Since the fatal shooting of Iraqi-born Saad Al-Hilli, his wife and her mother,and that of Frenchman Sylvain Mollier on September 5, 2012, and the attempted murder of the Al-Hillis’ 7-year-old daughter, many words have been written about this crime. I am sure that if you have reached this site and this thread you are […]

Saad Al-Hilli

Saad Al-Hilli


Since the fatal shooting of Iraqi-born Saad Al-Hilli, his wife and her mother,and that of Frenchman Sylvain Mollier on September 5, 2012, and the attempted murder of the Al-Hillis’ 7-year-old daughter, many words have been written about this crime.

I am sure that if you have reached this site and this thread you are interested in this abominable crime which remains almost 11 months later still unsolved.

You can read the thoughts and opinions – and accusations – of this blog’s commentators on the following threads. And do tell us have your thoughts about it too.

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

and here  – July 1, 2013

Marilyn Z. Tomlins

533 Responses

7-17-2013 at 18:18:24


I hope you all find your way over here.

Eugene, re jellyfish stings. I know a wonderfully effective natural remedy.

7-17-2013 at 18:53:51

@ Marilyn

Thanks again for Chapter 11 (in which..)
Yes, I know the VERY natural remedy. But what if the sting is on your back?

@ Lynda

That picture in Paris is dated 2011, though I doubt it was shot at Solitaire (overpass??).
Last September, Saad was busy enough as you mention. He must have had a compelling motive to remove these extra mirrors if he did.

7-17-2013 at 19:17:03

Im here from work !
took a little while to find the new page from scratch ;0)

7-17-2013 at 19:30:10


im 100% certain Saad had towing mirrors
would you agree ?

7-17-2013 at 19:30:41

@Eugene, I made the link to a photo often used in the press from a previous camping holiday, was it even in France ? I don’t know, it has been reproduced so many times.

Certainly in Le Martinet photos there are no extended side mirrors, so either he was intending to stay a few days, apparently to leave at the end of the week, or was he planning to leave Europe and go to Iraq with a stash of cash in the boot, rolled up in the missing roof bar or in his socks ?

Realistically, they aren’t needed and a nuisance without the caravan in tow. Have you seen the latest, Camping Cars towing the tiniest runarounds, if you’re posh a Smart car, not so posh a Fiat !

7-17-2013 at 19:42:43


7-17-2013 at 19:48:33


re: natural remedy

You use a bucket, dear Eugene. Then you get your lady friend to pour it over your back. I am sure she won’t mind, she may even consider the procedure as a new ‘toy’.

Bees used to go for me when I was a little girl and the same remedy also worked for bee stings.

And you know Ghandi drank that remedy to cleanse his body – and had mind too.

7-17-2013 at 21:18:01

re:Towing Mirrors

Eugene, no one has mentioned towing mirrors before. Maybe Saad wasn’t so careful about such things. He let a child sit in the front passenger seat which is against the law here in France.

7-17-2013 at 21:29:24

@ Oui:

“People gotta know whether or not their president is a crook.

And I’m not a crook.”

I know the phrase from a sample on La Coka Nostra’s “I’m an American” track from their “A brand you can trust” album.


7-17-2013 at 22:39:29
7-17-2013 at 23:57:46
7-18-2013 at 07:26:20


re: your new photo

For the life of me I do not see a red pylon bottom right.

7-18-2013 at 07:28:11


@music and the new generation

They say that something happens to music when one turns 40.

7-18-2013 at 08:42:04


Granted, It is small, but it IS there

Go RIGHT from the upper right dark blue guys
Go UP from the lower right light blue guy

At the crossing there is a small ‘speck’ … that is imho a small red pylon. surely INDICATING something important.

Now, perhaps it is only a small detail, but I am still curious … Perhaps the red pylon indicates the ‘Douilles’ located between the 2 bmw’s on the Le Monde scenario ??

7-18-2013 at 08:56:07

Another small fun thought:

A ‘mainland Europe’ killer would perhaps have misjudged AH’s movements.

X seeing AH running for the BMW, he *could* have misjudged AH for not being the driver. Because AH made a run to the RIGHT side of the car, where X would have expected ‘a driver’ to go to the LEFT of the car (hence X positioned himself in the center of the parking)

So, the ‘red pylon’ could indicate this position of X

X seeing to his surprise that the BMW starts to drive … WTF???? … and only then realizes the RHD aspect of the UK car!

I know, little detail … but, people make a fuzz about driving ‘problems’ when switching between mainland and UK … and with reason! So … e.g. a local ‘nutter’ could easily have made this initial ‘error’ in those hectic few seconds:)

– M

7-18-2013 at 09:38:05

Simple conclusion is imho that the Le Monde scenario (with sources) is about correct after all, which helps;)

– M

7-18-2013 at 09:46:35

@Max, it would also offer an explanation as to why the front passenger side was shot at as well, there wasn’t anyone sitting in the seat.

The ‘red pylon/bollard’ – is it the 5000 in red paint, next to a surveyors pin ?

I also notice that the passenger side window has been taped in place, like drivers side, does this mean that the two rear windows were taken out completely ? Maybe to give the killer a better view of the occupants.

7-18-2013 at 09:49:55


You mean that reddish thingy in the middle of the road?

I think it would then fit very well with where Sylvain Mollier was when he was hit.

7-18-2013 at 09:51:16

This really isn’t clear at all, does show the entire movement of the car onto the trailer…..

7-18-2013 at 09:54:51

@Max RHD car

That´s a clever thought. Maybe X thought SAH wanted to hide behind the car but to his surprise he got in the car and it moved. Gives the whole thing a new spin.


7-18-2013 at 10:02:24


I can be very stupid, Max, so I will have to ask whether you are speaking about the little red blob on the road? Or are you speaking about the dark area to the right of the BMW?

If you are speaking about the latter, then the Le Monde graphic is correct.

7-18-2013 at 10:07:07

re: Towing Mirrors

Saad’s BMW had towing mirrors. This is 100% certain.

Therefore, either he had removed them for the afternoon drive (might have made it difficult for him to see in the side mirror) or they had been shot up and the gendarmes had removed them for verifying and evidence.

Thank you to Eugene for having been first to mention the towing mirrors. I, for one, did not even know such things existed. My Maserati does not have them …

7-18-2013 at 10:10:16

Check again

I have added a picture. There is something there, it is visible on other pictures, and even way back in the ‘magenta’ period, I allready saw a ‘magenta speck’ at that position (but at that time I only had low res pictures)

– M

7-18-2013 at 10:32:33

Remember this :

@Max, how far behind the gendarmes is it compared to the tyre marks ?

@Marilyn and All, Saad was reported to have arrived the Solitaire Campsite on the Monday 3rd September at about 16:00, at some point it is said he left the family at the campsite and went to the bank in Geneva, I think he would have just removed them – they are clearly seen on photos when the car is attached to the caravan. As I said above, they were staying until the end of the week, so no surprise that they were removed.

7-18-2013 at 10:39:32


Ok, now I see what you mean. Don’t know what it is.

But do you see that reddish half-moon shaped reddish thing on the road?
Between the gendarmes at the bottom of the photo and the gendarmes standing under the tree.

What is the original source of that picture?

7-18-2013 at 11:25:23
7-18-2013 at 11:32:53

Red blob a ball?

Another problem solved the gendarme lying under the front of the car is attcahing the tow chain, you can see it wiggle across the flat bed and along the ground, this is what he was stepping over in the other photo.

7-18-2013 at 11:48:21

Thanks Max for the circle around the red blob. I think the photos were taken after all evidence (but the BMW and the bike) had already been removed. I therefore think that it’s an item from the gendarmes’s equipment still lying there at that stage. They would not have allowed a vital piece of evidence lie about like that to be trampled on and even kicked under the trees and out of sight.

What is the blue cloth the man in white protection overalls is holding? The cloth with which the BMW was to be covered.

Lynda, nice of you having discovered what the gendarme lying in front of the BMW is doing.


7-18-2013 at 12:05:41

Marilyn, that one is a plastic ‘bache’ the sort used to cover piles of wood…. right colour to cover the bike as seen on the tow truck.

Here is a photo of the larger tarpaulin, being held by the man next to the truck head, or is it the bike, i don’t think it is the latter.

7-18-2013 at 13:00:32


Thanks. Sad the quality of the photo is so bad.

7-18-2013 at 13:20:20


Perhaps we are looking too much at the French investigators and putting blame on Eric Maillaud’s lack of coming forward with facts and evidence. Look at this video, a UK news broadcast on Sept. 7, 2012. The British investigators already pointing towards dispute between brothers.

If the British are stonewalling this investigation, similar to so many with Iraq as topic (David Kelly, Iraq wmd, atrocities, war crimes, GCHQ suitcase murder, etc.) and all indicators point towards British intelligence, if I were EM I would also vehemently tell the press 99.9% for sure the French cyclist was collateral damage. BTW this term is used whenever a drone assassination kills innocent bystanders beyond the intended target(s).

Insanity lies in the UK, perhaps EM is coming forward with the truth as much as is possible. Perhaps the lead of the investigation [read cover-op] lies with the Surrey Police and MI-5/MI-6. NSA and GCHQ could have been investigating Saad al-Hilli, read his emails, follow his movements, puzzled about his recent trip to Baghdad and shared the intelligence with WOT allies France, Germany and Israel.

Something is rotten in Britain and it ain’t fish.

“Une émotion d’une grande violence et d’une grande force” le 08/09/2012 à 06:01
Dans la rue, à la sortie de Cézus (groupe Areva) où travaillait le père de famille de 45 ans, beaucoup optent pour un silence respectueux.

7-18-2013 at 13:52:20

re: who to blame for the secrecy?

For the first time one of us lays the blame for the lack of info on the British: Oui in his 1.20 p.m. today.

As I’ve said before, Prosecutor Maillaud is guided in what he can reveal by the two investigating magistrates who get their info from the gendarmes on the case.

I understand, and I’ve done so from the past, that there must be some degree of secrecy regarding what can be made public about this case. I am sure that the phones are being tapped of quite a few people and the emails of quite a few are being read but this could for obvious reasons not be revealed. We have a case now of the arrest of the Norwegian black metal singer, Vikernes. Secretly the authorities had been watching him, reading his emails, reading his internet activity and without doubt tapping his phone. But this was not announced in front page headlines because it would have defeated the purpose. See what I am getting at? The investigators – both the British and French ones – just can not reveal every move they are making in this case.

7-18-2013 at 14:13:24

Alex is on a mission.

It was raining heavily this morning when he set off.

7-18-2013 at 15:47:13

Marilyn, I agree, maybe I will be pilloried again for saying this, Maillaud is telling the truth to the level he is allowed.

Read the last paragraph.

He is the ‘mouthpiece’, someone else is playing the trumpet !

I will repeat myself, if this is a cover-up, the number of people involved is vast, how do you keep so many mouths shut ?

By threats, by the killing of another player, or because in the end it will reveal the killer, or the killer ‘by chance’ will reveal himself ?

7-18-2013 at 16:09:15

7-18-2013 at 15:47:13

And just how many mouths are being kept shut?

Zaid, Nigerian John, the girls, everybody in Savoie and Haut Savoie who have anything to do with SM, CS and their respective families.. and the MSM isn’t doing a spectacular job at asking the right questions either are they?

Yes indeed, how do you keep so many mouths shut?

7-18-2013 at 16:55:18

@Mochyn, because they’re not – each side has a reason to ask for discretion, I put a question mark against both statements.

I bet there are people behind closed doors say ‘Mollier got what he deserved’, then for Saad ‘he was Iraqi’.

The killer with a little luck, as stated by Maillaud, will make a mistake, would you say that of a ‘professional assassin’ ?

Nigerian John is intriguing, the ‘fraud’ started before Saads death and continued after, he obviously didn’t read the news.

7-18-2013 at 16:57:16

When I first phoned the police on the Thursday morning .
I was asked not to talk to the press
then I went to Saads house ..and was surrounded by journos.
my phone rang and a female officer said “we told you not to talk to the press”
I said “you asked me not to talk to the press” and I hung up
the same officer then kindly waited 9 weeks and then took my statement
1 hour before the sunday funeral …I was almost late

7-18-2013 at 17:36:09

@FB, isn’t a great deal of this because he was of Iraqi origin and they all knew how it would play out in the press before they had any real grasp of what happened ?

Your own comments prove they haven’t shut up everyone. Maybe many people are too afraid of authority or don’t want the attention, so they do shut up.

There must be many characters involved in this that wish they weren’t, wrong place, wrong time, wrong friendship, wrong family ……

7-18-2013 at 17:42:08

If Killer X is a paid assassin, then he’s back in his own country now, enjoying the summer, and enjoying the money he had been paid. And he is probably reading this blog every day, and several times a day, and clicking on every link.

Has he commented here? No, he has not.

But one day he will I believe because the temptation will be too great to resist it.

So come on … comment because you are reading this now.

If he is a nutter, years may go by before he will kill again, and he may never kill again.

Tomorrow two years have passed since Xavier Baligant was shot to death. His killer is still free. My opinion is that his killing had nothing to do with the Chevaline killing.

7-18-2013 at 17:54:22

It was precisely because I thought people would play on Saad’s birth place
rather then where he grew up and what he was like that I didn’t shy away from the press.
Hence I spoke loud and free very early on .
Incidentally Saad’s dad was British too
Lars and Marilyn would you like to be able to say 100% on both of those facts ? 😉

7-18-2013 at 18:10:23

@FB, and I understand why you did it !

Some of the comments that were posted after the press articles were a kind of ‘who cares’.

I have no doubt others on both sides have been taken out of context, it is their speciality honed for sensational headlines.

Anyone who has had direct dealings with the press and their reporting will know that they are not to be trusted, time and again, I’ve shown here how a press conference words have been twisted, happens everyday, well they have to earn a crust even if it by stealing someone elses stale bread.

7-18-2013 at 18:59:56


Yes, 100%!

7-18-2013 at 19:07:16

I should perhaps add that I don’t think it would be above the British government or their security offices to keep a watch over them, and tap their phones and whatever, just because they come from that part of the world, not caring which citizenship they have, and sometimes not even caring where they were born. The people in such offices are no superhumans standing above the prejudices that you also can find in other parts of the society.

Such things have happened in Sweden (or Swedistan) so I guess they could also happen in the UK.

7-18-2013 at 19:25:37

Fat Bastard, what are you asking me with this because I do not understand : Lars and Marilyn would you like to be able to say 100% on both of those facts ? 😉

I can tell you right now, 100%, it is hot in Paris.

7-18-2013 at 19:44:04

…and now to something completely different…

@us who believe that Sylvain Mollier was the primary target

It has been discussed that a reason why the killer also killed the Al-Hilli family could be that he was afraid of being seen at the crime scene.

Having thought about it in connection with the Chablais killings I think it could be a reasonable reason. He might have acted instinctively at the moment, but in the back of his head was the fear of being seen at a crime scene.

When we look at the Chablais killer he is not afraid of killing/shooting at broad daylight. The murder before Chevaline was also at around 16:00, that time on a Monday. He thereby takes huge risks of being seen in the area, even if he likes to kill in the vicinity of wooded areas. But he is obviously very particular of not being seen in the vicinity of the crime scene. He is afraid of being connected to a crime scene. He even seems to avoid to be seen by his victims.

The persons being shot at, and who survived long enough to be able to give some sort of description have still not been able to do so.

If we return to Chevaline, I now believe that the killer also came and went by foot. I previously believed that he was standing on the road somewhere beyond the barrier when Mollier turned up. In the light of the Chablais killings I now think that he was probably hiding somewhere in the shrubbery close by, and that he started to shoot from there. He went forward first when he saw Mollier falling to the ground, and then also became aware of the Al-Hilli family.

I think that a “normal” behaviour, if your intention is to kill a person and you find that also other people were present, is simply to get out of there as quickly as possible. Especially if you see that these people are strangers from another country. The changes that they will remember anything useful for the police to go on are very slim.

However if the killer has some sort of very visible mark that makes him easily recognizable it is understandable that he can’t be seen, because he will immediately be caught. To take an extreme example: Say the killer had only one arm, the other he lost in Afghanistan. The witness of course remembers his only arm and the police pick him up. Finale.

This could also (partly) explain the behaviour of the Chablais killer. He takes precautions of not being seen by the victims or any passers-by, but he is not (for some mysterious reasons) not so afraid of being seen in the area.

7-18-2013 at 20:10:56

I believe that the Chevaline killer, just like the Chablais killer and the gentle giant Melvin, has great confidence that he will get away unseen.

It is just a question of getting into the woods and away from the crime scene. When they are a fair distance away, the chances are slim that anyone will see them, and if he is seen that anyone will suspect anything.

7-18-2013 at 20:11:13
7-18-2013 at 21:03:22


I find your analyses good. I also said in the past that the killer was on foot, he had arrived on foot and after the shooting left on foot.

Lars, in your view, was it a crazy killer, or was he there to kill Sylvain Mollier for a reason?

7-18-2013 at 22:29:44

For those who are/were interested in AH’s BIKE … here it is @ 2:09 into the video

– M

7-18-2013 at 22:31:46


I believe he was there to kill Sylvain Mollier.

Just like the Chablais murders they are all premeditated murders. I don’t understand how the Chablais killer chooses his victims, but I understand how he thinks when he plans his murders. He probably scouts his victims first and knows something about their habits. Everything to avoid being seen.

Just like that the Chevaline killer planned the murder. I don’t think he just went there to see if he could kill somebody. He probably scouted Le Martinet and how to get away. He knew who his victim was. Why I don’t know.

7-18-2013 at 22:35:08


Sharp eyes! 🙂

7-18-2013 at 22:49:44

@ Lynda

Thank you, Lynda!

Still, one hell of a musician almost entirely overshadowed by a disturbed and seriously sick mind.


7-18-2013 at 22:50:44

And a very early video of some journo at Martinet (8 sept) when the site just had been opened up for public (I remeber seeing this video before) doesn’t hurt to post it again as it contains HQ video (ideal for details)

The car of another journo EXACTLY were AH’s BMW would have been parked before his Uturn.

It is possible that guy even did not know at that time about the hwole Utrun stuff.

Anyway, the car, parked like that, looks pretty normal and I have to assume a backwards Uturn is very much possible

– M

7-18-2013 at 22:54:37

@ Lars

Personally, I still fancy the motorcyclist seen near Col de Cherel as the killer.

However, regarding your conundrum of a killer who is not afraid at all of being seen in the general area, but very afraid of being seen at the scenes of his crimes, I suggest that there is a much simpler and more likely explanation than a one-armed Afghanistan veteran: a killer in uniform. He is not afraid of been seen in the general area because his uniform (ONF?) gives him a legitimate reason for being there. However, he is very afraid of being seen by his victims because that uniform is not merely a disguise, it really is his and he could be identified through it.

7-18-2013 at 23:26:44

@Max, yes I’ve seen it and the comments, you have made me smile ! There are many more in many other places. Looks as if done in innocence, the car, boot etc.

@Peter, why did it take so long for the ONF to come forward, isn’t it also ONF who has identified the BMW X5 ?

I’d love a few minutes with those guys !

If, if I were to put my head above the parapet, I would even push it to say that they drove through Martinet and didn’t stop, in their panic they didn’t see Brett Martin either, maybe turning right about 900 metres to get off the ‘main’ route. The French really don’t like to get involved, Denis Janin and the Fillion-Robin builders are testimony to that, the latter doing a runner as soon as they heard there had been deaths.

My imagination playing tricks again …..

7-18-2013 at 23:27:37


Lol 🙂 I actually thought the same.
I just thought it was easier to drive my point home with a one armed person as an example.
The only difference is that I thought about a police uniform. 😉

7-18-2013 at 23:40:49


Now, I am fine at 99,9%.

@Lars @Peter 7-18-2013 at 22:54:37

You know that agree with Peter. It’s my principal theory.

@Lars – Chablais.

Pierre Marchal, Jean-Pierre Maire, Jacky Meynet, Marcel Desbiolles, Gregory Mercier et Silvain Mollier.

1º – Too many M.
2º – Can there be a link between these names and Etrembières ?

Good night

7-18-2013 at 23:42:33

You know a police man being the first at a crime scene. If he is seen he will say:

– I heard the call over the radio and since I happened to be near by, I started to look for that murderer.

I actually even have an idea how it could be possible to catch that Chablais killer. With a little piece of luck. Perhaps it will also be a step forward for Chevaline.

7-18-2013 at 23:46:08


I actually think that Maire and Mercier was especially important to the killer. He went to extra trouble to try and kill these persons. He failed the first time, but was luckier the second.

7-18-2013 at 23:50:30

One person I really would like to talk to is Jean-Pierre Maire. He has however disappeared from Haute Savoie and has perhaps (according to journos) even changed his name.

7-19-2013 at 08:04:23

Lars said he would like to talk to Jean-Pierre Maire. There are so many people I would like to talk to. I have written and emailed one of them but I have not received a reply – not yet received a reply. Oh well, some you lose, some you win.

7-19-2013 at 08:59:14


We just have to keep on asking. 🙂

One day they might understand that we are serious in trying to find the answers to these killings.

7-19-2013 at 09:03:40

Today, two years ago, Xavier Baligant was shot to death at a rest area off a French motorway. There was speculation once that his killer had a year later shot the Al-Hillis and Sylvain Mollier.

I thought it just right to not forget Baligant on this day which must be a sad day for his widow and his children. I therefore rewrote a piece I originally wrote for a London newspaper at their request but which they did not use because their line was that Baligant’s killer was also that of the Al-Hillis.


7-19-2013 at 09:21:39


I believe you are right that there is no connection between the Baligant case and Chevaline (even though his father was an ex-policeman).

But no reason to forget him for that. R.I.P. Xavier

7-19-2013 at 09:32:44

@ Lars, 7-18-2013 at 23:27:37

I don’t know about France in particular, but police officers generally do work in pairs. Apart from motorcycle cops, they mostly use marked police cars, and they rarely spend their time lurking in the woods.

Given the timings of the murders (during daytime working hours or in the early evenings) and the locations (near woodland), I believe that the range of potential outfits that your killer in uniform could belong to is quite limited. He must be somebody whose job involves patrolling the woods during the day, often alone, at least sometimes on foot. His job also probably entitles him to carrying a gun.

There cannot be that many professions that fit the bill: ONF, private land steward, forrest ranger, gamekeeper, lumberjack, wildlife conservationist, pest controller – Marilyn & Linda: what others are there in France?

Whatever it is, it must be some kind of solitary job such as mooching around the forest, marking trees that need to be felled or some such, carrying a handgun for self-defence against those evil timber thieves … The person in question probably regards the woods as his personal domain, feels entirely safe there and considers all visitors outsiders invading his little kingdom. A wild-ass idea: could Mercier and the al-Hillis *littering* have sparked off their murders? Another wild-ass idea: could the killer bear a grudge against the police because there had been earlier complaints against him for taking his duties too seriously, for acting aggresively towards people whom he considered to be misbehaving in some way?

7-19-2013 at 09:47:51

@Peter, I like your last paragraph !

7-19-2013 at 10:31:18

I haven’t got this bookmarked
(My laptop was burgled)
I read that a previous Mayor of either Doussard or Chevaline died in a hunting accident a few years ago.

I think I may have mentioned my internet connection drops out all the time in midstream. Sustained research is hard for me.

Who will have baby first. Duchess or my daughter. Watch this space.

7-19-2013 at 10:41:50

Imho the ‘Luger’ makes the killing premeditated

So, was it:

– premeditated random (anyone who comes first)
– premeditated AH (Q: motive?)
– premeditated SM (Q: motive?)
– premeditated Y (mistaken id?)

The divers set of victims (AH, SM who imho are UNrelated) seems to point to ‘premeditated random’ … aka ‘nutter’

But, if it was not a ‘nutter’, X sure was someone who did NOT object to kill (seemingly unnecessary) collaterals (AH or SM, doesn’t matter) and this still bears a ‘nutter’ element

So … a ‘nutter’ … or someone bordering on being a ‘nutter’ … or someone ‘acting like’ a nutter.

But even for a ‘nutter’ one can ask the big question … WHY?

– M

7-19-2013 at 11:16:05
7-19-2013 at 11:21:54


There are certainly many alternatives.
I however feel that there is a police connection, in one way or another.

7-19-2013 at 11:25:16


Tourists being shot to death; locals being shot or stabbed to death; mayors falling to their death. I like the place less and less.

7-19-2013 at 11:30:17


If we go outside the “shooting range” there are a lot of mysterious murders in the region, e.g. a person being beheaded (the head was never found).

As a response to all the unsolved murders in the region, one inhabitant said that they were getting used it….

7-19-2013 at 11:47:11


Some one some years ago told me that it is wrong to believe that the people in picturesque places are kind and good. It is certainly true of Haute Savoie. All of eastern France is so beautiful, maybe the most beautiful part of France, but what I now know about the region, I believe that what I was told is indeed correct.

7-19-2013 at 14:26:36


There are good and bad people everywhere, as there are smart and stupid people everywhere, even among the professors at Sorbonne.

I have “learned to know” some people in Haute Savoie during this investigation that I find very likeable, and that I wouldn’t mind meeting in real life.

It is however obvious that they for the moment have a problem with the crime rate and the number of murders in Haute Savoie. And with the ability of the police/gendarmerie to solve these murders.

I think though that if they catch the Chablais killer the statistics will look a lot better.

So if anybody is interesting in catching him, they can contact me and I can provide a method that could be very succesful.

7-19-2013 at 15:06:27


Not MZT. I read that.

Can I ask your people questions, or am I “barred” so to speak ?

7-19-2013 at 16:42:39


7-19-2013 at 17:16:36


Maybe we should hold a vote.

Do you think the Agatha Christies could possibly know something no one else does?

First of all, I will have to finish drinking my tea and eating my biscuits, and then I will see if the ballot box is operational today.

7-19-2013 at 17:18:40


I am now going to say ‘have a good commenting night’. I plan to do some serial killing tonight, so will be looking in here only tomorrow morning.That is should I not be the victim tonight.

7-19-2013 at 17:19:54

Democracy is very over rated
as my colonial ancestors used to say 😉

7-19-2013 at 17:27:06


I thought it best I ask, before presumption.

I maybe classed as “harsh”…but fair I am to the last…. although the questions may appear difficult.

So I thought it best to ask first rather than to assume to post.

7-19-2013 at 17:32:04

I had to wait an age at a roundabout today, not in the car but sat on a bench, for my lift home, car in the garage. Almost half an hour, so I thought I’d clock all the 4×4’s milling about, local, national and of course international.

Firstly, it is a very busy roundabout in a tourist area, and ‘posh’.

Secondly, the number of 4×4’s is astonishing, I can spot the front grills and badges, from the side and rear a BMW is not unlike a Mercedes or a VW, neither is it so distinguishable from a Nissan !

In other words in the realm of big cars, nondescript. I also saw many BMW’s that didn’t even have a model on the rear ! The Porsche is intimidating, although lacked the bars on the roof and had a sort of spoiler over the rear windscreen.

How close would the witness have to be to see that it was a RHD BMW X5, that really looks like code, doesn’t it Marilyn ?

7-19-2013 at 17:34:53

‘model on the rear’ – brain working faster than fingers, doh !

Ha, ha and ‘doh’ again !!!!

7-19-2013 at 17:55:19

Fat Bastard.

If you read Socrates (well Plato’s record of Socrates) you’d know that “democracy” isn’t really democracy.

Guess that’s why they killed him.

7-19-2013 at 19:25:09


are you saying the ancient Greeks killed Saad ?

7-19-2013 at 19:59:07

I have no problems for James or anybody else to drop in and inform themselves and ask questions, etc. as long as the MZT ‘atmosphere’ is respected.

– M

7-19-2013 at 21:16:49

Just my thoughts on how it happened, assembled from all sources, not had the inspiration for the why and who….

Al-Hilli, drove through Chevaline, passing the builders, Fillion-Robin at about 14 :40 before 15 :00, saw ‘dangerous road’ sign and took the hairpin to arrive at La Poste in Doussard, took the 15 :15 photo and decided to go back Route du Moulin to the dangerous road, which is the route recommended by the Receptionist/campsite owners daughter.

The Martinet being the furthest point in a car into Les Bauges. (other photos were taken in front of typical chalets and farmhouses –between 15 :00 and 15 :10).

The women weren’t interested in getting out of the car, maybe choosing a little nap, Zainab and Dad jumped out to look at the first sign, the car was parked diagonally front in.(epi)

As they looked at the sign, Mollier arrived in the parking, the gunman ran from the track above the parking, shouting and brandishing /firing a gun, Saad bent over to reduce his height took Zainabs hand and shouted to run, he was hit in the back, she in the shoulder, he was able to get into the car but Zainab was on the ground.

At the same time Mollier received several bullets, blood spattering on to Saad, others missing him and ending up further along the road in the direction of Chevaline.

Saad hard reversed into the road, breaking to allow Zainab to get in the car, she either didn’t get up or couldn’t open the now locked doors, Saad continued his arc, butting the car against the slope.

In the ‘hard reverse’ arc, Mollier became trapped by the passenger side bumper, dragged a few metres to where he came to rest.

During this manœuvre the gunman continued to fire at the windows on the passenger side front and rear, as the car became trapped, the injured Saad not able to release the accelerator, the gunman approached the car and fired at close range through the holed windows, from one side to the other and then finally two more shots to Molliers head.

Zainab, either got up or moaned, screamed, gunman hit her over the head, she fell or remained on the ground. This could have been at anytime during the shooting spree.

The faces of the car occupants were damaged by not only the bullets but by the broken glass, requiring DNA as an addition for identification.

Brett Martin arrived on the scene and did as stated in the BBC interview, he left the scene to get help, make a call, meeting Bossy and friends, he explained, Bossy warned the police that there had been an incident of some sorts and there were dead in Martinet, a little girl was alive .

He drove into the layby before Martinet and turned the car around, he and Martin then went up to to the scene, then returned to his car, up to 10 minutes later, Bossy made a second call to the police with more details of what he’d seen.

Bossy, then went back down to Paul Duchers Farm, where very quickly the rescue services arrived, a little after 4pm, he saying that he may have seen the BMW about an hour before. Rescue services telling him four dead, a girl still moving.

The builder and his mate left quickly when they heard of deaths, Sylvie’s small white car.

By 4 :30pm, the Dauphine Libere agency was alerted to an incident at Le Martinet, where people had been shot.

7-19-2013 at 23:02:48

Lynda wrote 5-10-2013 at 12:26:54, asking if Mollier’s phone was stolen by the killer.

I have come to ask the same question now. I wonder if any of Mollier’s belongings were stolen by the killer. But I guess we will never know, since E-Maillaud is more interested in things abroad. I would anyhow not be surprised if that was the case.

7-19-2013 at 23:49:22

@Lars, you know why I posed the question, because Claire had tried to call him.

It would also appear that he did not have any ID documents either, as it required her to take a photo to the local Gendarmerie. ID cards are obligatory in France, even when on a bike. If he’d left it at home, she’d have taken that rather than a photo, wouldn’t she ?

Take any circumstance where someone dies unexpectedly, the first thing is to identify the person and then send the respective services to their door to inform them.

Now, she could have acted quickly in trying to find him, so beat the authorities to the knock on the door.

Members of Molliers family were aware of his death at or around 21:00, I am not referring to the boys, who apparently were woken from their sleep to be told, but to extended members of Molliers family.

@Peter, was Le Martinet chosen for its name, I think we’ve been here before, not sure ….

“A martinet is a strict disciplinarian,especially in the armed forces.
The word originated in the 17th century named after Jean Martinet,17th century French drill master.”

And of course the device itself…. a small whip/nine tails, or hammer – was the spot chosen to teach Sylvain Mollier a lesson, which someone took far too seriously ?

7-19-2013 at 23:49:34

From the pictures Max has kindly spent work on, it would appear that the “main” attack on the BMW came from the front and the (UK) passenger side.

The later “point blank” shots coming only when Saad was “disabled” be that by a gunshot wound or the bank at the rear of his car.

There then may have followed a further shooting of Mollier.

If you estimate the rounds fired, four or five were used on the front of the BMW.
Two in the front passenger side. Two maybe more on the rear passenger side.
And possibly a ricochet on the roof/roof rail….that is “considerable” for a “professional”.

Yet that would make him a “lone wolf” ? And as such he would have the “taste of blood”…or at least want to “brag” how he got away with such an act of violence.

So this murderer sits somewhere between the two.

The (p)IRA and even ETA didn’t waste “time”. Their violence is a “statement”.
So what “statement” is here ?

A British (Iraqi) tourist ? A Frenchman ?
That is hardly a “statement”.

So what of the “first reports”.
A British family…in a BMW utility vehicle ?

Utility ? That is another word for 4×4.
What of this UK plated 4×4 ?

Unlike most… I do believe that the police do not have to release information with regard an ongoing investigation.

And so “press” releases are “sensitive”…so was Mr Martin’s interview.
But I am seeing no urgency in tracking the “2nd” BMW.

Did Saad move campsites to be nearer/with a friend ?
Was that 2nd car the target ?

If this is a “random” murder, It is a “random” one of the most extreme…and I don’t “buy” into that.

7-20-2013 at 00:03:16

I don’t like to post twice in a row, a bit egotistical, I pose a question, if Sylvain Mollier had not envisaged cycling up the Combe d’Ire, nevertheless was due to cycle that side of Les Bauges, where was the route suggested by Thierry Schutz supposed to lead him, after Doussard ?

He was a ‘grimper’ he enjoyed the climbs usually going into the Alps, maybe even the roads used today in the Tour de France.

Whilst I remember, in the most recent ITV News item, he was discounted as a target, it wasn’t Saads work, etc.

Now, I can say,l in principal, you can sort of proof that, without knowing what happened how can they say that it wans’t a random attack, it must be the one ‘piste’ always open until there is a conclusion, that and some ‘nutter’.

For along while Max has said if you always look in the one direction you’ll never see what is on the other side ……

7-20-2013 at 00:26:41


Regarding the name Le Martinet: I have always said that the person who planned this was a “drama queen”.

Remember also the name d’Ire, and as mentioned earlier, what his name Sylvain Mollier means in Savoian.

And Alex explained earlier the name Schutz.


7-20-2013 at 00:35:27

@ Lars 7-20-2013 at 00:26:41

Don’t forget the slightly more tenuous Boz du Droz – hill of the fighters or warriors.

And even more tenuous, but works for an anglophone audience, the brook that meets the stream to the north of Martinet is called L’Hearse I seem to remember.

7-20-2013 at 00:44:39


I know ‘Ire’, I think I recall Schutz, not Sylvain Mollier, missed that…

When Zaid was arrested I wasn’t at home or had a any form of internet about my person, out of interest I’ve been ‘googling’ tonight, two things, his bail is up until the 31st July, when he has to present himself again to a Police Station and secondly the French Press have him described as MANAGER of the golf club.

FB has referred to him as a bean counter, I assume he meant a book keeper, I don’t think the British Press have ever said he was the manager of the golf club – without sounding crass, he really doesn’t look like someone that would be.

Do we know where he worked ?

He also lives in the first floor flat of the property in Chessington, you’d never know that by the Press Reports !

7-20-2013 at 00:48:19

@Rashomon, cheeky, 🙂 !

It has to work in French ……

7-20-2013 at 00:49:24


There is another term for “Le Martinet”.

2e REP used it often.

7-20-2013 at 00:57:36

I’m a pilot. But got my “early” hours in Afrique.

The French had a thing for transporting “Le Kepi” by “non French” aircraft back then. That’s how I learnt my “French”.

Not “France de la France” French…but enough to get by !

7-20-2013 at 01:13:59

TCK: The bike

The photo matches EM’s statement ‘jeter dans un coin’ … the interesting bit is ‘jeter’ (thrown) … who did the throwing?

– M

7-20-2013 at 01:39:19

Is that a “bike” ?

The police tape suggests its something. But a bike ? I am not seeing it.

7-20-2013 at 08:18:31


Lynda, thank you for your excellent summing up/view point. I think more of us are leaning towards Killer X having been on foot and waiting. But waiting for who? I keep on changing my mind but as has been agreed I am a woman so I am allowed to do so. As Sylvain Mollier’s unofficial father-in-law said that he had *not* suggested that road to him, it must have been his choice. I find it difficult to believe that he, a local man, did not know it and had never been on it. So, had Killer X maybe mentioned to Sylvain Mollier that if he should be riding that direction that afternoon, he may see him there as he often goes that way too? Two cyclists chatting about bicycles and challenging and easy roads, the one having murder in mind, the other just out for fun.

There has been no mention by officialdom about Sylvain Mollier’s mobile but his pockets had been gone through we were told. The killer looking for his mobile to destroy it? These have in the past few years become major sources of info for investigators.

Lynda also makes a good point about his ID card. Always having it on us has become second nature to us here in France. I, for example, do not even go 50 metres from home without identity on me, and I’m not of the age (anymore) or colour that a copper will stop me to ask “Vos papiers, s.v.p.” If I remember correctly the last time that happened was in a nightclub at around 2 a.m. and I did not have any ID on me but the people I was with were all journalists and not only did they have theirs but they had their press cards, so the policeman just gave me a smile and walked on. By the way, a press card is a magical thing here in France; one only has to show the card and doors fling open – but it also shuts mouths. For this reason it has been likened to the IDs police carry and is often mistaken for one because both have the blue, red and white logo top left-hand corner.

re: The ‘bike’ photo.

Max, thank you for enlarging this photo for us too.

Is it a bike?

The photo enlarged, I am not now as sure as I was before. However, staring at it long enough I can see the wheels and the handles. But what is that white stuff around the wheels? Could it be something (dust powder?) the police had sprayed on the bike to make a preliminary test for fingerprints, DNA etc?

That we see the bike on the tow truck with the BMW tells me that when that photo was being taken, the bike was still lying somewhere on the lay-by. And as we’ve not seen anything resembling a bike anywhere on any other photos, but just on this photo, logic tells me that that is indeed Sylvain Mollier’s bicycle. Which means that was where he had dropped it – and we’ve discussed whether he would have really thrown down such an expensive piece of goods. I think, yes, he would have: he would have even thrown his mother-in-law down on the road if he had a gun pointed at him. Especially his mother-in-law.

OK, that’s me for the moment.

7-20-2013 at 08:27:08


What do you pilot?

I am also a pilot. I pilot supermarket caddies around shops, especially there where the chocolate shelves are.

That’s my idea of trying to remove the seriousness from the blog, or we may just all succumb to ‘chagrin’. In Africa,there where you had picked up your scattering of French, the French may just call ‘chagrin’ ‘ses merdes-la’.

7-20-2013 at 08:58:34

Marilyn &All

It is looking even more bike-ish than ever to me.!!! Thanx Max.

Bear in mind that some of it is obscured by the tree above, that is not a shadow on the ground.

There is bit of piled up tape at the other end on the side of the road near the low-loader. The distinct reticulated pattern is still very discernible there. Compare.

Also the bike may have different coloured front and back wheels.

No granddaughter yet.

7-20-2013 at 09:20:24


Sylvain Mollier:
Sylvain: être de la forêt
Mollier: endroit humide
pointing to where he was found, in the forest near a river. 🙂

Schutz, version of Schütze = shooter

As far as I know Zaid’s title is accountant. Manager is the usual embellishment, I think.

7-20-2013 at 09:30:12


Yes, you could say that the killer wanted to “destroy” the mobile phone, but it was not the phone calls made that he was afraid of in that case (had been rather futile to destroy the phone then) . No, it was other kinds of info stored in the phone that he didn’t want to fall in the hands of the police. Or rather, if that info existed, he wanted to keep it away from the police.

I believe anyhow that’s why the Chablais killer stole Gregory Mercier’s belongings. He was afraid that Mercier had stored info about their meeting at the lay-by. Otherwise Mercier’s belongings were without any substantial value (just as Mollier’s was).

7-20-2013 at 09:40:00

The edit button still missing, Marilyn…. 😉

I thought earlier a lot about what the killer intended to do with with Mollier’s body, had not the Al-Hilli’s “turned up”. Did he intend to hide it anywhere, or just lie there in the middle of the road?

I now believe that he meant to leave it there in the middle of the road. His intention was to kill fast and disappear fast into the woods. I believe that even all these shots that Mollier received was a result of that the killer was detained at Le Martinet by the Al-Hilli family’s presence. Two shots were otherwise sufficient for the killer.

7-20-2013 at 09:45:45

@Lars, yes, photos, agendas, calls in and out would be traced.

What if it was used for an e:mail account, not the home one but a private, Yahoo for example ?

Something Claire knew nothing about.

So as much as the British Press have changed info from the French Press, the reverse is also true, Zaid is quoted as being a ‘gerant’.

@Max, will have to study the bike photo, if it is it is lying on the floor, and certainly looks as if it could have been thrown down.

7-20-2013 at 10:02:07


I think both Mercier and Mollier could have stored “valueable” info on their phones. But I don’t think that e-mail accounts are useful for storing “sensitive” info. They are read by the whole American administration. 🙂

7-20-2013 at 10:51:26

@Lynda at 00:44:39

My post many months ago … Zaid Hilli is a financial administrator or bookkeeper.

Burhill Golf & Leisure – Zaid Hilli – plus photo!

Burhill Golf & Leisure, the UK’s leading golf course owner and operator, welcomed staff from around the country to its Burhill Golf Club, Surrey, head office recently to pay tribute to their long service and hard work.

Guests of honour were two staff members who have both dedicated 25 years for the group – Alan Hall a member of the Burhill Golf & Leisure Estates Maintenance Team and Jane Cridland, General Administrator at Hoebridge Golf Centre, Woking.

Both Alan and Jane were presented with engraved gold watches to commemorate their dedicated service, while 16 other long servers, who were celebrating a decade’s service, were presented with luxury pens.

They were Jane Meincken, Christine Mullan, Sally Owen and Zaid Hilli, who all work at head office, David Cook, Andrew Owen and Phil Jerry (all Burhill Golf Club), Catherine Drummond (Hoebridge Golf Centre) and Jane Thorne and Angela Mitchell from Thornbury Golf Centre, Bristol.

Police remove items from Al-Hilli brother’s Chessington flat

A neighbour said he worked as an accountant at Burhill Golf Club in Hersham, part of the Burhill Group based in Burhill Park.

Burhill Golf & Leisure rebrands as BGL (Burhill Group Limited) [June 2012]

7-20-2013 at 11:25:17

@Max at at 01:13:59

Thanks for your bike photo. This version has lost some contrast, missing shades. The enlargement is very helpful and shows how far up the incident happened. The bike lies just beyond the info sign and next to the wooden barrier on the ground. Even at a short distance of 10m, coming from above Killer X had a clear shot at SM and would have less visibilty of SAH and Zainab reading the info on the sign.

The position of the BMW still puzzles me, but tend to believe head first into the lay-by near the sign. SAH would be closest to door to get back in car (with engine running or turned-off?) and Zainab would have to go around and got a bullet in the shoulder, most likely panicked and/or fell down.

Both Zainab and Saad had traces of blood on their clothes and/or soles of their shoes. This would indicate SM dropped his bike and attempted to flee before collapsing in a spot where Saad’s BMW in reverse hit him and dragged him some meters to where the car ended.

From the blogs it is known Thierry Schutz had a LOOK 586 SL. Here is a photo serie of the Cofidis LOOK 695 fitted with American Classic’s mid-range 420 Aero 3 wheels. This fits the white style of the rear wheel seen on photo.

7-20-2013 at 11:30:40

Thankyou Oui – I missed that !

7-20-2013 at 11:37:07

Could the motive simply have been robbery/theft of SM’s expensive bike?
Tour de theft targets high-end racing bikes
Cyclist robbed at gunpoint in Oakland

7-20-2013 at 11:37:28

This would be the view as Brett Martin approached Le Martinet, pity the journos are in the way.

When aerial photos are looked at the track beside the second sign appears to be a long way, when looked at from this angle it isn’t.

7-20-2013 at 11:49:49


re: The 695.

A-ha! Explains the white wheels. Oui, you are great! Thank you.

re: robbery motif.

Somehow, I do not think 4 people died because of an effort to steal a bike, even this 695. Such thieves (goes for car thieves too) do not usually go around armed with guns. Knives and knuckledusters are more their thing.

@Lars and @All

re: edit button.

So sorry Lars but there isn’t one. I have one though — but then I am the boss!

7-20-2013 at 11:52:58

@Oui, along the lines of your theft, how about this:

Someone wasn’t happy about Sylvain Molliers new bike, especially as he was now not working and appeared to be taking advantage of Claire Schutz.

To teach him a lesson he was lured to Le Martinet (double meaning here), the plan was to threaten him at gunpoint and take his bike, leaving him to find his own way home – of course he could have called Claire, what if the questioning from her went ‘what the hell are you doing there?’ He probably wouldn’t have called, walked back to wherever was the right place and then said his bike was stolen, or something to that effect.

This of course didn’t happen, maybe Mollier tried to fight back and the carnage started.

The gunman eventually came to his senses, running away, through the tracks amongst the trees.

7-20-2013 at 11:57:58


Tour de France starts in Annecy today. If you can pick up the Tour live on your TV, and you’ve never been in the Annecy region you may wish to watch. Transmission starts at 1 pm.

7-20-2013 at 12:17:22

RE pilot
I guess James used to drive twatters er Twin otters
he may well have given me a lift in one of the french colonies

7-20-2013 at 14:45:08

The bike – I see that it looks like a bike, where is the bar from front to back ?

OVO the first O is invisible, the V may be there, but then the last O isn’t …

there also isn’t the inner rectangle ….…67076.68170.0.71263.….0…1c.1.21.img.4xJFUZfAju0&bav=on.2,or.r_qf.&bvm=bv.49478099,d.d2k&fp=b29d52f20e634c58&biw=1920&bih=955

7-20-2013 at 15:21:04

Just wanted to say how much I am loving the Tour De France, especially today knowing they are near Annecy.
I’ve fallen in love with France, the commentators and the scenery is simply awesome.
Tonight I have the remote flicking constantly between British Open and Tour De France.

7-20-2013 at 15:38:24

The Evening Standard quoted a police source as saying:

The reconstruction of the crime scene meant that everything had to remain in place.

This meant doors and windows had to remain shut until forensics officers and ballistics specialists arrived from Paris.

Windows had bullet holes in them but had not fallen in. The fear was that they would if the doors were opened.

So, the rear window/s did collapse after the car doors were opened and closed ……

7-20-2013 at 17:31:16

For Max

Here is a photo where BMW has been pulled forward a few feet in the process to load it on the truck.

7-20-2013 at 17:37:26


A road bike with a black/grey frame would be difficult to see in comparison to the white aerodynamic wheel. This wheel is usually fitted on the rear with a choice of a normal wheel up front for steering. The Chris Boardman series would have two aerodynamic wheels mounted.

7-20-2013 at 20:38:19


I “driver” GV’s (G5’s) now. You even get to “hump” the bags onboard !
All glamour !

And I still can’t “drive” a shopping trolley. Maybe because I ALWAYS get the one with the wobbly wheel ! I actually began to think they save it in the back for me. And then see me coming in !

FB. Oh yes ! My big break came getting to drive the Twotter.
Proper flying that. The best “bush” taxi ever. Rubbish pay though. But you get the hours in and bags of experience.

7-20-2013 at 20:51:51

Where is Bibi? Has she married a bridge too?

7-20-2013 at 20:58:00


Do you really ever say “driver”?

In Swedish it’s called “flygförare”, direct translation “airplane driver” in the mil. forces. Doesn’t sound as cool as pilot. Great disappointment for all the little boys (and girls).

7-20-2013 at 21:21:25


When younger I’d say “pilot” and not “First Officer”…as I may have got a date !

But now if I talk “aircraft” the future Mrs James says “bore”.

So from “pilot” to “captain” to “bore” !

However now you can marry bridges…
I have had my eye on The Golden Gate for awhile. Bet she doesn’t answer back !

Now do you tell the “sex” of a bridge by the way ?

7-20-2013 at 21:34:02

Two strange questions.

Question One.

Everyone has spoken about if it is possible (from the eggbeater pics) if it is possible to do a U turn in The Martinet carpark.

Has anyone asked how the hell the tow truck driver was going to load the BMW onto his truck. That angle looks very strange.

So is it “just” the angle of the pictures ?
From “up high” the perspective of things differs greatly.

Question 2

With the amount of “non point blank” rounds fired at the front of the windscreen compared to the “point blank” shots (at both the BMW and Mr Mollier) would it be fair to assume that the attacker was “initially” some distance away from the front of the BMW AND from Mr Mollier ?

7-20-2013 at 21:55:48


Q1: It’s probably the angle of the pictures. Lynda recently gave the link to a photo were you can see the tracks from the truck as it pulled the BMW up on the loading platform. Lynda perhaps remember where it is or you can find it somewhere in the previous thread.

Q2: Personally I am not convinced that there are any shots through the windscreen. See for instance Max’s enhanced photos where you can see the light reflexes from the whole windscreen. If you look at photos where a windscreen has been hit by shots, there are often cracks and patterns around the holes. But apart from that I am sure that the shooter was some distance away, 10-15 meter, when he started shooting.

7-20-2013 at 22:17:33


Not a clear photo, but a good overall shot as posted earlier, is the ‘bike’ on the truck ?

7-20-2013 at 22:22:34


And that is my point.

If you even take the picture of the vehicle being moved, the windscreen is marked. There may have been no shots “through” the windscreen, but there have certainly (in my view) shots “at” the windscreen.

And remember that windscreens are “toughened”. However would still break if “shot at” at close range.

Further away (I am no ballistic expert) I would imagine the effect maybe that the “bounce” off an angled piece of toughened glass ?

If you consider that a “professional” would waste little time. Likely knowing where to shoot, would “he” have tried to shoot at the front windscreen ?

Of course that leads it to being the act of a “mad man”.

But the question still comes back to… what of this “second” BMW 4×4 on UK plates ? What was that doing there ?

7-20-2013 at 22:32:55

@ Lars, all
I’m around, reading, and thinking… A LOOK 586 SL 2012 bike could fit (frame black and white) + if the father was pleased with his bike, the daughter would have picked this one for a present…
At the moment I was thinking again about who heard the shootings and who didn’t and so on… gentle giant, his father, onf, builder… Who talked, when… The trouble is, in those villages every body is connected one way or another… By the way, does anybody remember where was the interview of the woman who explained what she heard (tatatatata!!) ???

7-20-2013 at 22:36:22

Re: getting the BMW on the tow truck.

How is this for someone who does not drive?

He was going to reverse the tow truck towards the BMW, then drive forward again and reverse again and continue this way until the tow truck was right in front of the BMW. Then, a gendarme would have driven the BMW on to the tow truck. I’ve seen cars being towed away lots of times because they were parked between yellow lines – never though because the driver had been shot dead.

re: firing at 10-15 metres.

Lars, hitting a head at that distance must mean that killer X was quite a good shooter. I mean his targets were alive and would therefore not have been immobile.

re: flying whats-his-names.

James, if you told us you flew Dakotas I would really send a bath-chair over to you. Mind you, I’ve flown in Dakotas in Africa, but as a passenger solely. And I can say this: before we took off the pilot was reading an instruction booklet and when I called the hostess over and asked her whether the pilot knew what he was doing, she laughed and told me not to worry.

re: making a u-turn on the lay-by.

In France drivers are able to make a u-turn even in a space which is not big enough even to swing a cat

re: Tour de France

Sarah, it is a wonderful spectacle isn’t it? Unfortunately I never like the winner. My favourite is Peter Sagan, the Green Jersey. Was so too last year.

re: Gender of a bridge

This is France; even eunuchs have a gender here, or life would be too sad.

OK, I will now stop playing the fool.

Have a nice commenting night.

7-20-2013 at 22:36:34


I have no idea. It isn’t a clear picture.

The tow truck clearly got the BMW on okay (in the time it took the eggbeater to circle).

7-20-2013 at 22:41:31


Glad you let that bridge down, 😉
Do you mean this video: after 0:27 ?

7-20-2013 at 22:47:48

Dakotas !

NOW they are lovely.
Never ever flown in one…. let alone be allowed to “have a go”.

If I could marry a bridge…I’d divorce The Golden Gate if a DC3 winked in my direction. They are “HOT” !

The fact you have to “tap” the gauges DOES make flying that more “exotic” for the guys upfront.

You’ve been really lucky to fly in one of those. Very jealous indeed.

7-20-2013 at 22:49:31

@James & Lynda

There is a much better photo somewhere, where you can see the tyre tracks from the tow truck as it towed the BMW. Making a part of a circle (almost like the other much discussed tyre tracks).


There could have been grazing shots at the windscreen, but I am not convinced. At least one of the white blobs you can see is a paper mark glued on to the windscreen (for parking?).


I have always believed he was/is a pretty good shooter, however not used to kill a lot of people (at the same time).

7-20-2013 at 23:08:33

@ Lars
Thanks! Yes, that’s it, I remember now. I hadn’t found anything about her, she looks like a tourist to me and her accent doesn’t sound local (It must be added that I’m no specialist in Alpine accents!)
Well… two are still single as far as I know…

7-20-2013 at 23:12:24


I see maybe four or five (most likely four) grazing shots to the front of the BMW.

I think they were fired “at a distance” (not “point blank”). Therefore we need to conifer to decide if that is so, because I think it is relevant.

The reason being “if” the police say Mr Mollier was hit 5 times, then a further 2 times yet only 21 (or 25 ?) were used, then I would assume that (IF) the shooter was accurate, he would have been “some distance” from Mr Mollier AND a greater if not equal distance away from Mr Al Hilli’s BMW.

That does not seem “professional” ?

7-20-2013 at 23:29:31


As said I am not convinced. One white blob I am as said sure what it is, seen at short distance. I think some of the others blobs are reflexes from the backside of the nav.system sitting in the center of the windscreen.
I thinks it takes a lot of more proofs to say there are any shots at the windscreen.

Regarding the shooter I am quite sure that he is an accomplished shooter, but that doesn’t say anything about him being professional, whatever that means. A member of a gun club with suitable training could probably do well.

7-20-2013 at 23:38:23

We have had two “famous” serial killers shooting people in Sweden. Both were of the “sniper” type. Both shooting at people with dark skin.

The second of them was precisely a member of a gun club and a fanatic gun lover. He talked at length at the trial (the only time he said anything) about his different guns and the different pipes he had manufactored to his guns and how he had replaced them and so on, and so on…

I think he could also be characterized as an accomplished shooter.

7-20-2013 at 23:46:47

@Marilyn – Tour de France.

Great job for Rui Costa. Don’t forget this name for the 101’s Tour de France.


Perhaps your bicycle :

Good night.

7-21-2013 at 00:41:53

@ James

I believe that there are two (or possibly three) entry holes in the BMW’s windscreen. I also think that firing at the windscreen in the middle of a sustained volley of fire is, if not exactly textbook shooting, then still “professional” enough. (I know where you are coming from with your question regarding those shots: it *is* a golden rule never to shoot at a car’s windscreen unless you are using AP rounds and/or standing upon the bonnet and firing downwards, but what are you going to do if your target has unexpectedly got behind the wheel of his car? Just stand there gawping or keep firing, hoping for the best?)

Regarding your idea of shots being deflected, “bouncing off,” the windscreen, that is a theoretical possibility with firing angles < 30°, but there should be corresponding marks on the glass. These marks would look like elongated Vs, gradually deepening grazes with starburst crackling around the deepedt point of impact. I haven't seen anything like that in the pictures that we are all familiar with.

7-21-2013 at 06:10:45


Diameter approx. 70cm matches the size of a bicycle wheel. In earlier sketchy photo one can discern the contours/shades of a bike. Perhaps with a bit of imagination, it certainly provided sufficient input for a few rounds of discussion. The MSM must be getting tired, none picked up on this “exclusive” news item.

7-21-2013 at 08:23:27


Tour de France day all day. Reaching bedtime I will have bicycles up to my eyes.

Anyway, I seriously recommend that you all click on the links Bacchus sent us at 11.46 p.m. yesterday (July 20). I think he may well have the explanation of what we see lying at right bottom on that photo ‘of the bike’. But if it were tape, then was it those two rolls of tape which were on the tow truck with the BMW? (Bacchus thanks for finding this for us.)

James, what do you mean by ‘tap the gauges’? Please inform as I am anxiously waiting for your reply. Does it mean the pilot tapped the instrument panel If so, then that was that pilot was doing. I thought he was checking to see what was where on the instrument board while reading the instruction sheet. Fancy if I have to find out now what was going on that day in that cockpit – the Angolan war having been won or lost depending on which side one was on so long ago. Flying in a Dakota (yes a DC3) was a little like hang gliding – I was sure that if I could open the window I could have touched the trees.

I can’t see bullet holes whatever in the windscreen of the BMW.

This leads to another question: This is for Peter. Why is it a rule never to shoot at a car’s windscreen unless one is using AP rounds and/or standing on the bonnet and shooting downwards? And what are AP rounds?

To get back to the Tour de France. Bacchus, yes, Costa was good. Froome was …

I will now say – have a good commenting day.

7-21-2013 at 09:57:06

AP means Armour Piercing as in …
Poor Man’s Armour piercing Slugs

Normal copper-jacketed lead bullets will just tend to flatten out, which both makes them stick better and reduces their penetration value; a 9mmPara or .38Spl roundnose will often deflect off of a windshield. The tungsten or hardened steel, however, will retain shape and will penetrate more cleanly; of course, the bullet will tumble after impact. Source here.

Even in Florida, AP ammo is illegal to be carried or transported

7-21-2013 at 10:04:16

@Lars, James

I think this is the other one I posted in the last thread.

I don’t have a system like Max to imrove photos, here again is one I posted before, it is flipped from its original form – there is something ’round’ under the trees…..

Referring to Bacchus and Marilyn, and tape, there are two photos of the truck as it entered Route du Moulin and the press throng, one from either side, I have the one from the drivers side but I can’t find the one with the two combat dressed gendarmes and photographers beside it, anyone help with that.

In the first one, zoom in and able to see how the ‘bike’ is fixed to the truck.

7-21-2013 at 10:17:57


The windscreen, the two blobs, one is the Tax Disc, passenger side, the central one is the rear view mirror.

The only bit I’m suspicious of is what looks like ‘scuffing’ in front of the steering wheel.

7-21-2013 at 11:26:07

The more I think about it, the more it sounds to me as if Nigerian John’s real mission was not to defraud Saad for financial gain, but rather to make his life a misery. Either way, he must have had some kind of inside track to Saad’s personal and financial data, most likely supplied by an insider.

It is a shame that the court never got the opportunity to ask Nigerian John whether or not he had ever had any contact with Zaid, and that he’ll probably be on a plane back to Nigeria before Zaid’s bail is reviewed on the 31st 🙁

7-21-2013 at 11:43:52

@Lynda @James

Yes, that is a part of the photo I meant. But Lynda published a version earlier where you could see more of the tyre tracks, left by the truck (or the BMW being towed).

Ok so it is a tax disc :), I just knew it was some kind of sticker, reddish on the upper part, and white on the lower part. And as you say probably reflexes from the rear view mirror in the upper middle. Below that, in the lower part of the window I believe there are reflexes from the nav. system, since it is sitting there.

Of course this doesn’t prove that there are not shot marks on the windscreen.

If you compare it with a photo from another angles e.g. , you still see the tax disc but no other white blobs.

So if there are no better photos I am still sceptic.

7-21-2013 at 11:59:30


I have these two photos of the MG Truck, one from either side.

If you compare them, you can see that they tied a rope around what seems to be the saddle. I don’t think the gendarmes would have gone to all that trouble wrapping it up in tarpaulin and fastening it with a rope if it was just their old tape.

7-21-2013 at 12:08:35

@ Lars

I reckon that the tarpaulin-covered thingie on the towing truck is that truck’s winch. At least it is in precisely the spot where the winch is situated.

7-21-2013 at 12:16:20


Sorry, I am sceptic, doesn’t look like a winch to me. But then again I don’t think it is important either.

7-21-2013 at 12:26:48

@ Lars

If you look closely, you can see that the recovery vehicle was produced by an Italian company called Omars. Take a look at their product range

These vehicles all have winches in the front-middle of the platform. Thus, if there really were a bike beneath that tarpaulin, it would be standing right on top of that winch.

7-21-2013 at 12:29:46

Lars and Lynda

The circular “sticker” on the passenger would be the UK tax disc.

The “off centre” circular white “sticker” I am unsure of.

The rear view mirror on a BMW is “auto dimming”. By that I mean “light sensitive” so that headlights from the rear hitting the mirror will not reflect into your eyes whilst driving at night (its a great feature and doesn’t make your eyes “tired” on long night journeys).

Anyway the rear view mirror is “glued” into place in the middle of the windscreen and it is positioned “below” a “pod” (or “box o’ tricks”) which is also designed it help the driver. (rain sensors etc).

From the outside it just appears to be a “matt black” box.

The point being, it does “reflect”.

Above is a picture which may better explain from approx. the same model year.

This is “partly” why I believe that there was a “considerable” attack made to the front of the BMW which happened BEFORE the “point blank” shots were fired.

And that is very odd. It would suggest that the attacker was using a “close combat” weapon (a hand gun) to mount an attack at a “distance”.

Would a “professional” do that ?
Is it not easier to wait until the victim is contained in an area (a car) and then get in very close before firing ?

7-21-2013 at 12:35:39

Typo city here I come !

1. “The sticker on the passenger…..” (!)
I mean “passenger side”.

2. And the most important “typo” correction. “The point being, it does “reflect”……”

That should be “it doesn’t reflect” !
It’s “matt black” !

That’s typing fast for you…after two strong coffees !
And not a hint of Brandy in either !

7-21-2013 at 12:52:57

@Peter, the bike would have had to be the last thing put on the truck as it would have centred over the winch which can be seen in all the photos.

I just find it odd, that with all the vans that were up there that day, the bike was jammed into the space near the truck head.

Maybe it was that they were both going to be driven to Paris, for the forensics to take place ?

@Lars, The Times photo was the one I was looking for…..

7-21-2013 at 13:22:33

I agree with you Lynda, I find it logical, they (car+bicycle) were probably going to the same place (wherever that was), so why separate them.

(@Peter: If you want to look at the tow truck, it is shown on pictures, standing in Doussard, links were given above, I see nothing looking like that thing in tarpaulin on those pictures.)


(still sceptical 🙂 ), you need only a little screw or something to create a reflex like that if you have the light source at a suitable angle. I believe you should be able to see it otherwise in the picture I gave the link to above.

7-21-2013 at 13:40:14


I am principally a bit sceptical to create whole theories based on things that are very questionable. You can almost end up anywhere then.

I am very aware that certain facts in this drama are very few, but I think we must rely on those as far as possible. To the facts I then count what has been reported and said from a more or reliable source (even including E-Maillaud 😉 ). The rest is just speculations on our part.

So I will always, for my part, be a bit cautious until someone who really has seen the car after the killings say that there were marks on the windscreen, or that a very good photo emerges showing without doubt that such marks exist.

7-21-2013 at 13:42:05


Some pertinent questions need to be asked …
Why was the account of Saad al-Hilli targeted
Was scam part of a larger complot
See article, SAH was already targeted before the massacre at Chevaline

Between September 6 last year — the day after the fatal shootings — and September 11, it was alleged John obtained a Bank of America Mastercard in Mr Al-Hilli’s name. He was also alleged to have used Mr Al-Hilli’s details to open an Amazon online shopping account with the aim of buying goods for himself.

It was also claimed John tried to defraud Mr Al-Hilli while he was still alive by using another name to apply for a pre-paid Mastercard.

The scammers already have a duplicated Mastercard, how they operate – Visa / MasterCard FRAUD.
FBI – Eighteen People Charged in International $200 Million Credit Card Fraud Scam
Facebook – Stop Nigerian 419 scams

7-21-2013 at 14:02:24


German website OMARS Aluminium Festplateau 2000 WLN plus video demonstration – YouTube.

7-21-2013 at 14:13:48

@ James:

I used to fly Cessnas, 172 and 152.

Katanas DA-20 and DA-40, too.

I would not have a problem turning the tow truck in the hairpin bend and towing the BMW.

By the way, I work in car assistance.

But I do not tow.

(Nice little inside joke to everybody’s watching “Game of Thrones”: “We do not tow.”:)

Actually, as I am writing this, Sunday, quarter past 2, I am at work assisting cars and drivers.


7-21-2013 at 14:28:37


That’s the better angle from which to look.

If you we assume that there were 6 rounds fired at close range (the so called “double tap”) to Mr Mollier and the Al Hilli family members…

And count the further 5 rounds that struck Mr Mollier, the 1 round which struck Z. in the shoulder and the 1 round it is said that struck Saad as he was getting into his vehicle….

We have a total of 13 rounds which can possibly be accounted for.

We can see a possible two rounds which entered in the front passenger window, so can account for them, leaving a total of 6 rounds unaccounted for.

Of course they could have been fired anywhere.

But we have a missing roof bar and a curious mark on the roof of the BMW.
That may account for 1 round.

So if we try and account for those missing 5 bullets (which of course may be found in the woods or some other place) and assume that the “point blank” shots were likely to be the last shots fired…it could be assumed that the “non point blank” bullets were fired at the start of the attack ?

If that is the case, then it is unlikely that the first shots were fired “wildly” but directed at a target ?

Could that target not have been the front of the BMW ?
Then we have those “marks” on the windscreen.
Could they really be “reflective objects” inside the vehicle or on the windscreen…..or bullet marks ?

7-21-2013 at 14:28:54

@ Lars and all regarding bike:

To me it seems obvious by that

picture that that’s a bike on the truck and never ever a winch.

What would Largo Winch say to that?



7-21-2013 at 14:41:48


There was no ‘double tap’, just sensationalism, the two front windows have been holed and as I wrote in the past few days, the rear windows were holed, before falling out when the doors were opened/closed.

It was also reported that two of the occupants had received a bullet in the body as well.

I would say that the head wounds were more luck than judgement as Lars has already said, yes the first could have been well aimed, the second through a crazed windo, more difficult.

I think, like Lars the shooting started at the top end of the parking, rear window glass was found there, and commenced from a distance.

Other bullets were found on the road past the car in the direction of Chevaline.

Okay, late lunch in the garden with some very cold Rosé.

As a ps: I took flying lessons in a Tomahawk in the 1980’s and 1990’s, didn’t continue to pilots licence as my personal circumstances changed, always regretted that, epescially when there are small planes flying over me everyday on their way into and out of Le Touquet Airport.

7-21-2013 at 14:44:16

Correction !

What is it today !
My maths are out (or if you’re reading this in America, “my math is out” !).

Shots fired at Al Hilli family members. 6 plus 1 plus 1 (8)
Shots fired at Mr Mollier 5 plus 2 (7)

Shots fired through the front pax window 2 (2)
A shot “possibly” striking the roof bar/roof 1 (1)

Accounting for 18 shots fired. Leaving 3 shots unaccounted for.

Does the windscreen look to have 3 shots been marked three times ?

The point being if those shots were fired at the BMW at start of the attack (and 5 shots at Mr Mollier) then the killer was “unlikely” to be near either Mr Al Hilli OR Mr Mollier.

To me that doesn’t sound like a “hitman” mounting a surprise attack.
More like a “botched job” ?

7-21-2013 at 14:48:32

Jeepers !

Everyone on here is a “flyer”.

But only ONE has been a pax in a DC3 ! (Still jealous of that).

7-21-2013 at 15:05:24


At least there we can agree: it was no hitman. (even though that is also an speculation from my side) 🙂

PS: I have also flyed an airplane (above Sweden), without any lessons or license, but I had a trusted pilot at my side, and we were mostly going straight ahead, so it wasn’t so complicated.

7-21-2013 at 15:10:39

RE eggbeaters
not to be left out
Bell 212 and Huges 500 E

7-21-2013 at 15:13:29

@ Lars:

Flying the airplane in mid-air did not seem too complicated to me, neither was taking off, the one thing I really had to train was landing!


And once me and and friend ran out of gas in mid-air even that became complicated!

Plus my wife still remembers when I wasn’t so sure anymore whether the C-152 had an automatic switch from one fuel tank to the other or not.


7-21-2013 at 16:11:13


I had never dared to do it if not the pilot been watching over everything I did. I did it actually “at work”.

We had a plane to transport personell from one place to another. However the plane required a pilot and a co-pilot according to the rules. Sometimes the plane went empty (no passengers) and then I acted at times as co-pilot, which was kind of crazy since I couldn’t fly and definitely not land, but luckily enough nothing happened. Since I worked with a lot of pilots I have however heard a lot of stories of what can happen.

The most “uncomfortable” trip I ever been on was with what FB and James call a “eggbeater” up in the Arctic. Usually we used to go by helicopter over land from the town to the research station were I was working.

However this time the weather was so bad that we first had to wait for days before the helicopter could lift, then there was almost no visibility at all, so then pilot decided he didn’t dare to fly over land, too many mountains in the way, so he decided to follow the coast.

So we were flying just a couple of meters above the waves, with the roaring ocean below us, sometimes sea spray hit the windows. I was pretty scared I must say. Otherwise I have learned to trust pilots. At least the ones I have met have been very careful and meticulously preparing the planes before starting. Well, careful, at least when on duty. 😉

7-21-2013 at 16:29:09

@FB. Just for the EggBeater lovers.

I was a pax in a “Huey” once !

A guy in Oz had one he does trips in. If you ever get that way, it’s a great way to spend an afternoon.


As I always tell the nervous pax, “landing is simple….”

“it’s just a case of me trying to get this 20 odd tonnes of composite, metal, bones, flesh and fuel… to gently kiss that solid piece of concrete down there, after I’ve been up all night … there’s nothing to worry about”.

7-21-2013 at 16:29:47

Guys, you’ve made my day !

I felt I wanted to learn to fly, so I did the trial, no problem, then at a certain point over the Gower Peninsula, my instructor, appeared to cut the engine, the plane began a sort of free fall, he wanted to see if I would panic, I didn’t and he pulled it out – the first lesson, well what an experience, he received a message that a hang glider had gone into the sea, we were the nearest so went to have a look, belive me for someone who had never flown that close to the sea and cliffs it was pretty scary – we did find the guy alive and well and notified the authorities, the Lifeboat came from Mumbles.

After that I am pleased to say that I learnt to take off and land alone, no help from the dual controls, unfortunately for me my life went ‘pear shaped’ and I couldn’t continue, I’d always dreamed of flying Concorde – I said dreamed !

And maybe the most strange, my instructor had worked for my father in the energy industry, when he took his payoff he went to his passion, flying.

And the really bizarre, he had been to our house when I was a child ! With the time passed and a different name he never made the connection.

We didn’t live in the same area at all so it really was a coincidence.

For my 30th birthday, a regular client at the restaurant where I worked, landed a helicopter in the field behind, we flew over my house, I have the photos, illegally understand ! Landed in Somerset for afternoon tea, then flew back and I started my evening shift – I will never forget it, least of all because I did not like the feeling of swinging from sid eto side on take off.

7-21-2013 at 16:59:59

Just a very odd thought – I read that three bodies were taken away the morning, lunchtime of the 6th, the fourth in the evening…..

So, for all those that thought there was someone still in the drivers seat, was there ?

The removal of the car was late in the day, can tell by the sun, that leads me to the question of what can be seen on the windscreen, that car was facing East, whilst the general light would have reflected onto the screen the sun wouldn’t have.

@James, maybe FB, could Saad have replaced the faulty, old rear view fancy Mirror with a ‘stick on’ – he didn’t have ‘dosh’, he repaired the car himself as stated by FB, he was very much

7-21-2013 at 17:01:35

Just a very odd thought – I read that three bodies were taken away the morning, lunchtime of the 6th, the fourth in the evening…..

So, for all those that thought there was someone still in the drivers seat, was there ?

The removal of the car was late in the day, can tell by the sun, that leads me to the question of what can be seen on the windscreen, that car was facing East, whilst the general light would have reflected onto the screen the sun wouldn’t have.

@James, maybe FB, could Saad have replaced the faulty, old rear view fancy Mirror with a ‘stick on’ – he didn’t have ‘dosh’, he repaired the car himself as stated by FB, he was very much a DIYer, especially of BMW’s.

@FB, as far as you know did Saad ever go to Le Mans 24 ?

7-21-2013 at 17:01:57

I think it’s because of the “radiation” that makes flyers generally mad.

I use to fly with a German.
And every time we came to England he would always say “enemy coast approaching”.

One guy would always wear gloves when he flew.
I think he thought he was back flying F16’s ! I didn’t dare ask.

One guy wore “lucky” socks !
Not the same pair…but the same “style”.

We gave one guy “five bars” once because he’d really done badly in the sim. He then would wear them when flying…and with pax onboard !

And one fella was so small, he use to carry a “booster” cushion.
Flight bag, suitcase…and booster cushion !

The list goes on !

7-21-2013 at 17:12:00


The auto dimming reaction of the rear view mirror is a really great feature.
Especially if you’re travelling long distances…and at night.

However….he would also be towing a caravan, so that would mean he wouldn’t be using it.

Other than that, I don’t think they break so often.
BMW. German. etc, etc.


Do you know if Saad’s mother-in-law came from Sweden and stay with either daughter a lot ? Or was this visit due to the fact they were going on holiday ? Just curious as to how “unusual” if at all her visit was.

7-21-2013 at 17:30:51


I dreamed of flying (as passenger) in the two-seated version of the Swedish multirole fighter aircraft JAS 39.

Well, I only came as far as the big simulators and sitting several times (on the ground) in the one-seated version. Quite comfortable to sit in though.

7-21-2013 at 18:07:47

@James, it would appear from what has been said by the reports and FB that Zainab and Zeena didn’t know their grandmother, I think FB said that Zainab encountered her for the first time in 2011 due to the grandfathers funeral.

It is unfortunate, not odd, from personal experience , mine and others nearby, distance, cost, health and age affect travelling, not necessarily in that order.

I understand that Iqbals father had suffered from kidney disease, which caused his death, someone with such health problems was unlikely to travel.

Maybe the children had been to Sweden before, just don’t remember, always a possibility.

The sole question for me on the family side, is how did Iqbal and Fadwa’s brother, arrive in the UK, when did he arrive and Under what circumstances was he Sectioned to a mental hospital in the UK ?

A bit of nothing, early reports said that Zaid had two children, his son Sean, going by Zaid and Géraldine meeting in 1992, that is only 20 years ago (well, 21 now), but there are apparently 2 grandchildren, maybe just a busy boy. Oh my questions would continue, I would like to understand why Saads mother left the house ONLY to him and not there eldest son ……

7-21-2013 at 18:10:06

‘their’ !!!!!!! I have the excuse of wine at lunch !

7-21-2013 at 18:52:51

@ James

Certainly more than one. On my first trips to Africa, early ’70s, i’ve been on DC3s a dozen times as a PAX. i can still remember that one chartered flight when we were on a short finals to a dirt runway lost in the middle of a forest clearing in southern Chad. The pilot was a crunchy German guy who didn’t even try to pretend he was sober. As we were just about to land, 2 huge giraffes appeared out of nowhere and stood still right in the middle of the way. The pilot cursed and yelled at us in broken English ” hold on tight, I try touch and go”. The poor AC started vibrating like a washer spinning out of balance. We did our GA but I permanently lost any sympathy for giraffes..

7-21-2013 at 20:01:54

Today the church-bells next to me rang the Game of Thrones theme tune. Brilliant.

7-21-2013 at 20:36:02

@ Marilyn, Paris looks so good in the setting sun, I adore the ‘drapeau’ under the Arc, Paul lived in one of the streets off L’Etoile.

Stunning !

My favourite place is Les Invalides and Napoléons Tomb, followed by Musee d’Orsay, then, oh my I realise the list would be so long, it is magical.

Search for others…. just the most, I’m lost for words

7-21-2013 at 20:42:41

Okay, you’ll know this one better:

La Butte is the name of my house, for so many reasons !

7-21-2013 at 22:06:59


I have come across a comment from See_Bee (5-16-2013 at 16:25:23) concerning those white blobs on the windscreen. Worth reading.

7-21-2013 at 22:31:10


I sat staring at Paris just like someone would who has not seen the place in real life. What a beautiful city!

As I am a Napoleon enthusiast so I often go to Les Invalides. I also often go to Musee d’Orsay. And the Louvre. And …. and I can go on and on. There are not however any great expos in Paris this summer so I am beginning to experience withdrawal symptoms.

Thanks for the ‘tubes’. I prefer the Patrick Bruel version of it. He is quite a good actor too.

I am reading Cecil Roberts’ memoir of the first part of his life (Half Way published in 1936) in which he writes about WW1 and I am learning that WW1 was in no way the ‘gentleman’s war’ we are being told today that it was. Horrible crimes were committed then too by the enemy, just as in WW2, but probably because of the Holocaust and the Shoah of the latter we’ve forgotten what the first was like.

But to get back to Paris … The Tour was dull today and had it not been for Paris I would have switched off the TV. My favourite – Peter Sagan – could not bother this year. And I’ve told you about Froome. (I keep on calling him Vroom.)


Are you a Game of Thrones fan? Our Alex is. Can’t say I am. I never hear church bells here where I live yet there is a small catholic church close by.

Do you have a new grandchild yet?

7-21-2013 at 22:34:41


I think See_Bee is having coffee with the Pope.

7-21-2013 at 22:38:45

I wonder if I may dare going serial killing now? Should have a good hunt with all these bicycle guys in town.

Anyway, tomorrow is another day.

7-21-2013 at 23:11:57

@Marilyn, look for a bike with a white rear wheel, I jest, beautiful scènes of Paris tonight….

No fireworks, has France lost its touch ? No, just nearly bankrupt.

I promise tomorrow I will concentrate on the issue we are debating.

I thank Marilyn for putting up with us on this blog, it is personal to her, therefore it is very ‘human’, as can been seen by our sharing of expériences today – that is special in the world of ‘ether’.

Merci, Madame M !!!

7-21-2013 at 23:15:43


Thanks for that.

I don’t know enough about “long lenses” photography…and the refection that may cause.

But it has to be quite something for those reflections to be “in areas” suspected (by me !) to have been hit by shots.

Could that be a reason why you see them in some pictures and yet in other pictures ?

When the angle changes (due to the fly over) the “reflection” on the roof remains in the same place.

My point is…. there appears to be an attack on the front of the BMW.
And to the side (pax side). This “appears” to have come at a “distance”.

Due to the fact that it was “at a distance” I assume it was BEFORE the “point blank” shots where made (why fire more when everyone is dead ?).

Therefore I doubt this was a “professional” shooter.
Although he/she may have been a “hired” killer.
OR a “lone nut” (which has to be a possibility still).

And that brings me to another thing (if there was an attack on the front of the BMW at the “start” of the incident).

Actually I’ll come to that later.

But to give you another thing to consider.

Saad’s car was in reverse. It was still “in motion” although “halted” by the bank.

Therefore the clutch was not depressed (as in parking and stopping) and then “slipped” as the car would stall.
Saad clearly was reversing and doing so as an “action” (either rapidly or slowly, but to some degree “controlled”).

Therefore Saad would appear to be either “evading” or “parking” when the attack happened (the clutch being fully engaged) and in reverse gear.

I’ll come to more of that also !

I feel like the AAIB or the NTSB.
You don’t look at “everything” BUT you take “one” thing at a time.

Hey and Lars, I want to “throw” what I think in…and then get proved “wrong” as then I can “write it off”.

That’s perfect for me as that is the best way to work. I take it from your Research Station work, that is the way you do things.

It’s the “check” system.
Or the “CRM” (PIC/PNF, non rank system).
I am a big fan of that. As I was taught by my “senior”…..
“If I screw up, you screw up for not telling me I was screwing up”

7-22-2013 at 00:02:10


Granny came for the first time since her husband died
i never met her before .

7-22-2013 at 00:03:45


I don’t think I really can answer your question on the photos. I am no expert on photography. But I think that See-Bee’s “explanation” sounds technically reasonable (or at least worth to consider). Since reflections always depends on angle they should come and go as you change the angle, even if See_Bee’s friend supposed that the photographer used flashlights.

Saad was certainly not parking there since Zainab has said that she and her father were outside the car when attacked. There is also technical evidence of that on their clothes.

Brett-Martin’s statement that the wheels were still moving when he arrived is partly a mystery to me and something we have discussed earlier. I am certainly no expert on cars but I had expected that when the driver died he couldn’t press down the gas pedal and the engine will stop.

I am kind of disappointed that noone has done a practical experiment with that sort of car and see what happens. 🙂

There is no rigor mortis after a couple of minutes. The driver had certainly not had the time to put on the safety belt, so when he died I would expect the body to slump forward or possibly slide sidewards, anyhow the changes that he could somehow press down the gas pedal seem rather slim.

But then again I am no expert on cars.

7-22-2013 at 00:07:43

Le mans 24
Saad didnt go while i knew him
but he had an interest in formula 1 😉

7-22-2013 at 00:09:25

re Zaids grandkids
Zaid dotes on them
I think he was even trying to hire a Romanian nanny for them 😉

7-22-2013 at 00:21:40

The ribbon …

… is much further up the road than the bike.

I do not know what ‘margin’ normally is applied, but perhaps it indicates that ‘something’ important was located even beyond the bike … my guess would be ‘casings’ (of the first volley by X) which would be inline with the ‘Le Monde’ scenario

– M

7-22-2013 at 07:57:43


I seem to be the only person alive this morning – and I was the one who was out hunting last night.

re: ribbon

Max, they might just have left themselves a large margin to work on round Sylvain Mollier’s bicycle. I would say just the presence of the bike lying there was that ‘something’ important.

We’ve gone over this before yet I will do so again. What if the attack on the Al-Hillis was on-going when Sylvain Mollier reached the lay-by. He might well have heard the firing cycling along the road, but thought hunters were firing at deer (possible in a forest) so continued cycling, then when he saw what the shooting was, jumped off his bike, threw it down and ran, shouting and screaming to stop the ‘madman’ with the gun. He ran around arms waving in the air, bullets hitting him, until he fell down dead.

re:Romanian nanny

Fat Bastard, I wonder if the police looked into this. Nannies being interviewed for the job might have had a glimpse into the family’s situation and …

re: reversing BMW, stalling etc

Lars, the gendarmes would have done every possible manoeuvre with exactly that type of BMW in exactly that size lay-by in their investigation.

That’s all from me for the moment. It is going to be 34+ in Paris today and I am sure I am going to melt.

Have a nice commenting day.

7-22-2013 at 09:05:17


Yes, I hope the gendarmes have done all the necessary tests. The problem is that they will tell no one of their results. Therefore also independent tests are valueable.

It’s going to be very hot today here too, maybe not 34+, but still…

7-22-2013 at 09:11:17

@Max re:ribbon

As I said earlier, I think they should have sealed of a much larger area at the crime scene, all the way to the hairpin curve at least, since the killer probably came that way.

I wonder if they used dogs to find scents from the killer on Wednesday evening.

7-22-2013 at 11:20:34

@ James

The pictures of the BMW are not clear enough to allow us to be positive either way, but I agree that there are what looks like bullet entry holes on the BMW’s windscreen.

As to whether that would be consistent with the shooter being a “professional,” that depends upon how you define that term. To my mind, the mere fact that Saad almost managed to escape implies that the killer did not control the situation very well. The sheer number of shots fired, plus the fact that the killer came equipped with so much ammunition, suggests that he subscribes to the “give it plenty” principle.

I hate the term “professionalism” when applied to murder, but there are certain objective criteria by which one could rate a killer’s technical competence, I suppose. How well he controlled the situation would be a key criterion, also how much or little risk to himself he incurred, his apparent level of forensic awareness, shooting prowess, appropriate choice of weapon(s) and so forth.

Upon that basis, I should put the Chevaline killer somewhere in the middle of the scale. He apparently attempted to stage a surprise attack on multiple victims, firing from a distance rather than calmly walking up to them and only pulling his gun at the last moment. Moreover, he used a suboptimal weapon: a shotgun would have been a much more effective weapon for this situation (cf. the Rettendon murders). Conversely, his forensic awareness appears to have been quite high and his eventual escape either incredibly lucky or skilful.

In my opinion, therefore, he is neither SAS material nor an experienced organised-crime “hit man,” but a fairly decent shot with a high level of forensic awareness suggesting either a criminal or a police background.

7-22-2013 at 12:58:31


Spot on. That is the “profile” of the killer I have in mind.

The other thing about this attacker is his ammunition.
Or rather “the amount of it”.

Where would he carry it ? Would it be pre loaded in magazines ? Etc, etc.

The most logical thing I could come up with was that he carried one magazine in the pistol…and carried the pistol in an “under arm” shoulder holster.

The other two magazines he carried in the spare ammunition pouches on the opposite side of the shoulder holster to the pistol. (some have a pouch for one spare magazine, some have two pouches for two magazines).

Why is that relevant ?

Well would a “professional hitman” pick up an untraceable weapon….and then go to the trouble of buying a shoulder holster for it ?

That weapon seems to be “a possession” rather than “a tool”.

A person carrying a weapon in such a manner may have carried it for other reasons. A nutter wanting to “prove he is a man” ? Or for “self defence” in whatever business he/she was involved in ? Or for an “opportunist” robbery ?

But to carry it in that manner (if indeed it was) for a “targeted profession hit” I find the most least likely option.

7-22-2013 at 13:40:34

Why a shoulder holster ?

It could have been in his pocket, couldn’t it ? Or inside his jacket, along with the other loaded magazines, he may even have had more than he used.

7-22-2013 at 16:00:18


I agree. It could have been just that.

But then again, is the fact it was 3 magazines relevant ?
Is it 3 because they can be concealed in a shoulder holster and safely stowed ?

If it’s in his pocket, then why not more ? More would be better after all.
He’s managed to get hold of 2 additional magazines. Could he not get anymore.
It would seem he likes firing. And it would appear he ran out of ammunition.

Is 3 magazines relevant to how the weapon and ammunition was carried ?

He may have indeed had more …and the old pistol became “hot” and had a jam. But again that would be “bad planning” on the part of a “professional”.
Why carry that amount of ammunition if your weapon would likely “fail” if you’re required (or even plan) to fire that many bullets ?

And after all, if you “plan” to attack both Mollier and Al Hilli (who may have his family with him) you would possibly need more than 7 bullets.

You see I can’t help thinking, if the motorbike rider was the killer, then who was in the 4×4 BMW that the police didn’t release any information about until much later on ?

If the Motorbike rider was some type of courier (and carried a weapon for protection)….and the 4×4 was some how involved in that “transaction”, why was such level of violence dealt out to the Al Hilli family and Mr Mollier ?

Everytime something appears to “make sense”, the rest of the events don’t fit !
Closing on a year….and still little is actually known, let alone understood.

7-22-2013 at 17:06:50

@ Lars 7-22-2013 at 00:03:45 Re: Spinning Wheels

the answer is imho very simple: if you do not sit normal (meaning comfortable) in a car but rather (keeping the situation in mind) “thrown in” like SAH must have himself into the car (and he was already wounded) and you got hit by another bullet the chance that you get moved out of place and stiffen is pretty high. Maybe SAH was not dead immediately but moved in some sort of deadly spasm which locked his foot down on the pedals even when he relaxed after finally dying (i am so sorry to say and describe things like that. I apologize.)

– RR

7-22-2013 at 17:26:44


Not to worry, RiffRaff, we are discussing murder, so we ought not go weak in the knees when the nitty gritty of killing is mentioned.

As I’ve said before dying is not like it is in the movies.


Almost a year, yes. Though I believe that the investigators, both the French and the English, know much more than they have so far told us. Should they read this blog, which I think they are far too busy to do, they must often smile at our comments, at how wrong we are. But just occasionally they must admit that we have got very hot but alas then we wandered off in an incorrect direction again.

We had wondered about Sylvain Mollier’s bicycle, then we see a photo and there was the bike. They must have wondered when we will discover the bike.


Your analysis of Killer X is excellent. And you are not even a psychic like Zac Martin.

I can not however say that I agree with you. As you all should know by now I think that the killer was a hired gun and he did it for the money. He is ex Warsaw-Pact Army. He has no money. Killing is his business, or rather it used to be his business, so why not sell his gun to those whose money is the right colour?

Once such hired guns were called mercenaries. I’ve met a few. They were quite ordinary. Such a man had a wife and small children and a mortgage which had to be repaid. What they were doing they did not call killing. They were freedom fighters. And as you know one man’s killer is another man’s freedom fighter.

7-22-2013 at 18:05:59

@RiffRaff RE: “deadly spasm which locked his foot down”

I have never heard of such a thing. I have seen dead people, and that something could have locked their extremities seem not to fit these experiences. Quite the contrary.

However I am no expert in medicine. I have not had the time to check this up yet, but do you have any medical sources for these kind of effects?

7-22-2013 at 18:11:43

There are some (general) things I do not get based on :

1. The supposed position of SM’s bike versus SM’s body (which later was ‘dragged’ by AH’s BMW)

2. Why does Zainab fail to mention SM? (to my knowledge … could be that she told EM)

3. AH’s run for the BMW in relation to the supposed position of X

Now with 2. … Zainab stated that there was NOBODY at Martinet when they arrived. (sure, X could have been hiding somewhere). No problem … SM would arrive later. But with 1. it seems that SM got off his bike … and only then X came forward and started firing, hence EM saying that it is IMPOSSIBLE to say who was fired upon first. But EM saying that ‘the order of target is not known’ implicitly means that he probably thinks both AH and SM were present. Sure … no problem … but then 2. Why didn’t Zainab mention SM???

And there is 3. AH making a run for the BMW … now with X located near the bike, it seems like AH was practically running in front of him to the driver seat … wouldn’t that be suicide already (or did AH make the run while X was reloading with problems?? … remember the gun fragments)

… Pfff, questions, question, … but no answers;)

– M

7-22-2013 at 18:19:57

This is interesting, gives a perspective to the route and those around it:

7-22-2013 at 18:55:45

The bike:

Brett Martin said he saw it as he approached the area, Maillaud said it was as if it had been thrown, Le Monde places it where the photo appears to show it, it isn’t propped up against something, it is one the floor.

So, tying up all of the above, I would say that Mollier may even have still been on the bike, or getting off it when he was shot. In other words, he didn’t place it on the ground, he of course could have dropped it when trying to escape.

If there had been a meeting between AH and SM, then he would have propped the bike against something, he would never have just left it on the ground, least of all with the chain side to the floor.

It was written that the fragments of the gun were found near the bike, could the killer have picked up the bike with gun still in hand and thrown it, dropping the gun at the same time ?

Then on the Channel 4 programme, it said the fragments were found in Zainabs injuries, maybe there was, afterall ‘fragments’, could mean more than one. It seems that the butt/grip of the gun (cross) had marked her.

It is possible that if Zainab was injured by a bullet early on, then she may not have been aware of the cyclist ?

7-22-2013 at 19:09:23


Even though I still believe that that drawing of the crime scene is principally correct, there are still many small errors in it. First of all the perspective is wrong, Le Martinet does not look like that. The car was definitely not parked in that way and so on…

That E-Maillaud says that it is not possible to say who was shot first, is I believe one of his many unprofessional statements. Of course you can’t say that and be 99,9% sure, but still from the crime scene and knowing fairly well from where the shots were fired the police are usually quite good at determining the order of events.

We don’t know if Z. has mentioned Mollier, E-Maillaud seldom does. It could be that she didn’t have the time do really see him as everything probably went so fast.

7-22-2013 at 19:10:00

@ Lars 7-22-2013 at 18:05:59
“@RiffRaff RE: “deadly spasm which locked his foot down”
I have never heard of such a thing. I have seen dead people, and that something could have locked their extremities seem not to fit these experiences.”

It does not require much pressure to partially depress the gas pedal. A brick or gym bag is enough, if one needs to run an engine at high idle for testing or fast warm-up. The dead weight of a dead leg would do it.

The pics of the passenger side show what looks like the rear bumper crumpled under, which means the BMW hit the embankment at speed and lifted that side of the car (and may have popped open the rear gate). If the pics of the photogs taking pics of tracks are in fact the tracks where the BMW was against the bank, it does not show the wheel was heavily dug in as it would if the weight of the car was fully upon it. More like the wheel spun throwing up some dirt until the car’s weight was taken by the rear resting on the bank.

The tracks made by the BMW as it was winched onto the loader indicate the ground was very soft but not muddy, unless the brakes were locked — seems unlikely.

What are the marks left in or on the ground after the BMW is pulled away? There’s a rectangular outline of the car with a longer mark across where the front end was positioned.

Someone mentioned the last body was removed later and could it have been SAH? There’s one pic taken from near overhead, slightly to the passenger side, where one forensic tech in bunny suit is at the driver’s door, while another tech stands behind, to the rear of the car, with arms extended as if to receive something.

7-22-2013 at 19:12:29


Yes, I sort of believe that Z. was hit in the shoulder as she was running towards the car, and possibly fell to the ground.

7-22-2013 at 19:20:33

@NR “The dead weight of a dead leg would do it”

Have you ever felt the limbs of a dead person?

It is not something you can normally put some pressure with if the person is sitting.

Yes, if you lay a dead person on a flat surface it might produce, through it’s sheer weight, enough pressure on something. But my experience tells me that an arm or a leg will hardly put a pressure on anything.

That is one reason why it is quite unpleasant to look at a person that has recently died.

7-22-2013 at 20:08:52

I don’t really have a issue with the fact that Zainab was outside the “locked” BMW.

The reason is that there are sensors under the front and rear “bumpers”. I Expect also at the sides. In the event of a collision, with the doors locked, the locks will release.

In the late 90’s it became a slight problem for BMW owners (I was one).
There was a “spate” of thefts which involved the thieves “banging on” or even “colliding with” (at low speed) the rear of parked and locked BMW’s (particularly the M3 Evo’s).

If there was an impact on that rear bank, then a locked door would no doubt become “unlocked”.

If (and that is a big if) Saad’s BMW had “auto locks” on, then I imagine the car could in fact “re lock” as it was still “technically” in motion.
However I don’t know if it works like that. I’ll need to dig around a “Bimmer” forum and see.

If that is the case (and the Arnand pictures are “true” and timed correctly) I haven’t got an issue with the suggestion that the family had just arrived in the carpark…when the attack took place.

I also haven’t an issue with the suggestion that the 4×4 BMW was NOT in the carpark at all when Saad arrived….but that it was shortly behind him.

To “jump” one step even further…it is not beyond reason to consider that the “gun man” was awaiting the arrival of THAT BMW.

The reason for that suggestion is two fold.
1. It was not mentioned in Mr Martin’s interview. No doubt “by request”.
2. Information with regard that vehicle was only released some months later.

Did Saad “know” the people/person in that 4×4 ? I haven’t a clue.
That may be a matter which the police are debating.

7-22-2013 at 20:18:53

Hi there, hello Marilyn…

I’ve been following the blog intermittently for a few months or so, and I’m often struck by just how forensic a lot of the contributions are. The range of information is frankly quite staggering. In contrast to that, I wondered if I might bring forward a couple of entry level questions…(with apologies in advance if these have already been covered).

Firstly, I wonder what people make of the BMW reversing at all? In my view the overhead photographs would seem to suggest that it’s simply moved backwards – a few feet? in a straight line? Not being a car driver, I’m a little disadvantaged in my theorising, but I would be keen to hear other people’s thoughts on this area…

….and secondly, and this might be a query for Peter, the resident gunsmith…
Peter, if we accept the arithmetic around the 25 shell magazines of 8 plus one extra round in the chamber?…would it be quite normal practice to transport the gun with that extra round already in place? That would of course make for an initial firepower of 9 shots before reloading became necessary…


7-22-2013 at 20:19:18

I could tell a little story to explain what I mean.

One of my colleagues died from a heart attack in his office. He was sitting at his desk working at his computer.

He died instantly. The result was that his body couldn’t keep itself upright in the chair, so he fell to the floor.

I have since then been a bit sceptical about these crime stories on TV where they find the victim slumped over his desk trying to write a last message. Of course it is a question of how the center of gravity falls after the death, but I guess that the normal thing is that the victim sooner or later falls to ground, if there is any chance at all of falling or sliding.

What was my colleague doing when he died? He was interviewing a man that we were going to employ! Strange way to start a new job, but he got it anyhow. We were obviously short of people.

7-22-2013 at 20:34:10

@rif raf
imagine your mum in a deadly spasm
with bullets in her head
and post here what it feels like !

7-22-2013 at 20:41:49

Yes, Lars, my Mum fell forward and ‘slumped’.

Just a point here, Saad wasn’t a tall man – he would have had his seat close to the steering Wheel, his legs bent to capture the pedals – this would make a difference. He was effectively trapped.

@FB, whilst the car looks in good order from the outside, did it still have all its ‘features’ working ?

7-22-2013 at 20:50:31

@FB, please don’t be upset, as Marilyn said we are talking about a mass murder, which can’t be discussed without some unsavoury questions and answers.

You’re a much bigger fellow, so no doubt had to have your seat pushed back to the limit and also a change of position to the seat back, when you travelled in the car.

7-22-2013 at 21:38:40

RE car
Saad was fastidious about his cars
he would order exactly the right part to fix everything before it went wrong
i remember him ordering a brake pad warning light sender
so the light would go out on the dash even though he new he had just changed the discs that week .

I have just been looking at a load more photos ….on a back up drive i thought i had lost 🙂
Ikbal with a elephant brick sorter at a 3rd birthday party 🙂

7-22-2013 at 21:43:45

We have a first-time commentator – PARTLUCID. Please if one of you can answer his questions about the BMW having reversed and the shooter having apparently carried quite a load of ammo. Thanks.

PARTLUCID, are you an autopsy surgeon? You do not have to reply if you do not want to. It is just that you mentioned having been impressed with our forensic info.

This made me say that what we do need here is an autopsy surgeon?

@Fat Bastard.

Sorry, FB, but murder is never pretty, and we are going to continue to discuss all aspects of murder here.

RiffRaff did not intend to upset anyone, as I had told him after his apology.

Maybe I’ve become a hardened old cow because of the murders I’ve written about, but we’ve treated Saad Al-Hilli, his wife and her mother always with respect. And we’ve always tried not to write anything here that was disrespectful of those who were killed there on that lay-by, and this includes Sylvain Mollier.

re: falling forward.

One also falls forward when fainting. For this reason it is unwise to lean over a balcony because one can faint and will fall forward and over the edge.

7-22-2013 at 21:58:08

I need to go serial killing now.

Will say: have a nice commenting night.

7-22-2013 at 23:03:03

@ PARTLUCID, 7-22-2013 at 20:18:53

Hello and welcome!

Regarding your question about loading 9 rounds into a P06
…would it be quite normal practice to transport the gun with that extra round already in place?
I cannot claim to be a genuine expert, but I should think that this would be quite an unusual and unsafe practice. In order to do so, one would need to feed a full magazine into the P06, pull back the top slide, eject the magazine, put another round in it, then stick it back into the gun.

As to why I believe that this would be an unsafe practice: 1. Gun safety mechanisms 100 years ago were not what they are now. I suspect that if you accidentally dropped a “cocked and locked” P06 onto the ground, an unpleasantness might ensue. 2. Both the hammer and the famous “knee-joint” firing mechanism of the P06 would be sticking out in that constellation, making the gun more likely to snag on your holster or clothing during the draw. 3. Magazine springs are the Achilles Heels of self-loading pistols. Unlike revolvers, which are going to work fine every time even after having been left to gather dust in bedside drawers for twenty years or more, a pistol’s magazine springs need regular rest and relaxation. (The whole reason why the P06 as a military pistol was originally issued with two magazines was to enable users – in the field, during combat; it was never meant to be kept loaded at home – to alternate magazines.) Keeping a magazine charged to the maximum drastically lowers the life expectancy of the magazine springs.

Based upon the latter, one might conclude that the Chevaline killer either didn’t know or care that much about this valuable antique in his hands, or that he set out to kill a large number of people on that day, and that, to his mind, every round counted.

7-22-2013 at 23:42:16

TCK: The skid marks

(Partlucid was asking, so it is a good time to post another deadzone set. Happy analysing;)

– M

7-22-2013 at 23:50:14

@ Lars : There is no ref I can easily find that gives the weight of a lower leg. Forensics lists the weight of bits and pieces, like the spleen, but the weight of a whole leg is estimated at 10-15% of total body weight.

The ones that know about this are animation and game design, to make characters move realistically, but the actual weights of limbs are buried inside the software and calculated from total body weight and type.

That led to an academic discussion of the Male Gaze in gaming. That’s built in the software too, so that macho males gaze appropriately at female breasts etc., and don’t go straying off to other males’ abs, pecs, or worse. (The exception was a Japanese action game with buff muscle bods in speedos, plus a polar bear. It was OK because it was obviously a spoof.)

@ Fat Bastard : A ungory and totally trivial question. In the pic of Saad’s caravan from a previous year, there does not appear to be a tow hitch on the front of the caravan, the front weight supported by stands, and when it’s at the Solitaire campground it seems the front weight is supported on a little barrel, though can’t see the front end. What arrangement did he have for hitching it to the BMW? Were the towing mirrors a home-made thing, held on the regulars side mirrors with bands of some type? I like how he lashed the two-wheeled carrier to the front of the caravan.

7-22-2013 at 23:53:32

I don’t want to push this any futher (and I find RiffRaff’s comment appropriate, even though I understand that it is an unpleasant subject, I just wondered if it was correct), I was just surprised that the BBC journalist didn’t wink an eye when Brett-Martin said that the wheels were spinning, and the engine making a lot of noice, but the driver was dead!

I though still think that the mechanism in the gas pedal, trying to get it back to “initial” position, is too strong and will make the foot slip away from it when the muscles are no longer functioning. At least that this would be the “normal” thing to happen and any deviations from that should be questioned.

As I said earlier, one thing that could explain Brett-Martin’s version is that he arrived seconds after the crime was perpetrated, not minutes.
Or perhaps he saw it happen.

7-22-2013 at 23:59:19


One last comment on this: as I tried to explain above, this has nothing with weight to do, but with the center of gravity, and that is not in your foot, when you are sitting down.

7-23-2013 at 00:08:36

Perhaps the gas pedal was stuck (by a mat) … It can happen, you have to be careful with those mats;) and it perhaps can explain why AH got stuck in the first place (and why the wheels were spinning (backwards?) after AH was shot dead)!

7-23-2013 at 01:33:14

@Lars and @Max

“That E-Maillaud says that it is not possible to say who was shot first, is I believe one of his many unprofessional statements.”

I have interpreted EM’s statement differently and have been very careful in reading his statement. It came forward after the leaked information last November that SM was targeted and shot first. Was it Le Monde which came with the exclusive story? EM stated it was not possible to determine the sequence of death of all four victims. Did killer X fire 4-5 shots at SM, 6th bullet at SAH, 7th bullet struck Zainab in shoulder (were there any misses?). Killer X needed to stop the driver SAH as he put the car in hard reverse, spend 8th and 9th bullets to execute SAH. Had to reload a new clip, a matter of a few seconds … Therefore EM stated the sequence of “final” fatal shots could not be determined.

I don’t recall EM refuted the leaked ballistics and forensics evidence that SM was shot first and both SAH and Zainab were outside the car because of blood spetters and/or evidence of SM’s blood found on clothing and/or shoe soles.

7-23-2013 at 07:43:31

@ Lars @ Max
A final word from me too on the gas pedal. I understand the weight of the body is not pressing on the foot. I meant the weight of the lower leg alone might be enough to keep the pedal depressed, as an alternate to a death spasm or rigor mortis. Though apparently, under conditions of high stress and adrenaline, rigor can set in rapidly, accounting for someone who dies grasping an object in a death grip. Anyway, Max’s theory of the floor mat is better.

More trivia. In the previous year’s camping pic, are what was assumed to be a towing mirror fastened to the side mirror just be a piece of cardboard held on with a rubber band, to prevent birds messing with the mirror. At a campground I saw some cars with bags over the side mirrors and that was the explanation.

In hints on how to deal with motion sickness one suggestion was to stop frequently and let the affected person out for air and a walk. Zainab might have wanted out after the ride up to Martinet. Alex’s vid shows the motion sickness inducing road.

7-23-2013 at 07:52:34


Peter,thank you for the ammo info you gave PARTLUCID. I am thanking you on his behalf until he will do so himself.

Oui and All, if shots are fired in rapid succession – one after the other – then it would not be possible to tell which bullet hit first. What an autopsy surgeon is able to tell is which shot into a body was the fatal one. The same when the weapon was stabbing.

Max, good point you made about the car mat. When I drove I always took my high-heels off because a stiletto always got stuck in the mat.

And thank you Max for the new enhanced pic.

Lars, in this heat my center of gravity is all over the place. Even the center of gravity of my PC is all over the place.

Therefore, for reasons of center of gravity, I will log off for the moment.

Have a good commenting day.

Until later.

7-23-2013 at 08:26:51


On the other hand …

Forensics proved SAH was outside the car when shots were fired at SM, SAH wasn’t killed outside the car, the two women on the rear seat were most likely not the first to be targeted, Zainab was outside the car. EM can’t deny the result of the leaked forensics and ballistics tests. By simple deduction SM was targeted and hit by bullets first, there is no doubt.

From these first findings, a pattern killer X followed can be established. No one can determine in which sequence the four victims actually died. The fact that the shooting took place in a time frame of about 30 seconds and the arrival of British cyclist SM within minutes, knowing the sequence of death is irrelevant.

One exception is French cyclist SM. From the reports he was hit by the most bullets, dragged a few yards by SAH’s reverse action with BMW and left wounded near car. The execution of Saad, Iqbal and Suhaila were likely sequential in the second burst of shootings. All shots to the head were likely fatal. Leaves the unknown whether killer X returned to SM, searched his pockets, state of his wounds and consciousness and finally to execute SM with shots to the head. Forensics/ballistics showed this by the different angle shots were fired.

7-23-2013 at 09:09:19


You are right. I had phrased my comment incorrectly, which I have now corrected. I meant which bullet had hit the victim first – in other words – if several bullets are fired into someone in rapid succession it is not possible for an autopsy surgeon to tell which bullet had hit that person first. An autopsy surgeon can however tell which bullet had been fatal.

As for Sylvain Mollier having been shot first. We’ve been told so many versions of what had happened there, that we can not really be sure of anything anymore.

7-23-2013 at 09:09:55


I agree with what you write in your second comment (08:26:51). That was what I meant when I said that E-Maillaud’s statement was unprofessional. What he said was irrelevant, as you quite correctly point out. Nobody can know exactly when they died (minutes and seconds). Think about what Peter said earlier about surviving head shots.

That is also totally irrelevant, what the police normally investigate is the sequence of events, e.g. started the killer shooting at Mollier before he started shooting at the car and so on. That is also often possible to say within a reasonable amount of certainty.

So E-Maillaud answers a relevant question with a totally irrelevant answer which is also trivial. I find that unprofessional.

7-23-2013 at 09:19:07


I have almost the same feeling of floating around. 🙂
So I will spend my day at a lake trying to cool down.

7-23-2013 at 09:35:25

@ Lars Re: source for cadaveric spasm

I have heard about that from friends working as medics but here is a source that explains what I mean


7-23-2013 at 09:45:27

@ FB Re: my mum

I am sorry that I did upset you, but in fact I have seen my mother with spasms before she was dying (although without the bullets). My mother died 9 years ago quite young (57) after suffering from a brain tumor called glioblastoma which leads to sure death in between 6 to 36 months. My mother made almost the 36 but had massive spasms especially in the later time. When she had these I was terrified about the power muscles in full force can have and the complete loss of control over body functions. She died in a hospital during one of these spasms because he lung collapsed and could the medics did not manage to bring her back to life. The relaxation after death took not long, just about 10 minutes. I can tell you, this was not one of the best days in my life. In fact it was one of the worst.


7-23-2013 at 10:19:46


last year they were towing mirrors .FACT

7-23-2013 at 10:33:12

Riff Raff

I was out of order .
this site is to discuss the killing
if I don’t want to read I don’t have to
Saad was very supportive when my mum died 🙂

7-23-2013 at 11:16:52

Only half serious here but … the ‘other’ FW tyre marks (blue circles) could support … the ‘cuddly toy’ scenario;)

Q: What is the ‘cuddly toy’ scenario again?

A: Scenario to explain away the searched for RHD BMW X5, as it is AH’s BMW (doing Martinet twice, in line with the 1440 masons, 1515 pictures)


First time, 1440 masons, 1445 AH parks at upper side of Martinet (near sign) nose front. The
front wheel make a mark (blue circles)

After some time 1500 the AH’s leave normally (no skid marks), but Zeena or Zainab leave something behind (cuddly toy, or even the cap as seen behind the windscreen) via Route du Moulin

At 1510-1515 pictures are taken.

Zainab/Zeena tell they forgot something at Martinet (cuddly toy, cap?)

Now AH goes back the fast/direct route via route du Moulin, making the 2nd imprint + the tyre marks at escaping backwards U-turn


AH would park the same way (is normal)
Tyre marks are fresh, as in, made at around the same time
Supports double visit


Cuddly toy;) (Zainab should know)

– M

7-23-2013 at 11:38:10

I asked my Dad about turning circles for a long wheel base, (highly qualified engineer in energy and a motor mechanic!):

“I would say that the longer the wheelbase the greater the turning circle. If the front wheels are turned to one side & the vehicle reversed then the car front will pivot in a circle around the rear. If the front wheels could be turned to 90deg then the rear wheels will just pivot around themselves & the vehicle front would just go round in a circle with the rear wheels as the axis but as this is not possible the rear wheels will also go round in a circle depending on the angle the front wheels have been turned.

This means that the longer the wheelbase the greater the distance from the rear wheel turning axis & therefore the greater the turning circle.”

7-23-2013 at 11:58:34

Oui 7-23-2013 at 08:26:51

I recall reading that the head shots to Sylvain Mollier were at a different angle to the body shots, conclusion I made is that he was already on the floor when they were fired.

If I calculate the number of bullets that can be accounted for:

outside the car 7 SM, 1 Zainab, 1 Saad = 9


Inside the car 2 + 2 + 2 = 6

that gives 15


look at the latter by the damage to the car:

on the passenger side: 2 front window, 2 in the window struts at least 1 to the rear window, maybe 2

drivers side: 2 front window, 1 in the strut, at least 1 to the rear window maybe 2

so makes 9 or 11.

so altogether: 18 or 20

But, a big one at that is that bullets were found past the car on the road to Chevaline.

There appears to be scuffing on the windscreen, for me I can’t see that it was holed, sorry chaps.

The 21 bullets was quoted in the Channel 4 programme, did Maillaud say 25, or did he say over/no less than 20 ?

I suspect the 25 is the correct number so that makes between 7 and 5 not ‘on target’.

7-23-2013 at 11:59:54


Thank you for asking your Dad about turning circles etc. I am sure everyone here would find it most helpful. As for me, Lynda, you know me, I am not mechanically minded.

7-23-2013 at 12:01:34

@Fat Bastard

re: out of order

No, FB, you were not. We understand how you must feel.

7-23-2013 at 12:04:24


So sorry to hear about your mother’s illness and passing. Yes, I quite understand that it was one of the worst days of your life standing at her deathbed. RR, she’s in a better place now. That is what I believe. Where that place is I have not yet decided.

7-23-2013 at 12:45:06

I’ll add to that Marilyn, my mother died suddenly of a brain hemorrhage, she fell forward, as if in a faint and then slumped, it was all over within 15 minutes, although they put her on life support – I had to decide whether to turn it off.

I have a father and a brother who were absolute wrecks and couldn’t or wouldn’t make the decsion, that was 14 years ago, she was 62…….

And I’m sure that like you, or anyone who has lost someone close to them, they pop into our thoughts every day.

“Absent friends”

7-23-2013 at 15:42:11


Thank you for the link.

I think it adds to the value of this blog that so many of the regular commentators have reached an age when we naturally through the years have accumulated a lot of experiences. Some we could certainly do without, some are fond memories. But that’s life.

7-23-2013 at 15:47:06


Have I asked you what happens with the dossiers for a closed case in France? Are they made public or is everything as secret as ever?

Have I already asked you, I apologize, and blame the heat that I have forgotten.

7-23-2013 at 16:59:19

@ Partlucid, all
Actually, I have made a logic mistake in my answer. To load a round into the chamber of the P06, the topslide needs to be moved forwards. Thus, the procedure to load a full magazine + 1 round would be: insert magazine, move topslide forwards, put the safety on, eject magazine, put another round in the mag (there is a special loading tool for that), reinsert mag.

@ Lars
I don’t mean to pry, but could it be that you are driving an old, carburettor-era car? The reason I am asking is that I am a vintage car enthusiast myself, and the accelerator pedals on those cars really do require firm pressure to depress them (because they directly actuate the carburettor slides, working against the springs inside the carburettor(s) as well as that of a Bowden cable). Modern BMWs are drive-by-wire, though, and the resistance provided by the accelerator pedal is more or less symbolic. You actually need to tense your ankle muscles a little to prevent the weight of your foot from flooring the pedal. If you slacken the muscles in your ankle and calf completely, you floor the accelerator pedal.

7-23-2013 at 17:04:38


I guess it depends on how big feet you have. 😉

7-23-2013 at 17:24:42


re: closure of case

I have a recollection that we had discussed it at some time … but the heat is getting to my head too … so do not worry.

Police files are never ‘open’ in France.

To have access to the dossier of an ongoing case one must apply in writing to the ministry of justice. This goes for the dossiers of a closed case too.

Such permission is hardly ever granted and certainly never to someone who is just curious. To be successful one must be a ‘name’ – be a famous journalist, TV producer, film maker, or be a known writer. Or have connexions.

There are also dossiers which are closed for perpetuity+: those which deal with the investigations and trials of French who had collaborated with the Germans in WW2. For example if you want to find out what exactly Coco Chanel had done during the war, you would have to be someone with clout to be able to access that file. Same goes for a file like that of the Nazi Barbie.


I am also now going to explain the silence around this case.

It is because of France’s ‘secret de l’instruction’ law – confidentiality of criminal investigations.

Under Article 226-13 and Art 226-14 of the French Penal code no one may reveal any details of an ongoing investigation. To violate it can result in a €15,000 fine and one year imprisonment.

Therefore only one person can reveal information about this case: Prosecutor Maillaud.

7-23-2013 at 17:29:57


re: carburettor-era car

Peter, do cars no longer have a carburettor? In my African childhood I often saw cars standing alongside the dusty road, the bonnet up and smoke coming from the engine which my dad said was because the driver had not put water in the carburettor.

7-23-2013 at 17:31:37


re: those who have gone

Lynda, a world where no one departs is what dreams are made of. Alas!

7-23-2013 at 17:53:19

@ Marilyn

Erm, your dad was referring to the radiator, a liquid-filled thingie for cooling the engine, usually installed behind the front grille, such that the airflow helps dissipate the engine heat. A carburettor (nowadays almost completely superseded by fuel-injection systems) is the device that turns petrol into a fine mist, mixed with air. That oxygen-enriched petrol mist is then compressed inside the engine, the spark plug supplies the spark, and the mixture goes boom, the explosion ultimately powering the car. In liquid form, petrol does not explode, it just burns. In order to become an explosive, it needs to be vaporized, mixed with oxygen-rich air and finally compressed.

@ Lars
My feet are just like the rest of me: small but perfectly-formed 😉
Nevertheless, the weight of my right right foot suffices to floor the accelerator of a modern BMW, because those pedals offer almost no resistance. Do try this for yourself.

7-23-2013 at 18:16:48

@Peter, I agree about the pedals, not just the BMW, I have two Peugeots, 6 years difference in age, the older is tough on the clutch and the Accelerator, the more modern, too easy !!

We’ve had Mercedes and BMW’s, truthfully I can’t remember what the peddles were like, I do remember an old mini, where the Accelerator cable was too tight, it would move without even touching the pedals.

So, it’s all about ……. timing.

Maillaud said that the car had hard reversed, hitting the bank, I am pretty sure that the car was still in reverse gear when they eventually opened the doors, if not Brett Martins account falls flat.

Maillaud was not there when the doors were opened and the child found, he returned to the scene at 12:30 am.

7-23-2013 at 19:23:47


re: carburettor vs radiator

It’s all Greek to me Peter, so do you see why I take a bus or the metro?

Diesel explodes does it? So when there is an accident and the car explodes it ran on diesel?

7-23-2013 at 19:57:18

@ Marilyn

I am on first-name terms with both Weber carburettors (for cars) and Dell’Orto ones (for bikes). Actually, I much prefer them to all that new-fangled shite like fuel-injection systems, because I can set them up whichever way I want them to, with only my trusty Swiss pocket knife as a tool.

Regarding your question, diesel fuel is even less liable to explode than conventional petrol. Anyway, for a car to explode following an accident, you need the classic mix of petrol fumes plus air, as in a nearly-empty fuel tank (inert fuel at the bottom, vaporized petrol plus air occupying the remainder of the tank), plus a spark. Modern cars are designed not to explode in a fireball during accidents, and most of them do fulfil that goal quite well. Modern cars mostly explode after they have been deliberately set on fire, with the arsonists betting upon the chance that, sooner or later, the fire is going to reach the “empty” parts of the fuel tank.

7-23-2013 at 20:06:09

Thanks to Marilyn and Peter for such nice welcomes, and no, I’m sorry to disappoint, I have no skills to offer in the field of autopsies Marilyn. Indeed I expect to offer little to the blog, other than a curious mind…

Peter, I was just trying to get some sense of how the total number of 25 shots and casings could be arrived at, and what that might ‘mean’ in the context of the crime. So I suppose in the first instance I should ask if you also subscribe to the elegance of the 3X8 +1 equation. I’d wondered, for example, if that one extra round would be best inserted, as the killer was perhaps lying in wait for a target – as opposed to transporting the gun with the full load of nine bullets. I know nothing of weaponry or shooting, but to me the crime displays a strange mix of shrewd planning and preparation…but then also an alarming recklessness and risk-taking. And in the end the killer was only just able to pull it off and arguably only because the BMW hit that back bank. I certainly doubt if he thought when he set off that morning/ afternoon – with a pistol loaded with 25 rounds – that he would find himself having to try and club a child to death…

Thanks also to Lynda and Max for the vehicle turning stuff. I just wondered if people are happy with the car lined up virtually perpendicular to the front edge of the road/ car park after some sort of speedy reversing manoeuvre…it’s interesting that the killer seemingly didn’t shoot AT the car itself, during that, for him, very threatening move, I think.

7-23-2013 at 20:12:48

I saw that James was high on at least one betting office as name for the new member of the royal family in the UK.

I wonder if it makes certain commentators here proud or nauseated. 🙂

7-23-2013 at 20:35:34


Thanks for info, repeated or not. 🙂
I kind of feared that.

7-23-2013 at 20:36:39


I’m all for “meritocracy” (if a “true” one exists).
Even then, that also depends on “opportunity”….which depends on many things which may not be “controllable”.

Either way, I’m not much into “inherited birthrights” I’m afraid.

7-23-2013 at 20:42:34

He’s a future Prince of Wales, Geraint, Brynmor, Dafydd, I hope not George or Henry, James is fine, although that’s the name of Kates brother !

King Arthur – well now wouldn’t that be something, do you know the one thought that struck me, the press talk of a future king, in principal his great-grandmother, grandfather or father would see that event, sad really.

How about Richard, then again that plays right into the media hands when he makes a ‘dick’ of himself.

I’m not all goggly eyed about this, the two of them came onto the steps of the Lindo Wing, William was in shirt sleeves rolled up, that I like, nowhere near the awkwardness of his own first presentation to the world.

I found this comment made back in September and saved it, no idea if it is correct:

“The weapon was a 7.65mm Luger. (This is a different cartridge from the former standard French Army pistol, which is different again from Jame’s Bond’s 7.65mm Walther PPK.)

It was not a “P08” Luger as has been reported, because that was the standard 9mm pistol of the German army. The 7.65mm models were made earlier, the P04 model for the German navy and the “Swiss Government Model” which I think was the first really large batch of Luger pistols ever made.

I would question how easy it would be to tell, without finding the gun itself, whether it was actually the Swiss or German navy model. They are the same basic design, made in the same factory, on the same tools, by the same people.

Luger pistols could be fitted with extended capacity “snail” magazines, (holding up to 36 rounds) and mostly made by a third party company: Schmeisser. Given that 25 accurate shots were fired in about thirty seconds, according to ear-witnesses, I’d expect that one of these was used. 25 rounds represents, not a full snail magazine, but a single box of commercial ammunition. (Swiss government ammunition was issued in boxes of 24: enough for three factory-standard 8-round Luger clips.)

If the weapon was absolutely standard Swiss government issue, there would have been two pauses in the shooting, for reloads. Nobody is reporting the ear-witnesses as saying that. Indeed, most speculation, before the correct cartridge type was known, suggested a scorpion machine pistol to account for thirty seconds of continuous fire and twenty-five shots. Although, this would be the first time clinically accurate fire had been associated with such a weapon!

The Luger 7.65mm round uses the same case design, but a different powder charge, as several other 0.30″ or 7.65mm aka 7.63mm pistol rounds designed at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th.

But you’d know if it was fired from a generic Luger pistol by the extractor markings: I’d be amazed if you could tell the precise model, though, because I don’t think that extractor ever really changed. It’s more powerful than the French Army 7.65mm round and much more powerful than the 7.65 Browning round used in the smaller version of the Walther PPK.

In this case, I think the extended magazine is going to prove more distinctive, and is probably more worth the bother of trying to trace it, than the gun. It’s the sort of accessory that collectors go for and dealers remember.

The pistol might have been a locally-pilfered Swiss government weapon, but not the magazine.”

7-23-2013 at 21:09:27


I am a republican. I would have been one of the old ladies knitting at the foot of the guillotine when Marie Antoinette’s head was being chopped off.

I will add this: a certain air hostess and gum chewer is certainly flying high.


You come over as quite a knowledgeable guy. I am sure you would be an asset to this blog and our discussions.


I say ditto with regard to inherited birthrights.

7-23-2013 at 21:14:49


Even if agree with James above I find Arthur fine or why not Dafydd, sounds nice I think, like some duck :), sorry all Dafydds, I have never heard that name before but it is obviously the name of some earlier prince in the 1300th century.

7-23-2013 at 21:18:03

Should be 13th century I guess. 😉

7-23-2013 at 21:20:32

@ partlucid, 7-23-2013 at 20:06:09

I’d wondered, for example, if that one extra round would be best inserted, as the killer was perhaps lying in wait for a target – as opposed to transporting the gun with the full load of nine bullets.

Almost certainly not. Not only is inserting bullets into the magazine a very fiddly process (as I have said, the gun came with a special loading tool for that purpose), but the gendarmerie also – reportedly – found neither finger prints nor DNA traces upon the spent casings. To me, that suggests a forensically-aware killer tooling up at home, knowing or expecting that he might / would need all that firepower later on.

I know nothing of weaponry or shooting, but to me the crime displays a strange mix of shrewd planning and preparation…but then also an alarming recklessness and risk-taking. And in the end the killer was only just able to pull it off and arguably only because the BMW hit that back bank. I certainly doubt if he thought when he set off that morning/ afternoon – with a pistol loaded with 25 rounds – that he would find himself having to try and club a child to death…

That is my own conundrum in a nutshell. On the one hand, I don’t see how this crime (as an assassination of certain specific persons) could have been premeditated, because those persons, we are told, found themselves in that particular spot at that particular time quite by chance. Upon the other hand, the killer, judging from his state of preparedness, set out that morning to do something very similar to what he ended up doing.

By now, I must have embraced just about every conveivable theory regarding the Chevaline murders at some point, without ever feeling 100% convinced, to be honest. Thinking about my own life and the kind of conclusions that the police might jump to if I were to be found murdered one day, I believe that looking for obvious motives such as the tensions between Saad and Zaid is not a particularly fruitful avenue of inquiry. To my mind, it makes more sense to think about the *who* (what kind of person would commit this particular crime in this highly distinctive manner) than about the *why*.

7-23-2013 at 22:09:59

Imho the number of bullets is not THAT important (although there is an idea that Zainab was saved because of an out of ammo situ of X). Perhaps X had even more bullets (e.g. bringing 4 mags)

The thing about 25=3×8+1 (+ Zainab versus out-of-ammo) is ELEGANCE;)

And we could perhaps add the ‘3 mags = out of habit’ idea of some police guy.

Imho more important is the fact that X brought this amount of ammo (with an old Luger to boot)

Now, 25 bullets to only kill SM? That is a bit overdone

25 bullets to kill AH? Wouldn’t it be much more simple for X to walk up to AH and shoot him (driver) point blank and use ther rest of only 1 mag to headshot kill the women?

… but NO … X start FIREWORKS for some reason. Seeming spending ALL his ammo (yet sparing Zainab)

It doesn’t look like a ‘precise attack’ on one target. But, perhaps it was an attack, but ‘masked’ under fireworks … who knows.

Anyway … a ‘nutter’ would probably go for the fireworks. Then again, a ‘nutter’ driving a RHD BMW X5 … with a Luger???

Lol, I need another clue, because I’m running in circles here;)

– M

7-23-2013 at 22:49:20

re: closure of case.
For murders, a case is closed after 10 years, after the last act of investigation.

7-23-2013 at 23:03:26

@ partlucid 7-23-2013 at 20:06:09
“I just wondered if people are happy with the car lined up virtually perpendicular to the front edge of the road/ car park after some sort of speedy reversing manoeuvre…”

Not only is the car straight, but as James said a while back the front wheels are straight too, which they would not be following an emergency reverse hard U-turn. Also the turning tracks from near the sign don’t really lead to the final position of the BMW.

Has anyone considered that SAH initially parked in almost the final position except a few feet out from the bank to allow access to the rear? There was shade on that side of the parking.

Saad and Zainab exit, walk to sign or not, there’s shouting and shooting, they flee to car, both hit along the way. Saad manages to get in and in confusion and panic puts shift in reverse and slams hard into bank.

If Mollier was dragged it may have been by another vehicle, that also left the turning tracks.

7-23-2013 at 23:22:44

@NR, problem is it doesn’t account for the rear window glass found at the top end of the parking.

They are not straight, if anything they are slightly turned to the right, slightly, that is, in a reverse action don’t we all straighten up especially if there is a bank behind us and we are planning a right hand sweep?

In fact he would have already been planning the move to the right before he hit the bank/slope.

7-23-2013 at 23:56:03


The only relevance of the shots…or the point I’m trying to throw into the mix….is that the gunman “may not be” a (so called) “professional”.

Likely he could be part of the “criminal element” operating in that “cross border” area.

“The region has witnessed a series of armed attacks by criminals allegedly crossing into Switzerland from Lyon, Grenoble and other parts of the Rhône- Alpes region immediately over the border in France”.

“Cross-border crime is on the rise, and becoming ever more violent, in western Switzerland and the Ticino, according to new statistics:

The latest figures produced by Swiss border authorities show a significant increase in the number of arrests being made at the borders, newspaper Tribune de Genève reports.

“The perpetrators are armed with assault rifles, machine guns and even rocket-propelled grenades. They will stop at almost nothing,” Jürg Noth, head of the Swiss Border Guard, told the newspaper.

“We even had a case where criminals blew up a bank with explosives,” he said.

Published on May 29, 2012

More here.

I have No Idea whatsoever about the “motivation” for this attack (a criminal element being disturbed, corrupt police officers, a so called sting operation going badly wrong etc, etc, etc)….BUT clearly the (so called) “hit man” was NO “James Bond”.

7-24-2013 at 00:04:46

Hmmm, I also always have wondered about the front wheel (direction)

Now in my ‘skid marks’ post I make the point that the tyre marks could be made by a FWD.


Some time ago I calculated the WHEELBASE to be about 257 cm (I’ll prep an article on that one)


At that time I was in 4WD territory, so it could not have been the X5, but perhaps a Pajero. While I reverted to the ‘Le Monde’ scenario and now thinking it was AH’s BMW, I failed to see that 257 cm wheelbase does not fit;)

So, just now, a few minutes ago, I thought … let’s have a look at this one … to my surprise its wheelbase = 258 cm Lol, how close is that? 😉

306? … Sylvie?

– M

7-24-2013 at 00:08:43


I mix FWD and RWD … must be the heat overhere;)

– M

7-24-2013 at 00:15:40

Hi Max

I agree that the 25 bullets are probably the salient part of the ‘equation’ however there’s quite a difference psychologically between someone who goes to some length to fit in one extra round…ie…3×8+1, and somebody who doesn’t take up the extra capacity in Lynda’s snail magazine option…

Whether he’s used the drum magazine or the 8 shot clips does also make an enormous difference to the dynamics of the killing. Obviously with just the 8/9 shots, the killer would have to disable both Saad and Sylvain Mollier in that first flurry; something which he was seemingly unable to do; hence the car incident. I think most of the coverage I’ve read/ seen has tended to focus largely on the reloading side of things, but that could just be because it’s much sexier journalistically. Has Maillaud pronounced at all firmly on the matter? Indeed would it even be possible to determine that from the shells?

and to Lynda, hi Lynda..

As something of a Johnnie-cum-lately I have to admit that I don’t actually know where this glass is. Presumably it’s over on the sign side of the parking place? Could one of the side shots to kill one of the women in the back seat have maybe sent it spinning over there? Or would it definitively have come from some action over on that side of the parking which would clearly place the BMW over there…?

Again, apologies to both/ all if these matters have already been adequately covered…

7-24-2013 at 00:42:46


the ‘glass’ … here is a video

7-24-2013 at 00:50:50


I don’t think we can say that much has “already been adequately covered”.

Reading through all the old comments I have however made the observation, that it would be useful to sort the comments under different themes say, tyre tracks, the weapon, bullet marks on the car etc.

We seem to get back to these old themes again and again, sometimes repeating old arguments and asking the same questions….

But it would be a huge undertaking to sort the comments so I guess it would take at least 10 year to do… 😉

7-24-2013 at 00:59:26

Much obliged Max. You, like others on here, are really very proficient with all these links and images etc.

Hmm…it would seem to be pretty close to the sign really, that glass, and Lynda describes it as rear window glass.

7-24-2013 at 01:27:09

@ Max
I posted this before. There’s precedent for a true nutter driving a dark BMW X5. Best line (from another article – lost link) “The suspect reportedly acquired his shooting skills in the army, where he served in the Special Forces at a nuclear missile base for two years.”

7-24-2013 at 04:31:55

NR @23:03:26 I
ess work from there.

(Rest of this comment has been deleted by Marilyn.)

Marlin, you are not one of us and not welcome here, not after what you have been saying about us on the blog of Mr. Craig Murray.

7-24-2013 at 04:33:04


Fits the profile of Killer X of Chevaline … but it can’t be him. He was imprisoned.

Belgorod shooting suspect … (RT news)

A gunman opened fire near an arms shop, leaving six people dead and one injured. A 14-year-old girl is among those killed. Police have asked Belgorod residents not to leave their homes because of the special operation. The photo of the suspect – Sergey Pomazun, 32 – and his description have been posted on the internet.

Police released a picture of their main suspect – a brown-haired man who was released from prison in 2012.

Local authorities say that some 1200 police personnel are engaged in the search for the fugitive. … the gunman drove up to a shop in a dark BMW X5. [gun store “Okhota” (“Hunting”)]

The Belgorod shooter allegedly used a Kalashnikov-based semi-automatic 7.62 caliber Saiga carbine, popular with hunters, reports Lifenews tabloid.

Wikipedia – 2013 Belgorod shooting

When captured Mr Pomazun was quoted by AFP news agency as saying: “I didn’t shoot children. I was shooting at hell.” The victims of the attack included two schoolgirls, aged 14 and 16.

BBC News – Russia shooting: Belgorod suspect Sergei Pomazun caught

Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said the psychiatric expert examination had found Pomazun sane. More than 50 expert examinations were carried out, including genetic, forensic, ballistic and biological.

The investigator said Pomazun had gone on a shooting rampage because of “hooligan motives.” Pomazun was released from prison in December 2012 after serving a four-year sentence for theft.

Itar-Tass – Shooting Spree Suspect Found Fit to Stand Trial

7-24-2013 at 07:49:07


Interesting comments overnight.

Lars has a good idea for sorting the comments by subject. However, as he says it will be a major task, and unfortunately I can not volunteer to do so.

Partlucid, you need not worry about asking about something we’ve discussed before because we’ve discussed everything. Every new thought enhances the overall story just like Max’s enhancement of photos is doing it too for the story. By the way, you seem very lucid to describe yourself as ‘partlucid’, or am I missing something here?

I would like to say that there are people who I will not welcome to this blog. I am sure that you all know who those people are. If you do not agree with me, then I regret that, but I will not allow us to be mocked on other blogs and then the mockers come here all sweetie-pie and leave a comment.

Have a good commenting day. (Paris had a storm yesterday afternoon so this morning it is *only* 28 degrees to yesterday’s 35.

7-24-2013 at 08:33:17

Marilyn at 07:49:07

Did you do hunting by daylight this morning? 😉 🙂

7-24-2013 at 08:33:56

Hi everyone,
I have often wondered if the killer killed SM first, then killed SAH how come he was able to kill the two ladies (who were sitting in the back) with perfect shots in to their heads. I mean if anyone was in their position they should have shielded their heads with the arms at least? What do u think?


7-24-2013 at 08:37:10


You noticed? Beats night time hunting!

7-24-2013 at 08:42:06


re: shooting of the two ladies

This is what puzzles me too. I would not have sat immobile waiting to be shot.

Little Zainab said there was shouting. We’ve not yet considered the possibility that the killer was trying to convince Saad to do something by holding the Luger to the head of one of the two women, and when Saad did not yield the killer pulled the trigger and before the other woman could react, she was shot too. While the arguing was going on, Iqbal might have covered little Zeena under her skirt.

7-24-2013 at 08:56:59

@Marilyn… possible but yet a mystery!
Will we ever know what happened? Seriously all clues indicate it was a professional hit that was meant to be kept as a mystery.

7-24-2013 at 09:06:06

@Zainab & Marilyn

I believe it is of the outmost importance that the killer is caught alive so that as many questions as possible can be answered. As said there are so many mysteries surrounding these killings.

7-24-2013 at 09:19:43

Back to reading old comments…

I have from the start intended *the summary* just to be a list for reference, when somebody wants to check: how to spell a name, how old were they, what kind of car etc. A short description of the killings.

(The difficult thing to remember to put in the list are actually those things that we all know, e.g. that Zainab was beaten. The list should however also be helpful for the novice and should therefore contain *all* facts.)

There are still a lot of things left out of the list since they do not concern the killings themselves, but things around them. I believe to put them in the list would make it unwieldy.

What I am thinking of are e.g. how the investigation has been performed what the British and French authorities have done (and not have done). I think that those subjects deserves a description of their own. We have often discussed those subjects and they are sometimes as mysterious as the killings themselves.

7-24-2013 at 09:42:28

Small champagne bottle still chilling.
New grandchild now way overdue.
Mother baking and cleaning house for fourth time.
Wept stupidly at Royal bubba pictures.

Totes agree about the mockers. Love your style.

7-24-2013 at 09:53:03

@ Oui 7-24-2013 at 04:33:04
I just mentioned the Belgorod shooter as an example of a nutter who drove a high-end BMW, and he didn’t even have a driver’s license.

@ Marlin 7-24-2013 at 04:31:55
The scenario of the BMW making a reverse u-turn first came I think from Le Monde, who allegedly got it from an unnamed police source.

On the bike/not-bike in the corner — after the enhanced pic I’m still 75% not-bike. In one rotation of the pic it looks like a cart or trailer. In others it could be a bike, if we can explain the strangely distorted/wrinkled white frame.

That might be an artifact of the extreme cropping and blow-up [zoom] of the original hi-res camera data, plus the JPEG compression. It may be a coincidence that the spacing of the wrinkles matches the spacing of the stripes on the crime scene tape. If one looks closely at the edge of the bridge above the sign, one sees faint digital artifacts with the same spacing. They may be much greater on a bright white object.

From a photo blog: “There is one thing about JPEG and other compression that’s worth knowing. They all favor vertical and horizontal lines over lines that are angled. The closer to 45% the line gets, the more the compression will be noticeable. This is because during compression, the algorithm analyzes the pixels in rectangular blocks, commonly of 8 or 16 pixels. You can notice the familiar jpeg artifacts form “mosiacs”.

The original aerial shots by Doug Seeburg, UK Sun, and Roland Hoskins would be at least 18.1 megapixels (5,184 × 3,456 pixels). The best we have are 1500 x 1000 pixels at 60% quality [approx. JPEG compression setting — 100% in LightFrame (or 12 in PhotoShop) is nearly uncompressed]. The question is, if we could obtain one or two originals in uncompressed TIFF or at least 100% JPEG would it make much difference. For example, could Max calculate the number of original pixels left in a tight crop of the BMW or the bike/not-bike and estimate if it’s worthwhile.

Several pages ago someone said they, or a friend, had an account at SIPA, stock photo bureau, and they’d inquire as to the cost of using Annecy pics. Would it be worthwhile to chip in and buy the rights for one or two for Marilyn’s page — if they’ll sell camera original quality? We could spend months analyzing fine detail, “Look, a squirrel facing north! What does it mean?”

7-24-2013 at 09:57:43

I am no special fan of Google as a search engine, it has many faults. Probably because Google is more interested in making money on advertising than giving useful search results.

Then I think that Google Earth has been much more valuable. I have made a little geographic profiling on the Chablais killer with the help of that tool. Then he is probably living around Route du Pays de Gavot in Méserier.

I don’t know, maybe correct. I have otherwise always been interested in Annemasse.

7-24-2013 at 10:02:44

@NR 09:53:03

I think if you want to discuss matters with people from other blogs you should do it there. Please respect Marilyn’s decisions.

7-24-2013 at 10:32:14


A: By holding Zainab hostage perhaps

(That would be e.g. if X wanted to obtain info of AH’s like a code or info or something)


Initially just for my curiousity I would like to know if the full res pictures would be available from e.g. SIPA, which pictures and what pric … as I have no clue whatsoever how much that would cost. (and I wonder if the full res pictures would be available for ‘public’?)


From friday on for 3 weeks I will be away, and will be slow on commenting and unable to add to deadzone

– M

7-24-2013 at 10:32:49

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

Read more:

I think earlier we speculated that the glass could have been from another car at another time, realistically what is the likelihood if that, as we have never read of any incidents to suggest that cars had been broken into up there.

I’ll see if it was ever mentioned in one of Maillauds conférences……

7-24-2013 at 10:56:10

@ Zainab, 7-24-2013 at 08:33:56

A very good question. Personally, if I had been in the back of Saad’s BMW when the killer attacked, I should have ducked and tried to protect my head with some object like a handbag. What most people do, however, is to raise their hands and try to use them as shields, putting their palms between the muzzle of the gun and their own bodies. It is a very typical phenomenon for people who have been shot at close range to have ballistic trauma to the hands (Xavier Baligant did, for example).

Either this wasn’t the case here, or it simply has not been reported. If it wasn’t the case, I should speculate that both women attempted to push down / cover Zeena rather than attempt to save their own lives.

7-24-2013 at 11:55:30


From and doing some more calculations (with a new deadzone post to come with explanation), the result is:

Tyre marks = PERFECT MATCH with wheelbase of BMW

As I see the pattern as: REVERSE (RW) – BRAKE (FW) – REVERSE AGAIN (RW) … I am inclined to put the tyre marks to AH’s BMW (although another car with the same wheelbase could fit too)

… as said, I’ll prep another post, but my calculations sure make me confident that it is AH’s BMW after all (and thus in line with the ‘Le Monde’ scenario)

– M

7-24-2013 at 12:10:06

@ Lars 7-24-2013 at 10:02:44
“@NR 09:53:03 I think if you want to discuss matters with people from other blogs you should do it there. Please respect Marilyn’s decisions.”

Dude, what are you talking about? What decisions? If you mean Marlin or James, I thought it was recently decided they were welcome here. I haven’t read the al Hilli thread at CM in a long while, though I follow some other CM current subjects.

Marilyn can admonish or block me directly if she disapproves of something. Don’t need advice from other participants on my manners.

7-24-2013 at 12:33:43


If you were in Paris now I’ll offer you a glass of iced bubbly …

Don’t be angry ………

We welcomed James here because he asked whether he could join us and his comments have been constructive. This morning I deleted a comment the woman named Marlin left. She is not welcome here.

7-24-2013 at 12:42:10


I will already today say ‘Enjoy your holiday’. Drive carefully and do not pull in on lay-bys in Haute Savoie.

7-24-2013 at 12:46:54

re: buying the right to reproduce a picture.

NR wondered if we should not acquire (buy) the right to reproduce a picture.

NR, having done so for other projects I can tell you that the agencies charge one an arm and a leg for such reproduction rights. The business to be in is photography rather than journalism, because the journalist is paid less than the guy who took the photo that went with the story.

And as you said once, putting a photo in a comment causes a lot of technical problems.

But it was good of you suggesting it and thanks for that.

Max, you asked what a photo would cost. I paid 155 euro for the right to reproduce one earlier this year.

7-24-2013 at 13:21:35
7-24-2013 at 13:34:56


Happy Holiday!

7-24-2013 at 13:44:40
7-24-2013 at 13:46:59

@Max and @Oui

Yes, Oui, that was the pic Max used.

If you have a look you will what we think is Sylvain Mollier’s bicycle bottom right.

7-24-2013 at 16:22:03

Thankyou Max for improving the photo I was trying to get attention to, their is certainly something Under those trees, flip it and zoom, as much as I doubted the first photo, to me this one acts as confirmation that it is a bike, maybe not white but how about silver being reflected….

It also fits with Le Monde, Brett Martin and Maillauds, thrown in a corner.

Thanks again Max, I tried with my meagre means and Tinypic, you have now made it very clear, merci encore.

Enjoy your holidays.

Next date in the diary is the 31st July when Zaid has to present himself to the police, will he be released from bail obligations ? Maillaud has said that there is at present no reason to ‘hold’ him.

7-24-2013 at 17:55:37

Doing my geographical profiling I noticed one of these strange coincidences that this case seems so full of:

The Chevaline Killings and the Gregory Mercier murder were both perpetrated at 6°13′ East, that is you can draw a straight line from north to south between these two crime scenes.

7-24-2013 at 19:37:32

@Lars, in reply to Bibi a couple of days ago you posted the BBC link:

It is clear from this that the bike was not on the trailer, makes me wonder would they really have moved the tow truck so far forward without the bike if it had been the ‘thing’ under the trees at the top right of the parking. See 00:12 seconds in. All the tape has gone as well, even that near the red rescue vehicle.

The tow truck is in fact veering to the right to avoid what I suspect was the catering van ….

7-24-2013 at 19:56:16

@Lynda “It is clear from this that the bike was not on the trailer”

Why do you draw that conclusion? I see the same thing at 00:22 on the tow truck as before.

7-24-2013 at 20:24:52

I just heard that the royal family didn’t like James’s comment above about “inherited birthrights” so they decided against that name. 🙂
Instead they have chosen to other commentators here; George and Alexander. Alexander I guess because of the splendid Chevaline video.
And they added Louis, I guess after Loulou. 😉

7-24-2013 at 21:15:43

@Lars, just referring to the moment that the tow truck was moving from Le Martinet, the bike wasn’t on it, if the ‘thing’ under the trees was the bike, it would seem odd that the truck had moved that far forward leaving the ‘bike’ behind.

I know thins is going to sound a bit odd, what if the bike had been moved from the spot and something else put in its place, just to mark where it had been.

In other words right place, wrong item.

7-24-2013 at 21:20:14


Ok, understand what you mean.
But perhaps they hadn’t the time yet to load the bike on the truck.
It would anyway be natural to first load the car and then the bike, and a bike is easy to carry.

7-24-2013 at 22:19:59

@Lynda and @Lars

I think it’s just a matter of when the bike was loaded on to the tow truck.

Max has an enlarged pic of what we think is the bike alongside the road. Do have a look at it, if you have time. Max not only enlarged and enhanced the pic but also zoomed in on it. It so very much looks like a bike.

Lynda, on the bbc link that you gave the blonde woman right at the start says that she had heard 30 seconds of firing and then it was quiet. Thirty seconds of firing meant that all were shot down almost simultaneously. Therefore, no dead or dying Sylvain Mollier for Saad to find.

So, if this woman had heard the firing why did William Brett Martin not?

This becomes more complicated every day.

7-24-2013 at 22:25:50


And they added Louis

I must disappoint you … my handle Oui was based on the name Louis. I deleted both the L and s to make it shorter and vowels only. The traceability through Google on the Internet would be more difficult. A careful person …

7-24-2013 at 22:26:54


re:Baby Name

So they did not name him after their Uncle David, the tragic Duke of Windsor. Someone once told me that there is a curse on the name David which all royal houses are aware of so there will never be a King David again. The last one was the King David.

I can almost say not another George.

Why Louis? Surely what had happened to France’s King Louis (plural) must have been a warning. Or is it part of the contente cordiale?

7-24-2013 at 22:43:03


I am not certain why it would make me disappointed. It’s fine if they were so smart that they saw through your disguise. 😉
Otherwise Loulou was easier to find, on Facebook almost every day.

7-24-2013 at 22:48:11


Brett-Martin’s hearing problem has been discussed. As we know from king Alex’s video the road is long and winding, with high mountains on both side. It was said after a test that it was *possible* for Brett-Martin not to hear anything. But that depends naturally on where he actually was.

7-24-2013 at 22:48:49


I agree with Lars, they saw through your disguise. So we are indeed being read by MI6.

I thought the Oui were you saying ‘yes’ to everything. Did not think of Louis. My sister’s name is Louise.

7-24-2013 at 22:50:06

There are people walking the streets of Paris just waiting to be hunted. I will therefore say – have a good commenting night.

Tomorrow is another day: as said Scarlet O’Hara in Gone With The Wind.

7-24-2013 at 22:52:38

@0:25 … I assume that is the starting volley … pow-pow-pow-pow … and imho they have to be ‘pinned’ onto SM

The remainder of the shots are still 20 in about 30 seconds, that is an average of 1,5 secs per gunshot

But those first 4 shots p-p-p-p are in 1 second, if I go by this woman’s account. And, as said, I only clan pace this rapid sequence as the opening salvo against SM (who received 4-5 body shots)

– M

7-24-2013 at 22:57:41


The old man on the mountain bike was tired and hanging over the handlebar. He looked down at the gutted pavement and didn’t see precisely the approaching vehicle and the motorbike. Due to the strain cycling up the steep incline, he was deafened by his own exertion and power to the pedals. The noise of the stream running along side of the road could have been a factor. The acoustics of sound in a valley or along a cliff wall has been discussed and explained before. A natural phenomena …

The Gorge Amphitheatre when they were walking through their 500 acre property. Dr. Bryan describes his initial discovery of the Gorge’s unparalleled acoustics in a 2004. I noticed a rather remarkable acoustical property out on the cliff. If either Carol or I was standing up on the top and the other person was way down below, in this one location, if you whispered like this, whether you were 100 or 1,000 feet away, you could hear it as if you were standing next to the person.

7-24-2013 at 23:17:28

@OUi and @Lars and @Max

Thanks for the explanations. I think however that in a heavily-forested area sounds are magnified (there is an echo). What Dr. Bryan says in Oui’s link (Gorge Amphitheatre) rather proves this does it not?

But as the three of you rightly pointed out, we have discussed this before.

I am really now off hunting.

7-24-2013 at 23:35:16


“just heard that the royal family didn’t like James’s comment”

Now you can’t blame me if you’d put a bet on “James” !


Didn’t know about the “curse of David”.

Edward (David) didn’t have much “luck” I guess.
But he had nice suits …for a multi millionaire !

And after the “birthright” swung away from “that” side of the “family” (firm) if “the royal baby” was a girl…could you imagine if “Katie” have liked the name Wallis !

7-24-2013 at 23:39:15

That *old man* was 53 not 83. That’s younger than the most of us here (?), and I never hang over any handlebars.

7-24-2013 at 23:41:48


No, I put my savings on Daffyd! 🙁 🙂

7-24-2013 at 23:58:40


Have a good a good holiday.
And your wheelbase calculations at least provide some factual independent maths (and explanation) to this strange mystery.
Well done you (although you’ll probably miss this message when you return)


I did chuckle…and think (I may get told off for this comment)….

“Daffyd ! They are no more Welsh than I am Kaiser Wilhelm…but we can’t mention that name !”

7-25-2013 at 00:46:57

@Lars…and to @Oui

The “media” has always interested me.
Just for “their” stereotyping.

Like that all “black” men in 1940’s America had big bulging eyes, liked singing, loved cotton. Or that the cowboy in the white hat (who was in love with the local “gal”) would out hoot the “horrid” man in the black hat. He by the way never had a “gal”…but I bet he was good at washing. Those black shirts must have been a nightmare to keep clean.

And all “pilots” are …..
Well I guess if you ask the “girls at the back” they would say something different to the “brochure” picture.
And I dare say “so would I” (but I can iron…and wear four bars well !)

And so it is with Chevaline.
The “older” guy (that can swim, cycle and run) is a “worn out” chap “hanging over the handle bars”.
And that this sim pilot for the Dreamliner” lacks in “observation” !
(Nota Bene …that is a hard act to lose).

Brett Ma

Brett Martin’s “interview” was not “testimony”.
I believe it was a “request”.
That strategy didn’t work. (whatever that was).

Eric maybe “holding back” but I doubt he is “lying”.
And thanks to @Max that story appears to be holding true.

The (long route) to the question is….why didn’t the “police” release the information about the 4×4, which they clearly knew ?

I do think they know very much more…and they would allow “media” speculation to “run rife” (not “willingly”, just because they knew it would).

I wonder what they knew ? And what they knew about that 4×4 ????

7-25-2013 at 01:21:44


In your post on 7-24-2013 at 22:19:59 you asked:-

“So, if this woman had heard the firing why did William Brett Martin not?”

A pertinant question, and to add to what Lars and Oui posted upthread, conciously being aware of hearing something involves attention and he was probably focused on the uphill grind.

His breathing, pumping blood, helmet and the stream alongside providing white noise would mask an acoustically marginal signal if attention were elsewhere.

I would bet that at Martinet, the moment the bayesian shift kicked in, he could hear every single leaf flutter in the breeze.

7-25-2013 at 08:38:42

@ FB

So when you met Souhaila last year this was her first visit to the UK since she had been widowed. Did she tell you whether she planned to settle in Britain to be closer to her family and maybe to have her son benefit from the excellent national health services, or did she still have strong links with Sweden. Alas the cruel fate she met at Martinet deprived her for ever of becoming a cherished grandmother to Zainab and Zena. Do the girls even know their cousin?

@ All

After all is said and done, I think it’s now obvious to most people interested in this case that the Chevaline murders were the act of a remarkably organized group who took care of every single detail. The revealing silence of the British police, the even-more-revealing endless jabber of the French prosecutor, the constant dedication of the media and others to provide unconditional support to the official theory of the day, all tell us only one thing: no nutter here but organized crime, with all that this implies.
First anniversary coming soon!

7-25-2013 at 08:46:56

I think the not hearing something, not seeing something properly does depend on whether you’re primed to pay attention.

In this article there are ALL THREE 4×4’s mentioned !

BMW X5 Grey, BMW X5 White and the 4×4 …..

7-25-2013 at 09:04:18

@ Max … Happy holidays!
@ Eugene … totally agree that it was a very high profile organized crime with a killer that left no trace behind.
@ Marilyn Scarlet O’Hara /Gone With The Wind my all time favourite book/movie. Tomorrow is indeed another day 🙂

7-25-2013 at 09:21:07


No, I am not late rising this morning. I’ve been up since 6 watching tv for the Spanish train crash. Third train crash in the current series. I was waiting for one because such disasters come in three’s: the crash in Canada, the one outside Paris two weeks ago and now this one. Terrible number is 3. Thirteen and seven have nothing on it.

Eugene, the killer/killers did not take care of every single detail. He/they left an eye witness and did not find the child hiding in the car. Major oversight: in the underworld such a killer will be degraded to ‘deuxieme couteau’ level. Never again will he be given a killing job. He will be driving getaway cars or something equally menial for the rest of his career of crime.

Have a nice commenting day.

Speak later.

7-25-2013 at 09:40:16

Some anecdotal ref: acoustics

I live in a wooded river valley running down to the sea, next to an ancient church built on a ley line.
Even before that pagan ‘meetings’ were held here. I believe they chose this particular place because of the extra-ordinary acoustics (especially for singing).
If the wind is onshore and it has just rained, I wouldn’t hear a gunshot in my garden. The trees and river combo is loud.
Also the hundreds of rooks/doves etc are way noisy.
I know French birds would be more cautious . . in case they get shot for pie!

7-25-2013 at 09:53:24

The bike(a-like) and BMW were being taken to a specialised forensic facility some way off near Paris wasn’t it.?
Of course they would be taken together wrapped separately.?

Meserier is a tiny hamlet with just a few roads. What would the population be there?

7-25-2013 at 10:04:34


So you chuckled….but when the royal family heard about my proposal (Daffyd), the queen said “I am not amused…”. 🙁

7-25-2013 at 10:13:53

It is possible that Brett-Martin due to the acoustics in the valley couldn’t hear anything.
On the other hand, if you hear a shot pretty nearby, most of us jump out of our shoes, you can’t but notice it.


In Meserier? I don’t know, 1000?
I believe anyhow that it is the same word as “misery”, so it was probably a very poor hamlet once.

7-25-2013 at 10:30:39

Just fiddling, here is another reference to Le Martinet:

What I realised and hadn’t thought about before, is that the river runs beside the house, where The Sun or Mirror said one of the photos were taken, suggesting it was the 15:15, opposite La Poste in Doussard. (Lars, do you have the link?)

Could they have followed the river back up, I’m still considering a return journey.

@Eugene, yes agree, appears very organised, prepared, but does that mean ‘organised crime’.

@James, Prince George will of course one day be known as The Prince of Wales as will his father before him, I’m sure the Welsh would have loved a name that reflected it. Ideally named after one of the great rugby men, Gareth, Barry, Jonathan – they wouldn’t have minded any of those !

I think the Louis is a nod to the Late Lord Mountbatten:,_1st_Earl_Mountbatten_of_Burma

As for being German, whisper it but so are many of the English and very many French without their knowledge 😉

7-25-2013 at 10:42:37


This is the house: in the corner of Rue de la Poste and Route d’Arnand (The Sun link is pretty easy to find)

If you look at Google Maps I think it is pretty difficult to follow the stream upstrem.

7-25-2013 at 11:01:47

Distant gun shots in the forest…
(I did write “gin shots” ! Maybe I should see Freud !)

I think Lynda post an article not so long back, it was an interview with the chap that lives “on” or “close to” the Route Combe D’Ire.

(It was in a French Newspaper, I can’t recall the name of the chap. He was an ex police officer I recall…. Over to Lynda).

But anyway, I seem to recall that in his interview he did say that he (paraphrased) “heard the gunshots of the reconstruction”.
BUT when he speaks about the events of that terrible day, I don’t think he mentions hearing anything.

It’s an interesting interview….but due to a “paperwork” day I haven’t the time to find it.

But….Peter’s view may be interesting.
Could the weapon of that type be fitted with a “silencer” ?

Would that reduce the velocity of the bullets (say, fired at the windscreen) ?

Would it be possible for someone to “hear” the impacts of bullets (say striking the glass of the side windows) and assume that the “crack” generated, was the sound of “gun fire” (if they were stood in a suitable position) ?

I’m just trying to use some “lateral thinking”.
If some people say they didn’t hear gun fire…then what could the people that heard “gun fire”, hear ?

My thinking was that if you were “lower” than the carpark, then the sound waves may not reach you ? But if the retired policeman heard the reconstruction, but not gun fire on that afternoon (like Mr Martin), then is there another explanation for this ?

7-25-2013 at 11:14:51


How about “HRH J.P.R William(s), the Prince of Wales !
That’ll get a roar from the Welsh crowd at the rugby.

Is there a “HRH the Prince of Scotland” ?
Long haired. Always painting his face blue. Shouts a lot.
Or have I just described “Anne, Princess Royal” ???

7-25-2013 at 11:29:02

Last one from me….I really must do some work.

But for @Lars.

A quick recap of history. Is “George” a wise choice ?

VI Really bad low self esteem
V A bit of a playboy
IV A lot of a playboy !
III Went mad for awhile.
II 51st in line. The “act of settlement” later….and he’s “numero uno” !
I Did he know where England was ? “Nine !”

7-25-2013 at 11:30:37


I’m laughing.

You wrote in your 11.14 am: Long haired. Always painting his face blue. Shouts a lot. Or have I just described ‘Anne, Princess Royal’?

You forgot to add: When seeing a man in uniform bed comes to mind.

7-25-2013 at 11:48:35



Freud would have a field day !
“What do you think when you see a uniform. Authority? Power? Capability?”

“No…. sex !”

I think she likes to “out rank” her lovers !
As “Rear Admiral Chief Commandant RN” she’s a lot to go at !!!

7-25-2013 at 12:00:27

@ James, 7-25-2013 at 11:01:47

If there is one advantage that the P06 has over more modern weapons, it is the ease with which it can be fitted with a suppressor.

There is a special adapter still available that is an exact replica of the original part used for fitting suppressors:

However, an even simpler way would be to file off the front sight blade and cut a thread on the barrel. This is much easier to do with a P06 / P08 than with a modern pistol, for which one usually needs to purchase a longer, protruding barrel first. By contrast, the barrel of a P06 / P08 is absolutely perfect for fitting a suppressor.

However, even with a good suppressor fitted, the gun will not be entirely silent. It is still going to sound like a spring-powered air pistol. (And yes, the more effective the suppressor, the more it will slow down the bullets.)

Regarding the noise level of impacts on a car, I can actually speak from experience, having once shot up an old car. A hit to the bodywork sounds like a drum. A hit to the engine is even louder and sounds like Thor’s hammer striking an anvil. By contrast, a hit to the windows merely causes a quiet crack, almost inaudible over the report of an unsilenced gun.

7-25-2013 at 12:04:01

When we think gendarmes are fiddling their thumbs sitting at their desks, they are in fact investigating.

On Tuesday a 37-year-old man was arrested and charged with the rape and killing of two children – Sarah Syad and Saida Berch. Sarah was 6 and her murder took place 22 years ago. Saida was 10 and she was murdered 17 years ago. Sorry about the details: in the case of Sarah penetration had taken place; not so for Saida. Both had been strangled to death.

The man arrested yesterday, 15 at the time of the murders, was a friend of the brothers of the two little girls. He was questioned by the police both in 1991 and 1996, but he was just a child himself and the gendarmes’ investigation of him went no further. He was one of dozens taken in for questioning at the time of the murders.

Several times over the past 22 years the state wanted to close the case, but a few of the gendarmes of Grenoble – the rape and murders took place in the town of Voreppe close to Grenoble – said ‘no’ and always kept the case in mind.

Twenty-two years ago DNA profiling was not sophisticated as it is today, but the DNA found on the two little girls and on objects at the two crime scenes were kept. And this year, new more powerful tests of the DNA revealed that the two girls had been raped and murdered by the same man.

What remained was finding him.

They verified his DNA profile against those on record throughout France and found their man. His DNA profile had been documented during traffic violation charges. (A DNA profile is taken automatically now and documented when an investigation leads to a criminal charge being laid.)

On Tuesday, Grenoble Prosecutor Catherine Leger sent the gendarmes to arrest him.

I am telling you this to show that you can rest assured that the gendarmes are investigation the Chevaline murders. It may take them 22 years to get to the guilty one, and by then we might have forgotten about this case, just as most here in France have forgotten about the the rape and murders of Sarah and Saida, but a case never becomes a ‘cold’ case here. There is always a copper who will not surrender.

7-25-2013 at 12:23:45


re: the Georges of England.

I will add to what George V should not be proud of. The way he had refused to come to the aid of his cousin, Tsar Nicholas Two of Russia, in 1917.

Nicholas had appealed to George V to be allowed for him and family to be able to leave Russia for England for temporary sanctuary while Europe’s royal houses think of how to fight and destroy the Bolsheviks, but George V had turned a deaf ear and a blind eye.

And we all know the fate of Nicholas, his wife and children.

George V would later say that he had no choice not to ignore Nicholas because his government had warned him that by offering a safe haven to the Russian royals might launch a revolution in the British Empire: royalists would object while republicans would take the overthrow of Nicholas as an example to follow locally.

I’ve always held this against George V. He only thought of the survival of himself and his heirs and successors.

Similarly, George V and Queen Mary refused asylum to Nicholas’s two sisters and some Grand Dukes. France received the Grand Dukes while one of Nicholas’ sisters settled in Canada and another in Denmark. Nicholas’s mother too settled in Denmark.

7-25-2013 at 12:42:42

@ Marilyn, UK case back in the headlines PC Blakelock, murdered in 1985.

@James, if you are referring to Claude Antoine it was George who posted the link.

Back in the 1970/80’s I worked with two rugby stars of the day, regular visitors to our office were Barry John, Gareth Edwards and JPR !

Those were the days my friend ! Those were the days !!!

7-25-2013 at 13:12:03


re: PC Blakelock. Lynda, thanks for this. So in the UK too the police keep on investigating when we think they have forgotten.

Further to Claude Antoine, our commentator George is an excellent researcher.

Ah Lynda, you are a fan of the oval ball just like me. Glad to read in our papers today that our rugby players are back on deck and practising. I am a supporter of the two French clubs – Toulouse and Toulon (yes like a French sailor’s trousers),but my favourite player is the Springbok’s Morne Steyn. When I see his red shoes my day has been made. My dad was a rugby player so I grew up with rugby.

7-25-2013 at 13:37:48

@Max, although i think you’ve gone on your hols by now, I wanted to say that with all your effort into the photos, this diagram from Le Monde looks as if it accurate, when assembling reports from all over the place:

I’ll post again for those who may have missed it:

@FB, I know we’ve covered it before, I’m intrigued about the Google Latitude and your suggestion of Geocaching, I’d never heard of either before !

Did you follow Saads journey, in other words do you know what direction he took before arriving in Annecy ? As I recall the day after the shootings, someone went to the house in Claygate as they had seen that the car hadn’t moved, was that you ?

The Geocaching looks fun for children, I realise that the holiday was a spur of the moment thing, I just wonder why Saad or Iqbal didn’t call the school to say that Zainab wouldn’t be there on that Wednesday, Zeena being a new entrant would have started on the Monday, maybe he tried to leave a message but was unsuccessful. I think the school contacted him, a message on his phone, although I don’t recall if that was to his mobile or fixed line.

7-25-2013 at 15:46:26


Yes, that’s the chap. Thanks for that.
He didn’t hear any shots that afternoon an he was outside working.
But he did he the shots during the reconstruction.


And thanks for that explanation.
I was trying to think what noise a silenced gunshot would make that could be mistaken for a “gunshot” (i.e. the impact)….but it doesn’t appear to be that then.

7-25-2013 at 16:19:38

RE GPS and Latitude

I think I started a rumour on that one
Saad did run google latitude
and one of his friends was asked by the police to show them his details
I have since checked latitude and you cant see Saad’s position beyond boarding the ferry .Roaming is expensive for UK mobiles abroad .
people went to the house the next day because a journalist spammed all Saads facebook contacts thus alerting us that it was him
I saw the news item and thought ..there is no caravan so it cant be them 🙁

7-25-2013 at 17:01:57


Enjoy your holidays. Have a great time.

7-25-2013 at 17:03:13

@Fat Bastard

Considerate journalist that was! If I should be shot down I hope some clever dick of a journalist won’t email all my facebook friends to tell them.

7-25-2013 at 17:16:03

oh, FB, I wish I’d asked before ! So, you nor anyone else ever saw the car in the same position for hours at Le Martinet.

You said it was expensive to run, I don’t doubt that, was the first mention of Google Latitude in the Peter Allen award winning piece ? I think it was – so where does that leave us ?

If you can’t say I’ll understand, honest, does the ‘boarding the ferry’, give the date and time ?

In the press conference it was said through Calais and on the 29th August, which if I recall was the day they left their home in Claygate. I know that roaming is expensive in reverse as well, I get so annoyed when I never use up my monthly contract terms, then on arrival in the UK, I’m slammed with a large bill ! Calm down, dear….

Apart from that you obviously can have no idea where they went after their arrival in France.

A journalist ‘spammed’, so Saads Facebook account was still open the following morning or was that the evening of the murders ?

FB, I’m sorry to ask these questions, I am trying in a haphazard way to confirm to myself and only myself that the family did not bring this upon themsleves.

Whilst I’m pontificating, I did not like the most recent ITV News item, the report referred to them driving to their deaths and their lives were ‘snuffed out’.

Whilst I have your attention, did you meet Dr Zaid Alabdi, he says he trained with Iqbal in dentistry, do you know where she planned to work having ‘re-qualified’ in the UK ? Again, I understand if you don’t feel it right to answer.

I’m sure your final statement would be applied by the family of Sylvain Mollier ‘it can’t be him’….

7-25-2013 at 17:44:41

@Lynda 7-25-2013 at 10:30:39

Oh no he won’t. Hopefully we’ll have a Welsh republic by then!

Cymru am byth!

7-25-2013 at 18:05:41

You guys & dolls left me behind when it comes to rugby and rugby players. To me a complete unknown type of sport. A mixture between wrestling and handball/soccer?

7-25-2013 at 18:10:09


Re “award winning piece”: I guess you mean The Homecoming in The Sunday Times it is written by David James Smith , with additional reporting from Peter Allen. List of Press Awards

7-25-2013 at 18:16:08


There is a video were you yourself can hear the shots from the reconstruction. A journalist is interviewing a gendarme in Chevaline, who visible reacts when he hear the shots. (since that video otherwise is rather uninteresting I have not saved it, but someone might remember)

7-25-2013 at 18:20:19

@Mochyn, they can’t afford it, bach ! They need the money from central government to cover the costs of dole, retirement, incapacity benefit NHS, university fees and on and on, Wales doesn’t generate enough money to pay its own housekeeping ! But we can dream.

Regardless of that I’m sure The Prince of Wales, George, will still be that , afterall, they are figureheads, which as a personal preference I prefer to a dingbat like Tony Blair or David Cameron be President, can you imagine Milliband, I’m getting palpitations already ! Someone bring the smelling salts ! Or a beer ….

Then again we could always ask Neil Kinnock if he’s interested, or his wife, she’ll do anything to stay on the gravy train, and yes Cymru am Byth, especially when we play against England !

Did you see the Sky advert for the Lions Tour with Sam Warburton ‘roaring’ -just fabulous, as are the BBC ads before the Six Nations, then and only then do I miss ‘home’, have you been to the Millenium Stadium ?

Please, Mochyn, accept my post as a jest, I seriously, like, you know, like don’t want, you know, like, like a problem with you, like, you know, like.

Only we’ll understand this ‘code’…..

There you go, I may not be as Welsh as Mochyn because I’m not from North Wales (say that with a peg on your nose, to get the accent), I’m the ‘alf a daaark in Caaardiff Arms Paaark’, only been over once this year, supplies are running very low.

7-25-2013 at 21:55:12


I am not aware of that interview (with the shots).
But again, very interesting (if not adding to my confusion !)

The “who heard (could of heard/couldn’t of heard) what ?”

7-25-2013 at 22:24:20


Not sure I understand.
The gendarme heard the shots while being interviewed.

7-25-2013 at 22:30:32

should add, from the reconstruction of course, not the shots from the killings…

7-25-2013 at 22:47:04

Yes Lars, I’ve seen that too, wasn’t he being filmed whilst ‘interviewing’ a resident? It will need a search in French.

I’ll refer to the BBC interview, recently posted twice here – Danielle Politier(?), was interviewed on her bike with Solitaire Camping sign behind her, it gives the impression she was there when she heard her ‘ratatat’, logic says she wasn’t – so where was she when she heard the ‘noise’ ?

7-25-2013 at 22:53:14

Night. The Paris streets are calling …That sounds ‘not right’. I may just be called a street walker next.

Will now go do some serial killing.

Have a good commenting night.

Tomorrow is another day.

7-25-2013 at 23:14:31


Yes she must have been closer.

I read somewhere that the local inhabitants were interviewed in Jorioz by the gendarmerie, where Solitaire Camping is situated, probably how the journos got hold of that woman.

7-26-2013 at 01:27:38

RE Danielle Politier(?) Poultier? Pelletier? Anyway, it doesn’t matter…
Lynda, well done for the sign! The woman is being interviewed at the entrance of the campsite, you can see on with GMap… I suppose that man must have talked to anybody coming in and out the campsite. Now, I doubt she was in Chevaline at all. I’m wondering if the man didn’t misunderstood. It’s a pity they cut off the beginning…

7-26-2013 at 02:35:09


Saad’s facebook page is still up
I have not met Mr al abdi
i facebook messaged him but he has not replied
he works in Twickenham

7-26-2013 at 02:38:05

@ Lynda
ask away
I had a nice lady turn up for tea yesterday 🙂
she asked questions for 3 hours
..she tried to leave twice but i had not finished telling her facts and showing her pictures etc:)

7-26-2013 at 08:38:17


The gun shots.

If the camera crew could pick up the gun shots (I assume they were at the bottom of the Combe D’Ire due to the reconstruction) and yet the retired police officer nor Brett Martin didn’t (I assume Mr Martin didn’t…although did he actually say that ! His actions appear that he didn’t) then was there gun shots to hear ?

It is said that witnesses did hear gun shots (“ear witnesses” is that a correct term !).

I mean if they didn’t hear gun shots…then did Mr Mollier ? Did Mr Al Hilli ?
Because that changes things slightly.
Either Mr Mollier rode into a mad man shooting at Mr Al Hilli.
Or Mr Al Hilli drove into a mad man shooting at Mr Mollier.

The “theory” that both were there “to meet each other”…is a theory I could never quite “get”. I suspect either/or was the “target”.
If not…then this shooting was done by a (so called) “lone nut”.

7-26-2013 at 08:56:04


My belief is that the Al-Hilli’s had parked their car and Z. and Saad Al-Hilli got out of it (Z. said that the lay-by was empty, no persons, when they arrived).

Then came Mollier cycling, when he arrived, the killer started shooting at Mollier, probably from a place beyond the barrier (I now believe that he was hidden in the shrubbery).

Of course the Al-Hilli’s heard the shots, but it all happened so fast, that there was not much they could do.

7-26-2013 at 08:58:33

re Saad meeting Mollier
M..bonjour je mapelle Slyvian .
S yer wot mate ? I cant speak french can yer try English ?

7-26-2013 at 09:24:32


I must get my act in order – I was again not first here this morning. Must be the heat. Is the heat.

@James – you wrote: either Mr Mollier rode into a mad man shooting at Mr Al Hilli.
Or Mr Al Hilli drove into a mad man shooting at Mr Mollier.
The “theory” that both were there “to meet each other”…is a theory I could never quite “get”. I suspect either/or was the “target”.
If not…then this shooting was done by a (so called) “lone nut”.

Very good that. I also do not believe that the two men were there for a meeting or that William Brett Martin was also there to meet with the two. I do not however go for the ‘lone nut’ theory. Our Alex has been saying all along though that it was a ‘nutter’ murder.


You wrote – Then came Mollier cycling, when he arrived, the killer started shooting at Mollier. Say, Killer X had gone to the lay-by to take Sylvain Mollier out, would he still have done so, seeing that there was a carload of witnesses? I think not. Therefore, as he had done so, then the ‘nutter’ theory is more credible.

Have a nice commenting day all of you.

7-26-2013 at 09:24:50


No, you got it wrong he was called Sly-vain. 😉

7-26-2013 at 09:29:48


As Max was the first to show (with a photo) and Alex then showed very clearly in his video, it is not possible to see a car standing close the sign at the lay-by, if you are standing somewhere beyond the barrier. Both the topograhy as well as the shrubbery is in the way.

So the killer could not see the Al-Hilli car or the people standing beside it.

7-26-2013 at 09:49:44

If I hear gunshots hereabouts, I know it will be the Farmer H or his son (most likely). Very few people have guns and we know who they are.
It is a bit of a smuggling coast and that provides the random possibles in the mix. The 4×4 Cotswolders who have second homes, don’t come here to live off the land. Although some TV programmers had attempted it!!! Wilderness country is all but gone in over-crowded England.
Not so in France and folk have jealously regarded territories for these pursuits. Much earlier on the blog decided that it would not be unusual to hear gunshots on the day before hunting resumed in the forest. Shrug “just people trying out their guns”.
Perhaps it would be an idea to find out who in the local context, regarded this area as their special patch? The mayor would know perhaps?

7-26-2013 at 10:42:30

I actually don’t believe anymore that the killer shouted something, even though some journos have written that.

If Z ever said so, I think she, in the heat of the moment, misunderstood. I think it was Mollier who shouted, perhaps “merde” or “fou” (as Marilyn suggested earlier). Z couldn’t of course understand what was said and perhaps saw Mollier trying to run (for cover) towards the car.

The killer, I believe, was silent.

7-26-2013 at 11:18:53


When I first arrived in Paris I thought that the French were all shouting at one another. I asked why they were so angry. I was told that they were just speaking normally.

So what Zainab might have heard was not shouting as such but just normal conversation, a little agitated though because of the occasion.

As for the word ‘merde’, Lynda will confirm that it is always on the tip of a French person’s tongue. They even say it on TV and if they do realise what they had said they quickly add, ‘Ah, pardon!’

7-26-2013 at 12:11:47


Yes, I have watched literary debates on French television. You could easily believe that they were going to kill each other any moment, though it was just a friendly discussion.

Still extremely hot today…..

7-26-2013 at 12:23:30

Morning Lars

I too was a little troubled by the reports of the shooter ‘shouting’. That would almost take the thing into the realms of a commando game! in my view. Or perhaps shouting is used regularly to disorientate targets…?

But am I right in thinking that you’ve got the killer shooting (at) Sylvain Mollier – either as a planned target, or simply random victim – and yet he’s unaware of the Al-Hilli car and family just a few yards away ’round the corner’…

I accept that it might be topographically possible, but it seems a little careless and impetuous for somebody who prepared his ammunition so meticulously, no?

7-26-2013 at 13:02:35

@ Lars

If I recall correctly, it was never claimed that the killer shouted, only “there was shouting.”

I am with partlucid in considering it extremely unlikely that the killer somehow managed to overlook the Al-Hilli family at first and then sort of went, “Oops, a car load of strangers just saw me shooting that cyclist. Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to kill them all.” Not only does that strike me as highly improbable in both pragmatic and psychological terms, but also in tactical terms. If SM really had been the sole originally intended target, the Martinet lay-by itself would have made a good killing ground. The killer’s best bet would have been to hide on the river bank somewhere opposite the middle of the lay-by, wait for SM to appear and start firing the moment that SM passed him. This way, even if he failed to kill him instantly, SM would be trapped in that lay-by.

In the scenario that you have developed, SM could have saved himself by leaping down the river bank. If I were the killer, I should have wanted to rule out that possibility.

7-26-2013 at 13:07:51

@partlucid, Lars, if the killer was known to Mollier, he was so wound up and wanted Mollier to see him before shooting – it would have been difficult to back out of the plan, if he’d revealed himself with a gun aimed at Mollier, he would have hot footed back on his bike and to the Gendarmerie to report what had happened and who it was. No doubt making the connection as to who had set him up.

Of course I don’t know this, my suspicion is that the killer was identifiable…..

7-26-2013 at 13:18:45

@ Lynda

That thought had occurred to me as well…ie…that the shouting could have been almost ‘personal’ to, probably, Sylvain Mollier.

7-26-2013 at 13:33:07

re: River

That was a stream. Not a river. River’s roar. Streams rustle peacefully, calmly, gently. Anyway were I writing a novel, that is what I would write. Unfortunately, as we all know: this ain’t no novel.

I only recently learnt that the French have two words for a river.

One is fleuve and the other is rivière. I had called the Seine the latter and a French friend corrected me that it was a fleuve and then explained that a fleuve runs into the sea, a rivière not. Lynda might have made the same error at some time.

re:where the bike lay

If Sylvain Mollier had stood and had been shot down there where the bike lies on Max’s enhanced photo, then he would have been able to see onto and into the lay-by. Had Killer X stood beside him, he too would have seen the BMW and its passengers, especially as two were walking about outside the vehicle. This is presuming that Sylvain Mollier was gunned down first.

Similarly, if Sylvain Mollier had been shot down after the Al-Hillis, he would have, on his arrival, there where his bike lay, seen the shot Al-Hillis.

This is becoming more complicated every day instead of clearer.

What I think what we should do is to all go there and experiment for ourselves. I will take two saucepans to bang to check the acoustics.

7-26-2013 at 14:07:33

@partlucid, the ‘clean’ gun – at first I was puzzled by that and would have drawn the conclusion that it had been deliberately prepared for the job.

Then, a few months ago, my husband was cleaning the small collevction of hand guns, dualling pistols and hunting rifles he has in a locked display cabinet in his home office, he was using a product he’d purchased from the local gunshop, it stank !

These guns are never out of the cabinet, so never used, every so often he cleans and oils them.

So, maybe the gun wasn’t prepared in readiness, but was always clean ?

A friend who does shoot in compétitions and at a a gun club, regularly cleans them, which to me is an obvious action, just like cleaning golf clubs or football boots.

@Marilyn, the bike according to Maillaud was thrown into a corner, so if this is its final resting place it may not have been Sylvains.

I’d be really interested to go to the scene, just to put some perspective on its size to the eye.

7-26-2013 at 15:53:42

If you look at Alex’s video, after he has passed the barrier, and turned the car, you see how very few meters before the barrier the car is, until you can see that part of the lay-by.

Yes, partlucid he was partly “careless” because obviously the Al-Hilli’s almost got away. I guess that it was just unluck on their part that they didn’t get away. Though I of course don’t know what Saad Al-Hilli intended to do next.

I think this “carelessness” tells us something about how the killer planned his deed, and what he failed to plan.

The position of the bike at the photo (if it is the bike), it lies almost at the barrier, suits my description very well. If the shooter started shooting at about 10 meters distance (towards the hairpin curve), he could not see the car. He had no reason to advance until Mollier had got of the bicycle and fell to the ground. Then he advanced towards Mollier and could see the car (he probably heard the family before he saw them).

As said I don’t believe the killer said anything and I don’t believe he was visible at start (before he shot Mollier).

If Mollier could get away by leaping down the river bank I don’t know. As said I don’t believe Mollier saw the killer before the first shots were fired. The killer hiding behind the shrubbery. If Mollier after being hit by these bullets could leap down the river bank, and what the killer would have done then is hard to know.

7-26-2013 at 16:00:28

@ Lynda

There is a big difference between “clean” and “forensically sterile”. If you touch ammunition with your bare fingers even once, there is nothing you can do to remove your latent prints, invisible to the naked eye. You can slather on whatever cleaning agent you like, polish the ammo until you are blue in the face, your latent prints will stay. As the police have found no prints on the cartridge cases (at least that’s what they say), the killer must have handled the ammo wearing gloves throughout, which is fairly unusual.

Likewise, as far as we know, no DNA traces were found in the grip-plate fragment. Those cross-hatched grip plates are almost like purpose-built DNA collection devices. No amount of cleaning will remove every microscopic skin flake from such a grip. Either the grip was deliberately sterilized using some kind of caustic substance (Classic Coke would do the trick), or the killer got incredibly lucky and happened to use a gun oil containing an aggressive anti-corrosive substance that had the side-effect of degrading DNA. Even if he did, he must have worn gloves at the time of the murders, though.

7-26-2013 at 16:04:13


I don’t know if the killer was identifiable to Mollier but I believe there are only two reasonable ways that the killer could know that Mollier was going to be there.

Either Mollier had for some reason told the killer that, or had somebody very close to Mollier told the killer that.

7-26-2013 at 16:06:46


I guess this stream is called Ire because it could roar at times, especially in the spring.

7-26-2013 at 17:25:28

I have no doubt by the depth of the gorge, the River Ire was often deep, it actually would be more noisy when lower as it went over the stones, this isn’t a babbling brook, that noise kept in the gorge by the trees foliage.

@Peter, would thin latex gloves, like those used in hospitals, or sterile environments, sold in pharmacies leave a trace ?

7-26-2013 at 18:10:23

@ Lynda, 7-26-2013 at 17:25:28

Surgical gloves would be my first choice for this type of thing, especially so because loading a magazine for a P06 is fiddly work. Regarding your question of whether these gloves would leave traces, I’m afraid that I don’t quite understand: do you mean, “Would they leave the perpetrator’s fingerprints and/or DNA at the scene of the crime?” (clearly no), or do you mean, “Would investigators be able to tell that the killer did in fact use gloves of this kind?” (maybe).

The answer to the latter question is trickier. Some of those gloves, particularly the thicker ones, are dusted with talcum powder on the insides, some of which would inevitably find its way onto the gun. That would be a certain giveaway that this type of glove was used. Likewise, some of these gloves exude minute quantities of chemical softeners, which might or might not be picked up during chemical analysis. Finally, there is the matter of “glove prints”. Washing-up gloves almost universally have some kind of cross-hatched ridge pattern on the areas covering the finger tips, leather gloves leave a leather pattern that is just as distinctive and unique as a human finger print – thus, coming across an entirely smooth fingertip-shaped “print” would be a fairly conclusive indicator that surgical gloves were worn.

It is a veeeeeeery long shot, but those gloves are indeed sold in pharmacies such as the Schutzes’ 😉

7-26-2013 at 18:30:57

@Marilyn Z. Tomlins 7-26-2013 at 17:57:54

I keep wavering between a sponsored execution for whatever reason as yet unknown and perhaps unknowable, and less likely some kind of extraction for political purposes, and the lone gun-toting nutter.

I think one of the most telling comments in all of this tangled mystery was made by one of the local French gentlemen interviewed on TV with words to the effect, ‘un mec du coin’.

The problem is EM appears to have ruled that particular ‘piste’ out.

7-26-2013 at 18:37:18

@Peter and supermarkets, buy them by the box to apply FAKE TAN !

Pinch them from a visit to the doctors, dentists or hospital….and used by hairdressers when doing tints and perms …..

I suppose I’m trying to understand the no DNA, but was there something else, a bit like I’m convinced they have an idea of the size and sex of the gunman from the shoe prints, which we’ve already discussed.

By the movement of the gunman they will have been able to tell where he/they walked – I still accept that Zainabs account of one ‘baddie’, is correct.

In the early reports of the press conference, Maillaud was asked if the ‘hero RAF man’, first on the scene could be the killer – he replied that if he’d have been, they would have had the evidence already.

From what you say, I suspect surgical gloves, they also come in blue as seen by the forensic team. No doubt used at the time of cleaning the gun and ammunition as well. What product, apart from Coca Cola, available in a pharmacy could be used to clean a gun thoroughly ? Hydrogen Peroxide, also used in hairdressers ……

7-26-2013 at 18:52:56

@Lynda Re:surgical gloves

Or get them from any pharmacy …. 😉

7-26-2013 at 18:55:59

Forget my last comment, sloppy reading.

7-26-2013 at 20:15:03

This case is so haunted by pharmacology: 😉

We have two doctors in pharmacology in the family of Al-Hilli.

And two pharmacist, and at least previously, two pharmacies on the Mollier-Schutz side.

7-26-2013 at 20:57:01

@ Lars
One pharmacy on the Schutz side… I think the other one is not a pharmacie, it is a “G.I.E” = Groupement d’intérêt économique (Un G.I.E est formé de plusieurs entreprises). I think they got together with La lechere to create the G.I.E.

7-26-2013 at 21:07:47

Have a happy commenting night.

My name is Marilyn Z. Tomlins. I’ve never in my life called myself anything else.

As Popeye used to say: I am what I am and I don’t care a damn.

You only have to look through my website to see who I am and what I do in life.

So, I say – cut the crap!

7-26-2013 at 21:26:42


Thierry Schutz stood earlier as “dirigeant” for PHARMACIE DE LA LECHERE together with Mme Marie Lise ROCHAIX. His name is now removed.

7-26-2013 at 22:13:50


Yeah … a small mountain stream after heavy rainfall easily changes into a torrential river. I have experienced flash flooding in the US. I could not find a source for the local weather (possible rainfall) on 4/5 september 2012 in Annecy.

Try to understand when you are near a noise of a rushing stream, your hearing will have difficulty to discern a loud popping noise at a distance. Effect of ambient noise level is basic physics my dear Watson.

Compare reception of whispering voices from a distance during daytime and nighttime when ambient noise level is very low.

7-26-2013 at 23:05:08


I don’t want to dispute that it can be difficult to hear something at a noisy stream but to make the question a bit more difficult, and since you involve physics, I think that the frequency spectrum from a noisy stream and a shot from a gun is quite different.

Being separated in spectrum also means that the possibility to perceive the different sounds are affected. It’s like hearing just one voice, from a distance, in very load surroundings, e.g. a party.

7-26-2013 at 23:05:54

@ Lars
RE pharmacy 1 or 2?
What was siren number 390264281 or 382883411? I have never seen his name associated with n°382883411, “siren” of the pharmacy…
This is what I found a long time back. Controleur de Gestion: Genevieve …Administrateurs: Thierry … + Marie … of: Giphar Tarentaise G.I.E. siren 390264281 Siège social (registered at/address) Pharmacie de la Lechère. I’m just after checking, and indeed his name doesn’t appear now.
But again, I might be wrong…

7-27-2013 at 06:58:42


Just a whiff of sound propagation. Cliff walls and water surfaces can attenuate sound and carry it surprisingly a lot farther.

7-27-2013 at 09:17:46


re: stream noises

Silence some times makes the loudest noise.

Have a nice commenting day.

7-27-2013 at 09:43:35

Was up early today….but as yesterday I beat Marilyn to the comment, I thought I’d wait. But yesterday was a duty day…so I had to be up early !

The sound of silence !
Further down the route Combe D’Ire the is of course a waterfall. I read some comments from a chap who had visited that place (a GeoCache site) and although he was “local” he did not know it was where it was…

…and further had a hard time finding it from the road. Now I would imagine you could “hear” a waterfall ? But it would appear not.

The forest, stream and general “situation” and elevation of the route Combe D’Ire must make “sounds” muted ?

7-27-2013 at 09:46:28

Morning Marilyn et al,

Marilyn I suspect I’m a very poor ‘blogger’: I haven’t yet responded to your query apropos my name, or even thanked you for your note of encouragement the other day. I had intended to yesterday, but of course the thrill of the chase rather took over…
So thank you for your kindly note….and partlucid was simply a concoction which came to me some time back and amused me. I’ve always liked lucid as a word – with no particular reference to myself of course! – and then it pleased me even further that there was another existing phrase which largely undermined the notion of lucidity…
Quite where I would stand on that spectrum I wouldn’t entirely know…


Lynda I noted in your post of 23.7@11.58 when you were discussing the bullets shot, that you must have taken the two pinkish? blobs on the window struts to be some sort of police marking system. Do we know that to be the case? I had wondered about them, but couldn’t be so bold as to make that leap.


The front side window on the passenger side appears to have two holes, but they’re very different in size. One is very small and ‘incisive’ but the other is considerably larger. Knowing nothing myself of how glass behaves under duress, I wonder if anybody has any knowledge. Could it be that the shots were fired at different distances, for example?

7-27-2013 at 10:07:53


Thanks for the explanation.

re: Glass breaking.

I know everything about the behaviour of glass under duress. It breaks. I even have proof: almost every day I throw away a cracked or chipped glass, and all I did to it was to wash it.


I was up long long before I said Bonjour. I was just being Bolshie this morning and was not going to say good morning at all. There are such days.

A waterfall roars.

Have you watched Alex’s video of the road and lay-by? On it, at the end, you can hear the soft rustle of the water. Nothing loud enough to make it impossible to hear a gunshot, but no one here wants to believe me. Even just a car backfiring down on my avenue can be heard loud and clear, and this is despite whatever domestic noises in my flat – and that I am 9 floors up.

Maybe that gun was not an old Luger anyway. We have been given incorrect info before, either deliberately or at that stage it had not yet been established what the gun had been.

Anyway, I will now get back to police headquarters to start my day’s work: 36 Quay des Orfevres.

7-27-2013 at 10:08:01

I was also trying to do some research in to the route Combe D’Ire.
Was there any “significance” in it’s history ?

“Un martinet, machine avec laquelle on forge le métal, est installé dans la Combe d’Ire et une route est aménagée pour permettre l’exploitation de la forêt dite forêt noire dont les bois sont souvent destinés aux industries anneciennes”

I see that the name of the carpark comes from the “swift machine” installed and used there (?). Any ideas what that machine is or does in metal forging ?

7-27-2013 at 10:09:14

@ Lynda, 7-26-2013 at 18:37:18

Bleach would also zap DNA, as would anything that promises to leave your toilet germ-free.

However, I really struggle with the idea that the killer would have deliberately sterilized his entire gun beforehand, as he cannot possibly have expected a piece of the gun to fall off. Thus, I should attribute the lack of latent prints on the empty cartridge cases to intent (handling the ammo with gloves throughout), but the absence of DNA on that grip-plate fragment to a mixture of caution (wearing gloves during the attack) and luck. I suspect that he sprayed the entire gun with some rust-inhibiting concoction such as WD-40 whilst storing it, and that this rust inhibitor had the side effect of destroying trace DNA.

7-27-2013 at 10:11:17

The trickle does indeed become a torrent and for a while after rain as well. Where the stream is managed into huge pipes under the lane, it can be amazingly thunderous. BUT
Not just the stream noises.

The swirling unchoate tree noises are huge in certain cyclonic winds.
I often retire to The Growlery when the wind is in the East.

Remarkable thing about human hearing . . . even under those conditions I can hear a baby cry.

Even with scientific evidence . . I prefer to believe my own perceptions.
This is a problem in this case I think. Police are layering all sorts of possibles and speculations where none exist (perhaps).

7-27-2013 at 10:16:02

@ James, 7-27-2013 at 10:08:01

Apparently, a martinet is, amongst other things, a mechanical hammer

Presumably, in the olden days, they used the power of the stream to drive the hammer.

7-27-2013 at 10:24:22


Your last line. I should crack the joke and say “…but that’s in Seine” !
Quite witty I thought.

Yes, saw the video that Alex made. And it does give more of a feel for the area.
It did make me think of my hiking days with may dad when we would walk along a forestry route. The silence was indeed “dead” quiet.

Hence I don’t understand how Martin did not hear the “crack” of gun shots.
Nor did the ex policeman.
Maybe it WAS possible not to hear them…but then at the reconstruction !
The ex policeman heard them AND as Lars pointed out, a camera crew even picked them up.

Very strange.

7-27-2013 at 10:24:48

Hey Marilyn ( i believe it is the real you)

I don’t think you can compare urban noise conditions to those of the country.

It is true that I may not be able to hear bells 50 yards away from me but my son hears them out at sea. I don’t think there are blanket acoustic rules that can be applied across the board in that way.

The old particular versus the universal problem again.

7-27-2013 at 10:26:34


re: mechanical hammer.

And, we today, are supposed to be the lazy ones.

7-27-2013 at 10:38:24


Ah, so it is. A marteau !

I imagine “that” would have created a hell of a noise ?

This maybe a stupid question but anyway, here goes…would they “cart” the metal there to be hammered ? Or was the metal forged up there…and they brought the hammer closer to the “hot metal” ?

I can only think forest, wood, charcoal, heat, forging….and hammer ?
Seems logical ?

7-27-2013 at 10:39:36

@ Marilyn, 7-27-2013 at 10:26:34
I suspect that is how the local metal industry came into being. AFAIK, they don’t have iron ore there, they don’t have a major river or other means of easy transportation for goods, but they do have plenty of hydropower from those fast-flowing mountain streams and plenty of wood for firing the furnaces.

@ partlucid, 7-27-2013 at 09:46:28
I reckon that those pink blobs on the B- and C-struts are sound-insulating foam with which those struts are filled.

Regarding those holes in the front passenger-side window, the small one is a single entry hole, the big one probably is several entry holes grouped close together, causing the glass in between to fall out.

7-27-2013 at 10:40:25

@Marilyn / @Peter

Mechanical hammer ! Lazy hammer ! Today the Wi fi Hammer !

7-27-2013 at 10:56:20

@ James

I am no industrial historian, but I reckon that 1. they didn’t do much cold-forging in the old days, 2. they would also have wanted to use hydropower to power the bellows for the furnace.

Therefore, I would guess that smelting and forging were done in the same place, probably nearer the town rather than out in the sticks. Most likely in exactly the same spot where the Ugitech and Cezus factories stand now.

7-27-2013 at 11:07:30


thanks Peter. So you also have a number of ‘inaccurate’ shots hitting the car, presumably as it’s in motion…?
(I’m still at the stage of trying to fathom out what the killer has actually done at the site).

7-27-2013 at 11:11:13

@PartLucid, I read that the pinkish marks on the window struts, there are two on the passenger side and one on the drivers side are bullet holes, the colour pinkish going to white in the centre is apparently the ‘foam’ that is inside them.

I would agree that the bullets holes were from different distances.

The reason Brett Martin was able to push in the front drivers side, if you look at Max photos, the enhanced one, you’ll see that it has been pushed in very close to the wing mirror and therefore the ignition key, (he stated that the window was already holed and crazed so it would have been easy to do).

The water – first point about the stream/river, the building (covered in graffitti) at the start of the ‘Dangerous Road’ is an old sawmill, no doubt the water being used in the process, even if for only cooling the blades.

The Ire appears to be full of rocks, so this isn’t just a small stretch of water that babbles, it is also running downhill and fed by various sources running off the mountains either side. The Col de Cherel being its source, whether it would cover the sound of gunfire, couple it with Wind in the trees, a wiggle in the road, the road isn’t straight, then it is possible.

The problem with the Gendarme hearing the reconstruction, do we know where he was at the time, I mean the actual place ? Also the female cyclist interviewed by the BBC, where was she on the day when she heard her ‘ratatat’ ?

Melvin the trial bike rider heard them, his father who was working in Marceau heard them, but the builders, Paul Ducher on his farm, Claude Antoine in his garden didn’t. The latter three were at the ‘foot’ of the Combe d’Ire, could this be why they didn’t hear anything the sound travelling upwards ?

Le Martinet – the clearing is known as Parking Le Martinet, Le Martinet itself is a piece of woodland that starts at the hairpin and goes a little way along the lower track, beside the river and then up the side to the left, but not behind the clearing. It is part of the ONF forest, there is then a break before the ONF jurisdiction begins again, although I suppose they are the ones responsible for it as a whole and not the private rangers, although that I haven’t been able to confirm.

Sorry about the length, trying to pick up on all your thoughts, I’ll do my best to supply all links if you wish, I have had to have a computer replaced, so many of the temporary internet files are lost, I’ll check the laptop. I certianly didn’t expect to still be scrawling here all these months later, I wish I’d saved so much more, hindsight is a wonderful thing.

7-27-2013 at 11:23:07

@ partlucid, 7-27-2013 at 11:07:30

Those shots to the B- and C-struts are not all that inaccurate
They are at the right height to hit the rear passengers, just a few centimetres off to the side.

However, I don’t think that one can draw inferences from the size of an entry hole in glass to the distance from which the bullet was fired. A few metres more or less don’t make any difference in that regard. Only if a shot were to be fired from several hundred metres away, in a ballistic arc, and struck the glass with just enough residual energy to shatter it would one expect to see a bigger entry hole.

7-27-2013 at 11:42:42

The track that has always interested me is not the hairpin but the one that goes to Le Planay ….

Nevertheless, in close up you will see that there was another way off the Route Forestiere that would have avoided the Route du Moulin and the Ducher farm and builders, but still going through part of Chevaline, certainly would have passed Sylvie Lecouers bend in the road, or even used to go up…. to the left of the road on the way down.

7-27-2013 at 11:52:09

@ all

King David has always been my favorite king.

That’s why my first born’s called David.


7-27-2013 at 12:01:52

@ Lynda, all regarding killer – Sylvain Mollier liaison

“The killer knew Sylvain Mollier or the killer didn’t even knew him but Sylvain Mollier knew the killer or they didn’t even knew each other but the killer was afraid of Sylvain Mollier anyway.” (Alex)


7-27-2013 at 12:02:36

Further thanks Peter for your technical insights…although I still find myself with a minor, irksome quibble: the combined width of the window struts, when set against the size of glass panels, must be relatively minor…and yet somehow there have been two strikes against these struts (and Lynda assures a further one on the driver’s side – where the shots were presumably NOT from distance?). That seems to me an improbable rate of window strut striking!…ie… 3 different struts hit, against perhaps up to 10? shots through the 4 side windows. There’s not a technique of deliberately shooting through the struts, from close range, to avoid the threat of glass, is there…?

7-27-2013 at 12:34:23

@ partlucid, 7-27-2013 at 12:02:36

Deliberately shooting through the struts would be foolish, as they will deflect, deform and slow down a bullet considerably. The only threat of glass is to the people being shot at, because shards of glass may become secondary projectiles. (If the killer had used a shotgun, it would have been the shards of glass, not the shotgun pellets, doing the damage.)

In this particular context, shooting “from a distance” would mean something like from 5-8 metres away. I don’t think it would be that remarkable to get two or even three hits on the window struts whilst aiming at the windows of a moving car. Also, those holes in the struts could well be exit holes caused by perfectly-aimed close-range shots. Unlike with entry and exit holes in glass, where it is pretty obvious which is which (entry holes are tiny, round roles with a circular area of crazing around them, whereas exit holes are big, jagged ones), I have no idea what differences there would be with struts. Guessing wildly, since this pink foam seems to protrude from the holes in the struts, I would actually consider it more likely that they are exit holes than entry holes.

7-27-2013 at 12:47:39


The resting place of the car is not where the shooting started, it began when the car was at the other end of the parking, nose in, drivers side to the killer, glass from the rear window on the floor.

So the windows and struts at this point were most likely a certain distance from the gunman.

When the car reversed, gunman moving around the parking, the passenger side becomes visible and shots are fired into that side.

Not everyone buys into this idea, if you look at the most recent mock up from Le Monde posted by Max and then me, you’ll see what I’m talking about.

@Peter, you are right, they are not really inaccurate, but they couldn’t have been fired point blank at the windows either, all the ‘double tap’ nonsense.

What intrigues me is the shots to the front passenger side, there wasn’t anyone in that seat, the gunman couldn’t see this or didn’t see that this was the case or was it shots through there that hit Saad, as I think Lars suggested.

7-27-2013 at 12:52:37

What do “chevaline” and “martinet” have in common in middle French?
They both are words formerly related to the business of horse-dealers (not butchers, Marilyn!). Maquignons in the original.
Chevaline once referred to the area or pasture where horses would roam freely before being trained. Martinet was the makeshift sledgehammer, powered by crankshaft or pulleys in a stream, that was used to weld horse-shoes, the first accessory required after training.
Can’t see many of those nowadays, except in countryside antiques stores..

7-27-2013 at 13:20:02

Heavy thunderstorms today, and I didn’t hear a baby cry…yet…


You may be right about La Lechere. I know nothing about the technicalities concerning pharmacies and don’t know exactly how a G.I.E. operates. Does it not mean that you somehow co-own the operation?
Previously there was also some text written by Thierry Schutz on La Lechere’s homepage.

When I look closer at La Lechere I see that it was created in 1991 and the G.I.E in 1992. In some documents Mme Marie Lise Rochaix stands as “gérant” for La Lechere, in others Marie Lise Chevalier, sometimes both (I don’t know if there is a mix up and it is the same person). I have also seen the name Anne-Marie Rochaix in connection with La Lechere. When I try to look at changes made to La Lechere since 1991 I can’t find any, but then again the same docs says no changes in Schutz-Morange either, and that we know is not true.

What the G.I.E. is doing today without Thierry Schutz I do not know.

7-27-2013 at 13:31:52


I think you are right on all points. 🙂

I don’t think the killer could see, from a distance, that noone was sitting in the front passenger seat, or anyhow did not care to look before he shot (he could always hit the driver which was the main objective).

And, yes, I don’t buy any longer the idea that killer went round the car and shot through all windows. The killer was content with shooting through the windows facing the lay-by. But then again the police know the correct answer.

7-27-2013 at 13:42:17


Exactly! The particulars of acoustics at Martinet cannot be replicated in a laboratory setting. Only at the Martinet location with identical circumstances of wind through the trees, calender date, rushing water in the Ire and shots from identical weapon. At different locations the sound will be muffled or could be attenuated as if you were standing at a distance of 10m. I mentioned this before, I was waiting at JFK in New York and suddenly heard voices next to me. There was no one within 15m! I look across the hall and its curvature, the persons were having a discussion at least 80m away. That is the role of wave propagation and building acoustics. The Combe d’Ire runs along a very steep and high cliff wall. This could offer some odd characteristics of spots where you no sound or a loud shot from a gun.


From memory, the video was taken at the foot of the hill where all the press had gathered. I couldn’t find the video again. Search on page for “gunshot” …
Le JDD- 15h30 : détonations dans la montagne


About the ballistics and who got shot first:
Tuerie de Chevaline : Saad Al Hilli est sorti de sa voiture avant d’être abattu

Tuerie de Chevaline : un calibre 7,65 mm aurait été utilisé

7-27-2013 at 13:49:07

re: Martinet

Googling the name I find that it is what a whip is called in France. It is therefore what I know as a sjambok. (From my deep south of Africa days.)

If only we can find out when the woodland was named Le Martinet then we may know why this particular name for it was chosen. (Lynda, can you let me have a link to mention of the name please?)

Of course, once there might have been people living there in the forest who used hammers. Maybe they did so in making furniture from the timber they’d cut down?


Well, I never re the King David. I did not take you for the biblical scholar type.

My favourite crowned head is Napoleon. Maybe I will get another goldfish (the other one sadly went off to the great ocean via the toilet) and name him Napoleon.

7-27-2013 at 13:56:36


re: Le martinet and chevaline

So it is all about the horse. (Beautiful creature although when my money is on its back it refuses to run.)

May I say? Well, they shoot horses don’t they?

Thanks, Eugene, for the info.


7-27-2013 at 14:32:53,

there are many places called Le Martinet in the region, no doubt all due to the combination of wood, water and forging.,


@Marilyn the map I posted earlier shows you Le Martinet as an area, the waterfall is after Le

On the Geoportail site: javascript:decodeUrl(‘/donnee/56/carte-de-l-etat-major-en-couleur?c=-0.6350208105697915,46.68999362046978&z=0.0071830360217065466&l=GEOGRAPHICALGRIDSYSTEMS.ETATMAJOR40$GEOPORTAIL:OGC:WMTS(1)&permalink=yes’);

shows ‘Martinet Ruine’, the map being from 1820 – 1866.

Is any of this relevant, probably not, interesting though, the map that showed Le Martinet as a forest area separate to the rest was posted by SeeBee a while back.

7-27-2013 at 14:46:32


Thank you for believing I am who I say I am – Popeye the sailor man.


Thanks for the info re Le Martinet. So the name dates from before 1820.

7-27-2013 at 14:55:12


Looked at the links. So very interesting. Thank you. So Doussard dates from the 9th century. And I only heard of it in 2012.

7-27-2013 at 15:22:29

Just messing about with stuff today, we too have had a big storm, I detest them.

Anyway, maybe it has been mentioned before, Fadwa(r), Iqbals sister started the process to adopt Zainab and Zeena in January of this year through the Family Court.

If I remember correctly, FB said that Fadwa wasn’t British, so this may be causing the delay.

In the circumstances the authorities will want to do everything by the book and not risk anything coming back to bite them on the bum.

If you have looked at the link to the ‘cascade’, it says ‘no difficulty’ to get to, looks about an hours round trip walking leisurely. That is certainly not difficult for a four year old or a 74 year old in good health, as far as we know the grandmother was, walking with the girls, picking apples.

I really find it difficult to understand why someone of 74 is referred to as old, I know quite a few older than that who cycle, hike, fish and do all their own DIY, they are in the majority to those that can’t be active.

So, let’s say that the family went there to walk along the river to the waterfall, they pulled up at the information sign to see which way they were to go, the campsites receptionist daughter having given them general dirtections.

7-27-2013 at 15:33:34

@ Mari

No, not the biblical type, but been to Israel already thrice.


7-27-2013 at 15:52:53


I agree with you, it’s age discrimination.

My mother continued her usual life, cycling, gardening, everything, until she was eighty. Then she very suddenly got weak, probably from a small stroke, and after a few years almost did nothing, but eat and sleep.

7-27-2013 at 16:45:07

@Lars and do you know they even have SEX ! I often find you can judge a persons age when commenting by the way they perceive people over 50 …..

Get to 40 and it is rare to find such discrimination and that is because they see their own parents being active and they have joined the ‘middle aged’ band that covers 20 or 30 years after that.

By the way, to do that leisurely walk they would not have needed ‘hiking gear’, their ‘town clothes’, he certainly wasn’t wearing a suit, would have been, jeans/chinos, polo shirt/sweat shirt, soft shoes or trainers, you can apply that to all the family.

That brings me to the children, in everything that has been in print or the ether, both girls are seen or portrayed wearing ribbed tights – logic because it was a Muslim family.

Having had to cope with three step-granddaughters as children, in the summer, always wore shorts with bare legs.

I conclude from that why the family were happy to spend their vacation in Annecy and the surroundings and as FB said even ten miles from their home, no doubt in a bit of countryside, away from the built up suburb of Claygate.

They weren’t people for the beach, just not their style of life. From one of FB’s postings I asked whether Saad drank, I meant alcohol, he said he didn’t, but he didn’t mind others doing so.

The reason I asked was because the exchange on the ‘Skype’ was after 17:00 on Christmas Day ! That’s the one about the house and Zaid wanting money from it.

From what I’ve read, Saad was in Spain when he conducted that chat, understand I was trying to see if a ‘drunk’ Saad was getting a bit ‘I love you, man’ – the Brits will know what I mean, the old term ‘tired and emotional’ !

@FB, absolutely no offence intended to you or your late friend.

Saad and Iqbal were not hard line Muslims, nevertheless they had their religious beliefs and certainly many elements that dictated their every day lives.

At the time of the murders Saad was without a contract (FB), Iqbal newly re-qualified to practice dentistry in the UK, one child already in Claygate Primary the youngest due to start the following Monday.

The death of Khadim revealing a ‘small fortune’ that would be coming his and his brothers way, I could write a chapter to explain what happened there, just by applying lifes expériences…. another day.

At the clearing Parking Le Martinet, just to be clear:

the press said that casings had been left behind, the completely unknowledgeable hack found a surveyors pin as Peter has explained, do you really think the forensics would let spent bullet casings rest there ?

Old cartridge cases and fagends were also found, as for the glass in the clearing, unless they scraped up everybit of that place with a Kubota, they were never going to get every scrap of glass or blood from there.

7-27-2013 at 17:24:10

@ Lars
I knew about G.I.E. for wine producers as they are a lot of small ones, but I didn’t know Giphar was a G.I.E before. With Giphar, (Groupement Indépendant de PHARrmaciens indépendants) pharmacies get together on a local base, then on a regional base and then on the national base… this allow them to have better prices, marketing tools and … a website… Le Giphar: see
Now, why Genevieve and Thierry don’t appear now? If they are more than 2 pharmacies in their coop, they might try to have different people running the G.I.E. so that every pharmacie would be represented in the managerial board… Another reason would be that they don’t own the pharmacy any longer, as their daughter does…

7-27-2013 at 19:37:12

Would the gunshots have had an echo, chances are yes, that is why they weren’t picked up as individual shots, the echo making them sound like automatic gunfire.

The Luger P06, is a one shot at a time device although in succession.

Just who would attract that level of noise to themselves deliberately, the gunman didn’t have any idea as to who was in the area – so I still say Sylvain Mollier target or none at all.

@Bibi, you live in France, I remember you saying not too far from the ‘married bridge’, not knowing your gender, maybe you’d enjoy this:

My husband has given up on me and the fascination with the murders, asking questions of all sorts of people we know.

I was taking notes when the Channel 4 programme was on, he watched it in another room, trying to understand my interest.

At the end of it, I asked him what he thought, his reply “the cyclist was ****ing someone elses wife” !

We all base what we think on what we know and what we’ve learned.

7-27-2013 at 20:19:57


That’s actually an excellent idea. That the echo could have made the shots sound more continous than they actually were. (have to start listening to you again, Lyndon 😉 )

Since I know you understand a joke I could add to your husband’s comment “the cyclist was ****ing someone elses wife” :
…or how we ourselves would react in such a situation.. 🙂

7-27-2013 at 20:23:38


Thanks for the additional information.

I guess I am sort at loss until somebody find a document about the transactions in La Lechere.

7-27-2013 at 20:46:57

@Lars, or what he’d expect !

Isolated enough to get away with a couple of shots to Mollier, a whole family, nah, could have done it with a silencer at the caravan park, tents aren’t exactly armour plated, are they ?

7-27-2013 at 20:58:16

Anybody heard anything about American servers, strange cars or Romanian phone calls from the investigation lately? 😉

7-27-2013 at 21:02:14


I have all along said that Le Martinet was the strangest place you could pick if you intended to kill the Al-Hillis.

7-27-2013 at 21:16:52

@Peter, I was paying attention earlier about the possibility of a bullet being in the gun and then a magazine behind it or at least the probability that it was unlikely.

So, if there were 25 bullets and casings accounted for, then that means, there was a fourth magazine, leaving 7 still available.

If it was 21, three magazines with 2 still available.

This guy didn’t run out of ammo, gun could have jammed or he didn’t have the wherewithall to shoot the child, after he’d recovered his senses, just a thought.

@Lars, agree completely.

7-27-2013 at 22:11:39

A man whose wife is having an affair may well decide to kill the lover. He would certainly go for him if he knew he was cycling to an isolated spot. BUT shoot another 3 people and beat a little girl senseless, I can’t quite see that. But who knows? Hatred is a funny thing.

Usually when it is a domestic drama like that police quickly break down the killer once they have had enough in the entourage tell them that abc is having an affair with xyz’s wife and abc has told his pals that he was going to take xyz out.

In this case however no such stories have been told – as far as we know.

Lars, no, there has been no further news about American servers, strange cars or Romanian phone calls. The entire judiciary in France must be on holiday. So there will be nothing till September. There is bound to be another revelation on or just before Sept 5.

I am now going to listen to music …

Have a nice commenting night.

7-28-2013 at 08:24:47

Bonjour … or shall I let you all sleep still.

7-28-2013 at 08:56:35

Good morning, Marilyn. Don’t forget that Zaid’s bail is going to be reviewed on the 31st. There are bound to be further reports then.

@ Lynda, 7-27-2013 at 21:16:52
I didn’t say that it was impossible or even unlikely that the killer had a full magazine plus one round in the breech to start with, only that this practice was potentially unsafe and probably not his everyday way of carrying that gun. Rather, just like the fingerprint-free ammunition, it points to premeditation.

7-28-2013 at 09:44:54


re: Zaid’s bail

Yes, so it will be.

I say that the bail will be lifted and there will be no charges, and the event will not be listed so he will not have a ‘police record’.

As I understand it, the British police had, against their better judgement, acted on French panic.

Have a nice hot day, Peter.

7-28-2013 at 11:28:33


FWIW I now find myself happy with the ‘1 complete carton of bullets’ theory –
whether that be in the snail drum or the 3×8+1 magazines. I too had wondered whether the killer had maybe baulked at pulling the trigger on a child, but given that he then resorted to clubbing Zainab then I can’t quite see how the charge of squeamishness stands up.
Plus, if the chap’s of the Swiss persuasion, then I would fully expect him to feel compelled to empty the full box into his weapon…!

….and was it you Lynda who had had a conversation with some shooting colleagues of your husband? The quote apropos the Lueger was that “a Ferrari is still a Ferrari” (I’ve looked but can’t relocate it). I’d be very interested to know what regular shooters would make of the task that the killer opted to take on that day…ie…killing 4 adults + perhaps 2 children with 25 bullets, when a 5 yard dash in most directions would offer the cover of woodland and there is both a bicycle and a vehicle immediately to hand. Obviously and sadly he pulled it off, but seemingly with very little margin…

7-28-2013 at 12:18:00

As all the London nationals are reporting this morning, the two Al-Hilli girls are to be allowed to live with their aunt.

Fat Bastard sent me this photo a while ago but he asked me to keep it for myself. I did not even feel that I could tell you all that Iqbal was a very beautiful woman. As I told Fat Bastard she looked like the young Farah Dibah, Empress of Iran.


7-28-2013 at 12:40:28

That’s just wonderful news!

Thanks to all who fought for their cause and congrats to FB. May the girls once again feel the loving care of family and friends in a cultural setting they feel most comfortable with. May God bless.

7-28-2013 at 12:51:57

Yes, Marilyn it is good to put a photo to the name, and the date is the 28th July, when is the 5th ….. just a week away, true to form I would say.

No doubt the account will come on line in an other newspaper later today or tomorrow.

@partlucid, I had lunch with friends back in April, he is the competition shooter, also a ‘ranger’ at the gun club – I handled a P08, heavier than I thought it would be and he showed me how to shoot it, it does kick up quite a bit, but then I am no expert – I do not like guns or knives, those in our house are under duress.

We have the ‘Dieppe’ storm come through here last night, it was like watching a huge flying saucer pass over, think Independence Day, only just getting back Broadband.

Still very slow.

I agree Marilyn, Zaid will have his bail conditions dropped, the family will be able to start to re-build their lives and properly grieve for those they have lost.

Where does it leave the case, back in Les Bauges and its regions, me thinks.

@FB, so the lady who came to tea was a journalist – good, I hope you gave her loads of information to show what the family was like, maybe Sylvain Molliers would now like to do the same.

7-28-2013 at 12:52:47

At last some good news!
Congratulations to all involved!


7-28-2013 at 13:16:23

Now we just have to catch the killer in Savoie too…

7-28-2013 at 13:23:18

The English side of the investigation must believe that there is no further danger to the girls. I wonder what the French side thinks.

I wonder why they think that there is no further danger to the girls? What do they know that will be released closer to September 5?

Are we now to return to Sylvain Mollier as the primary target?

As you all know that is what I believe. Or rather, he may not have been the target either: a man with a gun which was burning his fingers and which were causing windmills in his mind needed to shoot somebody.

Lars, I do not believe that man is still in France.

This Sentence deleted by Marilyn. (I am now censoring myself.)

7-28-2013 at 13:58:58


We can’t of course not know, but I believe that the chances are greater that he still is in Haute Savoie, or at least not so far away.

7-28-2013 at 14:33:19

@Lars, I agree.

I hinted months ago about a conversation I had with someone who works for French Intelligence, they said that the affair was being taken care of by the Criminal Branch.

To this day, and possibly colouring my thoughts, ‘they all fell upon something’.

Of course I could have been led by the nose… so, yes, Lars, the killer is living amongst them or at least those who know who ‘it’ is.

Smoke and mirrors, afterall as the Maire of Chevaline said, they were foreigners, not from our midst.

And that is nothing to do with being originally from Iraq, although Maillaud should have wound his neck in……

7-28-2013 at 14:41:08

My strategy would be to first solve the Chablais killings, which I think is within reach, and then hear what that man has to say.

7-28-2013 at 14:43:53

I advise all that look into this site, to read it word by word, no diagonal speed reading and then understand what is being said.

Even nutters can travel if they have not roused suspicion …..

7-28-2013 at 14:44:59

Actually the killing season for the Chablais killer soon starts again. He missed the spring season this year, so we will see if he is also going to miss the autumn season. I am pretty sure he has the planning going for a new shooting already….

7-28-2013 at 14:51:43

I am truly overjoyed for the little girls.

7-28-2013 at 14:53:01


Notice that Peter Allen writes “A total of 21 bullets were fired at the scene and each hit its intended target. The bodywork of the BMW was unmarked.”

(if I could make it bold, I had marked the last sentence)

7-28-2013 at 14:57:37

A personal feeling, thought – Maillaud will be promoted to another region.

Then a review and all sorts of stuff will be revealed.

This is just a HUNCH !!! Just like much I have posted before, based upon lifes experiences and the snippet of information available to us all and some with a bit or research.

As I pointed out yesterday the process for the girls to be looked after legally by their Aunt Fadwa was started in January.

What happened to the ‘suspicious’ Roumanian phone calls from her and Zaid ?

@FB, you’re probably having a few beers in celebration, wrong word but I’m sure you know what the sentiment is. You must be relieved.

Before you leave us, as I suspect you will, the neighbour who said Saad had told him of something that was troubling him, we’ve all assumed it was over the house, could it have been that he knew someone (Nigerian John) had been accessing his bank account etc. ? Afterall it started before they were murdered.

7-28-2013 at 15:28:32


E-Maillaud removed from the case! That would really be something. But two such good news on the same day would almost be too much, for an old heart.

7-28-2013 at 15:50:50

Lars, I put your sentence in bold for you.

Have you read this about the Chablais killings?


I feel you have a point, Lars, linking these shootings to that of Chevaline. I wonder if Prosecutor Maillaud has as yet considered it.

You wrote in a comment that you have an idea who committed the Chablais shootings. Can you tell us more about that? If you feel you ought not to, can you email your theory to me, as I am very interested?

I agree with Lynda that Prosecutor Maillaud may be replaced this September. He may be promoted to Paris.

I have a feeling that after the lst anniversary of the killing and if nothing significant is then revealed, and Prosecutor Maillaud is transferred, this case, like the Chablais case will become forgotten. If not forgotten then it will be overshadowed by another case or other cases. It’s oblivion will be hastened by the two Al-Hilli girls’ return to their aunt and her adopting of them.

Just a hunch. As Lynda I say ‘just a hunch’.

I do though have another hunch. Killer X will kill again.

7-28-2013 at 16:14:50


Thank you for the “boldness”. 🙂

That link didn’t work for me (or I couldn’t find anything about Chablais there, though it was an interesting article about a Swedish chef there).

No, E-Maillaid has not even been able to see any link between the Chablais killings, at least not earlier.

By the way I just a heard that they needed a new prosecutor in Guadeloupe, perhaps something for Maillaud.

No I have no idea who the Chablais killer is. I don’t even have a list of suspects. But I have a good idea how you could catch him. It is not a fool-proofed idea, but I think that the chances are pretty good. However it needs a bit of cooperation from some people, and I am not prepared to reveal my idea to anybody but the people who could provide that cooperation. The reason is simply that the killer could counteract to try and stop my action.

7-28-2013 at 16:34:42

@Lars, that is what was stated in the Channel 4 programe so a bit of a repeat thanks to Peter Allen, if Maillaud said there were 25, then 25 it is. If he didn’t then 21 it could be so what happens to the one in the gun already, it leaves three left over from a third magazine.

I think you are on the right track that Zainab wasn’t hit as a last resort, somewhere in the middle of things to stop her screaming, to get her out of the way.

A child of that age could not be hit twice by an adult about the head without falling to the ground at the first blow, just my opinion.

So what of the X5, 15:20, if it was there, if it was a RHD, I think it’s been located as the owner came forward, if discreetly.

7-28-2013 at 16:53:03

@Marilyn Z. Tomlins
7-28-2013 at 12:18:00

‘As all the London nationals are reporting this morning, the two Al-Hilli girls are to be allowed to live with their aunt.

Fat Bastard sent me this photo a while ago but he asked me to keep it for myself. I did not even feel that I could tell you all that Iqbal was a very beautiful woman. As I told Fat Bastard she looked like the young Farah Dibah, Empress of Iran.


– See more at:

OMG, Marilyn. You cannot know how your comment sent shivers down my spine when I read this.

The reason being I have long posited that maybe the al Hilli family were a kind of British intelligence asset, maybe had been for decades. I even used the phrase that maybe somebody ‘had offed the crown jewels’.

As for the rest of my theory I shall keep silent for now although some of you who follow British foreign policy and the geopolitical situation may be able to grasp the central idea.

I have also felt this to be an horrendous crime of unspeakable cruelty against an honourable and lovely family and truly hope the perpetrators are brought to justice.

7-28-2013 at 17:16:26

Looking at the link that Marilyn provided above I found:

“Traque au grand banditisme aux portes de Genève
Dotée de moyens accrus, la police française intensifie ses opérations contre les trafiquants de drogue. A Annemasse, d’anciens braqueurs lyonnais auraient pris le contrôle de ce marché > Haute-Savoie – Dotée de moyens accrus,la police française intensifie ses opérations contre les trafiquants de drogue > Annemasse deviendrait le refuge d’anciens braqueurs lyonnais.”

I always found the link Annemasse and crime interesting.

7-28-2013 at 17:30:08

7-28-2013 at 14:43:53

Did you notice that little nugget from the Daily Mail article that Surrey police had wanted to keep the ruling secret?

7-28-2013 at 17:33:35

Just came back home and read the news about the girls being allowed to live with their relatives. Finally, some good news! I am so pleased.

@ Marilyn
You are probably right in thinking that this means that Zaid is no longer suspected of conspiracy to murder. However, let’s wait and see how his bail review goes …

7-28-2013 at 17:57:50


The ruling says: ‘Zainab and Zeena have made it clear that they want to live with their aunt and uncle and cousin with whom they have a warm and close relationship.’

Sylvain Mollier, a 45-year-old French cyclist, was also shot dead in the attack on September 5 last year.

The authorities on both sides of the Channel still fear that the girls are in danger because Zainab is thought to have seen the killer or killers carrying out the attack.

The French authorities have privately criticised social services in the UK for preventing the girls from being interviewed adequately about the attack, in which Zainab was pistol whipped and was hit by a bullet in her shoulder.

Eric Maillaud, the Annecy prosecutor, is among those who think that a thorough interview could provide vital clues.

Mr Maillaud believes an international contract killing may have taken place, with a police source saying: ‘This was the work of somebody who knew exactly what he was doing. Whoever carried out this crime had no qualms. This was not the work of an amateur.’

Quite interesting, the first question is how trustworthy the writing of the Mail reporter is!

There are 3 conclusions to be drawn from this aricle:
1. Will the 2 girls still be under guardianship of Surrey Social Services to protect them from Mr. Maillaud’s questioning;
2. The French investigators really have no idea where to search for the murderer;
3. Investigators are still looking for a motive.

Killer X did not have the situation under control. While he targeted Sylvain Mollier first with 5-6 shots, he was surprised by the presence of Saad’s family. Saad nearly managed to escape with two witnesses on board. Killer X had to reload within the first 10 seconds in order to stop the BMW X5 and its driver. No amateur would have decided to kill more persons if only SM was his target. Killer X was a trained individual with most likely a military training and his killed before, probably in a war zone unless he is simply a gangster.

7-28-2013 at 18:07:24

Very good news for the girls… and those who love them…
To read as well about it

The Proximity with the Swiss border obviously attracts a lot of people there, people with money … and without !

On another line, do you think airsolf guns would provide somebody enough skills (movement, rapidity…) to apply them “for real”? As for the handling of a real gun, that’s seems not be a problem as hunting is very popular in those mountainous parts…

7-28-2013 at 18:22:28

@Oui, I agree. As I said, did they disturb something ?

The Al-Hilli car was a BMW Series 5 touring/Estate, not a BMW X5, which is a 4×4 (SUV).

There are plenty in and around Les Bauges who have military training and no doubt umpteen ‘gangsters’, drugs and people trafficking seem to be the preferred employment of such.

They remain under protection, and so they should if not until the killer is found at least until they have re-integrated into their surroundings and they won’t be chased by paps, hacks and general nosiness.

I can understand why the court didn’t want this event in the open, the girls will no doubt go to live in Reading, that of course is if Fadwa is still there, if I were her I’d move to somewhere with all three children and her husband and start them in a new school come September.

Can you imagine the hounding this family has been subjected to, that includes Zaid.

There is always the possiblity of someone going ‘nuts’, which is neither a ‘lone wolf’ or a ‘nutter’ by definition

7-28-2013 at 18:26:07

Actually, I’d like to pick up on Bibis comment, have you seen the killings that go on of very large animals ?

Would you like some photos ? A great deal of ‘finishing off’ goes on, with shots to the head.

7-28-2013 at 19:00:38

Sorry to come back to those harmful games, full of fun, … a day out running in the mountains… but I find that pretty scaring. There are many teams in the Alps region… Just a few images: +
Couldn’t all this «feed» a nutter?

7-28-2013 at 19:22:07


Were you the one running out in the mountains? The Alps?

A cream cake could ‘feed’ a nutter.

7-28-2013 at 19:24:00


I will now sign off. Got to do some serial killing.

So, today there was some good news.

I think it will be good for the two Al-Hilli girls to see familiar faces. It may though make them very sad too.

Tomorrow is another day.

Have a good commenting night.

7-28-2013 at 19:36:32

if I mentioned A Place
or a Person
I wont get to see the girls
there are still some reporting restrictions

7-28-2013 at 20:35:39

@ Marilyn
Too hot for cream cakes… An ice cream, why not?

7-28-2013 at 21:43:51

@FB, it is funny how I feel relieved that some stability will be put back into the girls lives, not ever knowing them.

Now you do whatever you have to.

7-29-2013 at 01:31:28

Long day at work…and time zones changes don’t help.
I just picked up on the. A tad shattered so I think its all true.

Those girls.
I can not begin to imagine the horror they feel. Hopefully eased in some kind of way now.

Eased he says ! How can you ease that endless pain.

Hopefully “something” found makes here, there or anywhere makes some difference.

7-29-2013 at 08:44:18


No, I am not slumming. I’ve been working since 6 this morning.

@Bibi and @All

Yesterday was a rather mixed up day for me, what with the news of the two girls and what not, so I only got to your links late last night.

You wondered whether such ‘war games’ could lead to the real thing being tried. I am sure that it can.

Either those ‘small’ thugs who play them will grow up and behave properly, or they will grow up and not behave properly and become ‘big’ thugs.

In their twisted minds they must wonder what the real thing will feel like and then we have something like Chevaline: then we have Chevaline.

I hope that the investigators are crawling the Web and on finding such sites as you linked to will investigate those nutters.

Here are two scenarios for Chevaline:

(1) Such a group was running around playing war in the forest and one of them, for the hell of it, had live ammo in his machine gun. The others did not know: he was going to surprise them and all were going to have such fun with the real thing, each allowed to fire a round at a tree. Low and behold a car drives up, and – bob’s your uncle – there was a perfect opportunity to find out what the real thing felt like, and he opens fire. The others, flabbergasted, stand staring at him. Then, a cyclist cycles up, and he, shouting at them that they were out of their bloody minds and he was calling the gendarmes, had to be shot down too. The carnage done, the group ran into the forest and to where they had left their transport.

(2) One of the group, their make-believe war games no longer sufficient for him, had gone to the forest, there where they usually run around ducking behind trees and shooting fake ammo at one another, but it was real ammo he had and he meant to kill someone. Maybe a cyclist as he knew they came along that road. To his delight a car load of people drew up. Those in it having been shot, a cyclist cycled up, and seeing the bodies and the nutter, he dressed in American Army surplus and his face covered in a balaclava, throws his bike down on the road and is gunned down too. (Zainab spoke of one bad man and to a small girl seeing a man dressed like those who she sees killing people on TV news every day – Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya etc – such a man will be a ‘bad’ man.)

So,there you are. All that the gendarmes would now have to do is to go speak to those they see on sites like those Bibi linked us to.

And if you think I am a nutter too, do remember that I write – non-fiction yes, but also fiction.

When we reach 500 comments here I will open a new thread.

Have a good commenting day.

7-29-2013 at 09:13:09

The Parisien report, mention of Zaid bail being up on Wednesday:

@Marilyn and Bibi, way back when details of the gunman moving about the Parking Le Martinet, I think we discussed whether someone who enjoyed his computer games might want to try it out for real.

The links Bibi posted shows that there is one step closer, with Airsoft and replica guns, thanks to his link I’ve seen others that show the ‘kids’ posing with their replicas.

7-29-2013 at 09:21:22

And guess what an Airsoft Luger P06 exists !

Well, I learn something every day.

7-29-2013 at 11:33:14

I don’t think that the killer acquired his forensic awareness from playing paintball. I think it is more likely that he learned that through hanging out with other criminals, or at the police academy. Likewise, unless he got incredibly lucky with vintage ammunition and vintage magazines with knackered magazine springs, he has the requisite contacts to acquire fresh ammunition and new magazine springs, or new aftermarket magazines. (Perhaps that guy arrested in Switzerland, detained for a month and then let released was a known underworld armourer specialising in Swiss Army weapons.)

However, his shooting skills may well have been honed by playing paintball. In many ways, paintball is the most realistic training that one can get for this kind of situation. The way in which he moved around the scene of the crime ought to tell the gendarmerie a lot about the kind of “training” that he had. If, for example, he went down on one knee whilst changing magazines (in order to make himself a smaller target), that would be a clear indication that he had had either military/paramilitary or paintball training.

Another hint that he may be a paintball enthusiast may lie in the large number of shots fired. Paintball guns generally have larger magazine capacities than regular guns. Thus, regularly playing paintball would condition somebody to use the same “give it plenty” shooting style that the Chevaline killer exhibited.

7-29-2013 at 12:01:44


Good points you make in your 11.33 p.m.


I’ve never even heard of an Airsoft till I watched those videos on Bibi’s links.

Gosh, people are crazy. Once little girls played with dolls and little boys played with motorcars.

7-29-2013 at 12:34:16

And other little boys made Airfix models…and dreamed !

7-29-2013 at 12:39:48

I know nothing about criminality but I read the news.

Recently the biggest cover-ups have been made to protect police reputations. In the UK, there has been Savile, Hillsborough etc.
Probably the same in Europe.

The Police have the wherewithall to cover their own tracks.

And they stick together.

7-29-2013 at 12:58:08


Peter, how long does it actually take to change magazines? What would you say the gap was between firing your last bullet in magazine 1 and then the first from the new magazine. And can I also ask if you favour the magazine change option over the snail drum in this scenario…is there any kind of trade-off there between increased capacity v extra weight + reduced accuracy, for example? Many of the online snail drum images also feature a butt; would you definitely need a butt with the drum? for balance and stability, presumably?

7-29-2013 at 14:10:48

@ partlucid, 7-29-2013 at 12:58:08

I am told that the drum magazine has no practical disadvantages whatsoever, that it is just as reliable as regular magazines and in fact improves the balance of the gun. The sole drawback is that it renders it impossible to carry the pistol covertly. However, those magazines are rarer than hens’ teeth. Using one of those would be tantamount to leaving a calling card.

Regarding the time required for magazine changes, this would take a little longer with a P06 than with more modern pistols, because you need to pull the toggle backwards with your left hand after inserting the fresh mag in order to release the action and make it move forward, feeding the first round of the new mag as the action moves forwards to the closed position. With a modern gun, you merely have to release the topslide catch with your right thumb in order to make the action move forward.

Still, even without lots of practice and without special devices such as magazine holders strapped to one’s right forearm, changing magazines on a P06 should take no more than 1.5 seconds. Plenty of practice plus tricks such as counting one’s shots, plus sloppy practice such as allowing spent magazines simply to drop to the ground rather than catching them and putting them away, could get this down to less than half a second. There probably is somebody in Texas who can do it in under 0.1 seconds 😉

7-29-2013 at 14:43:49


Partly off-topic.

Therefore: Do you think Bradley Manning is a traitor?

7-29-2013 at 16:38:01

@Marilyn, have you been at the champagne or is it the heat, Bradley Manning ? In the UK I understand that treason is the one thing you can be hanged for. Snowden is an idiot, why didn’t he get visas to go to where he wanted to end up, just for a holiday, then reveal all and ask for asylum, takes all sorts.

My new computer is back with its birth mother, Chez Darty, so I’ve lost saved stuff again, worst things are happening in the world.

Again to you Marilyn and your comment regarding Iqbal, if she had passed me in the street, I would not have been able to say where she came from, by the way I had to Google your lady, she was born in 1930, maybe I’ve missed something ?

It is the same when people refer to seeing a man skulking around the first campsite, Europa, looking Balkan – how the heck do you judge that ! Maybe if he spoke, had a certain accent, or did the monobrow give it away…

It is as always all about perception.

@Peter and partlucid, maybe Max or Alex said there was a Paintball venue nearby, was that Fauverges ?

@partlucid, if you believe what has been reported or said by the prosecutor, witnesses, about 30 seconds in total. Vinneman said up to 4 minutes, surely the longer would have left more echoing and imprint on peoples minds than one series of shots ‘ringing’ out ?

7-29-2013 at 16:40:13

@Marilyn Re: Girls

I am a little bit late, but no less full of joy. May the two little girls now get the relief and rest and freedom they – more than anybody else – deserve. As Lars said: let´s go folks, get the killer!!! 😉


P.S. Still moving house. Murphy´s law rules: “Whatever can go wrong will go wrong!”. The same applied to our crime scene, too, somehow …

7-29-2013 at 16:52:00


You have me laughing.

No, Lynda, it’s cooler today in Paris so I can’t blame my follies on the heat. Do I dare say it might be the champagne or will I be branded as a p…pot, if you know what I mean.

Yes, Bradley Manning. (Bradley Edward Manning is a United States Army soldier who was arrested in May 2010 in Iraq on suspicion of having passed classified material to the website WikiLeaks.) I support him. I also support Snowdon. And Julian Assange.

Anyway, it will be interesting to know what our other members think seeing we are discussing Iraq indirectly because of this case.

Yes, ‘my’ lady is 75 now. I said ‘when she was young’.

Lynda, I think one can tell nationality by looks. If I show you two women, one from Italy and another from Sweden, will you not be able to tell me which one is from which country? Can Queen Elizabeth be Italian? But some nationalities are close in looks: Iranian and Iraqi for example. Lebanese and Syrian. German and Swiss. Danes and Swedes and Norwegians.


I am not moving house and Murphy’s Law rules in my life too. I always say that the devil is at it again.

7-29-2013 at 17:48:42


Interesting to “refresh” and “reconsider” situations.

The magazine changes (if indeed there was !).
If the shooter replaced it “twice” (removing the first used one, replacing it with the second. Removing the second used one and replacing it with the third)….
This was a “dynamic” situation with at least Saad moving, then the car moving.

IF the killer shot at Mr Mollier first (5 shots)…and then at the running Saad (2 shots) the killer would now need to reload the magazine.

This would give Saad time to get into his car (brief as it may have been) and start his escape.

Further shots are fired at the car (possibly even a fatal shot to Saad) which hit the front and pax side of the BMW. Another 7 shots.

The now “stationary” BMW receives a further 5 shots at a closer range and Mr Mollier a further 2.

To me that would make it sound like Mr Mollier was the main “target” ?
I can only base that assumption on A. Shots fired at the BMW as it tried to escape (why would a killer of Saad allow him as far as his car) and B. the “second round” of shots fired at Mr Mollier (those seem to be “in anger” and/or to make sure he was dead).

Any thoughts ?

7-29-2013 at 18:03:44

@James, a very good point:

“(why would a killer of Saad allow him as far as his car)”

Too busy killing his intended target, perhaps ? If Mollier was only an unwanted witness, one, two shots would have put him on the ground. Five and then a further two, why ?

I know I am repeating myself, whilst all the occupants of the car received head wounds, there obviously cannot have been a ‘double tap’, glass in place, glass shattered, all windows were holed and cracked.

7-29-2013 at 18:12:32

I assume that Claire had been through university ?
And that she had picked up a pharma degree on along the way ?
Then she worked in her father’s business ?

In 2011 she is pregnant with the son of Mr Mollier.
When did Mr Mollier leave his wife ?
And how old were his children then ?

Did he go straight to Claire ?

Mr Mollier’s “love life” seems to have caused much resentment ?
Leaving his “wife” to take up with a “younger model” ?
…and then she gives birth to his “new” son. Could “that” be a “tipping point” ?

7-29-2013 at 18:17:14

Nationality by looks – ummm, I’m from Wales originally, the school I went to, many years ago, now is a case of spot the white man, 90% or more are Welsh born, if you looked at their clothes and appearance you’d never say so. And then they speak with a classic Cardiff accent !

They’re Welsh !!!

I would agree that there is a ‘standard’ look – Scots are red heads, Italians – swarthy and so on, but really it is all about appearance and heritage which is quite different to nationality.

You are British but not born in the UK, Cliff Richard in essence is Indian by birth and so on, I understand he is still alive, as a child I wanted to marry him! Now I understand why that could never have been, no one explained to me, although he was replaced by David Cassidy and Mark Bolan….

Now crawls back under the stone I came from….

7-29-2013 at 18:20:18


“all the occupants of the car received head wounds, there obviously cannot have been a ‘double tap’….”

If you consider the fact that to hit a seated person in a car….the head and the top part of the body and the head is the most likely place for them to be hit. The “double tap” adds “drama” for the bored newspaper reporter.

Personally I am beginning to think that the “target” was Mollier.
The “why” I haven’t a clue.

7-29-2013 at 18:25:52

@ Lynda
Paintball was discussed here before about the murder of Gregory near the Paintball Paradis of Etrembières…
But there seem to be a difference between paintball and airsofft… the setting and therefore the training…

7-29-2013 at 19:31:27


operate within the same sphere commercially ….

Although you should probaly direct your comment to Peter, I know nothing !

A bit of gentle trout fishing I can handle …… okay it isn’t really fishing, near me are trout lakes, good fun with my elderly neighbour, a few beers and a BBQ.

Passed there yesterday, they are for sale, not the neighbours, the fishing lakes.

Shame, third time they will have changed hands in the past 15 years, no money in it I suppose. No doubt they’ll be sold for future building land, with planning permission the site will be worth a great deal of money.

@James, I haven’t a clue either, maybe just a hunch, been like that from the beginning, which was how I found Marilyns site in the first place, I wanted to know who was Sylvain Mollier.

7-29-2013 at 19:47:46

Thanks Peter, you’ve been very diligent with your responses to my technical queries. It sounds as though there’s not really that much between the two options; I had wondered whether reloading might have been a significant factor in the shooter weighing up whether he could adequately disable the group. Presumably you wouldn’t plan to ‘control’ a group of 6 with only an initial firepower of 8/9 rounds…which, to me, would point to either the drum or the shooter envisaging a small target…

Lynda, I’m not remotely as assiduous as you are! I’ve often marvelled at how thorough you and the others are on here. I had to look Vinneman up although I did realise that I’d come across him before. I haven’t researched the earwitnesses aspect of things at all…
My guess would be that his 4 minutes would be the maximum time frame possible for the shooting. Unlike us, I would expect the police to have a reasonable idea of where BM encountered the suspect vehicle(s) and so be able to work out the distances travelled and therefore the timings. Personally, in my unknowledge of all things ballistic, I’ve always thought that 30 seconds was a shade optimistic for even an expert to let off 25 controlled shots (what with all those recoils, a bit of re-aiming, moving targets and a speeding car to avoid) but I’m quite happy to be contradicted on that by Peter or others. However if the earwitnesses are credible and they concur on around 30 seconds then it’s tough to ignore that…

Plus, I’ve had a bit of a rethink on the actual site itself: originally I thought that the killer had taken on quite a task in controlling the situation (which I still do, generally). I’d thought there was some considerable risk of escape for example. However another visit to Alex’s tape shows (me) that the sides of the parking spot are actually very steep indeed and almost unmanageable – particularly if wet. And then of course two sides to the site are also bounded by fast-flowing water. It really is something of a trap, and literally ideal for an ambush.

7-29-2013 at 20:05:00


I think all your questions concerning Claire and Sylvain above is answered in the summary (that you can find it the previous threads), except whether Sylvain went straight from Lydie to Claire. My guess is no. I will soon somehow post an updated version of the summary.

@ Marilyn

Danes and Swedes and Norwegians look alike? What an insult! 🙂
I can spot the difference from a mile away. But then we are “cousins” always “fighting” each other.

Manning, traitor? I think words like traitor is hard. How do you really define that? Anyhow he has not betrayed anything that was important to me, or revealed anything that I wanted to be kept secret, on the contrary. So in my world he is a whistle blower not a traitor. However he has certainly broken some American laws. I have signed the same type of papers (though not American) so I will never say that I take such a thing easy. So for me I it is more how he shall be reasonably punished for breaking these laws, not that he is a traitor, whatever that is.

7-29-2013 at 20:09:47

And another thing…

On Max’s overhead bike/ not bike shot…

Isn’t there a long pole-like shape lying more-or-less across where the rest of the ‘bike’ would be? Might that not be the barrier…that the investigators have presumably removed, for access? But if so, it’s surely inconceivable that they’d place it so close to the bike. Or am I missing that the barrier was either down or removable on the day…?

7-29-2013 at 20:13:36


I think it was RiffRaff who posted a very interesting official report (from way back) of how fast you can fire a sequence of shots with P06. It is remarkably fast and I guess it was an argument for the Swiss Army to purchase them. When I recently looked at that link it didn’t function anymore.

7-29-2013 at 20:17:10

I have hitherto not seen a photo or heard/read anyone who has seen that barrier in place. My guess is that it usually is down (the pole lying on the ground).

7-29-2013 at 21:22:28


Sorry, Lars, of course you do not look like a Dane or a Norwegian. Even a Dane does not look like a Dane, or a Norwegian like a Norwegian. We all look alike, especially after the viewer has had a second gin and tonic.

Makes me wonder, how does a Swede etc take to being called a Scandinavian?


So you trout fish. I’ve always wanted to fish. I wonder if there are any fishermen here? It looks to me such a relaxing thing to do.

Well, have a good commenting night.

See ya.

7-29-2013 at 21:24:14

partlucid has given me a thought:

Le Monde published the graphic showing the placement of ‘stuff’, Max recently posted it in his Deadzone and here, I’ve bumped it up since.

Now I realise, of course Le Monde put the bike where they did, because they’d seen the photos, logical, the one cropped by a very lazy Daily Star to fit there page layout !

So, it is Molliers bike, even if I struggle to see it as such, it is lying on the floor with the front wheel at 90°.

There is just one more point to make in hindsight, yonks ago I posted that Maillaud preferred to give info to the local journo, because he had to work with them all year round – so look for the local stuff, many times they are the ones quoted in the national press.

@Lars, I’m going to picnic at Les Molieres tomorrow, which is where I was when the events happened, heard the news report on the car radio (French) and then when we got home I saw Sky News strapline.

That day we were lucky to see seals, a few minutes earlier or later arriving at ‘poor mans beach’ and they wouldn’t have been there, is that chance or coincidence ?

7-29-2013 at 21:57:05


Scandinavians, well it is ok if the speaker doesn’t know better (when I was in Cornwall during the summer when I was 15, not everybody knew where Sweden is situated on the map, I hope it is better now, what do you say JCave?).

I guess it’s like being called an African when you actually come from South Africa or Somalia. I guess not everybody in South Africa even sees themselves primarily as South Africans but belonging to certain region or town. I think I see myself primarily as “Stockholmer” (since I was born and grew up in Stockholm) and then as European. Swedish perhaps when it comes to sport. I would never say myself that I am a Scandinavian.


If you were going to picnic at a place called Les Molieres (Les Molliers? 😉 ) the 5th September also this year seems like bad omen to me.

7-29-2013 at 23:25:45

Hey Lars . . .my village is pretty much like a United Nations gathering this week!

I am constantly clocking people for lifestyle indicators. I am pretty good. Countries are easy.

I have an international family, travelled, worked abroad and a brain that doesn’t switch off.

7-30-2013 at 02:24:17


Maybe an updated look at Sylvain timeline would be useful.
A “second look” sometimes works wonders ?

But the question is, how do you “ambush” a man on the “wrong route” ?
The only way to do that is….if he is indeed on the “right” route ?

Sometimes “people” are on the “right route”.
It’s just that they have told “everyone” they are on “another route” that we may think it’s the “wrong route” !


Maybe your husband had the right idea in his “throw away” line re Sylvain ?
But would that be enough to commit mass murder ?

Then again the reason the killer committed “mass murder” may have been because he has just committed “a” murder ?

“As good be hang’d for an old sheep as a young lamb” ?

7-30-2013 at 02:52:05


Etaples !

A lot of history on them there beaches.
The horrors of WWI …and that was only in the training base.
What did they say about it “the place where pigs go before the slaughter”.

And of course the site of the only mutiny in the ranks of the British Army.

That also went “undiscovered”.
I guess some of them were shot around or close to those very beaches.

7-30-2013 at 06:46:25

7-27-2013 at 14:32:53

Did you notice this little nugget from your link about the Cascade de Fontaine Fayard?

‘Combe d’Ire: la bien nommée Combe de la colère ‘Ire’ tant ses humeurs ont gravées ce vallon aux portes de Doussard ..’

If this was a targetted killing (rest of sentence deleted by Marilyn).

But who was angry with whom?

7-30-2013 at 07:07:26


I am up with the chickens this morning. I’ve much to do today. I also intend to close this thread today and to open a new one.

Of the night’s comments, there are some interesting bits.

I will point them out now for those of you who were serial killing when the commenting took place.

@James – he wrote about WW1: I guess some of them were shot around or close to those very beaches.
The French shot those who deserted from their army as well as some of their poilus (bearded ones) who suffered from/with shellshock. They thought they were shirking and planning to desert. It was only deeper into the war that shellshock was diagnosed as madness caused by the war and those suffering from it were interned in lunatic asylums.

@JCave -she wrote: I have an international family, travelled, worked abroad and a brain that doesn’t switch off.
The European does however switch off the brain in the summer which the train crashes, the tourist coach crashes and the drownings bear witness.

@Lars – he wrote: I guess it’s like being called an African when you actually come from South Africa or Somalia. I guess not everybody in South Africa even sees themselves primarily as South Africans but belonging to certain region or town. So right. In SA one is Afrikaner, English, Zulu, Xhosa etc and proud to be I must add. Do not call a Zulu a Xhosa or an English-speaking South African an Afrikaner. The latter was/is considered a great insult as the Afrikaner is supposed to be dumb. More than that about this I will not say.

@Lynda – she wrote: Now I realise, of course Le Monde put the bike where they did, because they’d seen the photos, logical, the one cropped by a very lazy Daily Star to fit there page layout !
Lynda, you are right. Le Monde knew.

she also wrote: There is just one more point to make in hindsight, yonks ago I posted that Maillaud preferred to give info to the local journo, because he had to work with them all year round – so look for the local stuff, many times they are the ones quoted in the national press.

Lynda, Prosecutor Maillaud speaks to AFP who then puts the story out ‘over the wires’. If the local Haute Savoie papers run the stories it is because there is interest in the story there, where, for example, the people in Marseilles or Perpignan are not. Or, have little interest.

She also wrote: I’m going to picnic at Les Molieres tomorrow. Strange coincidence. Sylvain Mollier / Les Molieres.

Have a nice commenting day.

7-30-2013 at 08:22:00

@Marilyn, I posted a link to an interview with Maillaud where he said that he preferred to give information to the local press, for the reason stated above.

@James, of course in Etaples there is the very large WW1 War Graves, the reaosn is that opposite and slighty closer to the town was a hospital, today it is known as Le Blanc Pave, the large houses built there are along the roads that were put in place for the hospital which of course was mostly tents.

That is what accounts for the many thousands buried there. Etaples was a base from which trains were filled to go to the frontline, shipped in from Folkestone to Boulogne. Apparently the British used to call it Eatapples.

Vera Brittain was a nurse there, she wrote of her memories.

When we moved to this house, whilst digging the garden, I found a bit of rusty metal, I thought it was something to do with farming, washed it and realised it was a bayonet, searched on the internet and identified it as a German one from that very war.

It hangs on the wall in the home office, behind where I’m sitting right now.

7-30-2013 at 08:59:05


Thanks for the Maillaud. I wonder if this shows inexperience or small-mindedness, because giving a story to AFP one knows it will go around the world within minutes.

Eatapples – a good one.

Is it Vera Brittain’s Testament of Youth. Got it but have not read it. (OK just checked your link and it is that one. So I suppose I ought to read it.)

7-30-2013 at 09:23:10


Of course I didn’t mean you personally, since you already told us that you even got relatives in Sweden, so of course you know.

However back in the old days I believe the British schools did not emphasize on geographical knowledge of the world outside the “empire”.

7-30-2013 at 09:24:01

Small-mindedness firstly, could account for a great deal and then certainly inexperience, he apparently has said that he’s never had such a public profile, all the ‘local’ murders have not attracted national and international attention.

Well they have now as a result of these murders and Lars contributions here.

Back on track, I had a thought about the gunfire, it was J.Cave that sparked it off, about hearing gunshots by farmers.

Same here, I really don’t pay any attention to gunshots, except when they sound far too close, I wonder why so few people heard them ?

Could it be that they are so commonplace that no one really noticed….. even out of hunting season ?

7-30-2013 at 09:40:44


It was also there at “Etaples Camp” that a mutiny took place.

The treatment of “other ranks” (Privates) by the Camp Commander in charge of training, his Training Sergeants AND by the Military Police in charge of camp discipline (the “red caps) had become brutal in the extreme.

This included the practice of “Crucifiction”.
Exhausted men would be lashed to poles placed in the sand for long periods of time and denied food or water.
No wonder they were lashed to the poles, their bodies had long since “passed out” and were unable to stand.

This came to ahead one day in 1917.
And so the British Army had a mutiny on it’s hands.

Chaos reigned. The men put their demands for improved conditions to the authorities….and the mutiny continued.

Fearing news of this mutiny spreading, the British Army “met” the demands put forward by the men for improved conditions…and less brutal treatment.
Well…kind of “met” them !

The mutiny ended. The war continued.
However it was not until the late 1970’s early 1980’s (1978) that reports of the mutiny surfaced.

Due to the fact that records from the Etaples Board of Enquiry were destroyed at the time, the full story of the mutiny is still “unclear”.

It is understood however that many of the “ring leaders” of that mutiny in September of 1917 were later executed (and executed after “questioning” in order that the British authorities discover ALL the men that led the mutiny).

Their executions most likely took place at Etaples. And their bodies most likely “hidden” in plain sight in that hospital graveyard.

It is a story of how those British authorities at the time ran that war.
And how they treated their own soldiers.

A bit of morning “social history” there !

7-30-2013 at 09:50:14


“The Monocled Mutineer” (1978) by William Allison and John Fairley.

That’s a damn good book to read. It cover that period in Etaples.
And partly follows the life of one Percy Toplis.
He was quite something.

7-30-2013 at 10:02:24

Suppose you are a killer in Haute Savoie who likes to shoot his victims in, or in the vicinity of, wooded areas, good for cover, and to disappear in.

Now you plan to kill a homosexual man who lives with his mum in an apartment in a town.
Hmm homosexual – wooded area.
You check the places where homosexual men meet in the area, and you find Etrembières. You scout the place, very suitable, secluded with a wooded area close by.
So you set up a meeting with the victim, disguised as a homosexual rendezvous, at Etrembières on a rainy Saturday evening/night.
The victim turns up of course, and you are waiting there for him……and then you disappear through the wooded area. The police are fools and understand nothing.

(As a simple interlude you kill a man living next to a wooded area)

Now you plan to kill a man who lives with his girlfriend in a flat in another small town. You learn that this man is a keen cyclist.
Hmm cyclist – wooded area.
Of course, you will intercept him when he is out cycling through a wooded area!
You learn that he plans to cycle on Route Forestiere in Chevaline. You scout the place, very suitable, very secluded and a lot of wooded areas.
You get the information that the victim will be there on a Wednesday afternoon, and you are waiting there for him……and then you disappear through the wooded area. The police are still fools and understand nothing, n’est-ce pas?

7-30-2013 at 10:03:11


I was just going to ask you to refer me to a book about it, and then I saw your second comment.

I can’t believe this of the Tommies – Lions led by Donkeys.

Could be a film.

7-30-2013 at 10:17:54

Please have a look at the video, from the 7th September, 14 seconds in, the killer would have seen the car, but a man and child reading the sign maybe not.

“”As I approached the scene, the first thing I saw was a bike on its side. I had seen the cyclist ahead of me much earlier so I thought he was just having a rest.”

Mollier would never have put the bike on its side, least of all with the front wheel at 90°,he would have propped it up against one of the barrier poles, the signpost or the information sign, the latter he couldn’t because the car and possibily Saad and Zainab were looking at it.

So, he either dropped it or someone threw it there (Maillaud).

@Bibi, what sort of sound does ‘Airsoft’ make ?

7-30-2013 at 10:22:36


re: airsoft sound.

On the links which Bibi gave us it is a dull, rapid clap clap clap clap. Not at all like gunfire. He will confirm this.

7-30-2013 at 10:50:44

A very sobering place especially when you see the ages of the ‘children’ buried there.

Picnic cancelled, its pouring with rain…..

@Marilyn, I ask about the sound because I wondered if it would echo and if so how far would it travel.

Recalling that Melvins father cutting a hedge in Marceau (Dessus or Dessous) heard the shots but thought it was people practising, I wonder if much practise goes on up there ?

7-30-2013 at 10:52:19


Alan Bleasdale did a “made for TV” screen play in the 1980’s based on the William Allison and John Fairley book.

But their book is amazing.
The story of Percy Toplis himself is quite something….
But the accounts about the First World War (and that period of time/social history) from a “human perspective” provided by Allison and Fairley (rather than “this battle” or “that battle”) is amazing.

The conditions that the British Tommy had to endure…and from his own side (!) makes you wonder what the “authorities” actually thought of their own people.

When you reflect on what was happening at the time….and then add to that the country was about to go to war, you realise that these “lads” didn’t have a chance. They were to be swept up in the “flag waving and cheers”….and sent blindly to a horrific death.

And by “leaders” that thought very little of them in the first place.
The term “lambs to the slaughter” is spot on.

I should add, if I may….
If you ever visit a “war memorial” in any town or village in England, stop by and take a close look.
You will see the names of those who died in both “world wars”.

Those listed there that died in the First World War are done so “by rank”.
At the top, the highest rank…moving down to the privates.

Compare that list to those that died in the Second World War.
They are listed alphabetically. Their “standing” holds little value.
It is “the person” who is honoured. And honoured not by rank.

A bit more social history there !

7-30-2013 at 11:01:23


A “rest” to me would be someone “leaning” against something.

But a “rest” to Martin might mean “lay on the floor” (post event type thing).
BUT that would only be true IF Mr Mollier had passed him at “a hell of a pace” ?

Mollier had been shot 7 times by then, so I assume (!) he is on the ground.
Did Mollier pass Martin at a hell of a pace ?
He was a “hill climber”, so that is possible….but on that route ?
Was he late ??

7-30-2013 at 11:32:36

The route that Mollier was due to take would be known by the police.
It was after all “suggested” to him (we are told).

From that it would be fairly easy to see if he “deviated” from that route (and was therefore “lost”….or took the “new” route early on.

Mollier may well have decided to travel “his” route and disregard the “suggested” route from the “get go”. That is possible.

Or was it that the suggested route was indeed “the Combe D’Ire” ?
How bad would that look for Thierry Schutz !

But I think that Mollier was on “his route”.
Only he didn’t want anyone to know he was.

He was on his racing bike…and the last place you’d think of finding him was up on the Combe D’Ire.
He would also know how long the suggested route would take…so to make up the time (or “create” more time), he was going like the clappers.
Hence it may appear from a distance he was “having a rest” at the top.

Just an idea !

7-30-2013 at 11:35:44

@ all
Paintballs guns are powered by CO2 cartridges. They are very quiet, there is no chance that anybody would confuse that noise with gunfire.

@ James
It is possible that SM was shot most often because he was the killer’s primary target. However, in my opinion, it is also explicable tactically, in terms of potential escape routes.

When the killer opened fire, SM was the one farthest away from him, thus quite difficult to immobilize with aimed fire, but also the one most likely to get away, either by jumping down the river bank or simply by turning his bike and racing back towards the town. Therefore, the brunt of the first volley of shots was reserved for SM, until he went down.

Saad, by contrast, although he was outside the car, posed a lesser immediate flight risk. In theory, Saad could have grabbed Zainab, done a runner and escaped into the woods on foot, but my argument presupposes that the killer had seen the Al-Hilli family inside the car beforehand. He knew that Saad was not alone and probably assumed that Saad would not desert his family. Therefore, Saad and Zainab only received one shot each initially.

After the first magazine was empty, while he reloaded, the killer realized that he might have miscalculated: Saad had managed to get behind the wheel and started the car in the meantime. Now he had become the primary threat. As he was behind the wheel of the BMW, most of the second magazine will have been fired at him, while he reversed the car.

Second reload, the killer is now on his last magazine (I assume) and needs to husband his ammunition. He approaches the stalled car and checks that Saad is dead or finishes him off with a final aimed shot to the head. Also, he hasn’t had a chance to assess the damage already done to SM, at first because SM was too far away for him to see where he had been hit, now because SM is lying face-down, his head facing away from the killer. The killer doesn’t want to turn the body, so he merely finishes him off with two shots to the lower back. Next, he kills / finishes off the two female passengers in the rear of the BMW with aimed shots to the head. Finally, after he has run out of ammunition, he remembers Zainab …

That is how I would speculatively piece those events together, but your guess is as good as mine.

7-30-2013 at 11:46:15


Thanks for the info. I am ordering the book from Amazon. I know little of WW1, the second being more my thing though I was not around.

As I’ve been telling Lynda in emails I’m reading Cecil Roberts’ ‘Half Way’ his memoir of the first part of his life (published in 1936) which includes his experiences as a WW1 war correspondent. I’m therefore learning things about the Great War and I wonder why it is being called ‘the gentlemen’s war’ because it was not. Our enemies did what they would do in the second too but without the death camps. But Roberts does not mention a word about what you’ve now told me.

I’ve visited war graves here in France, but none in England.Ought to do so on my next visit.

7-30-2013 at 12:04:01

No way that the airsoft sound can be mistaken for gunfire.

I’ve been thinking how to describe the sound.

Have you ever heard the knocking of a deathwatch beetle? Well, that is the sound it makes.

7-30-2013 at 13:02:19

So, the paintball and airsoft would not be a sound usually heard, then it leaves the question why not more people heard the shots, could it have been that they are so used to hearing them that they didn’t notice ?

@James, have you flown with any of the commercial airlines ?

I ask because whilst I months ago posted a comment relating to guns and cockpits, my friend is American, he could tell me what the rules and regs were for American long haul flights, I wonder what is the situation for British Pilots.

7-30-2013 at 14:21:39

new thread

This thread is now closed for comments.

See you on the new one as above: Number 12.


12-31-2013 at 14:49:48


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