend?

I think that the McCann investigation was also messed up from the beginning, see my comments on the interrogations above, but for other reasons than Chevaline.

I am not that familiar with the McCann case that I have an opinion on who messed it up, the police, the McCann family or somebody else.

10-13-2013 at 13:15:38

Just goes to show how difficult it will be for the detectives to find THE gun:

10-13-2013 at 13:25:49

@ Lars

Wow. Thanks for these fireworks of comments this morning.
To support you, let me add:

– 666 may recall unpleasant symbols, but don’t forget 888 is the NUMBER of GOD. So rather appropriate for a true hero.

– I’m ready to bet William Brett *already* had been in touch with the British Embassy (or other support system) when he was “interrogated”. No fool.

– you write: “perpetrator & instigator”. Does this mean you’re about to change your mind and consider some kind of conspiracy?

– i would like to give up on the tracks and bicycle. Leads nowhere.

– yes, many people can demand access to the dossier. I can see no reason why Iqbal’s sister & brother-in-law shouldn’t receive proper welcome from the Judges in charge.

– Mollier’s children may be too young today, but should they so desire they can ask the Department of Justice to designate and pay an attorney-at-law for them, who can access the files and give them a summary of known facts.

– and yes, everyone has to look for the truth by oneself..

10-13-2013 at 13:35:52


Shows that there is no lack of fools with a love for weapon.


Thanks. I like to ‘shake the tree’ (as Lynda puts it) from time to time, and watch what falls down.

re: perp & instigator
No, I have not changed my mind. I don’t think it is a conspiracy (in any real sense of the word). But I have for a long time been unsure if the instigator and the perpetrator is one and the same person. There are my variants also how an instigation might take place, not necessary by paying somebody or convincing somebody. I have an open mind there (all ‘pistes’ are open, as Maillaud would say).

10-13-2013 at 13:49:40

@ Lynda @ Lars @ Marilyn

Just as much as the McCann case, quite gloomy, another very interesting sttory, also still unfolding, is the Meredith Kercher murder case in Italy.
Since there, as opposed to Chevaline, almost all the files are within public access, there are several suspects and even a confession, and yet the truth is hard to reach. Take a look for yourselves if you haven’t already.
There must be some bad omen: everytime a British citizen is killed on the Continent, the investigation is a mess. Whereas, whenever a French, Russian or German citizen is murdered in the UK, the culprits are identified in a jiffy..

10-13-2013 at 13:49:41

To explained my view a bit more.
I can only see a couple of people as possible instigators in this case. I can’t however see these men (I think it was a man) as the perpitrator for various reasons. I have looked as close as I can at these men but I have no hope anymore to find any conclusive proofs or clues. Then there is always the possibility that they (he) somehow influenced somebody to perform the crime itself, to pull the trigger. This is a not unknown occurrence in the history of crime, but then mostly in a ‘political’ context.

…or the perpetrator acted on his own accord (no instigator).

That is also why I so much want to understand how the Chablais-killer picks his victims.

10-13-2013 at 14:02:13


You could perhaps add, murdered in southern Europe. I can’t but notice that there is a big difference between the northern and southern part of Europe when it comes to police investigations.

I have, in contrast to the McCann case, followed the Meredith Kercher murder from the beginning.

As far as I know the new trial has started in Italy, but the Knox woman and her Italian ex-boyfriend will probably never turn up. She stays in Seattle and he has fled to Venezuela or whatever.

To me there is no doubt that they are morally responsible for the murder, no matter how exactly it happened. That is however not the same as it will be possible to convict them. To get hold of Knox for the Italian justice will probably be as hard as to get into Fort Knox.

10-13-2013 at 14:14:36


Celeste here & not Marilyn.

My dad’s a lawyer so I must correct an error made here in a comment. A person can only get access to a criminal dossier if that person is ‘partie civile’. As nobody has until now become ‘partie civile’ in this case only the investigators have access to the dossier.

10-13-2013 at 14:20:28


How do you become a ‘partie civile’ then?

10-13-2013 at 14:28:14

@ Celeste

Thanks for your participation. What you mention has been stated before though. So not quite an error. No problem.
Just one question: how do you know nobody has filed as “partie civile”? Through your father too?

10-13-2013 at 14:33:14

@ Lars

Basically, you need to be a party (spouse, partner, child, parent,..) to either a victim or a suspect. And also to pay a fee that is put in sequester.

10-13-2013 at 14:39:52

@Eugene and @Lars

My dad’s going to kill me should he ever find this blog for having mentioned him.

No, he does not talk of his work at home, but I know that no one has filed a partie civile in this case because it would have been announced if so also. Eugene, yes you are correct. To file a partie civile one must have a connection with the murdered persons. In the little Fiona case (little French girl went missing in May and now we know she was murdered) her real father (biologic) became a partie civile in order to have access to the file of the police. I know that the police are very secret in this country.

Eugene I just did another read of your comment and I think a relative or connection of a suspect can not be a partie civile because such a one could pass details to the suspect.

10-13-2013 at 14:47:30

When I reread what Eugene wrote earlier on ‘partie civile’ it seems that it just is something you apply to free of charge, sort of a formality if you are next-of-kin?

10-13-2013 at 14:50:46



Well, if you are murdered then we can solve that case easily anyhow. 😉

10-13-2013 at 15:03:57

@ Lars @ Celeste

I don’t want to rub it in. But then, I’m sorry. Of course, suspects (or their next-of-kin) can file as partie civile. And their gaining access to the files in the dossier is the legitimate way they can prepare their defense!! Otherwise, how could there be justice?
But so do the victims obviously. Happens all the time.
I was I think the first, a week ago, to express regrets that nobody had done so. But it was just an assumption, or an advice, not a statement of fact. So your dad has nothing to do with this.
Still wish one of the bereaved takes that step!!

10-13-2013 at 15:17:24




I have read about McCann in ‘Daily Fail’ now. The funny part is that they say that reason they broadcast it in Germany and in the Netherlands are that the languages are easily confused.

What do you say Max, Peter and RiffRaff? 😉

I have had may friends in Germany and in the Netherlands who say they don’t understand a word of Dutch and German respectively, true or not.

10-13-2013 at 15:52:08

@Lars, On Sky News and BBC they say it is because the area in Portugal is popular with the Dutch and Germans and apparently tomorrow they will issue e-fits of two German speaking men who were seen around the time.

It appears to me that the witnesses who saw, heard these men could not distinguish the language they were speaking. If they are British witnesses, then I’m not surprised !

I have my own thoughts on this case, all I will say is that I have had trouble from the beginning to empathise with the McCanns and not because they left their children alone in an unlocked hotel room, but because of the way they speak – it has always appeared ‘flat’, with no emotion, for all the tears.

@Eugene, from what I’ve been reading someone who is a witness cannot apply for ‘partie civile’, is that correct ?

The suspect – well is that a sort of ‘what evidence do you have’ plea ? Surely it is for the accusers to prove the suspect as guilty, not for him to mount a defence, ‘innocent until proven guilty’.

I also picked up the Tony Meilhon (Laetitia) case, where his mother put in for partie civile do distance herself from him ? Her name being dragged through the court and media, was this to get some sort of compensation ?

10-13-2013 at 15:53:31


A suspect …or a defendant ?

A suspect will be a suspect until he/she is charged.
At which point he/she becomes a defendant.

I’m not sure if a defendant can become a “civil party”, however I understand that a relative of a defendant can be (Anatomy of a French Murder Case
By Bron McKillop)

10-13-2013 at 15:56:07

@ Lars

Regarding the M. Kercher murder, for the little I know, I think both teams are mistaken: the pro-Knox forgets there’s indisputable evidence she was somehow involved, and the con-Knox forgets she was obviously later framed by the police. So good luck for the jury..
Same for little McCann: it was from the start mishandled as an abduction case, when it should have been treated as a manslaughter/child-neglect case. (maybe did she accidentall drown in the pool 50 feet away from the studio?)

As for neighboring languages, let me tell you that the one time in my life when I got closest to getting murdered was when, traveling as an innocent college graduate through Belgium, I had the bad idea, stopping at a gas station in Flamish vicinity, to stupidly ask the station attendant “do you speak French?”.

10-13-2013 at 15:58:19

Maybe, the Mollier/Schutz families are briefed regularly by Maillaud and the Team, so they feel they have no need to pursue the matter further, I recall reading that EM did say they were.

I assume they are therefore satisfied with such briefings, they will no doubt be better informed than any of us or the Press !

10-13-2013 at 16:04:23

@ James

I’m more familiar with American criminal justice than with the French “common law” system. But to my knowledge, in France, a defendant (inculpé) doesn’t have to ask: he has access to the dossier as a matter of course. Whereas a suspect (mis en examen) needs to file in as “partie civile” to have access. Most suspects obviously do. But victims also can.

10-13-2013 at 16:06:38

Gosh the papers are busy today !

Knox, McCann and now Tracy Andrews….

10-13-2013 at 16:15:05


Remember what Christophe Mollier said, that the police had only spoken to the Molliers for half an hour.

If they been talking more to Thierry Schutz I don’t know.

I share the view of the expert in the Margalie Part documentary that it is essential that the family concerned take an active part.


There is of course a bigger difference between Flemish and French (the political conflict apart) than between Flemish and German, since these are both Germanic languages, just like Swedish and English.

I once had to translate a (technical) text in German for a group of people from the Netherlands. I found that absurd, but they said they couldn’t understand it otherwise. I though translated it into English (which they could understand) since Dutch/Flemish was a bit too advanced for me.

10-13-2013 at 16:20:44


That’s where I am getting mixed up.

I thought a “mis en examen” was an indictment (or the indicted)
And that being so a suspect would technically be a “defendant”.

Whereas a “suspect” would not be “indicted” (charged) and therefore be merely a “suspect”. And as such he/she would be “part of an ongoing investigation” and most certainly not be allowed to view the dossier….until charged (indicted).

But I don’t know much about French “common” law.

10-13-2013 at 16:28:50

@Lars, I agree, Christophe Mollier was quoted as saying, I’ve picked just one short account in English :

Worth another read and a reminder of vow of silence…..

Merely to show what Le Parisien reports, ‘Mollier was divorced the year before’, maybe he was, they take time in France and maybe the couple didn’t divorce before each found a reason (new partner), from what we know they had been separated for a longer period.

10-13-2013 at 16:40:00

@ James

I’m not type-rated for legal fineprint. Currently the check-list call is “partie civile?” If unchecked, better call it off.

10-13-2013 at 16:57:49

Just a funny thought popped into my head.

In Ian Horrocks article he says that the day they were there, a herd passed them, if this was at the bottom of the Combe, near the hairpin and sign, then the chances are they belong to Paul Ducher.

But it got me thinking, do you recall the farmer who said on TV that normally on Wednesday 5th September he was due to bring his cattle down for the winter, but was delayed, so didn’t – he said that it would have been in the middle of the killings.

Without stretching out whether this year it was his herd from the pastures or Duchers dairy cows, I wonder how often the farmer went up the Combe to check on his cattle beyond Le Martinet ? Daily, once a week ?

Is he allowed to access them with a farm vehicle after the ‘barrier’ and sign ? It would appear that the wooden pole of the barrier is never or hardly ever in place, mostly lying beside the road. This suggests to me that there is far more traffic, for one reason or another going through there.

Anyone have a close up of what the wording is below the circular white and red banded sign ?

The farmer around here, moves the cattle on a truck behind a tractor, they don’t herd them down the lanes, to new pastures or to the wintering sheds.

I am convinced that the area was used far more than we suspect and daily depending on the season, would cattle be moved on foot some 6 or 7 kms ?

My analysis does make it an even more strange place to commit deliberate multiple murder or even one, unless of course the killer knew the lay of the land, traditions and could assimilate amongst the people without causing alarm.

10-13-2013 at 17:05:47
10-13-2013 at 17:12:31

@ Lynda

It’s one.. Or the other.
The killer(s) could have been well-aware of what you’re mentioning,
Or totally unaware and not giving a oops about dairy contingencies..
In either case, he did manage to get away with it.

10-13-2013 at 17:57:36

@Lynda and @et al

A view from Pointe de Vélan, looking across to the Combe D’Ire.
This view shows what it is like beyond the barrier….And Col Cherel

….and I guess where the cows graze and motor bikes roam !
Infact there are some cows grazing, but no motor bikes seen.

10-13-2013 at 18:19:33

@ All

From what little I know about French law, I agree that the relatives of both groups of victims probably could become parties civiles to the investigation, and definitely should try to do so if they are interested in establishing the truth of the matter.

I have two caveats, though. First, the inquiry is run under an EU legal framework that may in part override national laws
As this framework was originally conceived for dealing with terrorism and OC cases, I don’t think that transparency or easy access to information for “outsiders” were high on the list of priorities.

Secondly, if a man like Eric Clouseau doesn’t want outsiders to poke their noses into the way in which he runs *his* inquiry, there are some perfectly legal obstruction strategies at his disposal. For example, I am absolutely certain that the investigation file is fully digital, a collection of searchable PDF documents with a paper copy kept only for back-up purposes in some basement. If he wanted to, Eric Clouseau could simply burn an extra DVD for the partie civile. However, as far as I know, he is not obliged in law to make a digital copy available, particularly so because digital copies are comparatively likely to get leaked. Thus, he could insist on the partie civile obtaining a paper copy of the file, and he could pretty much charge whatever he liked for each page of the file. With the investigation file running to tens of thousands of pages, and photocopying costs of € 1 or more per page (that would be very cheap, actually), becoming a partie civile could become a prohibitely expensive step.

10-13-2013 at 18:32:06

@ James

Bravo. Very beauty spot.
And I think we can even see a glimpse of Dennis hiding behind his cattle: the cowardly cowherd.

10-13-2013 at 18:43:08

@ Peter

Inspector Clouseau doesn’t have a word to say. It’s the investigating judges (juges d’instruction) who keep the recorded files, not him. And the very reason why there’s a deposit (consignation) to pay for those who file as partie civile is to account for such expenses as burning an extra DVD or xeroxing a few hundred pages.

10-13-2013 at 18:48:27

@James, I think at the beginning he says that is the view over the Combe d’Ire, the way he got up to Velan, I know the Chalets d’Eau Froid are accessed from there, see the :

Fantastic footage, puts the size and elevation into perspective.

10-13-2013 at 18:49:47


The wording at the sign at the barrier: “Sauf riverains et la service de la foret”

The wording at the sign at the hairpin curve: “Sauf pour le service de la foret”. Then it is so rosty that it is not possible to read.

10-13-2013 at 18:59:23

@ Eugene, 10-13-2013 at 18:43:08

Granted, but we are not talking about a few hundred pages here, we are talking about tens of thousands.

In Germany, some courts charge € 13 a page for copies of court files that are, at least in theory, open to all the world. Any ideas of what those photocopying charges would or could be in France?

10-13-2013 at 19:17:21

@ Peter

I don’t know the specifics. I know there’s a flat rate: deposit is a fixed amount, depending on the Court. After that, if there are 35,000 pages of files, they obviously give the attorney a DVD, which in turn he may use to xerox a few pages for his client to read ( no take out). Like many things in France, it’s based on a mean value: for a traffic incident, the dossier will be 12 pages, for a mass murder 12,000 but they average it out.
For more details, better ask Celeste’s dad.

10-13-2013 at 19:28:16

@ Eugene, 10-13-2013 at 19:17:21

Thanks for that clarification, Eugene. Thus, in theory at least, there are no obvious practical/monetary considerations that would have kept SM’s relatives from joining the investigation as civil parties. Hmmm …

Ikbal’s sister is, I think, excused for not trying to do the same because of the precarious situation in which she now lives with the two Zs:
If the UK authorities wanted to make her life “difficult,” they no doubt could do so 🙁

10-13-2013 at 19:36:06

‘Riverains’ – good, that means there will be a number of people who have a right to be on the road/route forestiere above Martinet.

I did find a map that showed parcels of land up there, of course fields are often rented from the landowner.

So, farm vehicles, 4×4’s wouldn’t be an unusual sight.

Here is the Frappadingue from 2012:

Which reminded me of this:

“”Au début, j’ai cru que c’étaient deux filles à l’intérieur, mais, une fois qu’ils m’ont dépassé, ils avaient l’air bizarre, avec des cheveux bizarres, comme s’ils portaient des perruques”, a-t-il assuré. “Ils conduisaient comme s’ils étaient en fuite, ils semblaient très nerveux”, a-t-il dit.”

The photo in Le Point, would it be a reasonable guess to say that it was from about the postion of the first people seen here, that Brett Martin would have had of the clearing ? It is current to the crime as dated 7th September.

10-13-2013 at 19:43:12

@Peter, I suppose as I said earlier, unless they have complete confidence in the enquiry and that there is no need to look further, believing the answer lies in the UK.

Or as Eugene would say it could be the other, they DON’T want to rock the boat from that conclusion, who knows what is going on with their ‘vow of silence’ attitude.

10-13-2013 at 20:29:54

@Eugene and @Lars. Sorry I went away like that when we were talking of the partie civile but I went with my mother to pick my nan up at Gare du Nord.

Eugene, someone who brings a partie civile in a case can not be someone connected to the accused but must be connected to the victim. The purpose of a partie civile is to get reparation from the accused should he or she be found guilty in a court of law. As the person who has brought the partie civile is to gain financially from the accused’s guilt, he or she can not give evidence at the trial. It is perhaps for this reason that the relatives of the Al-Hillis and of the Frenchman Mollier have not brought a partie civile. They may want to give evidence. But they have all the time still to do so because there is no accused yet. They can wait for such a time and then launch the partie civile.

A person who wants to bring a partie civile must put the request in writing by post (registered post) to the examining magistrate who will have to decide what amount of money this person will have to deposit to cover the legal costs should the accused be found not guilty. If the accused is found not guilty he or she is entitled to sue the partie civile person for defamation of character and/or libel. It is therefore not something that is uncomplicated to do.

When the criminal trial is held it is considered that it is also the partie civile trial. In other words, there is no separate hearing of the partie civile case.

I hope I did explain this in a way that is understandable.

I will now have my dinner so I will say that we will speak again tomorrow.

I forgot to say it is Celeste here.

10-13-2013 at 21:21:14

@Celeste and All

Thanks Celeste for the additional information.

However now I am confused. I thought what Eugene wrote in the earlier thread fitted very well with what I heard in the Magalie Part documentary, i.e. that the next-of-kin always have access to the investigation dossier.

Now, from what Celeste writes above, to become ‘partie civile’ seems to be a way to get reparation from the accused. To add the ‘partie civile’ seems to accuse the accused and might be sued for defamation! And how do you get reparation in a murder case?

That seems to be what we discussed earlier (I don’t remember the English term) to pursue a case privately, if no prosecutor is willing to do it.

I have tried to read also on the web but I don’t get any wiser. French laws described in French are a bit too complicated for me.

Are we mixing two different things together here?

10-13-2013 at 21:51:05

I believe the farmers go up the “Alpages” by car and then walk the cows back to Chevaline. Well at about 3 km or 3,5 km /hr, it doesn’t take that long…

Regulation for the « Site du massif des Bauges »…
La pratique de sports motorisés n’est pas connue sur le site. La circulation de motos est toutefois attestée sur certains itinéraires, y compris en alpage. Il en va de même de la circulation de 4X4 sur les pistes d’alpages ou les pistes forestières. La RNCFS interdit toute circulation de véhicule à moteur sur son territoire, à l’exception des usagers des terrains demandant 1 autorisatioin (alpagistes, forestiers, propriétaires…)

Now about the regulars of la Combe d’Ire…
Don’t forget a… « Francisco, qui, depuis 40 ans, se promène tous les jours sur le chemin forestier où le crime a été commis ».

@ Celeste
Thanks. I was wondering about that “partie civile” before. If you’ve followed the story of the mother & daughter who have disappeared in south of France (“not far from the wedded bridge!!!”), it has been said that the woman’s two daughters and brother were “partie civile”, as well as the woman’s sister, and also… a male friend of the girl… Strange…

10-13-2013 at 22:31:34

@ Lynda 10-13-2013 at 19:36:06

Lynda, you wrote:-

The photo in Le Point, would it be a reasonable guess to say that it was from about the postion of the first people seen here, that Brett Martin would have had of the clearing ? It is current to the crime as dated 7th September.

I think so. It is also the view that Sylvain would have had as he approached the clearing (with the caveat that this particular shot has been taken approx 3m onto the verge to the west of the track).

I am sure that you have recognised that the sign that is visible in the photo is actually the one that is on the outside of the hairpin corner, not the one in the carpark itself. The depth of field can be deceptive.

I have had this photo saved since I first saw it and it has informed my opinion about who could see what and when. Although the overhead shots are fascinating, they don’t give the ground level perspective.

10-13-2013 at 22:36:20

@ Celeste
“were partie civile” = I should have said: “have take a lawyer to bring a partie civile”.

10-13-2013 at 22:44:43

@Rashomon, I agree and the reverse angle from the sign or ‘pont’ over the culvert the same.

So, from the perspective on the photo, the first thing Brett Martin sees is the bike on the ground, lets assume from the ‘bike’ photos, top right of clearing.

Which of course is a distance view, then a child staggers into his vision, falling to he ground as if playing, then he gets closer and sees a cyclist on the ground, a car engine running ‘there’s been an accident’.

And yes, I have often referred to the second sign and the track beside it, that in principal crosses via a wood and rope bridge, oposite the real LE MARTINET, a ruin – and up and over to Le Planay, a car could not pass there, a bike or motorbike could certainly be pushed over and then carry on, passing the Alpine Chalets and ending up at Saury parking.

10-13-2013 at 22:56:15

@Bibi, from a couple of kms above Martinet, the 3.3kms to the sign and then along route du Moulin, that’s quite a walk, I notice there are cattle trucks in Duchers farm, so he moves cattle, of course this could be just to market.

Afterall dairy cows need to have calved to produce milk, out of ‘season’ they are put out to pasture, no bull in sight !

And yes, the ‘riverain’ would have access, I’m only posing this because Maillaud has said that there are other witnesses to the ‘X5’ and that the route could in principal be far busier than we are assuming.

10-13-2013 at 23:20:17

@ Lynda

Do you think old Mc Ducher trucks his cows to pasture, just like we drive kids to school?

10-13-2013 at 23:22:36


@ Lars 10-13-2013 at 15:17:24
my impression was always that the people from netherlands understand much more german than vice versa. However, in the Mccann case so much has been written and so much confusion has been stirred that I do not think a single emerging “fact” or “lead” will outpace the course of investigation.

What I find quite interesting comparing the reactions of the two very different cases is, that in the Mccann case the family of the victim is fighting (being involved or not) constantly for their relief of mind.
Is the SM party fighting for relief? Why not fighting if he is innocent like a dove?
IS the SAH party fighting? Why not fighting if they were innocent like doves?
That is still pretty strange. As most of you know, I am a supporter of the local crime => local reason theory
THus to me SM =target!

10-13-2013 at 23:28:26


“Here is the Frappadingue from 2012: ,,, Which reminded me of this …”

I like this, it’s a good interpretation and combination of two informations.

About taxes and live in Portugal, I can’t say nothing. I do not want to deceive you.


10-13-2013 at 23:36:01

@ RiffRaff

That’s right. Nobody’s fighting in this case. Monsieur Eric is closing doors all by himself.
Bonsoir everybody.

10-13-2013 at 23:43:38

@Eugene, the farmer interviewed, not Ducher, said he would have brought the animals down for the winter on the Wednesday, he was held up, delayed so didn’t, then the road was closed on the Thursday.

Paul Ducher does have a cattle truck it is in the photos of the Gendarmes at his gate and his red long wheel base 4×4. With a dairy farm, they will keep or sell female calves for ‘dairy’, the males mostly end up as veal, so he would certianly be transporting the animals to market as and when.

Even in dear old Wales it was the way the dairy cattle were managed, I always found it sad when the farmer said to me, which one do you want ? The youngster then being sent to the local abbatoir, which in my case was half a mile down the road ! Once I witnessed how they de-haired dead pigs, not to be repeated.

@RiffRaff, it isn’t that the Germans don’t understand the Dutch, can’t tell the difference, it is about the witnesses who couldn’t, and if they are Brits , where is the surprise.

The interesting element is that the British enquiry team say they have gone back to the beginning, just watched a titbit on ITV News, it makes me wonder if one day, all be it in six years time, the Prime Minister might consider spending 5 million on the ‘Tuerie de Chevaline’.

To be fair to the McCanns they have continued to push the case into the public arena, the fundraising for private investigators, although they did fall foul in some circumstances, I still sit on the fence, I have my own idea and it isn’t one that supports them, but it doesn’t condemn them either.

I will watch the programme tomorrow, it will be intersting to see if it changes my conception of events and the inquiry after that.

10-14-2013 at 00:23:45

Just for the pleasure here is a photo of one of the beasts that have lived in the field beyond my garden, she had two calves, before being moved to another field or sold, my farmer who lives opposite says it has become too expensive to keep dairy cattle, so he now breeds, keeps them up to the point of being classed as ‘beef’ and takes them to slaughter, mostly castrated males, bullocks.

We are used to them being in the field for a few months, then gone.

The leaves are my garden hedge !

He doesn’t breed Charolais, the one you see here, they are too expensive to purchase in the first place – fantasic taste, though.

Many suicides take place amongst the farming community.

@Bacchus, I’m pleased to see you respond, so you think that life in Portugal isn’t as good as it is in France ? What a shame, I was looking forward to the sun !

10-14-2013 at 00:28:54


Don’t blame RiffRaff, it was I who raised the question if people from Germany can understand Dutch and vice versa. My point was that they could probably as well broadcast that programme in Sweden, Danemark and Norway (not to talk about Austria and Switzerland). If you can’t hear the difference between German and Dutch/Flemish, you can probably not hear the difference between these languages and e.g. Danish either.

I think that the behaviour of the McCanns has estranged some people. They seem to be a very special couple, especially the wife. I think that some of their actions after the event have actually been counterproductive, but then who am I to criticize a couple who have just lost their little child. I certainly think it is better when the next-of-kin fight to get the case solved (like also Gregory Mercier’s father) than when they seem not to care.

10-14-2013 at 00:55:38

@Lars, I did say the same to you earlier.

The differences are two fold, their child in their eyes has been abducted and could still be alive. Mollier, a grown man with a past is dead. I’m not sure that the two are comparable, there is of course the case of the Needham child in Greece, why hasn’t 5 million been spent on that – I could pose an answer, it is all about social class.

In the former there is a continuous search, my husbands first son died at the age of 10, after falling out of a tree during a school vacation, I know what parents ‘dead’ eyes look like.

I’m sure if it were to happen today and not in 1979, there would be legal action to sue those that were in charge, life is a risk, there are no guarantees.

We are all onlookers, voyeurs, it is easy to criticise the actions of the family, silly thing is if they spoke out I reckon it would kill speculation and instead install a feeling of empathy in us.

10-14-2013 at 08:31:02

Morning to all. (Celeste here)

I am sitting on the RER C going to a lecture an hour from Paris.

My nan lived in Portugal for 6 months and she did not like it. She said sun is not everything in life, and Marilyn can tell you something about sun too.

Of partie civile. When a person files a partie civile it is in consultation with a lawyer. In France everything is in consultation with a lawyer or a person will become entangled with the law.

When a partie civile is filed the person doing so must state what he or she has lost financially because of the death of the relative or husband/wife/lover or friend. The examining magistrate and the prosecutor must then approve that amount on negotiating with the ‘claimant’ and can knock the amount down, or increase it. The prosecution therefore knows what the ‘claimant’ is demanding all along, but it is not made public in court. After the verdict has been given, the prosecution retires to a side room at the court and decide if the claimant has a right to reparation. When they have made their decision the court is called back and all the people walk back in (the public in the gallery) and the judge announces the amount of the reparation. Then, starts the struggle to get the money from the sentenced person. All of this may take a very long time. Therefore, probably in 10 years you’ll be still discussing this case here.

In the case of Toni Musulin who stole the 11 million euros from Loomis and who is now again a free man when he spent just 3 years in prison of the 5 years sentence, Loomis can now sue him for reparation to get out of him the 2.5 million euros which are still missing. Or the insurer of Loomis can do this.

I must now say goodbye until tonight.

10-14-2013 at 08:58:14

Bonjour, bonjour!

Obviously in this case, the families would’t be looking first for damage money, but more for explainations so they can gradually complete the painful process of closure.

10-14-2013 at 09:17:25

@ Lynda

One question since you’ve studied the topography very closely:
From where they were standing, could the 2 builders actually see the intersection of route du Moulin and route Forestière? Would they know if a vehicle had been traveling on the former?

10-14-2013 at 09:26:58

Good Morning!


I can answer for Lynda. No they couldn’t since the intersection lies on a whole other level (lower), the road is turning, and there is a lot of vegetation in the way. See Alex’s video after around 5 minutes.

10-14-2013 at 09:28:58



I wonder then if there is any possibility for the next-of-kin to be able to read the dossier without becoming a ‘partie civile’.

10-14-2013 at 09:33:05

Here’s one for you.

Was reading (and watching) about the JonBenét Ramsey murder in Boulder, Colorado (USA). Also known as the “beauty queen murder” or “pageant queen murder”. You may recall it.

It’s a long story !
But what a cock up the Boulder Police made.

The “case focus” was the parents. And that was that.

The police “forgot” to look into the 100 or so burglaries in the neighborhood in the months before JonBenét’s murder.

And that 38 registered sex offenders were living within a 2mile radius of the family home.

Had they done so……

Not withstanding, the Boulder police were “convinced” it’s the “parents what’s dun it”…..much to the dismay of the District Attorney who refused to indict them (this after a lead investigator on the case resigned. He couldn’t believe had badly his own department could run an investigation).

It just shows you how badly “wrong” an underfunded and badly run “police department” can fudge things up.

The killer(s), one of whom is believed to have committed suicide (which looks to be a murder) have not been caught (although it is believed the name (his) is widely known).

Will Boulder police seek help from the State of Colorado ?
Looks like they won’t.

The murder has also been linked to an early attempted kidnapped of a child in the area which happened prior to this murder. Again, that was overlooked.

10-14-2013 at 09:49:22

@ Lars

Thanks. So, if I understand correctly, they couldn’t tell which route a vehicle had used/was about to use, but they yet could monitor all traffic going up to Martinet or coming down from there? Since they were way up from that intersection, am I right?
Cause I always found it odd that they should only mention seeing Saad’s car passing by, but none of the other traffic (4×4, X5, motorbike, bikes, etc..)
Or is it just another case of being “economical”?

10-14-2013 at 09:51:29

@Eugene and thanks Lars, which is why the speculation over whether they went up to Le Martinet after passing the builders or took the hairpin to the lower route du Moulin, which conveniently ends up by the ‘photo’ house.

10-14-2013 at 10:01:19

EM stated that they have ‘1 man full-time working on SM side’

Now, is that the ‘best man’ they have got? Or Mr average (MRA)? To me it looks like ‘You do Ugine, we go party in London, The Hague, Paris, Geneve, Iraq, USA … etc’ 🙂

EM is stating they ‘made dozens of interview on the SM side’

(notice how good EM is with saying how ‘hard’ they work … I’m NOT interested in ‘hard’ work. Hard work means you are doing something wrong (unless you are a farmer or so). You have to solve this by THINKING, not ‘hard work’)

ANYWAY … EM states they made dozens of interviews … BUT … (pay attention) … these interviews did NOT surface the LR 2 SM phone call!!!!

Because that phone call surfaced when they were checking for mobile phone traffic. They were checking for SAH(!!!) specific phone calls!! They were not banking on discovering ‘something SM’. I am 99,9% sure of this.


– They have only 1 man on the SM job
– He, with all the ‘hard work’, was not able to e.g. surface the LR 2 SM call
– Only by PURE LUCK, this call surfaced
– And our ‘hard working’ lad does another interview and concludes …

…. the call was about ‘new shoes for the kids’

Jeeeezzzzzzzzz, Lol


MRA: ‘Nice box … Old?’
X: ‘Yeah, vintage’

(picks up the box and shows it)

X: ‘Belonged to my grandfather’
MRA: ‘But, it is empty. What was in it?’
X: ‘A gun’
MRA: ‘Old gun for sure?’
X: ‘Yep, vintage.’
X: ‘My granddad always referred to it as my LL’
MRA: ‘LL?’
X: ‘Lovely Luger’
X: ‘On cold winter evenings he told the most fantastic stories of him and LL’
MRA: ‘Yeah, I know, I also had a grandfather like that. He went on an on about dreaming of being a super detective’
MRA: ‘One time he said to me … YOU will become what I always dreamed of … a great detective’

(silence, both men are thinking back of their happy youth)

X: ‘Another drink?’
MRA: ‘Ok, one for the road’
MRA: ‘And then back to the office for ‘some work” (winks)

(both men laugh)

MRA: ‘3 years to my pension’
X: ‘Ahhh … take it easy then’
MRA: ‘Sure, I mean this job is hard work you know. All these paper work etc.’

(back in MRA’s mind there is a ringing)

MRA: ‘Remember the Chevaline case’
X: ‘Chevaline?’
MRA: ‘You know … that killing not far from here, Hmmmm … 10 years ago’
X: ‘… hhhmmm … Ohh THAT killing’
MRA: ‘Never solved. And I was on it’
MRA: ‘THAT was my chance to become a super detective.’
MRA: ‘Travelling to all corners of the world to solve BIG cases’
MRA: ‘But, no, my boss said I had to stay in Ugine … doing the paperwork’
X: ‘You did well.’
MRA: ‘Yeah, they were looking for some gun.’
MRA: ‘To all corners of the world they went. Even Iraq or Iran or … I don’t remember’
MRA: ‘They never found the gun’


MRA: ‘My boss said it was possibly in North Korea. Because he was unable to visit that country …’
MRA: ‘… so he said, it has to be in that country’


MRA: ‘Hmmm … he worked very hard, my boss’
X: ‘He sure did’


X: ‘Never solved you said? … that Chevaline case’
MRA: ‘Nope, never solved’

(finishes his apero)

MRA: ‘Well, must go back to the office’
X: ‘Take it easy, and come again, if you pass by’

(MRA leaves)
(X closes the box, and taps on it)

X: ‘Now, where did I put LL again?’

(X goes to the cupboard and opens a drawer)

X: ‘Ahhh … there you are …. my Loverly Luger’

– M

10-14-2013 at 10:06:19


They could definitely not see the intersection from where they were.

They could of course monitor all traffic on Route de Chevaline, because they were at that road.

To see the traffic on Route du Moulin from where they were I think would be almost impossible. There are probably places at Route de Chevaline or in houses at that road where you might get a glimpse of Route du Moulin but there are many buildings and vegetation in the way. You can see that e.g. by using Google Streetview or Alex’s video.

I guess you could be lucky and standing at the right place on Route de Chevaline and look in the right direction just as a vehicle passed “a hole” in the vegetation and between the buildings on Route du Moulin.

10-14-2013 at 10:07:24

@ Lynda

All this remains very unclear to me.. Wish I could do like Alex did and spend a full day there! Maybe next spring..

10-14-2013 at 10:11:03

If you want to hear what ‘grand enquêteur criminel Jean-Marc Bloch’ says about the importance of reading the dossier for a family of a murdered person, you can listen after 33 minutes in:

10-14-2013 at 11:18:55


“… these interviews did NOT surface the LR 2 SM phone call”

Good point.

I assume LR was spoken to after these murders, which means either LR has lied to the police…and has later been found out.

Or LR originally told the police of her phone call to SM en route to the car park.
And that this was not reported.

If the former…. then WT* is going on !

If the latter “highly likely” that LR must have known where he was heading.
Which just so happens to be on the day of his murder.

Of course SM may not have told LR where he was….or SM could have told LR he was “somewhere else”…..

…..but with just “one man” on the case, he can’t ask for help from the “team” as the “Jolly Boyz outing is currently heading Londonshire with a case full of Brown Ale and 18 pork pies” !

I await news of the “serious crimes case review team”, which must be chomping at the bit !

10-14-2013 at 12:34:37


Re ‘Or LR originally told the police of her phone call to SM en route to the car park. And that this was not reported.’

This is not how I see/understand it. JMD in LP reported that the LR2SM call was discovered through ‘analyses of mobile traffic’

Your (valid) suggestion can only be explained if LR told the police and the police themselves thought it of no importance, and then OTHER police uncovered the call again through analyses and mentioned it. … But this is not how it went (according to JMD in LP). Afaiu it went like:

– LR said/mentioned nothing
– Investigators uncovered the call
– They interviewed again LR about it
– LR said ‘I forgot to tell, thought it was not important, was about the shoes of the kids’
– Investigators buy this explanation

????? 🙂

Now suppose Zaid had called SAH minutes before SAH was shot. And Zaid had told the police ‘Well, I did not tell because it was about his birthday present, and I thought it was of no importance’

What do you (all) think would have happened?


– M

10-14-2013 at 13:22:31


To support your claim (and I need to re check the fact) but was it not also mentioned in the “latest” press conference given that mobile phone calls taken that had taken place in the area had been/were being checked.

An “unusual” statement to release, in so much as the “checking” of mobile phone communications/transmissions/signals would be “par for the course” in any type of investigation of this nature.

I believe it would form part of the initial investigation.

Has this investigation suffered from the “initial focus” syndrome, that being Saad Al Hilli. Is it just incompetence on the part of the investigation team. Or is there something deeper going on.

Which came first, the chicken or the egg ?
The analysis of calls in the area which led to LR or did LR admit to the police that she called SM. I would imagine that is key.

We know Saad’s phone was recovered from the scene. There were many reports early on of this. Infact even the detail that a teacher from Claygate had called him.

…and Mollier’s phone ? Nada.
It would surely contain the “received call” data.
And that would be worth reporting. “The ex wife of the murdered cyclist called him moments before his murder” would read the strap line.

This is turning into a very “one sided” investigation…in my view.
The personal details of Al Hilli are aired in public.
And of Mollier. There is nada.

10-14-2013 at 13:43:36

@James and Max, I agree whole-heartedly ! The Al-hillis have been dragged through the mud, it is only now that SM is having such attention due to his ‘affairs’, of course Maillaud, wished to be discreet with regard to the Schutz Molliers, why wasn’t the Al-Hilli family accorded such dignity, not least his brother, Zaid, presumption of innocence has been sadly lacking.

@Eugene, I have found Michelin Maps Satellite the most helpful in ascertaining the roads and nature of them, Google Streetview is available up to the graffitti covered redundant sawmill via route du Moulin and route de Chevaline.

The builders said they weren’t followed, well not as they saw, nothing went up after them, the logical entry from Ugine is Moulin for SM, this appears to be the same route for BM but not obviously direct from his home, if he was out for a ride, there is no reason why he would just go up Combe d’Ire, could have cycled around for a bit to warm up.

Bossy said he used route de Chevaline, which would be at least 15/30 minutes after the BMW, so not ‘following’.

He also said early on that he didn’t see another vehicle, but did point out that the place could be accessed from Moulin.

And as Alex pointed out for a motorbike there are small tracks that eventually end up on another road parallel to Moulin, which by passes Claude Antoines home.

10-14-2013 at 13:47:58

@James Re ‘one sided’

I fully agree.

Imho it has to lead to renewed interest in SM, to start from scratch and turn over ‘everything SM’

I can even forgive EM and co to initially go for SAH, but when ‘dead ends’ are reached he simply has to review to ‘other pistes’ again and better.

EM made a fuss about the ‘Romanian calls’. A fuss in public. But this LR 2 SM call was not put forward to the public, although it was shared with a limited number of journo’s … so in a way EM is ‘on track’.

The question is: Does he want to bury this (again?) or does he use it (the call) to start to uncover ‘everything SM’?

– M

10-14-2013 at 14:10:07

@Lynda and @Max

I was just reading the early newspaper reports.
In looking back it is shocking to read what was reported.

EM on the 6th Sept 2012 gave a statement which was reported widely.
In this he refers to Mollier as “a passing cyclist”.

The die is cast.

Mollier is merely a passerby. He is in “the wrong place at the wrong time”.
And so with little or no evidence …but for the fact Saad Al Hilli was born in Iraq, had worked as a contractor for a “sensitive” company (along with few hundred other people) and his father had recently died and there was a dispute about money (family dispute over money ! Wow !) Saad became “Target Numero Uno”.

A year of “digging” into Saad and what have they got ? Not a sausage.
Which just makes the arrest of Zaid Al Hilli a complete joke.
Arrested, publicly humiliated and released…..and the French police have said nothing !

10-14-2013 at 14:12:21

One word. “FIASCO” !

10-14-2013 at 14:18:37


I’m sure Lynda and Lars are right on this Eugene: the builders could only vouch for what went up and down the Chevaline road. From Alex’ video, I take it that the Bewick? house they were working on is the smart, modern chalet-style one? on the left (the last in the village) with the Ducher farm opposite on the right. The intersection with route du Moulin is then a good few hundred yards further on. Alex then thoughtfully takes route du Moulin on his return journey, and as Lars says, you can see that it’s highly unlikely that they would have had any sightlines over to the lower road. Possibly, if they were working on the roof?…or I suppose the sound of a car engine may just have carried over…?

I had to give this aspect of things closer consideration when I started to wonder if the ‘X5’ might somehow fit into all of this. As others have pointed out the ‘flower house’ sits further down the route du Moulin, and so it’s highly likely that the Al-Hillis have then returned back up this du Moulin route, unseen by the builders. This does then open up the possibility that they could have been followed…but it seems very odd that they should now have acquired a tailing vehicle, which, 15/ 20? minutes previously, as they were passing the builders, they didn’t have. For the scenario of a planned, targeted attack on the Al-Hillis that doesn’t seem to work in my view…unless our man somehow knows that’s where they’re headed, or preposterously, is using a tracking device…

What it could open up however, is the slim possibility of someone being so riled by the sight of the family enjoying themselves as they take their photographs by the ivy house. And maybe even speaking some Arabic with the mother-in-law? But that person would need to be carrying three magazines of forensically sterile bullets! as they happened across the Al-Hillis…

I find it very tricky….this business of whether the Al-Hillis were tailed up to Le Martinet…?

10-14-2013 at 14:50:45

@ partlucid, 10-14-2013 at 14:18:37

Ceterum censeo: Let’s not forget our Nigerian friend Abiodun David John.

If Nigerian John had installed software such as this
on Saad’s smartphone, he could have tracked the Al-Hillis from the comfort of his living room – or from a BMW X5 just out of their sight.

I wonder whether police ever asked where he was on 5 September 2012, or whether he had ever met ZAH?

10-14-2013 at 15:42:34


I’m not much of a one for modern technologies Peter, but presumably the police would be able to tell very? quickly – from Saad and Iqbal’s? mobile phones – whether they had been monitored in this way…?

And surely these monitoring devices can’t be installed by simply keying in a phone number? Please tell me that a crook would at least have to get hold of the phone physically!!…or am I being terribly old-fashioned here..?

And would the thing really transmit straight to a car’s sat-nav map? That really does seem other-worldly: the idea that, armed with a simple mobile phone number, a common criminal could then easily follow a target’s exact movements on the dashboard of his own vehicle….!!??

10-14-2013 at 16:10:12


(as I posted some time ago) I retraced this ‘SM collateral’ idea. Shocking to see that EM ventilated this idea within 16(!) hours of the killing.

It was written down by LeMessager on sept 6th 08h00

‘Sept 6, 8 heures : Quant au cycliste, retrouvé lui aussi mort à côté de la voiture, c’est son épouse, inquiète de ne pas le voir rentrer de sa promenade à vélo, qui a donné l’alerte mercredi 5 septembre au soir, sans avoir fait le rapprochement avec la tuerie de Chevaline. Elle s’est donc présentée avec une photo de son époux auprès de la gendarmerie d’Ugine, les militaires ont rapidement fait le rapprochement et son époux a été clairement identifié comme étant la quatrième victime de la tuerie. Il se serait trouvé là “au mauvais endroit, au mauvais moment”, explique le procureur Maillaud.’

… say no more:)

– M

10-14-2013 at 16:15:09

@ partlucid, 10-14-2013 at 15:42:34

Typing in the target’s phone number does not suffice, one needs to install the spyware on the target’s phone. However, that is not difficult and does not necessarily require physical access. Sending the target an e-mail with a malicious attachment or containing a link to a malicious website might suffice. Also, we are told that Saad had taken to recording all his phone calls. Doing so requires an add-on “app” to augment the phone’s capabilities. If that app was malicious, it might have contained lots of unwanted extra functions as well 😉

As for the rest, how these programs work once installed, I suggest you look at the documentation (sorry, but their explanations are more comprehensive than any that I could give). Mobilstealth is a subscription service where you, as the “hacker”, pay for an account allowing you to access the target’s phone from any device of your choosing (another smartphone, a notebook, tablet etc.) in real time. This has the benefit of hiding your identity from the target, as the target’s data are transmitted to mobistealth first, where you then access them. In other words, there is no direct connection between your own device(s) and the target device. Other, competing spyware works slightly differently.

Anyway, the point is, one doesn’t need to be a technical wizard these days in order to be a “hacker”. RATs (Remote Access Tools) for both smartphones and personal computers are freely sold over the Internet, any fool can buy and use them.

As to whether the police would have spotted the presence of such malware on Saad’s phone, I’m not sure. Common-or-garden mobile-phone forensics
are all about retrieving all the user-generated data from the phone (call logs, address books, diary entries etc.). Their focus is not on the installed software packages, and I very much doubt that they test system integrity. Whether they would have spotted outbound traffic from the target phone to whatever device was harvesting the data would probably depend on the malware settings, how cleverly it erased its traces.

10-14-2013 at 16:32:01

@Peter, I’m still learning something every day on this blog !

We know from previous comments that position via an ISP can be put wherever, can a text message be sent from a computer to a mobile phone, and make it look like mobile to mobile ?

10-14-2013 at 17:09:59


So here, CS is anxious and concerned.
And takes a picture to the police (station).

Amazingly that was in the evening of the 5th.
By 8.00am of the 6th EM is satisfied with his investigation of SM and announces to the world that SM has nothing to do with the “incident”.

We can take it that he decided this on the 5th. The news published on the 6th.
Amazing police work.

Maybe EM decided before he even knew it was Mollier !
“He looks French. He is not involved”.
Maybe EM knew Mollier !
“He’s Mollier. He’s not involved”

So going back to CS.
She is anxious. She is concerned.
She must have called SM then ? She must have called several times ?
Clearly he couldn’t answer. But when did she become anxious.

I did read somewhere that the mayor had gone with CS to the police station.
The mayor was also out walking….and at the scene. He’s a busy mayor.
Did the mayor know Mollier …and where he lived ? It’s a small town afterall.

I may have to dig through early reports and interviews. I guess more information on this will be in French as he was a local man.
It would be interesting to see what was said at the time..given hindsight.

10-14-2013 at 17:17:14

@ Lynda, 10-14-2013 at 16:32:01

I hope that I’m not putting any naughty ideas into the readers’ minds 😉

As to your question: Yes, there even are legitimate applications for doing so. “Desktop SMS” services are used to send out SMS in bulk over the Internet: to all employees of a company, for example.

Dodgier services also allow you to “spoof” a mobile caller ID of your choosing when using their Internet gateway:

You can also “spoof” your caller ID when sending an SMS from your own mobile phone:

10-14-2013 at 17:35:31


I have fairly strong confirmation that CS raised the alarm (donné alert) at around 17h00.

How she could become alarmed at such a short notice is A BIG MYSTERY!!! I have the feeling it is tied in with the EQUALLY MYSTERIOUS ‘LR to SM phone call’, just minutes before SM was shot.

The 3rd mystery is that NO JOURNO seems to be bothered (at the extreme improbability of these facts:)

– M

10-14-2013 at 18:57:53


Just done some basic calcs on varied distance and varied average speeds over approx 20kms

It ranges from being 40mins late to 5mins late.
But as you say, CS “is alarmed” around 1700 and takes action.

We have passed through “concerned”, through “anxious” and we are at “taking action”.

All this talk of “tracking” devices. Was Mollier being tracked ?
No signal from 1540 ?
Static signal from 1540 onwards ?
Signal way off somewhere and moving further away later than 1540 ?

Then again “find my iphone” app needs to connected (wifi or phone signal) for it to work.

And the neat little feature on “find my iphone” is that you can wipe it remotely. Is that why they had to analyse data from “masts” ? The phone got wiped ?

10-14-2013 at 19:19:58

@ James, Max

Before becoming alarmed, CS would have tried to call SM, I assume. He had his phone on him, and she must have known that. Cellphone network reception in that area is bound to be patchy, thus not being able to reach SM would not have sufficed to turn her disquiet into “alarm”, would it? She would simply have assumed that he was cycling through an area without network coverage.

What could have alarmed her would have been the phone ringing and ringing, but SM not answering (assuming that he was the type of man who always dutifully answers his phone).

Assuming that she had some way of tracking him remotely, seeing that he didn’t move from the Martinet for more than a few minutes, longer than it takes to answer nature’s call or fix a flat tyre, would also have alarmed her – possibly for different reasons: what is he doing there? Whom is he seeing there? That sort of thing, the sort of suspicion that would have made her get into her car and go looking for him. And she would obviously have known exactly where to look for him …

10-14-2013 at 19:28:33

I also have wondered at the speed of claires decsion to alert the police to SMs late return. Surely she would have phoned him a few tmes before doing that at 5pm.
Although I am sure the news of the murders spread rapidly into the villages around the scene – native tomtoms put france telecom to shame.
She would have known he could be involved.
Wonder why the exwife didn’t tell the kids until after bedtime. They are not young kids, why did they not know already like everybody else?
Had SM already been threatened? Sounds like it. The women both knew it.
Why did the schoolteacher from claygate phone the dad? Because the daughter was out of school illegally. Im puzzeled why that family was on vacation when school had just resumed, very irresponsible.
And really why did the brother phone so many times to Roumania? strange!!!

10-14-2013 at 19:29:42

A brief postscriptum: apparently, one-third of women regularly snoop around on their partners’ smartphones. With SM being a noted philanderer, and she just having given birth, CS might have felt that going through his call logs and SMS was not enough (particularly so as smart philanderers always delete call logs and SMS), that something a little more robust was called for on the snooping front.

As we have seen, there are apps for that, affordable, user-friendly apps that any idiot can use. Installing such an app on a boyfriend’s smartphone also couldn’t be easier, as she has physical access to it.

However plausible all that may sound, the fact remains that our Nigerian friend targeted Saad, and that Saad’s smartphone was the most likely attack vector. In that case, we would be faced with another incredible coincidence: two men who both feared for their lives, and who both possibly had their phones diddled with.

10-14-2013 at 19:35:13

@Peter @Max

The phone of Mollier’s is becoming a tad central.

1. It has never been mentioned by the police, unlike the phone(s) of the Al Hilli family.

2. it was reported (however may not be true) that the body of the deceased Mollier had been searched.

3. The call analysis announced by police.

4. The call to Mollier by his ex wife on the afternoon of his murder

5. The concern which turned into anxiety of Claire Schultz. This would have meant that Claire had indeed tried to call him

10-14-2013 at 19:48:31

RE partie civile

Le JDD 28 oct 2012

« Deux mois après les faits, seule la famille du Savoyard s’est constituée partie civile dans cette affaire.».

10-14-2013 at 20:54:09

@James, Max, the most recent article says that his companion called him, so the LR phone call revealed by Le Parisien, another call from CS, with him saying the same to her, he’ll call back.

I’ve posted this already, did LR call the house, first, then his mobile, then CS calls his mobile, when he doesn’t return the call to the latter after a further hour tries again and again and then nearer to 17:00 she goes looking for him.

Whether she had heard of the drama, supposedly she hadn’t, it is the ‘maire adjointe’ a deputy, who told her that it was Mollier, this was after she’d been to the police with the photo.

From what I understand it is part of a Mayors job, to inform one of his people of such things, by co-incidence he knew Mollier and was able to tell the story of what sort guy he was and that he didn’t belong to a cycling club.

He is a deputy mayor of Ugine, I forget his name, in the English version of terms, not the ‘Deputé Maire’, meaning the Mayor and a Member of the National Assembly, for those of you tha understand the difference.

10-14-2013 at 21:04:09
10-14-2013 at 21:13:12

How strange….

A serious incident….and “the knock on the door” comes from The Mayor.

I would imagine this isn’t the case in “less rural” France, which makes it all the more strange. There appears to be no “straight forward and agreed” process with regard such an incident.

Whilst I can appreciate that “more rural” areas of the world operate in many different ways, this is “Western Europe”.

And moreover, this is the start of a “serious crime”. A murder inquiry no less.
In so much as the “murderer is often known to the victim” then you would expect that (at least) a police officer would be engaged to perform such a task….if only to establish, confirm or take note the reaction of the next of kin.

10-14-2013 at 21:26:06

@Peter your 16.15

Thanks for that Peter, this techo-stuff really is beyond me to be honest. Do you have any knowledge of thugs or hit men using these kind of gadgets to go about their trade?

And I know you’ve been of the ‘feral psychopath’ persuasion from the outset? (and I still have one foot fairly firmly planted there myself)….but do I just sense a hint of wavering on your part….

….in your view could the Al-Hilli car conceivably have been tailed up the road by an evil ne’er-do-well…?

10-14-2013 at 21:26:31

@James, I know that the Mayor of our village is tasked with informing next of kin, he told me so.

Nothing to do with this case, but something that happened here a few years ago, he is also the one who would turn up in the event of flooding or fire, often being responsible for the re-housing of people, if necessary.

I doubt if this applies in bigger cities, but of course there are many mayors in Paris, so maybe it does.

James, your observation is a good one, unless of course Mollier was already ‘in the wrong place and the wrong time’, before the knock on the door……. as you say he was by the next morning.

Have you seen what was said on the 5th, I think he spoke to camera twice, once in the afternoon/early evening and then after dark, maybe after Zeena had been found. I’d have to check.

10-14-2013 at 21:42:38


It is a good article. It does make me think.
I can see how the mayor would work in such a town. Like a privy council or a church council of a village.

One thing which does strike me is that the Deputy Mayor becomes almost like a spokesman for the family. I suppose it is better than “Sky News” sticking a camera in a neighbours face and asking “what was the victim like”.

However the article does portray a “close knit” society. One which may easily “close down” to outside interest ?

But what does it say of Mollier ? A shy man. Had a love of cycling. Concerned about his form with regard cycling. a devout family man.

Is that Mollier ?
The recent article paints a different picture (but that is just an article. Is it true).
Could the older LP article be saying “here is a man obsessed with cycling”.
And “here is a man that followed his father into the metal bashing trade….and stayed there until he could take three years off”.

Is this a man concerned with himself. His own pleasures. And easy life ?
One so good, why did he not have a racing licence ? His age ?

Or is there something else ? We know little of him. Whilst Al Hilli has his life aired and devoured by “the public”.

Eric seems to have a lot to answer for.

10-14-2013 at 21:58:15


Thanks for the info about ‘partie civile’, an information I think we have missed earlier. Merits a mention in the summary I think.

10-14-2013 at 22:43:09

@ partlucid, 10-14-2013 at 21:26:06

By now, I must have espoused every single halfway-plausible theory on the case, and perhaps some not-so-plausible ones. The “feral killer” merely is my favourite du jour.

As to whether the AHs were tracked up that road, they certainly could have been. This supposition seems all the more likely because I’m convinced that Nigerian John had somehow breached one of Saad’s electronic devices, with the smartphone being the most likely candidate. Upon the other hand, it beggars belief how a small-time crook, albeit one with a degree in communication systems technology, could be in league with professional (or at least paid) hit men. Usually, these are very different criminal career paths 😉

Regarding actual examples of tracking technology being used, I’m aware of several cases in which hit men have attached dedicated GPS tracking devices to their victims’ cars. This is fairly routine. Insofar as “breached” smartphones are concerned, I am solely familiar with the obverse: criminals being extremely wary of smartphones and their capabilities being used against them. If you think about the masses of data that these devices routinely gather, and how that information could be used or misused (for example, many smartphones use their acceleration sensors to figure out whether or not the owners are sleeping, in order to save battery power), the information is far more granular, and the phone far more vulnerable to attack, than old-fashioned “feature phones.” These days, even teenaged criminals take the batteries out of their mobile phones before they get up to anything untoward.

10-14-2013 at 22:44:27

I am constantly interested in how the police/gendarmerie in Haute Savoie work.

Looking at several not closed murder cases in haute Savoie there is also a mystery concerning the police.

In both the Magalie Part murder as well as in the Gregory Mercier murder the families complain that police spent all their time on the Flactif murder, and had no time left for other crimes.

In the Flactif murder case the police put in all their resources and used different kind of experts to solve the case, which they subsequently also did. It was a gathering of all forces.

From a cynical point of view I can understand that the gendarmerie did not spent any forces on Magalie Part, a nineteen year old working class girl, or Gregory Mercier, a young homosexual man, when they could spend it on the Flactif case, a high profile case discussed over entire France.

In the Mercier and Part cases the police made one mistake after the other. They started by making no real investigation of the crime scene and continued