In three days it will be a year since this shooting at the place named Chevaline here in France and in which four people died and a child was severely injured. Without it being the intention I have started an on-line discussion about this foul slaughter of ‘innocent’ people which, alas, remains unsolved. One of […]

In three days it will be a year since this shooting at the place named Chevaline here in France and in which four people died and a child was severely injured.

Without it being the intention I have started an 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 in that thread, but would have to come to comment here on this thread.

You can also read down below what I’ve written about this case up to today and the very interesting comments 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


Saad Al-Hilli

Saad Al-Hilli









Marilyn Z. Tomlins

817 Responses

9-2-2013 at 09:00:19

Oh, am I first at the party ? 🙂

9-2-2013 at 09:05:07

Thanks Marilyn for the new thread and the links in the introduction above!


Yes, E-Maillaud’s conclusion about Mollier is incomprehensible and never explained. But there are people looking in that direction, it’s just that they are not in the official investigation. 😉

9-2-2013 at 09:12:52

Good Day!

Lars, beat me to it this morning. But I can be forgiven because I did have to open this thread and close the other one and all that.

Let us see if the murder will be solved in this thread. It is the 13th and maybe this time it will be a lucky number.

Speak later.

9-2-2013 at 09:35:42


I think it is very suitable to start the 13th thread after 1 year. It means that we have filled, in average, 1 thread/month.


I think you should also take into consideration the possibility that Brett-Martin is not telling the whole truth, but the ONF-guy is. After all we have never heard the ONF-guy’s version, thanks to the secrecy of the French legal system.

I know I have been fighting a “one-man-war” regarding Brett-Martin’s credability, but I still don’t find that man reliable. I have met to many people with the same type of background as Brett-Martin and they do not behave like him.

9-2-2013 at 09:44:07


A possibility could for instance be that Brett-Martin did see the ONF-car, but he never met it on the road. He could e.g. already have passed the point where the ONF-car entered Route Forestiere. He heard the car, turned his head around, and saw a car a bit away, disappearing in the direction of Chevaline. That could also explain why he couldn’t describe the car at all, he never saw it close up.

Why would Brett-Martin twist his testimony in that way?
That could also be a question.

9-2-2013 at 10:16:14

@Lars Re: BM credibility

I have problems with BM´s credibility, too. I found the whole interview, although obviously staged, not very credible. But what do we have at the moment. So, its better to assume he´s telling the truth for now.

@Max: Eric Clouseau logic

being an engineer by training myself I do not find any logic in EM´s doings at all, but I learned to live with it since I always tell myself: “he knows ore, but he can´t tell us”. I must admit that this argument is getting weaker everyday 😉

@Lynda Re: french articles on chavaline

You know, unfortunately my french is very limited and mainly fuelled by my Latin from school. That´s why I´m always grateful if our fellow posters and commentators do the effort to translate the crucial bits of french citations (thanks folks)

@ Marilyn

Many thanks for the new thread and your excellent work for a year now. Much appreciated. (bend)


9-2-2013 at 10:32:07


I’m (currently) not interested in BM. I’m after ONF. If ONF speaks the truth then a RHD BMW X5 exists!!

And we are stuck with at minimum 4 unexplained elements

– X
– X5
– MC (cold de cherel)
– ONF coming foward only after days
Add to that
– BM vaguely remembering an 4×4 (and inho an X5 is NOT that kind of car)

If however I pose that ONF was transporter of X, then everything except MC (cold de cherel) fits.

Perhaps the MC guy BM saw (imho this is ‘Melvin’) holds a clue. If that MC saw an X5, ONF probably is in the clear.

But, you know, it is very hard to make all things fits if we do not have all the info/files.

I guess EM is also puzzled very much. Why else would he only launch a ‘X5 search’ after 9(!) months … wouldn’t this X5 be bloody apparent after 1-2 days??? How does it take 9(!) months to come to the conclusion that there was an X5 on RF between 1515 and 1530? Does not make sense and seems a desperate move to try to explain the unexplainable!

(well you can not explain this killing if you look in the wrong way)

– M

9-2-2013 at 10:50:10

@ all commentators with considerable knowledge in french

Anything new in here?


9-2-2013 at 11:14:51


Maillaud just confirms that the press conference will be in “salle de cour” in Palais de Justice, Annecy at 9:30 on Friday.

I guess it will be difficult to get in there. 😉

9-2-2013 at 11:53:49


thanks for your help and quick reply. At least EM “confirms” something 😉


9-2-2013 at 12:08:42

Great summary Lars. We seem to have covered every possible theory, frustrating that we may never know who was closest.
I still see the AH’s as the main target, if I was the killer and SM was my target, and after I shot him I then discovered the AH’s watching me, think I’d vanish as quickly as possible not even consider killing three more people, whereas if I had killed three and possibly think I’d killed four, one more probably would not faze me.

Can someone tell me why Melvin’s nickname was “the gentle giant”
I know some people have a problem with BM ‘s credibility I don’t, not sure if that is because I come from the same country as him, maybe it’s a cultural thing.

9-2-2013 at 12:39:00


Thank you!

I should perhaps have included the source for Melvin’s nickname. It stems from Le Journal du Dimance: Tuerie de Chevaline : les soixante dernières minutes, published 16 September 2012. You can find the link in the summary.

In that by article (by Thierry Boinet and Stéphane Joahny) Melvin is called “le jeune colosse”. I guess Melvin is big for his age (15). This was later translated as “the gentle giant”.

9-2-2013 at 12:39:14

“Les enquêteurs essaient en outre d’identifier la totalité des personnes entrées en contact avec la famille al-Hilli, ainsi que tous ceux qui ont déclenché un relais de téléphonie mobile près du lieu du crime.

«Cela représente des milliers de personnes», souligne M. Maillaud.”

translates to:

“Investigators are also trying to identify all the people that came into contact with the al-Hilli family and all those who activated a mobile phone near the crime scene.”

“That’s thousands of people,” says Maillaud.”

@Sarah, Melvin was described as being a big lad for his age (15 ?).

9-2-2013 at 13:18:26

I am not sure that Melvin appreciates his new nickname. 😉

9-2-2013 at 13:29:37

Thanks Lars and Lynda.
I’m another who is grateful for English translations, my schoolgirl French just doesn’t cut it.
Must have been another cultural thing where I read too much into Melvin’s nickname, or something I lost in translation, just would be an odd thing to call a large 15 year old boy a “gentle giant” here. Not quite sure how to explain where I’m coming from, so I’ll leave it at that.

9-2-2013 at 13:42:51

Just a test:

it is now 13:42 in France ….

9-2-2013 at 13:54:30


It is Monday until midnight when it will be Tuesday …


One would have to apply for accreditation to attend the press conference on Friday. I suppose all the UK journalists will be there.

I am taking it easy this week pretending I am on holiday in Paris. All day on Friday I will be in a town an hour’s train ride from Paris.

9-2-2013 at 15:19:50


As said, I am not sure that Melvin appreciated that nickname either. But I am not that French either so I have feel for how it is perceived by a French teenager.


Yes, I was a bit surprised that the article said nothing about accreditation. I wonder if the press conference will be in French or/and English. Will anybody understand anything?

You could otherwise be in a town a two hour’s train ride from Paris on Friday. 😉

9-2-2013 at 16:26:45


The English journalists will ask their questions in English, and the French one’s in French, and the answers will be given by the French investigators in French and by the English investigators in English. There will be interpreters who will do simultaneous translations.

No, Lars, I will keep my rendezvous one-hour from Paris and I will let my ‘informers’ in French Intelligence give me an update. (I am winking Lars.)

9-2-2013 at 17:50:00

Nothing like the old faithfuls. And the upcoming press conference has become one of them..

While most people would think the Chevaline killings and Princess Diana’s suspicious demise had nothing in common, surprise, surprise:

15 years apart, it just happened -as a mere coincidence- that the leading British journalist involved in first investigating both these stories for the public was the same person, namely Peter Allen. That’s what I call being born under a lucky star, or having exactly the right connections.. Nothing surprising, one might think: there aren’t that many permanent correspondents in France. Agreed.

But it doesn’t stop there. Both the Mercedes and the BMW were inspected by the same team at the Bois d’Arcy outlet of the French scientific Gendarmerie team. Maybe not the same technicians, but the same chain of command. Quite natural, some would say, they simply are the ones who handle high-profile cases. Granted.

Like I say, it’s just a small, small world when you come to think of it.. Like they say at Disneyland.

9-2-2013 at 22:22:32
9-3-2013 at 09:47:23

@ Lynda

Absolutely, absolutely. That’s probably why some people are called permanent correspondents.

@ Lars

Who knows how the happy few get accreditation for these venues. In any case, it will probably be just as interesting to assess who goes, or not, to the cemetery on this sad anniversary..

9-3-2013 at 12:26:29

sorry ive been off line again .
on Monday I had to buy extra tea bags 😉

the french press all showed up …pre-recording
for the big press conference in France on Thursday .

9-3-2013 at 12:48:13

Oh damnation. I just typed a comment and it disappeared because I’d touched a key on the keyboard which I should not have.

Anyway, I will recoup.

No, I am not late, I am on holiday and Paris is a helluva place for a holiday.



A newspaper or radio station or tv network applies for accreditation with Prosecutor Maillaud’s office and there is no reason why it should not be granted. If a freelance journalist applies for accreditation he/she will have to provide a press card, and there is also no reason why accreditation should not be granted.

Facilities will then be set up in the venue. Like electric plugs and so on. Also earphones for listening to the translations and microphones for asking a question.

Once telephone lines also had been installed but the cell/mobile phone has made this unnecessary. Further back even phone booths had been installed for the journalist to phone the copy through to his/her office.


I am leaning towards two scenarios:

(1) And old Luger was burning a hole in its owner’s hand, so he used it.

(2) Saad Al-Hilli was up to something. (My apologies Fat Bastard for saying this.)

re: Diana

The only comparison that can be drawn between the assassination of Princess Diana and her lover Dodi Al Fayed with that of Chevaline is that both took place in France.

This is the very last time I will mention Princess Diana on this blog, and I ask all of you to never mention her again. If you do, I will trash your comment.

9-3-2013 at 14:12:06


X and co want to kill SM


By faking an accident

What accident?

SM falling from RF into Combe d’Ire and e.g. breaking his neck … there was NO INTENTION to use the Luger and kill(!)

The plan:

(SM is directed to Martinet, a ‘new’route’) X stops SM at Martinet (with gun) and beats him or whatever and dumps him in the river faking an accident.

The failure:

X awaits arrival of SM but things go wrong when the AH’s stumble onto the scene. Perhaps with X overlooking AH, and probably with SM trying to escape on seeing X. Anyway, instead of using the Luger as pressure method, X looses it and starts to fire at SM. With no way back also the AH’s have to go.

Who are co?:

ONF as transporter drop-off or X (who is at Martinet on foot) and MC (col de cherel) as transporter pick-up


Both ONF and MC do not know of the massacre until well after the killing. Both obviously do not come forward. And X and co desperately device a ‘story’to get out of this mess

The cover-up:

ONF (who has been seen by BM and MC on RF) has to show up and talks EM into believing there is an X5 … and thus directs the whole massacre into AH/UK territory

Another detail:

The scenario explains a long standing problem to me. Namely if SM was SHOT, there would INSTANTLY be the search for X in circle SM. So how to avoid this? I did put forward the ‘mask’ theory before. But this ‘accident’ scenario is much better!

– M

9-3-2013 at 14:17:41

One small detail but difficult to explain fact is the 25 bullets (3 mags) X has carried. In the ‘accident scenario’ it is not necessary to carry that much ammo.

Being critical to my own scenario’s, the above ammo ‘problem’ is troublesome.

– M

9-3-2013 at 14:25:49

@Max re: your latest scenario

I must admit that I really love your creativity with new previous unexplored scenarios. Your latest one is really good, except for the very problematic execution of a staged “accident”. What if by chance SM would have survived such an accident and told somebody who the killer was? Once fallen down Combe d’ire its difficult and time consuming to climb down and make sure everything worked out as planned. I think that is a weakness of your scenario.

What I like is the “transporter not knowing what they get involved into” part. As you said it explains the late coming forward of ONF.

Regarding SM = target therefore X is instantly searched within circle of SM I want to state: I hope EM did exactly that, searching for X in the circle of SM, and I guess he came up with a couple of people with a good motive and the capabilites but with an “rock solid” alibi. So what shall he do? He has to wait until one of the potential X´s makes an error. That is more likely if X thinks EM is searching solely in the Al-hilli piste.


9-3-2013 at 15:33:46

@RiffRaff, didn’t Maillaud make a comment some months ago about having ‘luck’ or the killer make an error ?

I can’t see how that would apply to a foreign hitman.

Many months ago I put forward the motorcyclist on the Col de Cherel as being the pick up, maybe even the drop off, one seen above Martinet at 15:15 by the ONF, who couldn’t describe it !

Imagine if it is just one motorbike, shooed away by ONF, escorted from the Combe d’Ire, then has to do a double back to Jarsy (25kms) via the roads and up to Col de Cherel, seen before the zigzagging, having had enough time to tell the killer where to meet ? Somewhere along the track between Martinet and the Col. Of course that could always have been the plan, drop off and pick up from the other side.

According to Janin the motorbike at 4pm was going towards the Martinet, did it continue its journey, we assume it must have, met up with the killer, not knowing the scale of the massacre that had taken place.

Then left Les Bauges by any route available, since nobody appears to have seen it again, could even have pushed the thing or dumped it. Leaving on foot, maybe someone has said their motorbike was stolen that day to family or friends, maybe suddenly it was ‘sold’.

Complete speculation, as ever.

9-3-2013 at 15:42:47


You should open a thread on “Syria. The build up. The lies” !

I noted three frigates three days ago in the Eastern Med.
One Spanish. One Turkish. One German.
All three were displayed as “NATO”.
All were in convoy. All were heading West !

Today (it is said) that US and Israeli forces in the Eastern Med have conducted a missile firing test (?).

Today Medicine Sans Frontier are “disappointed” at the British and Americans usage of their (MSF) figures…and for the purpose that those figures have been used for.
It would appear that MSF reported casualties and fatalities of “a” chemical/biological attack. These numbers have been “ramped up” by the British and Americans.

Recently the British “” were not supported by the elected memebers of parliament in their (“”) effort to “standby the Yanks” and “have a pop at the Syrian military”.

More recently the American “” (after much behind the scenes rage) now will have to go to Congress to get backing to “have a pop at the Syrian military”.

Meanwhile the French “” have “balls up”.
Hollande already backed “” BEFORE they heard that they (“”) will have to put it to the vote before Congress (and chances are it will be “No”).
So will France stand alone ?
That is doubtful. Hollande is already making his excuses and is looking for an exit.

You just couldn’t make this up !

The “News” reports now have changed from “the dying child in the street post chemical attack” to…. “the rebels are jihadists”.

Now MSF (a highly respected team of dedicated professional without doubt) have made their statement…and directed at the British and Americans.
Is that Hollande’s “out” ?

John Le Carre would be confused !

9-3-2013 at 17:28:54

I’ve long been curious about the Denis Janin testimony, and particularly since coming across a French newspaper article where seemingly he’d seen no vehicle at all across his pastures that afternoon. That to me very much had the air of someone looking to deflect press enquiries. Either that, or perhaps even a nervousness about being seen to publicly finger somebody involved in a brutal killing. After all, they’d be theoretically very vulnerable up there in that mountain location.

Plus, wasn’t there some considerable speculation earlier on in the blog that his wife had maybe suggested he’d got the time wrong? by an hour?
Again, possible deliberate obfuscation? If a consistent timeline can be established from the Janin sighting (at 3pm?), to the ONF at 3.15, and then the Brett Martin one at around 3.35…then that would pretty much place the motorbike at the centre of events, no?. Unfortunately I haven’t yet been able to read the January Times piece which proposes the biker as the key suspect because of the paywall…

…and just to reiterate: I don’t for a second believe Maillaud’s story about the ONF ambling forward some days later, and not really offering very much. In a country where you can be prosecuted for leaving the scene of a crime, then it’s surely simply not credible that government agency? workers could so drag their heels in aiding their police ‘colleagues’. As was the case with the untruth about Sylvain Mollier being ‘lost’, I think Maillaud was looking to shield those parties from press intrusion and also minimise their part in the drama.

9-3-2013 at 18:01:41


I just read Reuters’ report on the missile test. It seems that while the Neros of the modern world are playing their fiddles those who do not abide by murderous dictators are making their plans. I will let you work out who I mean by what.

So those three frigates, as they were moving in a westerly direction, were getting away from the danger zone. Probably ordered by their respective governments to get the hell out.

Will France go it alone you ask? Could. Has the power. Sarkozy led in the West’s attack on Libya, remember. If Sarkozy had not said ‘we go in’ I would not now be writing these word here about Assad but about Gaddafi, because that bastard would still be at it.

When Assad’s father died all had hope that the son would be different. This had not happened. He makes his father look like Mother Theresa.

Did you see the pile of dead cats and dogs having died in that gas attack? This means that farm animals too had died and have such dead animals been buried or is Assad going to allow the meat to go into the food chain as good Halal meat?

9-3-2013 at 18:08:32


If Marilyn has your email-address and agrees I can distribute that article to you. We do that among our members.

9-3-2013 at 18:21:00

That would be extremely helpful Lars, thankyou. I haven’t yet congratulated or thanked! you for your excellent summary even although I’ve already been dipping into it. I look forward to trying to unravel Maillaud’s press conferences, although that will make some demands on my French, I’m sure.

Incidentally I came across some new photographs today on the SIPA site; and one in particular I thought was interesting because it appeared to show some police tape on the grassy bank immediately above and some yards beyond the biggish Martinet sign. On the overhead shots I’d always thought it significant that the tape only seemed to mark off just the car park itself, suggesting that all the shots had been fired within that one small defined area…but this new image today does maybe point to there having been some action outwith that perimeter. It could even suggest that the killer maybe approached the car park down that line of the walled-in stream…?

9-3-2013 at 21:17:58

@Lars … many thanks to the summary;)

@partlucid … do you have a link to those new SIPA images?

9-3-2013 at 21:30:18

I’ve read over the comments posted whilst I was away, it is Bacchus that interests me, he has written about the reconstruction, people hearing the gunfire.

Claude Antoine and I assume the builders (Fillon-Robin +1) and Paul Ducher the farmer heard nothing, I accept it is difficult to have all the elements the same, nevertheless, the implication is that a silencer was used on the day of the murders.

So what did Melvin and his father, Franck, hear ? And the rat-tat-tat as described by the lady on her bike ?

EM has written off a ‘random attack’, if you don’t know who did it, then to me a random attack remains on the table, maybe they have proof of a silencer used, which would go some way towards excluding this ‘piste’.

A deliberate act, against whom?

@Partlucid, are you able to ‘Tinypic’ the photos you refer to ?

@James, Hollande apparently may give a vote to the Assembly, not tomorrow after the debate, sometime in the future, no doubt AFTER Congress has voted.

I found this site when trying to understand what is going on:

I heard about the ‘Twelvers’ a few months ago, wanting to bring on the ‘apocalypse’ –

If Assad is overthrown, all Alawites will be killed:

I don’t think an attack on Syria will be helpful to overall ‘peace’, although I don’t have an answer either, did anyone pick up that Russia has placed an anti-sub ship and another vessel in the Med ? I’m pretty sure Assad doesn’t have any submarines …..

9-3-2013 at 22:18:54

Time to say : speak 2moro.

9-3-2013 at 22:37:53


Caution: the pictures might not be NEW to either of you, but they were to me. And I’m afraid ‘tinypics’ and even ‘links’ are a bit too sophisticated for a cave-dweller like me….however the following code seems to still bring them up. The photographer chappie appears to be a Doug Seeburg

I think there’s even a tiny chance that Max’s photo wizardries might further enhance our understanding of ‘the bike’ in image no 3…
(however no liabilities will be accepted on this claim)

9-3-2013 at 22:49:52

@partlucid and all

These photos seems new, 28 August 2013, showing Ian Horrocks here and there, studying “the barrier” among other things.


Do we have a subscriber to The Sun among our readers who wants to help me get behind their paywall and look at two articles?

You don’t need to be ashamed that you subscribe to The Sun. 😉
We can let you be anonymous.

9-3-2013 at 22:56:46

I guess those SIPA photos belong to the Sun article that Peter linked to above:

9-3-2013 at 23:09:37


Well spotted. Nbr 3 is indeed a ‘new’ image to me, slightly different angle. However, for now we have only the thumbnail

If a larger image pops up we could check it out for the bike. Perhaps Lars is right and maybe the image is used in the Sun article (behind paywall)

– M

9-3-2013 at 23:15:14

@Partlucid, great find, all photos dated 24th August, I wish I’d bought the Sun on Sunday, News of the World replacement, did anyone buy and see this ?

I purchased The Sunday Times and Mail on Sunday, bugger !

I wonder why none of the others have copied and pasted as usual ?

The tape appears to be a piece that was cut as it had previously traversed the road, funny that it should be there a year on, surprised that some ghoul hasn’t half inched it !

9-3-2013 at 23:30:52

The image is small, maybe my eyes are deceiving me, there is a grey rectangle lying partly on the flat bed to the rear ! But the ‘bike’ is still in view !

Think about the tarpaulin being opened up near the car, were they really going to carry that flapping about to cover the ‘bike’ at the top end of the clearing ?

That tarpaulin, grey one side, blue the other is the one that covered a bike on the truck.

Max, can you do anything with the photo ? I’ll ask around if anyone bought the newspaper, my brother is a likely candidate !

9-4-2013 at 00:02:42


We still need the electronical version to do anything with the photo. But it would be interesting to read the article.

The Sun only charge £1 for a month trial subscription, but I guess they pester you the rest of your life to continue to subscribe.

9-4-2013 at 00:21:30


If you google “Ian Horrocks” Chevaline, it brings up an Isopix site (the 4th listing on my screen) which allows a bigger image of the overhead shot.
In my opinion the bike is pretty conclusive in this enlarged shot.
Sorry I can’t provide a link; I tried the code but it wouldn’t work this time!!

9-4-2013 at 08:33:18


@Partlucid. Thanks for finding the photos. Ian Horrocks Chevaline indeed opens up, but the pix are too small unfortunately.


I would not want to be seen dead holding The Sun. Actually, my French fries refuse to be wrapped in it.

I can tell you this: when a British national requires medical treatment here in France, the doctors ask whether he/she reads The Sun and if he/she replies ‘yes’ the doctors refuse to treat him/her. The reason for the dislike of this particular newspaper is its anti-French stance. So whatever it writes about Chevaline will be twisted to the point of being totally incorrect.


Sorry about this, but I no longer want any mention of Syria on here. We discuss Chevaline here and I will tolerate the occasional mention of your grandfather’s ingrowing toenails, but no other subject can be discussed here.

Speak later. Warm and sunny here in Paris. So far no one has as yet mentioned ‘Indian Summer’ but no doubt soon someone will.

9-4-2013 at 09:34:04

@Marilyn, @Lynda.

Last year when I heard the news of the tragic events at the Martinet car park I did wonder if it had anything to do with the “situation” in Syria.

I guess the “details” that were released have that effect.
Is that just the “human” way of looking at the world we live in…and making two plus two equal 12 ?

Could the events at the Martinet car park be the actions of a “lone nut” ?

If it were (and it could be) then would the police not seek the assistance of the wider general public in providing information which may lead to his/her capture ?

It would seem Eric likes to publish the fact he has little help from the Romanian, Iraqi and even the American “authorities”.
In the early days of his investigation he also mentioned that he had received “scant” assistance from the U.K. police.
But what help has he received from the chevaline, Doussard, Ugine and Arnand people ? Or the wider French authorities ?

Maybe at the next press conference he will provide an insight into this.

Lynda noted above in her post that she believes a silencer was used that day. She notes the “witnesses” that didn’t hear anything.
I to believe that theory. And for the same reasons Lynda mentions.

Claude Antoine goes even further. He mentions that he did hear the reconstruction. This was also caught “on tape” in a press interview with a policeman.

If that is so (and it may not be) it indicates that the killer had come “prepared” to kill. And likely to kill in an “isolated”/quiet place.

Yet (it is said) Al Hilli went there “on the spur of the moment”. And Mollier was “lost”. The only people that don’t appear to be at the Martinet by mistake are Mr Martin and Mr Bossy (et all).
Will Eric shed any new light (trough old windows) on this ?
Moreover, will it be believed. Has Eric lost all credibility now.

Re Syria.

Marilyn, the frigates were indeed heading westward.
I can only assume they were previously “in harms way”.
They were indeed “flagged” as NATO ships (Turkish, Spanish and German).
Would a “counter strike” by Syria involve an attack on a NATO surface ship…? And thus bring NATO into the conflict ?

I understand that NATO were conducting manoeuvres in that area.
Also the Israeli and American navy.
And the Russian navy (Black Sea Fleet and Northern Fleet North Atlantic). No doubt the Syrian navy were there to.

Now that’s what you call “gunboat diplomacy” !
It’s crackers.

Like the Martinet, the Eastern Med is very busy….for an isolated spot !

9-4-2013 at 09:34:48


I guess that is the sort of message you give to your next of kin in case you die. No thanks, I don’t want to donate any organs and I certainly don’t want to be buried holding a copy of The Sun! 😉

9-4-2013 at 09:42:48


I just added a note to my Will. ‘Whatever you do, do not wrap me in The Sun’.


I also think that a silencer could have been used. Right at the beginning of our discussion I read up somewhere that a silencer can be fitted to a Luger but it will hamper its accuracy. That did not seem a problem in this case.

A’nut’ would have preferred firing in silence, so too would have a ‘hired killer’, and this too would have been the case if it had been a premeditated killing.


Anyway, we will know more (hopefully) on Friday after the press conference. I am really waiting to hear what Prosecutor Maillaud will say.

9-4-2013 at 09:44:04


Opps. My bad. The moving fingers writes…and having writ, moves on.

I was writing when you must have posted. Anyway, this Indian Summer thing…..?

And The Sun ! I’ll not have a bad word spoken about that newspaper.

It’s not “soft, strong and very very long” ….but in far flung places of the world, it’s more yielding and is easier to handle than say The Telegraph or The New York Times !!!!

9-4-2013 at 09:46:21

@James “would the police not seek the assistance of the wider general public”

No, the French police probably not (for reasons explained by Marilyn earlier), Maillaud and his team, certainly not. So far he has not asked for any help from the public in all the unsolved murder cases in Haute Savoie.

He has in all these cases kept everything around these cases as secret as possible.

To illustrate the difference in attitude in the European countries I can tell you about the murder of a young woman that recently happened in Norway. The Norwegian police are releasing the information they got, they are even going to manufacture exact copies of the clothes the young woman was carrying and show them to the public to get information from people who might have seen her before she was murdered.

9-4-2013 at 10:13:41

What will the killer do? The danger of holding a press conference.

Tomorrow is the anniversary. We know that E-Maillaud will hold a press conference on Friday. But what will the killer do tomorrow?

The killer might come forward and confess, or he might shoot a British journalist in Annecy with the same P06 Luger. A journalist who has come to visit the press conference on Friday.

Will be very bad publicity for Haute Savoie.

And what will E-Maillaud then say on his press conference?

9-4-2013 at 10:53:30

@ Lynda & all regarding the tape on the SIPA picture n°2:

Back from Corse – and still alive.

Tanned brown like a chicken wing, though.

No, I don’t think that tape was there in April.

Of course, one has to check on my video but I still think I’d have seen it if it was there.


9-4-2013 at 10:53:44

@Marilyn et al

If you click on the Isopix images they enlarge somewhat…

9-4-2013 at 10:59:12

@ Lars:

If I was the killer (which I’m not) I’d pick today:

although the *mathematical* anniversary is tomorrow, the *logical* anniversary is today:

today’s the school-free Wednesday afternoon just after school started yesterday.

Exactly like last year: school started Tuesday 4th, so right after that the presumed second day of school, Wednesday the 5th, was school-free.


9-4-2013 at 11:07:08


Great find!!!

I will see what I can do more. But with this picture we have another view on the ‘bike’

(if anyone can come up with an even better version, plz share that link)

– M

9-4-2013 at 11:15:23

@ partlucid:

Hell, that’s a bike there!

Control + Mouse wheel to enlarge if you’re on Windows, everybody.


9-4-2013 at 11:34:01

Yup Alex, that is a bike;)
Again, many thx to partludcid

I’ll hand all the following ‘puzzle’

The position of the bike in relation to the downed SM, the BMW tyre tracks, and the first volley of bullets (casings) … this all in relation to the image of the real bike

… makes me wonder

– M

9-4-2013 at 11:44:10


The link to the bike doesn’t open and I am having withdrawal symptoms here because I *have* to see it, so please help. I think I will be able to hang on to life for another 2 seconds but after that you will all be responsible for my demise.

9-4-2013 at 11:45:40

Can somebody upload that Isopix image of the “bicycle” to an image hoster, please? I am getting a 404 – file not found message when trying to view it.

As to what the killer will do on the anniversary, that depends on where he lives and how conventionally sane he is. If he is both local and a nutter, he will return to the Martinet – where I sincerely hope and trust the gendarmes will be waiting for him to show up.

9-4-2013 at 11:46:47


Who reads stuffy The Telegraph anyway? And who wants ‘soft’ anyway?

I am posting your frigate story on my facebook page. You will be identified as a pilot friend, and not by your name, so don’t worry.

I understand Putin nearly wet himself when he heard that the US had fired a missile in an eastern direction.

9-4-2013 at 11:48:49


I wonder who the guy is who is loitering outside my building? He has a oblong bag hanging over his right shoulder?

9-4-2013 at 11:52:46

Nothing really other than they have been unable to establish a motive.

@Max, the link comes up as an Error 404. And of course the Le Monde illustration, if it is indeed the bike, then they knew it when this was drawn up.

9-4-2013 at 11:56:20

This is the best I can do for you Marilyn, although you’ve probably managed to do that.

9-4-2013 at 12:04:56

Hello Alex,

It only occurred to me afterwards: given that the Sipa shots were (presumably) taken to accompany a story in the Sun, then can you rule out the photographer himself getting a bit creative with a length of tape?
I pretty much took those images yesterday at face value, and got rather excited when they appeared to increase my understanding of the site…!
I now think, one day on, that it’s unlikely that (a) the police wouldn’t have entirely cleared the site of all tape (b) as Lynda pointed out, that the tape would have survived a year of visits intact (even allowing for the possibility of a shrine mentality developing).

However what I think IS equally interesting about the Sipa shots – apart from the ‘bike’ confirmation – is that it seems to me that the photographer and the ex-detective are perhaps trying to highlight some of the actions or individual momemts from the sequence of the killings.
Thus we see some shots over the rocks from the killer’s perspective?, IH perhaps even taking the place of Sylvain Mollier by the ‘barrier’, peering oddly in 2 of the shots into that little tree-lined recess directly opposite the lay-by. I think I previously clocked that little spot in Alex’s film (must go back’n check) and I swear I had a grassy knoll goosebumps moment…

And it seems to me further that the part of the narrative that they’re mainly illustrating with this selection of shots…is the story of SM’s shooting. Could that be because they’re looking to sell the images on to French agencies, for example? Tellingly there are no shots offered of IH occupying the position of the BMW, for example, although I suppose that angle’s already been covered ad infinitum.

And if this twopenny little theory’s remotely close to what the pair/ trio! were up to…then why is there a shot of a cyclist, moving away from, and already at some distance from the Martinet lay-by? He’s actually positioned just beyond the far end of the previous, larger parking space.

9-4-2013 at 12:11:05
9-4-2013 at 12:13:29


the bike pic: googling “Ian Horrocks” Chevaline…brings up the Isopix listing (still the 4th one down this morning). If you then click on the small overhead shot it then expands to a 5×8″…

9-4-2013 at 12:16:01

As I have remarked before, the one advantage that the P06 has over more modern pistols is the ease with which it can be fitted with a suppressor. To fit a modern pistol with a suppressor, one needs to fit a longer barrel, the front of which is then threaded to take the suppressor. As there is no valid reason for purchasing a longer barrel other than fitting a suppressor, purchasing such a barrel *will* raise eyebrows.

With a P06, by contrast, it is a simple DIY job. File off the front sight blade, attach a muffler from a petrol-powered lawnmower or something like that (for example, Heineken produce limited-edition aluminium beer bottles that would be the perfect basis for a home-made suppressor) and you are all set. Thus, it may even be that the killer specifically chose the P06 because he wanted to use a suppressed weapon.

9-4-2013 at 12:25:37

It’s a bike. It’s a bike. It’s a bike.

Max, you were first and not only on this blog, but everywhere, to have shown this ‘object’ lying there on the road and that it was a bike.

Confirms to me: The shooting of the Al-Hillis were underway or had just ended when Sylvain Mollier reached the spot where his bike lies on the photo. Which means (1) the Al-Hillis were the targets. Either just Saad Al-Hilli or someone wanted to wipe out his part of the family: wife, children and then also mother-in-law because she was present. (2) a ‘nut’ with a Luger which was burning a hole in his right palm wanted to do some killing.


Thanks for the silencer info which you so professionally refer to as a suppressor.

9-4-2013 at 12:34:36

@Partlucid, the photo of the cyclist appears to be going downhill, check out the other photo looking back down and you’ll see the exact same trees and the slight landslip to the right.

It isn’t the hairpin bend.

I agree that the object does look like a bike from this angle, revealing the saddle and a small bag, normal, at the rear, maybe the light reflecting on the inner silvered wheels gives the impression of them being white in the other photos.

9-4-2013 at 12:43:24


That’s what I meant. That cyclist is moving AWAY from the car park, back down the road TOWARDS Chevaline. He’s just reached the ‘far end’ of the 2nd car park, the bigger one…so he’ll now be, what, maybe 15/ 20? yards from the final position of the BMW…

Of course this particular notion could be entirely wrong; it maybe doesn’t specifically relate to the shootings; perhaps the light and those contours were simply best suited to a shot of a cyclist…

9-4-2013 at 13:05:15

I already thought that it probably was the bike, and I think this “new” photo makes it even more probable.

Since it shows that Mollier almost had passed the lay-by when he was shot I think it indicates that the killer was quite a bit beyond the barrier when he started shooting.

It is actually an old photo, from 6 September 2012, so it is probably possible to find elsewhere.

Notice also the photo with 5 cars parked at Le Martinet.

9-4-2013 at 13:09:13


Welcome back from Corse (the birthplace of colonel Vinnemann)!
You may have survived but I have seen that they cut your hair. 🙂

9-4-2013 at 13:10:30

As I mentioned several times before, I don’t think we can solve this case by focusing on the crime scene clues since the most valuable ones are so far only held by investigating authorities who don’t share them with the general public. I would rather search for motives and study the victims’ background, thus excluding the lone nutter theory but this one doesn’t sound very realistic anymore.
Meanwhile, yes, looking at more hovering shots thanks to SIPA databank, it seems almost certain Mollier’s bike is to be seen next to the so-called barrier. After all, since he was riding his bike around the time of the attack, this cannot be a surprise. Is the location of the bike a major clue? Only if we assume it wasn’t moved by someone at any time after the shootings but before these pictures were shot. And this we have no way to know by now.
Would we believe that position of the bike remained unchanged in the aftermath of the shootings, I would then rather draw the opposite conclusions:
IF Mollier had reached the lay-by after or -worse- while the al-Hilli family was being shot at, it seems very unlikely that he would not have realized he was in jeopardy. He would have stopped and tried to turn back by the bottom of the lay-by, not by the top. Don’t forget the BMW in that theory already is at its final position, at the near end of the parking. So it sounds much more likely things went the other way around.

9-4-2013 at 13:20:42

@PArtlucid et al Re: Who was shot first

First of all: many thanks to partlucid for the bike photo. Great work.
Second, I think that as Max pointed out the position of the bike perfectly fits with the le monde ( scenario.

Assuming that a) ballistics teach the police that X came from the left heading to the direction of annecy and b) SM (and BM as well) went the other way round, and taking into account that SM almost had got past Martinet, I assume A) that SM was shot first. otherwise he wouldn´t have gone so far past the already shot al-hillis and B) X started shooting from an angle where he couldn´t see the parking BMW behind the bushes at the beginning and end of Martinet (that´s what we also learned from Alex video).

So I stick with my position SM=Target and shot first; Al-Hilli´s collateral.

But the position of the bike like thrown away and far away from SM´s first position (gefore being dragged by the BMW) is leading me to the idea, that:

New Scenario:
SM saw X, he knew him, he knew this is going to be trouble and jumped off his bike heading to the al-Hillis to – presumably – get protection by showing X “Hey, be careful, here are witnesses with women and children, which you wouldn´t kill, would you?!”. Unfortunately X was too determined for his plan and shot SM in the back while SM was approaching SAH from where he left his bike, then realising the SAH party and deciding to kill them too.

What do you think of that?


9-4-2013 at 13:26:33

The initial shots to the BMW were at the top end of the clearing, isn’t that what has been indicated by the shattered glass on the ground ?

Also Saad had Sylvains blood on his trousers, Zainabs thoughts on here was that it dripped from Brett Martins hand after he pushed in the already broken drivers side window, I’m doubtful.

So that being the case, Saad was outside of the car when Sylvain was shot, the bike according to Maillaud was as if it had been thrown, this could of course be just dropped. Either way Sylvain would not have deliberately laid down his bike with the front whell twisted upwards unless he was already in a compromised position.

Also, little Z’s comments that her father had grabbed her hand and told her to run, they were outside when the shooting or threats of shooting started.

Recall that Z had seen some horrific acts and heard her parents screams, the latter could have applied to the hidden child, as well.

@Eugene, I agree about the back stories, although what has anyone really been able to find out, a messy will and disagreement with the brother, an older man spending his girlfriends earnings, both families with political figures in the extended family.

Nevertheless, we are still left with the actual siting of the murders, not just Le Martinet, the region as a whole, that I still think is where the answer will be found.

Max, along time ago said, if you keep looking in the opposite direction, you’ll never see what is coming at you from the other way.

9-4-2013 at 13:31:13

From Lars ‘Since it shows that Mollier almost had passed the lay-by when he was shot I think it indicates that the killer was quite a bit beyond the barrier when he started shooting.’

I agree!

This slightly changes and eases my view on the matter also in relation to LM

Imho the first volley (casings) was from beyond the barrier (on the pont), also indicated by red tape limit

It could resolve a ‘problem’ I have with ‘AH running to his BMW’. I always thought AH was somewhere on the lay-by, and thus he would TOWARDS X if he wanted to get in his BMW … TOWARDS???? C’mon

But now, with X more far away, well beyond the barrier … this shifts my perspective, possibly as follows:

1. AH (and Z) was close to SM … at the position of the bike! (perhaps talking, whatever)

2. From way behind the barrier (hairpin) comes X

3. Whoever was the target (be it SM, be it AH) he smells trouble!

4. AH runs towards the BMW, and SM runs away (what else could he do)

5. This while X starts firing (still from behind the barrier position)

Note that AH’s run possibly is partly under cover by the isgn, while SM dash in direction Chevaline is a straight line away from X. But X has a better view on SM and perhaps that is why SM was shot and down first.

In this way I guess SM should have been shot in the back!

SM is downed at the position where he later is hit by the escaping BMW and is dragged.

Of course above will also raise some questions:

– Were AH and SM indeed ‘cluttered’ together (talking perhaps)?
– And if Yes … why? (why would SM stop there, at the barrier?)
– I seem to remember the airpump (Jeez, never thought it could be a clue;)
– Why would X come from that far away?
– In this scenario I’m not certain of a real target anymore
– What is with the Luger ‘fragment’?? (supposedly found near the bike)

What a ‘puzzle’;)

– M

9-4-2013 at 13:35:37

Of corse “Corse” is “Corsica” in English and not “Course”.



9-4-2013 at 13:39:39

@ Lynda

This looks exactly like what’s happening to Inspector Clouseau’s theories. But we might have a nice surprise day after tomorrow. Why not?

9-4-2013 at 13:42:39

@ Alex

Good job. The French like the language pun: ” Of Corse. Chef-Lieu Ajaccio”

9-4-2013 at 13:57:52

Yes there are a number of languages used here. Could be confusing at times. But then we usually don’t translate names like Jean-Pierre Maire to Jean-Pierre Mayor. 🙂

9-4-2013 at 14:28:02

@ Lars:

Or to “Hans-Peter Schulze”, for that matter in German.


9-4-2013 at 14:35:21

You see … those tiny details. Laughing them away, and they will haunt you;P

Because the air pump (who has got an article link for me?) … could explain why SM stopped.

– AH was at Martinet (As Z says that there was nobody else)
– SM arrives
– SM who is a bike nutt, wants to add some pressure to the tyres
– So SM stops at the barrier (why not), gets off his bike and starts pumping
– AH, interested as he does bike himself, goes to see

– X arrives on the scene, etc, etc.

Explains (most of) the positions and movements.

– Location airpump

– Fragment of Luger (location/why/how)

Rules out:
– X arriving later with car (because very probably X came from direction ‘hairpin’)

Big question:
– Who was the target?

– M

9-4-2013 at 14:44:00

Another idea (building on the previously outlined ‘airpump’ scenario)

– Suppose target of X = SM
– And X was in hiding/ambush at the ‘hairpin’
– Because X knows SM will pass the ‘hairpin’

But … what does X see

– SM stops at Martinet
– X wonders why
– X sees that SM is fiddling with his bike (airpump)

Now X start to worry that SM may turn around and go back and NEVER will pass the hairpin

– X decides to go to Martinet to confront (perhaps deal with/kill) SM

This could explain why X came walking from way behind the barrier. It may even explain the ‘overlooking’ of AH

– M

9-4-2013 at 14:48:26

@ Max 9-4-2013 at 14:44:00

Good one! Indeed maybe X never intendend to show himself but to shoot from his hiding position. But when SM unexpectedly stopped, he lost his nerves came out an fired, while overlooking the al-hillis.

9-4-2013 at 14:48:54


“…the birthplace of colonel Vinnemann”

And of Corse, Bonaparte.

A little “play on words” there, just for the hell of it !

9-4-2013 at 15:01:53


Warum nicht Jan-Peter Bürgermeister?

or in Swedish:

Jan-Peter Borgmästare? 🙂

9-4-2013 at 15:13:47

@ Max

Sorry, but the tyres on road racing bikes are usually inflated to 8-10 bar of pressure. Those compact manual pumps that one takes along on rides usually yield no more than 5-6 bar. They are for emergency use only.

9-4-2013 at 15:14:10

@Max “AH, interested as he does bike himself, goes to see”

There is nothing that men likes more than stand watching while other men work, especially engineers.

Just put up a fence around an area and let some large machines role in, and you will have a group of men standing outside the fence looking eagerly in… 😉

Or for that matter start working on your own house so the neighbours can see it, and there will soon also be this group of (often older) men flocking around you giving you “advice”.

9-4-2013 at 15:30:44


But a fact IS that SM had brought a air pump in the first place

‘Mr Mollier’s glasses and bicycle pump were also found ‘a fair distance’ from where his lifeless body was found lying next to the car, said the source’

Now I am only a ‘normal’ biker, not a race bike nutter … but where would this air pump be on SM/bike? Would it be attached to his bike? Or would SM carry it himself?

Because if it was attached to the bike … why would it be lying around


If SM was carrying the pump, how did it come lying around?

… glasses I understand, they could fall off. But the pump? Suppose SM carried this in his back pocket … why would it be dropped?

… I don’t think SM was attacking X with the pump. I think (seeing the positions) that SM was running away from X (starting from the bike, and being downed halfway the lay-by … at the position where he later was dragged by the BMW) … so in that case, what about the pump?

– M

9-4-2013 at 15:38:55
9-4-2013 at 15:42:51

@ Max, 9-4-2013 at 15:30:44

Of course it is sensible to take a pump along on a ride, in case one has a puncture. However, it doesn’t seem very plausible to me that somebody on a high-end road racer would stop to inflate his tyres some more. First because those little pumps do not generate sufficient pressure, secondly because they do not have a manometer attached and cycling nuts are very particular about getting the tyre pressure *just right*.

Usually, these pumps are attached to the frame. It would be unusual (but possible) to keep them in the back pocket of one’s cycling jersey.

I think the pump may have come off the bike a it was being dragged by the BMW. Alternatively, maybe SM really did have a problem with one of his tyres and had stopped at the lay-by in order to fix that tyre. And maybe Saad had offered to help (he might have had a bigger, better pump in his car). All I am saying is that stopping en route for a quick top-up of air would be a very unusual thing to do for a serious cyclist.

9-4-2013 at 15:48:42


I don’t think the bike was dragged (at least that is what I understand, because how would it end up near the barrier(*)), but it was SM who was dragged (because SM had started to run away, and was downed by being shot in the back)

So … if the bike was not dragged and the pump is attached to the frame … how did it come off?

– M

(*) if the bike was dragged, it would be damaged. Is there any indication of damage?

9-4-2013 at 15:58:46

re: pump

Think about this.

You are on a bike, you witness a shooting and you see the shooter. He sees you and you know he can not let you ride off. What do you do? You reach for the only object with which you could possibly fend off the shooter: your bike’s pump.

For this reason, I think Max’s 3.48 p.m. very good. The bike was not dragged. It was Sylvain Mollier, holding the pump hoping to be able to knock the gun from the killer’s hand, who was dragged.But it was not the BMW which dragged him, but the killer’s motorcycle. Shot down – first in the back as he was running away – and on the ground, the killer rode his bike into and over him, perhaps not deliberately but in his haste to get away. (We were earlier today talking about the mystery motorcycle William Brett Martin had seen.)

I do like our theories. We are all Agathas in our own way.

9-4-2013 at 16:52:06

@ Max, 9-4-2013 at 15:48:42

I don’t think that this thingie lying near the barrier is a bicycle. It doesnt look like a bicycle to me, and it seems scarcely credible that the forensics people would take the BMW away but leave the bicycle lying there.

Arguing from that premiss, I have no idea where the bike ended up. However, those blackish “drag marks” on the tarmac
look as if they were caused by a bicycle being dragged along the tarmac, not by a person (at least I cannot think what item of cycling apparel would leave such marks). Thus, I reckon that SM was still attached to his bike by means of the click pedals while he was dragged, and that this dragging both caused him to be separated from the bike and caused the bicycle pump to come off the bike frame.

9-4-2013 at 16:59:50

@Peter, I wondered about those marks too. I think they were made by the tow truck (seeing the arc)

Imho the ‘thingy’ is definitely a bike

(and the bike ended up on the tow truck just before they towed the BMW)

– M

9-4-2013 at 17:16:22

@ Max

We’ll have to agree to disagree on those marks. To my eyes, they look as if they have been left by some carbon-fibre bicyle part violently dragged along the ground, and that black “puddle” on the left of the GIF
looks like lubricant that spilled out of a broken hub or bottom bracket.

Given that the second arrow from the right points to what clearly is blood on the tarmac, and that the third arrow from the right marks the beginning of that arced black drag mark, I would assume that this is where SM was shot first, that he fell sideways to the ground, still clicked into the pedals, and that both he and his bike were later dragged towards the left by Saad’s BMW.

9-4-2013 at 17:58:28

Bike confirmation is very satisfying. Well spotted eagle-eyes Marilyn.

Remind me . . didn’t Maillaud say the bike was ‘thrown’ in the corner.
By whom or what?

When SM’s glasses were mentioned . . . . are these ordinary spectacles or do bicyclists wear something when cycling.
How do they know they are his?

9-4-2013 at 18:39:41

@ J Cave

Serious cyclists wear lightweight glasses which protect the eyes from wind, dust,insects and rain depending on the conditions.

I suspect SM and possibly BM would be wearing full lycra cycling gear and all the extras, cycling gloves, glasses,helmet etc.

9-4-2013 at 19:20:14

Even I wear spectacles when I am cycling, though I am a humorous cyclist 🙂

9-4-2013 at 20:03:31


Double thanks to you Lars, firstly for the text of the Sunday Times biker article (Marilyn forwarded it to me last night) and of course also for your identification of Ian Horrocks which then led me/ us to the Isopix image; a nice collaboration I see that as…


Peter, did you ever manage to read the Sun piece which the Sipa images were presumably intended to accompany? I’d be fascinated to know what angle they were taking. A very early article, also featuring former Top Cop Ian Horrocks, was very critical of the French for so quickly clearing the site so soon after the killings. Plus, I’m still intrigued that the pics appear to depict, to some extent, the killing of Sylvain Mollier rather than the Al-Hillis themselves…

9-4-2013 at 20:33:39


I think we’ve not seen you here before, so welcome. I love sunflowers.

There has been a conversation here but some threads ago about what Sylvain Mollier and William Bret Martin wore that day. I do not think it was ever officially said, so we just speculated.


I wear spectacles even when I’m walking, Lars.


Yes, Prosecutor Maillaud did say that the bike was ‘thrown into a corner’. This caused much excitement here when we finally saw Max’s enhanced photo and there was something which very much looked like a bike, although Lynda thinks it does not. Neither does Peter. Maybe we will know tomorrow.

So tomorrow it is 1 year.

And tomorrow we will talk again.

Ok till tomorrow then.

9-4-2013 at 20:43:16

I wrote earlier this day about a Norwegian murder case where the police have revealed all they know to catch the killer.

Later this day they showed the clothes that the young woman was wearing.

This afternoon the Norwegian police said that a man has been arrested and that the case is probably already solved.

Perhaps an example for E-Maillaud to study. How you use the general public to quickly catch a killer.

9-4-2013 at 20:58:11

@Marilyn, you must have missed my comment:

Lynda 9-4-2013 at 12:34:36

“I agree that the object does look like a bike from this angle, revealing the saddle and a small bag, normal, at the rear, maybe the light reflecting on the inner silvered wheels gives the impression of them being white in the other photos.” – See more at:

The front wheel turned upwards 90°….. it still doesn’t mean that is where it was before being ‘thrown’.

I have always thought that if the bike was thrown it was personal.

9-4-2013 at 21:35:52

Thank you Sunflower
I don’t think cycling has quite the same level of engagement here in Cornwall, where we cycle to get from A to B or B to A.
Of course I have seen the Tour de France and do you suppose SM and BM would both be kitted up like that.?
Do you think it is still possible to tell people apart?
Easy perhaps if you know all about the different bikes and stuff people own, but quite hard if you have never seen them before . . .

9-4-2013 at 21:48:49

@ Lars:

I knew you’d ask this “Why not [Jan-Peter] Bürgermeister” question!

Okay, the first one is obvious:

Jan is a Scandinavian surname.

The German name for Jan might be Hans, but surely Jean is French for Hans.

The second was the nut that I wanted you to crack:

Maire = Mayor = Bürgermeister = Schulte [in medieval German and still in Northern Germany] = Schulze.


9-4-2013 at 21:58:04

@ Mari:

I never tried but I don’t think you can run somebody over with a motocycle without your bike falling to the ground on impact.


9-4-2013 at 22:01:06

@ J Cave

Yes even I at 63 kit up like that if I go out for a long ride on my road bike as it is so much more comfortable, even in East Anglia!

Unless one knew exactly which jersey a cyclist would be wearing, and he may have a few, it would not be easy to know who it was, especially if one knew little about cycling and types of bike.

I have posed before that BM may have been the target hence the video to show he was OK, and his subsequent disappearance.

9-4-2013 at 22:05:29


Ah, that was clever! Well, Marilyn’s blog is very educational. You can even learn about north German dialects. 🙂

9-5-2013 at 00:15:50

There are more ppl who think local and non-UK!OSlv7zejer0MQ/

‘La piste du tueur fou…

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 (une forme de schizophrénie, ndlr). Même s’il y a un certain amateurisme dans ce crime, le tueur est également doté d’un certain sang-froid. Ce n’est pas un individu totalement désorganisé que l’on pourrait attraper facilement. Selon moi, c’est quelqu’un qui connaissait le coin. Un homme de la région, pas vraiment jeune et habitué à manier les armes, de type ancien chasseur ou militaire…’

Hmmm, I don’t want to bugger you all with the CM07 killing, but above could be a copy/paste onto that 18 knife stab killing.

The 21 bullets could be 3 x 7 and could be ‘out of habit’ by said ancien militaire type (because 21 for only SM seems rather a lot)

Anyway, if it is local, it has to be about SM. And if it is about SM … what on earth made him so special?

I can only make 1 good connection, and that is a connection which imho has not had any attention from EM (as in ‘pistes’) … it is GS(M)

I’ll coin again the incredible coincidence of GS(M) being 1 stepstone away from CM07 killing (stepstone brother PM) and being 1 stepstone away from the SM12 killing (stepstone daughter CS), that is against all odds.

Now if GS(M) would fit the above psy profile … you would at least have a starting point. But I’m not convinced at all that EM and co did look into this.

– M

9-5-2013 at 08:17:22
9-5-2013 at 08:47:24


One. (You all know what I mean.)

Eugene’s 8.17 of this morning is good. Thanks Eugene! Do read it. If you have a problem with French and google translate knocks the feet from under you, Le Figaro claims that they have information from someone within the investigation.

Their report leans very much towards this having been a murder orchestrated by a certain family member and for financial reasons.

Les enquêteurs ont acquis la quasi-certitude que Zaïd, qui clame son innocence depuis le départ, était en Angleterre au moment de la tuerie. Ce qui l’aurait obligé à faire appel à un homme de main tout en pistant les déplacements de Saad et sa famille à distance… Un témoin entendu par les enquêteurs en Angleterre aurait laissé entendre, sans avancer le début du commencement d’une preuve, que Saad et sa famille auraient été assassinés par un sicaire issu du mercenariat ou d’une armée des Balkans contre la somme dérisoire de 2000 euros.
Si aucune hypothèse n’est écartée, l’idée d’un «contrat» est toujours suivie par les enquêteurs qui ont par ailleurs travaillé sur la piste d’un détenu français qui se serait vu proposer 100.000 euros pour éliminer un Irakien établi en Angleterre. Le procureur de la République, qui a étendu l’information judiciaire en cours à des faits d’homicides et de tentative d’homicide en bande organisée, fera le point sur les dernières avancées du dossier vendredi. Aux dernières nouvelles, le magistrat jugeait la piste familiale comme «intéressante, même si ce n’est pas la seule». Seule certitude: la sanglante besogne a, a priori, été commise par un tireur faisant preuve d’un grand sang-froid. Armé d’un Luger P06 de calibre 7,65 mm parabellum brouillant la traçabilité balistique, il a ouvert le feu à 21 reprises, tuant ses victimes en mouvement tout en changeant à deux reprises de chargeur. Du travail de professionnel.

The above is from Le Figaro.

Lynda, my apologies re the ‘is it a bike?’ My head is rather filled up with info about weekends in Geneva and Rome and the position of missionaries. (If you know what I mean.)

I will say that tomorrow at the press conference the fratricide line will be heavily emphasised. Let us see.

Speak later.

9-5-2013 at 08:51:46

Irrelevant but they showed “The Alps Murders” documentary on C & I channel on Sky TV in NZ last night, so I assume it was shown in Australia England and some other countries too.
I had watched it online when it was first shown, but good to see it on big screen, good to at least see they have been acknowledged on first anniversary.

9-5-2013 at 09:08:54

Following up on the ‘accident’ scenario.

Q: Why would X choose the ‘hairpin’?

A: Because it is the furthest up the road (most remote) where the river Combe d’Ire is still parallel to RF (and where you could fall into the river)

I’ve checked Alex’s video again. The fall from RF to the Combe d’Ire it is quite steep. Faking an ‘accident’ could be possible (*). X was on foot and would leave no traces. If SM was found, after a long(er) search, dead in the Combe d’Ire … who could argue with an ‘accident’??? It would be a real stretch to think he was MURDERED at such an remote location.

Above is a real good SOLUTION to my long standing problem of how X would prevent being pointed at. By faking an ACCIDENT (hmmm, reminds me of the Pajero/FB/accident ‘coincidence’)

Of course X would need a means to put pressure on SM. Here is where the Luger comes in. The Luger, although antique, would surely do the job.

As said, only problem to me, imho, would be the fact that X brought 21+ bullets (but hey, that is just a tiny, tiny problem when you put this up to the MASSIVE problems one faces when trying to explain the killing in a AH=target way)

– M

PS: Wasn’t one of the counter arguments against SM=target that if SM had to be killed it was easier to fake an accident … well, here is your ‘accident’ … but done is such a way that you even do NOT need a car to run him over, and thus avoiding car=X situation;)

9-5-2013 at 09:14:28

Since it is the anniversary of the Chevaline killings today I want to say that my thoughts on this day naturally goes to the deceaseds families in England and in France, and especially to the children.

In contrast to Eric Maillaud I think that time matters.

It matters if a murder is solved after 1 month, 1 year or 10 years.

Human beings are not made of stone. Human beings are instead rather fragile creatures, especially mentally, and especially children.

To be forced to live with the knowledge that someone very close to you has been murdered and that the crime is not solved will leave scars for life. To live with that knowledge for many years is something you might never recover from.

9-5-2013 at 09:17:24

I then want to notice that Le Figaro has not checked their facts in our summary.

9-5-2013 at 09:21:15


I kind of like that criminolog Michel Bénézech and his theory, especially that part about “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 (une forme de schizophrénie, ndlr)……”

Resembles my own idea very much, but then he is criminolog of course. 😉

9-5-2013 at 09:30:39

@LArs 9-5-2013 at 09:14:28 and all

your post hits the nail spot on. I agree from heart.


9-5-2013 at 09:40:53

Well said Lars @ 9.14am

9-5-2013 at 09:53:20

To add another little possible plus to the ‘accident’ scenario. As follows:

If X had an ‘accident’ scenario prepared, we know that X wanted to ‘MASK’ to death of SM (by faking an accident).

So … (in that case) … X had ‘masking’ in mind

On seeing SM (stopping at Martinet) and AH’s … perhaps X realized he could CHANGE THE MASK. He still could eliminate SM, but now masking it as a nutter killing

… of course in this variant scenario, X took some short cuts. Perhaps not realizing that the Luger still would indicate a LOCAL affair, and that the only LOCAL element would be SM (and not AH) …

Hmmmm …

Just had yet another though (a good one;)

Remember the ‘SM got lost’?


Well of course this could be a tweak into the SM at Martinet story. Because in the case of an ‘accident’, X would not have the problem, and would certainly not have to say ‘SM got lost’. But now, with the massacre … X wants desperately to explain AWAY SM at Martinet …. hence the ‘SM got lost’!

You see, also this detail COULD fit the ‘accident’ scenario!

– M

9-5-2013 at 10:08:07

So, Ian Horrocks of The Sun, Criminologist Michel Bénézech, think it is a random killing, probably local.

Maillaud points in the direction of Zaid, he obviously knows more than we do.

The changed locks, according to Fat Bastard this was done in November 2011, not just before going away as is implied, I wonder if Fat Bastard knew that Saad was in fear of his life ?

Has this come from the nosey neighbour ?

One year on and we’re still being spun a line …. The people left behind as Lars has said are the ones who will have to live with this for the rest of their days.

Whomever did this directly or indirectly ‘shame on you’.

9-5-2013 at 10:09:32
9-5-2013 at 10:19:48

One year on
I wonder where “in fear of his life” came from ?

9-5-2013 at 10:34:44


Your opening comments this morning. Well said.

@Eugene @Marilyn.

What a curious article. I maybe “lost in translation” in parts.
Could you clarify what the article is saying….

The father evaded tax by being paid monies into several accounts abroad.
This included Switzerland.

In Switzerland some 800.000 euros “slept”.
Collectively or in one account ?

Zaid began to syphon monies from one of these Swiss accounts.

Zaid was closest to their father.
He was therefore able to take advantage of that situation without Saad knowing.

Zaid was able to make himself sole heir to their fathers fortune.
This was discovered by Saad.

Many thanks.
My “reading” of the article maybe wrong.

9-5-2013 at 11:03:51

“about 20 minutes before the shooting”, puts it later than 15:30 …..taking into account the last photo in Doussard, nearer 15:40, I would say, so what did Melvin and Franck hear ? Or are they out by 10 minutes.

I’m still convinced they drove the hairpin bend after passing the builders, then went to Doussard and double backed along route du Moulin.

“Deux véhicules suspects sont cependant toujours recherchés par les enquêteurs : une moto de couleur claire à sacoches et un 4×4 sombre avec volant à droite, vus par des témoins après la tuerie et non identifiés.”

The RHD 4×4 and light coloured motorcycle with saddle bags, still not found.

@J.Cave, my old man (68) always wears his lycra ‘nappy’ pants and a bright coloured top, when it’s cold a bright coloured jacket with a zip pocket in the back. The pump has a holder on the bike, about 9 inches long and he also has one for a drink container. The little bag below the saddle contains a puncture repair kit. Seems to be the norm here, leisure cyclists are usually on the bottom road near the sea, which is flat.

9-5-2013 at 11:10:01

Understanding the ‘oracle’ I came up with the following;)

hjbi axfg ttox mfte upgs auuu vlos bxll

Hiding Just Beyond In Ambush
X Fails, Goes Towards Target
Observing X, Mollier Fails To Escape
Uk People Get Shot After Unsuccessful U-turn
Used Vintage Luger
On Seeing Brett X Leaves Lay-by

– M

9-5-2013 at 11:32:00

Thanks FB, so Saad hadn’t told you he was ‘in fear of his life’.

Do you think it is Jack Saltmans little secret ?

Just read through umpteen articles, talk about spin !

9-5-2013 at 11:33:09
En outre, le très cher défunt, semble-t-il versé dans l’évasion fiscale à grande échelle, avait placé de coquettes sommes sur plusieurs comptes numérotés à l’étranger où se pratique le culte du secret bancaire. Dont notamment en Suisse, où dormaient depuis des lustres quelque 700.000 livres (plus de 800.000 euros).

If true, those assertions are quite interesting: Khadim had multiple numbered accounts in multiple banking-secrecy jurisdictions, of which Switzerland was only one. Hmm…

As “numbered accounts” (known in the trade as contremarque accounts) have such a shady reputation and carry a high reputation risk for the bank, such accounts are generally only established for people who really need them: VIPs such as pop stars and Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs). Why was Khadim deemed such a hot potato politically that the banks felt that they had to shield his identity from most of their own employees?

9-5-2013 at 11:47:07

At least we now know where Eric Clouseau’s phrase about that low-cost killer from the Balkans comes from 😉

9-5-2013 at 11:57:24


I am surprised that The Evening Standard couldn’t specify the number of pence also. I find the sum £1,680 a bit inexact.

9-5-2013 at 11:58:16

So … the reasoning is … kill all AH’s and nobody will ask any questions???

Really, would Z be that thick?

Because my friends, in the case of AH=target you (and EM) really, really should REMOVE SM FROM THE SCENE!!

And what is left is:

AH drives to Martinet
X comes forward an kills all
Police says ‘it is a nutter’
Z walks away with the money
Everybody lives on happily after

… really? 😉

– M

9-5-2013 at 12:05:16

re; low-cost killer.

I think we were the first to speak of a low-cost killer. Peter I think it was you actually. I said ‘from the former Communist bloc’.

This morning’s Le Parisien devotes a full page to Chevaline: des mysteres et un suspect ideal. (Behind paywall.) I bought the paper and sat reading it in a bistro over a small black coffee and a croissant. La belle vie!

Le Parisien like all of the French media seems to be leaning towards Zaid Al-Hilli as the culprit though not as the killer. So you will see from the headline above: suspect ideal.

If Zaid Al-Hilli is totally innocent then I am really sorry for him.

Eugene, if you have time maybe you could pop out to buy this morning’s Le Parisien and give us a further breakdown of what the paper writes. I – and I apologise – unfortunately do not have time to translate. Seeing you read The Guardian and Le Figaro you may not want to be seen dead with Le Parisien. Well, I buy it for its faits divers which is best of all Paris’s papers. I, by the way, would not want to see dead with The Guardian, just as with The Sun. In my bolshie days, oh yes, I read The Guardian and The Observer and then I spent some time in The Soviet Union and voila … I changed my allegiance.

Ok, must go.

9-5-2013 at 12:28:39

@All Zaid Al-Hilli the ideal suspect

just an idea: maybe Zaid al-hilli is totally innocent and in fact a potential target himself? What would happen if he dies “unexpectedly” in two years? Maybe there are indeed interests outside the family from the past in the monies in the bank accounts … hmmm


9-5-2013 at 13:07:07

I am sorry to ruin Eric Maillaud’s party, but:

– Why would you let your brother get killed low cost on vacation in France when you could get him killed on his doorstep in Claygate?

– Why would you hire a high-cost killer abroad when you could find one in your home country?


9-5-2013 at 13:21:33

Yes, Alex, I have heard that it is a bargain price of just £1,000 if you want to have someone killed in his home country.

If you insist that he has to be killed in France, in the jurisdiction of E-Maillaud, the killer will demand at least £1,400.

If you insist that murder has to take place in a small lay-by in the middle of nowhere, with only one road, the price will be at least £1,680.

I got these figures from a source in the French investigation. 😉

9-5-2013 at 13:43:38

@Alex, Lars, I agree, what sort of idiot would kill three adults and two children for that amount of cash and just where do you find them ?

Afterall, for Zaid to get his hands on the cash, the house according to FB was already part owned by him, then he would have needed to get rid of the two children as well.

All this for 2,000 Euros, the guy must have a queue a mile long to carry out murders of unwanted partners, wives, husbands and lovers !

Saad liked to cycle, wouldn’t that be a better way to rid yourself of a thorn in your side 😉 (Max).

And the French convicted criminal, beggars belief !

So, who gains from stitching up Zaid Al-Hilli ?

9-5-2013 at 14:44:00

Reminds me of hitman called Artie who was hired to strangle a blokes wife sometime back….for a pound !
He strangled her whilst she was shopping in the supermarket.
She was with her friend, so he strangled her to.

The headline in the newspapers the next day was….
“Artie Chokes Two For A Pound In Tescos”.

It’s just Eric and his 2 grand hitman
“…..but zee Frenchman, he would charge 100 grand” !

9-5-2013 at 14:45:41

I should have added what happened to ‘innocent until proven guilty’, apparently it is all the rage in France !

9-5-2013 at 15:19:56

@Lynda (and all)

Re ‘So, who gains from stitching up Zaid Al-Hilli ?’

Well the answer is obvious: X

(reminding EM’s ’10 years’ … it could take 10 years to dig up all AH and Z, and perhaps, after those 10 years it dawns there was nothing to find in the first place. All those 10 years, X is in the clear. And after 10 years it might be to late to uncover the real truth (unless somebody talks))

9-5-2013 at 15:28:00

Let me play Devil’s advocate:

For as long as there were question marks over Khadim’s estate, the Swiss bank in Geneva would have been loath to be seen to be “favouring” either one of the two brothers. Thus, in order to keep matters fair and transparent, it may very well be that they informed Z that Saad had made an appointment with them. Thus, Z would have known when and where Saad would show up.

The Geneva bank would have been the place for a hired killer to pick up Saad’s trail – no need for GPS tracking devices, hacked smartphones or anything fancy like that. Geneva would also be the one place in the world where, if you had to illegally purchase a gun in a hurry, you would be most likely to end up buying a P06. All that fits.

Next, the hired killer would have followed Saad to the camping, sussed out the rhythm and habits of the family and followed them wherever they went – ideally on a motorcycle. A motorcycle is best suited for that purpose.

Finally, the killer tracks the family to the Martinet lay-by, or rather, sees where they are heading. They are heading towards an isolated place – things look good from the killer’s point of view. As following them directly would be too conspicuous, he drives a loop so that he will encounter them whilst coming downhill from the direction of Jarsy.

At the last moment, while the killer is already hyped up and ready to go into action, he sees a cyclist coming up the hill. He now has to take a snap decision: abort the job or go through with it and kill the cyclist as well. He realizes that the cyclist is not a problem but rather an unexpected boon: if he merely killed the entire AH family, it would be crystal-clear what this was all about, who commissioned the “hit” and why. If, however, he kills a random stranger as well, he will muddy the waters. The killer probably never imaged just how thoroughly he would confuse investigators by killing an extra victim, but the idea itself is not so far-fetched.

9-5-2013 at 15:40:54


Couldn’t you get a killer for a cheaper price if he could kill the victim directly in Geneva?
You could skip smuggling a weapon across a border and the rest of the hullabaloo.

9-5-2013 at 15:52:17

@ Lars, 9-5-2013 at 15:40:54

HSBC Private Bank in Geneva is situated in an upmarket area of town that is absolutely bristling with CCTV cameras and closely monitored by both police and private security companies. It would be a really poor choice for a place to commit a massacre.

Once Saad was back in his car, driving back towards the camping, attacking him and his family would have involved getting him to stop and shooting the family on a busy road. That would also have been a bad idea.

Conversely, smuggling a pistol (or anything at all) across the Swiss/French border is a doddle, very, very low-risk.

9-5-2013 at 16:04:13


We don’t know that if he ever was in Geneva, that he brought his family with him, do we?

I don’t think any CCTV-cameras would normally hold any gangsters on a fast motorcycle back, and if so, there is a long way before you reach Annecy. You simply pass the car at a suitable place and shoot, common execution style. I think you had to pass Annemasse for instance, known for its high crime rate.

9-5-2013 at 16:13:38

@ Lars

My assumption (in my chosen role as advocatus Diaboli) is that the killer’s mission was to kill the entire Saad-branch of the family. Thus, if Saad did not take his daughters along to the bank in Geneva, that would have been a reason for the killer to hold off and wait. Conversely, if Saad did take the entire family, it would have been impossible to shoot them all whilst they were sitting in the car, waiting at traffic lights or something like that. You can shoot one or perhaps even two people like that, but not five.

9-5-2013 at 16:19:46

@Peter, certainly not far fetched, if anything logical – my concern would be the cost, how much is a Luger P06 plus ammo, how much is the cost of a ‘low-cost’ assassin to get from wherever to Geneva and then scout around the campsite ?

Of course he could have been living in a tent for a few days, 15/20Euros a night. Plus expenses.

How much is the cost of travel back to wherever ‘it’ came from ? 2,000 Euros wouldn’t leave much over.

Just for info: I returned from the UK through the Channel Tunnel, last Sunday at 19:16, checked in two hours before, had a better journey back along the M25 than on the outward journey.

Automated check-in, using the booking number, usually I use the American Express, but it didn’t work, husband has covered the security numbers back and front with black tape (don’t ask).

The letter on my hanger was called, went through both British and French Passport and Customs, not a sole person actually looked at my passport or my car !

On the way out it was scanned, does that mean according to UK records I am still in the country, or have they assumed that it was me in the car – in truth it could have been anyone, why assume that someone intent on causing havoc in the Tunnel would only be coming from the French side.

So, there you go guys, want to blow up the Channel Tunnel, hijack a car with the ticket reference inside and boom !

I was disgusted, anything could have been in my car, anything – or maybe they are so concerned about illegals going in that they don’t care what is going out.

Rant over – apparently they are so stretched, yeah right, I don’t believe a word of it.

I’ve had more checks both ways on a ferry crossing.

9-5-2013 at 16:33:53

@Lars, it was reported that he left the family at the campsite to go to Geneva, working on arrival at the first site on a Saturday, arriving at the second 4pm on the Monday, he either went that morning, the Monday or Tuesday, the day before the murders.

I just don’t get that someone would accept 2k Euro for that ‘job’, with kids involved, okay I accept some people are desperate or will do anything for a few dollars more to feed their habit, this does not appear to be someone so disorganised.

9-5-2013 at 16:39:15

@ Lynda, 9-5-2013 at 16:19:46

I am curious as to when and how that claim about the “Balkan mercenary” surfaced. If the “UK witness” who made that statement did so after reports concerning Z’s phone calls to Romania had been all over the media, I would rate his or her credibility at zero, or very close to zero.

Just imagine, however, how things might look from Eric Clouseau’s perspective if that witness statement had been made early on, perhaps even before investigators themselves knew about those calls. At first, Eric Clouseau would probably have thought, “Yeah, right”, but that witness statement *plus* the calls to Romania would certainly made him sit up and listen.

Anyway, € 2000 for a contract killing is on the low end of the scale, but still plausible. If I remember correctly, the two Romanians who killed those Dutch volleyballers
were only paid € 600 between them – now that *is* cheap.

€ 2000 plus expenses, say, € 4000 in total, could have covered the Chevaline murders, provided that Z had the right contacts. I have to say that I fail to see how he could have acquired those contacts, though.

9-5-2013 at 16:40:43


I am sorry but I simply think that your lawyer is doing a poor job. 🙂

Firstly, the killer never killed that “whole Saad branch” so he failed anyhow, even though he waited so long.

Secondly if you shoot a driver (you don’t even need to kill him) in a car at full speed, the car will usually crash and kill everybody inside. A method often used by the Mafia and in other gang related disputes. I think it was also used by RAF in Germany.

9-5-2013 at 17:00:31

@ Lars, 9-5-2013 at 16:40:43

I’ll grant you the first point. However, anybody prepared to take on such a job for € 2K is unlikely to be a member of MENSA or take any particular pride in his work. Pretty much killing all of them plus a bonus cyclist would have felt like a job well done to such a person.

Your second point is, ahem, highly dubious. I am not aware of this method *ever* having been used by the Mafia, and it certainly has never been used by RAF. Both of these outfits prefer methods that work, and they prefer killing selectively rather by the car load. Can you name just one example of this technique having been used by the Mafia?

9-5-2013 at 17:08:53

@Lars, it was reported that he left the family at the campsite to go to Geneva, working on arrival at the first site on a Saturday, arriving at the second 4pm on the Monday, he either went that morning, the Monday or Tuesday, the day before the murders.

I just don’t get that someone would accept 2k Euro for that ‘job’, with kids involved, okay I accept some people are desperate or will do anything for a few dollars more to feed their habit, this does not appear to be someone so disorganised.

Peter Allen puts his name to this :

9-5-2013 at 17:23:25

@Peter, the ‘low-cost’ came from the Liberation, I posted this article way back when…. dated 2nd December 2012.

“Eric Maillaud n’écarte pas complètement l’hypothèse d’un «professionnel envoyé par la famille ou par l’Irak» pour liquider les al-Hilli, mais n’y croit pas vraiment : «Si c’est un contrat, il est très mal exécuté. A moins qu’il ne s’agisse d’un tueur à gages low-cost venu des Balkans ou de Macédoine, et qui se procure ou vole le pistolet sur place.» ”

EM doesn’t really believe it was a professional hit employed by the family or Iraq, if it was a contract it was poorly executed, no more than a low-cost contract killer from the Balkans or Macedonia who obtained or stole the gun there.

How times change ?

9-5-2013 at 17:25:01


As I remember it was for example used in those famous killings of the sicilian prosecutors. The killers overtook the car in curve and shot.

Wasn’t there recently (perhaps a year ago or so) a discussion in the german press where an old female member of RAF (or its followers) was accused of taking part in a shooting from a motorcycle? I thought they were shooting at a car.

9-5-2013 at 17:32:37


I see that Daily Mail has raised the price to £84 000. Perhaps due to inflation.

I can only say that I wouldn’t pay a killer, who came up with such a plan, a penny.

9-5-2013 at 17:59:18

@ Peter

I tend to think your theory about the killer(s) starting the hunt in Geneva is very plausible. However, it doesn’t imply the murders would have been ordered by Z. It could be somebody else getting information thru him.

@ Lynda

You’re very assertive about the circumstances of Saad’s excursion to Geneva and its banks (date, whether he was by himself or with family, etc..). Can you please tell us what your sources are in this respect (link?).

@ Marilyn

Sorry. I wish I could just buy today’s Le Parisien as you suggested, but I can’t. Even though, we’ll find a way to read that article..

@ All

Guess what. Here we are with a sneak preview of 2morrow’s conference, with the one and only Zaid expressing himself (reluctantly). Enjoy.

9-5-2013 at 18:03:20

@ Lars, 9-5-2013 at 17:25:01

I don’t think so 😀

The closest one is …
Buback was shot by members of RAF while travelling from his home in Neureut to the Bundesgerichtshof in Karlsruhe; while Buback’s Mercedes was stopped at a traffic light a motorcycle pulled alongside and the passenger on the rear of the motorcycle opened fire with an automatic weapon at the vehicle.
… but Buback was a passenger in a stationary car. This has nothing to do with shooting / killing the driver in order to kill everybody inside a car, which is not a particularly promising approach in my opinion.

9-5-2013 at 18:07:36


Thanks for that Sky report (we got a glimpse of FB again 🙂 )

9-5-2013 at 18:12:24

@ Lars

Absolutely, but he’s so modest he never mentioned it.
I guess Sky already knows the core of the forthcoming conference, and reacted accordingly.

9-5-2013 at 18:18:54

@Eugene, I am merely repeating what I’ve read, this has been posted on the blog before, I do not recall when, I am on my laptop, much of saved stuff was on one or other of the defunct computers I’ve suffered since the beginning of this affair.

I will try to find the references again, it may even have been the Swiss Prosecutor, nevertheless it was reported he left the family at the campsite, going to the Swiss bank on his own, my conclusion is that it could only have been Monday or Tuesday because they arrived at the Europa Campsite on the Saturday ….. I have since read that he went there the day before the murders which would have been the Tuesday.

I’ll come back to you.

9-5-2013 at 18:46:36

@ Lynda

Guess you mean you’ll get back to me.
No problemo. Take your time. Since it’s been reported, I’m sure we’ll eventually get the links with your help, and then this fact can find its place in Lars’ summary.
Cause otherwise, along with Peter’s theory, the Geneva trip could have taken place on the wednesday, accounting for the family strangely wearing “city outfits” while apparently on a hike, as it has also been reported.

9-5-2013 at 18:51:17

@Eugene, try La Tribune de Geneve.

9-5-2013 at 20:45:42


Ok, then it was somebody else. I remember the reconstruction how the killers waited until a bend so the car had to decrease its speed, and that they used machine guns of course, not a pistol.

Yes, it was probably Buback I remembered. And I still think it is the same idea. You follow a car with a motorcycle and at an appropriate moment you open fire. If you do it with a machine gun I don’t think many will survive.

9-5-2013 at 21:03:10

@Eugene, Channel 4 documentary, as listed in Lars Summary.

My synopsis tyoed as it was broadcast:

“Lynda 6-6-2013 at 23:30:08

First part, synopsis of events.
Philippe Bossy shown speaking, slim, with a stubbly beard.

The events are in sketches. Mollier on the floor next to passengers side of the car, head towards the rear. Rear wheels shown spinning, child put in recovery position, rear wheels spinning, WBM saved girls life, 15 minutes later and she would be dead (EM).

PB and WBM, were there – 6 or 7 minutes before calling emergency services.

Jean Marc Ducros, journalist has had access to forensics file. Saad shot in back. Lodged his VAT return with Julian Steadman day before.

Saad went to Geneva alone leaving the family at the campsite, in the days before.

Khadhim opened account in 1984, Jack Saltman wonders how Saad managed to cover his bills as he often wasn’t working.”

9-5-2013 at 21:33:13


That was not an interview with Zaid Al-Hilli. Sky cornered him.Must have been hanging around outside waiting for him to appear and then struck.Did he look shifty-eyed and shuffle-footed to you? He did not to me, so if he’s hiding something then he’s a good actor.

I will not be coming on to the blog tomorrow morning. I will be out of here early and I do not know when I will get back.

Have a nice commenting night and day tomorrow.

9-5-2013 at 22:07:51

@ Peter:

Yeah, Buback was shot from a motorcycle and to that day nobody knows by whom but I find the whole idea of following a car with a motorcycle doubious at least:

there’s nothing more suspicious to me as both motorcycle and car owner than being followed by a motorcycle.

The reason is that obvoiusly a motorcycle is faster than (my) car so why’s this guy sticking at my ***?


9-5-2013 at 22:16:43

@Marilyn, I agree, he looked far better than he did at the time and in the months afterwards, he is of course working, he no doubt has to.

There was reference to him being at work in one of the articles I posted earlier today.

He also spoke eloquently from what I could hear.

Enjoy your day tomorrow whatever it is you are doing, rain due for Paris and us, even thunderstorms.

Will have both BFMTV and Sky ready for the press conference no doubt many ‘newspapers’ will have live feed to their websites.

9-5-2013 at 22:22:54

I hope you people in France will keep us posted of the details. I don’t believe it will be covered in any TV news in Sweden. How much there will be in the newspapers or on YouTube you never know. Especially since nobody seems to expect any news from the investigation.

9-5-2013 at 22:25:33


Thx for the video

My first reaction … guy didn’t do it

– M

9-5-2013 at 23:21:11


Serious enquiry (albeit very late in the day!) to all members…

If you had one question to ask at tomorrow’s press conference, what would it be…?

9-5-2013 at 23:53:45


How are you sure SM was not the target?

– M

9-5-2013 at 23:56:49


“Was there blood on the fragment of the P06’s handle ?”

9-6-2013 at 00:15:52

Today until the last minute, I was hoping we would have a light.

@Partlucid was speak about a “young man” and @Sarah about “Melvin”.

On another blog @Diogenes speaks of “arch duke Ferdinand.”

A by it, nothing …

Here, I am again on September 5, there is still 45min. of hope.


9-6-2013 at 01:33:39


What did your experts tech analysis of SAH’s smartphone reveal?

9-6-2013 at 01:38:27


Was SAH seeking to reverse a land or business transaction he had agreed to in Iraq?

9-6-2013 at 05:47:41

Having just read the le Figaro article translated into English, it says Iqbal’s STEPMOTHER was killed, is this a mistake or something lost in translation, I always thought it was Iqbals mother.
If true that makes totally different family dynamics.

9-6-2013 at 09:30:00

I agree with you Marilyn, Lars, Max, Lynda: Zaid didn´t do it. He even didn´t ordered it. IF Said was seriously afraid of Zaid FB would have known. So far he didn´t confirm that. Changing locks is not “enough” and was done long before the event last year.

I am still after SM=target.

Monsieur Maillaud, please look in the other direction!!!!!


9-6-2013 at 09:34:02


No it is lost in translation, it says “his mother-in-law”.

9-6-2013 at 10:03:08

try this nothing on TV so far:

9-6-2013 at 10:04:06

Thanks Lars won’t trust google translate in the future.

9-6-2013 at 10:13:04

Live updates @ Le Matin

9-6-2013 at 10:20:03
9-6-2013 at 10:33:33

“when he left i changed the locks to the house as antiques and silver has now disapeared”

using google translate try to get the word frightened into the above quote from Saad

9-6-2013 at 10:55:48

Press conference over:

The Twitter feed posted above gives the main details, regarding the ammunition and events.

The Broadcast was via DailyMotion so is likely to appear through their site.

Maybe someone can post the interesting bits.

9-6-2013 at 10:56:41

I was able to watch the press conference though with great technical difficulties. I hope they will keep the conference online so everyone can watch it afterwards and check what was said.

To me it was a very xenophobic press conference and I dislike E-Maillaud more tan ever.

9-6-2013 at 10:58:54


It is easier to understand with this Twitter feed:

9-6-2013 at 11:06:49


Yes I looked at Twitter as well.

But my problems were technical, the broadcast was interrupted here and there. I had to restart the computer so I missed a couple of minutes here and there.

9-6-2013 at 11:15:24

What a letdown! The only interesting bit was that Romania cropped up again in connexion with mobile-phone data collected from the Faverges base station – although that could merely have been some random Romanian tourist passing through the area.

9-6-2013 at 11:16:07


I also heard that E-Maillaud said that Saad was having a “conflit violent” with his brother. He didn’t explain what he meant with that or how he could know it. Did he mean mean that there was fist fighting?

9-6-2013 at 11:21:54

since Saad was only talking to his brother through a lawyer im not sure how he could fist fight
unless in France lawyers can fist fight by proxy ?

9-6-2013 at 11:37:55
Le patrimoine familiale comprenait une maison à Claygate, deux appartements près de Londres, une maison a Bagdad, une autre en Espagne et quelques millions d’euros (de trois à cinq millions).

Three to five million Euros in ready cash, that is worth commissioning a contract killing for.

9-6-2013 at 11:40:58

Ah yes, the famous French sport of “proxy fighting”.
I hit my lawyer. He hits your lawyer. Your lawyer hits you…and adds VAT.
It’s hard to get right and a tad expensive.

Did Peeps say anything about the (more than one) bank account overseas ?

9-6-2013 at 11:43:06

We’ve had the ‘conflit violent’ before, it isn’t fistycuffs, it’s ‘fierce’.

Did you notice the 21 bullets, 17 in the victims, mags of 10, and three empty ? I assume that means they were found. Didin’t identify the weapon, just old and Swiss and not on aany file.

Must be 7 Mollier, 1 Zainab and three to each adult, as already understood.

Also confirms Al-Hilli and Zainab outside of car when shooting started, Mollier arrives.

‘tireur experimente’ – skilled.

Saad did have an argument at a campsite.

9-6-2013 at 11:47:48

Cheers for that Peter.

We always seem to be on the same track…but you just ahead.

And in “ready cash”.

9-6-2013 at 11:53:24

@ James

It is incredible, but even when directly quoting what Maillaud said at the press conference, journalists struggle to get it right.

This article, for example, makes no mention of 3-5 million Euros:
La succession n’est pas négligeable. A la maison de Claygate qu’occupaient Saad et sa famille – évaluée à 1,5 million d’euros – s’ajoutent deux appartements dans la banlieue londonienne, le compte en Suisse créditeur de l’équivalent de 500 000 euros, et un appartement en Espagne d’une valeur d’environ 100 000 euros. Sans compter une maison à Bagdad et des intérêts économiques en Irak, d’une valeur indéterminée.

We’ll have to wait for a full video of the news conference to appear online and then analyze that second by second, sentence by sentence.

The same goes for the magazines that Lynda just mentioned: Le Messager has them 10-shot-magazines, other sources have them 8-shot (which I personally consider much more plausible).

9-6-2013 at 12:03:39


It just shows how “crap” “the news” actually is.
Yet again its shows not “dis information” by the mainstream media, but how lazy and pathetic journalists actually are.

We’ll have to wait and go through what was actually said (and “if” that is to believed, goodness only knows).

9-6-2013 at 12:04:11


21 would be 2 x 10 + 1

(you did also math’d it like 3 x 7)

But with the 21 shots, 17 hits statistics you’d conclude that X was ‘a good shooter’. And I would agree. That is why I find it more than mysterious that AH nearly got away. How did X prioritize his target(s)???

If X had a 10+1 at the ready, and AH was outside the car. How on earth could AH still have the chance to (nearly) escape while at the same time X was a ‘good shooter’

Appearently SM=Target is not in the picture anymore … this makes me feel slightly disappointed. I am a ‘one versus many’ person, and often hold a different view than the masses, but if the whole investigating force thinks SM was collateral, it becomes difficult to work towards a solution where SM=target (because form which source would I get information)

… anyway, I hope to be able to check the full interview soon.

– M

9-6-2013 at 12:14:12

Hello everyone and thank you all for continuing the discussion.

As others have said, thoughts and sympathies are with the family and friends of the deceased.

France3 Twitter synopsis of the Press Conference.

@Peter 9-6-2013 at 11:15:24

I recently returned from Italy, travelling via the Mont Blanc Tunnel and A40. There were plenty of Eastern European lorries, including Romanian, going in the opposite direction towards Italy. I guess if any of them had any business in the Lake Annecy area, there is a high possibility they too may have phoned home.

9-6-2013 at 12:20:35

@ Max, 9-6-2013 at 12:04:11

Unless they actually found the empty magazines at the scene of the crime (they may have, but I don’t think that they ever said so), there is no way of telling whether the killer used 2 x 10, 3 x 10 (huh?), or 3 x 8.

Standard mags for the P08, which also fit the P06, and standard aftermarket mags for both models have a capacity of 8 shots.
Squeezing one bullet less than maximal capacity into the mag increases the reliability of the feeding mechanism and reduces strain on the magazine spring. Hence, I consider it most likely that this is what the killer used: three 8-round mags loaded with 7 bullets each, none in the chamber to start with. Of course, that assumes that he really ran out of bullets before he pistol-whipped Zainab.

9-6-2013 at 12:33:11


Gorgeous dogs by the way. “Jacks” by the looks ?
The other thing about parts of Romanian is, they do have a lot of UK reg’d cars.
It’s a funny thing. The only other place I have seen “locals” driving (UK reg’d ?) RHD cars is in some parts of Africa.
Don’t really want to discuss that. It’s just a strange thing to see.

Sometime back I think Lynda posted and questioned (I think it was Lynda) something about “ammunition boxes found” at the carpark.
Did they find that do you think ?
Lynda may throw some light on this (it may have been Marilyn) but whoever did remark that they had read it in a French article. So “odd” was it, that “she” (sorry about “the cats mother” remark but I can’t recall whom !) commented on it.

Would a “tireur experimente’ indeed just reload, drop the magazine and carry on. The gun wouldn’t be something he would afterall keep ?

9-6-2013 at 12:33:41

@ Peter: might be the web site of that newspaper they’re handing out for free at the subway stations.

I wouldn’t take them too seriously, unless Eric Maillaud really said it.

Seems more paper than news to me.


9-6-2013 at 13:17:01

News coming in thick and fast …

This article may explain where that figure of € 3-5 million came from – it is the estimated total value of Khadim’s estate:
Dans cette hypothèse, le mobile du crime serait l’héritage du patriarche décédé en Espagne en 2011. Il était composé d’une maison près de Londres, de deux appartements en banlieue de Londres, d’un appartement en Espagne, d’un compte en Suisse ainsi que de biens, d’une maison et d’un terrain à Bagdad, le tout évalué entre 3 et 5 millions d’euros.
Makes sense, because if these were monies in bank accounts, they would know whether the total was € 3 million or € 5 million.

@ James
IIRC, they said that they had found shotgun cartridges and other debris at the Martinet, which would be unsurprising in woodland used for hunting. I don’t recall anything about ammunition boxes.

I don’t know whether an experienced shooter would simply drop spent magazines. Probably not. It would go against his weapons-handling training to do so, and there would always be a risk that forensic trace evidence had gathered inside the magazines.

9-6-2013 at 13:24:28

Groupe Le Messager‏@LeMessagerfr3 h
Chargeur de 10 cartouches, arme dans aucun fichier, intracable, modele suisse

Groupe Le Messager‏@LeMessagerfr3 h
3 chargeurs vides, tireur experimente, sur de cibles en mouvement

9-6-2013 at 13:31:35

I (still) think there is an UNbalance in the investigation. Look at the ‘pistes’. To name 2:

– Zaid
– Industrial espionage

Those 2 have NOTHING in common (as motive)! The only ‘common’ factor is of course SAH.

And that means that EM somehow ‘knows’ SAH was the target (and only does not know what the motive is, hence the ‘pistes’)

But how does EM arrive at the conclusion SAH=Target? (ha came to that conclusion, way back in sept 2012, only 1 week after the killings)

Because if I look objectively at the statistics I have to conclude that SM was shot more than SAH!

Anyway, IF I had to go for a UK ‘solution’ I would opt for HT, the ‘crazy’ son … but, he was, just like Zaid, in the UK, so ….

– M

9-6-2013 at 13:44:19


évalué !

Could be anything…but five million !

Claygate, plus two apartments (one maybe Zaid’s one maybe the property they developed together. A place in Spain (Mijas !).

The ONE Swiss bank account….

And property and land in Iraq. I’d tend to “forget” that.
Maybe worth something….if you could get it.
(How to make a Hungarian omelette. First catch a Hungarian hen).

So…three million ? I think they are way out on their figures.
Maybe one and a half million ? Split 50/50 ?
And 800K Eur.

And then they have to find somewhere to live.
And pay tax on the 800K.

I’m not seeing a “contract killer” here. Even if he was a “2K” one !

9-6-2013 at 13:48:36


I agree with you, and Maillaud couldn’t answer your question above.

9-6-2013 at 13:57:22

@James, no I merely spotted a box of 7.65mm contained 25, an old box, but as Peter says they are also available in bigger boxes.

Has anyone found another reference to the mags of 10, I was reading as it came on line, I didn’t have the France3Alpes/Daily Motion feed working.

9-6-2013 at 14:07:47


It may have been Marilyn then.
I await her return….although with thoughts of Roma et Geneve, she may be sometime !

And thanks for the clip of Eric.
And he doesn’t even need a reporter with him !

Does “multi faceted” and “complex” mean “we haven’t got a clue” in French ? Or “we know, but we’re not saying anything” ?

9-6-2013 at 14:12:32


Claygate 1/1.2 million euros

two flats in Chessington & maybe Kingston, guessing 6/800k Euros

Spain appartment 100k euros

Swiss Bank 960k Euros

Plus Iraq (?)

Three million euros.

Present situation, nobody profits from any of it – all is frozen, I wonder if that will remain the case until it is ‘classified’ or solved.

Is there a process underway to release the house in Claygate for sale and the monies in the Swiss Bank ?

@FB, I understand your concern for the girls, they might still be in danger, if we are to believe that the brothers disagreement about the fathers Will was the cause.

9-6-2013 at 14:16:09

Stangely, Clouseau didn’t say anything about the tire tracks, nor about the “thrown in a corner” bicycle. So these have to remain a mystery as for now.
The only light in the tunnel seems to be the indication that he “may still need a full year of investgation” before he can solve the case: even adding the one year gone by, that’s serious improvement compared to the initial 10 years estimate.
Too bad the French police have this weird attraction to secrecy, when the British are so open and straightforward.
Since I’m in the UK, having a cup of tea, I’ll try to fill you in on reactions over here.

9-6-2013 at 15:21:34


Thanks. Yes two Jacks … Monsieur Jacques and Edouard a pair of Parisians now living in SE London.

French reports seem to be giving a lot of emphasis to “la piste de l’espionnage industriel”, which I find bizarre. The only evidence for this, according to Maillaud, is the surfeit of equipment in SAH’s house which Maillaud himself admits maybe of no real value.

Like Max and others, I say that if Maillaud is prepared to base his theories on such flimsy speculation with regard to SAH, why not do the same with SM?

9-6-2013 at 15:25:35

Le Parisien summary:

Good-bye lonely nutter, hello corporate intelligence !
Prolly, prolly this journ is thinking there’s something unusual in vacationing by Lake Annecy with umpteen Gos of industrial data stored on various devices. Wrong, it’s very ordinary, quite natural, nothing surprising. Many mechanical engineers do that routinely, just to keep themselves busy.
And as Marilyn aptled pointed out, there was no such thing as a Zaid interview. Just an ambush, and he did well to remain calm, cool and collected. Rebailed? We’ll see in October..
I still think SM was target (too?)

9-6-2013 at 15:40:23


Maybe you are thinking of the empty cartridges and fagends that were found at the scene ?

9-6-2013 at 16:00:43

I also noticed that only the English gentleman said anything about the present situation for the French and English family, Maillaud is as unfeeling and cool as ever.

9-6-2013 at 16:02:43

Place me in a room with E-Maillaud and we will have a “conflit violent” (tres violent) within 5 minutes maximum. 🙂

9-6-2013 at 16:47:58

So, it is 21 bullets, not 25, the former now confirmed by Maillaud (Channel 4 doc said 21).

17 of them hit the victims, (what happened to ‘all were on target’ ?) okay it is only 4 that didn’t, no doubt missed shots, but where, into the car windows or towards Mollier, this would account for the bullets found on the road towards Chevaline.

This is better, the article from the Twitter Feed I posted earlier, (mag reduced to an 8).

9-6-2013 at 17:00:18

Strange how different preceptions are. the german n-tv speaks after press conference of gresat improvements in the case … stupid.


9-6-2013 at 17:03:27

I recall ‘audio’ being mentioned in the Press Conference, EM also said he was obsessed by the dispute over the inheritance:

9-6-2013 at 17:12:31

Saad was obsessed !!!

9-6-2013 at 17:33:12

@Lynda (and all)

Re ’17 of them hit the victims, (what happened to ‘all were on target’ ?) okay it is only 4 that didn’t, no doubt missed shots, but where, into the car windows or towards Mollier, this would account for the bullets found on the road towards Chevaline.’

You do realize the following?

If those 4 ‘missing’ bullets were found on the road dir. Chevaline (which I think is the case) … then they most probably were aimed at the running and escaping SM (and not at SAH, because the direction thus not fit).

Thus adding 4 to his count of 5-7 (iirc 3-5 + 2 in the head?) leads to an incredible 9-11 count bullets for SM alone

If true, it is imho hard to imagine he was ‘just collateral’

– M

9-6-2013 at 17:46:03

….Still around.

For a view of the barrier at the Martinet, look at the very end of the video.

9-6-2013 at 17:51:29

Les premiers coups de feu sont ensuite partis et Sylvain Mollier est arrivé.

… I would liked to have it the other way around. Does not make sense to me, but I could be wrong (but in that case I was always wrong)

(because if the shooting started before SM arrived I can not for the life of G** understand why and how X could miss SAH????)

To me it should read:

Sylvain Mollier est arrivé et les premiers coups de feu sont ensuite partis

… but somehow Em is not phrazing it like this (I could read constant ‘denial’ into this, but I hope, for all related families, I’m wrong)

– M

9-6-2013 at 18:05:12

@ Max, 9-6-2013 at 17:51:29

I have been wondering about that phrasing, too.

However, to my mind, the most important sentence is the one immediately preceding your quote: Puis il a demandé à sa fille de regagner la voiture, ce qu’elle n’a pas fait.

So Saad was the first one to perceive the danger, even before the first shots were fired. Sorry, Lars, but I think that this makes it rather unlikely that the killer initially “overlooked” the Al-Hillis. If Saad saw him, most probably also saw the gun in his hand – for why else would he suddenly take fright? – the chances are that the killer had seen Saad, too.

9-6-2013 at 18:10:07

Video bits of the conference … still looking for the total conference

– M

9-6-2013 at 18:28:21

Maillaud interviewed by BFM TV

9-6-2013 at 19:05:33

Have a read again Max and you’ll see that they are happy to conclude there was no meeting, had gone for a walk.

“Forcément “un lieu de promenade pour la famille al-Hilli” et non un lieu de rendez-vous, comme évoqué à de multiples reprises.”

He also mentioned the “hard reverse” again.

Max, the sound quality wasn’t very good, couldn’t hear the questions and the bank of microphones were lined up in front of Maillaud, maybe that is why it’s only excerpts.

I agree about the bullets being found on the road, must find the source again.

Saad and Zainab were out of the car, confirmed, Saad told her to get in the car, he saw man with a gun, supposition, Mollier arrived at the same moment, killer was wound up enough to continue with the plan to shoot Mollier, fired some bullets in the direction of Saad and Zainab as well as Mollier – realises he is now in the doodah and well, the rest we know.

Who was more likely to have had a meeting at or beyond Le Martinet ? Inquiry team are happy it wasn’t Saad ……

9-6-2013 at 19:25:41

Since the 70’s Zaid dealt with the father’s estate.
Saad became convinced that he was syphoning off money.
That is a line of inquiry. (The French police)

Zaid has been arrested, he is not in custody, he is on bail.
There is a tremendous amount of work to be done.
There are documents. There is audio. (The British police)

Audio with whom ? Saad and Zaid ? Saad and Iraq ? Saad and X ?

So “if” Zaid had been managing his father’s estate….and “if” he had been “putting his hand in the till”….it still does not follow that Zaid had Saad gunned down. Even “if” Saad had found out about this at the time of/or after his fathers death.

Yes I can appreciate it may be a line of inquiry.
But a hired killer stalking Saad and his family as he towed a caravan around France ? It just seems a bit strange.

Where as I can “see” that Saad may have made a “bid” to “take control” of the monies in Geneve. He may have need the “assistance” of other parties to do this. The “they” may have then made an attempt to “rob” Saad.
How that plays out I don’t know….but I just can’t see the “other” option as being “possible”.

9-6-2013 at 19:41:10


Nice “stand up” by E-Maillaud. He might re-educate himself and become a TV-reporter. 😉

9-6-2013 at 19:46:07

Does anyone know who the lady was sitting next to Vinnemann? As said I had technical problems and missed a bit in the beginning.

9-6-2013 at 20:12:18

Just to reinforce the point about the family definitely having gone there for a walk…

….I came across a snippet from one of the earlier press conferences where Maillaud is putting forward ‘the walk’ theory, presumably in answer to a question about why the family were there in the first place. He talks diffidently about there being lots of short walks up there, 500/ 600 metres in length, and also lots of lovely flowers (which would of course also tie in with the stop by the Doussard house).

It’s obvious from their manner that Maillaud and Vinneman have accepted this as being what happened and in fact the whole excerpt has the air of Maillaud effectively ‘quoting’ from a previous conversation, rather than this being his own rationale/ or interpretation of what’s happened. I presumed that this info had come from interviews with the campsite owners…

9-6-2013 at 20:15:20

@ Lars

I thought I read somewhere that she might’ve been Vinneman’s boss effectively…could be wrong though…

9-6-2013 at 20:55:49

oh well….

According to this Maillaud is no longer ‘in charge’, I didn’t realise that he ever was !

9-6-2013 at 21:09:47

After a wonderful day away from murder, what is there more for me to say?

I think the French and British investigators were honest and told us what they know which is that they do not know who had done the shooting that day and why.

Has anyone noticed that Lieutenant-Colonel Bertrand was not there? So the woman gendarme has replaced him. It does not mean that Bertrand has been demoted, he has probably been transferred, and maybe under a higher rank,that of Colonel.

Lichfield of the Independent (Lynda’s 8.55 p.m.) is an excellent foreign correspondent and he knows Paris and France very well having been based here for some time.

There will undoubtedly be more stories in tomorrow’s papers,and each reporter would have had to supply something ‘new’, so prepare to hear that the disputed sum was 10 million euros.

Have a good commenting night.

Speak 2moro.

9-6-2013 at 21:37:45

from Jean-Marc Ducos’ Twitter feed @ 21:32:

“#Chevaline. Sylvain Mollier était au téléphone avec son ex-épouse juste avant de mourir. Info Exclue Demain dans Le Parisien.”

“#Chevaline. Sylvain Mollier was on the phone with his ex-wife right before he died. Exclusively tomorrow in Le Parisien.”


9-6-2013 at 21:44:51

@ RR regarding n-tv speaking of “great improvements”:

Come on, RiffRaff, read the article, n-tv is *quoting Eric Maillaud* as speaking of “great improvements” – and that makes all the difference here!


9-6-2013 at 21:50:15

@Alex … wow (must read that one tomorrow!)

9-6-2013 at 21:55:49

from Jean-Marc Ducos’ Twitter feed 21:38:

“#Chevaline. Un troisième cycliste était sur la route de la Combe d’Ire ce 5 septembre 2012. Un vacancier. Info exclue demain dans Le Parisien.”

“#Chevaline. A third cyclist was on the route de la Combe d’Ire that september the 5th, 2012. A holidaymaker. Exclusively tomorrow in Le Parisien.”


9-6-2013 at 21:57:22

Jean-Marc Ducos ‏@jeanmarcduc 19m
#Chevaline.Un troisième cycliste était sur la route de la Combe d’Ire ce 5 septembre 2012.Un vacancier. Info exclue demain dans Le Parisien.

… Now, would that be a witness who can backup the X5? Very interesting!! (btw, could also be the 3rd vtt’ist we were knowing about)

Let’s see

– M

9-6-2013 at 22:02:22

#Chevaline. Sylvain Mollier a été percuté et écrasé par la voiture des Al-Hilli. Sans doute première victime. Info exclue demain Le Parisien

9-6-2013 at 22:07:14

@ Max:

Le Parisien’s Android app installed – check.



9-6-2013 at 22:15:14


Good idea:P

– M

9-6-2013 at 22:31:09

@Alex, well reported !

Glad to see Le Parisien posing and posturing !Third cyclist must be the one mentioned in Channel 4 doc and by Mme Lise Ducher …. I hope he was the one who saw the mystery 4×4, then we’ll know it existed !

9-6-2013 at 22:37:28

@AC at 21:37:45

“#Chevaline. Sylvain Mollier was on the phone …”

Two points: SM had gsm reception and his location could be known.

9-6-2013 at 22:49:58
9-6-2013 at 22:59:53

Seems we have to catch that article in Le Parisien before it goes behind any paywall. Thans Alex.

9-6-2013 at 23:00:04


It would be good to have confirm on X5 (although in that case imho the whole SM=target collapses … as said, to me X5 is key)

9-6-2013 at 23:02:01
9-6-2013 at 23:02:22

A bit strange first a press conference without news, as expected, and then Le Parisien says they are going to publish some real news tomorrow, the day after. I guess they didn’t want to steal Maillaud’s show.

9-6-2013 at 23:07:07

‘La première, qui concerne Sylvain Mollier, a pratiquement abouti. Selon Eric Maillaud, ce dernier était là “au mauvais endroit au mauvais moment”. Aucun lien n’a par ailleurs pu être établi entre son activité (il travaillait pour Areva) et celle de Saad al-Hilli (ingénieur dans les satellites).’

… no shit EM … I am not talking about some ‘nuclear connection’ between SM and SAH and X … you should check out GSM! and the strange case of CM07! … there is you possible clue!!!!!

(perhaps they have not covered that angle at all … I can’t believe it, but you never know, with EM visiting TS and CS in the first week and declaring on that SAME DAY that the answer must be in the UK!)

– M

9-6-2013 at 23:09:51

I noticed from the press conference that there were not many journalists there, I thought the room would be packed with people.
I don’t think I heard one question from an English speaking journalist, but I could have missed it since it was very difficult to hear the questions.

9-6-2013 at 23:11:52
9-6-2013 at 23:25:42

Some quite good stuff here about the Luger being an odd choice for the job

Otherwise I struggled here and there with some of the French

9-6-2013 at 23:36:25

@ Lynda:

I read in the article whose link Oui posted the story that “Saad told Zainab to get back in the car, which she didn’t do. Then the shooting started and Sylvain Mollier arrived.” (freely translated from an Eric Maillaud quote).

For you’ve already translated this before and took reference to, I just wanted to add that

Saad might not necessarily have told Zainab to get back in the car *because of the shooting / because she was disturbing the killer / because he already felt intimidated by the killer*, he might have *just like that* told her to get in the car.


9-6-2013 at 23:38:07

It is very interesting information that bit about Sylvain talking to his ex-wife Lydie just before the murder.

As Oui said above, if it was while Mollier was on Route Forestiere, it meant that he had a connection where he was.

It also means that he probably stopped somewhere along the road to talk to her (probably said where he was at least). I have never tried to talk on the phone while cycling. I can’t even imagine doing it. Interesting since that slow moving Brett-Martin was supposed to be behind him.

As the old story goes Lydie woke up the boys to tell them that their father had been killed, must have been pretty late around 22:00?
But if Lydie had talked to Sylvain when he was out cycling, and we know that the news were out on the local stations before 17:00, it all seems pretty strange. I always thought she got a phone call, maybe from someone in the Schutz family telling her what had happened. But if she already knew that Sylvain was out cycling in exactly that area and had heard the news that a cyclist had been shot, wouldn’t she put 1 and 1 together earlier and get upset/nervous?

9-6-2013 at 23:53:41

Why phone your ex while you are biking? … nope … probably she phoned him. Makes you wonder though, the call. I guess it was while he was already biking (between Ugine and Martinet) How long would that phone call take? Hard to say … but suppose it took 2-3 minutes. It certainly would have slowed SM a bit down. Perhaps just enough for SM to NOT arrive before AH at Martinet. The outcome of the shooting could have been very different indeed had SM arrived first. Who is to say.

– M

9-7-2013 at 00:25:13

For us it’s all new news.

All this informations are already known by the police for a long time. This failed to solve the case.


9-7-2013 at 06:05:47

I don’t feel like I’ve learned much today, I guess not reading French has been a hindrance.
I do find it interesting that Saad recorded all his phone calls, but did they mean only relating to the inheritance, and how far back, or did he record all his calls to everyone?
Is there a recording of the press conference online with English subtitles?

9-7-2013 at 06:13:49

I’ve just watched I-tele, they mentioned le Parisien. They didn’t say more than what Ducos had twitted. I-tele got Maillaud’s comments:
– He confirmed that there was a third cyclist, a 60 years old tourist, who was overtaken by the 2 others about 5 or 6 kilometers from the Martinet
– Yes Sm’s ex-wife phoned him, he answered that he could not talk to her because he was cycling.
– Yes about SM being hit, overrun(?) by the car. This hadn’t been released because of the morbid aspect of it and because it was not much helpful as they still didn’t know who was shot first.
You might get it on

9-7-2013 at 07:43:13

Morning All.

Alex, thanks for the tip-off regarding Le Parisien issue today. I will buy it later this morning.

Bibi, you were watching the tele early this morning!

I would say that Le Parisien spoke to Lydie yesterday after the press conference and she decided to talk being fed-up with the silence around Sylvain Mollier’s killing. She and her two sons may also be cut out by the mistress’s family and friends which is further angering her.Time someone talked.

All from me for the moment.

Have a good commenting day.

9-7-2013 at 08:23:01

Couldn’t find anything in Le Parisien yet.


I don’t believe Lydie and the boys are cut out from the “mistress” at least. They seem to be best friends.

9-7-2013 at 08:39:22

The whole CS-LR-Ugine etc. is a twilight zone.

9-7-2013 at 08:50:08
9-7-2013 at 10:02:55


Le Parisien will be behind a paywall immediately.

9-7-2013 at 10:37:06

The plot thickens !
I thinks “some” must be fed up of Eric’s lack of “clarity”.
And so “a year on” they may start to force the investigation more.

9-7-2013 at 10:46:43

@George, DZ says account opened in 1988, Maillaud 1984. Also, it’s implied that Saad DIDN’T go to Geneva. (Channel 4 doc said he did).

Did anyone pick up that both Zaid and Saad went to Iraq in 2004, to reclaim their fathers porperty ? Zaid, according to Maillaud is not Suspect Number One.

Regarding the telephone conversation, between Lydie and Sylvain, it is often easier for the ex’s to speak when the new partner isn’t around, invariably it will be about the children, no matter how friendly it all appears.

If what Ducos is saying is true then I think we can be sure the tyre marks were made by the BMW and Mollier was already lying on the road when the reverse took place.

The killer could not have seen the damage he had caused to the occupants of the car, once the shots were fired at the windows, they were holed and crazed. You only need to look at the passenger side front to realise that, Brett Martin said they were all holed and crazed. The police didn’t open the doors because they didn’t want the glass to fall out – which of course in the rear it did eventually, notice that the two front windows have tape around them, presumably to stop this happening.

Of course the killer could have had enough time to peer in, would he really have been able to tell that they were all dead, whilst the wheels still spinning and the engine revving, why didn’t he open the doors and drag them out to be sure ? Because the doors were locked. He certainly made sure with Sylvain, if we are to believe that he received two head shots (after being run over by the car).

Do you recall that only three bodies were removed in the funeral wagons, a fourth later in the day, did we ever see a fourth ? Could that odd photo of someone being in the front seat of the car actually be Saad and the small blue/grey tarpaulin to cover him inside ? Or was it to cover the seat as someone would have to steer the car onto the truck ?

I’m only posing my thoughts, I don’t expect answers.

9-7-2013 at 10:59:51

@Bibi, James – iTele strapline, Maillaud says that Le Parisien comments are not helpful to the enquiry …..

He really doesn’t want anyone going near the other side, does he ?

9-7-2013 at 11:11:06

@Lynda @George

Yes, I read it that way also.

Saad DID NOT go to the bank in Geneve (although did he go to Geneve ?).

He was due to go to the bank.
Was he due to go that very day ?
DZ “La coïncidence des dates est extraordinaire”.

He had a friend from university living in Ticino. (That’s a fair whack away).

Zaid had tried to get a couple of credit cards in July 2012.

And the part I find a tad odd is that the Swiss authorities have interviewed employees of the bank (and I imagine taken steps to “freeze” the account) BUT “the bank” themselves have NOT contacted the Swiss authorities.
DZ “La banque a estimé, à mon avis à tort, qu’il ne fallait pas contacter la justice”.

9-7-2013 at 11:26:28

Just a bit of speculation about hearing/not hearing gunshots etc…

If Mollier took a call from his ex wife (“can you take the kids next weekend”) he may well have been wearing a “sports earpiece/headphones avec mic” set.

Listen to your tunes whilst riding your bike…and take a call.

Also tells you can see how far you’ve gone, how high you climbed, you average times and you split times…there’s an app for that !

Back to DZ and his revelations.

9-7-2013 at 11:49:53


Yes I see that, but they sell single articles for 0,86 Euro, and that is within my economical capacity. 😉

9-7-2013 at 11:52:51

I think inheritance issues brings out the worst in people.
For evidence . . . I only have to look at my own family. (and read Charles Dickens)

I don’t think it is strange that Saad recorded telephone calls regarding a contentious issue. He could only do this with Zaid’s permission anyway.
I would say he was being thorough.

Were ZandS sharing the role of executor of Kadhims will?

OK ref: the 100 investigators? . . . really?. Is this in UK and France together? are they working on this case exclusively or in a desultory part-time way.

My internet signal has shrivelled to ‘low to no’. I am next to the coastguard/lifeboat and they really hog it in summer.
Therefore I rely on you awesome chaps to make comments on videos etc.

Great job so far methinks. Some info dribbling in.

9-7-2013 at 11:58:34


Yes, I heard that piece about Saad and Zaid trying to get hold of their Iraqian property together.

I believe Zanni more than I do Maillaud.

The call was certainly about the boys. But any details about that phone call would be very interesting. (I believe that they were still quite good friends, by the look of it).

I think the killer could be reasonable sure that the victims were not going to survive by just looking at them. Marc Desbiolles lived for a week but died from his wounds at the hospital.

I seen many photos of funeral wagons, but which one is which is hard to tell.

9-7-2013 at 12:02:57

I still can’t find any article in Le Parisien. Is Ducos pulling our legs?

9-7-2013 at 12:53:29

If SM was under SAH’ BMW (which I assumed since the LM oct 2012 ballistic report was around) then it follows that most probably SM was downed first (otherwise this superfit man could have evaded the BMW)

And, by logic, if SM was downed first I tend to believe he was the (primary) target.

I guess X aimed on purpose at SM and downed him first (bullet count etc make this clear)

Now, as said before, SAH nearly escaped (if the BMW had not been stuck)

So … with SM downed first AND SAH nearly escaping I can see no other way than SM being X’s (primary) target

That is why I’m completely and utterly baffled that ‘everything SM’ is simple ‘not done’.

There is another little thing that stikes me. Zaid, cathed by those Sky reporters, seemed not ‘irritated’ or what. He accepted it, the situation (he might be X of course, but aside from that). On the SM front, I can see ‘irritation’ by CS. But c’mon … what else to expect? To me, it sounds weird … as if ‘they’ want to forget the whole affair asap!?

Of course everybody wants to solve the matter, and only then it will get some peace and quiet. So CS and co should in a way be ‘pleased’ that the journo’s (how irritating they might be) are STILL INTERESTED, because that way the chevaline killings won’t die without a solution … who is X???

So … I find the FR side acting weird. And I do not trust the ‘wall of silence’ at all.

– M

9-7-2013 at 12:54:07

I have Le Parisien.

It’s three-quarters of a page with little text as most of the page is taken up by 4 sketches of the lay-by.

Regarding the sketches. Yes, the bike lies there where we saw it on Max’s enhanced photo.

Regarding the text.

(1) Sylvain Mollier’s ex phoned him on his mobile/cell to speak to him about custody problems. He told her that he will call her back.

(2) Sylvain Mollier was shot first, but it does not mean that he was the killer’s intended target as Le Parisien’s contact told them. From Sketch No 1 he was shot and went down beside his bike.

(3) The money in question was between 3 to 5 million euros.

(4) The killer was either on foot and had escaped that way through the forest, or he had continued by car or motorcycle (the BMW X5 or the mysterious motorcycle) along the Come d’Ire.

That’s about it.

I hope the above makes sense.

The sketches:

(1) On Sketch 1 Saad Al-Hilli’s BMW is parked with the rear to the road. Saad and Zainab stand beside the car on the driver’s side (therefore on the right side of the car). The Killer stands on the road to the left of the sketch which is on the right side of the BMW. Sylvain Mollier is lying to the right of the sketch which is on the left side of the BMW.

(2) On Sketch 2 the BMW’s front is facing the road. I see now that Saad could not have got the BMW in that position by reversing. He had to make a U-turn. In the sketch he is behind the wheel and the two women are seated in the rear. Zainab stands in front of the car on the right of the sketch and to the right of the car. Sylvain Mollier lies half under the car’s left-hand side.

(3) On Sketch 3 the killer is standing beside Zainab and is hitting her.

(4) On Sketch 4 there is no killer, but William Brett Martin is on his bike on the road on the right of the sketch and on the right of the car.

From the sketches it looks to me that when Saad made a u-turn with the BMW Sylvain Mollier got caught up in the front left wheel and he dragged him to where the BMW had come to a standstill.

You who are drivers can picture how you would have made a u-turn on that narrow lay-by.

9-7-2013 at 13:05:00

Oh, and before I forget. It is true that there are a lot of coincidences in the SAH circle (regarding the money etc.) And true, it may well be the ultimate reason for the killing (of SAH and family)

But, I won’t be fooled in thinking that only at SAH there are coincidences

I’ll again coin the baffling notion of GSM being the sis of PM (caught in 1 brutal killing, CM07) and the mum of CS (caught in another brutal killing, SM12)

Now if we must talk coincidences … we must do it properly … and I ask, who can beat the ‘CM – PM – GSM – CS – SM’ coincidence? lol;)

– M

9-7-2013 at 13:33:29


Sylvain Pech might be able to tell you how many dead bodies were recovered from the crime scene

9-7-2013 at 14:05:09

Hmm…just musing over some of the material from the press conference.
I think there’s perhaps an illogicality at the heart of it, myself…

We’re presented with a much firmer sense of the gunman: a man who’s obviously extremely competent with his weapon, and reportedly no stranger to killing. 17 of his 21 shots find their target, although if you discount, say, 8 of those as having been fired at stationary targets from close range, then the accuracy rate against moving targets drops to 9 out of 13. Still fairly impressive to my untrained mind…

And yet in the same presentation, we’re also asked to believe that this skilled? (chevronne and aguerri were two of the French descriptions) gunman has failed – in his first volley of 8 shots – to disable his primary target sufficiently to prevent him from re-entering his car and attempting some sort of evasive/ aggressive manoeuvre. The only circumstances in which I can see that being the case would be for Mollier to suddenly appear EXACTLY at the moment as the killer is training his gun on Saad. Cue mayhem and madness, with the gunman now correctly realising that he has to firstly eliminate Sylvain Mollier, or risk an escaping witness…

….to be fair, that seems to me pretty much the gist of how Maillaud sketched out the scenario, as outlined in Oui’s Tuerie de Chevaline piece at 22.49 last night.

….but that’s if you believe that a practised gunman, on a contract with a relic of a gun, thought that he could adequately tackle a car of 3 adults and 2 children…and with them more than likely being out of the car…!

To my mind that really is stretching things, but then I’ve no knowledge at all of how reckless or desperate people can get when guns and money are involved…

9-7-2013 at 14:23:32


I agree but you should call him CM007 😉 , with a license to kill.


Thank you for the Le Parisien digest. Perhaps not worth having? Ducos perhaps exaggerated a bit

9-7-2013 at 14:34:48

To reiterate: Saad told Zainab to get back into the car before the first shots were fired. To my mind, that implies that he had seen the killer and sensed that things were about to turn nasty. Zainab did not obey her father, suggesting that she herself had not seen whatever her father had seen. The question is: what was the killer doing at that point?

Given that SM must have been very close to the killer when he was first shot (according to the scenario outlined by Le Parisien), just a few steps away, I don’t think that the killer had raised his gun and aimed at either Saad or SM. Surely SM would have seen that and would have attempted to flee.

My best guess is that the killer aready had the gun in his hand (thereby spooking Saad) but held it so that the approaching SM could not see it, e. g., behind his back. Zainab obviously did not see it, either, perhaps because her father blocked her line of sight.

SM cycled right into the trap and was shot at close range. To me, that implies two things: 1. If SM knew the killer, he did not fear him. 2. SM was the primary target, if only for tactical reasons. Still, in the foregoing interpretation, the killer risked Saad either getting away or attacking him for the sake of ensuring that he would get a good shot at SM.

9-7-2013 at 15:23:38

I have no problem paying to go behind the wall today, if only I could find the link, so far I have yesterdays report and video on line

@Marilyn, are the positions of the car the same as in Le Monde, posted by Max a while back ?

Why do you think he had to do a U turn, isn’t a reverse arc the same ?

Do you have the facility to scan the illustrations, if you do send them to Max and he’ll sort it out.

9-7-2013 at 15:31:48

Another thing: if you had a pistol pointed at yourself, would you tell your daughter to get into the car, as Saad did? I don’t think so. I think the natural reaction would be to freeze, raise your hands and yell something like “Don’t shoot!”

The mere fact that Saad told Zainab to get back into the car and that he himself climbed back into the car suggests that he did not consider himself the primary target of the killer, but rather a bystander. I think that the killer’s actions, standing in the road – the wrong place to be if he was after the AHs, but the right place for a close-range shot at SM – and his probably holding his pistol such that SM could not see it until it was too late, indicate that SM was the first focus of his attention.

That is not to say that SM was his only or even his primary target. To my mind, it merely indicates that the killer is a very cold-blooded and/or very crazy person.

9-7-2013 at 16:06:18


Check the email accounts you use to log on here.

9-7-2013 at 16:18:52

Merci, Marilyn,

Same as Le Monde. Reverse U, logic.

Can you do the same with the text ?

9-7-2013 at 16:28:52

What I would like to know is what manoeuvre did Saad make to have the BMW face in the opposite direction. Lynda in her 4.18 p.m. said it is logical that he reversed and then made a U turn – or a wide turn. In reversing he must have caught Sylvain’s body in the left hand front wheel and dragged him further onto the lay-by.

I could not actually remember the Le Monde sketch, Lynda.

Will see what I can do with the text. So watch your email, All.

9-7-2013 at 16:30:50


I hear (or read) what you are saying (or writing !).

But… if neither Mollier or Al Hilli knew the killer, then whom ever was shot first is not necessarily the “primary target”.

If the killer was the only person that knew what he was about to do (assuming there was a “primary target) then anyone who got in his way would also be shot (be that in the first instance or the second).

So to identify “who was shot when” becomes an irrelevance.

The one thing it does prove is that the killer was at the car park with the express intention to shoot (as you say, most likely with the weapon drawn).

HOWEVER this then is a problem.
1. Al Hilli was there on a random day out (I’ll come back).
2. Mollier was “lost”.

The “I’ll come back to that” bit.
I watched on youtube a clip (still picture collage..or is that montage !) of that day. Or rather the next day. One picture showed the police in “drizzle”.
The weather must have been changeable that week. Which means that it is not beyond reason for Al Hilli to have chosen to do the activity he did.
Not “go for a walk”. But “go for a drive out”.

9-7-2013 at 16:41:10


My assumption is that SM was ‘directed’ to Martinet


9-7-2013 at 17:00:14

My server is being bolshie and refusing to transmit my emails.Therefore, my apologies to those of you who did not receive the Le Parisien text.

9-7-2013 at 17:48:46

Well folks, that was all a bit of a let down, and unless I missed something the police wasted an opportunity to focus the publicity to give a punchy public appeal for information.

Having said that, there were some weird bits of information, the strangest was that the Geneva bank did not come forward to the Police when they knew that SAH was going to visit them!

On a positive note, I am pleased that the Police are considering industrial espionage as a piste.

One thing that occurred to me was that SAH may have seen someone climbing up out of the culvert just beyond the barrier, and it was this that spooked him into telling Z to get back into the car. He may not at that stage have seen a handgun.

Another thing was that, as I think Lynda pointed out, if SM had headphones on he may not have heard any shouting or altercation that preceeded the first shots.

We must not forget the speed he was going, it may be that the shooter had to take his focus off SAH (assuming it was on him) simply because if he did not shoot SM right at that moment then he would not be able to stop him. SAH used this opportunity to get into his car.

9-7-2013 at 18:16:57

@Marilyn, this one, courtesy of Max:, you may need to scroll onto the photos to the right.

9-7-2013 at 18:17:26

@ Lynda
“Maillaud says that Le Parisien comments are not helpful to the enquiry”
Well, “helpful” was not the right word, I think the word he used was “determinant”… My translation was very bad. Then about the third cyclist, he said that he was 5 or 6 kilometers from the scene and that he had been overtaken by the 2 other cylclists…. (Bref une grosse approximation de la part de E.M.)

9-7-2013 at 18:39:53

@ Marilyn

I haven’t seen the Parisien sketch so far.
But a U-turn in English is the exact opposite of a “hard reverse”: in a U-turn, you rotate the vehicle of 180 degrees by locking your steering wheels all the way to one side while moving FORWARD.
Sadly, Saad couldn’t do a U-turn there. Otherwise he might still be alive.

9-7-2013 at 19:12:53


Yes the sketches came through. Thanks for that.
The only thing is, it never shows the gunman at the drivers side of the vehicle.

It would therefore suggest that Saad was hit through the window as he inside the vehicle….and the car managed to steer in a semi circle with the power applied. Is that possible !?!?!

A note on the third cyclist.
They say he was 5 to 6 kms away from the scene.
But when ?
5/6 kms away when he was overtaken by Mollier and Martin ?
5/6 kms away when the shooting happened ?
He would have been passed by the 4×4 ? and the motorbike ? leaving the carpark. Was he 5/6kms away from the scene then ?

I assume he must have reached Martin and Bossy at some point.
That would be on the Combe d’Ire ?

9-7-2013 at 19:22:40

@Bibi, I only saw the strapline earlier, ‘servir’ was the word used, didn’t write it down. Maybe it was ‘servir a rien’ – not helpful/useful.

I didn’t hear him speak.

Has he appeared on screen about the case today ?

9-7-2013 at 19:23:33

I wonder if that Le Parisien article will ever turn up online.

And no Sun subscriber has announced his/her will to help.

9-7-2013 at 19:34:35

@Eugene @9-7-2013 at 18:39:53

Re your point that “Saad couldn’t do a U-turn there. Otherwise he might still be alive.”

It depends how far in he was and at what angle. Just my 2 pennyworths but I think he might have been better off trying it, if he started from full lock and parallel to the sign.

The carpark at the top end is ‘deeper’ giving more room and the drive wheels would have been on the gravel of the carpark, not the soft soil of the bank. The tow bar would not have dug into the bank either.

Another advantage is that he would have been possibly less visible and vulnerable to the gunman.

If he had made it round, and it is reaching I know, he could have driven straight out without stopping to change direction.

I have wondered why he didnt hard reverse right 90 degrees and simply floor it uphill in reverse. It may be he did what he did to shield Z from the gunman. Or maybe there was a vehicle blocking the way uphill.

9-7-2013 at 19:46:45

@James, you got there before me, I suppose 5/6 kms from the scene, I wonder on what route, Moulin or Chevaline, did he pass the builders ?

Did I read a tourist in his 60’s, so much has been written in three days, I lose track ! Did he see a car, any car will do, for now !

It can only be that as Brett Martin, in principal, was approaching the village of say Doussard from a different direction to Sylvain Mollier.

I think the firing at the drivers side took place at the top end of the parking as the car pulled out, the killer probably edging closer to the moving target, in the reverse turn the passenger side coming into view. This also explains the ‘pink foam’ on the window struts both sides.

Although early reports were that he went around the car shooting the occupants with a ‘double tap’, that is sensationalism on the part of the press.

9-7-2013 at 20:33:10

This is a first for me: Maillaud ‘retracts’ his statement that Sylvain Mollier was ‘lost’…

Pour le procureur, la quatrième victime est un cycliste français victime du hasard, Sylvain Mollier, né en avril 1967. “C’est un simple promeneur à bicyclette qui avait décidé de grimper la Combe à ce moment-là.”

9-7-2013 at 20:50:27

@partlucid @9-7-2013 at 20:33:10

Indeed! well Sylvain’s son had stated that his father regularly rode the route because it was cool and shaded. Also his uncle lives nearby and he used to visit.

9-7-2013 at 21:16:11

Lynda, Ok, after looking at the sketch of Max which you sent me, I now know what manoeuvre Saad undertook.In Marilyn-speak it is a round-reverse. ‘Reverse’ to me is straight back. So I can now see how Saad had run into Sylvain and dragged him along.

Rashomon, I will email you Le Parisien’s sketch too now.

Eugene, I had a problem emailing the sketch as my server turned bolshie and wouldn’t let my emails go through.And oh yes Eugene, I probably got my driving licence when you were still a twinkle in your father’s eye!! Having said that, do know that as I do not know my right from my left I can not drive in Paris or anywhere in Europe as I learnt to drive in a right-hand car and on the left side of the road. And where it says in the Paris Metro ‘hold on to the right, I hold on to the left’.

I will now go do some killing of my own.

Have a good commenting night.

Speak 2moro.

9-7-2013 at 21:19:25

@Partlucid, no retraction it is from THURSDAY 6th September 2012, first impressions and all that.

9-7-2013 at 21:27:39

@Rashomon at 19:34:35

I think you may be right and have written so earlier. Saad made perhaps an unfortunate choice. But who can blame him? It was a decision that he had to make in a split second. And perhaps Z’s position played a role in this.

9-7-2013 at 22:05:11


That’s why I ironised it with quotation marks. Your normal eagle eyes must’ve missed that Lynda…

9-7-2013 at 22:21:32

@ Lynda
Le procureur Maillaud sur itele à propos des infos du Parisien :
“exact mais pas de nature à faire avancer l’enquête”
“le 3ème cycliste d’une soixantaine d’années était à 5 ou 6 kms des lieux et n’a strictement rien vu”

9-7-2013 at 22:22:17


Now, if you were standing in front of me, I’d wink and say ‘we all make mistakes, darling, don’t we ?’


9-7-2013 at 22:33:02

@Bibi, thanks for that, I only saw the ‘strapline’.

Which of course has evaporated ……too busy tonight being whisked onto a Strictly dancefloor, light relief from the horrors portrayed in every news item.

Bibi, we know you live in France, do you find people around you concerned by what happened a year ago, I pose the question locally and get a typical Gallic shrug, the not my problem one ?

9-7-2013 at 22:37:45


Indeed Lynda…where would we all be without our little follies. I’m assuredly as well placed as anyone to know that….

I recently came across an amusing caption on a dating website; participants had to supply an amusing or eye-catching one-liner to accompany their photo…

” I’ve always learned SO MUCH from the mistakes I’ve made in my life that I’m eager to make some more..”

Maybe it’s an old line, I don’t know, but it certainly amused me…

9-7-2013 at 22:59:50

I’m off for tonight, watching Last Night Proms, have done all my life that I can remember, started as a child with my parents crying to the rendition of Land of Hope and Glory, you have to be a Brit to understand. My Dad reckons I’m more Welsh since I left than those that live there, I’m not, just appreciative of my mogrel roots.

And yes, I’ll sing, I’ll clap and I’ll cry.

@partlucid, made me smile, too.

I wonder if the Sundays will have something exploive to offer, they do like a good yarn.

9-8-2013 at 00:16:09


“Although early reports were that he went around the car shooting the occupants with a ‘double tap’, that is sensationalism on the part of the press”.

You can see where I was coming from.
I did “assume” (which is dangerous) that.

So if the killer didn’t walk around the car when it halted, then his shots must also have killer the drivers side pax when he hit Saad ?

That’s some shooting.

The police will be the ones that know if those fatal shots were fired at close range…or not. And they aren’t saying.

But then the car manages to drive in a turn and under power.
That’s why I assumed Saad was hit (fatal) at the end of his escape.
How could the car turn and be under power otherwise ?

Very confused ! As we all are I guess.

9-8-2013 at 06:12:56

If there is no connection between SM and the Al Hillis, it turned out very lucky for the killer, even though he may not have realised at the time, that he killed them all, here we are a year later probably evenly divided on who was the target and who was collateral damage.
Does anyone still believe industrial espionage is possible, I see it got another mention at press conference?

9-8-2013 at 09:17:48


I have said earlier (see e.g. the previous thread) what I think about industrial espionage in general and in this case especially.
I don’t understand the French investigation. You can’t just say that you have have ‘found a motive’. You must also give a plausible explanation how it could have been factor in this case.

@James re:’shooting’

I don’t quite understand what you mean. You almost need to make a sketch to explain. My view is that after the car had made the backward U-turn the killer ran across the lay-by. First shot through the front side window and killed Saad, remember that the seat beside him was empty (Z was outside). The killer then shot through the back side window and killed the two women. The killer stayed on the side of the car that was facing the lay-by.

9-8-2013 at 09:25:25

Bonjour. A sunny Sunday in Paris. Can one ask for more? Yes, good health and $35 million in the bank.

Somewhere I had read that Saad Al-Hilli had information on him which was beyond his expertise and had no connection with his work. It was accordingly presumed that he had gathered info to hand it on to others or another.

Do I believe Saad was into industrial espionage? Frankly,I do not know what to believe anymore.

Regarding the shooting:

So if a perfectly unwounded Saad got into the BMW, made the backward U-Turn how come he had been shot in the back?

And for the discrepancy over how many bullets had been fired. Can it not be that a bullet could have exited one person and entered another? Whether a Luger shot has that capacity I do not know. Peter will know.

By the way, the Le Parisien piece was not by-lined.

I must just say that I will not contribute much here this week. I do have Celeste who will be looking in regularly should any comment be blocked etc.

Have a nice commenting day.

9-8-2013 at 11:11:28


I’ll try and explain. I may be completely wrong, so your input to provide correction would be gratefully received.

In the sketches (mostly all I have seen and the latest one scanned by Marilyn) the BMW is facing inwards. It reverses and ends facing outwards.

The killer is usually situated towards the drivers side of the BMW.
The BMW is facing inwards. Here the firing starts.
The nearest aspect of the BMW the killer is facing is the drivers side (RHD).

The BMW then reverses.
The aspects of the BMW facing the killer changes.
Beginning with the drivers side, the car then displays its frontal aspect…and ends up with the passenger side aspect facing the killer (as the reverse is completed).

Whilst the killer is advancing upon the vehicle, it is the aspects of the vehicle which is displayed to the killer that changes….not the “overall” position of the killer to the BMW (if that makes sense).

And that’s the bit I am struggling with.

You see, I believe (or conceive !) that when the BMW found it’s final resting place (at or on the bank) the killer moved around the vehicle and positioned “himself” at the drivers side. And it was from there where he fired his “coup de grace” (for want of a better phrase).

This does not mean it was the so called “double tap” the newspapers like to write about. But it was shot(s) fired through the window at the “still alive/still semi conscious/still conscious” although injured Saad Al Hilli.

The reason I “believe” that are two fold.
Firstly, the car is under power and the wheel must be held in a turning position. Although the car has “power steering” which requires a “lighter touch”, the vehicle will have 16in or 17in tyres on it. You’d still have to have hold of the wheel in order that the “turn” is executed.

Secondly, the car would have had to reverse from it’s original position onto the “road”. It would be still under power. The logical route for that vehicle would be for it to continue backwards down the road.
If the killer was to fire through the passenger window (as the car changed its aspect to the killer) “he” would have had to exclude the possibility of the BMW’s continued reverse down the road (exclude “chasing” it as it reversed) and “he” would have had to move (or remain) in his position (albeit advancing) so that when the aspect of the vehicle changes (to show the passenger side) “he” can then fire through the passenger window and strike Saad Al Hilli.

Put basically. I believe that the injured Saad found himself “stuck” when he had completed his reverse….as the gunman moved around the vehicle to the drivers side where Saad was seated. The final shot(s) at him where fired from that position.

This however isn’t shown in any sketches.

Hope that makes some sense and look forward to reading what you think.
Sorry it’s a tad long !

9-8-2013 at 11:26:57

@Lars (again !)

Just to add to my “long” hand written “sketch” !

Why did Saad reverse ? Was he going to leave his daughter behind ?

The simple answer for that (I believe) is “No”.
His daughter was inside the car.

This is speculation and maybe FB could help out if he has been in Saad’s BMW.

When the car had it’s rear impact, the “automatic door locks” would have “popped” open. There are sensors in the rear bumper.
(If FB can recall Saad’s BMW having that device operational).

Due to that impact and the car being “technically” in motion, I would not be surprised if the doors “re locked” automatically.

That theory needs to be tested of course….but there is the possibility.

9-8-2013 at 12:06:57

@ James, 9-8-2013 at 11:26:57

Interesting idea – but if Zainab made it into the car, why did she get out again?

My own explanation of why Saad performed that particular manoeuvre is twofold. I think that he reversed (rather than trying a hard left turn going forward) because he hoped to hit the killer whilst doing so, and because he wanted to put the car between the killer and Zainab, shielding her. This may be over-intellectualizing matters, finding a rational explanation for the instinctive split-second decision of a panic-stricken man, but it would be a rational thing to do.

He would have had a much better chance of saving himself and his family if, after the first half of the manoeuvre, he had continued straight downhill in reverse for a little bit, before perhaps doing a reverse bootlegger’s turn in the lay-by immediately below the Martinet. Yet he did not do that, he continued on his semicircular path. I believe that he did so because, in the position where the BMW ultimately ended up, the front passenger door was just a few steps away from Zainab, giving her a chance to get into the car.

9-8-2013 at 12:27:33

@ Rashomon, 9-7-2013 at 20:50:27

I think that it is quite safe to assume that this idea of SM “being lost” at the Martinet was a (white?) lie on the part of Eric Clouseau, intended to justify the enquiry focusing exclusively on the Al-Hilli family.

Why would he spin such a yarn to deflect attention away from SM and towards the AH family? Either he knows something that he doesn’t wish to reveal, or he has been ordered to keep SM out of it, or both. Anyway, Friday’s press conference was remarkable for how very, very little was said about SM.

Regarding SM’s route, I have made the mistake of allowing some fellow cyclist friends of mine to talk me into joining Strava
and I can now track their rides in great detail on a daily basis (which is depressing, because I myself am not training as hard as I should). Premium users can upload their performance data for individual stretches of their routes almost in real time. Now, I don’t know whether SM used this platform, but if he did, his cycling contacts would have known his favourite routes and his average speeds on those routes in great detail.

9-8-2013 at 12:32:20


Precisely that as you wrote it.

Why did he not continue backwards down the road.
Maybe that was the frantic plan that Saad had. Just get away backwards.
All family members were in the vehicle.

And that’s what I mean by the killer in the sketches. I don’t get it.

Lets say that Saad was hit in the back.
In pain and losing consciousness he makes his escape.
The cars speed and Saad’s condition means that the escape backwards becomes a “turn”.

The gunman is not only advancing, he is also firing at the frontal aspect of the car.

The BMW impacts the bank causing the locks to “unlock” (a safety feature incase of an accident), having previously “auto locked”.

The killer follows the car around….and towards the drivers side.
There he fires into the car.

The kiiler then moves to Mollier (who has already been shot) and fires five more times.

Zainab in shock, in horror, in fear….reaches for the door handle which opens. And she runs.

She may have been already hit by the shots fired into the car as it reversed. Or by shots fired into the drivers window. She may have even been hit as the killer turned from Mollier. Who knows.

But to me, I think that’s how it played out.

9-8-2013 at 12:49:06

James, 9-8-2013 at 12:32:20

It is possible that Zainab was in the car. However, if we believe the (unofficial) reconstructions, she was shot only once, in the shoulder, while still outside the car. If she got into the car after being shot, there would have been bloodstains on the front passenger seat. (Perhaps there were, but these have never been mentioned.) Also, she would have to have been very lucky indeed for the shots aimed at Saad to miss her.

Again, it is conceivable that Zainab made it into the car and then got out again, but I think that the balance of probabilities is against that. To my mind, a key argument is the fact that the killer repeatedly fired through the car’s side windows. If he had seen Zainab opening the door and getting out of the car, he would have been stupid not to fire through the open front passenger door (if it had remained open) or opening it again himself.

9-8-2013 at 13:10:03


Yes, it would be much easier to discuss this if we could sit together with a sketch-book and draw, but I will try.

First I must say that I agree with the second paragraph in Peter’s comment. I think that the alternative described by Peter there and the alternative described by Rashomon above, would both have been much better. But we all make wrong choices in life, sometimes with very tragic consequences.

Then back to the drawings: First I want to say that Le Parisien has “borrowed” these drawings from Le Monde, who uses them to describe their scenario.

Then, these drawings are not that exact that you can draw too far-reaching conclusions from them. I am surprised that the drawings in the newspapers and the crime reconstructions in the documentaries have not used the real Le Martinet as a model. If I was to draw a picture I had first drawn a realistic picture of Le Martinet and then placed the actors in that drawing.

The perspective in the first drawing is obviously wrong as you can see from Max’s calculation of the initial position of the car. In the drawing it looks as if the car is standing in the middle of the lay-by, which it wasn’t. The bicycle is probably also placed at the wrong side of the road (if we are to believe that it is the bicycle we see on the photos).
I think this drawing is just meant to depict the initial shots and that Saad was shot in the back then (a thing that I think Maillaud has denied).

The second drawing is I believe correct. The killer stood on the “lay-by-side” after running across the lay-by and shot through the windows. I don’t believe he went around the car. (The forensics experts know hopefully the correct answer). I though believe that Z’s position is totally wrong.

The third drawing is probably also wrong. If it wasn’t so tragic I would have thought it looked funny.

I don’t believe that Z ever reached the car. I don’t think the events had evolved like that if she had done that. Z could probably remember at least that, even if she can’t remember exactly what happened.

9-8-2013 at 13:27:43


“To my mind, a key argument is the fact that the killer repeatedly fired through the car’s side windows.
If he had seen Zainab opening the door and getting out of the car, he would have been stupid not to fire through the open front passenger door”.

Yes I agree…but only if the killer was positioned on that side of the BMW.
And that’s the thing.

He didn’t fire through the open passenger door because he was at that time on the drivers side of the BMW.

If we change the “words” a little and use the word “crashed”.
Saad tried to escape…but he crashed.
The killer, having followed/chased the car, he moves to the driver.
He does this to “disable” the car permanently by shooting the driver.

The car would be “at rest” as he moves around. And the doors locks would be “unlocked”.

It maybe that the killer fires over the vehicle at the fleeing Zainab.
(That would be a high shot at a small and moving person. Maybe that’s why her injury was were it was).

The “key” question would be, would Saad try to escape if his daughter wasn’t in the vehicle. And I can’t see that. Regardless of the danger.

But there is another thing.
Is there a “solution” to the riddle (given what we know) of Zainab being outside of her fathers locked car ?

And the answer is “Yes”. But only if….
A. There was an impact of some type.
B. The vehicle is in motion/regains motion (i.e. auto locks can re-engage)

And on those two counts, it is theoretically possible.
I of course don’t know what went on at that car park during those horrific minutes….but taking what we know, it seems a possibility.

It ALL depends on Saad’s car having “auto locks” operational.
“Now on mine they all lock together”.
Current Car:530d M-sport 2006

Same series, same engine size, different model, different year (2 yrs newer).

9-8-2013 at 13:40:28


Why do newspapers draw the damn things !
They must really have very little respect for their readership.

One documentary had the BMW practically in the middle of a bloody field !
They then showed the rear wheels spin on the grass !!!! Crackers.


Just a note on auto locks and accidents.
Obviously a designed safety feature along with the engine shut off.
But as the “crash” wasn’t a big one, the engine remained “on” and the car “in gear”.

A possibly explanation why the locks were able re engaged.
The car (in reverse) had some motion to it looking at how it dug into the ground.

9-8-2013 at 13:51:36

I’ve just read your comments made after you have seen the sketches.

I think we are all thinking like people who are sitting, in total security and safety, at our PCs or Smartphones. (And drinking tea and eating biscuits!!)

When one is in a position of danger one does not think rationally. One does not even think at all.

Lars, I also thought they have the bicycle at the wrong end of the road, unless, of course, one turns the sketch upside down.

I agree with those of you who think that the killer did move around the car. If he were after Saad Al-Hilli then he would have rushed around the car to get back to the right of the car and to Saad. But say he was not after anyone in particular but wanted to stop Saad from driving off, he also would have rushed around the car to get to the right of it and to its driver – Saad.

Regarding Zainab’s position on the sketches. Not wanting to look up photos, was the BMW a four-door? If so then Saad could have thought of Zainab jumping into the car at the rear as he drove by her.

Some of you also commented on the oddity of Saad’s manoeuvre. Again I think that he was not thinking rationally.

There is also the oddity of the two women having remained sitting in the rear. I can assure you all that I would not have. I would have been out of that car so fast, shouting, swearing and carrying on, even going for the gunman. But then that’s me.

I did also read somewhere that the shooting had gone on for just a few minutes. (Blame discalculation for me not being able to remember how many minutes.) So this was not something that went on for half an hour or longer. It was one, two, three and over and done with.

To think that we are going over and over the scenario, yet both the French and British investigators must have a good idea of how the shooting had developed, but they are not telling.

We must also bear in mind that Zainab said that there was no one there when they arrived at the lay-by. Therefore, the killer had still to turn up,either on foot or on a motorcycle or in the mystery BMW. But William Brett Martin was not passed by anyone on that road but Sylvain Mollier on his bicycle.

Anyway, continue talking.

9-8-2013 at 14:03:03


The only one who has been to the lay-by is Alex, so he will be able to tell us which is the best manoeuvre to take to get off it.

9-8-2013 at 14:03:58


“Some of you also commented on the oddity of Saad’s manoeuvre. Again I think that he was not thinking rationally”.

I “kind of” disagree. I think he was thinking as rationally as he could, given the situation. I don’t doubt I would have done the same. A long reverse.
I believe he was thinking “get out of here”.
Moreover, “get out of here…with my family”.

And I believe he damn nearly did it.
If the shot fired at him had not struck him…I think this would be a whole different story.

Maybe there was a “lone nut” ? It’s not impossible.
Maybe the target was Mollier. Again well within reason.
I some how don’t think the target was Saad.

Saad arrives at the car park. He and Zainab get out of the car.
Maybe GeoCaching on a “not so hot” afternoon.
Mollier arrives.
The killer “arrives”.
He fires at Mollier, striking him.
Saad tells Zainab to “get in the car”.
As he opens the drivers door he is struck by a shot.
He reverses the car to escape.
The killer moves after the car firing.
Injured, Saad is disabled. The reverse becomes a “turn”. He crashes.
The killer moves to the drivers side and fires.
Zainab is fleeing as the killer fires at her. She is struck.
The killer moves to mollier and fires five times.
The killer moves to Zainab and fires…but there are no rounds left.
He begins to beat her.
The killer then leaves believing all people are dead.

9-8-2013 at 14:08:08

“I don’t doubt I would have done the same. A long reverse”

I’ll add. Or even a “turn around reverse turn”.
There is a nutter with a gun, firing at someone else. Not at me.

It could be a “private” feud. I’ll just get the hell out of here.
Saad may have not even thought that the firing would be directed at him.

9-8-2013 at 14:39:14


Your scenario makes perfect sense to me.

I am sure the day we learn what happened there, we are all going to be surprised at the simplicity of it all. Like it was a gun nut or a nut with a gun. They are about unfortunately. And there remains the shooting of Xavier Baligant under similar circumstances. No newspaper even mentions his shooting anymore these days. This despite huge UK headlines at the time of the Chevaline killings that Baligant’s killer also killed the Al-Hillis.

By the way – changing the subject – do let us know if you see more shipping movement in the Med.

9-8-2013 at 15:06:47

Got the ST first thing this morning. Very depressing. Not a single line about Chevaline or this anniversary conference. Only Ronnie Wood flashing his vintage Ray-Bans on the cover of the magazine section. As of today, you learn more by reading Le Parisien than from The Times. Very depressing.

Otherwise, I think James has made some very, very interesting remarks today. Not that I agree with everything he suggests, but he’s opening new doors. I’ll try to give youmy point of view tomorrow.. Planning an extended 5 o’clock (tea of course, what else?)

9-8-2013 at 15:23:12


I haven’t seen a “dickie bird” since.
Been to “The Mad Cow” (Moscow) ….and enjoyed their lovely traffic.

You get to sit in the back of a car, smelling the drivers vodka breath as he zooms along at a steady “stationary” kms .
All glamour !

BUT, just for instance (I believe what happened at the car park was pretty much as I have theorised) if there was a “nutter” at large in France, how would it be handled ?

Would they give him the “pleasure” of feeling important…and being hunted ? Would the authorities use the dynamics of the press to say “nothing”.

A year on I am more inclined to say Mollier was the target than Saad.
However…a “nutter” is a possibility that cannot be rejected.

Is there some “dynamics” behind that rejection ?
The Press Conference a year on wasn’t even on the same day as the murders.

9-8-2013 at 15:35:49


I think you must take into consideration that the killer knew as little as Saad did and as we still do, what was going to happen the next second.

Now we can say that it seems like the car got stuck on the bank. But the killer could not know that. To run in front or behind the car could be dangerous if Saad got control over the car again. I don’t think Saad had hesitated a second but simply run the killer over.

So as well for speediness as for safety I don’t believe he went around the car. He could do his job where he was. But I can’t of course be sure.

9-8-2013 at 15:39:51

The end of that scenario….

One or Two at Saad.
One over the car at the fleeing Zainab who must have then fallen.
Five at Mollier.

That’s 7 or 8 shots.
That may have been the “last” magazine fired.

I actually felt sick when I just thought that.
Need some “happy thoughts” now. What a horrific end to lives.

9-8-2013 at 15:47:14


Again I agree.

But in that moment. At that time. God only knows (and I doubt she even does) what was going through that killers mind.

He (it) could have stood off to the drivers side of the car as it was reversing ..and he (it) was firing.

That would make it even easier for “it” to “go around” to the driver.

I refer to “him” as “it” …as I don’t think this person should be recognised as a “human being” anymore.

It had some “luck” that day. It doesn’t seem to be “professional” (if that is indeed the term for such behaviour).

9-8-2013 at 15:53:12

On the subject of the killer’s movements around the car…

….one thought which had occurred to me was that he may have fired at Saad initially through the front passenger window, as he would have had much more room for manoeuvring from the centre of the lay-by, and also on that side he would have been spared the danger of Saad being able to open the driver’s door against him…


Hi there Rashomon, I don’t think we’ve directly ‘spoken’ to each other yet. Were there really reports of SM having cycled the Combe d’Ire road before? I have a vague sense of Maillaud claiming that he was there ‘pour la premier fois’. I don’t actually have anything against Maillaud per se (I imagine he found himself overwhelmingly catapulted into the international media spotlight) and I can ‘just about live’ with his facile untruth about SM being lost, but it would be a material difference if Mollier cycled that route often or regularly…


Now that we’re pals Lynda I must INSIST on asking you about a detail from your ‘scenario’ (and I of course await rigorous! correction should I be wrong). I think you have SM as the primary target, don’t you?…but I think you also maybe have SM ‘knowing’ or at least recognising the killer. Now I do have a high regard for your sleuthing on here – for what that’s worth – but I am completely perplexed as to how you can extrapolate that from the relatively few crumbs that we have to make do with…

9-8-2013 at 16:11:56


Since I don’t know I like to follow what I/we call ‘Max’s golden rule’: keep it as simple as possible.

If we believe that drawing 1 is principally correct (as I do, though strange perspective), the killer started running from a position to the left of the car (seen from the driver) and he had no reason, as I see it, to get to the other side of the car, so I think that also drawing 2 is principally correct.

Thinking about it I might draw some realistic sketches of Le Martinet.

9-8-2013 at 17:14:50


lex parsimoniae.

The theory with the least assumptions.
Take what is known. Add the least to it. That’s the answer.

9-8-2013 at 18:57:59

We seem to have lost that press conference video. Even though it didn’t contained much it would be nice to have as a reference. I must admit that I wasn’t really prepared that they would send it live.

Does anybody know about any reliable and easy to use videograbbing app?

9-8-2013 at 19:15:51


You wrote in your 3.47 p.m. God only knows (and I doubt she even does). Might you have knowledge from being ‘up in the clouds’ more than us creatures confined to earth about God’s gender? Or was that a typing error? I’ve always thought that had he/she/it been a woman the world would be a much better place. Only a man could have made such a mess.

James, earlier this year I wrote about a father shooting to death his wife and their four children and the two family dogs and burying the bodies in the back garden, now that murderer can be called an ‘it’. And just recently (July) a mother and her 18-year-old daughter disappeared and a week ago the daughter’s DNA was found on blood in the family’s deepfreeze, so go figure. He, by the way, was a Legionnaire and has now committed suicide.

You were in Moscow. I can put two and two together …

9-8-2013 at 19:16:24

To the person who left a comment about Saad’s daily disappearances from the campsite.

I am so sorry but an incorrect move on my keyboard and I trashed your comment. Can you please repeat it? Thanks.


I’m off now till tomorrow.

Have a good commenting night.

9-8-2013 at 19:32:44

Alex (who has never gotten Marilyn’s sketch e-mail, sniff) says:

I’d reverse turn hard right (even into the panel, but better onto the road direction hair-pin bend) and then get the hell out of it downhill.

And no, nobody’d sit still in our car if my rear passengers would see a killer approaching.

The moment we’d hit the bank on reversing and our front doors would open unlocking the rear door security lock the rear passengers were out of the car.


9-8-2013 at 20:00:17


Don’t be sad I forwarded them to you.

9-8-2013 at 20:07:22


The campsite remark: I’m not sure if you’re maybe referring to something I suggested Marilyn

Peter had made the interesting suggestion that a fearful Saad might have been looking for an upgrade from a Taser to a pistol and there was some talk of gunrunners and intermediaries…

During that exchange I speculated that Saad could perhaps have been in regular contact with some sort of local middle man, hence his supposedly frequent comings and goings from the campsite…

It was little more than a groundless aside, really

9-8-2013 at 20:13:51

@partlucid @9-8-2013 at 15:53:12

Hi there partlucid – you wrote :-

” Were there really reports of SM having cycled the Combe d’Ire road before? ………. but it would be a material difference if Mollier cycled that route often or regularly… ”

Yes there were definately reports to that effect – specifically his son stating that his dad liked to ride that route because (being in a wooded valley running North/South) it was cool and shaded. I guess this would apply during the summer months.

To the best of my recollection there was also (maybe in a different article ) a reference to Sylvain having a relative (uncle?) who lived nearby who he would commonly drop in on when riding this route.

Unfortunately I dont have the URLs for these references but I shall have a look for them and get back to you.

9-8-2013 at 20:25:57


Up “there” I just get more radiation than anyone else !
No insight at all on the “big question” (is she a he ?)!
I do so want “Him” to be a 12 foot punk rocker who likes shouting really loud. And when you meet “Him” no one likes him !!!
That would be funny.

Moscow was nothing “war like”. I end up there sometimes.
It great in the winter ! Lovely and grey !

@Alex (who has never gotten Marilyn’s sketch)

That’s logical. And really a good point.

But if “it” was on the right and firing, would you turn towards “it” (even in reverse) ?
I can see what you mean, but instinct would be to “go” the way you came…and away from the shooting would be strong.

On going left in reverse…and hitting the bank.

If the rear passengers didn’t see the shooting start (another great bit of “evidence” pointing to the BMW being “nose in” at the car park) the confusion would be terrific.

You would realise only that there is a “problem” when your husband/son in law is injured…and that you were darting backwards in a hurry.

By the time you realised what was happening you may have only the time to hide your daughter.

Also I am trying not to bore everyone with “I think this is what happened”.
But I do have another thing. Based on “occam’s razor”.

9-8-2013 at 20:29:14

@Alex (who has never gotten Marilyn’s sketch)

should now read

@Alex (who has never gotten Marilyn’s sketch…but Lars has forwarded the email)

Where’s the “smiley face” button ????

9-8-2013 at 21:20:26


Interesting Rashomon. I knew I’d read “la premiere fois” in connection with Sylvain Mollier cycling up that road and so I looked it up after reading your remark. I think it struck me as slightly odd at the time because how could anyone know whether Sylvain had ever been up there or not?…but of course I now realise the route could have easily arisen in conversation with, say, Claire or Thierry Schutz, or indeed any cycling colleague…

Depuis quelques jours, celui que l’on avait baptisé “la quatrième victime” fait la Une de l’actualité. Un témoin cité par nos confrères du Parisien expliquant qu’il pouvait avoir été tué en premier.

Le procureur a toutefois donné des éléments nouveaux concernant les circonstances de la balade du cycliste sur ce chemin forestier sur les hauteurs du lac d’Annecy: c’était la première fois que ce père de famille de 45 ans, employé d’une filiale du groupe nucléaire Areva, venait pédaler à cet endroit, sur la route de la combe d’Ire, à Chevaline. Venu sur les conseils de ses proches, “il s’était trompé de route par rapport aux indications géographiques qui lui avaient été données”.

The date for these remarks is the 22nd October which I believe is around the time that ballistic reports were beginning to suggest that Sylvain may have been shot first. In other words it could look as though Maillaud was feeling a need to firm up the notion that SM was there entirely par hasard

I wonder if the son issued his statement as a refutation of the par hasard story?

….and of course even that wouldn’t necessarily imply that SM was the target – Maillaud may simply have been further strengthening his shield for the Schutz family – but Sylvain cycling along there regularly might be a potentially interesting new development..?

9-8-2013 at 22:12:44


Re ‘Regarding the telephone conversation, between LR and SM, it is often easier for the ex’s to speak when the new partner isn’t around, invariably it will be about the children, no matter how friendly it all appears.’

So … how would LR know SM was on his bike?

Because, you know, Ugine – Martinet = 25 kms, and for a biker like SM it would take less than 1 hour. And LR phoned him sometime during that 1 hour … so again, how would LR know about that specific hour?

(I’m not suggesting anything, I just care for details, all details;)

– M

9-8-2013 at 22:19:43


I thought so too.
Then at least two persons probably knew where Mollier was that day.

9-8-2013 at 22:28:46

Sylvain Mollier’s ex-wife calls him right before the murder?

And then he tells her where he is so she can be sure to get him when she kills him some moments later


by the calls she knows exactly where he is so she can tell the killer that Sylvain’s coming?


9-8-2013 at 22:46:02

A weird thing about the ‘bad man’ Zainab statement is the following (and I do NOT blame the girl for this) … why don’t we have a (at least vague) description of X??

E.g., he was black, or he was white (or even yellow;). He was tall or short. Black hair, bald, beard, etc… you name it.

But we have NOTHING of X … why???? What exactly DID Zainab see and tell then? Did she see JUST THE GUN?

That could well be, and FatBastard said Zainab would call ANY PERSON with a gun ‘a bad man’

So, if that is the case, I will allow the option that X = female;) (with gun of course, a Luger)

– M

9-8-2013 at 23:22:49


It is coincidence ?

Or it “lights up” Mollier’s phone as to where he is ?

It must be “before”. His phone would still be on after.

I am not convinced the “target” was Saad.
I don’t know if the “target” was Mollier.
It is unclear if either were the target.

But the reason I think about the “crime scene” is to ascertain what happened. Like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle. Each piece has a question.
Which way does it fit ?

In one way the crime scene is simple.
The question is…why are the media playing such “dynamics” in this case ?

Al Hilli wasn’t the target.
Is it therefore a psychopath the police seek or a hired person that was sent to kill Mollier ?

9-8-2013 at 23:39:33

@Max @9-8-2013 at 22:46:02

Max the answer to your question “Did she see JUST THE GUN?” is probably yes.

The phenomena is called ‘weapon focus’ and I have experienced it personally myself. It is powerful, because I had been taught about it before I experienced it, but it still occurred.

I was even vaguely aware it was happening at the time in a “that’s irritating” kind of way but pushed the thought to the back of my mind because, presumably, the very old part of my brain that deals with ‘fight or flight’ was firmly in control.

I suspect that she could give a reasonably good description of the gun but little else. So the police probably know whether the gun used was a pristine P06, had a suppressor attached or was a bespoke gun designed so that the bullets and cartridges would appear to have come from a P06.

As a follow on, I think that the assailant deliberately struck Z about the head in an attempt, not to kill her, but to stun her specifically to prevent her remembering the events clearly and becoming a reliable witness.

9-8-2013 at 23:40:07

Occram’s razor.
Where is there least assumption ?

Mollier was said to be hit five times…after being hit twice. Why ?
Because there was no need to kill anyone else.

Zainad was brutally beaten after being shot. Why ?
Because “it” thought he had already killed her.

If Mollier was shot first…and then last, who was the target ?
The “least assumptions” would say Mollier.

So why are the media (led by the police) indicating it was Al Hilli ?
Why is Zanni searching Switzerland ?

9-8-2013 at 23:44:25


Re ‘Jigsaw’

It is even more simple (the only way simple) … every piece can (by definition) only fit in ONE WAY. So you and me only have to FIT all the pieces and the ‘picture’ will just appear before your eye, no problem. Be it a castle, nice girl or a dinosaur, does not matter, THE FITTING will make things clear.

There are even no questions, there is just FITTING

(of course the things you fit are the ‘facts’ … now there is a problem, what is a fact, and do we have enough facts yet to show the ‘picture’?)

– M

9-8-2013 at 23:47:32


Re ‘As a follow on, I think that the assailant deliberately struck Z about the head in an attempt, not to kill her, but to stun her specifically to prevent her remembering the events clearly and becoming a reliable witness’

… wouldn’t that perhaps point to X having a ‘medical degree’?

– M

9-8-2013 at 23:49:05

@partlucid @9-8-2013 at 21:20:26

You are certainly correct that EM makes the claim !

“c’était la première fois que ce père de famille de 45 ans, employé d’une filiale du groupe nucléaire Areva, venait pédaler à cet endroit, sur la route de la combe d’Ire, à Chevaline. ”

I still haven’tyet found the reference to Sylvain’s son saying his dad rode up there because it was cool and shady. I shall keep looking.

9-9-2013 at 00:02:56


Hey there dude. Sorry if I caused offence.

It’s not just you and I fitting the pieces of the jigsaw together.

There are questions there. As we say in my job “baby steps”.
Start where you are…and work backwards to find the problem.

I didn’t think it would cause you to react that way !

9-9-2013 at 00:14:56


No intention to ‘offend’

You mentioned ‘jigsaw’, that word I liked. I saw and see this killing as one big sudoku, nothing more, nothing less. Keeps me objective (although I could feel stuff for the girls, if I wanted to)

In my job I use ‘building blocks’ … stuff of which I’m sure and on which I can build. If I’m not sure, I don’t build.

So with this simple method I have already one big issue with EM … How can he be sure it is not about SM? In other words .. what is the FACT that makes him sure of SM not being the target.

It is a year on and I don’t have heard any word on this.

– M

9-9-2013 at 00:39:21

Marilyn if you have time I’d love to be able to see the sketches too.

Did they confirm at the press conference that Saad did have an argument with someone at the campground and why they moved.

People mention jigsaws but this is like having to guess what the picture is with only about 10 of the 5000 pieces. The police don’t appear to have a lot more pieces despite their cubic metre of documents.

9-9-2013 at 00:49:41


In my work I also have “problem solving” issues.
And on really bad days, this consists of conflicting information coming my way.
So over the years (and a few Check Lists that can’t be relied on) I have learnt to treat things as a “jigsaw”.

Each piece a question.

How do you know you X is X before you do Y ?
So you work it back.

Since late Sept 12 I have thought that Zainab was in the car.
The car “crashed”. The locks popped. The killer finished his gun/rounds into Mollier.

I am open minded. I know I can be totally wrong (its a job requirement, hence being “open”) but I have yet to see an argument that states the Al Hilli killings was otherwise (with logic).

Often you find, the simple answer…is the way it happens.

9-9-2013 at 01:24:57

@Max @9-8-2013 at 23:47:32

Max, you asked “… wouldn’t that perhaps point to X having a ‘medical degree’?”

No, not necessarily. I learned that by going to an evening course in Psychology at a local HE college.

In the same vein, the work of Prof. Elizabeth Loftus on Eyewitness Testimony and its (lack) of reliability is compelling reading.

9-9-2013 at 01:41:22

@James @9-9-2013 at 00:49:41 and previous posts

When you say that the car “crashed” are you alluding to the car impacting Sylvain Mollier during the hard reverse.

Was that the pause that “popped the locks”? If not, where does it fit in?

I think originally the line was that the BMW hit SM and gave him severe chest injuries. (which I wrongly assumed was the rear quarter of the BMW impacting SM as he was sitting on his bike)

If I have understood it correctly, at the most recent press conference, the police said that SM was dragged in an arc after becoming trapped under the front left-hand wheel.

No I have a bit of difficulty making that work, unless SM was trying to crawl away.

Having said that, it is consistent with BM saying he moved SM because he was in front of, or up against, the wheel.

9-9-2013 at 08:27:37


Highway to hell. I was on one yesterday as my server was being nasty. (Alex, who sang that?)

re: the Le Parisien sketches.

My apologies to those who did not receive the scanned copy of the article: reason (as above).

Alex, I did not send it to you because you were the one who told us about the piece and so I thought that you’ve seen it on one of your new very very smart smartphones.

Anyway, I have now emailed the page to Wizard Max and he is going to stitch it together and enhance it as only he can and post it here and then you will all be able to have a look at it.

Interesting comments during the night.

The discussion re what Saad had done or not done to turn the car is also interesting. The only way I will understand what you people are saying is to be right there at the lay-by and for one of you to take me by the hand, as one does with a blind person, and tell me ‘Marilyn, we are now walking towards the right,’ or ‘to the left’ whichever one it will be, because right and left’s all the same to me.

Rashomon, I’ve not heard of Prof Elizabeth Loftus but will try to find a book by her seeing crime is what I write.

If Sylvain Mollier went down beside his bike and the bike was beside the road (as on the Le Parisien sketch and as on Max’s enhanced photo) then it is logical that when he got entangled in the BMW’s front left wheel, the car dragged him along to where it had eventually come to a stop. So yes, the body, would have been dragged half-way across the lay-by.

By the way, having read all the night comments I do not think that anyone offended anyone. All comments were well contemplated and put.

Where is Lynda? Hope you’re OK lassie.

Now, I will be off …

Speak later.

9-9-2013 at 08:34:24


Now if I would have the following ‘jigsaw’ pieces: ‘medical training’, ‘evening course in Psychology at a local HE college’, ‘Prof. Elizabeth Loftus on Eyewitness Testimony’

To who would that ‘fit’ (better):

– Zaid?
– a Schutz?
– a ‘low budget Balkan’ killer?
– a ‘nutter’

… it is just a detail. (if important) It could fit. Just like the ‘air pump’. In the end those things could(!) make sense, so better not neglect the beating of Zainab versus the KILLING of the others (and the ‘overlooking'(?) of Zeena)

– M

9-9-2013 at 11:57:43

I can’t verify with links but the son made remarks very early on. It was in reference to seeing the murder news on the TV and them saying amongst themselves. “Dad likes to ride there doesn’t he? Hope it isn’t him?” Could have been the Mayor of Ugine talking to Radio 5Live or Radio 4.

A number of different routes may however include Combe d’Ire within them and perhaps it means he started at a different place that time or rode it at a unusual part of the route?

9-9-2013 at 11:59:04

@ Rashomon, Max

True, there are all kinds of limitations and biases to eyewitness testimony, such as weapon focus and a tendency to underestimate the height of tall offenders.

Still, Zainab will have been able to tell the police whether the killer was male or female, tall or short, masked or unmasked and, if unmasked, white, black or brown. They’ll know his approximate height and weight from his shoeprints and gait pattern. They are just not revealing that information.

I am sorry, but the idea that the killer hit her on the face in order to impair her memory is a little too fanciful even by my standards. We are not talking about some rogue neurosurgeon or experimental-psychologist-gone-bad here 😉

9-9-2013 at 11:59:46

The attack on little Zainab

What’s for sure? Only that she was found out of the car. Nothing else.

2 theories: a) she was in the car when attacked, as someone recently suggested, but later got out looking for help or just running away. This sounds almost impossible. In such case, the doors would have remained unlocked (auto-lock function operates past a minimum speed, unless when the doors are unlocked by the fob and yet remain closed for more than a preset time).
b) she was indeed outside the car when attacked. In such case, it must have happened before the car had reached its final position: otherwise, for the same reason, the doors would have been found unlocked. Hence, in this case, Saad was still alive and able to operate the car by the time she was attacked. This seems to be the only likely theory.
What are the implications? Clearly, it comes to wondering whether Saad could have made the choice of leaving a wounded Zainab behind in an attempt to save the rest of the family. From all we know of him, this sounds totally unlikely: the perfect family man and parent he was would never have done that.
So there’s only one single theory left: Zainab got shot and hit on the skull outside the car, and her dad decided to keep steering the car BECAUSE HE THOUGHT SHE MUST HAVE BEEN DEAD. Such an assumption was very likely. A 7-year-old, by the end of such an attack, was probably lying unconscious on the ground: she must have “passed out” momentarily from the various trauma she suffered. Saad was probably aware she had been both shot at and savagely knocked on the head.
Only if thinking she was dead was Saad likely to make the decision to flee to save other family members and himself.
Likewise, if this is what happened, it makes it rather logical to believe that the killer(s) also thought the same: no need to assume he/they “ran out of ammo” by the end of the attack on Zainab. Only that she was no longer a priority target at that point in time.
So, in this theory, Zainab was lying unconscious on the ground WELL BEFORE the end of the killings. And thus, whatever she later told investigators may be both SINCERE but INCORRECT: she may have seen only a single “baddie” just because she passed out and the other bad guy only appeared seconds later. If two shooters, no need to explain the location of shots by such an intricate choreography in between the car and a single shooter. For an ambush in such a location, anybody sensible would have 2 shooters, one on each end of the lay-by. And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to have 2 handguns that would leave the same ballistic forensics.

9-9-2013 at 12:04:36


The car “crashed” into the bank. Well, “impacted”.
If that was hard enough the sensors located behind the rear “bumper bar” would trigger the auto locks releasing.

That would allow an escape.

If the gunman had “chased” the BMW (which was escaping in reverse) around and was firing at the car, it is likely he would be trying to “stop” this escape and likely to have found himself on the drivers side of the car, when the car hit (crashed into/impacted) the bank.

The already injured Saad could not escape through his door.
However it would be possible (and likely a reaction) for Zainab to escape through her door (which would now be unlocked).

The BMW being “in gear” and with it’s engine “on” may then have (at some point prior to Martin’s arrival) re locked itself (auto locked).

The point I am trying to make is, if those auto locks were available on Saad’s BMW which it looks likely they were…and they were operational, then it may provide an answer to how Zainab was found outside the car.

And further to that, it may show that Saad was in a position to escape when the shooting started (i.e. the gunman was not “on top of them”).
Why does that matter ? Well it may demonstrate that the attacker wasn’t a “pro hitman” as he was firing from a distance OR that his first shots were directed towards Mollier.

Pure speculation…and a step ahead of myself here.
Could the reason for that the police are “concentrating” their investigation (publicly at least) on Saad Al Hilli be some sort of “dymanics” in this case ?

9-9-2013 at 12:15:38


“This sounds almost impossible. In such case, the doors would have remained unlocked (auto-lock function operates past a minimum speed….)

Not so fast Eugene !

Below is a video of a BMW 520D (2008).
Okay not the same model year etc…I’m trying to find that spec.
But note at 0.06 the computer display when setting “auto locks”.
“Lock after moving off” (a tick box).

It can therefore be “unticked”.

Does that mean it will “lock after a set time” ?
The BMW auto lock system isn’t like other cars. It’s a pretty nifty system…with lots of options.

9-9-2013 at 12:31:28

@Peter (and all),

Explain me why Zainab was not shot like the rest? Out of ammo? Really? SM was shot 5-7 times, and Zainab ‘only’ hit by a bullet in the shoulder.

What I think is that X was holding back on killing a child. Nevertheless a bullet had hit Zainab … Imho this could have been a ‘stray’ bullet.

We wondered about the women NOT protecting themselves (reflex) against the headshots …

… Perhaps X did hold Zainab (as a hostage) and said ‘look at me!!!’ at the AH’s and so was able to headshot them … after which X disposed of Zainab in a non-deadly way (perhaps yes by beating her, who knows to ‘erase’ her memory as side effect)

The ‘out of ammo’? … sure … if X if ever caught we can ask him the reason why he did not finish off Zainab (and Zeena)

– M

9-9-2013 at 12:35:12

@ James

Whatever settings are being used, if a door is unlocked by being opened from inside the car, it remains unlocked unless the car moves again. I’m not sure about 2004 BMW, but on most cars auto-lock doesn’t operate if starting in reverse. Which is another reason why I never agreed with the story that Saad fled by reversing only.
You also may be aware of what is known as “crisis parking” in all the countries where civil unrest is prevailant (be it Africa, Middle East, parts of Latin America): you always park you car FACING the way out. It’s often a life-saver. Considering his background, I’m very inclined to think Saad was used to routinely select crisis parking when in unfamiliar surroundings.

9-9-2013 at 12:43:16


Interesting read.

Lydie the ex-wife, calling Sylvain about ‘custody’ of the children – really, custody and finances are sorted out before a divorce is granted in France, it is a judge that decides.

He no doubt had financial obligations towards the two boys and would have done until they finished full-time education, that runs into University time as well.

I wonder if Claire was aware that the person most likely to have been the last who spoke to Sylvain was his ex-wife, who is re-married. Did she try to call the house first, Claire saying he’s cycling or just call his mobile regardless.

What it means is that we know he had a mobile with him, confirms that Claire would have expected a call from such a mobile if he was to be late or delayed.

At what time did she start to call his mobile to find out where he was, did anyone hear it ringing ? Is the phone missing ?

If Sylvain told Lydie he’d call he back, it could have been why he stopped at Le Martinet, dismounted, and so on…. of course he didn’t have a signal, although according to Le Parisien, appears he was fired upon as he arrived at the clearing.

@Partlucid, all the questions posed by James etc. regarding the identity of the killer, if this was a targetted killing of the Al-Hilli family, Mollier could have been downed but not killed, no need as a ‘hitman’ wouldn’t need to be bothered about being recognisable, although I think he was probably wearing a face covering.

If this was a personal hit on Mollier, then I think the killer would have wanted to be identifiable before the deed was done.

@Marilyn, I’m fine, my husband has gone to hospital today for two operations on his hand, we’ve had to get a fair bit done the past few days as he won’t be able to use it for the next 15. I start nursing duties this evening !

9-9-2013 at 12:45:49



They are all in CAS.

Change all options to activ

The second option determins the speed that the doors auto lock
The option name is:

VERRIEGELN_AUT_AB_X_KMH : Automatic central locking after X KMH
VERRIEGELN_AUT_MACH_2_MIN : Automatic central locking after 2 MIN
VERRIEGELUNGSSCHWELLE : locking Device-swells (threshold)

Timed is an option by the looks of this.

9-9-2013 at 12:51:36

@ lars 9-8-2013 at 18:57:59 Videograbbing app

works like a breeze and is lightweight


9-9-2013 at 12:57:34

@JAmes: Car lock feature

The car did not unlock the doors because it didn´t hit anything in terms of the sensors. It merely stuck in the muddy ground. Sensors are not open with every little bump. Otherwise this feature would be ideal for south africa where everybody rides locked because of the car-jacking risk. Your attacker would simply bump you from behind on a traffic light and open are the doors. certainly not!


9-9-2013 at 12:59:11

@ Max, 9-9-2013 at 12:31:28

“Out of ammo” is the simplest explanation and entirely consistent with the known facts: 21 shots fired equates to three standard 8-round mags prudently loaded with only 7 bullets each.

By contrast, the idea of the killer shying away from killing a child has a Panglossian aspect to it. He might as well have left Zainab alone, or merely punched her in the head and knocked her out. Instead, he very nearly killed her in a particularly nasty, messy way that almost certainly involved him getting his master hand and his sleeve soaked in blood. To my mind, the latter circumstance also suggests that beating Zainab was the last thing he did before fleeing from the scene, as his hand would have been slippery with blood, which would have made changing magazines so much more difficult.

Taken in conjunction, those two facts (21 shots equating to three mags plus beating Zainab probably being the last thing that the killer did) render it most likely that he really had run out of amunition.

9-9-2013 at 13:00:49

@ James

Thanks for this German refresher.
So what? You can select either the speed or the time limit before auto-lock activates. Or also untick everything and totally disable auto-lock. Good. But in any case, if you open a door while standing still, it will unlock it period, as a safety measure.
What’s bugging you so much about that?

9-9-2013 at 13:01:37


Yes, know “crisis parking”.

Also in my job we use “crisis hotel rooms”.
High enough to be away from the lobby, but not too high that the fire and rescue can’t reach you.

Looks like Saad ignored that one to. He was in a tent !

Whilst he was from Iraq, he lived in Claygate.
Yes he may have been in a “dispute” with his brother…but he’s not on the run from a team of ninja’s.

9-9-2013 at 13:06:40


Nothing is bugging me.

I just do not believe that Saad was the “target”.
To be honest I don’t even know if Mollier was the target, although he is far more likely “that”, than Saad.

It could indeed be a nutter (anything is possible).
Is it possible that the police are putting on a show for the public…and for the nutter. Make him mad. Make him “slip up” ?

9-9-2013 at 13:13:04


The “impact” needs testing by the police then.

Some years back there was an issue with M3’s.
Thieves would steal these. There method of entry was to “bang” the rear bumper…and so trigger the sensors. It was an “issue” well known at the time.

Well “well known” to me as BMW told me when my own M3 was in for a service. Estoril blue with light grey leather and a dark blue hood. (and tracker fitted !).

9-9-2013 at 13:17:04

@ James

Unfortunately, the “nutter” is the simplest, most parsimonious explanation – but the hardest nut for the gendarmerie to crack.

I don’t think that the police are putting on a show for the nutter, they are putting on a show for the local Tourism Bureau. They are trying to reframe the Chevaline murders as some kind of alien phenomenon that Saad sort of brought with him to France. Nothing to do with that particular region of France, no danger of something similar happening again 🙁

9-9-2013 at 13:17:53

@ Car locked

I must add that there is a possibilty that the car was open all the time and locked itself after SAH got stuck. The locking mechanism gets its information from the wheel sensors. According to the (spinning) wheels saad was moving quite fast, hence the doors were locked


9-9-2013 at 13:20:16


So … if X had ‘run out of ammo’ … the implication is that had he NOT ‘run out of ammo’ he would indeed have shot Zainab.

Is that what you are saying? (just logic)

So, we follow that ‘logic’ and change the scene into ‘Zainab also shot dead’ (through the head, what else)

In that case, why would X:

a. Shoot Zainab? (reason, motive)
b. Forget Zeena? (reason, motive)

– M

9-9-2013 at 13:30:30

@ Max, 9-9-2013 at 13:20:16

Indeed, I consider it highly likely that, if the killer had not run out of ammunition, he would have shot Zainab twice in the head.

Likewise, I don’t think that he “forgot” Zeena. He most probably never saw her and had no idea that she was there (which explains the absence of defensive injuries on the two adult women – they were too busy hiding her to worry about protecting themselves).

I am sure that the killer had some reason / motive for doing what he did, but I don’t think that this reason is one that you or I could understand, or even recognize as such.

9-9-2013 at 13:37:57


You can’t complain about the number of comments, even after 1 year!

It is almost hard to keep up (and do something else in between). 🙂

9-9-2013 at 13:41:35



I found camstudio a couple of days ago and have been testing it.
Works fine for recordings for 1-2 minutes, however the longer ones looses the sound or I get strange error messages. Like all engineers I test first and read the manual later (if necessary). I have probably reached the stage now when I have to read the manual. 😉

9-9-2013 at 13:49:40


I applaud your attitude to follow up on the ‘out of ammo’ logic. With ‘Zainab would have been shot in the head’.

Zeena however was left alone. Reasons unknown but … it would at least weakens the ‘kill all AH’ scenario. Because if X would have (the order to) kill every AH, but ran ‘out of ammo’ before even targeting the 2 girls, it would at least imply a killer who is not brilliant at math.

With the imho fact that:
– AH nearly got away
– X spilling lots of ammo on SM

Imho it rules out a ‘kill all AH’ scenario

– M

9-9-2013 at 16:21:12

@ Max, 9-9-2013 at 13:49:40

I am not sure whether Zeena’s survival precludes any possibility.

1. If the killer was a nutter killing as many random victims as he could (currently my favoured hypothesis, although that could change again tomorrow), he would not have known about Zeena and probably never saw her.

2. If, hypothetically speaking, this was a “hit” intended to wipe out Saad’s branch of the family:
2A. The killer may not have been briefed correctly. In this hypothetical scenario, Zaid may never have been personally in contact with the killer, using an intermediary instead. Perhaps that intermediary failed to emphasize that neither of the daughters must survive under any circumstances out of sheer sloppiness, perhaps he deliberately did not emphasize it, because such emphasis would have left absolutely no doubt about the identity of the principal commissioning the hit.
2B. SM’s unexpected arrival upon the scene may have spooked the killer, led him to lose the plot. From his point of view, things had already gone badly pear-shaped when Saad got into the car and almost managed to flee. He would have been panicking just as much as Saad at that point, unable to think clearly, unable to count his bullets or even his victims.
2C. In the hypothetical event of Zaid commissioning a hit on his brother, the dominant motive may not have been Khadim’s estate, but sheer hatred of his brother and all the adult family members who “sided with” him. Perhaps the contract only extended to the adults and the killer exceeded his brief by attenpting to kill Zainab, perhaps Zaid left it up to the killer whether or not to kill the children as well.

9-9-2013 at 17:51:21

Just a thought…and maybe @Peter can help.

If the gunman is stood on the drivers side of the BMW.
And Zainab had made her escape through the unlocked car door.
The gunman may have fired at her and struck her.

….if the gunman fired twice, would it not beyond reason that with Zainab would be near the car and that the gunman firing across the roof would have to angle the weapon down ?

Could that be the reason for the white mark on the roof of the BMW AND the missing roof rail ? The (first) bullet hitting the roof rail taking it clean off ?

9-9-2013 at 17:56:48


The reason I say “first bullet” at Zainab in the above post is….

If the last shots fired were at Mollier (5)
And he had just shot at Zainab (1 hitting the roof rail. 1 hitting her)….

…then her escape may have taken place whilst the gunman was reloading his 7 shot magazine and stood on the drivers side of the BMW ?

He would have finished firing his second magazine….and would have reloaded his third and final magazine.

9-9-2013 at 19:38:45

@ James, 9-9-2013 at 17:51:21

Your question reminds me of the title of a fairly well-known book

Anyway, let’s make some guesstimates:
* The roof height of a current-model BMW 5-Series Touring is 146 cm, its width 186 cm (I don’t have data for Saad’s precise vintage and model, but they should be similar).
* Mean height for a seven-year-old Western European girl is 122 cm. That should put the mean shoulder height at about 90 cm, I would estimate.
* Mean arm length for a Western European male is just under 64 cm, corresponding to an overall height of 180 cm.
* Let’s add 10 cm to the BMW’s roof height to accommodate the magazine of the P06, in order to get an estimate of the minimum height from which a shot across the roof would actually be fired.
* Assume that the killer fired with a more-or-less straight arm and wrist (i. e., not with the arm thrust upwards and the wrist angled inwards).

If you put all of that together and do the trigonometry that I am too thick to do myself, I’m fairly sure you’ll find that Zainab would have to have been very far away from the BMW for such a shot over the roof of the BMW to hit her in the shoulder. Also, attempting such a shot would have made no sense from the killer’s point of view, as taking just one step to the right and firing across the bonnet would have been so much easier.

Regarding a shot taking a roof rail clean off, it is impossible to say with any certainty, but my hunch would be that a shot hitting a point somewhere near the middle of the rail would merely have gone right through the aluminium, whereas a shot to either one of the (more solid) ends might have sheared off that end from its anchorings, but would have left the other end still attached.

9-9-2013 at 19:50:07

Was looking through Psychopathic killer profiles.
Oddly they say arson is usually the first crimes they commit.
So I looked…..

From LeDauphine.

“Since June 2011, more than two dozen fires were deliberately lit in the center of Annecy. Most of the time the fire broke out in the basement, in cellars or garbage containers”.

Seems like Annecy has an arsonist at large for sometime.
Did he progress ?

9-9-2013 at 19:54:04


“….but would have left the other end still attached”

It did !
There is a “pointy bit” left attached (front pax side).

You beauty !

9-9-2013 at 20:07:04

I have also seen a picture some time back.
It was of the entrance to the Combe D’Ire. An older on.

On the sign post was a warning in French.
Forest Fires. The Combe D’Ire is an access route for fire fighters.

I recall this because when this murder happened, near where I live are stationed “fire helicopters” and at the airport are the “fire planes”….and we’d just had forest fires that August. It concentrates the mind packing you bag….and watching a fire blaze through the night on a hillside.

I took pics. I should send them to Marilyn just to confirm this…and dig out that Combe D’Ire signpost picture.

9-9-2013 at 20:49:30

@James Re: arsonist

There’s been an arsonist in Faverges lately but he is caught now.
See Le pyromane de Faverges et Cons-Sainte-Colombe a été arrêté

9-9-2013 at 21:02:03


Ah yes ! So he was.
Well I hope he didn’t get released !

Still, it shows the police do work at least !

Cheers Lars.

9-9-2013 at 21:24:40

France frequently has arsonist cases. There was one somewhere else in France this summer holiday period. The arsonist was a teenage boy on holiday in the region.

Sometimes the arsonist is a fireman who wants to be a hero as he just ‘happened to have been in the region’ and was first to see the fire and to raise the alarm.

With that I will say: have a good commenting night.

Speak 2moro.

9-9-2013 at 22:22:21

I still need to receive the LP article (Marilyn, in 2 parts, in jpg, pretty plz;) but from the fragment I’ve got I now understand LR called SM while he was already on the RF (route forestiere)? Damn, that *is* close … I would say a weird coincidence (again)

I guess an ex could call. No problem. But does she calls every day? I wouldn’t know. But calling on the day he is killed, and calling less then 30 minutes before he is shot 5-7 times while he was happily biking on a ‘got lost’ trajectory …

… Oh, sure, we have got Mr ‘dunnit all’ X5 driving there too (and killing the AH’s) … but the problem is that nobody saw Mr X5 … certainly not BM and not the 3rd biker (as I read in that LP article). So? Did that X5 disappear via Col de Cherel? … could be. But a ‘low cost Balkan hitman’ driving an RHD BMW X5 and escaping via Col de Cherel … that sounds like a fail safe scenario to me;) Yup, being bad at math (out of ammo situ) but being extremely good in navigating in unknown territory WITHOUT being spotted. Remember that this ‘Balkan hitman’ had to improvise this killing (because AH’s visit to Martinet was ad hoc) and therefor for sure Mr X5 could NOT have prepared the ‘escape via Col de Cherel’.

But … all quiet on the SM front. Sure;)

– M

9-9-2013 at 23:45:37
9-10-2013 at 00:27:33

Haven’t read up on all comments, distracted by the Syria crisis.

France24: ‘Great advances’ in Alps murder case, police say

9-10-2013 at 00:58:17

@Max @9-9-2013 at 08:34:24

@Peter @9-9-2013 at 11:59:04

I may inadvertantly misled you both into thinking that specialist knowledge would be required to know that being knocked unconcious would prevent/distort the formation and/or consolidation of memories of events just prior to being knocked out.

I was taught on the evening course specifically that criminals used this effect by knocking out victims and/or witnesses in order to prevent them remembering details of the crime.

This effect is presumably well known in the part of the criminal fraternity that commit armed robberies etc.

In this case I suspect that the one single shot Z took was inadvertant, in the middle of the fray, and the blows to the head were deliberately done to knock her out.

I guess it would be difficult to calibrate how hard to hit a victim who may be struggling, yet she survived and has not been able to give evidence sufficient to catch the murderer. I guess that the killer would count that an acceptable outcome.

9-10-2013 at 01:37:11

@James @9-9-2013 at 12:04:36

If Zainab had gotten back into the car there would be forensic evidence such as mud, pollen, gravel, shoeprints and blood. The forensic team are the best the Gendarmerie has access to.

It is also counter to her testimony, as released by the police.

Now, I am sure that he police, whilst not lying to the public, do hold details back. Is that what you think? If so, what advantage do they gain from not revealing this particular detail?

P.S. I think it is possible that the engine management computer (which on some models does and records far more than just engine stuff) may have sufficient in formation in non-volatile memory to confirm or falsify your hypothesis. Specifically the system should record and timestamp any recent “impact” events that caused the locks to “pop”.

9-10-2013 at 07:02:39

Thankyou Bibi for putting up the sketches

9-10-2013 at 08:33:25

@Rashomon (@Peter and all)

Re 9-10-2013 at 00:58:17

That is quite interesting! Because regarding to Zainab we can see 2 main possibilities (denoted here as the ‘peter’ and the ‘rashomon’ possibility)

1. ‘Peter’ : X was ‘out of ammo’. Would he not have been ‘out of ammo’ X would have shot and killed Zainab

2. ‘Rashomon’ : X did beat Zainab (to erase memory) but did NOT want to kill her. ‘Out of ammo’ is irrelevant

… Now, the interesting thing is that we have the ‘beating and not dead’ situation of Zainab seemingly pointing to ‘Rashomon’. BUT, we have also the mysterious bullet count (was 25, now 21) which could in principle be calculated towards an ‘out of ammo’ situation and thus towards ‘Peter’

We KNOW that the public and perhaps the investigators are going for the ‘Peter’ possibilty (as this was the way it was presented since the beginning) But the ‘Rashomon’ possibilty could give a completely new angle. Namely towards a KILLER who did NOT want to kill a kid (yet had no problem to headshot all adults) which Imho is significant!

– M

(PS: I had a brainwave on the 25 versus 21 bullet count confusion. 25 = 21 + 4 = 21 casings (being from 17 hits + 4 misses) + 4 bullets which did not hit the target. Or in other words, they found 25 metal ‘things’ on the ground, 21 casings and 4 bullets … elegance of math;)

9-10-2013 at 08:41:51

This is not Marilyn. It is Celeste. Marilyn will be away for the rest of this week.


Thank you for the Le Parisien clipping. Marilyn had much problems sending it out.


I know that Marilyn scanned and email the clippings to you as you had asked her to do. I was here and helping her. So if you had not received it then it was not of Marilyn’s doing.

Have a nice day all who read this.

9-10-2013 at 08:47:40

@Marilyn et co … no problem because …

… I have purchased the LP article for a meager 89 eurocents … made a pdf and uploaded it to dz61. For all to read (sssssssst don’t tell anyone;)

– M

9-10-2013 at 09:20:35


Thank you very much! So they published it online after all. First I ask Ducos and he says it is only in the printed version, then it turns up on line.

Now we only have to get our hands on the Sun also.

To add to the Z discussion above:
I have earlier presented a third theorie. That the killer hit Z when they were both running across the lay-by to reach the car, and that when he had finished shooting at the car, thought that she was dead.

9-10-2013 at 09:38:48

I notice when I read Le Parisien that it wasn’t the ex-wife (Lydie) who contacted the police, but that they found out about the call when they analyzed the telephone communication in the area at the time.

9-10-2013 at 10:38:06


Re 9-10-2013 at 09:38:48

So, if true, why would LR hold back such in IMPORTANT (timeline wise) fact???? Or is it ‘Ohh, sorry, I forgot to tell you …’ thingy

– M

9-10-2013 at 11:23:13

The scenario’s in pictures brought together. As you can see (and I already noticed this), the LP scenario is simply a modified version of the one from oct 2012, now WITH the LR phonecall mentioned, AND, importantly, also the mention that SM was shot first.

– M

9-10-2013 at 11:27:34

@ Rashomon, 9-10-2013 at 00:58:17

You have made a truly fascinating point there. Retrograde amnesia is a common, though not inevitable, consequence of head trauma:

Interestingly, in the context of criminology, the focus of the discussion has been almost entirely on *offenders* claiming (or shamming) some form of amnesia. Apparently, 10% of violent offenders claim amnesia:

However, scanning the news, I found countless examples of victims who, colloquially speaking, had the shit beaten out of them and who were consequently unable to remember what had happened and to describe the offender. Alcohol intoxication also often played a role in this, of course. There may be a reporting bias at work here, in the sense that only very serious assaults make it into the news, but the impression I got is that very serious head trauma – from repeated blows or kicks to the head – was involved in those cases. I don’t think that an armed robber could reliably count upon erasing a witness’ memory with a single blow.

Still, it stands to reason that violent professional criminals would be familiar with the potentially memory-erasing effects of severe head trauma, and it may be that this is what the Chevaline killer was trying to achieve when he pistol-whipped Zainab.

9-10-2013 at 11:29:07


I don’t know. We have however also learned that we can’t trust what journalists write (she might have told the police).

But if it is true it also means that they (the p’lice) know when Mollier’s phone lost connection, if ever. It would be interesting to know if the police got that phone or if it was ‘stolen’.

9-10-2013 at 11:52:40


Wasn’t there an idea that SM’s body had been searched (back in the days when we thought he was handing over ‘nuclear secrets’ to AH;)

Perhaps X was looking for the phone because X knew it ‘had been used’

Now, the police (perhaps) did NOT find a phone on SM (at least I have never heard such a thing, but I heard that mobiles were found with AH) … so, no phone on SM … but after further investigation (of mobile traffic) they came to know about the LR call, and thus LR had to cough up this call.

In other words … NO phone + LR call … could be another ‘indication’ of weirdness;)

– M

9-10-2013 at 12:48:11

You wrote:

You also may be aware of what is known as “crisis parking” in all the countries where civil unrest is prevailant (be it Africa, Middle East, parts of Latin America): you always park you car FACING the way out. It’s often a life-saver. Considering his background, I’m very inclined to think Saad was used to routinely select crisis parking when in unfamiliar surroundings.

I concur, and beg to differ from the “hard reverse arc-turn scenario” that seems to be generally accepted.

I don’t think the arc path would have placed the BMW were it got stuck and probably not with its front wheels pointing straight. (If SAH had strength enough steering it straight, he might also have been able to manage the shift lever from reverse).

I think SAH parked in line where his BMW was found, just a little closer to the road.

The arc path matches a big 4×4 and perhaps blocking the parked BMW… Forcing SAH to reverse, trying to escape.

The known big 4×4 in the area was the ONF (Mitsu L200’s or L-R Def’s) and maybe a BMW X5.(Observed only by the ONF ?)

What puzzles me still is the stuck BMW was supposed to have a manual gearbox ? The reverse spinning wheels would have been easier to explain if it was an automatic transmission (that wouldn’t stall that easy, at idle).
But who knows how heavy SAH’s throttle-foot was at the time…

9-10-2013 at 12:59:52


About the ‘reverse spinning’ … I once suggested that perhaps the floor mat got stuck. Explaining 2 things:

1. The BMW driving (backwards) into the side wall … is an accident and not ‘panic’

2. The ‘reverse spinning’ although the BMW being manual transmission

Simply a day when everything turns out bad, even the ‘floor mat’

– M

9-10-2013 at 13:41:26


Yes it was mentioned somewhere that his clothes were not in order, looked as if he had been ‘searched’. But remember also that he had been dragged by the car, would naturally bring the clothes in disorder. His mobile phone and other belongings have never been mentioned by Maillaud et al.

9-10-2013 at 13:51:12

The turning circle of a BMW 5 series Sedan has a diameter close to 12 meters (must be a little more for the Station-wagon). And this is the theoretical figure. In practice, with a manual gear-box, unless finely mitigating power with the clutch pedal, you’ll either stall the engine or have to significantly decrease the cornering angle.
It’s unclear whether those 12 meters were actually available at the Martinet lay-by. But even if they were, it sounds totally unlikely that Saad, unfamiliar with the location but fully aware of the ditch towards the stream on the opposite side, would have attempted it. He had common sense.
His only rational choice (assuming he had initially parked the car facing in, which I actually doubt) would have been to reverse towards the other way, towards the barrier and hairpin, before going forward again, down towards Chevaline. If I’m not mistaken, this is the opinion Alex, who’s driven there, also expressed recently.
And this goes to show the various sketches that have published are all very questionable. And the famous tire tracks must have come from another vehicle.

@ Ron

Agreed and agreed. I’ve always been surprised by various mentions of a manual gear-box. Yes, Max has an answer with the stuck floor mat, but to me it’s a little far-fetched..
Much more likely he did what you said (or what I suggested).

9-10-2013 at 14:05:53


I believe that E-Maillaud has expressed several times that the tracks are from the car (or to be more precise that the car moved in accordance with these tracks). He has never said that the tracks were from another car.

Even though I dislike M. Maillaud I (and Lynda at least) have never believed that he is blatanly lying.

9-10-2013 at 14:22:07

@ Lars

Neither do I. But he has -as you well know- changed his mind (or his statement of facts) on quite a few issues. Examples given: who first called rescue services, how many bullets were shot, whether SM was lost or not, etc..
We can easily assume the day will soon come when he changes his mind about the tire tracks.
I have no hard feelings towards EM. But his words are not Gospel. Funny you feel the urge to support him!

9-10-2013 at 14:24:13

@Ron & @Eugene

It is easy to verify the exact specifications of SAH’s car.

Check the number plate on any images of the |AH’s caravan, you will find it is OE04WJZ. Go to the web site and enter this registration number and you will get confirmation the vehicle is:

Registration: OE04WJZ

Manufacturer: BMW


Model Year: 2004

Colour: Red

Transmission: Manual

Engine Size:3000cc

First Registered:12/08/2004

I have no problem believing a properly tuned engine left in reverse, with little or no pressure on the accelerator would keep running without stalling.

9-10-2013 at 14:56:52

@ Y

Thanks. Several of us had actually previously checked this to the same result.
2 things are still puzzling though:
a) finely tuned or not, without sufficient flooring on gas,if manual, the car would stall unless the powered wheels were completely loose from ground contact (unlikely for a car only stuck in slightly muddy terrain).
b) we’ve had two mentions on this blog, months ago, that the BMW was a 5.25 model, not a 5.30. Coming from Saad’s best friend FB, who should have known.
So whichever way you look at it, this BMW “revving and spinning” seems unclear.

9-10-2013 at 14:58:38

My analysis is that AH did a reverse (RW) – break (FW) – reverse again (RW) … in a backward arc ending up stuck at the other side. The breaking possibly having to do with AH worrying about running over SM

It might be that AH knew and/or saw SM falling down behind his BMW which would be just in the way of his (AH) escape trajectory … nevertheless AH decided to continue the backward arc, reversed again, and thus hit and dragged SM along. This indicates that AH was extremely into ‘escaping’.

To me, the tracks and BMW do not hold a mystery anymore. Except for car getting stuck (foot, floormat, manual transmission??)

The thing that intrigues me is SM!

– M

9-10-2013 at 15:24:47

@ Y

Thanks ! Hard facts are always welcome 🙂

Maybe now we can ask Lars to change from 525d to 530d in his summary.and add manual transmission?

Btw. The “executed” Sylvain Mollier could have been dragged to the position were WBM found him by the wide 4×4, accelerating to block the car of the escaping witnesses.

Pls.look at the “arc”.

9-10-2013 at 15:43:32


Since I dislike the man I want at least to be fair to him when I can. 😉

@Ron & FB

I gladly add ‘manual transmission’ (in fact I already have in my doc.) . Before I change 525 to 530 I would like to hear what FB got to say about it. Firstly he came with the info 525 and secondly he is a very well-informed man.

9-10-2013 at 16:30:57

17 bullets “hit” and 4 “missed”.

Some people say that Zainab was hit as she made for the car.
The police say “SM was an unlucky passerby”. All very interesting.

The gunman starts to attack his target (Saad).
Saad is hit once (in his back) as he makes for the car.
The gunman continues with his attack but hits SM the passerby….twice !

The gunman then fires a fourth time and hits Zainab who is also fleeing to the car.

That’s four shots gone. Three shots remaining in this magazine.
Thus far the “pro gunman” has managed to hit a passerby (twice), a little girl (once) and his target (hit only once) is now in his car and about to attempt an escape.

Can someone tell me when (not where) the four missed shots get fired ?

Lets assume the remaining bullets in his current magazine are fired at the car and hit the windscreen (or go elsewhere). That’s three “missed” shots.
So the remaining “missed” shot ? When was that ?

Mollier will be shot a further 5 times. I assume this is with the final magazine (And likely in anger. Angry at what I haven’t a clue !) so we can deduct 5 and say that “magazine 3” has 2 bullets in it.

Lets say that the last three shots from “Magazine 1” are at the car.
The gunman reloads “magazine 2”. He know fires at close range into the stranded car. Remember he has to “miss” with one of the shots.

So “Magazine 2”. Close range. And he misses ?
Maybe he doesn’t. Maybe he hits everyone.
He now is up to 11 hits. He still has to miss once though.

Maybe it’s with “Magazine 3” ?
Only two shots allowed with this one. One of those has to be a “miss”.
And it can’t be Mollier, the gunman has a staggering five for him later.

Maybe he fires at Zainab. But he has already hit her once, so can’t hit her again. It has to be a miss. So one bullet left. He can’t fire it at Zainab, it has to be a hit. So he fires it not at the only movement there is, but at someone already deceased ?

All a bit strange.

*By “missed” I assume Eric means “not striking a person”. So that is how I have applied the term “missed” here.

9-10-2013 at 16:46:28

Of course I don’t think my last post was how it happened.
Most likely it was a bit more straightforward.

Magazine 1.
SM x2. SAH x1. BMW x3 (misses). SAH x1
The final shot to SAH when he was stranded at the bank

Magazine 2.
Al Hilli family x7
All at close range into the stranded BMW

Magazine 3.
Roof Rail x1 (miss). ZAH x1. SM x5.
Zainab is fired upon as she makes her escape from the car whilst the gunman reloads.

9-10-2013 at 18:04:48

@ James, 9-10-2013 at 16:46:28

My count would look somewhat different.

Magazine 1:
SM x3 (two to the chest and one to the head) + SM x1 miss that went “down the road”. Zainab x1. BMW rear window and paxes x1. Saad x1 in the back.

Magazine 2:
Moving BMW x3 misses that passed through the windows but didn’t hit anybody inside and ended up in the undergrowth. Saad x 2 to the head once the BMW was stationary. Both rear paxes x1 to the head.

Magazine 3: Both rear pax another x1 to the head. Saad another x1 to the head. 4x at the supine SM.

The reason I believe that SM was shot three times initially is not just because it says so here
but also because that bloodstain on the road almost directly behind the BMW’s original position was almost certainly left by a victim bleeding from the head. The “miss” fired at SM is to account for newspaper reports of bullets having been found down the road. The three shots left were fired at the fleeing Saad, at the BMW’s rear window (as evident from shards of glass on the ground). I think that the shot that hit Zainab in the shoulder was a stray shot aimed at the same target (her shoulder would have been at the height of the BMW’s windows).

Next, the killer had to jump out of the way of the BMW, reload, and fire at the moving car. He may also have dropped his gun whilst reloading at this point, accounting for the “weapon fragments” apparently found on or near SM’s bike. These difficult circumstances mean that this is the stage at which he would be most likely to miss his targets. Just to humour you, one of those misses may well have taken off the roof rail.

9-10-2013 at 19:19:34


Smiling at your line !

But the fact remains, that missing roof rail had to come off by some means.
It is as part of that crime scene as the racing bike or the BMW.

It’s not a very “glamorous” piece of evidence I admit, but it has to be explained. (“Everything has it’s place”).

As do the (at least two) shots to the front windscreen.

However, the police have the car. They can see the “damage” of the shots that did not strike the people.
From reading through some “high profile” crimes in which the “media” showed great interest…and had to be “handled with care” by the authorities in fear of jeopardising the investigation, I’m pretty sure we don’t have all the “facts”.

Maybe we’ve not yet been told who the real “target” was, if indeed there was a “principle” one.

9-10-2013 at 19:29:43

@Max, thanks for posting the PDF file of Le Parisien.

I’m not joining in the car/tyres/shots debate and Rons 4×4 dragging SM, because when I’ve compiled reports from various sources, including Eric Maillaud, the car was parked ‘epi’, like an ear of corn, which is diagonally.

I have no problem in understanding, Saad had not driven that route before, he knew it wasn’t a through road, he reached the last clearing seeing the information board and of course the sign indicating it was a no through road for the ordinary traveller in a car, he swept in – he didn’t park the car, he pulled up. (When Alex did the drive, he knew what lay ahead and passed between the cement sides over the cullvert, turning in the hairpin).

That’s it, so if he was able to pull up then he could reverse at the same or greater angle and end up where he did, dragging Sylvain along the way.

No doubt Saad had the intention to then pull a hard right hand turn and join the route back to Chevaline, already in pain from the shot received to his back.

Did any of you pick up that the entire event ‘took less than six’ minutes ? Way back Vinneman said about 4 minutes, Maillaud 30 seconds, to me the longer the period the more likely a silencer was used. So, again I wonder what was the rat-tat-tat heard by a few and not heard by others ?

Also remember that one of the girls heard her parents screams, my conclusion is that they are all dead only because the car got stuck, imagine if the injured Saad had managed to make an escape, even leaving a ‘dead’ daughter on the floor, in order to save the rest of the family from a maniac firing at everything that moved.

As for Lydies phone call, surely she didn’t need to speak to Sylvain regarding taking the kids for a few hours, nights etc. she could have spoken to Claire, (it is all so amicable, isn’t it), maybe she tried and without response called his mobile, or maybe she was after the money he was due to pay.

It is odd if she didn’t tell the inquiry team, she made the call, or is it, maybe she didn’t want her new husband to find out, had Sylvain not been killed nobody would know of this call or any others.

9-10-2013 at 19:43:38

Last night I drove past Waterlooville
the place where Saad bought his caravan
I was in my estate car alone
It took me longer to get home than it did for Saad myself and the caravan !
but i dont remember ever noticing the speed Saad drove at .
he was a very profficient driver with a Caravan in tow
so his reversing skills would have been instinctive without.

9-10-2013 at 21:13:26

I notice the French coverage mentions “Scotland Yard”
which is home to the Metropolitan police
I think if The Met were involved the case might progress quicker
as Surrey police are much more rural and still have old ideals (read bias)
I also note that Zaid’s protection team are from the Met

9-10-2013 at 21:25:40


What do say about Ron’s proposal 530d instead of 525d for Saad’s BMW?

9-10-2013 at 22:06:12

@ Lynda

If You trust those tyre marks are from SAH’s reversing car, you might realize it was rear wheel driven and therefore front up on the debris…Not much of an épi or angle parking to me. More like rear end facing almost 90° to the road…

9-10-2013 at 22:13:52

Big thumbs up to Bibi and Max for the “Le Parisien” article.

Although I did not fail to notice that they only added everything in the orange boxes to the pre-existing facts and pictures.

And then Jean-Marc Ducos tweeted the contents of the orange boxes as breaking first year anniversary news.

Lynda, all the best for your husband!


9-10-2013 at 23:16:26

@Ron, read carefully, I did not suggest the tyre marks were made by the Al-Hilli vehicle. They could have been made at anytime. The inquiry team have said he made a ‘hard reverse’ not that the tyre markings were made by his car. (Max, maybe you could post your conclusion of the tyre tracks, AGAIN).

I will repeat, he pulled in, then reverse, that’s all. He didn’t ‘park’, we are told there was nothing else there.

PS Ron, Lars, Alex and Max accept the tyre marks as being from the BMW, so aim your comment at them, if you read Le Parisien and believe what is written, Brett Martin moved Mollier only a few centimetres.

I see a problem here, amongst us and the world we live in, we base our thoughts and ideas upon the lives we live and where we live them.

As far as I can see we haven’t been joined by a caravanner, who no doubt would give a far better idea of such holidays, many of you do not live in the UK or more importantly, France.

Life with kids isn’t all about Disney and the Epcot Centre, in France the other big attraction is Futuroscope, when you don’t have a lot of ‘bucks’ you do ‘free’ things – I live in a protected area, I could post photos of the forests, the estuary and the beaches backed up by dunes.

A holiday for Saads family would be to enjoy the escape from a London suburb, Fat Bastard has already said as much and I agree with him, they weren’t ‘beach people’, they enjoyed the delights of being ‘away from it all’.

@Alex, thankyou for your concern, he’s okay ended up with a general as he could feel the knife cutting (shudder), I am the usual head chef and ‘femme de menage’, add to that the taxi driver and gardener, he’s had to do as much for me in the past, so it is a pleasure to reciprocate, it is called ‘love’.

9-10-2013 at 23:34:49

Tyre marks and BMW … my final analysis here:

In short, to me: it is SAH’s BMW, doing a reverse – break -reverse again … then hitting and dragging SM and then ending up on the other side, back to sidewall and getting stuck (engine running, wheels spinning)

Nothing to add, I have concluded this some time ago and it in line with what is said in the press … SAVE FOR the ‘break’ part in reverse-break-reverse

I connect that break part to SAH ‘breaking’ because he is about to run over SM!

Now, this is my final analysis, and I won’t change it unless someone/something better comes along

(I have to add that careful analyses REVEALS an extra pair of front wheels … which I have to connect with another car, probably (some time) before the killing. This would fit the ‘cuddly toy’ scenario which I have abandonned btw;)

Anyway, I have said enough on the BMW. Everything I know/think is on dz61. Read that;)

– M

9-10-2013 at 23:53:38


Now I did rewatch the golden oldies (conferences of EM)

This one is from sept 7th 2012, so 2(!) days after the killing. In this video it is absolutely clear that the 4×4 is green (vert) as seen by BM. AND it is absolutely clear that at THAT TIME (after 2 days) EM has still no clue that it was the ONF

… NOW … we wondered about this a lot … but rewatching it makes me think/wonder again:


To NOT come forward while you KNOW you were close and while you SEE/HEAR that half of Europe is talking about you, you the green 4×4 on route forestiere!

NOW why did you not come forward???

(and when he did came forward, he take a pretty X5 with him)

Just rewatch yourself. There is NO talk of a X5. There is talk of a green 4×4!!!

The X5 only surfaced when that ONF finally came forward (and possibly he had used this time to prep a ‘story’)

Video dont lie. There was no X5 on sept 7th, only a green 4×4!

– M

9-10-2013 at 23:55:18

The registration number is correct
i never looked at Saads engine
but he hated automatics .

9-11-2013 at 03:39:11

On the dispersal of the bullets: logically, I’d imagine that most of the 4 misses occurred in that first salvo of 7? because I can’t see much scope for inaccuracy once Sylvain Mollier’s been brought to the ground and Saad has regained the car. And given that the car has emphatically not been ‘shot up’ then I would think that few of the window shots have missed their target.

Press reports, I think, have tended to hover between 5 and 7 shots for Sylvain. I’d actually go for the former myself, because given that Saad has posed a considerable threat to the killer then I would expect him to have received an equally heavy attack. There appear to be at least 4 bullet holes through the 2 front side windows, and from close range these must have hit. And I’ll reiterate my point – made earlier – that if I were the killer then I’d certainly have shot at Saad firstly through the passenger side window because that would’ve represented much less threat to me…

Peter also posted up way back some French reports that Sylvain had been hit 3 times in the back which surely must’ve been enough to disable him, with the murderous head shots then being delivered in a second visit.

9-11-2013 at 04:06:07


I still haven’t found a link for Sylvains son mentioning the Combre d’Ire.

However JCave posted on 9-9-2013 at 11:57:43 that she remembered something to that effect in early reports.

I suspect that I have bookmarked the URL from a french report that I have used google translate on. Thus english search terms are not working for me. I shall find it eventually.

9-11-2013 at 05:26:54

Hello late-nite/ earlymorning Rashomon…!

Thanks for coming back on that. I saw JCave’s input as well which backed you up very nicely, not that I was challenging you of course…

I’ve been having a devil of a job to find something myself. I don’t store or file stuff – I can barely use a computer, in truth – but, I think a Telegraph piece, has also disappeared on me. It must have been in the very early days immediately after the shootings because I’m fairly sure it had Thierry Schutz revealing that he’d sent Sylvain out on ‘a decent little climb’ although it didn’t specify the combe d’Ire as such. I was pleased to have come across it because it seemed to be the only article which carried that interview/ line…

….and now mysteriously – unless I’m doing it wrongly – if you put “Thierry Schutz” in as a search on the Telegraph website it brings up absolutely nothing!! He’s been seemingly deleted…although Thierry Schutz does bring up one innocuous link

Following on from our little interchange apropos “la premiere fois” and the probable untruth from the police and Maillaud, I’ve been having further thoughts on this. If it is a little falsehood (that Mollier was ‘lost’) designed to obviously shield the grieving Molliers and the Schutz family as well, then that can surely only have been issued if the investigating forces were absolutely 100% that Sylvain Mollier couldn’t have been a target.

Because to do so otherwise would surely be inconceivable, no?

9-11-2013 at 11:06:48

Following quote is the most mysterious quote on SM

(retrieved it from my archive)

sept 17th(!) 2012

– – –
Depuis la découverte du massacre de Chevaline, les enquêteurs se concentrent exclusivement sur la famille al-Hilli. Sylvain Mollier, lui, est une victime oubliée de la tuerie, peut-être un témoin gênant que le ou les auteurs du crime auraient voulu éliminer. Lui aussi a reçu deux balles dans la tête.

‘Il était au mauvais endroit, au mauvais moment… c’était son destin’. Cet oncle de Sylvain, que M6 a rencontré, habite dans un village près de Chevaline. Comme tous dans la famille, il a du mal à accepter la disparition aussi violente que subite de son neveu. ‘Il venait me voir souvent quand il faisait du vélo dans le coin. Il aimait se rendre dans la combe d’Ire car l’endroit est frais, il y allait souvent’.
– – –

Note(!!!!) … ‘Il venait me voir souvent quand il faisait du vélo dans le coin. Il aimait se rendre dans la combe d’Ire car l’endroit est frais, il y allait souvent’

– M

9-11-2013 at 11:55:18

Presumably that uncle would be Fernand Mollier from Faverges?

9-11-2013 at 12:04:25

@Max, Rashomon

Max that is absolutely Top Work! as we dedicated professionals like to say.

The article completely substantiates what Rashomon and JCave have remembered, namely that Sylvain probably wasn’t a stranger to the combe d’Ire route, or certainly not the immediate area. It just seemed inconceivable that a keen local cyclist – and a member of the cycling club! – wouldn’t know, or at least have heard of, the combe d’Ire climb.

So the notion of him being ‘lost’ is quite obviously a falsehood. I haven’t yet actually listened to or viewed the press conference moments, as listed by the super-diligent Lars, so I don’t actually know whether it was Maillaud himself who threw in the phrase “pour la premiere fois” for good measure. And of course that may or may not be true; perhaps Sylvain had long fancied tackling the combe route but simply never got round to it, although the uncle does suggest otherwise.

I’ll return to this in a bit ‘cos I’ve got a doctor’s appointment in 15 mins or so….but again thanks…

9-11-2013 at 12:16:12

@Max, Rashomon, partlucid

also congrats from my side to this work! It sheds also light to the other quote of SM´s uncle: “…it was his destiny!”

WHAT exactly was his destiny?
a) Getting into trouble?
b) going dangerous places (e.g. for some reason combe d’ire)
c) messing with people who are more powerful than him (e.g. PM)
d) pushing luck his luck too far (e.g. financially living of CS money on top of a good realtionship and a new born baby)


9-11-2013 at 12:43:19

@RiffRaff, the French are prone to using ‘destin’, it is in their make-up.

It allows them to accept death more easily than the anglo-saxon model.

In other words, it was already written, they normally bury their dead within three days, cremation is becoming more popular.

Which brings me to the date of the article posted, 17th September, wasn’t that the day of Sylvains funeral ?

Also, I think the son was reported to have wondered if it was his Dad that had been killed, only because he goes out cycling.

Just an odd thought, we are told that Lydie telephoned Sylvain, the inquiry team therefore know the time and therefore an idea as to where he was, he said he’d call her back.

We assume he didn’t, as I wrote earlier, maybe he intended to when he next stopped, Le Martinet. But of course there was no signal there anyway, so after how long do you think she tried to call him again, which she surely would have done, especially as she’d had no response way into the evening, having to wake the boys to tell them their father was dead.

Why didn’t she call the house ? Claire would have said that Sylvain hadn’t returned. I need to think a bit more about this.

9-11-2013 at 13:11:52

The thing with the phone of SM is … Did the investigators find a phone on SM?

from 11m45s on …

EM talks about the phones they found in the BMW(!). EM uses words like ‘banal’ to indicate that phones are very custom nowadays and of course they will check the contents etc.

EM fails however to indicate a phone on SM (even though that would be no ‘big secret’ … as he said having a phone is ‘banal’)

This failure to mention SM’s phone could indicate that the investigators did NOT find a phone on SM

Iirc I have never heard/read about a phone on SM, although we did speculate that he might have had one with him (the CS worrying thingy)

Now, 1 year later, through Le Parisien, it surfaces tha SM:

1. Indeed had a phone
2. LR called him

And it seems that this call of LR was only dug up because the investigators analysed ‘mobile traffic’ (iirc, the 4000 Faverges calls or something … need source)

… Anyway, I find this all deeply mysterious and intriguing … because if the investigators did not find a phone on SM, there is only one person who could have a good reason for taking that phone, and that is X … but why would X take the phone of SM (and leave the phones of SAH)???


Of course E’keep everything for myself’M wont tell us if he has found a phone on SM.

– M

9-11-2013 at 13:24:40


That article mentioned by Max is also in the summary.

I also want to say that I have saved the contents in all the links in the summary on my computer (including articles behind paywalls), with the exception of the full Brett-Martin interview. I haven’t found any (cheap) way to grab that video with good quality yet. I can’t publish anything due to copyright reasons. I have in some cases even promised not to publish in order to get the articles.

If however someone of our commentators want to read/watch something and the links in the summary do not function I am able to distribute the material. You must however be prepared to give me an email address through Marilyn, since I don’t want to trouble her with forwarding material.

There are now around 100 pages of articles, a couple of hours of video, and a lot of photographs.

9-11-2013 at 13:38:34

Yes, Max – the phone call by Lydie proves he had a phone with him, now I would have thought that had the phone been found it doesn’t take too long to determine when calls were sent or received, length of call as it is stored on the phone, unless of course deliberately deleted at source.

So, I conclude they haven’t found the phone, big step to take but makes sense.

The only thing to others I’d warn is that the original word used to describe the route that Mollier took, was ‘tromper’, which in its context was ‘wrong’. Which of course if we believe that Thierry Schutz had indicated another route, then to him and Claire he took the wrong route, not that he was lost – which as we can see his Uncle confirms.

9-11-2013 at 13:54:55

Wise words from you on Lynda about checking the original French, which I’d hope to do via Lars’ listings of Maillaud’s press confeences…

9-11-2013 at 14:29:28

Ah! So Mollier is not “lost”.
Merely on the “wrong” route (as in, not the one recently recommended).

So after getting “permission” to go on his bike ride, leaving his partner with their new born…. it’s just a case of paying some “lip service” to his “father in law” with regard a different route…..and our boy Mollier is off for the afternoon.

And back to one of his favourite rides.
A “What the hell does Thierry know about routes anyway” afternoon !

9-11-2013 at 14:56:43


You are wrong (no offence of course;)

If SM went to Martinet/CombeDire/RF more often (uncle statement)
Then it follows that SM could not have been lost (per default! per logic!)

(because if you know the route, you can not get lost)

So, if TS says have gave SM a certain route, or he says SM ‘was lost’ or whatever … this does NOT matter. SM knew the location and where he was going.

What TS says is NOT important … but it BECOMES IMPORTANT because why would TS (and EM) say this ‘get lost’ stuff in the first place?

The most TS could have said was something like ‘I thought SM was going to St Jorioz, but apparently he went up to Martinet, and I dont know why’


– M

9-11-2013 at 15:11:53


The killer couldn’t have taken the Al-Hilli’s phones because they were locked in the car…?

….whereas Sylvain’s would simply have been in his back? pocket. A trophy perhaps? particularly if it’d been bullet-damaged by one of the shots to his back?

….or perhaps it did contain some evidence against the killer…

….and maybe that was also how the cycle pump became discarded in the middle of the lay-by (I dare say this has been mooted already).

9-11-2013 at 15:17:14

@James, I suggested as such many moons ago, the newborn would have been not so new, born late June, about two and a half months old, Claire would still have been ‘at home’, maybe she took a rest, maybe she went to see her parents, we’ve never been told where she was that day.

Regarding ‘permission’ – he apparently cycled a few times a week, look it up, Le Parisien article says she (Claire) offered the bike to him, as a gift, a present, please be careful with the translation.

The only insight ever given, way back, was that when she received no news of Sylvain, dusk, she drove towards the direction he was advised to take by Thierry Schutz and reached a road block, just a personal observation, I don’t think this was the one set up at the bottom of Combe d’Ire (trilingual sign), but in Doussard.

Maybe it was there that she was asked to take a photo to the local police station, I assume Ugine, it does mean that she must by then have been told that a cyclist had been found dead. So, it must have been in that general direction.

The rest is well written, the deputy mayor or assistant to the mayor advising her that the body found was that of Sylvain, he apparently went to her home to break the news.

So you see, I conclude Sylvain Molliers phone wasn’t on him and neither was any identification, mandatory in France. I do recall that he had some money, logical, if only to stop for a small beer, wine or just a Perrier. He would have had a liquid container on the bike, again I’ve said this before, probably with water or an energy drink – just from observation of what my husband and other ‘kitted out’ cyclists do around here.

I think Sylvain was expected by someone at or beyond Le Martinet, no industrial intrigue, just a personal liason, I wonder where Lydie was when she made that call – we’ll probably never know and I am in no way accusing.

Sylvain, was not in a position to continue to pay his dues towards his two boys from his defunct marriage, I’ve gone through many French Government websites, to see that he could possibly have been able to have, about 500Euros a month to compensate for his future paternal leave (3 years) looking after Louis.

You see, there are many parts to this story and they aren’t all pointing towards the Al-Hilli family as targets.

Eric Maillaud has never been in charge of the investigation (Lichfield, The Independent), it is not the role of the Public Prosecutor, Marilyn has explained this in great detail before. Look up Wiki and you’ll get a reasonable explanation.

Just as and aside about the ‘destiny’, over lunch today, homemade Beef Bourguinion, washed down with a good bottle of Bourgogne, we spoke about destiny, and from a Frenchman, this is the comment:

“Destiny, it is the unwritten fate, too late to regret, that only leaves our eyes to cry.”

Profound or what ! Especially from a ‘rugger bugger’, hey James ;-)!

9-11-2013 at 15:24:14

@Max, that was my point, Sylvain wasn’t lost, he chose the route, maybe my post above explains more clearly.

9-11-2013 at 15:27:31

@Lynda Phone calls

If you know the mobile number and the aerial cells you have to search. It´s pretty easy to find all numbers called and how long the call was. No need for the device so. I guess EM either has the phone or tried to make X think that he is not aware of a SM phone at all, hence if X is dumb enough to switch the phone on, e.g. to get some stored information, the phone will book in in the next available cell even if X does not know the PIN to unlock since all mobile have an emergence call feature.

Regarding TS and his recommendation: I find it quite plausible as I said before on the blog that the original ambush was planned at another place, thus when realising that SM deviated from the “recommended” route, X had to change his plan and therefore was in a hurry. Maybe Max idea of ONF as transport steps in here. If X knew the ONF guys and spontanously asked them to give him a ride close to Martinet and they agreed, then they must have been quite scared when they heard that they had been made collaborators without knowing. Hence the time needed to prepare answers, hence the late coming forward.


9-11-2013 at 15:32:01

It is rash to assume that the killer took SM’s mobile phone. It is equally rash to assume that Lydie’s call to SM only came to light through an analysis of the Faverges mobile-phone base station’s records. There is no evidence for either of these contentions.

To my mind, it is more likely that SM locked his phone after taking the call from Lydie, and that the gendarmes simply couldn’t unlock it in time to verify his identity. Moreover, merely establishing that an unidentified person carries a mobile phone with a SIM-card registered to Monsieur A does not count as a formal identification of that person as Monsieur A.

9-11-2013 at 15:36:06

RE Phones
The police asked me about all the numbers in Saad’s phone
so my guess is they have it .

9-11-2013 at 15:36:20

You see, I don’t think he did arrive there by error or was lost, never have, his Uncle stating that Sylvain knew that road, so he had a rdz.

I can imagine the conversation with Thierry, you should try this way, great climb, go in the direction of Doussard and then ……. well we don’t know the proposed route do we ?

Now, Sylvain could have just said, f that for a game of marbles and done his ow thing, he could have also just decided not to go as far as TS had suggested, cycling up and the back down, m

9-11-2013 at 15:41:42

@Lynda your latest post

great explanation of french, thank you very much. Two things still bug me:

a) If CS found SM being late, why didn´t she call him? He had a phone with him, otherwise LR counldn´t have called him. We did not read anything about such a phone call.
Conclusion: SM had a phone (maybe a second one) which CS did not know about, but LR somehow did.
Conclusion: Maybe SM had the phone as kind of a “little black book” for his “appointments”. Somehow LR got to know of this number and stalled him.
SPECULATION regarding LR (picking up your, Lyndas, lead): I am sure that also in France payment duties to previous marriage partners are finacially limited. Meaning if SM – formally – did not have any money (paternal leave) and was noit married (no formal obligation by CS) he would stop to pay for his sons to LR => thats why she called him!

SPECULATION reagarding the extra phone: What if SM tried to make also some extra money in dealing some pills or stuff? An extra phone would come handy PLUS there would be a reason for X to take the phone with him.

Long post…sorry


9-11-2013 at 15:47:59

@RiffRaff, I agree – but if they needed to do the trace, I do not recall who said this, maybe it is someone on here who has made it up, then they didn’t do it from the mobile phone.

They have said that two mobile phones were found in the Al-Hilli car, never a mention of Sylvains.

As for ‘locking’ the phone, did he ? I don’t lock mine, my husbands tells you how to unlock it ! Just two keys, top left and hache…. quite different to a pin to open it up.

Sylvain Mollier wasn’t lost, that’s all I’m saying.

@Peter, quote from my earlier post:

“So, I conclude they haven’t found the phone, big step to take but makes sense. ”

“I conclude”, that’s all, my thinking. I have no greater insight than anyone else on here.

9-11-2013 at 15:50:05

@Peter Re: Rash

Sorry, I have to disagree with your post on no evidence reagarding the phone or the calls. I find it pretty strange that we hear of a SM phone and a call with this phone about one year after the incident. This ist not rash, this is fact!

Regarding unlock: Now, the police had no problem to get into Saads phone as we learn from FB, why should they have with SM´s phone? No, the whole phone thingy is adding even more strangeness to this case.


9-11-2013 at 15:55:33

@Lynda Re: Police and Phone

Two options:
a) the police did not know of the extra phone, hence didn´t know the number. No number, no possibility to trace a phone. Now, LR talked too much and suddenly the police knows where to look.
b) police knew about the phone and the number and speculated X would make a mistake with this mysterious phone.

Comment phone lock: It´s quite easy to decode a SIM card with some reader and hackware programz from the internet. young geeks do it all the time, so do the criminals and the police.


9-11-2013 at 16:08:00

@Peter, Lars has already suggested that SM’s mobile phone was taken because it could have contained evidence, (possibly photographic) this was during his (Lars) ‘bi-sexual’ period, I don’t recall you calling him ‘rash’.

@Max, you obviously didn’t read what was written, I am supporting the case that Mollier knew where he was going. I am falling on the side that TS et al had nothing to do with this crime.

I give up, I am trying to put a human element into all the technology and techniques of these murders, using a bit of life experiences.

Which brings me back to where I started from, it is personal, it has nothing to do with Claires family, as Max has said before look at the bigger circle.

9-11-2013 at 16:13:37

@ RiffRaff, 9-11-2013 at 15:50:05

What is strange is how tight-lipped EM has been on *all aspects* pertaining to SM. Against that background, I don’t consider it strange at all that he kept that item about the call from Lydie to himself, too.

I don’t consider it strange that SM had a phone with him whilst out cycling. I always do that, too, in case I have an accident and need to call for help.

Very probably Claire repeatedly rang her fiancé before she went out looking for him. Given that this entire episode is set in what I think of as Twin-Peaks-in-the-Alps, I am not in the least surprised that this fact – if it is a fact – was never made public, either. It is almost as if SM had never existed, so little information has been made publicly available about him.

My point about the gendarmes being unable to unlock the phone right there and then only pertained to identifying SM in the immediate aftermath of the murders. It would have taken them a while to do that, and by that time Claire had already come forward.

9-11-2013 at 17:04:51

On any cellphone, locked or not, you’ll find the IMEI number of the device printed next to the battery. There’s a nationwide databank easily accessed by law-enforcement agencies that provides personal details of the owner.
Since Mollier wasn’t identified that way, we should conclude his cellphone had been picked up by the killer. But for what purpose? Hard to say. Most likely to suppress evidence (of former calls, of possible incriminating data stored in the memory, etc).

9-11-2013 at 17:33:39


‘Le cycliste toujours considéré comme “victime collatérale”
Le parquet d’Annecy a insisté lundi 22 octobre sur le fait que le cycliste français abattu lors de la tuerie de Chevaline, au côté d’un couple britannique d’origine irakienne, restait considéré comme une “victime collatérale”, après des informations de presse l’envisageant comme la cible. Concernant le cycliste Sylvain Mollier, “la thèse numéro un, c’est que c’est une victime collatérale”, a déclaré à l’AFP le procureur de la République d’Annecy Eric Maillaud.

“A priori, il était là au mauvais moment au mauvais endroit”, a-t-il ajouté, après un article paru dans vendredi, affirmant que le cycliste avait été tué le premier. C’était en effet la première fois que ce père de famille de 45 ans, employé d’une filiale du groupe nucléaire Areva, venait pédaler à cet endroit, sur la route de la combe d’Ire, à Chevaline. Venu sur les conseils de ses proches, “il s’était trompé de route par rapport aux indications géographiques qui lui avaient été données”, a précisé M. Maillaud.

“L’entourage de Sylvain Mollier a fait l’objet d’une enquête extrêmement approfondie”, a-t-il insisté, car “c’était une des premières interrogations des enquêteurs : était-il la cible principale ?”.’

This was on oct 22, 2012

SM piste was not in the top 3 … and it took only 6(!) weeks to conclude SM could not have been the target!?

… anyway, if you analyse the following sentence you have to conclude that it is internal contradiction(!)

C’était en effet la première fois que SM venait pédaler à cet endroit, sur la route de la combe d’Ire, à Chevaline. Venu sur les conseils de ses proches, “il s’était trompé de route par rapport aux indications géographiques qui lui avaient été données”

The only way above could work is if:

– SM would have said to ‘ses proches’ that he had NEVER been to Martinet (because it was supposed to be ‘the first time’)


– ‘ses proches’ would have said ‘Dont go to Martinet, but do go to ….’ (because they say he was lost when SM turned up at Martinet)

Or in short:

How do ‘ses proches’ know it was the FIRST TIME SM went to Martinet? (why would they say this?)

(we know from the uncle that this could be a lie)

What we possibly have here is the telling of 2(!) lies which are in contradiction with each other. It would have been better keeping it to 1 simple lie:

‘Well, I adviced him to go to …, strange he turned up at Martinet, he must have got lost’

If they would have said this, there was no problem. But they wanted to emphasize it and OVERDID it with ‘it was his first time to Martinet’.

Think it over, it is delicate … it is always delicate when you tell a lie, because a lie has to fit in. And once you start to ‘correct’ a lie with another lie it can become a mess


– M

9-11-2013 at 17:53:27

@ Eugene, 9-11-2013 at 17:04:51

It is *possible* that the killer took SM’s mobile phone. It would also be hugely significant (and typical of Eric Clouseau to keep such a bombshell fact from the public) – but we have no way of knowing.

Regarding your assertion that there is a database tying IMEIs to specific individuals: North Korea almost certainly has such a database, the US are probably working on it right now, but AFAIK no European country has such a database. Think about the last time that you bought a mobile phone (assuming that you live in Europe): did you have to show proof of ID? No, you simply picked the box off the shelf, paid your money, got a receipt, and left. Think about the last time that you sold your used mobile phone: did you have to notify some government agency that you had done so and fax them a copy of the purchaser’s passport? I don’t think so.

Also, IMEIs are a software feature that can be altered at will – which is why doing so has been made a crime in the UK. What there is in some European countries is an Equipment Identity Register in which police can store the IMEIs of stolen phones, rendering those phones inoperable in some cases. There is, however, no mandatory register of all IMEIs and the owners of the corresponding devices.

9-11-2013 at 18:41:55

@ Peter

I wasn’t considering the case of criminals or hackers. I was thinking of ordinary citizens such as Mollier, who presumably had bought his phone together with or within a carrier’s plan. In such case, he certainly had offered proof of ID. Both in France and in the US, when you buy a “naked” device (no plan) or with a pay-as-you-go plan, you also need ID. As for registries, why would the UK. make a crime of altering the IMEI # of a device, if it couldn’t be used for identification purposes? Just against theft?

9-11-2013 at 18:51:38

@Max, I like that assumption, they over compensated, afterall the uncle has said that he did go to the route as you’ve linked above, that being on the 17th September. I wonder how many times he had been there ?

He certainly wasn’t lost, but the French Press didn’t say he was, just took a wrong direction compared to what he’d been told/indicated. He could have just changed his mind or of course never had any intention of going anywhere else.

Remember if he hadn’t been killed, nobody need know where he’d been.

How many of you have lied about your whereabouts ?

9-11-2013 at 19:28:44


My ‘bi-sexual’ period! Ha ha 🙂

I was actually then talking about Gregory Mercier, whose telephone was actually stolen, and I don’t believe it was stolen because of its value. If Molliers phone was also stolen I think it was for the same reason.

I still believe that bi-sexuality could be a component in that murder (Mercier’s), so the period is perhaps still ongoing. 😉

9-11-2013 at 19:43:18

@ Eugene, 9-11-2013 at 18:41:55

Of course a “branded” phone purchased together with a carrier plan is a totally different scenario. They are worried about whether or not you’ll be able to pay their monthly fees and therefore wish to see some foem of ID. But a “naked device”, in France? Really?

I have never purchased a “naked device” in France, and therefore cannot speak from experience. I have done so in the US, however, not so long ago, and the store near Times Square in New York City – their primary line of business was suitcases – certainly never asked me for any form of ID. Even China and Vietnam offer mobile phone users complete anonymity, regarding both SIM and IMEI, as does Austria in Europe.

Within Europe, Austria appears to be the last bastion of freedom regarding anonymous SIM cards (the guys who killed that mechablim
used Austrian pre-paid SIM cards for that reason.)

Anyway, altering IMEIs was made a crime in the UK because of the high incidence of mobile-phone thefts in the UK: a little island that nobody listens to anymore when it comes to global polictics, but world-beaters when it comes to street crime.

9-11-2013 at 20:20:21

I’ve read for the first time the “Le Parisien” article in full, thanks to Max.

Did you guys know that Sylvain Mollier’s 5000 € ride was a gift from Claire Schutz?


9-11-2013 at 20:25:10

@ Max re: “Video don’t lie”

You are into basketball, aren’t you?

You must’ve heard of Rasheed Wallace’s famous “Ball don’t lie” quote, don’t you?



9-11-2013 at 20:34:23

Re:Bike gift

But Alex, Lynda repeated that fact 15:17:14 today! 😉
I know what she will say now and have reason to do as well (that you don’t read her comments) 🙂

9-11-2013 at 20:37:07

I do not have a ‘Pay as you go’ mobile phone, nevertheless they are for sale in all sorts of places, including the village ‘tabac’ ! The Orange one is called a ‘mobicarte’. The owner of the bar lives across the road from me, next time I see him I’ll ask.

I suspect you may be asked to give a name and address, not sure, if only for the ‘guarantee’, anyone could give any address they wish, ID would not be required.

Even Tesco in the UK sell them !

9-11-2013 at 21:50:26

@Lars, so pleased you accepted my sense of humour !

As have many now expressed the belief that Molliers phone was not there, okay all calls, texts would be recorded via the server, in a time scale, his data, photographs, addresses, agenda, actual words and conversations weren’t.

I know some will shout me down over this, do you really believe that the Powers That Be have a copy of everything on a disc somewhere ?

Impossible, no doubt there are some who are monitored, maybe I am because I’m a British Citizen married to a Frenchman, making many calls to my father, and sometimes to other friends and family in the UK, as I’ve expressed before, I hope they enjoy the conversation that mostly concerns his latest bowel movements (he has Crohn’s) or his lady friend shopping habits !

What I’m saying is I doubt very much that Sylvain Molliers phone(s), were being monitored, Saads maybe.

Look, I hesitated to post this, Sylvain Mollier was no industrial spy, to me it is obvious, the fellow struck lucky with an attractive educated young woman who fell for him, she was way out of his league !

I have no doubt that she agreed for Sylvain to remain at home whilst she returned to work, logic says this would have been towards the end of September.

This accounts for his brothers comments that he was happy with events, I’m sure he was. Did he have other needs ? Women after childbirth aren’t exactly offfering sex on a plate, much to do with the physical and as much to do with the psychological, take a look at the number of men who take their pleasure from elsewhere during this ‘difficult’ period.

9-11-2013 at 22:32:18


Yeah, I felt like Mick Jagger there for a moment (though he is an older guy than me). 🙂

9-11-2013 at 23:27:31

SM phone and route and CS

Daily Mail, but alas, the SM part seems credible

‘The mysterious Mr Mollier

So what is the truth about cyclist Sylvain Mollier? He lived with his girlfriend Clare Schutz in Ugine (pop; 7,000), about 12 miles from Lake Annecy, and was on extended paternity leave after Miss Schutz, 29, a pharmacist, gave birth to their son, Louis, in June. Mr Mollier left his home for the last time around 2.30pm on September 5.

Much later that afternoon, when he did not return from his bike ride, Miss Schutz became worried. Eventually, she decided to get in her car to go and look for him.

Mr Mollier, 45, had told her where he was going, so she knew where to start her search. But her way was barred by a police road block near the bottom of the Route de la Combe d’Ire, leading up the mountainside, a route popular with hikers and cyclists.

Miss Schutz told the police she was very concerned about Mr Mollier; that he had not come home when she had expected and had not rung her.

Miss Schutz was asked to get a photograph of Mr Mollier and bring it to the police station. When she produced a photograph, her worst fears were confirmed. Like many people, Mr Mollier’s private life was not entirely uncomplicated.

He had two teenage sons, Leo and Mathis, seven, from a marriage which ended in divorce more than six years ago, after Mr Mollier reportedly had several affairs. Police are satisfied, however, that the murders are not linked to his personal life.’

– M

9-12-2013 at 00:21:39


I think the problem with all the media reports are that the journalists do not have the full picture in mind when they write their reports. I guess that we, with the exception of the investigation team and a couple of journalists, are the ones that have information enough to put certain information in their proper context.

I then e.g. find it a bit odd to write ‘that he had not come home when she had expected and had not rung her’.

Firstly I think I would have written ‘she rang him furiously but he didn’t answer his mobile phone’. My experience tells me that no woman is going to sit and wait until her ‘husband’ calls her.

If this is true one also wonders when she started to phone him.

And if she phoned him why not one of the gendarmes answered the phone (if the phone was not stolen).

It also could put some light on where he was going (said he was going). Did she expect that he had mobile phone coverage all the way?


I have no been able to grab the video of the Brett-Martin interview with reasonable quality as well so now my ‘library’ covers the whole summary (+ some extras)

9-12-2013 at 00:24:47

I was just thinking
if Ikbal had been driving ….
would they have dug into her history and education etc ?
but Ikbal did not like driving in France .

9-12-2013 at 00:37:06

Here you can find a story about a person that roams the woods not so far from Lake Geneva, but on the Swiss side:

Le Matin: «Le Loyon» ne fait rire personne

Daily Mail: Police hunt ‘terrifying’ figure who has stalked Swiss woodland

9-12-2013 at 00:59:41

@ Max 9-10-2013 at 23:53:38

Re: WHY DID THE ONF NOT COME FORWARD????? To NOT come forward while you KNOW you were close and while you SEE/HEAR that half of Europe is talking about you, you the green 4×4 on route forestiere! NOW why did you not come forward??? (and when he did came forward, he take a pretty X5 with him) (Wasn’t there 2 guys in the ONF ) ?

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.

9-12-2013 at 02:37:20

@Lynda (re 15:17:14 post).

Thanks for that. And yep I agree with most of it.
…I’m not sure that Mollier was off to meet someone at or beyond the Martinet.
Although I do not know this. He may well have been. I don’t know.

Your generally sentiment that the “target” was not Saad, I agree with totally.

@riffraff raised a point. If Mollier was carrying his phone, then did Claire call it. It would seem highly likely she did (various reasons why).
And more should be considered on this.

@Lynda in her post further raises the point (that were covered by Marilyn) concerning childcare.

My question here is, does the three years paternal leave in any way “prevent” Mollier from providing childcare to his first two child (at a previous level. Whatever that was) ?

My “new” view of this crime is that I cannot ignore the fact that this may have been the act of a “psychopath”. They are (or can be) very “sophisticated”.

I also cannot ignore the fact that there was a “target”. If that was the case, then I believe that would have been Mollier.

Finally (at long last !) I do believe that Saad did make it into his car. Zainab made it to the car. Saad with his whole family in the car did attempt an escape. (This much disputed by all !).

On this there is one question.
A number of casings were found under the BMW (it is reported).
I believe this number to be 10.

As far as I can see (in my scenario), there were 10 shots fired at that point.
Mag 1 (1). Mag 2 (7). Mag 3 (2).
But how did they get underneath the BMW ?
Could the BMW “push itself”, whilst under power, to the side and cover them ?
I guess it depends on how far under the BMW the casings were I guess ?

As its very late (and I’ve had a long “bitty” day) I’ll “hit the sack” pondering that one. But I feel that the police (for some reason) want the spotlight on “Al Hilli”.

As someone else says. Tomorrow is another day !

9-12-2013 at 11:09:00

Based on all the police and media reports that we’ve had so far, and pictures that we’ve seen, it’s not only Mollier’s cellphone that seems to be “missing” (or left unmentioned). There’s also the torn roof-rack bar on the BMW.
If we assume -like James suggested- that it could have been hit by a stray bullet (unlikely, but why not), how come it’s nowhere to be seen? Not even “thrown in a corner” like Mollier’s bike?
Obviously that roof-rack might have been damaged prior to the killings. But if so, considering the Al-Hillis were meant to return to the UK 2 or 3 days later, it seems a little unusual that Saad wouln’t have repaired/replaced it right away, or at least disassembled the remaining parts in that perspective. After all, he had, according to some of us, taken the time to remove the towing mirrors.
So was that missing bar removed by the killers for some reason?
Likewise, on available pictures, we have no clear view of the rear bumper. But of the hatch door yes. It shows no sign whatsoever of having hit the embankement hard enough to trigger the door-unlock automatic function ( no broken glass on the rear lights, no dent on the body). The car may have got stuck, but not after a “crash”. More likely Saad lost control while he was about to pull out again.

9-12-2013 at 11:49:47


Morning James, I do believe it’s our ‘first time’…

I too was much taken with the saucy reports of the ten ‘extra’ cartridges supposedly found under the BMW after the tow truck started to reel it in. There has been various speculation everywhere about the number of cartridges found under the vehicle and the number had suddenly jumped from the much touted initial fifteen (as the early reports have it) to twenty five. However I think the clue to this comes in one of the earlyish press conferences (forget which one) when Maillaud is being pressed on the number of ‘douilles’ and he says something along the lines of…

“Ok let’s call it 25 because that’s an easy number for you to remember…”

I think, from memory, that he also says at that point that they have found some cartridges WITHIN (rather than under) the car so to some extent the count may have been ongoing….hence the exasperated? overestimate on his part. They have of course now stated definitively that the total found was 21 which confirms in my view that the 15 + 10 under the car!! was only ever a journalistic? internet? whisper…

This is Celeste. I edited this comment and on the request of Partlucid I re-edited it yet again. So if it does not make all sense which he writes, you can blame me.

9-12-2013 at 12:05:23

@ partlucid, 9-12-2013 at 11:49:47

Those ten “douilles” are also variously said to have been found outside and inside the car:×4-vert-au-coeur-de-l-enquete-07-09-2012-2154653.php×4-vert-et-un-temoin-cle/mlig!m18LLth0rW5Sg/

In my opinion, they are most likely to have been found outside (as in “next to”) the BMW. They correspond quite neatly to two mags of seven bullets each, ten bullets fired at the Al-Hilli family inside the BMW at close range, the remaining four fired at the prostrate Sylvain Mollier.

9-12-2013 at 12:58:15

Hi Peter

I like your 7 bullets per magazine very much, not least ‘cos it firms up the idea that the guy absolutely knew his weapon…and I’m just beginning to wonder whether our man isn’t also a little bit keen on a touch of ‘symmetry’: seemingly 3 shots each (1 disabling body shot? and 2 headshots) for Iqbal and the grandmother, and then perhaps 5 each? for Sylvain and Saad – although this is just my own recent speculation…and would have come about more circumstantially, rather than as an intention, even if it were so…

I’ve been giving a little further thought to the bullet count as well, and I think I’ve come out at 5 hits and the 4 misses within the first 9 shots (which would of course include a reload) because thereafter I have Sylvain probably immobile on the ground with 3 shots to his back (I think I read somewhere that the Luger does have a very rapid firing action) and Saad back in the car, and also wounded in the back. Zainab makes up the fifth hit of course.

Now if I just pause my scenario for a moment….then I guess this is how things might have ended up had the BMW not got stuck on the bank (albeit Sylvain and Zainab might have received further decisive shots)…

….and to me…well I can’t quite equate that with a/ Maillaud’s hit man supposedly engaged to wipe out? the Al-Hilli family. Even allowing for Sylvain Mollier perhaps arriving at the worst of all possible moments, it would still be a disastrous outcome for someone contracted to kill the family – or even just Saad himself, for that matter…

9-12-2013 at 13:25:08


I have written a bit about the roof rack in the summary (see details).
As I understand it these Thule bicycle carriers had been bought on ebay and modified by S. Al-Hilli to fit the bikes the family had. It is then actually only the ‘trays’ (see photo in the summary), if you can use that word, that are original, the rest is made by SA-H.

The family had only 1 bike on the roof when they arrived at the campsite according to witness (I think in Daily Mail). That bike can be seen in the tent by the caravan (found by Max). I guess that SA-H didn’t cared to put the other ‘tray’ on the car when he assembled it before the trip to France, simply because he didn’t need it.

9-12-2013 at 13:32:59

There has been a discussion if the killer was a lunatic/psychopath or had a motive. I think they do not exclude each other.

A ‘lunatic/psychopath’ is a very sweeping description. If we are a bit more precise and say that the killer has a mental illness or deficit it is quite possible that he still had a motive for what he did (even if we could not understand that motive).

9-12-2013 at 14:31:59

Ref Mobile phones

In the UK you can buy a PAYG anywhere or indeed get second hand. Any name and address can be used but then when it comes to registering the SIMcard with service provider . . . ID will be checked especially if a credit or debit card is lodged with the number for recharging online purposes. Also codes for changeover of ownership are needed.
If the mobile phone is a persons only number (ie: doesnt have a landline) it will need to be legitimate. Plenty of scam loopholes exist for casual phone useage however.
In New Zealand and Australia I was able to buy international phone minutes just on a card. You ring the number on the card before putting in the one you are ringing. Very useful and cheap for short visits.
I have a seperate PAYG mobiles for UK OZ and NZ and Skype when I possibly can.

9-12-2013 at 14:32:43

Ref Mobile phones.

In the UK you can buy a PAYG anywhere or indeed get second hand. Any name and address can be used but then when it comes to registering the SIMcard with service provider . . . ID will be checked especially if a credit or debit card is lodged with the number for recharging online purposes. Also codes for changeover of ownership are needed.
If the mobile phone is a persons only number (ie: doesnt have a landline) it will need to be legitimate. Plenty of scam loopholes exist for casual phone useage however.
In New Zealand and Australia I was able to buy international phone minutes just on a card. You ring the number on the card before putting in the one you are ringing. Very useful and cheap for short visits.
I have a seperate PAYG mobiles for UK OZ and NZ and Skype when I possibly can.

9-12-2013 at 14:34:31

I’m still interested in learning more about Iqbal’s mentally ill brother. Did he travel to the UK with Iqbal’s mother, was he taken there with the specific intention of being admitted to a psychiatric hospital in the UK, would this be easy to do?
I like to know the dynamics of all the families involved.

9-12-2013 at 14:36:10

Hi all still keeping an eye on developments and Partlucid I think its the case that Iqbal was not shot in the head at all and that the other occupants were only shot once in the head and twice to the body as for Sm it changes with the weather but between 5 and 7, someone may have the exact final results I just wanted you to know the 2 head shot each does not appear to be true.
One reason why Iqbal was different that seems possible is that Saad was shot through the passenger window so was gran, the shooter didnt then have a clear view of Iqbal ,when they were removing people from the scene Iqbal was last and it was said that it was not known how she died at the time ,I put that down to EM having the press conference before she was removed so they had not had the final position from the doctor as it was less obvious than the others .
I may not be exact in all of these details its a heads up to check .

9-12-2013 at 14:50:16


One roof bar only ?

Could you explain then how the “front part” of the Thule system on the “missing side” has remained attached to the toof rail of the BMW ?

Are you suggesting that Saad attached one complete Thule bar.
Then cut off the front end of the second Thule bar and attached that before departing from England ?

In all pictures of the BMW it is clear to see
1. The BMW touring roof rails.
2. The cross bars attached to the BMW touring roof rails.
3. One complete Thule bar (front clamp and rear clamp) drivers side.
And One incomplete Thule bar (front binding only) passenger side.

NB. A Thule bar (singular) clamp/de-clamp as one complete unit.
This unit contains two clamps. One located forward and one located aft.

The picture (of the BMW) shows the “missing” pax side Thule roof bar has the forward clamp in position.

Saad cut one Thule roof bar (pax side)…and attached this front section using the forward clamp prior to leaving the U.K. ? Why would he do that ???

9-12-2013 at 14:59:24

Yo Comments

“Eric Maillaud, the Annecy prosecutor, confirmed today that the French cyclist, the man and the older woman were all killed by bullets to the head.”

How trustworthy any of it is would probably be not very as there are many variations in the papers.

9-12-2013 at 15:09:05


Hi Pink. I’ve just been watching some of the clips of the press conferences that Lars has put up on his summary and Maillaud does clearly state in the Saturday conference on September 8th that each of the victims had taken two shots to the head…

….and this is something of an advance from the position on the 6th, when he could only confirm that 3 of the 4 had received headshots. Personally, I wondered if that uncertainty might have been down to Sylvain Mollier maybe wearing a cyclist’s helmet which they hadn’t yet removed? but it may equally have been down to a delay analysing some of the wounds on the bodies in the car – as you say…

9-12-2013 at 15:18:25

Thanks for the response I just wanted to alert you to the conflicting stories on who was shot and where I have no way of knowing which is correct I have seen both versions various times its baffling to me how all this information is not cut and dried but we still have to guess which version is correct.

9-12-2013 at 15:40:45

@ James, 9-12-2013 at 14:50:16

I’ll offer one explanatory hypothesis: The front clamp has a lock. One cannot deinstall the front clamp without first opening the lock (an anti-theft mechanism).

Now, if Saad had mislaid the key for that front clamp, he might have chosen to leave the clamp on for the time being, but remove the remainder of the bar. The aluminium bar, or “tray”, is only attached to that front clamp by means of a single bolt.

9-12-2013 at 16:00:28

@ Lars @ James

Thanks for your answer, Lars. But I’m afraid James is right: it doesn’t really make sense.

First off, I have no recollection of a “witness” specifying the NUMBER of bikes the Al-Hillis were carrying. If you have a reference, please provide the link (BTW, don’t you think it’d be a good idea to number the links compiled in your summary?).
Yes, we’ve seen one picture at the campsite where parts of a bike can be seen (adult size I think), but this in no way means there wasn’t another bike somewhere else. A good family man like Saad can hardly be expected to ride by himself and deprive his loved ones of the same pleasure.
Second, assuming he had yet decided for any reason to travel with just one bike, using the roof rack the way you suggest doesn’t sound like something a skillful mechanical engineer would do: without the second Thule bar, the whole structure would be extremely fragile due to weight and wind-drag imbalance. In such case, assuming it wasn’t practical to carry a single bike in a central position, keeping the second bar on would at least offer better stability.
In other words, I still think something happened to that bar, and not in Claygate..

9-12-2013 at 16:00:40


That could be a reasonable account for the front clamp.

But isn’t Thule’s USP a “one key” function ?

9-12-2013 at 16:04:38

Does anybody know what 3 years paternity leave looks like in France? And did Sylvain have some sort of legal/ administrative wrangle to get it passed?

Would it mean for example that his employer had to offer him his position back (or an equivalent)….or did it entitle Sylvain to some sort of social security payments…?

And is three years an uncommonly long sabbatical for a new dad in France?

….with apologies if this ground’s been covered already…

9-12-2013 at 16:04:57


I guess Peter has already answered your question. I personally have no idea how you lock/unlock these Thule bars so I don’t want to speculate. My point is simply that he didn’t need/use the other bar/tray anyhow. Lazy as I am I never put something on that I don’t need.

You can see an older construction on the BMW in the ST-article The Homecoming. According to FB made entirely by SA-H.

9-12-2013 at 16:10:42


At your service: “Dutch woman Sandy Rombout, 39, said the Al-Hillis had arrived at the site on the shores of Lake Annecy at around 4pm on Monday in their dark-red BMW, which had a mountain bike on a roof rack.”

from: Daily Mail: ‘I’ve got nothing to do with it’: Brother of Iraq-born businessman executed with wife and mother-in-law in front of daughters in French Alps denies there was family feud over ‘financial matters’, published 5 September 2012, 16:55

9-12-2013 at 16:12:57


If you don’t force me to search for the reference it was said that Mollier had been negotiating with Ugitech and had recently come to an agreement.

9-12-2013 at 16:23:49


You’ve got me chuckling with that remark Lars…although I must plead complete innocence on your first charge…

Hmm…so some sort of negotiation with Ugitech which presumably kept open the door for him to return if he wanted…


9-12-2013 at 16:27:33

@ Pink

Inspector Clouseau’s repeated flip-flopping about who was shot in the head or not (and subsequently with a “double-tap” or not) should be analyzed as depending on the preferred theory of the moment: headshots = professional hit, random shots = lone psychopath.
Also a mitigating factor must have been that, insofar they could actually examine the face of the deceased, the families would have pointed at excessive alteration of the truth.

9-12-2013 at 16:31:14

@ Lars

Thanks Lars. You’re the best of us. Seriously.
Meanwhile, what about my second point?

9-12-2013 at 16:46:02

@ partlucid, 9-12-2013 at 16:23:49
Paternal leave in France involves a cast-iron guarantee of getting one’s job back afterwards, plus a few hundred Euros a month in state welfare payments. It is not a bad deal.

@ James, 9-12-2013 at 16:00:40
I reckon that if you buy two Thule bike carriers as a set, a single key will fit both. If, however, you cobble something together yourself, it probably won’t.
Not every Thule key fits every Thule lock – otherwise, bicycle thieves would also only need a single Thule key 😉

9-12-2013 at 17:01:38

@Partlucid, I was about to post the same links as Peter, I think I’ve done so in the past.

I haven’t met any man who has done this although there is often talk of there being ‘househusbands’ in the UK, haven’t met any personally.

I remain with the likelihood that it was to enable Claire to return to her position in the Pharmacy, instead of seeking outside childcare.

When he was killed, it would have still been inside the three months inital paternity leave, baby born end of June.

9-12-2013 at 17:13:00

@ Lars @ Peter

Rereading the old DM article Lars provided as reference, I also notice that the same Dutch witness mentioned she had seen Saad training one of his daughters to use her bike. If correct, this means they were indeed with 2 bikes minimum. Are we to assume that -at least second- bike wasn’t carried from the UK on the roof-rack? Why? This seems to have been the case previously, as shown on another older picture Lars mentioned.

9-12-2013 at 17:40:41

thanks Lynda and Peter…

…for the paternity stuff. I was just trying to get some sense of how things must’ve looked to the new (second time around) father. I think the reports suggest he was an exemplary employee…


Were you suggesting anything in particular with that last ‘initial 3 months’ remark Lynda?…or just putting some sort of context on it?
I’m wondering if I’m missing something there…?

9-12-2013 at 18:01:03

@ Partlucid

If your French is good enough, you can find confirmation, on the links provided thanks to Peter, that there’s no such thing -even in France- as a 3-years paternity leave. What there is is a one year leave that is renewable twice. This is quite different for both parties and renewal is submitted to certain conditions. Compensation is symbolic, but health and social benefits persist, which isn’t indifferent in this country. It’s often a stand-by status, since you have the guarantee of reemployment, but many people use that period to look for another job.

9-12-2013 at 18:31:53

@Eugene, the childrens bikes may have been attached to the caravan as seen in the photo from a previous holiday.

A pink bike could be seen inside the awning of the caravan in one of the photos taken during this holiday.

@Partlucid, The rules and regs of paternity leave have changed recently, or at least were due to be, I seem to recall that Francois Hollande wanted to make the maternity/paternity leav be ix months that could be split between the parents, if required. I’ll have to look up the details, something else though, is that any extended leave would have had to be notified to the employer one maybe even two months in advance of the impending birth.

9-12-2013 at 18:50:08

@ Lynda

I wasn’t wondering about where the children’s bikes were attached but about why Saad wouldn’t have used the second bar on the rack, and if he did what happened to it.

@ Partlucid

Lynda’s right. French rules may change in the future thanks to the new President. But backen in June 2012, when Mollier became a dad again, there wasn’t a 3 months initial period for fathers: 3 days for “birth leave” plus 11 days for initial “paternity leave”. See explainations on this link:

9-12-2013 at 19:09:44

@Eugene, awful connection to server today ! In fact I realised that the talk of this change was in April this year ! So, yes I made the mistake of forgetting to take into consideration June 2012, even the Wiki entry dates from September 2012.

I understand what you mean about the ‘missing piece’ of roof rack, thing is it may not have been on the car in France, one bike on top would not require a second bar, many vehicles travel about with one bike atop, rarely centralised …. I don’t suppose it would make too much impact on the motion of the car as the caravan would have been higher. Not sure if that makes sense.

9-12-2013 at 19:20:03


As Lynda says SA-H often fastened one bike on the front of the caravan, where he also placed the childrens ‘velo-mobile’ (my word) that you can see Z & z using on a previous holiday (can also be seen on FB’s FB-site), normally used together with the parents tandem. If it was z’s little bike he might also have kept in inside the caravan.

Your second point? Do you mean to number the links? I don’t think it is necessary. They are easily identifiable by their ‘headline’, e.g. ‘2nd link in Weapon‘. The links for the articles are also identifiable, since they are sorted after date, so the link for e.g. ‘Daily Mail 3 October 2012’ is easy to find (if it exists). Numbering is troublesome when you might insert new links here and there.

9-12-2013 at 19:29:53

I could have added that every link in the summary also has a ‘title’ ( e.g. ‘Daily Mail: ‘I’ve got’nothing to do with it…..’ ), so with the ‘headline’ and ‘title’ they are also identifiable and easy to find.

9-12-2013 at 20:52:49


Hello Eugene and thanks for that helpful link apropos paternity leave.
It sounds from that as though Sylvain has simply opted to take what he is legally entitled to. I wonder however if he has specified/ negotiated in advance that he wants the full three years…or whether that’s perhaps a bit of ‘creative writing’ on the part of a journalist…

Your point about people often using the leave as an opportunity to change jobs/ careers? is interesting, as is Lynda’s proposal that the plan was probably to focus financially/ and work-wise on Claire’s newly strengthened position within the pharmacies..


Lynda would you have a view on the sequence of events that sees Claire take up with Sylvain, have a child with him, and the (part?) transference of the family business over to her. You’re usually a keen student of these things I think…

9-12-2013 at 21:48:32

We discuss many details here and often we don’t have an answer.
I hope that one day we will have the answers to at least some of these questions. That requires probably that the crime is solved and that the people around Sylvain Mollier starts talking.

Since only the two girls survived in the Al-Hilli family we will probably never have any answers to these detailed questions concerning them.

I am though a bit afraid that due to the clumsiness of the French police that the killer will commit suicide when he notices that the police at last is starting to look in the right direction. Maybe I am a bit selfish here, but after discussing this crime for such a long time it would be a disappointment if we never will know exactly what happened at Le Martinet. It might also matter to some of the relatives, at least on the Al-Hilli side. And I think the only one who could tell us is the killer.

9-12-2013 at 21:48:53

One question for the ladies:

Q: How common is it that ex-wife and new-wife are ‘best friends’?

(there is a mechanism to unite elements which would normally not work together, that is called a ‘common enemy’ … it has been suggested that SM was a ‘ladies man’)

– M

9-12-2013 at 22:02:37

I have come across many couples in France whereby for the sake of the children, it is all ever so friendly, too much saccharine, the women often try do outdo one another, in their soirees, dress etc.

At first I thought it bizarre, then witnessed it over and over, it doesn’t work when the ex-wife is alone, they remain a threat to the new woman. The worst part is that because of the children from the marriage the contact never stops, sometimes it can be for nothing.

If I had to express gut feeling over this case, taking into consideration Mollier was somewhere he wasn’t due to be, then I would say the two women could form a bond as both being the ‘done unto’.

My ex-husband, had an affair with a girl much younger than either of us, she became pregnant, I found out five months into the pregnancy a very kind neighbour spilling the beans, ‘I deserved to know’, I left. I warned the new flame, that if he did it once he’ll do it again, guess what he did, several times over until she threw him out, regrettably after a further two children.

Some men are made like that.

9-12-2013 at 22:51:50


Not being a lady, but still in my ‘bi-sexual’ period 😉 I must say I never met an “ex-wife and new-wife that are ‘best friends’”.

In the couples I know the new wife more likes to pretend that the ex-wife never existed, even though she can’t do the same with the children from that marriage.

9-12-2013 at 23:11:55

Thx both (more views are welcome;)

Speculating of course …

There is ‘elegance’ to be found in ‘gifting’ a man an expensive bike (his real love) and let him drive with it to his death;) What about … CS went to look for SM to ‘fake’ she was looking for him when in real she was MC2 on ColDeCherel … to pickup LR who pulled the trigger after checking/phoning if SM was on his way. CS set the trap in motion, sending SM on his way, LR pulled the trigger … TS protecting CS by the ‘get lost’ stuff. All bases covered? What about ONF? ONF transported LR (some favour), came forward later after the whole bunch devised a ‘X5/UK scenario’, play best friends and hide behind a ‘vow of silence’. Perhaps there is a 3rd woman, behind the real reason behind all this.

… was speculating of course. Nothing serious;)

– M

9-12-2013 at 23:40:44

@Max, that was my thought at the very beginning, do you recall ?

If there was a third woman and a cuckold husband ……

We’ve never seen what Sylvain looked like, other than being described as ‘gamin’, gamine, slim, I bet he was a bit of a looker too – think about it, at the beginning of CS and his relationship I guess she was 25/26, he was already 40.

He no doubt had charisma and looked like a ‘man’, women often go for the older guy, because they are always looking for a ‘Dad’, where as men look for women who remind them of their mother.

It may not always be apparent to the outside world, wait a few years and you’ll see exactly that.

Anyway, I’m no psychologist, although tonight it would be a very helpful profession, received a call from the police, my stepson left a candle lit in his studio, went out and somehow it set fire to the sofabed, neighbours saw the smoke and called the pompiers – thankfully nobody hurt and the building is in one piece, but we are guarantors ! The Fire Insurance policy doesn’t cover negligence, so you’ve guessed it we’ll be covering the cost, again.

I wish you all a goodnight and please remember to extinguish all naked flames and your cigarettes.

9-13-2013 at 00:29:30

Sure Lynda, I do remember;)

If CS and LR have teamed up, the reason probably must be a 3rd woman, and that woman could in principle talk unless she is intimidated by the ‘wall of silence’. Since it is now over a year, I guess the latter is the case if this scenario is right.

The (my) problem is not this scenario. This scenario could turn out to be ridiculous, no problem for me. My real problem is the doubt I have if the investigators even have looked at this (these) angles, as so few time was seemingly spent before the 99% noSM was declared. Sure they certainly did spend some weeks and a few guys on this SM angle, but that also went towards his ‘nuclear’ work etc.

So how much time and dedication did the investigators really put into the SM side of things? I fear not enough to break down the nice wall ‘they’ have pulled up.

– M

9-13-2013 at 00:46:01


The dutch woman saw one bike on a roof rack.
That means he moved to that campsite from the previous one carrying one bike on the roof. Nothing more than that.


I guess the number of keys needed on Saad’s Thule roof bars/trays could only be answered thus far by Saad or the guy that Saad bought the roof rails from or the police.

A holiday photograph which included the BMW from that fateful time or a cctv “still” would prove conclusive.

Alas I am doubtful that either of those will be offered.
So we are left with individual speculation.

Personally I believe that there were two rails on that vehicle.
And that one of them was damaged at The Martinet.


Youth plus candle plus soft furnishing equals…. hefty bill.
Always does ! And one damn lucky fella.

9-13-2013 at 07:59:34


The problem with such a scenario is from a psychological point of view the boys/the children. A mother would understand that such an event would be devastating for the children. That it still happens in the heat of the moment is one thing, but premeditated murder is another.

9-13-2013 at 08:19:41

I think that if we are talking about premeditated murder you have to look for someone who had no reason to care about the children and their future, neither the Mollier boys nor the Al-Hilli girls.

9-13-2013 at 08:25:06


It’s me. Celeste has a test to write so she can not look after the blog for the moment.

What do you think of this? I was typing a joke about two priests and then my screen froze and what I’d typed disappeared which I take it as one of my guardian angels telling me not to tell that joke. So, I won’t tell it. Lynda I know would have found it funny.

Do have a good commenting day. I may open the 14th thread this weekend as this one is rather loooooooooooooooooooooooong.

9-13-2013 at 09:32:36

@ Lynda

If there’s a “third woman”, who had an affair with SM, she could:
– live close to Chevaline
– have a “glamorous lifestyle”
– have use of a gray SUV
But it’s not L or C who would seek revenge in killing SM. Rather the unfortunate husband. Someone with links with the UK, some kind of military training, someone familiar with Martinet and its surroundings, having a good excuse for going there.
All these thoughts are mere fantasy. Such persons do not exist, we would have heard of them and Inspector Clouseau would have told them: “Ai sink ai no zeu killher but whare eez ze heavy dance”

@ Marilyn

If you fear eternal damnation for telling a joke about 2 priests, I don’t, so here is one:

Many years ago, while I was living in Africa, 2 missionary priests freshly arrived from Europe decided to settle down in a cottage they rented, only 3 or 4 blocks from my house. At first, they had a tense relationship with the natives, and the neighborhood included a few members of the local militia. So they eventually decided -as a safety measure- to post a large hand-written sign by their gate, reading “BEWARE ! DANGEROUS DOG IN RESIDENCE”. For clarity, they had someone else write this in the national language, which they hardly knew by that time. They indeed had some kind of a golden retriever, looking completely harmless. Less than a week later, someone came at night and doctored the writing on the sign, after which it read ” BEWARE ! TWO DANGEROUS DOGS IN RESIDENCE”. The sign remained in place for some time, until a good samaritan explained the pun to them. They stayed another few months, then were repatriated for reasons I’m not aware of.

And this a TRUE STORY, I swear.

9-13-2013 at 11:31:53

Husband/boyfriend of 3rd woman is an idea … now if that husband would be mr ONF I think we have covered all bases;)

I will coin again a previous idea I posted. Namely the setup was to fake an ‘accident’, SM dropping into Combe d’Ire (with Luger only as pressure). An ‘accident’ would possible be less ‘devistating’ for the children to cop with.

– M

9-13-2013 at 13:03:54


I do not doubt that your priest story really happened.

The reason why I did not want to go through with my priest joke is not that I fear eternal damnation but because I do not want to offend the devout among you. It is about the possibility that priests may now be allowed to marry. And there the Catholic church goes down the drain: priests will be more concerned about changing diapers than changing the burnt-up candles in the cathedral.But at least they will be leaving little boys alone.

9-13-2013 at 13:06:22

Is it my imagination but the moment I am back, you all fall silent. Am I that much of an ogre?

9-13-2013 at 13:21:34

@Marilyn re: “fall silent”

No, you instill calm among us and confidence that everything is going to be alright. 😉

I am going to feed the ducks in this sunny late summer day.

9-13-2013 at 14:07:53

re: Mater/Paternity leave.

France’s law regarding the above is changing from tomorrow (September 14,2013).

Till tomorrow an employee was entitled to interrupt his/her professional activity for up to 6 months for the first child and up to 3 years from the second child. The montly payment that the State made was Euro 573. Either the mother or the father could have taken the leave, or the two could have taken turns dividing the 6 months or the 3 years. Or both could have gone off, but then the time would have been reduced.

From tomorrow the leave has been lengthened to 1 year for the first child and each parents may take 6 months of that year. If this does not suit the couple,then the period remains at 6 months.

For a single or unmarried parent the period of leave has been shortened to 2 and a half years from 3 years.

Therefore, Sylvain’s 3 years was legal as he was an unmarried parent. Maybe he also claimed to have been single and the sole carer of the baby.

Le Parisien writing about the new regulations today quote fathers who are against taking paternity leave. They say they will go bonkers if they just sit at home for 6 months looking after a baby. Maybe they should think of what it’s like looking after a baby before you-know-what.

I can say this: my dad would not even push a pram nevermind having sat at home on paternity leave. But they do not make men like that anymore.

9-13-2013 at 14:47:36

For easy access I have captured a (michelin) map of Chevaline + surroundings (St Jorioz, Ugine, Col de Cherel, Jarsy etc.)

A.o to visualize better the ‘escape via Col de Cherel’ etc.

– M

9-13-2013 at 15:28:20

There is another fun ‘fit’ piece which I have noted before when toying with Google maps.

If CS would have set things in motion at around 14.30 by waving SM goodbye, and CS would have get on her MC2 motorbike 5 minutes later … to hurry to Martinet from the other side (Jarsy, Col de Cherel) to pick up X … it so happens that Google maps indicates a travelling time that could ‘fit’ with the witness report of MC2 on/near Col de Cherel (16h driving TOWARDS Martinet)

… which is as said a fun coincidence;)

– M

9-13-2013 at 17:30:16

@Marilyn, thankyou for the clarification of the Paternity Leave, I thought I’d read he was still in the ‘first’ three months of legal entitlement, couldn’t find a link.

I’m quiet, you may have seen my post above about candles ! Well, we are sorting the matter out from a distance, but have had to cancel our holiday for the end of the month – we are now trying to get him temporarily re-housed.

As those of you that have followed here, my stepson suffers from Schizophrenia, although he is now stablised again after a few months in psychiatric hospital, he remains with an odd grasp on the world around him.

He is extremely disorganised, he might be really sincere maybe even aggressive about something or someone whilst speaking on the phone, if I change the subject, the previous subject he was holding onto to is completely forgotten.

He can become obsessive about a subject to the point where he repeats and repeats the same arguments over and over, even if you can prove him wrong, he can’t abide to be wrong.

This is where the ‘nutter’ theory fails with me, I can see that a person suffering in this way might get obsessed by a situation/someone, but planning would be the problem, concentration goes skyward.

Obviously there are many more mental health issues that could leave someone hanging about the woods with a gun dangling, waiting for another to cross his path, the only way I see something like that happening is if the ‘nutter’ was caught in a compromising position and, acting instintively fires, paranoia playing a role.

@Eugene, the cuckold was one of my original thoughts written on this blog, in the initial months, I think many thought I was being a bit fanciful.

9-13-2013 at 18:39:30

@ Lynda, 9-13-2013 at 17:30:16

Perhaps “nutter” is the wrong word. I am fairly sure that the Chevaline killer, if and when he is ever caught, will be found to be fit to stand trial, sane enough for him to have known that what he did was wrong and sufficiently free from delusions or compulsions for him to have been able to act otherwise if he had so chosen. The mere fact that they have not caught yet him testifies to that. He was sufficiently oriented not to leave any useful forensic clues at the scene of the crime, and, unless he lives a hermit’s life, he has successfully dissimulated for over a year now.

There are various criteria of sanity, the most basic one being the ability successfully to apply pragmatic reasoning, i. e., the ability to choose suitable means and ways of attaining one’s goals, however bizarre those goals may appear to others. Beyond that simple standard, things become fuzzier, because then we are looking at the choice of goals and at the expected rewards to attaining those goals (and how far either or both of those deviate from the mainstream of society).

Whatever the Chevaline killer’s goals and expected rewards may have been, his pragmatic reasoning has been successful, his self-control afterwards also. In that sense, he is almost certain to be “sane”. Upon the other hand, the sheer level of anger displayed and the callous violence against bystanders (unless we assume that *both* SM and the AH family were his intended targets), all that tends to suggest that his goals and expected rewards are way out of line with what is considered “normal”.

9-13-2013 at 19:32:40

@Peter, well put, I am doubtul that what happened that day was ever to be what transpired, something went very wrong.

The cleanliness of the scene suggests to me there was a great deal of planning.

9-13-2013 at 19:37:59


(the cuckold was also on my list in the beginning)

You know certainly much more about mental instability than I do, through your hard experiences with your stepson. I think your post describes well the situation for a family with a member who suffers from mental illness.

I have tried to study the subject a little in connection with this case but have still little of value to add to what you and Peter have written above.

I am in general a bit sceptic towards the status of the science of psychology and psychiatry, perhaps because I have had persons close to me who have worked in that sector. I don’t believe that we know especially much about mental illness, the causes and the diagnosises. And especially we don’t know how to cure them, but ‘only’ subdue them.

I still believe that there could be a connection between the Chablais killings and Chevaline. I certainly have a feeling that the Chablais killer has an obsession. The killer believes that he creates some sort of justice by shooting these people. As said before they are assassinations. I also think it is quite possible that there is a bit of paranaoia involved.

He is however very well organized. Plans his deeds well and probably during a long time (6 months ?). What Peter says above is also true for the Chablais killer. He knows how to leave no traces.

What the crimonologist Michel Bénézech said in the article in MetroNews rings very true in my ears “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 (une forme de schizophrénie).

I don’t know if that possibly points to a person with a ‘mild’ form of mental illness with elements of obsession and paranoia.

9-13-2013 at 19:47:41

more on psychology:

Criminals who are diagnosed as mentally ill when committing a crime, often say that they hear voices. These voices tell them what to do (e.g. the man who killed the Swedish foreign minister).

As a layman it is hard to know what to believe. Do they really hear these voices or is it something they say to make themselves ‘innocent’? I don’t know what the science says on the subject.

9-13-2013 at 21:55:50

I see definitely a pattern how these killings in Haute Savoie, Chablais and Chevaline, are carried out, but I still can’t understand how he picks his victims (preferably men with a name that starts with M).

I could just be random but it doesn’t seems so. In some cases there must be a lot of people much easier to shoot.

All victims are men (different age).
– a teacher
– a policeman
– an entrepreneur
– a man working in a bookshop
– two men working in factories (if I include Mollier)

So the question is what do these men have in common.

Due to the French policy we know very little about these men, except for Gregory Mercier thanks to his father.

If we could understand how the killer picks his victims, we could also know if all these unsolved murder cases fit in the pattern, or if one or two are perpetrated by some copycat, of course especially interesting if Chevaline fits in the pattern.

9-13-2013 at 22:44:59

It would be very interesting to know if LR phoned SM from a mobile or from a fixed line.

If it was a fixed line the numer is probably know as well as the location … in that case I expect it to be from Ugine and in that case she is in the clear (in the sense of not being near Martinet at 15:30)

If however she phoned from a mobile … it could give the call a very interesting twist.

– M

9-13-2013 at 23:13:37

@ Lars
Weeks ago- I had a quick glimpse re your links to the Chablais-killings… I didn’t go too deep into details, but my first thought was that all men had been somehow ‘retired’ (in one case I’m not quite sure)
And our SM was ‘retired’ as well. Somehow
So, possible motive: Envy of a hard working man (without family and/or girl-friend) who can’t afford what these men could
Hm… just an idea
@ all: have a great weekend!

9-13-2013 at 23:20:31


Thanks for the input!

Yes, you are right, they were in one way or another ‘retired’/not working, with the exception of Gregory Mercier.

Of course Mercier could just be a case that resembles the others.

But still, why a hatred against retired men?

9-13-2013 at 23:24:03

I should perhaps correct myself, the teacher in mathematics was not retired, but that is the oldest case.

9-13-2013 at 23:28:25


I don’t quite get what you mean. Even if she phoned from a mobile phone the location would be known.

PS. I am not certain that she lives in Ugine after she remarried. I have seen the address Annecy somewhere. She though has her ‘salon’ in Ugine.

9-13-2013 at 23:49:09


I DO hope the location were LR was at the moment she phoned SM is known … because that would be her ‘alibi’.

– M

9-14-2013 at 08:41:20

Bonjour Everyone.

Our Peter has had a novel published this month.

I’ve just ordered it from Amazon although my school German and a dictionary won’t get me far beyond Page 1.

I know that some of you are fluent in German (some are even German) so I am sure you would love to buy and read Peter’s novel.

I also know that you will join me in congratulating him and wishing him best-seller status.

Bravo Peter!

You can order the book online either from the publisher or from



9-14-2013 at 09:30:58

I’ve followed and written about this murder which took place in South Africa.

I would like you all to read The Mirror about it today.

A young and beautiful Indian girl who had grown up in Sweden but having moved to the UK was shot to death while on her honeymoon in Cape Town. Her groom, an Indian Brit, claimed it was a carjacking which had gone wrong, but the South Africans want him for murder – for having paid local men to kill her because he was gay which she only found out on the honeymoon and threatened to tell his family and friends when they get back to the UK. He has however since his immediate return to the UK after the murder of his wife been in jail in England fighting extradition to South Africa. His lawyers being paid by his affluent parents now have a new line of defence which you will read here in The Mirror.

I throw my hands up in the air at the thought that now when you shoot someone dead you can claim that the gun had gone off by accident.

So maybe the Luger had gone off by accident too on the lay-by last September…

the mirror

9-14-2013 at 10:19:01


well done indeed.


I recall there was cctv aired that “alleged” strange behaviour of the Shrien Dewani at the hotel on the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.

Wasn’t it also aired (South African News channel) that Dewani had organised a large discount at a lavish hotel resort/game reserve by claiming he was a travel consultant ?

Although I believe that it was also reported that Max Clifford (Dewani’s publicist) accused the resort of “leaking” (?) this information so that they (the resort) could grab headlines.

Make of that what you will.

“@NoteToSelf and TongueInCheek”

“Get yourself a publicist.
You’ll get some great stories in The Press about how great you are then” !

9-14-2013 at 10:37:08


As you might understand a lot has been written in the Swedish press about that murder since it took place (in contrast to the Chevaline killings).

I think he will have great trouble and have to spend a lot of money on lawyers to ‘prove’ he is not guilty.

9-14-2013 at 10:48:57

The Chablais killer and his motive (how he picks his victims) is still very much on my mind.

It must be a pretty special motive since he only shoots 1 person every six month and he chooses to shoot them in a wooded area.

If he just wanted to shoot elderly people in Haute Savoie he could have decimated the population there considerably during this period.

Of course he could be some local ‘hit man’. Add:”Do you have complaints about your husband or lover turn to X and he will solve your problems and leave no trace. In the hands of the local prosecutor M the cases will never be solved so you don’t risk anything.” No, I don’t really believe it.

9-14-2013 at 11:19:26

“The Chablais killer…”

I too am pondering this.

9-14-2013 at 12:24:31

I see we have 550 comments on this thread. This one will now be #551. Not bad!

Lars, you ought to contact Monsieur Mercier. I am sure he would want to hear from you and your theory. And I believe you have something there.

James and Lars, the Indian gentleman is so bloody guilty. But of course those with money can do what they want to and will get away with it. And you do know about the publicist too don’t you: what’s been written about him a couple of months ago? The Indian gentleman was captured on the hotel’s CCTV handing money over to the local killer who is now serving life in a Cape Town jail. The local man is a Coloured man. He had no money for a smart lawyer and a publicist, so go figure. Annie’s family in Sweden are devastated over her murder. She was a really beautiful young woman and she was so much in love. Poor girl. There were/are quite a few cases in South Africa of white wives or husbands paying Blacks or Coloureds to kill their spouses. Life is cheap and even cheaper down in South Africa.

Ok rant over.

It is raining in Paris …

9-14-2013 at 12:31:16

@ Peter awesome re your novel wish I could speak German. I always enjoy your intelligent posts on here.

9-14-2013 at 12:48:36

@ Lars

In case you wouldn’t know, if you Google search for “Chablais murders” today, Marilyn’s blog and your own comments come up on top of the list.
If there is indeed a serial killer involved in these crimes (and as I said before I tend to follow you on this theory), it is very likely that he follows this thread and reacts according to the theories expressed here. Maybe this is why the 6-to-12 months interval has been discontinued?
So, if some of us want to elaborate on these theories, I would recommend to do it otherwise..
Meanwhile, I still don’t think this is a person involved in the Chevaline killings, for reasons I previously mentioned. I can be wrong, but if so this could only make my previous point stronger.

@ Marilyn

I followed you advice and read the piece in the Mirror. I must humbly confess that, even with your personal comments in mind, that article sounds extremely obscure to me. I cannot weigh the pros and cons of the case against the groom. In any case, one can make a comparison with Zaid: in this case too, why organize a contract killing so far away when you could possibly do the same at your doorstep? Low-budget hitmen? Exotic thus confusing circumstances? I’m not fully convinced by such far-fetched rationales. Usually, the truth is more “logical”.

9-14-2013 at 13:00:15


I like innuendos. I was once told I was “oblique” in one conversation.
Others have said I am direct. Sometimes even “blunt” !

But I think sometimes it is wise to be “oblique”.

1. According to a previous headline in the Daily Mirror
“A manager at Shrien Dewani’s family firm ­yesterday denied she had an affair with the honeymoon murder suspect”.

Not sure if other “papers” got that “insider” story ?

2. The latest Daily Mirror EXCLUSIVE “Honeymoon murder suspect could be CLEARED after ballistics show gun ‘fired by accident'”

3. I didn’t know that Dewani had a PR Advisor ?

I don’t know anything about the Mainstream Media, but does the term EXCLUSIVE mean “no other newspaper has that particular story” ?

9-14-2013 at 13:28:30


I agree with what you write today 12:48:36 on Chablais. What I write on this blog is however a very small part of what I do concerning these murder cases in Haute Savoie. I think a lot about what I write and how I write comments on the blog. There are may reasons to do that. I also believe that the killer (in Chevaline and Chablais) is probably reading this blog as well as others, maybe even writing an occasional comment. That has to be be taken into consideration and is a reason to be cautious.

9-14-2013 at 13:38:24


I am still thinking about how and when I shall contact M. Mercier or somebody else in the family. The thing is that it must be clear to them that I am serious and know what I am talking about. I don’t just want to tell them some theory. I want to describe a possible method to catch the killer, and I actually need their help to do that. So trust is essential. They must not believe I am some kind of fortune-teller, pulling their legs.

9-14-2013 at 14:01:03

Eugene, Lars, James and All,

I am serious thinking that I must stop writing about murderers. I must let the family of the victims fight their battles.

But if anyone is after me, do we not have a case here of ‘shooting the messenger’?

Eugene, if you are interested in the Dewani case, you can read about it in detail in an article I wrote for the US-based true crime site You can look up my name and you will then find the article. However, it is behind a paywall. $1.99 per article I think.

Anyway, Eugene’s warning to me in his 12.48 of today (Sept 14) has hit a raw nerve. Maybe it is time that I mind my own business. So maybe it is time to close this blog too.

Opinions and advice will be appreciated.

9-14-2013 at 14:41:45

Your Comments

9-14-2013 at 14:50:20

@ Marilyn, James, Sarah
Thank you very much for your kind words.

@ Marilyn, 9-14-2013 at 14:01:03
I don’t think that you or any of us are in any physical danger from the Chevaline and/or Chablais killer(s). If I read Eugene’s post correctly, that was not his point, anyway. As I understoood it, his point was that the discussion here could influence the killer, teach him about observed patterns in his behaviour and other peculiarities in his MO that might enable investigators to anticipate his next move. In short, that our discussion might help him refine his method and make him harder to catch.

I would agree with that, to some extent. On a general level, anybody who has diligently followed this discussion for the last year now probably has a better idea of how one might commit a murder and get away with it than beforehand. However, the same could be said of any decent true-crime book or even a well-researched detective novel. Insofar as the Chevaline/Chablais killer(s) are concerned, as none of us has had access to the relevant police files, there is not a great deal of nuts-and-bolts information for the killer(s) to be gleaned here. If the killer(s) does in fact read this discussion, he probably does so in order to chuckle at our ignorance or even to masturbate over the memories of his “triumphs”. However, I doubt that he does so very often, or that he actively contributes. It would be a remarkable coincidence if, apart from being handy with a pistol, he also were an IT security expert. In my opinion, this world of Internet BBS is far outside his personal comfort zone, and he must be aware of the possibility that he could be identified through technical means if he showed too lively an interest in our discussion.

9-14-2013 at 14:58:06


For me ‘Chevaline’ is a puzzle. I want to solve the puzzle. Who is X? It is a damn good and fascinating puzzle … even better, it is completely free 🙂

– M

9-14-2013 at 15:38:03

not totally free
we had to loose some good friends to start the game off 🙁

9-14-2013 at 15:46:12

@ Peter

You got my point. And you may be right about the nuances you introduce.

@ Marilyn

Sorry. Wasn’t personal at all. It’s the Mirror article I was disapproving, nothing else.

9-14-2013 at 16:04:32


I have already said it, just as Peter says above, that we don’t need to fear those killers. We are not on their lists. As far as I know it is very very seldom that a murderer kill or even attack witnesses, policemen, investigators or anybody else involved in a case. Actually I believe that only judges in certain criminal cases are at risk.

Then it is much more dangerous to write about political and economical affairs/scandals with criminal elements involved (there are a number in France as you know, so no names). There are influential people involved who might try to ruin your career, if not exactly kill you.

Actually I think that writing about a murder case might very well stop a serial killer to continue his doings. Even if that might make it harder to catch him, I still believe that it is worth it.

I believe that we all have a moral responsibility for what we write in a public space, for everybody to read. We, the general public, might not be used to that responsibility yet. Earlier it was just the journalists who had to take that into consideration. I try to think about that myself and I have actually erased a number of my comments at the last minute, before I pressed the ‘Submit’-button, because I felt they were not appropriate for publishing.

9-14-2013 at 16:09:29

@ Eugene, 9-11-2013 at 17:04:51:

I am responding right away without having read the thread to the end so you guys might’ve already responded to this, but

my last four cellular phones were *not* in any French national IMEI database.


9-14-2013 at 16:51:21

@ Alex

Granted. And vice versa at least 4 cellphones registered in my name are being used on a daily basis not by myself but by different family members, some of them living in a different country, some of them using a different name.
While such databases are obviously neither comprehensive nor fail-proof, the point I was trying to make was that in Mollier’s case, even assuming his mobile was both device-locked and SIM-locked, investigators had with the EMEI and the SIM numbers 2 likely opportunities to get a lead towards the owner. And that it simply sounds more likely that the phone had been picked up. I think I recall various early press reports mentioning there was nothing on Mollier to identify him.
And we are now led to believe that the call from his former wife only was discovered long after. This is just as bizarre: even if the phone was stolen, police must have found out about it soon after through CS and checked all logged calls. So?

9-14-2013 at 17:51:26

Signing off now for the day.Going out for dinner but I’m not sure I will be able to eat a thing because I’ve been eating chocolates all afternoon.

Have a good commenting night.

Tomorrow is another day and speak 2moro.

9-14-2013 at 18:01:12

@ Lars re hearing voices:

I once read the book of the FBI guy who served as the blueprint for Clarice’s boss’ character in “Silence of the lambs”.

Howard something…I don’t remember his family name.

Book’s called “Inside the mind of a serial killer” or something.

He met the “Son of Sam” killer, what was his name, Berkowitz.

He says that Berkowitz made all the stuff that his neighbors’ dogs’ voice had told him he was the son of Sam – that he just made that stuff up.

Further, James Ellroy (who’s not an expert but a writer) let’s one of his characters meet Charles Manson – and he gets pretty much the impression that Charles Manson made all the “hearing voices in his head” stuff up, too.


9-14-2013 at 18:25:16

Sorry, may be somebody has asked FB this question long before- but I dare to ask anyway:
The (yellow-ish) cap on the BMW’s dashboard: Does it belong to SAH or any other member of the family?
Anyhow – SAH might have bought the cap while on his ‘last’ holiday.
But it would somehow interesting to know if he used to wear that kind of baseball-cap?


9-14-2013 at 18:50:56

@ Lars 9-13-2013 at 23:28 @ Max

I think F+LR’s address fits with Marthod

9-14-2013 at 19:12:55


Your message is a bit too cryptic. 😉 I know that Marthod is a village close to Ugine (and who you mean with FR/LR) but could you explain a little further? How do you know? If you don’t feel you want to write it on the blog could you mail it to Marilyn and she can forward it to me.


I must admit that I am not familiar with ‘Son of Sam’ Berkowitz but Manson I can well imagine he made it up. In some cases, like the murder of the Swedish foreign minister, the police and the authorities seem to take it seriously, so I don’t know.

9-14-2013 at 20:07:55

@ Shelock

I’m not sure what kind of caps Saad used to wear, yellow or not.
But I’m quite sure that, due to centrifugal force, that cap would NOT have been in the MIDDLE of the dash if the BMW had just done a hard reverse ARC under power. Elementary, my dear Watson.

9-14-2013 at 20:21:47

@ Lars
Well FR is on the “Pages Blanches”. Place: Marthod. And I had found LR (with “maiden name + first name” same address & tel number as FR, but that’s was a while back… she’s gone from les Pages Blanches now)…

9-14-2013 at 20:35:29


Sad that LR is not still there so I can check.
I remember I found Pontcharra long ago with a photo that looked like FR.

9-14-2013 at 20:47:50

@ Lars
It would make sense, it’s only 5km from Ugine, convenient for school and work.

9-14-2013 at 21:36:07
9-14-2013 at 21:44:02

Sm’s phone is an interesting lead. But for me (for my brain) there are still way to many different explanations possible to describe them all. I do need more facts to eliminate options.

Anyway, if SM’s phone was NOT on him, but the investigators found out (by CS and later LR) that SM had a phone … that sure has to be a BIG INDICATOR that SM was important to X (the guy who probably took the phone) and perhaps even a pointer that the killing was all about SM(!)

So … by this reasoning we have to assume the phone was still on SM (unless the investigator are ACTIVELY staying away from SM=target)

Put this in very basic logic:

If there was a phone on SM … Then everything is OK (and EM simply did not reveal this fact)

If there was NOT a phone on SM … Then we have a big problem (because EM should know it is about SM, but goes after SAH)

– M

PS @ FB .. yup the puzzle was not completely free. That is why I want to solve it. If we do not solve it it is … X wins! … and surely we do not want this. My motivation is to solve the puzzle. If the puzzle is solved, justice will be done … finally.

9-14-2013 at 21:45:02


Yes, I came across that too when I googled Marthod & FR. I have not seen that earlier.

9-14-2013 at 21:57:37


If Mollier’s telephone was ‘stolen’ by the killer (and we (Lynda and I at least) have speculated about that long before we knew about the phone call) I think it might contain more clues.

Gregory Mercier’s phone was stolen, together with some other pretty worthless belongings. Since I am pretty sure that Mercier’s killer had set up a meeting with Mercier at the lay-by. I thus think that the killer stole the phone to make sure that Mercier hadn’t stored any information about the meeting on the phone. I don’t think however that the killer was stupid enough to ever phone Mercier.

So if Mollier’s phone also was stolen it might mean that the killer had set up a meeting with Mollier somewhere along Mollier’s route and wanted to make sure that no information stored on the phone would become available to the police. Otherwise I think it is pretty stupid to steal a phone.

9-14-2013 at 22:15:17


You should study my/the ‘logic’ (9-14-2013 at 21:44:02)

If the phone was not found on SM that means SM was target … but as the police does not see SM as target it follows that the phone must have been found on him …

… at least, that is what logic implies … now if that logic is broken, we have a problem;) (e.g. SM phone stolen, but SAH still target … is impossible!)

– M

9-14-2013 at 22:21:03

Does anybody think there were three killers, each with one cartridge of bullets for a total of 21. Those Lugars are easy to find in nearby Geneva. I think the time to change them would have allowed for more defensive action. What does the ex-wife have to gain by Sylvain’s death. Did he have ins? French govt. gives a lot of family allowance.
Re: money, the villages in the Alps are rife with drug dealers. Bike’s are handy when used for exchanges although both riders seem too old for that gambit. Just the same it is the favorite top up for pensioners – now retiring babyboomers.
The BMW station wagon seems too big for that massive turn, but the car most likely was parked in crisis mode, and tyre marks are from 4×4 which was coming out of woods beyond the end of the narrow paved route. Child could have fallen out if wide turn was done. Stunned she lay out of sight only to be discovered when bullets were used up. One of the three perps just battered her on the Last minute as all three prepared to flee

9-14-2013 at 22:26:14


A very interesting point you make there Mr E, about lightweight caps and basic physics…

Even as a non-driver, one of my very first instincts about the overhead shots was that the (car) wheels seemed to be aligned SO perpendicularly with the road…

9-14-2013 at 22:30:15


I have of course done so, but I do not believe that that kind of logic is applicable on E-Maillaud. 😉

9-14-2013 at 23:50:35

@ partlucid

Exactly. If the BMW performed a hard reverse arc, as some keep suggesting, it defied all basic laws of physics, including that cap remaining stuck in the middle of the dash, and the front wheels perfectly aligned.

9-15-2013 at 00:18:00


Front wheels aligned.
That’s easy to explain. The Scene Of Crime guys were preparing to move it.

The cap.
Now that’s a different matter.
I don’t imagine the “tow truck guy” threw his hat on the dash as he altered the steering wheel. And I doubt a Scene Of Crime dude likes to wear his “lucky baseball cap” when going on an investigation.

Physics should dictate the cap is “thrown” along the dash.

So the first question maybe, who’s cap is it ?

The second, when was it “placed” there ?

Re the first question. It has to belong to the family (?).
A member of the forensics just wouldn’t wear a cap like that..or leave it.

So there is a problem.
The dash on a 5 series is “large” and “long”.
An object would almost certainly slip along it.

Hmmm ! I’ll sleep on this.

9-15-2013 at 01:23:32

@Max 9-14-2013 at 22:15:17

Max, you wrote “(e.g. SM phone stolen, but SAH still target … is impossible!)”

Well, not quite impossible, it would fit with the espionage theories, industrial or state.

If an agency thought that SAH was meeting with an opposing agency representative, then the killer may have searched SM and taken the phone for analysis purposes.

BM would know, he searched SM.

9-15-2013 at 01:46:32


That is true. It is not impossible but EM would by lying when he states that SM was purely collateral. If X took the phone of SM (for whatever reasons) then X was somehow interested in SM and EM can NOT state that SM was collateral.

So I stick to:

If the phone was there … then no prob
If the phone was NOT there … then we have a ‘situation’

… and I was not bothered by this phone until the LR phone call surfaced. To call your ex 15 minutes before he is shot down 5-7 times is simply something worth investigating.

All it takes is one brilliant investigator to solve this crime. But what we have got is a bunch of document collecting guys and girls. And the only advance they make is in the number of documents they have collected … and they present that number proudly in the annual ‘briefing’ …

… I’m not impressed;)

– M

9-15-2013 at 02:17:35

@Max 9-15-2013 at 01:46:32

Max, you wrote:-

“If X took the phone of SM (for whatever reasons) then X was somehow interested in SM and EM can NOT state that SM was collateral.”

In my opinion it is still just possible if X took the phone in the mistaken belief that SM was a contact that SAH was due to meet. However EM may be absolutely sure, somehow, that SM was not any kind of contact and was not there to meet SAH and partly.

Thus EM may be telling the truth that SM was collateral, but just not mentioning that a phone was missing, if it is missing at all.

You also wrote :-

“… and I was not bothered by this phone until the LR phone call surfaced. To call your ex 15 minutes before he is shot down 5-7 times is simply something worth investigating.”

You are spot on! – especially if she forgot to mention it in her statement and it was only discovered by cell tower analysis.

9-15-2013 at 03:01:39

the previous year Zainab was wearing a white base ball cap

9-15-2013 at 05:37:09


I know about as much about phones, as I do about cars and guns. However, if I’d just killed 4 people in a reasonably remote spot, and for some reason I come across one victim’s phone then I don’t think I’d just leave it lying there and risk the next person who comes along being able to immediately call for help. Personally I’d throw it in that fast flowing river…


Did anybody else take particular note of that detail which I believe Maillaud gave out in his earliest briefings after the murders, namely that Sylvain Mollier’s body had been ‘moved’. I’ve put that in inverted commas because I don’t know the original French, and of course that could throw some light on the matter. I’d be interested to know if people think that this ‘moving’ had simply come about through the supposed collision between the BMW and SM, or was he flagging up a separate and really quite distinctive act on the part of the killer…
(and I presume the ‘moving’ is not Brett Martin’s repositioning of the body for fear of it being further run over by the rogue car)

9-15-2013 at 08:47:55

Bonjour everybody.

May you have a good Sunday. It is sunny in Paris.

@Sarah and for everyone else too.

Sarah, you may notice that I have trashed your last comment.

Sarah, I wish to tell you this: for a year and a few days now I’ve made my website available to those who are interested in the Chevaline Case. You so grandly in your comment advised where the commentators on this site can go to create a dialogue and to carry on the conversation- and at no expense to them. Just like that hey? All this time I have administered this blog. If I could not do so personally I got someone to stand in for me. But you, who come here occasionally to comment can advise just like that where the commentators can go to continue with the conversation. I’ll tell you this: you go there and open a thread about Chevaline and start a conversation. But do not advise the commentators here on this blog to do so.

9-15-2013 at 09:52:38

I can see a possible scenario re SM being just collateral and no-mobile on him:

What if he witnessed ‘something special’ going on at the lay-by? Taking pictures/video of the events with his mobile… but Mr. X saw him as he (SM) stands in the bushes with his ‘camera’ and gets angry…. SM trys to flee… the rest we know….
Wouldn’t that be an explanation for a missing ‘mobile’!
If it is missing at all. Who knows?

Me personally, I find it more than strange that EM – almost from the very beginning was ‘too sure’ about SM being at wrong place/wrong time. And that not a single picture of this man had ever been published.
Thus, from time to time I tend to think SM could have been on some kind of ‘undercover’ mission.
But I don’t know what I’ll be thinking tomorrow…


9-15-2013 at 10:25:13

@ James

Your explanation about the wheels being aligned could be correct, but seems undermined by 2 factors:
there are several pictures and/or videos (e.g. in The Times reports) that show the front wheels in that same straight forward position BEFORE the tow-truck was even next to the BMW.
Assuming the crime scene technicians had been responsible for realigning those wheels would imply they had restarted the engine (because of power steering). That would mean losing valuable information from the car trip computer (last trip data). I doubt they would have committed such a major blunder. Many cars are being towed away for illegal parking with their wheels unaligned.

@ All

Interesting old article in the National Post, in particular a shot taken from the barrier towards the lay-by. It clearly shows how unlikely the “hard reverse arch maneuver” seems unlikely with such a narrow width. Also note the mention that Zeena remained unnoticed because she was hidden from view by a large duffle-bag. How strange that bag was there by the backseat when the trunk is so roomy..