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 […]

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.

The above photo was taken by Saad Al-Hilli’s friend ‘Fat Bastard’. He has kindly given me permission to reproduce it here.

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

here  – July 1, 2013

here – July 17,2013


Chevaline means horse meat: Here is one of Paris's horse butchers.

Chevaline means horse meat: Here is one of Paris’s horse butchers.


Marilyn Z. Tomlins

741 Responses

7-30-2013 at 14:26:38

Re-Bonjour as we say here in France.

May this crime be solved during the life of this thread – Our 12th.

Did we ever think when we began to comment on the first thread that we would still be doing so on the 12th?


7-30-2013 at 14:56:06

Hi everyone,
Since 6 was Saad’s lucky number (we’ve been told), chances are six times two will be the time to solve this case.
I think both Peter and James have in recent posts offered very valuable leads to majors issues such as primary target, motive, and shooting timeline.
In any case, good to know the two little ones are back with family. Doesn’t mean things will be easy for them, nor for Mollier’s children. But it’s a first step towards healing.
As Peter Gabriel used to sing: “Don’t give up!”

7-30-2013 at 15:02:39

@ Marilyn

I made it here third 🙂

@James 7-30-2013 at 11:32:36 Re: Suggested Route

I think we´ve crossed that issue earlier with the suggested route, BUT you gave it a new spin (at least to me). What if SM was not on the suggested route anymore where the “original” ambush was planned? Assume X saw SM deviating from the original route and therefore had to hurry to make the ambush happen nevertheless. This would explain some of the “hasty” and seemingly non planned details in an otherwise relatively well prepared ambush. Maybe it was a premediated murder of SM (thats what I believe), but X had to improvise because SM indeed was “lost” because not going the way he was supposed to.


7-30-2013 at 15:24:11

Hey Lars.

When one of my students graduated, her parents came to the ceremony from Penzance. It was the first time they had travelled out of the town . . ever!

I got my education in London so I thought it was reasonable until now when I realise that I now nothing about what really happens.

Hey James Flyer

My grandpa Valentine who lied about his age, was an early flyer in WW1. Bi-planes. They had a wooden crate of bombs between their legs and heaved them over the side when reaching the target.
He rode his motorbike well into his nineties too.

7-30-2013 at 15:24:11

Hey Lars.

When one of my students graduated, her parents came to the ceremony from Penzance. It was the first time they had travelled out of the town . . ever!

I got my education in London so I thought it was reasonable until now when I realise that I now nothing about what really happens.

Hey James Flyer

My grandpa Valentine who lied about his age, was an early flyer in WW1. Bi-planes. They had a wooden crate of bombs between their legs and heaved them over the side when reaching the target.
He rode his motorbike well into his nineties too.

7-30-2013 at 16:49:38


Yes we talked above of what we say we come from.

I come from a district of Stockholm, Södermalm, were in the beginning of the 20th century all the labourers were living. When I grew up it was still a mostly labour type population. That district is an island, one of the many islands that Stockholm consists of. It is divided by a big road into two parts, an eastern and a western part.

The eastern part was once were the really poor were living, later it was regarded as having a higher “status”, since that was where the “real” hardworking people were living.

I once met a very old man who had only left that eastern district ones in his life, do to his military service. He could not even think of passing that street to the western part of the island (at it is a rather small island).

But time changes, now there are mostly yuppies living in expensive renovated apartments in that district.

7-30-2013 at 17:24:38

Does a Swedish journalist, based in Geneva, have inside information ?

” Nearly a year after the massacre in bucolic Annecy seems macabre deed is about to be cleared up. British police are expected in the days to act against the accused man released on bail. The motive seems increasingly obvious.”

(Google translated) from :

7-30-2013 at 17:44:02


Thanks for this.

To reply to your question: Does a Swedish journalist, based in Geneva, have inside information ?

I will so no. With the help of Google Translate I can say that he has no new and exclusive info.He is just speculating.

However, if he does know something, then maybe we can expect Zaid to be re-arrested tomorrow and charge.

7-30-2013 at 17:45:35

@ Ron

I don’t think he has 😉
Zaid Al-Hilli has been re-bailed until October 23 pending further enquiries.

By the way, my own Google translation of that article did not include the quote that you gave. Thus, it seems that this spectacularly ill-informed piece has been rewritten in the meantime.

7-30-2013 at 17:45:50

@Lars and @Jcave

There are French who have never been to Paris. I met such a young woman a few years ago. She was a receptionist in a hotel. I could not believe that she’s never been to Paris.

7-30-2013 at 17:50:50


Thanks! You’ve scooped on it. So they can not charge Zaid – not enough evidence against him – but neither can they allow him to go.

The article Ron linked to, it is the bold intro under the title.

7-30-2013 at 17:53:47

@ Marilyn

Thanks for clarifying that. I hadn’t bothered copying and pasting the article’s strapline, only the body copy. Ashes upon my head.

7-30-2013 at 18:02:24

Jean-Marc “I heard it on the grapevine” Ducos is back in action, too.

#AlHilli.Zaïd al Hilli peut aussi se voir être mis en accusation.Enquêteurs français et britanniques veulent une prolongation.#Chevaline.

#Tuerie de Chevaline. #Zaid Al Hilli soupçonné d’être le commanditaire saura demain si son contrôle judiciaire est prolongé. Info Parisien.

7-30-2013 at 20:09:02

That Swedish article is just simple s**t. The number of errors are too many to list.

7-30-2013 at 20:22:27


Interesting what Jean-Marc Ducos tweeted. I have now retweeted it.


If Zaid were to be charged (mis en accusation) it will be absolutely incredible. Of course, he could have been the one person on earth who could have known/knew where Saad was going to be that Wednesday afternoon.

But I do not know …

Surely, if they have the least suspicion then he would have been held in custody. I mean he can make a runner.

I must just point out that I am not accusing him or anyone, and I know that none of you would either.


I agree with you about that report in the Swedish publication. Is it one known for inaccuracies?

7-30-2013 at 20:24:21

Before posting the SvD link I made a name search for the writer. It turns out that He is a She and among other worldwide journo-assignments a long Geneva record for that newspaper.

I hope she has inside info enough to end up as ‘The Heavy Bird’ 😉

7-30-2013 at 20:49:23

Peter’s scenario, as outlined at the end of the previous thread, is virtually identical to my own. And rather simplistically, I even have the gunman emptying his first magazine where the 10 or so cartridges were then found underneath the reversed BMW. In the event of a change of magazine, I can only think that he then continued to fire at the car? from this position…or perhaps the original French report spoke of ‘une dixaine de douilles’? Or perhaps Sylvain Mollier had advanced towards him.

I agree entirely with Peter that SM would be the obvious first target because he’d be, by far, the nimblest potential escapee (Saad would of course have been completely compromised by Zainab in this regard). The often discussed motives around SM are obviously compelling and not unpersuasive, but in both the case of a hired gun or someone driven by personal enmity, I can’t quite see that killer also wiping out an entire family who simply happened to also be there. Indeed in the hypothesis of SM being the specific target of the shootings, then in some ways that crime would be a ‘righteous’ one in the eyes of the killer(s)…ie…Mollier would have brought about his downfall through his own actions. Slaughtering an innocent family just doesn’t fit with that, for me.


Lynda, when you had your lunch back in April with your shooting friends, was there any discussion around how difficult a task the shooter had given himself that day..?

Thanks for those little notes the other day Lars. For some reason I always had the barrier closed in my mind, and I’d wondered at length how that might have influenced where and how Saad could’ve parked the car. Your belief that it was open only adds to that….

7-30-2013 at 20:56:11


No, I think it is probably one of the most serious Swedish newspapers and hence often accurate.

But that article was simply awful. I have written an angry email to Gunilla von Hall pointing out some of her worst blunders and what I think of that sort of sloppy “journalism” in general.

7-30-2013 at 21:01:51

@ partlucid

Just to tell you what my impression of Martinet was (and everybody’s free to judge by himself when watching my video): rather than feeling it as trap I had much more the feeling of just a stop on the climb up.

That includes not feeling trapped but instead knowing it is not at all a dead end for the road continues uphill behind it.

@ Lars:

That goes pretty much with what I wrote before: I have the impression the barrier is always down and so I felt an open-ness of the parking even more.

@ Lynda:

That music festival where already three people vanished during the last three years not far from Chevaline and taking place at around the time of the killings is, at least as far as I know, just a music festival and not accompanied by paint ball / air soft competitions.


7-30-2013 at 21:03:21

She answered:

I am out of the office until Monday 12 August 2013, and will not be
checking emails every day.

Kind regards,
Gunilla von Hall

Well, probably as well. Take a long holiday Gunilla! /.Lars

7-30-2013 at 21:08:30


I revommended Gunilla von Hall to watch your video, since she gave a hilarious description of Le Martinet in her article. She obviously has no idea what it looks like, but that it was somewhere near Annecy.

7-30-2013 at 21:11:42

I guess the killer is laughing so he can’t sit still when he sees how he as fooled the police.

Maybe it will make him so cocksure that he goes killing again soon.

7-30-2013 at 21:29:30

@partlucid, no – just that it was a ‘professional’ in the sense that it was someone who knew how to handle a gun and probably that gun.

@Alex, I didn’t realise that I’d implied the music festival and the paintball went together, I also didn’t know that people have gone missing from that festival.

@Marilyn, like you I don’t think they have anything on Zaid, unless they try to do him for fraud, referring to the ‘will’ of his father.

Here’s a link that throws up some old stuff:

7-30-2013 at 21:48:46

@ Lynda

My misunderstanding lies in this:

“@Peter and partlucid, maybe Max or Alex said there was a Paintball venue nearby, was that Fauverges ?”

and I thought Fauverges was that music festival.

And didn’t we discuss here on the blog at length a nearby music festival (don’t remember the name) and didn’t three people vanish there over the course of three years and didn’t that festival took place at almost the same time as the Chevaline killings?

Who remembers?

Anyway it’s not *that* important because you, Lynda, never meant to speak of that festival when you spoke of Fauverges.


7-30-2013 at 21:58:02


Reading Lars’s comments you will now know about Gunilla. I watched the YouTube and I liked it. I can’t understand why the commentators got so worked up about it. Did you see that over 5 million have watched it so far?


Terrific your email to Gunilla. She’s now on holiday obviously. It will be interesting whether she will reply should she be checking her emails as she says in her ‘out of office’ reply. I wonder why she did such incorrect reporting, seeing you say the paper is probably the most serious in Sweden.

@Alex – you wrote: That includes not feeling trapped but instead knowing it is not at all a dead end for the road continues uphill behind it.

Interesting you saying this Alex as so many have commented here that it was a dead end road and the Al-Hillis and Sylvain Mollier were trapped.


re:Zaid. Did he not just attempt a fraud regarding the will? Therefore, not an offence as such.

Have a good commenting night.

7-30-2013 at 22:10:07

@Alex, I do remember way back speculation that drugs could have been involved, dealing, due to the music festival that was due to start a few days after the murders.

I do not recall where it was to take place.

7-30-2013 at 22:36:08
7-30-2013 at 22:45:55

@ Lynda, 7-30-2013 at 22:36:08

That’s the one, the Elements festival. It takes place at Fort de Tamié
which is a popular spot with paintball enthusiasts

7-30-2013 at 23:46:46

@Lars 7-30-2013 at 10:02:24

Try to make a new story with these elements that rotate in my mind :

X is a fan of paintball / airsoft and frequent the club Etrembières.
X don’t love homosexuals, especially those which hinder the passage to the paintball club.
X is a former soldier or did his military service in an elite troop.
X passes Martinet’s parking everyday.

It’s only on my mind !

7-30-2013 at 23:54:55


I have lost BACCHUS … perhaps for ten years.

From now on I do not have my trusty friend to help me.

Good night.

7-31-2013 at 00:17:39

@ Marilyn

re. “Reading Lars’s comments you will now know about Gunilla.”

Yes, and it made me more curious, therefore I kept on searching.

Found this linked interview below, saying that she sometimes uses her feminine side to get the information needed…

So what if she has connections within the French investigation, less than an hours drive from her base in Geneva.
Why on Earth should she bother about what it looks like at ‘Le Martinet’ etc. If she has sweet short cuts to the sources?

The Lady has been just about everywhere…No doubt, she knows the tricks of the trade… Please read the link.

7-31-2013 at 08:47:19


I am *late* getting here this morning, but … I have good news.

Fat Bastard has kindly given me permission to reproduce his photo of Saad, Iqbal and one of their two daughters on the little girl’s third birthday party.

If you scrawl up to my thread on this website you will see it.

A normal happy family with no idea what destiny had in store for them.

As said … it was written …

I will later in the day get to reading your overnight comments.

7-31-2013 at 09:18:16


You may be right with your list about the killer.
I however believe that homosexuality was not a motive but a convenient way to use a habit/weakness to get the victim where the killer wanted.
“X passes Martinet’s parking everyday”, I guess you remember our little joke that it was an evil cow. 😉

It is perhaps not possible to see in Google translation but that article is full of misconceptions. So if she’s got any connections she’s been fooled. If she is not interested in facts and to check her facts she shouldn’t write articles in big newspapers. I have told the journalist that.

7-31-2013 at 10:13:27

Citizens Above All Suspicions

I am interested in Eric Maillaud’s and the investigation’s logic and way of reasoning.

I am well aware that we, writing here, are divided between those who believe that Mollier was the target and those who believe that Al-Hilli was the target, and the perhaps smaller groups who believe none was a target, all “collateral damages”, or that both Mollier and Al-Hilli were targets.

We sort of cover all options.

Even for me, who is a hardcore “Mollier was the target”-believer, I see nothing strange in that. Until the killer is caught and convicted, all options are possible. I think, from a principal point of view, that it would be very difficult to prove that any option is impossible.

Maillaud on the other hand, or if we accept that he is just a spokesman, the investigation, decided after only a week that the “Al-Hilli was the target” was the correct option and excluded all other possibilities. We have discussed this at lenght already so I will not repeat what has been said, but just say from a logical point of view that it is an astounding conclusion of the investigation, especially after only one week.

But it doesn’t end there. Maillaud and his investigation has not only excluded all other options concerning the target, they have also in practise excluded all Frenchmen from being the killer. They are above all suspicion. One may wonder on what grounds.

Even if Maillaud believes that this is a big conspiracy, involving all the world’s secret services, why would it be impossible that these secret services hired a local Frenchman to do the dirty job? I guess that there are few secret service men (outside France) who speak French fluently (practical in the circumstances) and who knows his way around the Alps. The local man would also be a “dispensable”. If he started talking or doing something stupid, just kill him.

However for Maillaud a Frenchman is not a possibility, it has to be someone from abroad, be that Romania, Iraq or England.

To me it is absurd to believe that Mollier got lost when cycling in his home district, but I believe that Maillaud and his investigation got lost on their way to Chablais.

7-31-2013 at 10:36:56

It makes me happy that the girls are allowed to return to their family.

However it seems that the security measures around the girls have not diminished. I am of course not familiar with the procedures in the UK but from my experiences they are quite extraordinary.

First of all it makes you wonder what is going on in the minds of the police. To my knowledge it is quite an unusual that a murderer tries to kill witnesses after a murder. It would increase the possibility of him being caught immensely. I think it is even more unusual that children are assaulted in such circumstances. So what makes the police think that the threats are so big in this case?

First of all why would the killer think that the girls are any threats against him? z. is too small, and was hiding in the car. That she could have seen, heard, understood anything in a foreign country seems unbelievable. Z could perhaps have seen the killer, but that the she could identify him seems very unprobable.

As I have written above Maillaud and his team have excluded all Frenchmen from being the perpetrator. If I add this to all these security measures concerning the girls, maybe Z. saw that the perpetrator was wearing some sort of uniform.

To Maillaud it would probably be even more improbable that a Frenchman in uniform killed all these people, so he goes of on his wild-goose chase around the world.

7-31-2013 at 11:08:58

@ Lars, 7-31-2013 at 10:36:56

The ongoing police protection for the Zs is highly unusual, no doubt about that. I can think of two possible reasons: first, it may simply be a case of excessive caution on the UK side. It would make the UK police look terribly bad if anything happened to the Zs, given that this is a Joint Investigation Team (itself highly unusual) and that the Prime Ministers of Britain and France have had consultations about this case.

Secondly, it could be that there actually has been a specific threat made against the Zs. In a case that has garnered that much publicity, it would almost be a miracle if no nutters felt compelled to join the party. Nothing like this has been reported in the media, but I would bet that investigators have been deluged with hundreds of false leads from nutters: false confessions, people who falsely claimed to have been near the scene of the crime, people to whom the identity of the killer was revealed in a dream, by Jesus, by their neighbours’ cat, you name it. Amongst all those nutters, there must have been at least a few malign specimens, trolls feasting upon the uncertainty and fear. All it would take for the UK police to go into protection overdrive would be one sick troll sending an anonymous e-mail from an Internet café: “The girls are next. I know where they live and I’m coming for them.”

Personally, I believe that the latter is quite a likely scenario 🙁

7-31-2013 at 11:16:50

@ FB

Many Thanks for allowing Marilyn to upload this photo of Ikbal

@ Marilyn
Many thanks for sharing it with us

What a tragedy once again that their lives ended this way. To me it assures me that Ikqbal was absolutely clueless of any risk that could be at Martinet. She looks like a very kind and decent and not very daring – in terms of going to risks – person. I can imagine how her kids adore her.


7-31-2013 at 11:23:45


You may be right. But then it its actually the British and French authorities who are mainly responsible for that, by not treating this as a normal criminal murder case. Especially the French side has from the outset spread a lot of unfounded rumours.

I am certain that they are going to blame the media for the circus around this case, but even with all that creative writing (as in that Swedish article) the media has also been fed by the investigation with strange speculations.

So I still believe that Maillaud and his investigation have created a lot of damage to the Al-Hilli family and the girls.

7-31-2013 at 11:28:09


Do please give Fat Bastard a virtual handshake and thank him for allowing us to publish his photo of Saad,Iqbal and the one little girl.


Thank you for doing so, RiffRaff at your own initiative.


YOur 10.13 a.m. of today (July 31) is very well put.


That is what is so puzzling about Gunilla. With her contacts, why did she write such a bad report?

Thanks for the link. I read it. She’s a big name in journalism. All the more puzzling. Maybe she just had a bad day.


What do you mean, you have lost Bacchus? Do let me me know.

Comme d’habitude? I loved Claude Francois. Still do. There was no one like him. Still is no one like him.


Saad having been the target or not, the Al-Hilli girls could very well be the killer’s target.

7-31-2013 at 11:36:22

@ Marilyn

Thank you so much for posting this great family picture from FB’s personal archives.
The Al-Hilli couple looks so wonderful, two parents full of TLC, and little Zeena (guess it’s her though you don’t specify) seems adorable. A really cute little girl. So tiny, so slim, no wonder she could so easily hide under her mother’s skirt on that fateful day in Haute-Savoie.

@ All

Guess the underwhelming re-bailing of Zaid combined with the long expected release of the two little girls clearly show British police at least do not take the theory of the lone nutter seriously. Remainder of “police protection” is certainly mandatory to deter abusive public stalking. They must know more than we do, but won’t tell. At the end of the day, the French prosecutor ends up being the one providing the most, despite “secrecy of investigation”.

7-31-2013 at 12:06:27


Re “Citizens Above All Suspicions”.

Very well put indeed.

I don’t know if Mollier was the target, Al Hilli was the target, both were the target or indeed neither was !

(Or even if the BMW 4×4 passenger(s) were the target….and it is a case of “mistaken identity/collateral damage” …this would not be the first time something like that has happened).

But all the people involved in the tragic event have a complex “back story”.

The millionaire partner and mother, 16 years junior to Mollier.
The “wall of silence” advised by Pierre Morange.
The 800,000 euro in a Swiss bank account controlled by Al Hilli.
The “disputed” inheritance and “feud” between the Al Hilli brothers
….and so forth !

And the investigation team(s*) and authorities don’t help matters.

The French process of “leaking” information through journalists is one of the most bizarre things I have ever come across.

Which journalist is reporting the leaked info and which is not ???
25 bullets at the police press conference, becomes 21 “leaked” by a journalist !

Of course the investigators may not care that this makes them look incompetent. They have a job to do.

But add in the (very) late “public appeal” to help them (urgently) track a U.K. plated BMW 4×4 ….and everyone wonders if they are filming “Police Academy 9. Alpine Arrest”

Or is this the latest in the Blackadder series ?

We can see who is playing the bumbling fool.
But who is the wily old fox “Inspector Blackadder” ?

7-31-2013 at 12:08:08


The generous one is Fat Bastard.

I purposely did not name the little girl. And oh yes, the police (French and British) know much more than they have told us.


I have it from a sound source that in France the case is classified as’criminal’ .

7-31-2013 at 12:12:56


As Marilyn says: You should not feed the gremlins!

But this investigation not only feed the internet trolls, but also that Ducos fellow.

7-31-2013 at 12:16:38


Yes I also have from a reliable source that it is classified as a ‘criminal’, perhaps the same source. 😉

But it is not treated as a normal criminal case, not even “normal” in France, since I have by now studied several such cases.

7-31-2013 at 12:17:45

Oooops, my fingers stumbled again. 🙂

7-31-2013 at 16:14:59

@FB, I would like to also thankyou for allowing Marilyn to post the photo of Saad, Iqbal and their eldest daughter at the age of about 3, it must have been around the time when you first met them, due to the Playschool.

If the younger girl is of the same build then I agree with Marilyn, the child could easily have gone unnoticed in the rear footwell of the car.

I cannot comprehend how they will get over the horror of what they were witness to.

7-31-2013 at 16:57:13


In your 11.35 of July 30 you wrote : 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 …

This was in your excellent scenario and you were talking there about Sylvain Mollier.

I’ve got such a lot of info in my head, so I can’t remember we were told that Sylvain Mollier had been shot twice into the back. Was he? And were we told that?

You wrote that, Peter, at the end of the previous thread (Part 11).

7-31-2013 at 17:31:38

@ Marilyn, 7-31-2013 at 16:57:13

I may have mixed up something there: Saad was shot (once) in the lower back. Whether Sylvain was also shot in the lower back I don’t know, but it was reported that he had been shot in the back and finished off with shots from a different angle as he lay on the ground.

Curiously, some reports have it that he was only ever shot in the back.
Sylvain gît, mort à côté de son vélo. Il a reçu cinq balles. Cinq balles dans le dos.
Il aurait ensuite achevé au sol le cycliste, qui avait déjà reçu trois balles dans le dos.
L’assassin serait ensuite retourné achever le cycliste en train d’agoniser car les angles de tir sont différents selon les salves.
Abattu d’un balle dans la tête, il a été retrouvé gisant à l’avant de la voiture, sur le parking forestier de la commune de Chevaline, en Haute-Savoie.

Given that head shots seem to be the killer’s preferred method of finishing off his victims, I may have to take it all back and speculate that SM was finished off in the same way.

But where do all these reports come from that he was shot in the back several times? If true, that would put a wholly different slant upon the story. Had he already turned around in order to flee as he was shot initially?

7-31-2013 at 18:26:25

@ All
After hearings July 22 through 24, the Summary of Judgment was only handed down by Justice Baker on July 26. See full text on this link:
Considering editorial deadlines for the Sunday Times publication on the 28, we may assume that the article was ready for print early on July 27, together with its various illustrations.
This shows how fast the media can go, when a good headline is at stake.

@ Marilyn
I agree. Better stay mum on specifics. Especially since the ST and others have mentioned it was Zainab on the picture. And as Lynda wisely underlined, even nutters can travel.
I also agree there’s a faint resemblance between the late Iqbal and Farah Diba as seen in her official portrait. But then the latter, whilst she married well, was just the daughter of a military officer whereas Saad’s spouse came from a very high-ranking lineage.

7-31-2013 at 19:45:37

@Eugene, Saad certainly married ‘above his weight’! But she was also ‘getting on a bit’ the clock ticking. I read they met in Dubai after his mother had died, so Iqbal didn’t meet her future mother-in-law. Saad was distressed by his mothers death, I don’t have the elements to hand, I think she was much younger than Khadim, Saads father.

The high ranking family you speak of were living in a flat in Sweden, branches of family split, the same life experiences not visited on them all.

Sylvain, also attracted someone ‘above his weight’ in his ‘heiress’ girlfriend, months ago we spoke of this ‘inheritance’, Claire was gifted the business by her parents, from what I know, had she sold it within the next 9 years it would have been subject to heavy taxation, the value of a business is often made by its annual profits mulipilied by what it earns over two, three or ten years.

She was not rich, unfortunately the original website for the pharmacy has gone, had you seen it you would understand that there were 8 or 9 people, be they owners or employees living off it.

There is certainly a value, a good income, to describe this young woman as an heiress is wrong, how many people are sitting on a future fortune, like Saad and Zaid, that is a house – increased in price through market forces ?

Many of us I suspect, that is all well and good, if you cash in and take the profit, then the money can be appreciated, if you can’t and need to buy again in a similar situation, then it is like swapping an old penny for a new penny, one shinier than the other, same value.

So much exaggeration has taken place thanks to the press needing a sensational storyline.

7-31-2013 at 20:04:15


I think the “millionaire” story comes from the fact that the pharmacy there is “valued” at approx. 1.5 million euros (based on turnover).

Turnover isn’t profit. It’s “vanity”.

It doesn’t “bring in” that per year…but it’s consistent “turnover”.
And it is a “repeat” business.
It’s not a bad “capital asset” to have.

But I would sooner have a pharmacy with a good turnover than a house.
Better value…and easier to sell (especially if it’s a pharmacy).

7-31-2013 at 20:05:47

I think it is nice to notice that the court actually asked Z. & z. where they wanted to live.

I don’t know if that is something they always do, or must do, in the UK, but I know that in other countries the children often have no say in these kind of questions.

7-31-2013 at 20:10:32

@Lynda & James

I still don’t know what interests M. Schutz had in La Léchère, but if you include properties and money in the bank I would estimate that the Schutz family is richer than the Al-Hilli family anyhow.

7-31-2013 at 20:41:27


I completely agree.
And we don’t know all the investments that “people” have.

What I mean by that is, whilst Saad “controlled” 800K (euro), we have no idea what the Schutz family “had”.

Further we don’t know if the Saad property was re-mortgaged…or there was monies loaned on the back of “his” property.

Simply put, we know “nada”.

7-31-2013 at 20:59:16
7-31-2013 at 21:04:17

@James, that really was my point, an asset is quite different to cash, if she, Claire, cashes it in there will be a big tax burden, that was never the plan.

I doubt she was earning a great deal of money from it, nevertheless it was steady income, they were living in rented accommodation, the big house at the centre of town, no doubt so as they had space to house his two older boys, on the nights they stayed over.

A Councillor colleague of Thierry Schutz was indiscreet enough to say that the aforesaid had complained that Mollier was spending money and Monsieur Schutz didn’t like it.

So, the bike, did Sylvain buy it himself, everybody misses that his father died in 2011, maybe a small inheritance, or he took funds from his joint account with CS to do this, I don’t think she physically offered it to him, for so many reasons.

I doubt very much that he would have wanted to emulate his future father-in-law (as far as I can see there wasn’t an engagement, those that assumed there would be because of the child, uh no).

7-31-2013 at 21:23:05


“Sylvain buy it himself, everybody misses that his father died in 2011, maybe a small inheritance”

And by me to, I must admit. That is totally possible…and highly likely.

This is a man who “upgraded” his life….and took leave from his job (he now has three children !).

It seems likely he liked himself over and above his “commitments” .
His (as in “his”) bike. His “time to enjoy”.

7-31-2013 at 21:28:51



7-31-2013 at 21:43:33


re: 3 shots in the back

Thanks for explaining and the links. To me ‘shot in the back’ means the victim had tried to run which I am sure everyone of us would have tried to do too. It also means to me that the killer is a coward, could not shoot a man looking into his eyes. I do not think that Sylvain Mollier was lying on his stomach on the ground when he was shot in the back. If those shots to his back were because the killer wanted to make sure that he was not going to survive, he would have shot him in the head.


Thank you for the link to the Summary of Judgement site. The French will of course never put such a document on the web. That is how the French and English differ; here in France everything to do with the law is secret secret secret.


Thanks for reminding us what has been written of the finances of Sylvain Mollier.

Evil money, hey? Those who think that Mollier was the target think he was killed because of money, while those who think that Saad was the target also think the motif was money. Happy, maybe, is the man who sits penniless on the street corner, his hand out for a copper coin.

I’m going to do some killing of my own now. In fact, not just killing, but big time serial killing.

Have a good commentating night.

7-31-2013 at 21:50:11

My “issue” with the French “authorities” is as I have with the crash of AF 447.

AF denied “everything”.
Worse they stood by the crew of that flight.
There were 200 plus lives that died…and the French (AF) refused to admit that it was their “lax” pilots that killed them (poor CRM and the Capt leaving for rest at the crucial point).

Oddly it is a CRM training “example” now.
BUT it was the fact that the authorities (AF) that “denied” (or refused to accept) that it was a “French issue” that caused that crash.

I think this “may” be the case here.

7-31-2013 at 22:38:09


Since I in my professional life been involved in investigating plane crashes, that AF447 was certainly an event that interested me very much. It was very nice that they in the end found the “black boxes”.

There are a lot of things that could be discussed, but perhaps not here and now. However I found it strange that the captain went to have a rest when they were going through an area with heavy thunderstorms and he knew that his crew was rather inexperienced (as I remember it). Any thoughts?

7-31-2013 at 23:08:56


I have heard the complete recordings….and in line with the flight data recording.

We won’t go into it here, but “one” key issue was the “rest”.
…and the “weather” (which is “normal” in that region…but can be testing).

However without going into it all, I was amazed (when we were presented with all the data that the investigation team presented) at the comments that Air France made (and in public).

The crew were at fault. Well specifically one.
And also the Captain of the flight. He should not have left the cockpit.
Its a case of “any problem is solved before it’s a problem”, he didn’t.

If that is not the case then “fly the damn plane” is the rule.
They failed on both counts (a bit more to it, but essentially that).

That aside…Air France were incredible in their denial.
pitot tube

7-31-2013 at 23:12:09

That aside…Air France were incredible in their denial.
pitot tubes were fine (in line with specification)….but that’s what they blamed.

Sorry for the break in post. hit the wrong key whilst cancelling a Skype call !

8-1-2013 at 06:58:44

we do know that The Claygate house was not mortgaged
and was valued at £800000 (a lot more than the 28k it cost to buy
Estate agents like shiny new bathrooms and en suites
and shiny new kitchens not functional home made kitchen units .

8-1-2013 at 07:05:11

@ Eugine quote

“whereas Saad’s spouse came from a very high-ranking lineage. ”
Saad married a Dentist .
what her ancestors did was irrelevant to Saad
he judged people by their Education not by their Wasta

8-1-2013 at 07:31:12

Here is the article that mentions Saad applying for a job at CERN, the house where the 15:15 photograph was taken is For Sale, there were other photos taken between 15:00 and 15:10, many months ago I speculated as to whether all the traditional chalets, farmhouses where the photos were taken were in fact on the market.

Following on from what FB said about the house in Claygate, Saads mother leaving it to her favourite son (Dr Zaid Alabdi), Saad then putting it in his Zaids name as well, since the death of their father, the estate being sorted out.

I can see that although had the money been released from Switzerland there was enough to cover the 50% value of the house, it would have left Saad with no cash, or at least not so much, there was his fathers appartment in Spain as well.

So, if he were to sell Claygate, pay off Zaid, take his share of that plus 50% of the Swiss money and Spanish appartment, he could have afforded a decent home in the Annecy region, they knew the area, taken a job with CERN, good income, maybe found an English school for the girls and Iqbals newly acquired British Dentistry Qualification could have seen her get a job in Switzerland as well.

This maybe why her mother was with them, took her to see the house in St Macaire, which was for sale, then to Annecy to show her how pretty it all is and look at some houses.

It could even be that she was going to move with them, a recent widow, two daughters in the UK and then her menatlly ill son, he’d also spent time in a mental hospital in Sweden, around 2005/7.

Zaid and Saad would both have benefitted financially, the only twist in this is that what if Saad had said he’d give his brother half the house, it was never legally put in place.

Knowing this Zaid ‘persuaded’ his father to leave the Spanish appartment and any money to him, in compensation for the family home being left to Saad only – that makes sense to me, and yes it would cause them to fall out.

Do you recall the Swiss prosecutor saying that all he wanted was proof as to who now owned the money there.

Well, I would say that 50% is Zaids and 50% is the girls, or if the fathers ‘persuaded’ will 100% Zaids and the house belongs to the girls.

Either way the overall outcome is the same amount for Zaid, he had no interest in killing the family, because it would not have changed anything, unless of course all including the girls were killed, he would have gained the value of the house, so let’s be realistic, £800k, and have to live with the knowledge that you were responsible for the deaths of your brother, his wife, her mother and their two little daughters, nah….

8-1-2013 at 08:26:44

And according to the Family Law Court link from Eugene, the risk to the girls lives is ‘low’.

When I said (Dr Zaid Alabdi) above I was quoting from one of his television interviews.

@FB, I had to look up Wasta:

8-1-2013 at 08:31:40


I am not certain about the relevance of this, but I have always (and especially since FB joined us) thought this CERN-job idea a bit strange.

I have not had any personal contacts with CERN in my life but through my education I have a fairly good idea what they do and how they do that.

Saad Al-Hilli was a CAD-engineer. I am not certain how much work there would be for such a person at CERN. If he had been a scientist working in elementary particle physics he could very well have wanted to move there and take his family with him. I know several people who have worked there, but they usually have their homes and sometimes their family in Sweden and rent something close to CERN. Jobs at CERN are often only short term (a couple of years).

To move a family to a new country is a big undertaking. I wonder if Saad Al-Hilli could have been promised (interesting) work during so many years that he thought it was a good idea to move. An institution like CERN is surrounded by a huge of administration making life miserable for the ordinary employee. I wonder if that had suited Saad Al-Hilli.

8-1-2013 at 08:48:37

@Lars, it’s an idea I’ve had for sometime, based purely upon the account linked above.

His latest contract had finished, nobody has said whether he had another one lined up….

As for your monetary values on the two families, the Schutz no doubt have a very nice property they live in, probably own the building in which the pharmacy and sidelines occupy, who knows even a second home somewhere near the coast.

On the face of it they would be the wealthier.

I’ve been looking at the Parental Leave situation, some countries do have the three years, unpaid of course but with the guarantee that they have a job to go back to.

Maybe the older generation would find it odd that the father takes the leave and not the mother, standing back and looking in it makes a great deal of sense for Sylvain to have been the child care, as Claire is self-employed and a Pharmacist has to be on the premises during opening hours, no doubt taking the brunt of those hours in order that her parents could start their semi-retirement.

8-1-2013 at 09:08:10


I don’t know of course. I just thought it a bit odd. You know, if you have been used to be self-employed, going back to being employed is not so easy.

I am quite certain that at times there could be extremely challenging work for a CAD-engineer at CERN, and probably then also pretty well paid. But since they work with projects I am quite certain that there are long periods with almost nothing to do. That’s the nature of an institution like CERN (though I am not familiar with exactly that institution).

So if Saad Al-Hilli could have combined CERN with his other work as consultant in other companies it would surely have been a nice combo, but now..?

If Claire’s parents wanted semi-retirement it seems to be far away now.

8-1-2013 at 09:23:38

@Lars, there are a lot of jobs in CERN, even a special entrance for those workers who enter from France ! Maybe he was ready to become employed, regular income, age, thinking of his future pension.

Also Saad did have some experience from his university days, okay I know it is The Mirror, but the reference is all over the web and quoted in The Telegraph:

We’ve also not ascertained whether Iqbal was to continue working where she’d been training or whether she had secured a position as a dentist elsewhere.

I have no doubt that Monsieur et Madame Schutz are doing the donkey work again.

8-1-2013 at 09:27:47


I am late this first day of August, am I not!

Very interesting comments during the night. I will comment later today: rather tied up at the moment.

Have a nice commenting day.

8-1-2013 at 09:36:40
8-1-2013 at 10:21:26


As said, you may be right.
But if you look at that add the job duration is 5 years, pretty long but not something to build a whole career on.
And even if I am right in principal, people have made unrealistic plans before.
I however believe that the Al-Hillis were much better off in Claygate than they could be anywhere else.
And to move kids that are going to school is not easy, and to later move teenage kids could be harder than to move the Eiffel tower.

8-1-2013 at 14:30:45

Too hot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

8-1-2013 at 14:48:46

Perhaps I am unusually emotional because of my new Swiss grandchild . . but I find the picture of Saad and Iqbal really dreadfully sad.

They seem to have been such a loving bunch. Not flashy or pretentious either.
I hope the Z’s can hang on to what memories they have of them.

I expect Mr. Bastard will copy all the photos he has for them anyroad.

8-1-2013 at 15:31:03


They promised us 35 degrees on Saturday.


So the grandchild did arrive at last! I was a bit afraid to ask. Congratulations anyhow!

I agree with you on the photo (though without grandchildren 🙂 ).

8-1-2013 at 15:48:55


I also found the photo so sad. On that day they had no idea. And what a beautiful couple they were.

Is your new grandchild a boy or girl, and what is the name? And congratulations,Gran’Ma.


I am melting here in Paris. My laptop is hot as if it’s just been taken from the oven.

It is really tough to concentrate to work in such heat.

Lynda is on a beach … lucky she is.

8-1-2013 at 17:27:09

Temps today in southern Europe over 100°..
Not as bad as Arizona or Africa but close..

8-1-2013 at 18:01:20


It is too hot in Paris.

8-1-2013 at 18:25:01

Boo !

Has anyone got the “complete” family tree of Saad ?
I know it must be somewhere ! But can’t find it.

Curious about a comment I came across.
I am probably interested in Saad’s mothers side.
The brothers and sisters she had.


28K to 800K. A nice ROI on that.
Went to a “pad” in Mayfair, Londonshire once. A hefty price tag on that.
But she couldn’t move….the issue was “what do you buy” !
Everything else in the area had gone up to.

Can I ask a question ? I may seem a bit strange.
After the events of that tragic afternoon, the French police had Saad’s phone.
They accessed this and asked the British police to contact the people in the address book (email, phone number whatever).

How long was it from the police contacting you until the Daily Mail contacted you (roughly) ? The same day, the next day, the day after that or longer ?

8-1-2013 at 19:24:52

Have a good commenting night.

It’s hot in Paris and I am moving to cooler shores.

8-1-2013 at 19:42:43

Baby Liv arrived day before yesterday.
Her dad picked the name while we were all in
Norkopping at Christmas. Everybody had flu . . horrendous.

I already have an Australian Gchild and a Korean step Gchild. There will be Swedish one next year as well.

8-1-2013 at 21:23:20

@James Re:the “complete” family tree of Saad ?

I have never seen any “complete” family tree of Saad ?
I find it hard to believe that his mother’s siblings have anything to do with this crime. You probably have to know Arabic to research that.


I guess you know that Liv means “life” in Swedish, and it is also a quite popular name both in Sweden and Norway.

8-1-2013 at 21:51:55


I’m trying to find the cousin based in Istanbul.

Saad’s father has a brother who’s son was in the U.K but moved to Australia.
So I imagine this Istanbul cousin would be from Saad’s mums side.

There are two reasons for this.
1. The comment that was made
2. The speed that this was reported.

8-1-2013 at 22:11:26


I have only heard of the cousin in Australia and a cousin in Baghdad (Hussain al-Hilli ), both are, I believe, cousins on the father’s side.

8-1-2013 at 22:21:11


Yep. I heard of them.

However I found another comment I didn’t “register”.
It was in the early days.

Hence why am awaiting FB’s reply.
It would be interesting to see the timeline of the police contacting him….and the newspaper.

This comment was made early on…and I don’t know (!) how they (the newspaper) tracked this person down (well I have a very good idea).

The French police had given the “contacts” to the British police. The British police then contacted them…including FB.

The timing is interesting.

(and the comment made).

8-1-2013 at 23:10:45

‘If you investigate and find out about Saad’s job, you will know who’s behind his killing.’

This came from the cousin who is based in Istanbul.
The newspaper tracked him/her down less than 10 days after “that” afternoon.

So the French police accessed the phone, passed the info to the British police, the British police managed to contact him….then the newspaper did (just one I believe)….

Based in Istanbul (!) that newspapers is good !
Especially so as the cousin was on a business meeting in Iraqi when they contacted him for a comment.

That said… why did the cousin make the comment he made ?

8-1-2013 at 23:31:02


You know people talk so much, and journos write so much. Some even enjoy seeing their name in a newspaper.

8-1-2013 at 23:41:15


I absolutely agree with you there.
…and that “reporters” just like “reporting”.

Example. I fly VVIP’s.
The news reported that one chap was “where ever” he was suppose to be.
And they even had a “crew” waiting to “interview” him.
It was rubbish as I had taken him to a meeting the day before along with my boss. We flew the day before. There was no secret.
EVEN the BBC like to “make news”….for “the public”.
I guess it’s “Phil News” was editor that day !

However, I think they may have caught this cousin “off guard” IF (big if..) we can confirm that there is a cousin… Istanbul.

8-1-2013 at 23:45:41


P.S. I think that it is not beyond reason that people pass information to other people….when they shouldn’t.

And that information gets “leaked” and acted upon …when it shouldn’t.

8-2-2013 at 02:29:10

James, 8-1-2013 at 23:10:45

That’s almost certainly Hussain AH.

A cousin of Mr Al-Hilli, who was contacted in Baghdad but refused to be identified, said: ‘If you investigate and find out about Saad’s job, you will know who’s behind his killing.’

The cousin, who lives in Istanbul but was on a business trip to Baghdad, added: ‘We have been told by the police not to say anything more.’

8-2-2013 at 03:21:42


Not sure it is.
I think this cousin is on the mother’s side.

8-2-2013 at 07:49:50


I expected to melt yesterday, but maybe I will do so today. Was 36 in Paris yesterday, will be 33 today and the weather people say that this heat will continue to August 15 which is a public holiday here in France – the Holy Virgin ascending into heaven (she in fact lies buried in France, but that is another story.)

@James – @Lars – @Peter

Interesting conversation during the night when I was serial killing. Killing was industrious but I have a headache this morning. (James, yes, I am drinking a glass of tea at the moment, so laugh if you have to.)

Peter linked to a Daily Mail article where the ‘cousin’ is quoted about finding out about Saad’s job, then you will find the killer.

That remark was made on September 12. In other words during the early days when all, including us here, thought Saad was a rocket scientist and was obviously assassinated by some or other rival – country or intelligence agency.

People talk big, do they not? Saad might well have made his far-distance relatives understand that he was a rocket scientist and a v.i.p. and very very wealthy. Just human nature to do that. From Fat Bastard we have actually heard what Saad’s job entailed. Anyone seeing photos of his Claygate house would similarly have thought ‘Stockbroker belt! Vow! This bloke’s loaded!’ when the truth was quite the contrary.

As for journalists (I hate the term journo – a doctor is not for example a doco, is he, or a teacher a teacho?) they want scoops so what they hear they write.

And yes people pass information to others when they shouldn’t. I’ve done so myself. One such time especially comes to mind but I won’t speak about that now or ever. Having said that, anyone here wants to pass information to me, I’m listening, OK?

Have a nice commenting day.

8-2-2013 at 12:07:10


Yes that comment was made in the early days after SSTL had been mentioned, and the accountant had mentioned the Airbus galley but nothing else about his job was known

But what I find “curious” is the speed at which the newspaper found this cousin. (well, not surprised really !)

Of course there may not be a “cousin in Istanbul”.
Why let facts get in the way of a good story, so to speak.

And if there is a cousin, then he may only know Saad was currently working in “satellite”. The old “two plus two equals 789” type thinking.

Then again it could just be reported out of context.
“Many a slip twixt cup and lip”.
The reported could just write what he “thinks” the cousin said.

However (if it’s “true”) the statement would be curious.

8-2-2013 at 14:29:21

France Bleu yesterday :

“Suspicions are growing stronger against Zaid al-Hilli”

8-2-2013 at 15:45:54

@Ron, my mind is split on this, if you’ve read earlier, you’ll understand why.

I would hazard a guess that Francebleu were using the extended bail to presume guilt, naughty, presumption of innocence exists in France, honest.

8-2-2013 at 16:14:03

Better be ready for more breaking news. Inspector Clouseau is back:
The tagline for Season 2 will be: “Closing The Doors”

8-2-2013 at 16:16:53

I agree with Lynda. Nothing new.
I guess it is just E-Maillaud who is on a last offensive.

8-2-2013 at 16:35:47


re: France Bleu

Thanks for drawing our attention to this. I think they put two and two together and got five. It is, in other words, clever speculation.

I am a great fan of France Bleu, so too is every motorist in Paris because motorists phone in and give news about where there is a traffic jam, or where an accident. It also has the best selection of music of all French radio stations. I listen to it often at night.

Do continue to watch out for such news for us. Thank you.


re: Lille and Maillaud’s holiday over

A big thank you also for the La Voix du Nord news. Lille? Odd. But Lille has police surely and not gendarmes?

As for Prosecutor Maillaud being back at his desk, it was a short holiday, non? I hope he is well rested and rarin’ to go and catch the Chevaline killer.

Oh gosh, Eugene, a thought has jumped into my head: Lille is close to where Xavier Baligant was gunned down.

8-2-2013 at 16:36:57

@ Lynda

Yes…But isn’t it a bit striking when FOUR LOCAL journalists (if I include GvH of Geneva) all whistle se same tune ?

(All with possible hotlines to the Chambéry headoffice )…

8-2-2013 at 17:08:55


Excuse my ignorance here, but how does it work in France ?

Eric would be “the spokesman” for the investigation team, but not “the” investigation team ? They would remain “separate” to Eric ?

And phoning in traffic jams ! That sounds like fun.
You could almost “plan” your fake jams…and make every motorist divert.
A clear run home for sure !

8-2-2013 at 17:10:30

Strange. Could have sworn upon that there were 3 journalists responsible for that France Bleu article…Now there’s only 2 left…Sorry 🙁

8-2-2013 at 17:14:35

Cousin’s of Iraq unite !

I may have got confused with “cousins”.

Hussain says he’s a cousin of Saad.
And his father Ali was a “cousin” of Kadhim.

I would have thought that Ali would be a “brother” of Khadim inorder to make Hussain a cousin of Saad ?

I’m not very good with “family relationships”. Peter help !
If my aunty had a beard she’d be my uncle, no ?

8-2-2013 at 17:34:32


re: Vanishing journalists

Not to worry, Ron. It’s the heat.

France Bleu is part of Radio France. It’s Radio France’s regional stations. I, for example, can get and therefore listen to the Paris one.

8-2-2013 at 17:49:02

@ Ron
In those journalists have received a tip-off from somebody involved in the investigation, then it was a tactical tip-off intended to rattle Zaid a bit, perhaps make him do something stupid.

Alternatively, they may simply has misunderstood the situation: police may feel increasingly certain that they shall be able to have Zaid sucessfully prosecuted, but only for fraud, certainly not for conspiracy to murder. If they had the slightest shred of evidence suggesting that he was involved in a conspiracy to murder, the police would never have bailed him.

8-2-2013 at 17:54:27

@Eugene, regarding Lille, I wish I could remember where I fell upon a connection to the Nord-Pas-de-Calais, I do recall that one of the ‘actors’ in this had links to Arras, that was something to do with the Schutz Pharmacy changing hands, please don’t quote me on that.

The Ringot family appear in NPdC as well, although I’ve never checked if they are one and the same.

I have no doubt that every close relation to the family has been subject to enquiry, could Lille mean that it has already been put out to another area for an ‘internal investigation’ ?

Just speculating.

8-2-2013 at 18:39:18

@ Lynda
Yes, I remember as well about Arras, the lawyer who helped with the selling was from there… (Avocat spécialisé en droit des pharmacies)

A couple of days ago I watched this program: C dans l’air. Les nouvelles techniques d’investigation (mer. 31-07-13),86281639.html
Have the SALVAC files led them to Lille?

8-2-2013 at 18:47:17

Ref: Marriages you wouldn’t expect

My mum & dad met in The War, otherwise they would never have met.
Different class, nationality, economic band, religion, musical tastes, age etc etc.

BUT I am no longer surprised by any aspects of couple-dom and as the Globe shrinks and we get more tolerant of difference . . . well I do anyway than I say . . . why not?

I am hopeless tea-drinking romantic who believes in love.

8-2-2013 at 20:17:40

@ Marilyn

Lille? I would think that’s the convenient place to have interviews with people from Calais and vicinity..

8-2-2013 at 20:21:33

@ Lars and James re AF 447:

Given that I work for the insurance company that insured Air France, I heard that we pulled out of the contract for it was Air France’s fault but when they wouldn’t take responsibility for it we had to pay people out.

Didn’t hurt us so much in the long run but we had to get rid of one customer formerly very much appreciated.


8-2-2013 at 20:24:09

@ JCave:

Me also, being hopelessly romantic, just that I prefer coffee.

That’s what brought me to France in the first place…


8-2-2013 at 20:51:27

and me, Alex …..
….and the only reason I remain.

8-2-2013 at 21:06:29

Did you all notice that according to Maillaud above (the link provided by Eugene) there was no Frenchman killed at Chevaline just a family. I must have mixed things up. I was quite certain that there was also a Frenchman. 😉

8-2-2013 at 21:16:59

I feel kind of sorry for Zaid Al-Hilli. First he lose several members of his family in a heinous crime in France, then he is persecuted by this strange French prosecutor, who has no kind of evidence at all to present.

I feel that E-Maillaud wants to create the impression in the general public that Mr. Zaid Al-Hilli must be guilty, even if it is not possible to prove. No smoke, without fire. Then the rest can be forgotten.

This investigation is not biased, it has collapsed.

The French victim has disappeared. A Frenchman as perpetrator is out of the question.

8-2-2013 at 21:29:10

Before I go go …

What brought me to France? That dirty word – w-o-r-k. However, though it is keeping me here I also have other reasons for staying.


I made a mistake about Xavier Baligant having been killed near Lille. Not so. I checked on Google maps.

OK, now I will light the fire. Guests for dinner.

Have a nice commenting night.

8-2-2013 at 21:34:36

I have above offered a possible way to solve the Chablais killings.

I had thought that someone be interested in that. Someone with enough credibility to convince the persons involved that it not a joke but serious business. I have been waiting for someone to contact me, but no. 🙁

I think a solution of the Chablais killings could also help in the Chevaline case, and is at least much more promising than the “pistes” of E-Maillaud.

8-2-2013 at 22:01:11


AF447. Maybe it does come down to “working practices”.
There’s always a series of events that lead to an accident.
And with AF447 that was certainly the case…and all “human”.

I hope that this isn’t the case with the French/British investigation team with regard Al Hillis/Mollier murder.

8-2-2013 at 22:14:20

@Lars, I agree about the treatment of Zaid.

Peter said earlier, surely if he was involved in ‘conspiracy to murder’, he would not be allowed any bail conditions, least of all whilst HIS NIECES, are or about to be given into guardianship of their Auntie Fadwa.

For James:

I read a piece that referred to a woman in Australia being a ‘sister’, she was in fact a childhood friend.

8-2-2013 at 22:26:43

@Lynda & James

and we had in this case a woman called an aunt (to Mollier) who is afaik actually the mother of an in-law. I believe one must always double-check these kind of relations given.


There is definetely a lot of strange “working practices” also in this case. And I guess that also in this case it is the “captain” that is to blame.

8-2-2013 at 23:56:40

I can tell a story about how a crime investigation can go very wrong.

In Sweden a man was convicted for eight murders. He had confessed he had commited all these murders as well as a great number of other murders. When he confessed he was in custody in a mental institution.

During the last years, through the hard work of a Swedish journalist, these eight cases have been reopened and he has been acquitted in all cases. Just the last week he was declared innocent in the last case.

As it turns out the charges were to a large part “fabricated” by the police, the prosecutor, psychologists and psychiatrists working on these case, using a sick man, heavely dependent on drugs, who was willing to confess to anything as long as he was given more drugs.

This is of course a major scandal for the Swedish judicial system and the goverment will start an investigation how it could happen.

(see e.g.

I hope there will one day also be an investigation of how the Chevaline case was handled.

8-3-2013 at 00:15:02


Great comment, but I doubt it.
Also I doubt there well be “questions” of how the “news” got the names (of the contacts that Saad had) so fast !

Did Mollier carry a phone ? Funny how that remained “unleaked” (as it should may I add).

My guess there is….. “the moon is hollow”.
Everyone “loves” a conspiracy, but sometimes there isn’t one.

I try and think “Al Hilli” but always come back to “Mollier”.

Maybe there are alot of “meths” Rx’d at that pharmcia ?
Maybe some people need cash.
Maybe someone got “pissed off” with someone else ?

8-3-2013 at 00:16:29


I doubt it…as in I doubt they will investigate the “investigation team”.

8-3-2013 at 00:48:03

@James are you implying that the Press officer for Surrey police is in league with the daily fail ?
i think they were outside the claygate house on the thursday
and wrote down my phone number when i freely gave it out to everyone

8-3-2013 at 00:57:33

all these suggestions that Saad had a cousin in Bagdad who said stuff

if so why was he not friends on facebook with Saad ?

8-3-2013 at 00:57:41


James, would I ever say such a thing !

But they wrote down your number…..
…and how did they write down Hussain’s number ?

He wasn’t in Surrey.
Nor was Balsam.

Would love to sit down with your good self and chat about “the media”.

….and about planes and “ex pats” lifestyles…but we’d no doubt have a “few too many” ….and you’d end up beating me at darts and cards and I’d lose a tenner or two ! (so bad idea !).

8-3-2013 at 01:02:28

outside the burial i had a run in with the one journalist who disrespected and showed up with a telephoto lens.

The SS press officer told me not to make a scene as he had a good working relationship with said pap.
I asked for the paps card and it said “daily mail” i tore it up and threw it away.
No other journalists showed up to the funeral or burial as a sign of respect

8-3-2013 at 01:06:46


But the press (in the UK) had the names before the funeral.

You have to admit that, that was strange ?
How could the press get that without “lets assume” the press had some contact with the UK police ?

8-3-2013 at 01:17:43

are you saying that this Husaine Hilli is a suspect in the murder ?

8-3-2013 at 01:25:02


Hussain isn’t.

I’m saying it is strange how that he was contacted early on.
And yet, as you said Hussain wasn’t on Saad’s Facebook account.

So how did they manage to contact Hussain ?

8-3-2013 at 01:31:11

Hussain is probably too old for facebook.
So email ? Or Skype ? That would be logical.

8-3-2013 at 01:37:10


“The SS press officer told me not to make a scene….”

Who are the “SS” ?

8-3-2013 at 09:02:06


No, I am not late signing in, I’ve been working since 7 and I have another 2000 words written on the new novel.

The SS – we’ve asked that before. It’s Surrey Social Services.

No, there will be no enquiry into how the police are handling this case. They are handling it their way which is not to blabber to the media at the end of each day. Once the French police had to do that which was during the German Occupation of France when at the end of the day the prefect had to report to the Gestapo all of that day’s happenings and hand over all dossiers. A prefect is the head of the police and fire brigade and it is a political appointment. Paris’s prefect of the war period was executed as a collaborator after the war, and that is what he was having been appointed by Marshal Philippe Petain.

In all cases there is much confusion. No case is an open and shut one. This case is no different from any other. There is no incompetence here, just confusion and that is normal, as I’ve just said.

And NO, I am not in the pay of Prosecutor Maillaud and NO I am not French Intelligence.

Have a nice commenting day.

8-3-2013 at 09:26:56

@Eugene, in mentioning Calais, Maillaud said they arrived by ferry into this port.

Now, factor in the ‘grey RHD BMW X5’ and I have no doubt they have been checking all ins and outs not only from Calais port, DFDS/LD LINES, MY FERRY LINK, P&O FERRIES, Coquelles for EUROTUNNEL, then Dunkerque DFDS.

Then add the ferry companies from Normandy and Brittany, even into Belgium and Holland – that is a vast task, actually it would be easier to go to the Driver and Vehicle Licencing and ask for a list of all grey or dark ones and then cross reference with the cars through the ports. What a job that would be and very, very long. Maybe it is still going on. If it ever existed.

@James, regarding Molliers portable telephone, we agreed he must have had one as Claire said he would have called if he was going to be late, I have no doubt that she called him several times before trying to find him.

You are right, there never was mention of finding his portable telephone, and as we have discussed before nor an identity card, although no money was taken, I think that is what was reported.

@Peter, when we discussed the ‘clean’ ammunition, the forensics will know what is was cleaned with, be that bleach, hydrogen peroxide or some sort of gunk designed for the job ?

There is a box of old bullets here, as seen in one of the TV programmes, they obviously haven’t been handled since they were made and put in that box, traces of what would be on them ?

8-3-2013 at 10:39:04

In the UK divorced Dads go on paying contributions from their wages for their children until a certain age.
I have met men who really resent this, as they feel they are giving ‘their’ money to the ex-wife, not the children.
Their resentment even extends to the point of preferring not to work, so they don’t have to pay up.

So in France do the same things apply?
Yes I am thinking of Mr Mollier.

8-3-2013 at 11:20:57

@ James, 8-3-2013 at 01:25:02
Hussain al-Hilli’s final memories of his cousin Saad are of an anxious, desperate man, burdened with a secret that may have taken him to the grave.
Last February, six months before Saad and his family were murdered, the pair were having one of their regular Facebook chats, normally a chance to swap notes on two very different lives.

A cousin who isn’t really a cousin, talking about one of his regular Facebook chats with somebody to whose Facebook contacts he does not belong, reporting the sensational secrets that a now-dead man entrusted him with 😉 As I am a charitable person, I should say that he sounds like an attention-seeker, probably a skint attention-seeker out for a little baksheesh. I furhermore suppose that he himself contacted the media, rather than the other way around. The quest for baksheesh is not just an Arab thing, by the way:

@ Lynda, 8-3-2013 at 09:26:56
Sterilizing trace DNA with bleach or similar substances is one thing, removing latent fingerprints from brass cartridge casings is quite another. Once one has touched the casing with one’s bare, sweaty fingers, the minute corrosion caused by the sweat is sort of burnt deep into the metal. Cleaning the surface afterwards may stop further burning-in from taking place, but it will not undo whatever there has already been. The only way to avoid this effect is never to touch a cartridge case with one’s bare fingers.

8-3-2013 at 11:37:18

The effect of the authorities (foremost the French police) actions so far is to have crushed the Al-Hilli family, not to find any killer. I do not say it is their intention, but that it is the result.

A heinous crime is committed in France, where members of the British family are among the victims.

The effect of the French prosecutor’s accusations and actions on the surviving girls:

As a result of the crime the authorities decide to separate the two little girls in the family from the rest of their family. After 10 months it is decided in court that there are no valid reason for this. However the French prosecutor’s accusations against the girls uncle continue.

I guess we can all imagine what that does to a family. There can hardly be a chance to try and begin a more normal life again for the family. To try and heal the wounds that the crime in France has caused will be extremely difficult, not the least for the girls. They are not only still under strict security measures, but they are also told by the french prosecutor that their uncle is involved in the murder. They are not old enough to understand and question what grown-ups do, but they will understand that the French police thinks that their uncle was involved in the murder of their beloved parents. The longer this crime is unsolved the more serious effects it will have on the girls life.

The effect of the French prosecutor’s accusations on the uncle’s life:

I guess that the uncle is a broken man by now. It doesn’t matter how strong you are, if you first lose several members of your family in a murder case abroad, and then are accused of being involved in that murder, it would break anybody down. I also see very little chance for the uncle to defend himself. What the French prosecutor until now has presented for the media are loose speculations and accusations. Such accusations are very hard to defend onseself against. The uncle will perhaps never have to stand trial, but he will always, as long as this crime is unsolved, have these accusations hanging over his head. The risk is also imminent that these accusations are what the general public will remember, due to the prosecutor, when everything else is forgotten.

I have several times written about crime statistics here, and my belief that it often is of great help when you want to find a perpetrator. However it of course also have downsides. One is that the crime statistics tells us that most crimes (at least in western countries) are committed in families our among close friends/acquaintances. This has the effect that the police will start, quite correctly, by investigating persons with a close relationship to the victim.

I think we all can imagine how that feels if you are e.g. a parent who has just lost your child (just disappeared or found murdered) and you are then treated by the police as a suspect. To survive that mentally is not an easy thing to do. This has also led to many tragedies, and then not just the crime but also what happened thereafter.

I believe that such tragedies can only be avoided by a police, that is able to explain its actions and understand the sensitivity of the persons involved.

I have however never seen or heard a prosecutor act with the insensitivity like this French prosecutor does.

8-3-2013 at 11:37:24

@J.Cave, in principal it is until the end of their full-time education, that extends beyond the age of 18.

I’ve witnessed one case where the father not only didn’t pay-up, he gave up seeing his children, the mother didn’t follow it through the courts, although she could have, part of his argument was that she was now living with someone else.

Molliers brother Christophe referred to him having financial commitments, it must have been towards his two teenage boys, although they appeared to have stayed with Sylvain and Claire, so maybe shared responsibility cut out the financial support, maybe.

Interesting, he was divorced just a year earlier according to this, although I’m sure I read that Sylvain and Claire had been living together for about two years, possibly separated for some years from Lydie, I think they’d been apart for about 6 years….

8-3-2013 at 12:12:11

@Peter, the forensics must know if the casings were deliberately cleaned or never handled, factory fresh.

If factory fresh, then they’ve been in storage somewhere, a display cabinet could be a likely place, never touched with bare hands.

I feel it makes a difference to whom the killer is.

@Lars, from the most recent photos of Zaid, he already looks a broken man, he is also a father and grandfather, the devastation to the family must be horrendous, yet the Schutz-Morange, Mollier families have been left alone, getting on with life and holidays as if nothing had happened.

8-3-2013 at 12:34:59


Of course now (technically) Claire’s fathers business is supporting Molliers teenage boys….. whilst Mollier enjoys riding his bike.

Whilst there is a “max” of three years paternity leave, only part of that will be paid (and most likely at a lower rate).

8-3-2013 at 12:37:27

@ Lars

I totally agree with what you express in your latest post. Thanks for having written it.

@ Marilyn

Thanks for clarifying the “SS” moniker for those in doubt. I wonder whether Surrey Social Services wouldn’t have made a better choice, in terms of disambiguation, had they selected SSS as their acronym..
In any case, I find it rather impressive that a) “SS” would employ a Press Officer of theirs to cover collateral events like the funeral/burial, while the children for whom they had been responsible for a few days only were apparently kept away from being there (at least no mention has ever been made of their attending), b) this Press Officer would find it within the boundaries of his/her mission to regulate informal exchanges between various participants such as FB and that obnoxious reporter.
Would the Surrey police do so, one couldn’t be surprised. But Social Services? It shows a level of professional commitment well beyond what would be expected, outside of the United Kingdom at least.

@ James

What was reported was that this “cousin” had been contacted, and made such remarks. I don’t think it was ever mentioned that he was contacted by a journalist. More likely by Police initially, and the info got leaked. Once leaked, kid stuff to narrow it down.

@ Lynda

Thanks for agreeing with me. Obviously, investigators must have cross-checked all potential coincidence between the Al-Hillis ferry crossing into Calais and any significant other vehicle. Meanwhile, the killer(s) would have been incredibly sloppy to use genuine licence plates linked to his/her/their true identity. Chances are interviews in Lille took place because some other “match” was noticed following such survey.

8-3-2013 at 12:45:18

@ Lynda, 8-3-2013 at 12:12:11

The point is: even if the cartridge casings were deliberately cleaned, they would probably still bear latent fingerprints if they had ever been touched, if not the killer’s prints, then somebody else’s.

In my opinion, the chances of cartridge casings never, ever being touched diminishes exponentially over time. Even stuff kept in a display cabinet does get touched, dusted off and lovingly polished every once in a while. In my opinion, it is quite unlikely that the ammunition was vintage ammunition anyway, because there were no duds, as far as we know.

On balance, I therefore consider it most likely that the killer used, if not factory-fresh ammunition, then ammunition that he had recently bought, either from a legitimate shop or from an underworld armourer. Taking new (or newish) ammunition out of a still-sealed box whilst wearing gloves would have been the only way for him to be certain that the cartridges did not bear his own or somebody else’s latent fingerprints.

8-3-2013 at 13:14:28

Another reason why I believe that the killer used new ammunition: We don’t know what exactly the killer had in mind when he set out on that day, but, judging from the sheer amount of ammunition that he carried, he certainly planned to do more than merely threaten somebody with his old P06.

The greater the overlap between what he ended up doing and what he originally intended to do, the more insane it would have been for him to rely on vintage ammunition. A single stoppage might have enabled SM and/or the AHs to get away. Even if he had purchased a large quantity of ammunition from the same batch and tested it extensively beforehand, it would have been a huge, huge risk for him to rely upon vintage ammunition. Vintage ammunition is (if you will pardon the pun) always hit and miss.

8-3-2013 at 13:21:05

@Peter, thankyou, new ammunition it is then, is the 7.65mm still made ?

@Eugene, and no doubt any reported stolen in the UK.

From this link I posted above, did you see they say he deviated from the route:

I’ve always felt this was the case, as Claire apparently went to a road block, this wouldn’t have been the final barrier at the Combe but probably the one in Doussard.

So, the question is why did he deviate ?

8-3-2013 at 13:28:50

We might have gone over this before. We’ve gone over everything before.

However, I will say that we do not know that there was just killer. It might have been a gang. STealing cars? One had an old gun for persuasion? Things got out of hand and the people in the car the thieves wanted to drive off got shot dead, and then another person turned up and he too had to be killed. We can not go by ‘one bad man’ as apparently said by Zainab. She might well have meant William Brett Martin, having regained consciousness and had opened her eyes and he was bending over her. Shock having erased what had happened before that moment of seeing William Brett Martin from her memory.

I stand by my defence of Prosecutor Maillaud and the investigators.

But what I do not like is that Saad Al-Hilli’s privacy has not been safeguarded. We know what he looks like, we also now know what his wife looked like, we know everything about his finances and his lifestyle, and his family and his dispute with his brother over the testament of their father.

Yet, Sylvain Mollier’s privacy has been safeguarded and is still. Do we know about his job even? Have we seen a photo of him? I will say this, if I get hold of a photo of him I will publish it here on this blog.

Therefore if you, who have a photo of him, read these words, and want to send me a photo of him, do so.

Is the protection of Sylvain Mollier because he is French and the others are not? And more: the others are Iraqis?

8-3-2013 at 13:33:57

@ Lynda, 8-3-2013 at 13:21:05

Yes, 7.65 x 21 mm Para. ammunition is still being produced. The biggest and reputedly best brand is an Italian brand called Fiocchi, and there also is a cheaper one called Prvi Partizan from, er, Serbia.

Could this be where Eric Clouseau got his idea of a low-cost hit man from the Balkans from?

8-3-2013 at 13:46:15


You wrote: Could this be where Eric Clouseau got his idea of a low-cost hit man from the Balkans from?

No, Peter he got it from me.

8-3-2013 at 14:06:45

@Peter, great minds think alike ! I was going to bring up the ‘low cost’ !

In your opinion, would an international hit man of calibre gone to so much trouble to cover his tracks ?

Why not use the AK47, that appears to be profligate in Marseilles ?

Regardless, the forensics have a date from the spent cartridges, sans doute !

It is the gun used that baffles me.

@Marilyn, I expressed many months ago that I thought much of the brouhaha around the Al-Hilli family was because they were viewed not as British but Iraqi, that I find appalling.

I would also like to know how the local press ‘can’t’ get hold of any information at all relating to Sylvain Mollier, who is closing that door ?

8-3-2013 at 14:12:06

@ Marilyn, 8-3-2013 at 13:46:15

I see. I suppose a seriously budget-conscious killer would have used reloaded ammunition. I have read that Prvi Partizan ammunition is suitable for reloading, whereas the superior Fiocchi ammo isn’t. Reloading would of course leave a wealth of toolmarks for forensic technicians to pore over, but it would save a few Euros. That is what I would call a low-cost hit man.

Reloading would also have enabled the killer to use a reduced powder load, to keep the noise level down and/or to prevent the old gun from falling apart in his hands. Cf.:

A little nugget for the German-speakers on this board:

8-3-2013 at 14:12:49


It’s easier to carry a pistol than an assault rifle. Especially if you’re on a motorbike.


Low cost hitman. There’s a recession on. Everyone is down sizing !

8-3-2013 at 14:37:53


Maybe that (reference the German article) is why the killer used an old weapon ?

Is it likely that altered bullets are harder to trace ?
Or that there is a “stockpile” that can be bought and altered to fit “whichever” weapon you have, thus the bullets pretty much “untraceable” due to their age….and yet “new” because they have been “altered” (and reconditioned) ?

8-3-2013 at 14:37:58

@James, thing is I don’t think our killer was on a motorbike …… my point is that, if a hitman, he was from the locality and knew it very well.

Of course I am only thinking out loud.

If an international hitman, why not a run of the mill pistol, apparently plenty floating about in Europe.

I will repeat myself it is the nature of the gun that baffles me.

8-3-2013 at 15:06:41

I am in no way knowledgeable about guns, but I do know the size of an AK47 and for what had to be done last September 5 its transport and concealment before and after the crime would have been a problem. I told you all that I have an AK47 bullet and that alone is h-u-g-e. Someone in the then Rhodesia had the idea, clever or stupid, to turn it into a pen and to sell it in a souvenir shop. When I bought it it did not occur to me that it might have been removed from someone’s heart …

Yes, Lynda, I remember you pointed out that the Al-Hillis’ country of origin might affect judgement in this case.

I wonder if we would still be talking about this crime had it been Monsieur et Madame Martin from La Baule and Madame DuPont from Rouen who were shot dead that day? I mean who’s talking about the shooting and death of Xavier Balignant still? I did on the 2nd anniversary of his death last month and as far as I know I was the only one.

8-3-2013 at 15:19:31

@Marilyn, you are correct, I said a white, middle class family from middle England.

Maillaud, the Press, the Mayor of Chevaline and many on this blog and others have had their view tainted from the outset.

I do not have an issue with Maillaud, if he states a ‘fact’ then it is true, his speculation leaves me cold.

I’ve judged the photo of the family incorrectly, that is the younger girl, who hid in the footwell of the car, a tiny mite she is too.

8-3-2013 at 16:30:49

@ James, 8-3-2013 at 14:37:53

I think that the opposite is true: whenever one starts altering ammunition, one leaves behind toolmarks and evidence of specialist knowledge that narrows down the circle of potential suspects and possibly even allows investigators to identify the specific tools used.

The reason why I mentioned the case from Germany (in brief: 1990. Two dodgy car dealers in Munich executed by a real professional using an old “Modèle 1935 pistol” French Army pistol fitted with a suppressor. As production of ammunition for that gun ceased in 1950, the killer – or, more likely, his underworld armourer – expertly machined modern revolver ammunition to fit the gun) is that this is one example of a professional hit man using an obsolete gun, for whatever reason.

The primary victim hailed from former Yugoslavia, and French Army pistols of that type found their way into the hands of Yugoslav partisans in WWII. Thus, it may well be that the gun came from there, and that the ammunition was modified there as well. I don’t have a clue why this vintage gun was used. Perhaps it really was for cost reasons, inasmuch as the killer planned to destroy the gun after the murders and therefore chose an old and pretty useless – as there was no ammunition available for it anymore – gun. Perhaps it was because those vintage weapons are almost untraceable.

Anyhow, this case just goes to show that even highly skilful assassins with access to modern machine tools and expert gunsmithing knowledge occasionally use obsolete weaponry.

8-3-2013 at 17:02:45


For my part I don’t really know what to think. I try and take a broad view until such time I can happily narrow it down.

The killer(s) either arrived by motorbike, or arrived by car, or were a team and arrived by motorbike and by car, or used neither that motorbike or that car !

Pretty broad eh !

My most “logical” interpretation from the scant “facts” available is that he/she arrived by motorbike.

He/she carried the weapon concealed on their person.

And he/she arrived ahead of Mollier.

The area was “known” to the killer.
May be they were local ?
May be they had been around there before, but weren’t local ?

If (big if…) that is the case then it is all the more “strange” as we are told that the local man was “lost” and the tourists were on a “random” day out.
Neither (it would appear) were suppose to be there.

What about the BMW SUV that was at first said to be the transport of the Al Hilli family. Was that suppose to be there ?

You believe that the BMW SUV was driven by the killer.
Whilst there are a lot of visiting Brits in that area, a BMW 4×4 would stick out like a sore thumb. By that I mean, if not after the crime, then surely before.

If the owner lived in France, then it must have been driven “somewhere” at “sometime”. A “local” garage would have seen it. Or could recall it.

And if it made the crossing from England to France (or Holland) in the weeks/days previously, it would be on a manifest somewhere.

Yet a motorbike looks pretty much like another motorbike.
Is it RHD or LHD ? It’s neither.
What colour is it ? Mainly it’s all engine and wheels. Pretty simple to change the colour. Just spray the tank….or add a sticker.
It registration plate could be easily changed, it only has one.
That could be easily “cloned”.
And how many “touring” motorbikes are in that Alpine area !
Hundreds if not thousands.

Back to the BMW SUV. Where did that go ?
If someone has it parked in their garage, they’ll be sweating now.
They couldn’t have driven it back to England. Every RHD BMW 4×4 crossing back across The Channel would be closely noted and checked.

Effectively that vehicle has to be somewhere in France.
Whereas the motorbike….could be anywhere.

8-3-2013 at 17:29:02


Re the bullets. The police will have the “shell” and the “casing”.
I’m no “forensic” dude, but from that they can “compare” it to other bullets on their database and see if there are any matches ?

Or have I been watching to many “CSI Miami” again ?

Would “that” be a reason to use an old weapon.
It would not have been involved in any other crime ?

The German car dealer killer went to some trouble with that old weapon.
There must be some reason behind it.

8-3-2013 at 17:38:04

@James and @All who have heard this before here.

The police will know much much more than they are telling us.

As I’ve said before,this is because of France’s secret de l’instruction law – confidentiality of criminal investigations law.

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

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


I am off now.

Have a nice commenting night.

8-3-2013 at 17:44:02

@James, it took many hours to ‘close the borders’, the BMW X5, if in anyway involved could be miles away before someone put the heads up, even that account seems days or weeks after events, I won’t go into what I think of the months after the event !

The first reports suggest a white 4×4, go back and have a look. So you see, if that car existed then it could have been well away by the time someone was alerted.

I will make you smile, since all of this I have to admit to never having been so aware of BMW’s, be they saloons, estates or 4×4’s, in France there appear to be many, so I don’t think one would have stood out in the Annecy region even with a possible false plate. At that time there wouldn’t have been an alert as there was nothing to alert for…

You travel internationally, no doubt in many places see lots of British cars in the summer holiday season, the 5th September was still in season, many private schools and certainly universities would not have opened their doors.

Then you have the retired and those who no longer have family commitments who still like the warm days of late summer but prefer to holiday on the edge of the season.

We have taken to going in late September early October, still warm, sea still 27°C and no crowds or screaming kids !

As for the motorbike, that wasn’t then was then was again, Denis Janin, saw nothing, then his wife said he did, then he said he did, then was finally interviewed again months later. Seen going towards Martinet, where did it go, the timing is after the event and I don’t believe a farmer would be ‘out’ by an hour.

I still think this was some lost Pole (okay I’m being imaginative) who was trying to get to the otherside of Les Bauges without going the long way around, described as being unsure of his ground, if this were the killer wouldn’t he have travelled that route before and know the terrain, same goes for whomever committed the murders.

Think how long it took for the occupants of the car to be identified and to realise there was a child ‘missing’.

There is just one point:

@Oui, I think it was you that linked to a diploma/certificate taken by a Sylvain Mollier, please excuse me if I’ve asked the wrong person, do you recall what it was for, could it have been something that he might have used to go self-employed in his negotiated 3 year absence ? Irecall reading speculation that was what was in his mind, and why not.

I had saved it but my computer that went back to its birth mother ‘Chez Darty’ is dead and nothing is recuperable, thankfully it was only 3 weeks old.

8-3-2013 at 19:13:01

@ James, 8-3-2013 at 17:29:02

The police have recovered both bullets (bearing distinctive rifling marks caused by the lands and grooves inside the barrel) as well as cartridge casings (bearing firing-pin impressions, ejector marks, possibly also magazine marks). Both of those together will allow them to identify what model of gun fired that ammunition, from comparison samples in a database. If they get an exact match with their database sample, they can determine that the bullet in the database and the questioned bullet were fired from one and the same gun; if they get a near match, they can assume that although the guns are slightly different, they were produced in the same factory as part of the same production batch.

With old guns, there is a trade-off involved. On the one hand, an old gun such as a P06 is rare and therefore distinctive. Moreover, its history is murkier: who knows what capers a 100-year-old gun has been used in over time? Upon the other hand, comparison samples are also much rarer for these museum pieces, making it difficult to determine exactly where and when the gun firing the questioned ammunition was produced. More importantly, the corresponding paperwork is scant to non-existent.

Comparison samples for modern guns are plentiful and there is abundant documentation. Thus, even with something as generic as a bullet and cartridge casing fired from an AK-47, it should be possible to find out in which factory the gun was produced and to which production batch it belongs. Even with ex-Soviet-Bloc weaponry, there is good documentation to whom those guns were sold.

I don’t know what the current state of affairs is in that regard, but there have been attempts both in the US and in Europe to oblige gun manufacturers to retain specimens of fired bullets and cartridge casings for each and every individual gun produced. If and when these measures are adopted, police will be able to trace every bullet to a specific gun and dig up the corresponding paperwork with a few mouse clicks. In that case, we will see criminals starting to use vintage guns as a matter of course.

8-3-2013 at 19:48:54

Sylvie and her Peugeot statement was made the day after and the witness who saw a vehicle with bewigged occupants going in the direction of Chevaline came forward on the Friday.

The only people who may have seen anything, the builders did a runner when they heard that there were dead.

Claude Antoine in the other direction saw nothing, of course it doesn’t mean that there was nothing, just nothing that caused them to prick up their ears.

There must be a ‘bermuda triangle’ as so much seems to have gone missing in that small area, nobody saw either cyclist, SM, WBM, Ducher may have seen the BMW, the builders did, Claude Antoine only recalls seeing a couple of cars and two scooters in the morning, all came back down.

Can anyone pinpoint the ‘headquarters’ of the ONF in Les Bauges, somewhere they have to report before beginning their day, or for supplies?

8-3-2013 at 20:15:42

Had a computer free day due to thunderstorms.

I still believe that the killer came and went by foot. I also believe that he had been at Route Forestiere and Le Martinet at least at a couple of times before.

Do you mean this:
just says “tech”.

8-3-2013 at 20:28:45

Since you are discussing ammunition I have another question to Peter or any other weapon savvy.

In the Chablais killings .22 long rifle and shotguns have been mentioned. I shotgun I know what it is and I know that there are short “versions” (often “homemade”). Was once pretty popular among small gangsters in Sweden before everybody started using AK47 and such things.

However I was fooled by the name “.22 long rifle”. I thought it was used for some kind of rifle, but when I now check it seems that this ammunition is also used for pistols, revolvers and shotguns. Is that correct? Would it still be possible from the casings/bullets to see what type of weapon that was used?

8-3-2013 at 20:34:28

@Lars, no it was something to do with editing in 2009, this must be the young Sylvain Mollier, nice looking lad he is too….

I think he came and left on foot, then outside of the circus he rejoined his car, I really doubt it was a motorbike, just a hunch, nothing concrete. That car was insignificant in the scheme of things and passed amongst the mele without being noticed.

For me, that is the point, he passes in amongst the crowd, without being noticed.

8-3-2013 at 20:34:37

The ONF adress in Doussard is 574 route de la Gare
La Maison forestiere de l’Arclusaz. 73630 ECOLE is associated with the ONF (andré.vincent(at) Another place would be a Maison forestière de l’Arcalod… and Arnand, where the cars are parked, could be associated with it, I think (roland.deluermoz(at)
Here is a post I found somewhere : «j’étais redescendu dans le 4/4 de l’agent ONF depuis leur chalet qui se situe dans les pentes de la montagne du charbon. » Would that be the Arcalod, I don’t know, I have not checked…

8-3-2013 at 20:50:39

There is a Franck, landscape gardener, in Arnand, around the corner from where the cars are.

8-3-2013 at 21:30:18


Cheers for that explanation. It “could” be why that gun was used then ?
Find an “old” gun, made and distributed in a good number….and the “paperwork” would be less likely to turn up ?


We don’t know how the killer got there…and got away again.
The only thing that stands out in my mind is that on the 6th I was due a flight.
I recall it was a “later in the day”. I was waiting with another pilot and we watched the “breaking news” together.
He’d previously owned a “4×4 BMW” so made a comment when the reported said “a British family in a BMW SUV”. That’s what I recall. It was the only news I heard that day as I was working.

Later when the photograph of the car was published I remember looking at it and think how amazing it was that the “news” can’t even get the make and model of a car correct. The reason that remains in my mind is because I was thinking “their friends would have thought they were okay as they weren’t in a 4×4 they were in an estate” (an “estate” is a ye ole English term for Al Hilli’s BMW just in case members here aren’t from Englandshire !).

Now someone at the scene in those early hours (with those reporters around) must have mentioned a “BMW SUV”.

In other reports…and Martin’s interview this vehicle was never mentioned again. I believe that the police thought that the BMW SUV could be easily tracked.

When that failed (early on) I believe that the Martin’s interview was “put out” so that the BMW 4×4 vehicle would be “slightly assured” that his vehicle was not identified…..and believe that he “may” be able to move it once again.

Was the killer in that vehicle ? I don’t know.
Was the target in that vehicle ? Again I don’t know.

But I do know that the more “open” to ideas, the more this group of brains has of inching closer to a possible motive for these killings…and maybe even assisting in find the killer.

8-4-2013 at 01:00:25


Not knowing what we don’t know, but with your knowledge…where do you think that the first bullet hit ?

You have a better “bullet” mind than I do. And I am interested as to how “from a bullet mind” you think.

PS… by that I don’t think Peter is the killer, but that he knows more than we do…just to get that straight.

8-4-2013 at 02:21:20

James, ye ole English term for Al Hilli’s BMW would be “shooting break”.

In french this would be break de chasse, as indeed one french website described it.

8-4-2013 at 07:28:40


It is not yet 8 a.m. and I am already working. No, I am not flying off to some exotic place, I am at my desk here in Paris – hot, airless Paris, capital of a country where the police can’t even catch a pathetic little killer. (Sarcastic.)

In order to keep the record straight, I need to say that I no longer believe that Sylvain Mollier was the target. Sylvain Mollier was an ordinary guy who did not have problems with anyone, a new father tickled pink at having a beautiful new baby and starting a new life with a new woman.

Whether Saad was the target I do not yet know.

No, Peter is not the killer.

And thank you Rashomon for the ‘shooting break’. Must say I’ve not heard of a break de chasse. Plain simple ‘break’ I know.

Have a nice commenting day – and Sunday.

8-4-2013 at 10:08:56

@James, I think the BMW 4/4, came initially from Stephane Bouchet of Le Dauphine Libere, the news of the event was recieved at his agency about 16:30 on the 5th and he sped off in that direction, the implication was a tip off from police sources (?), something like that and no doubt not fully informed.

This was on Suspect Numero 1, it is about 55 minutes long, and of course in French, worth a look if you have the time.

Initially Europe 1 reported that an 8 year old girl had been shot three times in the car….

Then it became a little clearer:

8-4-2013 at 10:30:34


I know that journalists have contacts in the police stations as well as in places like airports, for example. Even in hospitals and clinics. Just as the police have informers. Informers are handsomely paid, but police contacts ought not be but I suppose the basket of Fauchon chocolates and the bottle of Krug are not to be scorned at at Cmas time.

In Suspect Numero 1 it was actually said that the local journalists had been informed of the phone call about a shooting by their contacts at the gendarmerie and some of them got to the lay-by *before* the gendarmes even. I would love to be able to chat to one of those journalists as they had actually seen exactly where the bodies lay before the gendarmes could have touched anything. And of course in what state they were.

(Apologies for being so explicit, but we are talking here about a multiple murder and not the vicar’s tea party.)

8-4-2013 at 10:33:29

Morning all,

….just an idea; perhaps it’s already happened in part…

Would it be at all useful/ interesting if everybody (who wanted to) were to set down their theory/ theories for the killings so that there would then be a pool of knowledge, insights! and instincts that everybody could draw upon. I say that partly from self-interest – as probably one of the least researched on here – but also because there are several other contributors whose fuller accounts I’d very much like to read. Peter came fairly close the other day to outlining his thoughts on things, but I’m sure there might also be more to come from him as well. We could even desist from commenting for a while until we got a reasonably comprehensive listing. It might be interesting to see how much common ground there was between all the various notions…but where they also diverge…

Of course setting things down like that would carry the risk of ‘scrutiny’…
but so far my impression of the blog is that people are broadly pretty respectful of each other, and I can’t help wondering whether there might not be more to be gained than lost…
(and, as previously, my apologies if this idea’s already been tried and failed, or simply rejected).

Broadly entitled “Works in Progress”….?

8-4-2013 at 10:43:53

@ Lynda

re: and of course in French,

Yes, but with multi language subs here :

8-4-2013 at 11:15:46


I know from own experience that earlier journalists, policemen off duty as well as villains all listened to the police communication radio.

It was very easy. You could by the equipment quite openly in Sweden in a lot of stores.

The police also talked very openly over the radio what had happened. Sometimes probably unnecessarily so.

Since some years back a new international radio communication system (TETRA) has been developed for emergency services. This system was introduced in the Swedish police (with some considerable problems) a couple of years ago, with the name RAKEL. Nowadays it is almost impossible to listen to the police communication, or you need to steal equipment from the police or have access to very sophisticated radio equipment.

How far this development has advanced in France I don’t know.

8-4-2013 at 11:45:41

@ partlucid

If you read back on the previous threads, you’ll find that I am just as fickle as Marilyn when it comes to theories about the Chevaline killings. Unlike most others here, I don’t have a firm view. Broadly speaking, I have gone from regarding the Al-Hilli family as the primary targets to conceiving of the Chevaline killer as an opportunistic mass murderer.

Having said that, I am just waiting for a potential explanation of how the killer could have known that the AH family would be in that particular place on that particular day. Once I have such an explanation, I shall immediately revert to seeing them as having been deliberately targeted by the killer.

I do believe that investigators face the same dilemma. To be fair to Eric Clouseau and his merry band, they did (and perhaps still do) investigate the “lone nutter” theory as well as that of a targeted assassination of the AH family. The only “piste” that they appear to have neglected somewhat is that of SM being the primary target, but they probably had good reasons for doing so, reasons that we are not necessarily aware of – for instance that right-hand drive BMW X5 supposed to have been seen by multiple witnesses. In sum, I assume that investigators are just as stumped as I am when it comes to the WHY of the murders. I also believe that the stucture of the investigative team will reflect that, with the team split into sub-teams each following up a particular “piste”.

Regarding the HOW, they obviously know much more than we do. What little we know or think we know about the way in which the killings went down suffices to rule out a few possibilities (such as an assassination committed or even just commissioned by a state intelligence agency), but leaves plenty of scope for speculation.

8-4-2013 at 11:47:12

@Ron, regarding subtitles, I only get them in French, maybe it depends on the computer language.

@Marilyn, yes I do recall that now, maybe worth another listen to what Bouchet has to say, will do later.

In Le Dauphine piece he does state where the child, cyclist and bike were found, was that first hand knowledge ?

If you have time it is worth going back over the earliest reporting in Le Dauphine.

8-4-2013 at 12:03:38

@ Lars, 8-4-2013 at 11:15:46

My new friend (I no longer use Google) tells me that the French gendarmerie’s communications have gone digital in 2000.

8-4-2013 at 12:22:00

@ Lynda

re:regarding subtitles, I only get them in French, maybe it depends on the computer language.

Nope, I think it’s universal but maybe a bit fiddly.

From the sub button choose French. Then click the sub again and choose “translate subs”. From the drop menu choose anything from Afrikaans to Welsh and then click OK.

8-4-2013 at 12:46:26

Thanks Ron, I’ll try that.

8-4-2013 at 13:12:28


I haven’t read that article too carefully. But I know from Sweden, that due to all technical problems with TETRA, it is one thing to start the introduction of the system, another to implement it over the whole country.
I have no contacts any longer in that section, but I sort of doubt that it is yet functioning over the whole of Sweden though they started to implement it many years ago.

Any ideas on my 0.22 long rifle question above?


For my part: local crime, local motive, local perpetrator, local victim/target

We can’t name any names here. If we want to accuse anyone of committing a crime we go to the police.

8-4-2013 at 13:23:15

Partlucid and All,

We all have from time to time written what we believe happened that day. Partlucid, as the newest asset to this blog, you obviously do not know what we believe, each of us, having our own idea.

I’ve changed mine often, as Peter says. He gave me permission to do so because I am a woman and women are allowed to change their minds, or the world will be too good for men.

For the record: I began by believing Saad Al-Hilli was the target. Then I said that it was either a random killing, the identity of the victims of no importance, or the intended target was Sylvain Mollier because he had to be silenced about local political and financial shenanigans.

I have yet again, last night, changed my mind as I said in my first post today. I now believe that Sylvain Mollier was *not* the target, that Saad Al-Hilli was the target. Why was he? If I know that I will be talking to the police and not here on this blog.

Lars, you are right. Police transmissions used to be listened in to. Freelancers did not do so because they did not have equipment sufficiently powerful, but the news agencies specialised in it. So did taxi drivers – it was a pastime during quiet times of the day and night. AND gangsters and robbers did so too. Being on the right wavelength, they listened, while robbing, whether the police were on to them and sending squad cars in their direction. I think that today this will no longer be possible.

8-4-2013 at 13:55:49

@Ron, I’ve found them, oh well, they tried.

8-4-2013 at 14:15:20

@ Lars, 8-4-2013 at 13:12:28

Sorry about forgetting your question regarding .22 LR calibre.

This is the most ubiquitous pistol and rifle calibre, it is what most sports shooters practice with. In German, it is usually simply referred to as “Kleinkaliber” (= small calibre). The Drulov target pistol used in one of the Chablais murders fires .22 LR, for example.

Even though it is a small calibre, it can be deadly. In the past, Israeli air marshals on El Al planes used reduced-powder load ammunition in .22 LR pistols, because these bullets would not penetrate the fuselage if a shot missed its intended target. The same weapons, often wielded by the same people, were also used as close-range assassination weapons against Black September terrorists. In the latter case, the reduced powder load meant that the assassins didn’t have to use suppressors.

Of course it is possible to determine whether a .22 LR bullet was fired from a pistol, a revolver (although revolvers in that calibre are comparatively rare, it is not a typical revolver calibre) or a rifle, and from which model.

To be honest, I never knew that there also were .22 LR shotguns before I read that Wikipedia entry. With a .22 LR shotgun, there would be no bullet as such for forensic technicians to look at, only shotgun pellets, and no cartridge, as these are typically not ejected from a shotgun after firing. Thus, it would be difficult to determine what type and make of shotgun was used.

8-4-2013 at 14:25:39

Rule #2. In a forum, the sooner a statement of facts you’ve made -leading to plausible conclusions- is being quickly rebuked and/or undermined by others, the more confident you can feel that you’re getting hot, close to the truth: who ever finds it so urgent to deny a false, incredible or inconsistent theory? But a good hint needs to be covered up asap if you’re trying to remain in control, cause otherwise later you can no longer wash it away. Meanwhile, non-committing assumptions may be carried over time after time at no risk.

Take the Al-Hillis itinerary from Claygate to Lake Annecy: we have repeatedly read here that they made a detour to visit their property in Saint-Macaire. But afaik, there isn’t a single report to document that assumption. Since we neither know for sure what exact route they followed, other than their passing through Calais, next to Lille, nobody can thus certify it’s inaccurate. And the rumor may go on. Dozens of such instances.. Care for another one?

It is a well-known fact that journalists often nurture a natural taste for embellishments: whatever the story is, it’s always better with a few reported trivia that add credibility. All the more so when actual facts are -for any reason- difficult to gather. Multiple instances of this phenomenon in the Chevaline story. For example, the various reports according to which the Al-Hillis’ stay by Lake Annecy was so peaceful prior to their brutal murder at Martinet that, on the very morning of that fateful wednesday, they were simply “picking apples” at Solitaire.

I’m ready to believe that a couple apple-trees may be located on the premises of that camping-site (though they’re nowhere to be seen on any of the pictures we’ve come by), but unless the family was totally unaware of such fruits, they couldn’t have seriously done so: in that part of France, unlike what goes on in Normandy, Brittany or Sussex, common apple varieties are only ripe and ready to be picked by mid-September or later.

Hereafter links to the history of apple-growing in the Bauges area, and to the main local commercial grower still hiring today temporary staff for picking fruit in September/October:

All the more so when actual facts are -for any reason- difficult to gather. Multiple instances of this phenomenon in the Chevaline story. For example, the various reports according to which the Al-Hillis’ stay by Lake Annecy was so peaceful prior to their brutal murder at Martinet that,on the very morning of that fateful wednesday, they were simply “picking apples” at Solitaire.

The devil often is in the details, and no fiction script is ever perfect if you scrutinize it close enough. We still have quite a few such “embellishments” in store.

This story is so filled with red herrings you could open a fish market with it. Neither Saad nor Sylvain had enough personal information on sensitive nuclear programs or techniques to become a target. But that doesn’t mean they couldn’t be a target for other reasons. Take Ed Snowden or Brad Manning. They are perfect examples of people who would probably no longer be with us without the protection of media publicity. Were they in any way “special people” with special clearance to top-level state secrets? Not at all, they were ordinary analysts with standard college education and routine access to classified information. But at one point they happened to make the wrong decision. In this perspective, being possibly sentenced to serve over 100 years seems like a bounty. It can be appealed; death cannot.
Likewise, all the “money feuds” mentioned about Chevaline are just make-believes. Saad’s demise doesn’t significantly change Zaid’s inheritance expectations, and Sylvain’s potential in-laws do not gain anything from his death.

But since the lone nutter theory can hardly be found serious, and isn’t by the investigating teams, it can only imply, like in one of Max’s yonder theories, that there was a primary target with a motive either personal or related to IS issues, and an unforeseen secondary target (the mask) which led both British and French authorities into a very uncomfortable position, hence their desperate subsequent effort in terms of damage control. Unforeseen? Why?

Sometimes, people can take advantage of an assignment they’ve been given to try and achieve a personal goal in the same time. Two birds with one stone. Clever people that is. With plenty of training and top proficiency in their field of action. For such, stating “local” doesn’t really clarify. They may look like passers-by but have strong local links while foreigners in other respects.

Many commentators feel the drive to put the blame for this so-far unsuccessful investigation on the honorable French prosecutor. Quite unfairly. This man has to play by the rules of his homeland. He cannot change the Law more than he can change his dentition.

Once again, Marilyn (and Lynda) are just right: this case won’t be solved until upper issues are fully consumed. They’re so right, so often, will they allow us to call them the “blogger twins”, just like the Rolling Stones duet Jagger/Richards were the glimmer twins?

So let’s keep trying to hash things out. If you remember, even president Hollande and PM Cameron pledged early into this drama to follow it through as a primary task. Such dedication is enough to erase any assumption of ethnic bias: the Al-Hillis were just British, as Mollier was just French.

8-4-2013 at 14:34:52

Bibi, Mont du Charbon is to the East of Martinet, there are chalets there, Le Planay and Le Rosay, accessed by a sort of wooden bridge.

Here is a photo of what appears to be the old sign at Le Martinet, pointing in the direction of the track off the hairpin bend:

I’ve picked up Franck before, I suppose he could be the hedge cutter in Marceau Dessus/Dessous. If he is, Melvin wasn’t a stranger to those woods, so knew how to get off without being seen.

8-4-2013 at 14:53:32

@ Lars

You’ll probably want to know how one can tell which type of gun a bullet may have been fired from. I highly recommend this site:

General rifling characteristics on the bullet would yield either a unique match or a very short shortlist. They would also allow immediate differentiation between a (long-barrelled) rifle and a handgun. Having the casing as well as the bullet would certainly allow one to identify the specific model of weapon as well as probably the production batch. Not having a casing to analyze would point towards the bullet having been fired from a revolver.

8-4-2013 at 15:27:22

@James @Peter

Hussain al-Hilli chats with Saad … remember the translations of their communication? Hussain al-Hilli was a relative living in Canada, he visited Baghdad in 2012. Hussain was well aware of Saad’s jobs, employers and plans. They were in close contact for years. The al-Hillis are close relatives and very protective of their family and children. Unless there was a long-time feud, I would not suspect any member of the al-Hilli family of planning or perpretating this horrendous crime! Just no way possible … FB will back me on this.

EM and the French investigators most likely have resigned to the fact this crime will not be solved. I have stated it recently, from the earliest days EM was aware British intelligence was involved. There are many, many clues on the sequence of events. The earliest thorough forensic search of the Claygate home with assistance of the bomb squad, taking days of careful searches … compare that to how the murder site was handeled. At which location was the evidence of the murderer to be found?

The frustration of EM can easily be explained: the answer to the crime lies in the UK! That’s also the reason no pressure was put on the Schutz and Mollier family members.

Working at CERN …

This was mentioned, Saad had a discussion with a friend who could provide more insight in jobs at CERN. Saad never spoke about the topic since. Saad did do work at the Rutherford Appleton lab in Didcot, Oxfordshire.

8-4-2013 at 15:42:15


Your excellent comment came over a little muddled, so I tried to unmuddle it seeing you would not have been able to do so. It is too good a comment to have left it muddled.

Can’t Lynda and I be called the ‘glamour twins’ rather? I have a Dior handbag and so does Lynda and we use Mugler’s Angel. (Just joking, Eugene.)

As for journalists embellishing their stories. Eugene, if only you know how editors scream for ‘lively’ copy and how an inky-fingered journalist has no choice but to supply what the editor wants or he/she is out. So be a little tolerant, please.

8-4-2013 at 15:43:25


That’s a bit good isn’t it ! I never knew you could do that.
Thanks for the tip.


They got there BEFORE the “police” !
So it would have been the “fire and rescue” with medic…and journalists (I assume with cameras).


Yes I can see where the story started. By why that “BMW SUV” story at all.
Why not just “BMW”. Clearly it was “known” all along…and was mistakenly released…and the “edited” out in the Martin interview.
It’s just another “curious” fixture of this case.

8-4-2013 at 15:47:12


See how we need you, Oui? We could not get the name of this ‘cousin’ of Saads, and bob’s your uncle, here you have it and share it with us.

I do not share your belief that Prosecutor Maillaud and the French investigators have resigned to the fact that this is a crime that will not be solved. I think they are solving it and soon we will be astonished when the announcement comes that an arrest has been made. Some of us here will say ‘I said so from the start’, and I hope we will all be wise and admit that we were quite in the dark and could not see the light at the end of the tunnel.

As I said this morning in a comment, I am leaning again towards Saad Al-Hilli as having been the target.

Mais on verra …

8-4-2013 at 16:12:14

@Marilyn, not a Dior handbag but a Dior fur coat, I’ll whisper that, had it years, I’m a Poison girl myself.

The fur coat and two others live in a suitcase, the only one I ever wear is a Beaver Lamb that was my grandmothers, bought for her by my grandfather before the last war.

I actually have some mink stoles from Harrods and one of those whole fox stoles, the latter was some elderly aunts, left to me in a will !

I’ve always wondered if I should give them to the BBC for their costume department, been lugging them from home to home for far too many years.

@Eugene, a long time ago there was an illustration of the journey the Al-Hillis took, Claygate to Reading to Calais and to St Macaire etc. I wish I’d copied it, can’t be found anywhere now.

Although the locals in St Macaire say the property had been for sale for two to three years and in that time Mr Al-Hilli had not been there, the enquiry team did go there in the days after the murders.

The neighbours wanted to buy it to increase the size of their garden, but at 28,000 Euro it was too expensive.

8-4-2013 at 17:19:08


Thanks for all that information concerning 0.22 long rifle.

I am interested since I want to understand how the Chablais killer always gets away without being seen, even at broad daylight.

I would of course be incredibly easier if he always used pistols of different types. To hide a rifle is more difficult. I am not so sure that the journalists who wrote about these murders had the information you have given me.

By the way I never think the Chablais killer left any fingerprints either.

8-4-2013 at 17:43:20


Is there a rule #1 too? Or are you trying to make us confused by starting with #2. 🙂

I agree on the whole with what you say and will thus only give a couple of minor comments.

I myself try to disregard these kind of “useless” informations that some journalists have coloured there articles with. Like if the family picked at apples at a certain moment or not, or if they visited their “ruin” or not. As long as that sort of information is not corroborated by what seems to be independent sources, and it seems to have no implications for the murders at all, I think it is more or less useless.

My problem with E-Maillaud is not that he is responsible for the unsuccesful investigation, but that the throws these accusations at the Al-Hilli family around him. For my part it would be better if he kept totally quiet if he has nothing better to say.

Even if I agree with your “conclusions” regarding Snowden, I am not certain that you are right about his background. I read an article written by a person who had met Snowden long before he became a wellknown name all over the world. According to this source he had at some point realized what the American authorities were up to, and from that moment on he started to collect as much information he could about these systems as well as to learn how they work. So he isn’t perhaps an ordinary college kid after all.

8-4-2013 at 18:46:21

@ Lars.

Of course there is. Keep trying, don’t give up, etc.. That’s rule #1

8-4-2013 at 18:58:27

To change tack a bit, and as Oui, the font of knowledge is back, does anyone know the maiden name of Suzanne Mollier, Sylvains mother ?

Here is the death notice for Roger:

Also has anyone ever found Lydie Ringot (Sclosa, Mollier) family ?

The Al-Hilli family appear to be game for scrutiny so why not the Mollier side ?

I’ve tried to find the uncle who lived near Chevaline, I get the strap line in search but nothing else, it was M6 that interviewed him, Sylvain would go there when he was passing, where does he live ?

Whilst Claire thinks he took the wrong route, the earlier article I posted says he deviated from the one he was supposed to have taken, that is much more likely and I suspect not the first time that he hadn’t told his girlfriend where he was going.

I would question did he cycle every Wednesday afternoon, or more frequently, I bet she had no idea where he was going, we are told it was due to affairs that he and Lydie split up, so he wasn’t adverse to lying.

Regarding his divorce, from the article it appears it was finalised in 2011, Claire falls pregnant, she wants the whole ‘meringue’ wedding, so opts to have the baby, then lose the gained weight to look fabulous on the day, first for her.

8-4-2013 at 19:41:32

While we are exhorting accuracy in our details

BBC no longer has a costume department . . it was all auctioned off.
Just like everything in the UK. (sad face emoticon)
Costumes are now rented from specialist outsource companies. Some
people take great pleasure in spotting frocks in various shows.

8-4-2013 at 19:49:36

J.Cave, I’ll look it up, the ‘talk’ here has made me decide to let them go, I’ll never wear them and one day they might appear on TV or in a film. I’m sure my late aunt would be tickled pink to think of them being utilised in such a way.

We also have my late father-in-laws French Naval uniform he used during the war and the overcoat, I’d like that to go to a museum somewhere, with a note that said it was donated by his family, preserved for posterity.

@Lars, so they don’t have any DNA for the Chablais murders either, hmm.

8-4-2013 at 20:08:49

I sort of suspected you had also #1. 🙂


You ask a lot of difficult questions. As we said already a long time ago, the Mollier family has not left many traces behind.

I don’t know Suzanne Molliers maiden name. I once found a school teacher with that name, but I don’t know. With all these children she could not have had a lot of time to work (outside home).

The uncle I believe lives in Faverges. He could also live in Notre-Dame-de-Bellecombe where may Molliers are living, but I find Faverges better.

Do you mean teh Sclosa family? There is another Sclosa living in Ugine. Otherwise I guessed it was an Italian family.

Whether Sylvain told Claire where he was going that day is of course just guesses. There is only one person who knows. My guess is yes.

I don’t believe that the divorce was finalised in 2011. I have read 2006 and find that much more probable. Why they divorced also only one person knows, and I don’t think she will tell. I guess though that she has told Claire.

8-4-2013 at 20:15:28


I forgot to say in my last comment that I read (I think it was that old woman in Ugine, a neighbour, who said it) that Mollier went cycling several times every week.

As far as I know they have just found bullets and casings from the Chablais killings, no other traces whatsoever.

8-4-2013 at 20:23:24

My memory is short so there will be many comments (and a lot of typo errors 🙁 ) 🙂

I like to add that in the Mercier murder the police obviously f****d up, otherwise they should have found traces at the crime scene. Or the perpetrator teleported himself from the crime scene and was dressed in some kind of material from head to foot that left no traces at the scene.

8-4-2013 at 20:36:06

@Lars, last comment, ditto, my ‘bermuda triangle’, where everything vanishes.

8-4-2013 at 22:19:08

@Lars, looks to be Faverges, the lady in Notre Dame de Bellecombe died at the age of 92 later in September 2012.

So, Faverges is on the old railway track now used for ‘leisure and sports’.

8-4-2013 at 22:38:02

@ Lars

I never took the time to study the Chablais murders. Shame on me..
Could you provide me with a link to a good summary of the case that you’d recommend as an introduction? English of French no problem. Thanx

8-4-2013 at 22:55:56
8-4-2013 at 23:17:08

@ All

Another nice vacation rental in Haute-Savoie:
Is the owner a local?

8-4-2013 at 23:23:10

Yes and I’ve found a reference to the same name in Frejus 😉

and Sete and Nice and one that offers student exchanges with New Zealand !

Also in Annecy this, same as your link:

Is it relevant, doubtful, just proves that not all the family are ‘missing’.

8-5-2013 at 00:25:18

As we say “Il y a plus d’un âne qui s’appelle Martin”!
That’s our problem isn’t it?

8-5-2013 at 06:51:54

@Eugene at 23:17:08

A local? As owner is listed Valérie Martin. However, there are weekly tarifs, weekend and per night with breakfast included. Must be a local who runs the daily chores for the Martins.

Exact location is difficult to find. Listed as a village of Le Pesey near Thuny (74150). I could only find a small village Le Pezay?
Google map: 1847 route de la Combe – Le Pesey 74150 THUSY [Le Pezay?]

8-5-2013 at 07:25:41


I see you were all looking for holiday rentals during the night.

Today = 11 months.

Have a nice commenting day.

8-5-2013 at 10:39:21

@Eugene Re:Chablais killings

That is certainly no shame!
It is though a shame that the police hasn’t.

E-Maillaud in his sagacity (yes, I have a personal dislike for that man) says that he has no clue to who the killer (in Chablais) is, but he is certain that there is no link between the murders (that’s E-Maillaud logic in a nutshell). Some in the local population obviously do not agree, they react with fear instead.

Probably I will have to write that story about the Chablais killings myself, since there are no good articles written. There is:|0#.Uf9gBawdedw (NOTE: 3 pages) that at least mentions the different murders except the Grégory Mercier murder, which the journalist probably thought was just the result of some brawl among homosexuals. For the Grégory Mercier murder there is however the documentary (link provided by Bacchus earlier). It is well made and well worth watching.

Otherwise you have to search for small bits of information in the local newspapers, e.g. to find out exactly where the victims were shot.

When you look at these murders superficially they at first seems to have nothing in common. A number of men, who probably did not know one another and who seems to have nothing in common. But I think that the closer you look how these crimes were perpetrated a pattern starts to emerge.

As said, I guess I am the only one that link all these murders together, though some local people seem to think that a least some of the crimes may be perpetrated by the same man.

And I am certainly the only person who believes that there might be a link between the Chablais killings and Chevaline. That I base on the fact that if the Chablais killer had the idea to kill Mollier he would have done it in a way very similar to what happened at Le Martinet (if you remove the Al-Hillis from the scene).

And then as said the Chablais killings are so much easier to solve than the Chevaline killings.

8-5-2013 at 11:10:17

As we pidgin-Chinese use to say: Long time no see_bee! 🙂

I would like to hear more inside information about Mollier and Ugitech.

8-5-2013 at 11:10:25

@ Lars, 8-5-2013 at 10:39:21
And I am certainly the only person who believes that there might be a link between the Chablais killings and Chevaline.

No, you are not. We have discussed this at length before. Both the sheer unlikelihood of there being two serial killers simultaneously operating within the same small geographic area as well as certain similarities in the respective MOs (what strikes me in particular is both the Chablais killer and the Chevaline killer shooting through glass, a very unusual practice that one doesn’t pick up at one’s local gun club) render it quite probable that there is a link.

8-5-2013 at 11:15:18

@Eugene, Bibi and Oui –

The chambres d’hotes – to have one of these you must live on the premises, maximum of 5 rooms, 15 people:

How do I know, I had 3 clés from Clévacances when I had mine !:-)

Although I recall the speculation of Mrs Martin being the owner, maybe when people were trying to find Mr Martin.

8-5-2013 at 11:15:58


To link to Le Temp is obviously a bit difficult. Search for: “Meurtres mystérieux dans les jardins du Chablais” by Christian Lecomte. Be sure that you get the version with 3 pages. If you have problems finding it I can mail it through Marilyn.

8-5-2013 at 11:19:16


“Happiness is to know that you are not alone.” 🙂

(to quote Snoopy in Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz)

8-5-2013 at 12:24:23


re: Chablais and Chevaline.

Why do you not contact the French consulate and tell them your theory? They will listen you out, I am sure.

8-5-2013 at 13:09:01

@ Lars

Thanks for the various links. I will tell you what I think once I’ve done my homework.
Even though, as you probably know, I very much doubt Chevaline was the action of a serial killer. But I tend to think making it look like one may be part of the camouflage.

@ Bibi

That’s right. Don’t we also say: ” You can take your horse to the croft, but you can’t make him drink “.

8-5-2013 at 13:58:26

@Eugene, I kind of agree with your statement, “I very much doubt Chevaline was the action of a serial killer. But I tend to think making it look like one may be part of the camouflage.”

In other words, someone who knew that the Chablais killings hadn’t been ‘solved’…. and why they aren’t solved, the Al-Hillis ending up being a mask by accident, the ‘intelligent’ perpetrator content to have this as cover.

8-5-2013 at 14:31:40

@ Lynda

Exactly. Looks like we have VERY tricky people involved. But nobody’s perfect.

8-5-2013 at 16:07:03

@Eugene and of course you, Lars from Le Temps link:

“Eric Maillaud croit à l’hypothèse de la balle perdue. «Des imbéciles qui s’amusent stupidement, il y en a dans le secteur.» ”

All I can say is ‘Wow’……..

He also stated about another affair that was ‘non-lieu’ and filed last September, L’affaire Godard, that he hoped Chevaline wasn’t going to be the same.

I think he needs lessons in communications…..

8-5-2013 at 16:16:11


I think that by (the Swedish) definition the Chevaline killer was a serial killer, but I understand what you mean.

Since I believe that most people in Haute Savoie are aware of the Chablais killings, but very few outside Haute Savoie, there could always be a local copy cat (that is also true for the separate Chablais murders of course).


First my trust in the French police/gendarmerie has been seriously damaged by this investigation.

Secondly and more important: I don’t have a theory, I have a proposition how you could catch the Chablais killer. That might have consequences also for the Chevaline case (but that is only a guess so far).

The good thing about my method to catch the Chablais killer is that it doesn’t require the help from the French police. Since they are occupied elsewhere (abroad mostly), I will not step on their toes either.

However it requires the help from some of the persons befallen by these murders, I think then especially of Jean-Pierre Maire and Noel Mercier, any other relatives of the victims would be welcome.

8-5-2013 at 17:54:54

A serial killer is someone who kills on different occasions. Like Dr Petiot was a serial killer, and so were Bundy and Landru

The Chevaline killer, unless he had killed before in some other place, when he will be a serial killer, is a murderer.

There is also a mass murderer which means that that person might not have committed the killing personally, but would have ordered it. Therefore Adolf Hitler was a mass murderer. And Himmler was a mass murderer.

No paper today wrote about the Chevaline murders. And ‘out of sight will be out of mind’.

Have a nice commenting evening and night. I will be off now.

8-5-2013 at 19:03:41
8-5-2013 at 19:34:05

Thinking about Snoopy I remembered his novel.

If you are familiar with Peanuts, Snoopy is over and over again trying to write the “great American novel”. He always starts his novel “It was a dark and stormy night….” He however seldom comes any further.

I think in one of the many versions it starts “It was a dark and stormy night. Suddenly a shot rang out…”

That would actually be a good start for a novel about the Grégory Mercier murder.

8-5-2013 at 19:37:12

RE Le Temps link
Scary !! : «En amont du pavillon des Desbiolles, la forêt de Thonon toute proche d’où le tir est parti et son parcours de santé qui attire beaucoup de monde. Des coups de fusil sont souvent entendus, chasseurs, braconniers, des jeunes ivres qui jouent à la guerre avec de vraies armes.»

8-5-2013 at 20:17:55

There are many reasons why the Chablais killings is easier to solve:

* no foreign components, everything is French (even though Maillaud tried with “the reason must be found Switzerland” in the Mercier case)

* no forensics expert from Paris flewn in

* no politicians meddling in the cases

* no strange old RAF-men stumbling around

* no anonymous witnesses

* no strange vehicles circling around the crime scenes

+ a number of other circumstances

8-5-2013 at 21:23:40

@Bibi, I had the same reaction….

How can so many murders go unsolved ?

Have you looked at the crime figures in the region, not least a very nice paedophile ring, what the !!!!!!

It is like the valleys in Wales, I am not from the valleys, everyone had the same grandmother and the joke was that it was a donkey.

I have lived and worked in the Gower, the place is a pit of incest and abuse amongst the locals, without speaking of the ‘initiations’ that take place.

This could account for the silence in Ugine, Albertville and Grignon, CHEVALINE is not involved, as Eric Maillaud said, although at the time he pointed to the UK, point all you want, this lady has not changed her mind.

If you want bizarre, a new case in France, mother and daughter not seen since 14th July, no use of telephones or bank accounts, reported missing by the estranged father, a Legionaire, who was found hung this morning, claiming it was the pressure that he was responible that drove him to it.

Always remember that Xavier Dupont Ligonnes still hasn’t been traced and neither have the twins last seen aboard a ferry to Corsica, poor kids.

The world over there are extreme advents, many remain unsolved, maybe it is alien abduction.

As far as I am concerned Maillaud and the team that gave him information, were blinded by the nationality of the majority of victims murdered at Le Martinet. Shame on you.

Nevertheless, I think what he has said publicly is the truth, too many people to convince otherwise.

Apparently Mr Snowden shared his ‘secrets’ with about two and a half million others, there is no such thing as a secret, there is control, that’s all.

8-6-2013 at 00:25:29

I hope someone still keeps his/her eyes on Abiodun David John. It would be interesting to know if he is extradited or not.

8-6-2013 at 01:28:22

Lars, I had forgotten about him…
Lynda, I don’t think Maillaud was blinded by the nationality of the victims. He certainly was overwhelmed by the media, but he said all along that every link was under investigation, and I’ believe it… it is not advertised, that’s all.
Now, people’s reaction around Chevaline… At first they sounded scared (women outside school), so the though of a nutter was there. Then they sounded relieved thinking that there could be a foreign reason for the shootings (priest, people outside the church). And that idea was very much conveyed by British media which where the first to talk in detail about the family… In France media tend to be more careful about what they say since “l’affaire du petit Gregory”… but … they don’t mind quoting other sources!!!
Donkey … I’m not Welsh, but I am a quarter of a donkey! No wonder as it is the number one second name in France.

8-6-2013 at 07:04:40

Good morning everyone- or good afternoon, whichever the case may be.

As Lynda said there are too many unsolved crimes in the Haute-Savoie/Rhone-Alpes region. For that matter in France. And now, also as Lynda pointed out, we have a brand new riddle: the mother and daughter who disappeared 3 weeks ago and yesterday the woman’s estranged husband, a Foreign Legionnaire, committed suicide by hanging.

Bibi, also pointed out the ‘Gregory Case’ which dates from 20 years back.

And more recently there is the Xavier Dupont de Ligonnes case of which I wrote here on my website.

I will be absent for the next 48 hours. Celeste will make sure that no comment gets blocked or is abusive. She stood in for me previously too so do be nice to her.

See ya!

8-6-2013 at 10:31:52

Thanks to those that responded to my wee idea of the other day…

As a counter-thought! to your final paragraph to me the other day, I have to throw in that I did briefly consider one of the only ways that the Al-Hillis could have been conceivably targeted was through the use of some (quite sophisticated?) listening and tracking devices…ergo perhaps some sort of secret services assassination. However, even in that unlikely scenario, you’re still then faced with the extraordinary ‘coincidence’ of your targets remarkably taking themselves 10 minutes up to a deserted forest cul-de-sac, where your agent can comfortably eliminate them…

I’ve been thinking how, in the very early coverage of the story, Maillaud was reported to have stated that the perpetrator ‘had killed before’. I think I’m right in saying that, no? And if so, then I presume he was simply passing on the opinion of the experienced police investigators. Now to my untrained ear, that’s a pretty decisive conclusion: I can’t help thinking that a UK man would have been much more bland and dissembling in his description of events…”he certainly knew what he was doing”…or “was very competent with his weapon” spring to mind, for example. So exactly what was it about the scene and the killings that led the French to be quite so clear on the matter? Was it simply that the killer had been so singularly focussed and merciless in his actions – perhaps showing a cold-bloodedness which would have been beyond a first-timer? Or was there maybe some specific detail at the scene – about his methods perhaps – which so strongly pointed in that direction?

Any thought anyone…

8-6-2013 at 11:07:19

@ partlucid

Now there is a thought … A GPS tracking device cannot predict where one’s target may be going, thus rendering it a logistical impossibility for a killer to get there first. An in-car bug, however, can predict the movements of one’s target, particularly if he is travelling with his family, merrily chatting away about places to go and things to do. Hmmm …

8-6-2013 at 12:01:36

@partlucid “what was it about the scene and the killings that led the French to be quite so clear on the matter?”

If you follow E-Maillaud and his way of expressing himself, and not only in this case, I think you have the answer.

He states the most strange conclusions that no one, who hasn’t already solved a case, can have any absolute opinion about.

I fully agree with your examples of phrases like “was very competent with his weapon” being more adequate. I think that is the way representatives of the police normally express themselves, and not only in the UK.

Maillaud however expresses full certainty when he probably hasn’t a clue.

8-6-2013 at 12:38:48


I take your point Lars; I guess it could have been a misstep on Maillaud’s part although that would have been a fairly big point for him to have got wrong or to have misrepresented his colleagues on… I’d simply accepted the line at face value. It’s such a bold, decisive pronouncement though…and if anything surely skewers one’s thinking towards either a hired gun, or something even more sinister, no?

8-6-2013 at 12:51:34

Lost in translation

I have not been so troubled by the fact that the time given by the builder Laurent do not fit with the pictures taken in Doussard by Al-Hilli.

I don’t think the builder was so particular about how much the clock was, if it wasn’t time for lunch or going home. As Lynda said earlier, drinking at lunch, perhaps resting a while afterwards.

I however think it a bit strange if the Al-Hillis first when up via Route de Chevaline at the time stated by the builder, then went down to Doussard via Route du Moulin and took those photos and then went back up again.

There is of course Max’s idea about the “cuddly toy” but I got another stray idea the other night, that I can’t remember been mentioned before.

Stray thought:

Al-Hilli talked with the manager at camp site, and said they wanted to take a walk and asked where they could go. His idea being then to go somewhere with the car, park and stroll around for a while looking at the views and the countryside, and go back again. After all it was pretty late in the afternoon.

The camp manager being accustomed to hikers, and perhaps being a hiker himself, thought that the family planned a long walk in the mountains, and suggested Chevaline and Le Martinet.

The Al-Hillis went to Chevaline, by the same route as Alex, and was seen by the builders. They came to Route Forestiere and saw the “dangerous road”-sign and thought that this was not exactly what they expected for their walk, so they went back down via Route du Moulin.

There they saw the picturesque house in Doussard and took the photos. They then discussed what to do next. After a discussion they decided to go back up again to after all take a look at that place suggested by the camp manager.

So perhaps it was just a misunderstanding, something lost in translation.

8-6-2013 at 12:58:01


I agree, but such bold pronouncements are typical of E-Maillaud.

I am growing accustomed to his way of speaking.

8-6-2013 at 17:25:39

@Peter 8-6-2013 at 11:07:19

There would be no need for an “in-car bug” per se, because both Saad and his mother-in-law were carrying smartphones.

The smartphones themselves could easily have been compromised. Saad was using a Samsung with android, which has recently been shown to be insecure. Currently cannot find reference to the make of the other phone.

Alternately, if Saad used his smartphone as a GPS navigation system using Google maps or similar, then when he keyed his destination into the App to get directions, then this destination could have been made available to any bad actor.

So, the bad actor could get to Martinet first, because the destination was known!

I think that this location possibly sealed their fate. SAH had been leaving the campsite regularly for whatever purpose, including the visit to the Swiss Bank. Someone saw this isolated parking place come up as a destination he wanted to go to, and obviously didnt know how to get to. Not off a tourist map either for obvious reasons.

Either by remoteness or reputation this must have looked like the place that the deal was to be done.

One last thought, if you consider these terrible murders to be state-sponsored, which I don’t, then there would be no need to “hack” any phone. Any request to Google for directions would be visible as we know know.

8-6-2013 at 18:35:16

@ Rashomon, 8-6-2013 at 17:25:39

You are entirely right. After I wrote my last posting, I realized how difficult it would have been to install a bug in Saad’s BMW, because he always serviced that car himself (no opportunity to install a bug during a service at the car workshop, and a high chance of Saad finding it whilst tinkering with his car).

Furthermore, your idea with the smartphone does tie in rather nicely with Our Man From Nigeria, Abiodun David John. I have always felt certain that Nigerian John must have had some kind of inside track to Saad’s bank account data: an insider feeding him information, or indeed a hacked smartphone. As attack vectors go, smartphones are much softer targets than PCs. Perhaps Nigerian John was *paid* to hack Saad’s smartphone by a third party, and those pathetic little frauds that he allegedly attempted were his own way of boosting his pay-off.

I really struggle to see why a sophisticated fraudster (if some sources can be believed, a fraudster with an IT degree from the University of Accra) such as Nigerian John would have devoted so much time and energy to fleecing a victim with the modest lifestyle of SAH, unless he had some extraneous motive for targeting that person. Moreover, his bizarre behaviour during pre-trial detention is consistent with that of a desperate man belatedly realizing that he has been caught up in something much more sinister and dangerous than he ever imagined.

8-6-2013 at 19:49:26

@Peter 8-6-2013 at 18:35:16

Peter, yes, your observation of the ‘bizarre behaviour’ of Nigerian John is spot on. Like you I also think he was not directly involved in the murders.

My guess is that Nigerian John now has a choice, be deported or tell all he knows to the UK authorities and be allowed to stay.

However, I can understand why he may have thought the fraud would be worth the effort. He may have seen emails or chat from Saad detailing his intention to recover the money in the Swiss account.

Maybe he thought the monies would be available in the accounts he accessed. The timing of his fraud attempts are deeply suspicious.

8-6-2013 at 20:46:43

@Lars, great minds think alike !

Lynda 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.

8-6-2013 at 21:01:33

My husband wants to know why I/we don’t start a blog to track these jewels and claim the 1 million reward !

Funny thing is, for all the supposed money floating about and the press coverage, around Le Martinet murders, no reward has ever been put forward as an incentive to spill the beans …..

8-6-2013 at 21:18:56


Yes, I wasn’t sure if someone had mentioned that possibility earlier.

Regarding the jewels I guess, if the perpetrator was not some fool with a lucky day, that the jewels were already “sold” when they were stolen, i.e. it was already planned to whom they were to be delivered and how.

8-6-2013 at 21:28:06

I guess, if that info is correct that it was the campsite owners daughter who recommended the All-Hilli family to go to Chevaline, that it is one of these moments in life when you want to stop the time and change what you did.

Even if no one can accuse her of anything, she was just trying to help, I am sure she wants to do that all over again. Thinking what had happened if I hadn’t…..

8-6-2013 at 21:57:52

Yes, Lars, imagine how any one of us would feel, this atrocity spreads like a pebble in a pond.

I imagine the gunman laughing at us, oh mon Dieu !

8-6-2013 at 22:16:18

No, I am not so certain he laughs. He knows what is at stake.

But perhaps he rather be caught by us than the French police. I still have a feeling that he has a strong dislike/contempt for the French police.

I think most (serial) killers know that they are going to get caught one day. Some even, at one stage, start acting as if they want to get caught. To stop it all. In some ways they have painted themselves into a corner, and do not know how to get out.

8-6-2013 at 23:01:14

Today, exactly two years ago at 23:00-23:30, Grégory Mercier was shot twice in the head at a lay-by in Etrembières outside Annemasse, Haute Savoie. R.I.P.

8-7-2013 at 00:24:15

Studying old pic’s again, looking for leads…Found this, not very important, but earlier the topic for a long discussion :

If that’s Mollier’s, still uncovered, bike leaning against the white front bed rail of the tow truck…Well, then it certainly looks more blackish than white, to me.
(I.e. Regarding the ‘white bike’ by the wooden barrier) .

Although better pic. quality would be useful…Someone?

(The white front bed rail is visible in this Picture) :

8-7-2013 at 01:21:22

@Peter 8-6-2013 at 18:35:16

Peter, you wrote; ” Perhaps Nigerian John was *paid* to hack Saad’s smartphone by a third party, and those pathetic little frauds that he allegedly attempted were his own way of boosting his pay-off.”

I think his role was to be the money collector.

However, I interpret the ‘little frauds’ as the first steps to emptying out Saad’s accounts.

Think about the timing, first Saad visits the Swiss bank, the next day £300 is successfully taken from one of Saads accounts. This amount of £300 to me, was purely a test. I think it probable that this was taken by cashpoint because £300 is my max daily cash withdrawal.

The test was successful, the bank anti-fraud algorithms did not pick up the unusual or unfeasible use of cards in UK and France at the same time either because Saad paid cash in France or used one of his other cards.

Next are the tragic events we all know about, then an unsuccessful attempt by Nigerian John to embezel approx £3000, presumably by money transfer. This attempt was unsuccessful, as I understand it, only because the Police had frozen the accounts.

I am pretty sure that Nigerian John did not know that SAH et al had been murdered when he made the second attempt.

Note the restraint; after his first success Nigerian John did not immediately keep hitting the cashpoint or using the card to buy tradable goods. He waited a full working day without trying, then went for a medium transaction. This guy was trying to game the algorithms and empty Saads accounts.

Personally, I think he knows something and needs to be put under a little bit of pressure. How about extradition to France as an accessory to murder?

8-7-2013 at 07:27:25

Hello everybody.

This is Celeste. Marilyn said I must say hello in the mornings always.

I will tell her today that you are all behaving very well … ha ha.

8-7-2013 at 09:14:09


or maybe a bike covered in a black protection blanket??

8-7-2013 at 09:45:45

@ JCave

From a lot of other pic’s, the colour of the bike tarpaulin seems to be light grey or silver.

8-7-2013 at 09:47:54

@Lars 11:10:17

Hi Lars, I am reading in everyday……am back in the UK sorting out issues with my parents (both in their late 90’s) and will be here for a while. If “Fat Bastard” puts the biscuits back on the Tea offer I might just take him up!

I have not contributed, mainly due to time, but also to the great job you guys have been doing.

When I have time I have been spending it trying to get behind the Molliers and being educated about Iraq. Although both have been extremely interesting, I have had little success until now with anything relevant. With Molliier/ extended family, it is impressive how doors have been shut and locked! However I will keep trying!

The only other thing that I have found, is a job profile which gives a good idea as to what the R&D scope (Cezuz) on the site is and some history about the workforce origins and local politics in Ugine, although interesting of little relevance.

Had lunch with my friendly pro photographer yesterday, she still believes that the white pixels are 1) deleted or 2) reflection on tape put on the doors by forensics to allow them to be opended without destroying potential evidence on the door. (She drew this conclusion due to the drivers side and passengers side doors having the Marks (tape) in the same place).

I have viewed Max’s photos of the “bike” which is compelling. This made me rethink the senario in Martinett, It does not change my overall view, but does change the movements of the actors, when I have put this back through my time line, will post on that specific senario.

I assure you that I still have my eye on Abiodun David John!

8-7-2013 at 10:00:40


Thanks! It’s good to hear you are still on the case!
…and go and visit FB I am sure he will appreciate it.

8-7-2013 at 10:12:28

It is soon one year since the Chevaline killings.

The French police/gendarmerie understand that there will probably be articles also in a lot of international newspapers and reports in other media.

To avoid all these bad publicity I expect a lot of smokescreens from the investigation. More than ever. So thick that you can’t see your hand in front of you. A lot about suspicious “Arabs” and nothing about a Frenchman called Mollier. Don’t say a word about Mollier, that’s the order.

(It’s like Basil’s famous line “don’t mention the war” in Fawlty Towers, but here replaced with E-Maillaud’s “Don’t mention Mollier!”)

8-7-2013 at 13:29:08

@Lars, and for when Marilyn returns:

So, he was questioned over the disappearance of his ex-lover in 2004, she hasn’t been seen since.

Made me think of your Chablais kilings, maybe not a serial killer but someone who snaps over something and reacts, then when he gets away with it, does it again.

@Ron, I’ve posted the photo of the trailer on Tinypic, I can’t see a bike on there, maybe it is the winch and just the gaps either side we can see, the bike would have been put on last and if you look at the close up as the vehicle goes into Route du Moulin, the plastic sheeting goes under the wheels.

This plastic sheet is the colour of the one seen being opened up in front of the car. The large tarpaulin being held by someone stood by the truck head.

I am still doubtful about the white thing being the bike, would it really have been left uncovered through the night and into the evening before being taken away ?

8-7-2013 at 13:48:53


I think it is not uncommon that a perpetrator “when he gets away with it, does it again”.

Except Chablais, I would think of the Michael Petersson case that I mentioned several times above.

8-7-2013 at 13:51:19

I would like to add to my comment about “don’t mention Mollier” above: “Don’t mention that British hero either!” 😉

8-7-2013 at 14:27:47

@ Lynda

Yes You’re right. Zooming in the France 3 picture to around 800% (before it falls apart into pixels) I think you can actually see those gaps.

Furthermore I believe I can see a ‘man’ lying down on the truck bed with his left arm over the bonnet, apperently adjusting the tarpaulin or the ratchet strap..

So..No bike in that picture…My mistake.

8-7-2013 at 14:47:39

“Worryingly the teenager appears to have been inspired by the infamous Amityville killings with the crimes bearing chilling similarities to the 1974 murders.”

The word of course of interest “inspired” …….

8-7-2013 at 15:19:55,or.r_qf.&bvm=bv.50310824,d.d2k,pv.xjs.s.en_US.I9e44VIvEiw.O&ion=1&biw=1387&bih=732&tch=3&ech=1&psi=E0QCUpHICImd0AXGj4GAAw.1375880211537.1&wrapid=tlif137588021153710&sa=X&ei=HEQCUs_gC6vy0gXb_4Bg&ved=0CIcBEPMCMAg

I know we’ve been here before, for those new and Lars 😉 here is someone who really has it in for Monsieur le Procureur …..

“Et comment en plus ne pas être tenté de faire de l’argent facile dans l’immobilier, les liquidations et reprises, etc, etc…Ce ne sont pas les combines qui manquent et ce en toute impunité.

Eric Maillaud ferait mieux de chercher devant sa porte….”

Another death in Doussard today:

8-7-2013 at 15:37:45


I have of course already saved that Ghirardini-link. Might be useful one day. 😉

8-7-2013 at 16:41:15

@Lynda at 15:19:55

This lunatic man speaks of the British not wanted in the Haute Savoie because their interest in real estate drives up prices, making houses inaccesible for the locals. He refers also to a person attorney Yves Ballaloud and the Flactif massacre of five in the Chamonix village of Grand Bornand.

Xavier Flactif was involved in real estate and left a large debt. If Mollier hadn’t overtaken Brett Martin in the climb after Chevaline, all persons killed would have been British!? Another link about Yves BALLALOUD and the maffia in Haute Savoie.

8-7-2013 at 17:49:00

@Oui, the reason this chap came into my mind was that yesterday early evening we went for a ‘biere’ in the local café, the owners son is looking for a property in the Limoges region, he was complaining that the British and Dutch holiday home buyers were pushing the prices up, leaving locals unable to afford anything but ruins.

Many places in France have been subject to such false inflation.

The Grand Bornand was mention by Claude Antoine, who regretted that the murders will always be thought of as in Chevaline, rather than in their proper domain of Doussard, he of course was referring to the Flactif affair.

And your reference to all being British, both owners of properties in France, one in the locality and as I’ve speculated earlier, were the al-Hillis looking for a property in the region, we know the 15:15 photo was outside a property for sale, I wonder if the others were ?

Someone, on here already wondered if they had been enticed there to see something for sale, although the campsites daughters indications to the place would seem to discount that.

Do you recall that there was reference once to someone shooting at foreign number plates ?

Molliers pockets were gone through, did the killer realise he’d got the wrong bloke ? The Al-Hillis just a ‘fortunate’ coincidence ….

8-7-2013 at 18:19:36
8-7-2013 at 19:03:28


Thanks for the twitter link. Seems like quite a character. 😉
Wonder if he knows Bossy?

If I remember correctly it was Peter who referred to someone in Germany shooting at foreign number plates.

8-7-2013 at 19:12:27


Wasn’t the Bossy you found in Annecy a real estate man. I guess that he and M. Ghirardini would have something to talk about.

8-7-2013 at 19:19:29


“Funny thing is, for all the supposed money floating about and the press coverage, around Le Martinet murders, no reward has ever been put forward as an incentive to spill the beans …..”

I read soon thereafter, about the Cannes jewels, that in France a judge has to allow such rewards to be put forward.

I don’t know if it is true, since I read it in one of the Swedish tabloids, however it could explain why there is no such rewards in the Chevaline case. But that wouldn’t stop the British tabloids if they wanted to put up a reward, I guess.

8-7-2013 at 20:02:35


Do you remember another Bossy was a mountain guide as well, and the one on camera was also a conferencier, here are two more links to Ivano, scroll down this one to see a layout of events:

He was badly let down by the social services in Haute-Savoie

and his Wiki entry:, the nature of his mental illness can make him feel strong and protected.

8-7-2013 at 20:45:17


He is also on FB with 3411 friends! (

8-7-2013 at 21:17:50

@Lars and Oui – so not so much a ‘lunatic’.

As you both know, my stepson suffers from schizophrenia, he is now out of hospital, moved flat and is actively seeking a job, he receives AAH as does Ivano, and is classed as over 80% incapacitated, same, it has taken since the end of 2005 to get to this situation. Yes, 8 years, there are probably many still in the wilderness as the numbers in France are some 600,000.

With the right medication, he is able to perform almost ‘normally’, it is when he gets close to requiring another jab that we notice a change in his persona, more aggressive and belligerent.

Although fracking seems to be his latest ‘obsession’, we’ve lived through many others, often in the same conversation he forgets what he’s said before and this is why, even with the meds, he is unlikely to actually put his Masters Degree to any use, he is easily confused and takes much that you and I would say ‘really ?’ as complete truth.

Without medication he hears things that aren’t there, is paranoid to the point of distraction and becomes someone who is unable to communicate. He has demanded a ‘duel’ with his old neighbour.

So, Oui, knowing all this, I really don’t like to see someone suffering from schizophrenia described as a ‘lunatic’, they are ill and need professional help.

Jumping off the soapbox.

8-7-2013 at 21:30:31

@Lynda & Oui

Interesting man that Ghirardini. I’ve tried to check him up. I had no idea that he was so famous, at least among mountaineers. Has obviously written a book on Mont Blanc and seems a very good photographer.

He seems to live in Chamonix, Haute Savoie and be more Savoian than the old people of Savoie.

8-8-2013 at 07:32:51

Good Morning to everyone.

Have a good day.

It is much cooler in paris so we are all happy again.

This is Celeste and not Marilyn.

8-8-2013 at 08:06:34


I’ve just briefly glanced through all the material put on the Internet by IG. I understood he has been ruined financially through attorney Ballaloud and friends in the Haute Savoie/Savoie judiciary. I have to use Google for translations, so the matter of any illness wasn’t clear to me, I thought it may have been part of the plot by his opponents to take him to the cleaners.

For me, Yves Ballaloud is the most interesting man. He is a famous internationally known attorney-at-law and appears to have some might to swing around in any legal case in Annecy. As I understood, he was lawyer for Xavier Flactif as he too faced financial ruin. IG claims the murders could have been prevented if the police/judges would have listened to him. The murderer was David Hotyat, a mechanic and neighbour. Does IG claim there was a link between Yves Ballaloud, the Savoie maffia and David Hotyat that remains hidden in secrecy?

On Sept. 12, 2012 IG states the Chevaline massacre will not be solved by the prosecution of Annecy/Chambéry and names Eric Maillaud to be specific. Is there a black side in the Flactif massacre that remains hidden? It would be interesting to know who is considered a true Savoyard? Are the hundreds of immigrants employed by the Ugitech factory still considered foreign, and the 2nd and 3rd generation? Is there a double standard in the Savoie judiciary for the Savoyards and others? The silence is deafening. Were the Flactifs Savoyards?

8-8-2013 at 08:37:48


Peter, I’ve long been intrigued by your view that the shooter ‘gave it plenty’ and also carried so much ammo with him. As someone entirely ignorant of the nuances of shooting/ killing, I wonder if I could ask you to expand further on that…

Personally, I don’t really place much emphasis on the number of bullets each victim received. Like you, I believe that Sylvain Mollier had to be disabled first because of his greater ability to flee…and it appears that the killer also then fired one disabling? shot into the bodies of the two women, before the murderous head shots. Quite how that stacks up in more knowledgeable minds I wouldn’t know, but I’d be very eager to hear more from you on this…

On the matter of the 25 rounds however I do feel a little bolder! and to me it does suggest a certain logic: surely – even if you were going out just to kill a single target – you would always take out at least one extra magazine as back-up, no? And in this instance, to me, the killer simply also took along the extra insurance of a ‘third magazine’ which either the drum, or the 25 round carton allowed. I don’t believe that he set out that day to kill the Al-Hillis because they were there so randomly that afternoon, and the logistics of a potential killer knowing that in advance seem improbable. In my view there was probably no specific target but rather a lurking loner who calculated that the happenstance of the family group, plus one other, was (just) within his range. I did even wonder if there was a slight element of the shooter taking on the task, not as an act of bravado as such, but more as a test of his skill with the weapon..?

….but I concede that my ‘analysis’ is pretty sketchy, and that’s why I was so keen to get a view from Lynda on what regular/ practised shooters made of the actual deed that the killer took on. For me, that part of it jars pretty messily with the rest of the ‘method’ that the killer displayed…

8-8-2013 at 08:52:40

Le Grand-Bornand: Les

“Notamment avec son gigantesque projet pour construire une zone d’aménagement concertée (ZAC) sur un terrain de 10 000 m au sommet du col de la Croix-Fry.

… le nom d’un notaire qui a déjà eu des démêlés avec la justice dans le nord de la France. Cet homme était par ailleurs un contact commun de Xavier Flactif et de Roger Dupré, surnommé Roger la Banane …”

Wikipedia: L’affaire Flactif plus Le Grand Bornand – photo’s

8-8-2013 at 11:35:49

@ partlucid, 8-8-2013 at 08:37:48

I wholly agree with your analysis:
In my view there was probably no specific target but rather a lurking loner who calculated that the happenstance of the family group, plus one other, was (just) within his range. I did even wonder if there was a slight element of the shooter taking on the task, not as an act of bravado as such, but more as a test of his skill with the weapon..?

That is precisely what the events at the Martinet look like to me, and that is almost the diametrical opposite of what a professional or even just workmanlike “hit” looks like. If you look at typical gangland or politically-motivated assassinations, you will find a number of common traits: they take place inside cities, the victim(s) are usually targeted at a place that forms part of their daily routines, the killer gets really close to the victim, almost within arm’s length, and does the maximal amount of damage within the shortest period of time.

I disagree that it would be common practice to take along a spare magazine even if only a single victim were targeted: a killer who fails to kill his victim with a full magazine should not be doing this in the first place. Moreover, there simply is not enough time to change magazines in a situation like that, as have-a-go bystanders or even the intended victim might grapple with the killer whilst he is changing magazines. Rather, what is required is a back-up gun in case there is a stoppage or some other malfunction on the primary weapon, plus perhaps a knife as a close-quarters defensive weapon.

As I have said, the Chevaline murders strike me as the opposite of a professional assassination: rather than calmly walking up to his victims, perhaps asking them a question in order to divert their attention, or even merely lying in the road, pretending to be injured, the killer opened fire from a distance. The Chevaline killer most probably did not carry a back-up weapon of any kind, or else he wouldn’t have had to pistol-whip Zainab. He risked changing magazines twice, which might not only have enabled some of his victims to get away, but which also meant that he himself might be attacked. Even this faffing around, shooting at the occupants of the BMW through the car’s windows, has a curiously stand-offish quality about it.

8-8-2013 at 11:43:45

@ Oui

So just in case that this man, David Hotyat, could indeed be innocent- would indicate that the killer of this family is still on the loose….

I’ve been thinking for a long time that the Al Hilli family was about to settle down in France…
According to this IG people in Savoyard aren’t amused about ‘foreigners’ on the local real estate market

8-8-2013 at 11:56:41

Would like to add:

I’ve just spent 2 weeks in Tuscany.
I’ve never seen so many bikers up in the woods… like ants- they’ve been everywhere !
But I’ve never seen a single biker in jeans or….
They all wore this fancy tricot stuff — so I, from now on,strongly believe that both, M. Mollier AND M. Brett (Martin) did the same on this very day.
Hm, so may be E. Maillaud tells indeed the truth about M. Mollier being at the wrong place, and the english man was the intended target ??
At least, he’s already having a property not too far away from Le Martinet

8-8-2013 at 14:54:50

Guess how many cartridges are in a box of 7.65mm parabellum …….

8-8-2013 at 14:58:50

@Shelock, no self respecting ‘cyclist’ would wear anything less, mostly because of the padded bottoms !

It is only casual cyclists that would wear ordinary clothes.

And that is why, I’ve said that Martins TV appearance was to say ‘I’m still here and I never saw nuffing, Gov, ‘onest, nuffing’.

8-8-2013 at 15:23:54

anybody knows what this Mr. Brett (or Martin) is doing right know?

Still boss of Silver fern or has he vanished from the ‘scene’?

8-8-2013 at 15:45:17


I think it is more likely that the shooter used the so called Pistolenpatrone 03, which was the original ammunition for the P06 used in the Swiss army. These cartridges are distributed in boxes of 24 and are still readily available in every communal shooting range in Switzerland. They are cheap since the price is subsidized by the army (0.30-.40 CHF/round) and thought to be more precise than other suitable cartridges. Nobody raises an eyebrow if you leave the shooting range with ten boxes in your pockets. Buying those rounds is pretty anonymous. There is usually an grumpy old man around who keeps books but I think he does not check the buyers identity.

Outside of Switzerland it is of course a whole new ball game. But in my scenario Mister X has close ties to Switzerland.

price per round at the bottom of the page, pist pat 03:

8-8-2013 at 16:43:56

@George, why has nobody mentioned this before ? I still think the box of 25 to be interesting 😉

Can you share your scenario of a Swiss Mister X, resident, tourist or family links ?

8-8-2013 at 16:44:02


Trail of forensic evidence at trial: Plaidoiries au procès Flactif plus search for articles at Le Nouvel Observateur.

No doubt David Hotyat and his friend Stephane Haremza were the murderers … back to Maillaud and Annecy.

8-8-2013 at 17:49:35

@ George, 8-8-2013 at 15:45:17

That ammunition is so cheap because it is at least 60 years old. It may still be good enough for a fun afternoon at the shooting range, but I certainly wouldn’t want to rely upon 60+ year-old vintage ammunition in a situation where my continuing liberty or even my life depended upon it.

Modern commercial 7.65 Para ammunition is sold in boxes of fifty.

Anyway, I greatly look forward to reading your Swiss Mister X scenario.

8-8-2013 at 17:49:42

Peter 8-8-2013 at 11:35:49

@Peter, very well expressed.

Do you recall the recent article that had Maillaud stating that Zainab had witnessed violent acts ? I have no doubt she did, that does mean that she has accounted for some of what she’s seen, doesn’t it ?

8-8-2013 at 18:40:54

Shelock states . . . According to this IG people in Savoyard aren’t amused about ‘foreigners’ on the local real estate market –

This attitude is by no means exclusive to The Savoyards, it is prevalent in the whole of rural France and other European countries too.

Anecdotal evidence . . . I have been seen off by a rifle-toting villager in the Languedoc a couple of times.

I still love the place I settled on though and they got used to me after about ten years or so. The Mayor in fact began to see the benefits of houses being renovated and becoming more taxable. He retained the right to hunt boar across my vegetable patch.

8-8-2013 at 19:30:38

Looking the Brett Martin interview again, I noticed he said that the bike, which was the first thing that caught his eye, was some distance away from the cyclist. Both of those details would support Max’s ‘bike’ picture…

8-8-2013 at 19:56:20

@PartLucid, Lieutenant Benoit Vinnemann, said the cyclist was to the right front of the car and the child to the left front of the car, must be as Martin accounted for finding them, because when Bossy saw the scene Mollier was to the other side of the car with his head towards the back and his arms by his side.

That’s how I understand it, the right side being the side of the driver, I’m always surprised at the number of people who would use the same words but mean the opposite.

8-8-2013 at 20:41:08

@ Peter

Pist Pat 03 is still manufactured by ruag, former waffenfabrik thun. this is brandnew stuff you get in the shooting range. it is purchased by the army and distributed via local clubs. Another 3 mio rounds have been bought by the end of 2012.

8-8-2013 at 23:35:26

A news item that happened yesterday in Brazil, makes me think it is not necessary to be a professional or an ex-military to fire bullets in someone’s head.

8-8-2013 at 23:39:30

Quick translation of the link :

“Marcelo Eduardo Pesseghini Bovo, only 13 years old, is the prime suspect of killing family with headshots.”

“According to the Brazilian press, the young mother took the gun and killed his parents while they slept. Then he left and went to the house next door, where they lived grandmother and great-aunt, who also killed with headshots.”

8-8-2013 at 23:44:03

too quick translation

the young mother took the gun = the young took the mother’s gun.

8-9-2013 at 00:01:13

Good night

8-9-2013 at 00:16:20

@ George, 8-8-2013 at 20:41:08

Sorry George, I stand corrected. I thought that this particular ammunition had only been manufactured until the early 1950s.

Do you know whether the newer ammunition is still stamped with the year of manufacture? (I am thinking about this guy in Switzerland who was arrested and subsequently released on suspicion of having supplied the weapon. I have always wondered about what might have led investigators to suspect him. Could it have been Swiss Army ammunition bearing some kind of logo, or another identifying feature marking it as belonging to a particular shooting club / rifle range / dealership?)

8-9-2013 at 07:45:19

Morning to everyone.

This is Celeste standing in for Marilyn.

Have a good day today.

8-9-2013 at 08:31:13


Discussion on true dimensions 7.65mm / .32acp ammo.

Fiocchi shooting dynamics. Ammo available in LRN, FMJ, JHP, FMJHP, and JSP bullet configurations.

8-9-2013 at 10:11:23

I think the ruag ammo is still stamped. It would be twice “T” for Thun plus the month and year.

It is exactly this arrest a few months back in Geneva, which let me think of a Swiss scenario. Rather a gut feeling than a scenario though. As i understood the guy was kept for several days in detention. There must have been very strong suspicions against him. Dealing a non-registered gun is rather a trivia in Switzerland. The investigators might have gotten the serial number of the P06 from the part, which broke off, e.g. handwritten on the wooden grip.

Also the official request for collaboration in the Daillon case indicates that the EM’s team gives credit to a Swiss lead.

P06/29 manual

8-9-2013 at 16:01:25

Interesting ….

Plenty of people like this shop assistant along the French border.

8-9-2013 at 17:47:52


Sorry to be so tardy in coming back Lynda; I dare say some family business intervened.

I agree that those ‘scene directions’ can be tricky: I initially found Le Monde’s scenario confusing, for example, because it takes a perspective from within the car park…whereas virtually all the overhead helicopter images obviously reverse that and look into Le Martinet from above or virtually ‘across’ the stream…

The point I was making about Brett Martin’s interview was a pretty minor one really, and slightly fanciful on my part. And I should also have quoted him directly rather than applying my own spin to it. He said that the bike was lying on it’s side…and then in a later segment, that it ‘wasn’t beside Sylvain Mollier’. As far as I’m aware he said nothing further about its specific location, but to my mind both of those pointers could support Max’s proposition, were one so inclined…

As far as his overall interview goes – and I know that there’s been considerable speculation about him on the blog – I have to say that I find him almost entirely credible. I imagine he gave the interview as a way of appeasing, and thereafter shutting down the British press. And if Maillaud found his phone besieged by the scribes, then obviously a ‘British witness’ to the crime (scene) would have been majorly pursued as well. Doubtless he’d have been fairly heavily coached by the investigators as to what he could and couldn’t reveal about the crime scene: they would have been very wary of opening up further press speculations.

Thanks for another helpful weapons tutorial Peter. If it was just an 8 shot magazine, with reloads, would that effectively preclude a planned attack on the Al-Hilli’s in your view..? I think, as Lynda? said previously, had all the family been out of the car then that ‘job’ would have been off…

8-9-2013 at 19:18:07


A couple of years ago I went into a very posh shop in a big city in Germany. I noticed in the shop window that everything there was pretty expensive, however I saw some funny things and thought I’ll go in and have a look anyway.

The first thing I noticed was that the door was locked! A shop assistant however immediately opened the door with a bow. Then he looked me over with an expression of contempt, as if I was something the cat had dragged in, but said nothing.

Then that shop assistant followed me, one step behind, all the time while I was in the shop. When I turned around and looked at him, he just smiled.

I am quite certain that if I had asked to have closer look on something he would just have shaken his head and said: sorry, we can’t let you do that.

I am certain that he gave a sigh of relief when I left the shop and he could lock the door after me.

8-9-2013 at 20:00:50

Ah, the locked door, plenty in Paris and even in Le Touquet ! Apparently not so much in Cannes !!! 😉

8-9-2013 at 23:36:48

Have you been credit-checked before being allowed to view a property?

I have . . but I am a dreadful scruff and rarely wear the ‘correct’ clothes for particular activities.

8-10-2013 at 10:03:34

Good morning everyone.

This is Celeste.

Have a nice commenting day.

8-10-2013 at 10:27:11

I don’t know about being credit checked, but we had to fill in all sorts of forms just to view properties, tying us up in case we bought it, ensuring that a deal couldn’t be done direct. They of course also wanted to ‘come and see’ the properties we were selling.

@J.Cave, you must know the fees to the ‘Agent Immobilier’ are way out of proportion compared to the UK system. Next time we’ll avoid them and only go through direct or via a Notaire, they often charge nothing other than the legal charges.

And there are some very dodgy ‘avocats’, especially in rural France !

Back to the mountains of Les Bauges, I went to the garden centre yesterday ‘Gamme Vert’, the new season stock of camouflage hunting gear is in, it is more and more sophisticated, not just the various green and black/brown blob stuff.

So, the “open” season started on the 9th September…. but various species with authorisation can be hunted in “closed” season, have a look at the table

But, Wild Boar starts on the 15th August……

It would not be unusual to hear gunfire, contrary to what Franck (possibly Bibi’s landscape gardener, working in Marceau Dessous/Dessus, living in Arnand) said.

And the rapid firing, plus the echo might have sounded like a gang of hunters, firing in succession at a large target.

In other words, would locals have paid attention, probably not.

8-10-2013 at 10:48:21

Does anybody knows if there are laws in France that prevent persons with a criminal record or a history of mental illness to be a member of a gun club?

8-10-2013 at 12:23:23


« Nul ne peut acquérir et détenir légalement des matériels ou des armes, éléments d’armes et munitions classés en catégorie B s’il ne peut produire un certificat médical datant de moins d’un mois, attestant de manière circonstanciée d’un état de santé physique et psychique compatible avec l’acquisition et la détention d’une arme et établi dans les conditions fixées à l’article L. 2336-3 du présent code.

It’s a very comprehensive list, a medical certificate is needed and not more than one month old, that applies to a marriage as well !

8-10-2013 at 12:45:27

In 2007:

La France se situe à un niveau comparable à beaucoup de pays européens, avec 32 armes pour 100 habitants

In fact the medical certificate has to be no more than 15 days old, now.

8-10-2013 at 16:33:04

@Bacchus, your link on the “Bacchus 8-8-2013 at 23:35:26”, I posted one from the Daily Mail, the child did shoot himself but he said he wanted to be a ‘hitman’ !

Nice to see you back with us, I have a question for you, a while back you made reference that Bacchus was to one side of you and Saad to the other, I know it is a riddle of some sort, but I can’t figure it out at all?

Can you give me a clue ? I do like your note that it might be someone who passses Le Martinet to go to work, still thinking about that.

8-10-2013 at 23:41:15

@Lynda 16:33

Sorry for to make this doubt.

“A ma droite j’ai BACCHUS” = a glass of wine
“a ma gauche j’ai SAH” = my monitor (computer) with his foto
and at middle my keyboard.

Now I lost BACCHUS = I don’t drink wine

Bacchus it’s me.

Understand ?

Here, with me, there have not mysteries…


8-10-2013 at 23:55:19

Mysteries have in Savoie …

Good night

Bacchus (not BACCHUS).

8-11-2013 at 00:32:16

Thanks, Bacchus, and yes there are mysteries in Savoie….

One day I hope we’ll begin to unravel them, a very goodnight to you, too.

8-11-2013 at 21:06:18

Hi, Marilyn
I’m very sorry about what has happened to All Hilli family. I wish the best luck to the police to solve the horrendous crime. I hope they are closer than ever to find who did such atrocity. Maybe they are not so far from finding out who, why and how did it. Those are my feelings. Bye, Isabel
I’m following this from the very beginning.

8-11-2013 at 21:18:56


Hello! This is Celeste. I am standing in for Marilyn for a short time.

Thank you for your comment. We all agree with you that this was a horrendous crime. Sooner or later such murderers are caught, so we hope that it will happen with this crime as well.


8-11-2013 at 23:40:38

@Lynda and @Isabel

Claude Antoine has said “For me, it is a local person. ”

It’s the only lead we have.

In Savoie, the wall of silence is a fact, ask Robert Feliciaggi or André Lisito what they think?

Lynda and Isabel, you say “hope” … you can stay to wait for a long time …


(Line Removed by Celeste.)

As for Feliciaggi, he is not the type of person Marilyn will wish this blog to be associated with. As for Lisito, he is too not to be recommended. I will however leave that line as you wrote it, Bacchus. (comment by Celeste.

Now I think “IN GOD WE TRUST”



8-12-2013 at 08:41:35

This is Celeste & not Marilyn

If you want to read about a French cop’s life, read what Marilyn has written.

cops life

8-12-2013 at 12:45:29

A small linguistic query: according to my readings the killer had positioned himself ‘amont du parking’. Not a word known to me, but Collins helpfully suggests that amont can be either ‘upstream’ or ‘uphill’ of the parking spot. Both of which could apply. Was Mr Maillaud being deliberately ambiguous here, or is the sense of that immediately obvious to a native speaker..?

8-12-2013 at 14:09:57

@partlucid, uphill, I would say.

Accounts for the glass from the drivers side rear window being found on the floor near the sign.

Also, back in June, a link from Eugene, Maillaud said the car was parked ‘en epi’, at an angle.

8-12-2013 at 19:27:58

At 50.000 foot up and gazing on at a star filled night…a thought struck me.

Why take your mother in law on a caravan holiday by way of “getting to know” her grandchildren ?

Especially when his youngest has her “first day” at school coming up ?

Was Saad really that irresponsible ?

Not “that” irresponsible as managed to holiday near Geneve…and cross the border (it was reported).

If the “grandmother” was coming to leafy Surrey to see her grandchildren…how did Saad manage to “convince” his mother in law to go to France ?

Would not the “first day at school” be an event of a lifetime ?
Maybe even one to share with “grandmother” ?

The 800.000 must have been a bigger “draw” for Saad.
So where did it come from ? And what was he trying to do with it ?

8-12-2013 at 20:33:07

It would not be the case in say Switzerland but missing first day at school is not actually that big a deal. (In Britain)
Often it is a half -day introductory affair at the end of a week to support hesitant kids and make a few paperwork mountains. There may be some vacant places need filling up in popular schools and this gives some wiggle time for that. The full-on school proper begins on the Monday.
My own kids in the UK started half way through a term . . no probs.

The grandma was in UK with Haydar and seized the day because he was in hospital for treatment. Grandmas have busy lives too and she must have longed to spend time with the two Z’s while she could.

8-12-2013 at 21:23:52


Yet they “seized” the day….and went to France !
Not “came to visit” and enjoy the time in Surrey ???
The grandmother had not met the children.

I don’t buy that one bit. Not one bit.

Having given it some thought…it doesn’t add up.

8-12-2013 at 22:00:45

@James, the school year for Zainab, commenced the morning of the murders and it was programmed to be just the morning.

Zeena was a a newby so her first year at school started the following Monday, it would appear the school called Saad, when his elder daughter didn’t register on the day. All the dates an info are on line. The Mollier children started back on the 4th, hence Leo’s ‘dry’ Twitter account.

We have never been told if he tried to leave a message at the school, or didn’t bother at all. That information would give a greater ‘answer’ above all.

I’ve written before, Iqbals mother was a recent widow and was coping with a mentally ill son, he’d spent time in a psychiatric unit in Sweden, 2005/2007, according to reports he was and I assume still is incarcerated in a UK phsychiartic unit, who knows, maybe he has returned to Sweden to another unit of care.

Fat Bastard/James Matthews, had never met Iqbals mother and it would appear the children weren’t familiar either, the eldest going to Sweden for Iqbals fathers funeral, he’d been ill for sometime, kidney disease, not sure if that is correct.

That does not imply that she’d never ‘met’ the children. I have neighbours who have a great granddaughter, she is almost two, they have never seen her in the flesh, they haven’t seen their grandson since 2005, although they all live in France, just distance, work and finances keep them apart.

James, you no doubt have family you don’t see, how often do you visit the oldies, have you seen every new edition your cousins produce, maybe you have, I can assure you living in a different country to ‘the family’, I haven’t.

And to quote my Dad ‘we’re just not like that’.

The Al-hillis were prepared, a tent and awning, I think Iqbal and Saad slept in the tent, the children and granny in the caravan, would you leave two small children, who are likely to wake at night for water, for a pee on their own in a tent adjacent to the relative comfort of a touring caravan, I don’t think so.

@J.Cave, I agree – they took the opportunity, I know the pressure a mentally ill ADULT brings upon life.

8-12-2013 at 22:08:14

I have finally read through all old comments for the summary (it took a little longer than expected due to the circumstances).

I have with certainty missed some things here and there but they can always be added later. As I said earlier it is easy to miss those “obvious” facts that we, who have followed this discussion from the start take for granted.

There are surely thousands of links in all these comments above. I haven’t had the time to open them all and look. I hope I haven’t missed anything important. I think though that I can give an advice to myself and all other commentators for the future. It is nice if we all write a (very) short description of the content in the link. If we just write “look at this link:…” it is very difficult to remember later what it contains and it is difficult to search for it later.

I have focused on “facts” concerning the killings themselves. There are many other aspects that you could choose from our discussions above. You could e.g. collect facts about the official French/British investigation or the actions by the French and British authorities after the killings.

We have also discussed weapons and cars of different kinds, types of accounts in Swiss banks, history of Iraq and the famous families of Iraq, murders from all over the world and a lot of other subjects.

To make this summary manageable and I believe more useful I have however restricted it just around the killings and the people more or less directly involved.

8-12-2013 at 22:28:46

@james, Lynda & JCave

I agree with what Lynda and JCave wrote above.
Though I believe they all went to Sweden in 2011. So both children had met their grandmother (FB knows probably if it is correct (Mathews with one T)).

I could perhaps add something about being self-employed. If you like me work as a consultant it is not unusual that you get no summer holiday at all one year. The customer says: We have a big contract if you want it you have to work during the summer too. If there is a lot of money involved you have little choice as self-employed, but to say yes, of course.

As self-employed you are prepared and know the rules, one year you get no holiday, the next year you might get a very long holiday.

As has been said, Saad had just finished one contract and Ikbal had just finished her exams and could start to work as a dentist in the UK. Probably well timed with both children going to school.

As self-employed I would also have grabbed that chance to get a bit of holiday together while it was still possible. Even if it meant that the kids would miss a day or two from school.

8-13-2013 at 08:39:04

Good Morning all!

Marilyn has asked me to tell you that she has a temporary problem with the blog.

Celeste as acting administrator has set off on holiday and Marilyn is unable to take over because she has been blocked from the website.

Marilyn has informed WordPress of the problem.

8-13-2013 at 09:16:38


I’m back. (Thanks Lars for the alert that I was having a problem accessing my site and this blog. I emailed you to say that the problem has been fixed.)

I can add to the discussion about not seeing relatives who live in other countries. This is so in my case too and especially with relatives who do not like to travel or do not want to travel at all. I can therefore understand how it was possible that the two Al-Hilli girls did not know their grandmother.

However, James, the two might have seen her before last September,but were too small at that time for it to have sunk in who she was. I’m not sure of from what age a child can identify a relative as ‘granny’ or ‘auntie’ etc, but I think that the 4-year-old would not have been able to understand that the ‘old lady’ on holiday with them was her mommie’s mother.

I can also say ditto to Lars’ comment about not holidaying when one is self-employed. Those who are self-employed have an income only when they are on the job. Holidays therefore are only possible when there is no commission. As for me personally, I’ve decided that this summer will be a working one …

Lars, when your summary is finished and you still want to share it with us, I will open a special thread for it. I see there are also quite a number of comments here on this thread too, so come weekend, I will open a new general one too.

Have a nice commenting August 13.

8-13-2013 at 10:12:22

Good morning everyone,

I am still struggling with the motive for the killings. As Eric Clouseau says: once we have the motive we have the killer.

Now it happens that I read in the recent news from a killing of a well paid tax advisor in the light of the day in his office in front of his employees. Straight forward, masked killer got in, shot a magazines filling, tax advisor dies, killer gets out.

The police searches and searches and searches and what comes up?

The teenage son of the tax advisor was so upset that his father split up with his mother for a younger girl friend and since then refused to pay his ex-wife and their common children any money (cos he needed it for his high life with the new girl friend) that he just went up and shot his father!

The moral is: it´s irrational, its highly emotional, it´s local.

Such is true for chevaline in my point of view. Target was SM.


8-13-2013 at 11:44:56


Well, Iskip from Sylvain to Saad.

By the way, I can understand that son having shot his father.

8-13-2013 at 12:43:31

@ RiffRaff, 8-13-2013 at 10:12:22

That (German) tax advisor’s sons have just been set free because there is no evidence that they had anything to do with his murder:

Looking for a motive, and looking for the culprit amongst the family and social circle of the victim work fine in about 90 per cent of murder cases. With a once-in-every-five-years crime such as the Chevaline murders, a statistical outlier, however, it is a recipe for disaster in my opinion. Particularly so because the feud between Saad and Zaid as a potential motive may prove to have been a giant red herring.

To my mind, the Chevaline murders are so unusual in every respect that they allow for a multitude of inferences regarding *what kind of person* might have committed those murders. I believe that this is the more fruitful approach to take.

8-13-2013 at 12:49:55

Thanks Lynda, ‘downhill’ would have been my inkling as well although in that location the ‘upstream’ side of things simply added to my not knowing. And I’d come across the car being parked ‘en epi’ as well which Collins has as ‘at an angle to the kerb’. I’ve long wondered about the parking of the car in that slightly slipshod fashion…ie…just sliding the nose into that far corner of the lay-by. Perhaps the girls were restless and clamouring to get out, or maybe an emergency pee was needed…but if le Martinet was their suggested destination – and I think you would reasonably know that you had ‘got there’ by virtue of the distance travelled and, more tellingly, the double signs – then wouldn’t it be the more normal practice to simply turn the car round, there and then, and reverse back in..? Perhaps they wanted easier access to something out the back of the car, like a child’s bike? or a picnic (the picked apples?). But it wouldn’t make for a great view for the back seat women…

Does the car being parked in that position suggest in any way that perhaps the killer had erected the barrier on that day? I know the police confirmed that the barrier wasn’t officially in place at a press conference…

And a final speculation (which may already have been previously offered!)
…if Sylvain Mollier fancied himself as a bit of a climber, is it possible that the bit of the road he was after was in fact the climb up after Le Martinet; I think it was maybe even Alex who suggested that if anything the tarmac seemed to improve after the hairpin? I don’t know how far up that climb goes, or where the tarmac ends, but with no oncoming traffic then it could represent a satisfying challenge for a keen cyclist. After seeing Alex’s video, I’ve always thought that the very potholed 3 km into Le Martinet itself was a pretty puzzling choice for a ‘proper’ road cyclist…

8-13-2013 at 12:54:00

@ James @ Lars @ Lynda @ All

Just a few personal comments on a couple topics recently addressed in connection with the Al-Hillis’ final trip:
– regarding the time-bracket. I have no doubt “self-employed” people find it natural to go on vacation in between contracts or assignments, both to avoid missing opportunities and to provide for related expenses on monies previously received. I still think, as James, that this kind of scheduling (last minute openings) becomes a lot more difficult within a family with 2 school-enrolled children. The issue wouldn’t be whether missing a day or two would be acceptable or not in Claygate. The issue lies more in following concerns: a) how do you notify the school of the late registration? b) when do you return? On the former point, it has been reported that a call FROM the school was later found by investigators on Saad’s voicemail, leading to believe the family never notified their plans directly or indirectly, which comes a little as a surprise. On the latter point, it’s hard to tell with what little information has been disclosed, but assuming the plan was to have the Zs back in school on the following Monday, most parents would have thought being back home no later than the Saturday night was the sensible thing to do. And thus, probably leaving the campsite on the Friday morning to have an overnight stop on the drive back (especially if taking grandma back to Reading was considered). We have no hint of such plans, neither from their booking extent at Le Solitaire, nor from ferry reservations probably advisable with a trailer in tow, nor from the state in which their caravan and awning was found as seen on press pictures, hardly compatible with a departure only one full day later. For whatever reason, it looks as if the Al-Hillis weren’t planning to return that soon.
– regarding the relationship with the grand-mother. As Marilyn/Lynda correctly mentioned, long distance relationships are hard to entertain. There’s no doubt these 2 little ones living in the UK and their grandmother living in Sweden could hardly be very familiar to each other. Even though, what sounds more unusual is the fact that they had apparently met twice before, according to reports. Once at the funeral of their grandfather in Sweden, and the other time when grandma first arrived in the UK. About this second occasion, I think FB told us some weeks ago about his personal communication with Iqbal’s mother so we can only assume they had met in Claygate, and if so obviously also the kids. About the funeral in Sweden, unless we have other documentation, it looks a little unusual to take one of the siblings with but not the other, since neither would have known their grandfather well enough to imply a mourning time and because such an arrangement implied both significant travel expenses for the child going and hosting issues for the one staying. Indeed, people without experience of those situations tend to go blind. Nobody’s perfect.

Otherwise, weather forecast for Chevaline today reads: Mostly sunny, His in the mid-70s.

8-13-2013 at 13:13:07


well no matter what anger one has, I am of the opinion that especially a young person shoudn’t play with the rest of its life in such a way.

@ Peter: sons set free

In fact they are free, but the attorney of state is still gathering evidence against them for manslaughter. And maybe they indeed didn´t do it by themselves but hired some balkanian buddy from the berlin sub milieu to do the job.

BTW: same could apply for chevaline 😉


8-13-2013 at 13:19:55

@Eugene, the campsite owner said they were due to leave at the end of the week.

This was Wednesday afternoon, no packing up would start until Thursday evening or even Friday morning, if leaving that day.

They had only pitched up in Solitaire around 16:00 on the Monday, so they wouldn’t be dismantling so soon. I’ve never holidayed in a towed caravan, I have in large tents many times, when you’re experienced as the Al-Hillis were, then it is all done without a hitch and very quickly.

I suspect the enquiry team have the date and time of their return ferry, there has never been any suggestion that they weren’t going back.

The only thing I find odd is not notifying the school, maybe he left a message or found the answerphone full. Intending to call later.

@partlucid, I would say that the car just swept into the far end of the clearing, Saad and Zainab, got out to look at the information sign.

The women waiting to see if they were to stay and have a look around, or return downhill, it happened so fast they never did undo their seatbelts.

Zeena, there was no child seat in the rear, probably anxious to get out of the car with her father and sister, was already unbelted. Something like that, is how I see it happened.

There was a booster seat in the front passenger side for Zainab.

There was no hurry to return Gradma to Reading.

8-13-2013 at 14:22:35


Good points made. Thanks.


Yes I lead an “ex pat” lifestyle.
But when I visit “home” or family visit “here” I generally don’t go on a holiday. That’s the bit a find strange. But each to their own, as they say.
I just think there is “more” to that, than meets the eye.

With regards the “first day”. Yes, I now get the point. The “actual” first day was the upcoming Monday (not the previous Monday).
Saad contacting the school previously would probably be out of the question…as there wouldn’t be anybody there.

There is another point about the road trip to France that keeps pricking my mind, but it’s not a “fully formed” view as yet, so I’ll leave it.

But just a point (most likely covered). With two (maybe three) children in England…would it be likely that the grandmother (widow) was considering a move there ? The Claygate house would be big enough afterall. And it would seem logical.

How would that work with her son and NHS funding ?
I imagine it would be long term care that would be required for his condition. Sweden would be “billed” for such care. That no doubt would have be sought and approved by his family prior to such a move (if indeed there was on planned).

8-13-2013 at 14:57:08

I understand Fadwa, Iqbals sister has a teenage daughter, I just have a feeling that the reason, Grandma was staying there is that it was close to the mental health facility where her son had been admitted. Neighbours in Sweden said they hadn’t seen him for about a month and presumed he’d gone to to the UK.

In most cases, when someone is stablised with drugs and counselling they are free to leave, doctors signing off their treatment. I suspect that this was undertaken under an E111, the same as a Brit needing medical help in Spain for example. Unless he was classed as being a danger to himself or others he would have been discharged.

(Actually, this feeds into my idea that Saad was afraid of the brother-in-law, maybe he’d pestered them on his arrival in the UK ?)

I agree that she would not have any real need to return to Sweden, her two daughters, son and three garnddaughters living in the UK.

I’ve looked at the electoral listings again, Iqbal doesn’t appear in Claygate, so (sorry FB), I don’t think she had a British passport, Saad we know did, the two girls would have, but Iqbal, just not so sure.

Lars, will know better, would there be anything stopping her, Grandma, from settling in the UK ?

8-13-2013 at 15:09:09

Some of us have known much more about the protagonists and those around it for a very long time, choosing not to be so blatant as to lay their life out for all to see, they are very easy to find if you know where to look.

I also think we’ve considered the sewage engineer friend as the killer, the elder son and the mad uncle, not least the new husband, girlfriend and future in-laws.

As Eugene has stated, 90% of murderers are known to the victim/s, I have started from that point and worked outwards.

My ‘nag’ is that how can Maillaud say it wasn’t random, or someone gone crazy, if they still don’t have an answer.

I believe they do and are playing the long game because they don’t have enough proof to make an arrest and make it stick.

8-13-2013 at 15:57:57

@Lynda 8-13-2013 at 15:09:09 re: “nag”

That´s what I find illogical too. How can eric Clouseau say the answer is in 99% in GB when he then comes up with the “nutter” theory, which is again usually local, when in fact he has no clue.

If anybody has sufficient evidence that EM has a clue, please share it with us.


8-13-2013 at 16:22:54

I think Prosecutor Maillaud said things at the beginning of this case which he would not now say.

I say this because I believe that they have a good idea of the reason for that shooting that day last September. But they can not reveal that they do because it will alert the murderer who would then make a run for it.

Meanwhile, I keep on thinking, that if the killer was someone who needed to satisfy an urge in him to kill, then it would be around now that the the urge will be in the fore again.

8-13-2013 at 17:02:32

Echoing what Marilyn has said above, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Maillaud hadn’t been laying something of a false trail himself with all his ‘the answers will be found in the UK’ stuff. Some crimes I guess the police do sometimes look to flush out, but you could hardly risk that approach in this case. I thought it barely plausible, for example, that the ONF? forestry workers reportedly only came forward after a few days!? and Maillaud also seemed very nonchalant about it all.

The road sweeper going up to the car park, so soon after the killings, was surely another bizarre example of managing things outwardly. I can’t help wondering under whose authority that happened…

8-13-2013 at 17:12:00

Partlucid, the fast reopening of the road does not surprise me.

You are fairly new here so you may not know that I often compare the Chevaline killing with that of Princess Diana and Dodi Al-Fayed in Paris in 1997. Then too the road was opened very quickly. Diana’s Merc crashed shortly after midnight and at 7 the next morning the road and tunnel were open to traffic again. And I mean that was Princess Diana.

I think the police are quite fast at taking measurements and picking up whatever there is to pick up and then there is no need to keep a road closed.

It is a decision taken by the head of the investigation and approved by the prosecutor.

8-13-2013 at 20:21:44

@Lynda et al.

Speculating about the Al-Hilli family situation:

I don’t think there was any reason for Ikbal’s mother to stay in Sweden. Especially if her son was also hopitalised in England. I can even interpret the reason that he was there, was that his mother contemplated a move to England.

Ikbal’s mother had previously studied in the UK so she was in many ways familar with the country.

I guess Ikbal was very eager to start her career as a dentist in the UK. Especially since also z. was beginning in school. Saad could of course often be at home and watch the kids, but he could never, as self-employed, promise anything. He could get a contract on short notice and have to start working the next day (has happened to me several times).

I then see it as a practical solution that the grandmother moved to Britain so she could watch over the kids while the parents were working. A kind of solution that is often used in Sweden anyhow.

8-13-2013 at 20:39:03

It has been speculated that E-Maillaud (and his investigation) has a card up his sleeve. That he actually doesn’t mean what he says concerning suspects.

I must admit that also I have, at moments when he has made one of his strangest statements, wondered what he is up to.

But give it a second thought:

First of all I have never heard of a crime investigation using that kind of tactic to confuse the suspects. I am not even certain that it is allowed to mislead the general public in such a way.

Even if Maillaud chooses to play such a game, it is a game with very high stakes. He is not only playing about the outcome the investigation, but also with the lives of the people concerned.

Say that he didn’t believe that Zaid Al-Hilli was a real suspect. He could even have informed Zaid Al-Hilli that it is only a game. But what will happen if Maillaud and his investigation will fail to solve the case. What the general public will remember is that the brother was a prime suspect, and so his life will be destroyed. I hope that Mr Al-Hilli is clever enough never to be involved in such a game.

I thus believe it would be a very dangerous game to play, both for Maillaud and others involved, so my conclusion is that Maillaud actually believe what he says.

8-13-2013 at 20:47:01

I can inform you that the journalist Gunilla von Hall has not yet cared to answer my criticism of her article in the Swedish newspaper SvD. She is now back from her holiday.

Since her article is pure invention or badly copied from other international newspaper I had expected that she would have the courage to correct the errors or at least remove the article.

8-13-2013 at 20:48:09

@Lars, I agree, okay she would have had friends in Sweden, it does not appear that she spoke much, if any, Swedish, that lady was planning a future closer to her children and grandchildren, no doubt with a view to selling up, that of course is if she owned the appartment. It would also be reassuring for her children to have her closer.

I’ve gone over and over in my head, including the intelligence hit, the brotherly disagreement, the exchange of zirconium, the money – every time I come back to the same question, why the whole family, it wasn’t a necessity.

The Swiss Prosecutor says all he wants is proof as to who owns the money, I wonder what its value was when originally placed at the bank ? As I understand it hasn’t been touched for years.

@Peter, would it have paid a dividend, some sort of interest that was payable to Khadim ? Just like my bit of money in the bank, the interest pays for my holiday in Formentera…

8-13-2013 at 20:49:39


I can agree with you on “it´s irrational, its highly emotional, it´s local”

8-13-2013 at 21:02:41

@Lars, many months ago, long before Zaid was ‘arrested’ Maillaud was quoted in the Geneva press as saying he was determined to have him questioned, placed on ‘garde à vue’, not charged not even suspected of a crime, maybe in English we would say, ‘helping police with their enquiries’.

Regardless of that, it is the setting of these murders, I’ve taken onboard, listening devices in the car/caravan, some sort of tracking device, the question I always stay with, how could the killer have been there before them, of course the only answer is that the killer would know where they would be because Saad informed them where they were going for a walk.

He of course could have changed his mind and never returned to that route, just a note whilst I’m on a roll, the first telephone number Bossy/PD would have called is 18, if you read and reread the Gendarmerie were alerted AFTER that.

Forget 12, 112, French people call 18.

8-13-2013 at 21:56:15

New thunderstorms this evening. I don’t believe we have had so many days with thunderstorms in Sweden for many, many years. The heat has changed into thunderstorms and today even a hailstorm.

Have to turn the computer off several times during the day.


I have said, almost from the first day: Le Martinet is the strangest place I can think of to commit a multiple murder on. I don’t think I will ever change my mind on that point, independent of the outcome of the investigation.

The only person I can think of who would voluntarily choose such a place, is someone who is very familiar with the area and who feels at home in these woods and these mountains. I believe that such person would also choose to arrive at, and leave, the crime scene on foot.

8-13-2013 at 22:09:37

That lay-by is certainly an odd place for murder. Unless of course the shooter intended to surprise, mowing down people as they appeared on the road. In which case he was killing at random. And as Lars said in his 9.56 p.m. if the killer had voluntarily chosen that spot, it must be because he was familiar with the area.In other words a local.

Have a good commenting night.

8-13-2013 at 22:22:38

In response to RiffRaff’s comment above and with some of my own thoughts concerning this case in mind, I come to think of the “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski.

I still believe that the killer at Chevaline probably is a serial killer, in every sense of the word. I could imagine a Savoian variant of the Unabomber fighting for some (yet unknown) Savoian cause, and choosing another type of weapon in this fight. The profile could though be pretty similar to Kaczynski’s.

8-13-2013 at 23:17:24

Okay Lars, so another name search, this entire blog has taught me a great deal of history, opinion and sometimes downright oddities.

Oh, how I’d like to know who had travelled in the two cars and two scooters seen by Claude Antoine on the morning of the murders, he said he saw all come back down (route du Moulin), maybe, just maybe there was one less passenger in one of the cars or on one of the scooters riding pillion.

@FB, if you’re still looking in, have the children been released from Surrey Social Services care, as decreed ?

8-14-2013 at 00:06:17

@Marilyn, thanks for the guidance on French accident procedures. I take note.

For me there’s a considerable logic to choosing somewhere like Le Martinet for a random shooting, and particularly if someone wanted to up the stakes following on from the Xavier Baligant killing, for example. And by that I don’t mean that they necessarily wanted to kill more than one person, but it’s more the sense that the deed was carried out in broad daylight…and also that the victim(s) would be patently engaged in something leisurely and innocent. Plus to a warped mind, the beauty of the spot would only add to its attraction…

On a practical level it IS isolated, and yet little more than 5 minutes or so from the road network in a vehicle. In this instance the killer seems to have been able to arrive at and leave the site almost unobserved. No telephone reception. And without making any special case for the mystery biker, there’s no doubt that a motorbike would be an optimal manner of fleeing the scene. For what it’s worth I see the killer as ‘broadly local’ and yet not so local that his vehicle might be recognised…

…such are my speculations…

8-14-2013 at 00:57:36

James dear

A gran is the perfect person to take on holiday with.

A trustworthy and experienced omnipresent babysitter who loves her work and does it for free.

Quite often the grandchildren prefer to be with her more than their own parents because they break the rules, play round and stuff.

Grans also love a road trip.

8-14-2013 at 05:15:22

I haven’t kept up with the al Hilli/Mollier discussion. Just read the
few last days’ comments. You still have a lively debate ongoing with
some new participants. Don’t want to jump in with only one item, but
it might be of interest, if not seen previously:

It’s a hilarious account of the follies of MI5/MI6 and the
unintentional founding of MI5 based on totally fictional stories
about German spies published in the Daily Mail and ensuing hysteria.
The Daily Mail was unhappy that the author had placed the German
fiends in locales where they had few readers so substituted towns to
best frighten the largest number of their loyal subscribers.

His first tale relates directly to Saad al Hilli. Prior to the start
of Gulf War I, there was a secret round-up and imprisonment of Iraqi
students in the UK based on a misinterpretation of a request from the
Iraq embassy. We know from a neighbor they had Saad under
surveillance at that time.

The recent embassy closures and fears expressed by the US agencies
that AQ has perfected implanted devices explains some of the
extensive search with bomb squad at Claygate. If police came across a
shed with an elaborate system of locks (as reported by a neighbor or
made up by a reporter) then found multiple computers and full dental
equipment including a training dummy, that thought would occur to

8-14-2013 at 07:35:53


I’m a big Adam Curtis fan, so thanks for the link from me.
(His other Docs are on youtube “century of the self” etc… Well worth a watch if anyone hasn’t done so).

With regards the Al Hilli case. I don’t believe that it was a “Secret Service Op” (MI5, MI6, MI7.5, or MI ‘ere !) no more than I believe Father Christmas (sorry for the spoiler to any Santa fans out there !).

I believe there were more basic human “desires” at work that afternoon that delivered such wanton destruction and carnage.

8-14-2013 at 07:45:05


In some of the “cultures” I have lived in the “grans” are more than part of the family. In fact they are not there to baby sit either…the “family” go out together. (Day or night. The 3 yr old, the 43 yr old and the 83yr old. All of them “out” together).

But that is not my point. My point is more “basic”.
With regard Al Hilli, we have 800.000 euros (it is reported) sat in a Swiss bank account. And Annecy is in easy reach of the border.

8-14-2013 at 09:06:53


Am I late? Nooooooooooooooooooo. I’ve been working since 6 a.m.

I’m outa here now till tonight, so do have a nice commenting day.

PS: Who’s Adam Curtis?

8-14-2013 at 09:38:08


That’s a taste of Adam’s work. It’s excellent stuff. A “must watch”.
If you “youtube””the century of the self” you’ll find it all there.

8-14-2013 at 10:04:04

Sorry Lynda, I should have provided a link, but I was in a hurry because of the thunderstorms, perhaps a bit lazy, and I thought that Kaczynski was sort of world famous.

8-14-2013 at 10:32:15

We were discussing contracts and self-emplyment and everything you say is correct, regarding no work, no money, I think we may have been led up the garden path.

The Friday before they left for France, FB as James Mathews was quoted in a newpaper as saying that he called Saad, expecting him to be in his office, when in fact he was at home and had decided to take some time off !

Saad was then with the accountant (Steadman) on the day they left, siging the VAT return, in a hurry because he had to drive to Reading to pick up Grandma before driving to Dover for the ferry.

In other words, that doesn’t sound as if his contract was over, SSTL have made a few comments, nobody saying whether he was due back, even when I asked FB about whether he had a new contract, he didn’t reply.

8-14-2013 at 10:44:41


I let FB answer that, if he still is “on line”, but I believe that he (FB) has said earlier that he met Saad the day before they left the UK, and that Saad then just had finished his contract at SSTL.

8-14-2013 at 10:46:45

@ Lynda, 8-13-2013 at 20:48:09

We have discussed that Swiss account at length before. Of all the places and all the ways in which Khadim could have kept that money, this was the one least suitable for generating positive returns.

Banks such as HSBC Private Bank Suisse are pretty good at providing tax-efficient investment advice to clients or even directly handling investments on behalf of their clients (a discretionary mandate). To be sure, an old man like Khadim has a comparatively short time horizon and probably little risk appetite in his investments, but those preferences can of course be accommodated. In this manner, both Khadim and the bank (through fees) could have benefited from that money.

As portfolio management is what this type of bank does and how it makes its money, they are not at all keen on clients who merely wish to deposit cash with them and leave it untouched. The interest rates offered are so low that, after bank charges, inflation, and perhaps taxes, the net returns are negative.

f Khadim for some reason preferred depositing his money in a plain-vanilla savings account rather than in an investment account, he was with the wrong bank. Unlike private banks (I use that term loosely here, in the sense of a bank catering to HNWIs and above), retail banks such as the Kantonalbanks happily offer plain-vanilla savings accounts. Not only do they pay higher interest rates than the private banks, deposits are safer there.

8-14-2013 at 10:55:36

@ Lars, 8-13-2013 at 22:22:38

To my mind, Kaczynski’s main claim to infamy is that he deliberately left behind misleading forensic clues

In that sense, I sincerely hope that you are wrong and that the Chevaline killer is nowhere near as clever.

8-14-2013 at 13:06:47


I think Kaczynski’s fame rests on his whole history, not all killers has e.g. been associate professor in mathematics when they were 25.

I don’t think the Chevaline killer has exactly that background, and perhaps therefore can not considered that smart, but I still think that he is more the intellectual type than the roguish type. And that they may share their mindset.

8-14-2013 at 15:02:18

@Lars, Eugene has said someone ‘intelligent’, must be to have left everything so apparently clean.

@Peter, sorry that came out all wrong, firstly we know the money exists, it was put there some 20 years ago, making Khadim in his late sixites, early seventies, maybe it was always meant to be set aside for his two sons ? That’s why it wasn’t touched.

As you have been following the Nigerian John, case, in his charges were there other frauds mentioned, did he try to do the same to others ?

8-14-2013 at 15:37:38

@Peter, was there a time when a secret Swiss Bank Account was ‘all the rage’ ?

I had one in Jersey some years ago, then they went taxable and so it was closed, besides which there really wasn’t much in it to warrant the ‘offshore’.

If you saw the state of some of my husbands investments presently, it would have been better off under the mattress ! At least it wouldn’t have lost 30%, no point in selling, so the money as far as I’m concerned only exists on paper.

8-14-2013 at 16:47:27

@ Lynda

Yes, there was a time when a secret Swiss bank account was the thing to have, even though Swiss interest rates were low-to-negative in real terms.

Having spoken to a great many owners of such accounts (my job involves regularly doing so), I have come to the conclusion that tax evasion merely is one motive, and not always the most important one, for having such an account. The others are: 1. hiding money from one’s spouse 2. avoiding unpredictable, grasping domestic governments – a very real concern for clients from South America, Russia etc. 3. hiding monies acquired through dubious practices such as bribes, kick-backs etc.

I am convinced that taxes would not have been an issue for Khadim. A man in his position, with multiple countries of residence and two passports, could have avoided taxes legally without having to resort to illegal tax evasion. Thus, I reckon that his reason for setting up this account probably was one of the other ones, most likely #3.

Still, that doesn’t account for the way in which this money was left to mould away. If Khadim had wanted to obfuscate the true origins of these funds, HSBC would have been more than happy to help him, for example by arranging a back-to-back loan in a different jurisdiction. If he had wanted to set the money aside for his sons, he could have invested it in low-risk, fungible asset classes.

Turning to Nigerian John, AFAIK he was not charged with targeting anybody other than Saad – which, needless to say, is very strange indeed. Usually, scammers try it on with a large number of potential victims, hoping that they will get lucky in a few per cent of cases. Therefore, in my opinion, Nigerian John either had particularly detailed information on Saad’s financial affairs (where from?), or he had been paid to harass him, or he knew about the loot in the Geneva account (how?) and ultimately was after that.

8-14-2013 at 16:49:08


“there was there a time when a secret Swiss Bank Account was ‘all the rage’ ”

There was a time when they were even “secret”.
But apart from the “new” rules and regs that have been “invented”, the final “nail” came when that chap walked off with the “names” of the banks clients (2008 ?).

Last I heard (July 2013) he was under armed guard in France. They seem to be taking it in turns to “talk to him”.

There is however still the “pass book” system that still works.
Interesting that system is used a lot. It’s a simple system…and private.

It’s used in many “transactions”.
For example…imagine you and I were “transacting”.
You would deposit monies and an account is created along with a “pass book”. You would then give the “pass book” to me.

The account can only be accessed with the “signature” of the account AND the “pass book”.

Using just the “pass book” I could not access the account. Using just your credentials you could not access the account.

The monies can be “seen” and are held in the account. Once the transaction is complete, both parties meet at the bank.

AND @Lynda

“firstly we know the money exists, it was put there some 20 years ago, making Khadim in his late sixites, early seventies, maybe it was always meant to be set aside for his two sons ?”

Do we know that ? I suspect we “know” very little about that account…or when (and how many times) it was used/serviced.

It was reported it was in the name of Saad.
Therefore the control lay with him.
The original money may indeed have been deposited by his father (in “an” account) but other than that, we know very little.

Who said it was “untouched” ? What “source” did that come from ?

There is one last thing about “Swiss Accounts” (or indeed any money “hidden”). It’s just not that “easy” to get at.

For one, you just can’t “transfer” it. The “source” would have to be known….and then there is “taxation”.

Two, you can’t just pick it up…and fly home with it either.
Customs would be on you like a ton of bricks.

You could “trickle” it out. And then make “small” deposits.

And for those who think that you can “stash” a large amount of cash….you can’t. Watch what happens when “they” change an old “500” for a “new look” “500”. Ever tried changing a few hundred of those !

I have a co worker whose friend has a co worker that also flies (etc) and “he said that she said that he said” they have clients who like holding heavy bags onboard his aircraft. I of course don’t know how true that is…

8-14-2013 at 16:57:00


Saad had finished what he was doing at SSTL ie that bracket or whatever
he was on .
he was not sure when they would need him again .
i phoned him on the 28th August as i was on the park next to SSTL

8-14-2013 at 17:07:54

James, 8-14-2013 at 16:49:08

A minor point about transferring money out of a Swiss bank account without leaving a paper trail: that is very, very easy. For example, you can either tell your Swiss bank that you wish to move your money to a foreign subsidiary of the bank (e. g., from XY Bank Switzerland to XY Bank Singapore) and ask them to do that for you, using a conto pro diverse interbank clearing account. Alternatively, you can ask them to have one of their ex-staff manage your money, a private asset manager. In the latter case, your money is transferred to his account and the paper trail ends there. Wherever the money moves from there, it does so in the asset manager’s name.

The one thing that you cannot ask them to do is to destroy the paperwork showing that you used to have an account in Switzerland. They are legally obliged to keep that paperwork for ten years.

8-14-2013 at 17:35:04

@James, the Swiss Prosecutor has said a great deal, start looking at his comments, then try Maillauds, better still ask the journalist Peter Allen, maybe we just have to wait until around the 5th September for more to be revealed, I have no doubt there will be press coverage. I think it was Dario Zanni, maybe he was just speculating, have a look again at the Channel 4 documentary.

@FB, the early reports did say it was a Friday, no doubt not one of your favourite newspapers ! Thankyou for the confirmation.

I did look up the approximate cost of the car + caravan on P&O ferries for dates similar to those we know, this year of course. Anything from £200 to £400 return, if booking today, the chances are that had Saad left the booking until closer the day of travel, it would be more expensive, it always is.

The Daily Mail, reported amongst other things that the Bank Account was in the name of Saad and Iqbal, previously having been in Khadims, so how did that happen ? The will had not been settled, if it is true then Saad knew about that money before Khadim died, does that make sense ?

I just don’t get why Zaid, the elder son was left out of everything, the house left to Saad by his mother (favourite son and all that). Then the money handed over before Khadims death, what had Zaid done so wrong, I can tell you, he got an Irish woman pregnant, marrying her some years later, maybe she was already married so had to go through a divorce ? Absolutely no idea, just a musing. The family was broken and appears they had been for a while.

8-14-2013 at 17:35:44


Without debating too much about “banking” I can only say “money is a funny thing”.

Also where it comes from ..and resides is funny.

How “easy” or “not” it is to transfer is a debate in itself.

Then there is “taxation”.

I can only say one thing. One of the richest men (self employed) I have ever met…was a specialist in “money, its transfer and taxation”. He is the only person I know that has ever worked continuously on a 7 hour flight.

One man on a Gulfstream….. that’s something. Especially when you fly one man around for 9 days.

Saad had a “major” problem. He “had” 800K (for God knows where) ….and he just couldn’t (or didn’t have the means) to “transfer” it.

8-14-2013 at 17:44:00


I was looking at some “early Maillaud” today in fact. They are strange.
But he’s no “hot shot”.

Now Dario Zanni… he’s good. He’s a sharp boy.
I watched the C4 doc a few times. I saw what Zanni did.
He’s no friend of Maillaud.
Or “Didiejean” for that matter. That has to be a “classic” if ever there was one.

8-14-2013 at 17:57:04

Back in the Swiss and Geneva press in October, Zanni is quoted as saying the account was in the name of Khadim, had been there for about 10 years, no money had been taken out in the days prior to the murders and there had been no movement on the account for a long time.

According to the Telegraph, Khadim was 80 when he died, I thought he was nearer 90, 92 even, which would make a lot more sense.

I don’t blame Maillaud for the press errors, if they don’t have a direct quote, they just make it up !

Zanni, does fancy himself a bit, likes the limelight.

I suppose you saw that I found Bossy in photograph, long before we saw him on screen, he is real.

8-14-2013 at 18:16:03


“I suppose you saw that I found Bossy in photograph, long before we saw him on screen, he is real”.

No I didn’t know that. Would be interested how you came to find him to be honest.

As for Zanni. He’ll release what he needs to. A TV camera pointing at him wouldn’t phase him at all. He knows much more…and he tells what he feels he wants.

Hence “The Hiker”. Wonder how “the hiker” felt after the Zanni treatment.

8-14-2013 at 18:35:39

I searched for a Phillippe Bossy, when the name was changed, then waited until the programme, posting the link a short while after it.

You’ll need to scroll back to just after the screening, I don’t have the link saved on this computer, posted on the 7th June, day after the programme.

I’ve done it for you:

It tied up and it isn’t the Bossy from Isere, who is a profligate busniness man and likes to do accompanied overnight stays on Les Bauges.

8-14-2013 at 19:13:19

Cheers for that.
So he is a hiker ! A hiker that does talks.
No “MI5” agent there. Just a bloke that “hikes”. A normal “Joe”.

That kind of puts another thought in my head. If I were Bossy, seeing what he saw, I would NOT want my name in the news.

Martin also…yet that changed later. He gave an interview.
That “interview” is/was part of the police “strategy” at the time. It wasn’t “just” an interview.

8-14-2013 at 20:18:04

Warning – poor taste joke alert!

The middle picture in the pdf linked to in Lynda’s post above should have the following caption:-

“maintenant, eef you look closely at the screen, you weel see ma planned escape route. . .”

“that ees, eef their husbands find out!”

8-14-2013 at 20:21:33

@James, exactly, he also refused psychological counselling, saying he’d prefer to discuss it with his family and friends.

I’ve always said that Martins interview was part I saw nuffing gov, part I’m still here and part to get the press off his doorstep in Brighton, all no doubt choreographed by the British and French enquiry team.

I started my own ‘investigation’ from the centre working outwards and not from the outside trying to make things fit.

8-14-2013 at 20:45:22

Just read in. Very interesting and intelligent comments today. All day I was in another world where murder does not exist.

Tomorrow August 15 is supposed to be my saint’s day:Saint Marie or Mary. What it means is that all the shops of which I have a ‘card’ sent me a ‘Bonne Fete’ email with a special offer attached. Like tomorrow Auchan will give me as a gift a one-kilo box of apricots. Tomorrow however I will not be going to Auchan because I plan to work very hard tomorrow to make up for today’s lost time due to my gallivanting.

Anyway, have a good commenting night.

8-14-2013 at 20:46:12

@Lars et al

Lars, I think I’m a little at odds with you again! and this time over the very nature of the crime. Previously you mentioned that you thought the killer was most likely silent…and today you wondered whether the deed didn’t have something of an intellectual quality to it. I agree with you in part that the thing was, to some extent, clinical…but to me the overriding sense is just how thuggish the killings are, both in their conception and execution.

I suppose when you’re intending to gun down a group with just a pistol then it’s a case of needs must, and anything goes really. Hence the bullets to the victims’ backs (Peter posted links some days ago suggesting that Sylvain Mollier had also been shot up to 3 times in the back) and the ‘overkill’ on SM. But there doesn’t seem to be that much ‘marksmanship’ here: there’s surely nothing elegant about emptying a pistol into a couple of targets at reasonably close range. It’s simply a brutal – and once you’ve started – necessary act of killing. Reportedly the initial assault was accompanied by shouts, which again indicates a fairly crude mind in my view…and I’m still a little bemused that the killer seemingly didn’t use a silencer. On that point I can only think that he either didn’t have one, or that he perhaps thrilled to the sound of the gun discharging? I still think there may be an element here of him testing both himself and his skill with the weapon, but perhaps also the capabilities of the Luger as well…

The beating of Zainab clearly demonstrates further savagery, and in my view perhaps an anger that the thing hasn’t gone as he would’ve wanted. A more rational attempt to kill the girl would surely have been to crush her skull with one of the large marker stones which delineate the edges of the lay-by. And as I’ve said previously, I think there has been considerable planning behind the logistics of the deed…but the actual charge, the murders themselves and the desire to kill are messy beyond belief. It is of course possible that the killer knew he was aiming for something distinctive; perhaps that was part of the appeal for him…

8-14-2013 at 21:43:44

@partlucid, I read the lack of silencer as being he never intended to have let off so many rounds at so many people. Even though he carried many ‘for security’.

Why would a determined, paid/intel ‘family murderer’ not try to be as discreet as possible, for all those that think it was an isolated spot, I ask you to look up Le Martinet Parking, it is not a secret location, hundreds of times referred to as a starting point.

I accept that many would not find it attractive, ugly even, it depends on your mindset, I and I suspect J.Cave would probably find the area enchanting, I cannot abide ‘tourist attractions’, ‘fun parks’, amusement arcades or overcrowded beaches, to me that is not a holiday.

Too many people are judging the Al-Hilli choices by their own which I see are poles apart. Haven’t we read that Saad would take their caravan only ten miles away, no doubt to escape the traffic, pollution and to appreciate the nearby countryside, if that is being a bit ‘fantasy land’, so what, I can think of far worse things people do to live out a ‘fantasy’, bet all of you can, too ?

8-14-2013 at 22:29:46


I think you have misunderstood what I meant. My explanation was perhaps also somewhat short.

First you must understand that I believe there is a link between the Chablais killings and Chevaline. So when I for instance say that I believe that killer was silent at Chevaline I judge from what happened in Chablais. I believe that if someone shouted something at le Martinet it was probably Sylvain Mollier. But nobody knows (except the killer and perhaps Brett-Martin).

Secondly I have always believed that Sylvain Mollier was the target. The messiness of the crime, and there I agree with you, is created by the fact that the killer didn’t expect the Al-Hillis to be there, and he couldn’t actually see them from where he was when it all started. That was certainly a major failure in his planning. As I have stated several times, I think the killer was/is a skilled marksman but he is not skilled in killing people, no hitman, hence the mess.

Regarding Z. I think the most probable scenario is that she was hit when the killer and she were trying to reach the car, she to get away, he to kill the people inside. She might be able to remember that one day.

No, I didn’t say that the “deed had something of an intellectual quality to it”. I can’t even imagine how a murder could have an intellectual quality.

I said that I believe that the killer probably is an intellectual type. The reason for this assumption is how he plans his deeds both in Chablais and in Chevaline, not how he executes them. As Marilyn (and Gertrud Stein) would say, a shooting is a shooting is a shooting.

8-14-2013 at 23:00:37


Re the Martin interview.
I agree.

The question is “why” ?
It wasn’t aimed at the “general public” clearly, so who was it aimed at ?
The killer ? The employer of the killer ?

It was in the early stages of the investigation so they may have indeed gone with a “hunch” which was incorrect. And in that early chaos their “theory” was all they had to run with.
But regardless of that, what were they (the investigators) thinking ?

Of course it may have been a “hunch” which today still holds true. It may just have not had the desired result.

But the fact remains, I have never seen such an interview (with the closest thing to an “eye witness”) given in that manner. There were no police visible. There was no “control” by the police to the questions that could be asked (well “appeared” non). There were no police at Martin’s arrival at the hotel (photographed).

So what was it in aid of ? Not I suspect to stop the “press” from tracking down Martin at home and knocking on his door for an interview !

8-14-2013 at 23:26:20

@James, you need to read what he said about it, whether true or not it was a once and for all interview to stop his family home being doorstepped, which would have surely continued if he had said nothing, no doubt by now tracking down his children and just like Zaids/Saads family being put under a microscope, some people really don’t have any sense of respect.

I agree this was very soon after the events, maybe there was a ‘message’ being sent out, do I think he’s some sort of agent, in my opinion, no.

You couldn’t see the control, no doubt there was certainly authorisation and direction, do you see the director when you watch a film ?

8-14-2013 at 23:45:05

@James & Lynda

We have discussed the Brett-Martin interview several times. I don’t think you need to see the “director”, the script was already written and agreed upon.

As you can see in the interview the journalist does not put one (1!) single follow-up question to Brett-Martin. The journalist doesn’t react to anything Brett-Martin says, however strange or inconclusive the answer is.

Why BBC accepted this I don’t know. Just to have the scoop of the only “interview”?

I still believe that there will come a day when that “old RAF man” and former phantom pilot will have to answer a lot of questions regarding his actions and behaviour.

8-14-2013 at 23:55:58


I agree there may have been an element of door stepping which would have been avoided by granting an interview….but the information given was controlled….and yet not “seen to be” controlled.

Two birds…one stone ?

Is he an “agent” ? It depends how you view “an agent”…and an agent for whom of course. However I think he in not.

Although I would add one caveat there.
David Stirling in 1958 wasn’t an agent either.

But moving away from that point (and not adding anything about his accountants)….I’d like to touch on Iraq for a brief moment.
Arabic business is conducted in many different ways. Access is an issue. Clearly commissions are also involved. It would be a terrible thing if a commission did not reach it’s end user I would imagine.

For my part ..and keeping it as hazy as I can…I once saw the people involved in an East African payment from an insurer.
Now they have a “trust” job.
Private jets park often far from a terminal. The “pax” depart with their luggage …and like limo drivers we remain with our “cars”. It is sometimes funny what you see and hear.

8-15-2013 at 08:29:40


Today is a public holiday in France. If it is not where you are I will leave you to work out why it is here because least said about that will leave fewer of you p….off with me.

re: William Brett Martin’s BBC interview.

Interviews are always ‘staged’. The interviewer discusses with the interviewee what questions are to be asked. This is especially the case when heads of state are interviewed. An exception to this would have been those interviews Larry King used to do on CNN. Any case, I am repeating myself here, but some of you have joined us since and this is why I repeating it.

James if you ever want to work with me on an article of piloting for the rich, you know where to find me. No names. I’m not of the league where I see pilots stand beside the private jets they fly,but I do see chauffeurs standing beside the cars they drive and I always wonder what goes on in their heads: envy, jealousy, hatred?

To return to William Brett Martin, who must be missing his summer French sojourn – this is of course if he is holed up in Brighton and all he has to feast his eyes on are the bucket and space brigade.

Anyway, I wrote him a letter at the beginning of June to ask if he would grant an interview for this blog. I sent the letter to his Brighton street address. There was no reply. I waited a month, giving him time for reflection, and I emailed him the letter and repeated my request. Again there was no reply.

Monsieur Martin, if you should ever read in to this blog and your eye catches this comment of mine, please think about it again. I am giving you an opportunity to fill the gaps, and believe me, gaps there are aplenty.

Have a nice commenting day.

8-15-2013 at 09:48:01

@ Partlucid, Lynda

If the killer had wanted to use a “silencer,” he could easily have done so. Although sales of suppressors are controlled, they are freely available over the Internet as component-kits for self-assembly. Moreover, it is easy to improvise a decent suppressor using materials available in any DIY store.

Thus, I assume that there were other reasons, such as the killer needing to carry his pistol covertly, or his original plan being to kill SM with a single aimed shot from a distance, where the suppressor would have rendered it impossible to use the pistol’s sights.

One similarity between the Chablais murders and the Chevaline murders that I find quite striking is the killer’s apparent unwillingness to get close to his victims and interact with them, however minimally. Rather, in both cases, he shot through glass, from a distance. In the Chablais murders, the killer must have known that his intended victims were home alone. However, rather than ringing their doorbells, waiting for them to open the door and killing them at close range (the pragmatic, foolproof method), he went for these very sketchy single shots through the window panes. Why? Did the intended victims know and fear him, did he for some reason fear even the briefest personal interaction with them, or does he fancy himself as some kind of “sniper” who gets his kicks out of sneaking up on his victims and dispatching them à la “one shot, one kill”?

Whatever the reason(s), a similar unwillingness to interact with his victims is apparent in the Chevaline murders. To start with, he could have walked up to the Al-Hilli family, grabbed Zainab, put the gun to her head and thus forced the entire family to get out of the car. He could have made the whole thing look like a robbery, made them hand over their belongings plus the car keys, locked them out of their own BMW, made them kneel down, then killed or at least incapacitated all of them with the first magazine. Yet he didn’t do that, and I don’t think that was due to any eventual language barrier.

Later on, after the Al-Hilli family were trapped inside their stuck car, he could have smashed the car’s windows, or perhaps even opened the doors. Again, he did not do that, preferring to shoot through glass instead.

Even the violence directed at Zainab has that curiously stand-offish quality to it, with the killer using an instrument (his pistol) to bludgeon her rather than breaking her neck or something like that with his bare (gloved) hands.

Although this conclusion is highly speculative, I believe that the killer’s unwillingness to interact with his victims is indicative of his personality type. I see him as non-social, an extreme loner who is unused to, indeed frightened of, social interaction of any kind. For that reason, I don’t for a moment believe that he could be some kind of jealous ex-boyfriend, jealous husband or anything like that.

8-15-2013 at 10:10:15


Being in a bit of a hurry I can just say that I agree with your latest comment 09:48:01. I could add that the killer is not that sure of himself as a killer. We both laughed at the police comments on the Maire shooting, when the police “complained” that the killer had used too fine a calibre to kill Maire, though he tried twice. I think the killer is aware of that, and has probably also learned something from that failure. So he does not want to be seen even by his victims if he would fail a second time. I also think, as you suggest, that he has no reason to “interact” with his victims.

8-15-2013 at 11:00:41

To flesh out my tentative profile of a “shy” non-social killer: looking at the victims of the Chablais murders, these can be roughly described as two mature, successful womanizers, a retired policeman and a gregarious young gay man.

Now, if this loner has been in trouble before, it will have been for voyeurism. I would bet that this is his main hobby, and the chances are that he has been caught a few times. Hence his hatred against the police.

I don’t think that he himself is gay or even a classic homophobe. What really gets his goat, I think, is the ease with which gays can acquire sexual parters whilst cruising. Grégory Mercier, I believe, was a more-or-less random victim killed for that reason, for being able to do something that the killer himself cannot do.

As for the other two victims, successful, respected middle-aged heterosexual womanizers, I believe that they were targeted for being everything that the killer himself wants to be, but cannot. As a wild guess, the somewhat advanced age of these two victims might indicate that the killer grew up without a father, that the father abandoned the killer’s mother.

I don’t know whether the foregoing musings are accurate, but it should not be too difficult for the local gendarmes to identify and exclude local men meeting those criteria: loner, involuntarily single, previous form for voyeurism, shooting enthusiast, high IQ but low educational and professional attainment, strong interest in law enforcement.

8-15-2013 at 12:39:40

@ Lars @ Peter

Couldn’t read the “full” (3 pages) article you recommended about the Chablais murders, because of the paywall. If you think you can forward it to me through Marilyn, I’d very much appreciate.
So, from what little information I gleaned from other sources, here are my first impressions:
– most of these crimes present a common pattern and/or modus operandi. To that extent, it sounds very likely -if not certain- they had the same perpetrator. A serial killer. Even though the very first murder is so distant in time from the following ones it raises a doubt.
– I am tempted to think the killer picked his/her victims at random, BUT following a specific routine. For instance, selecting a single middle-age male shopper at the store, following him to the parking lot and then to his home, stalking him for a couple days to know his lifestyle, finally shooting him at the appropriate time to avoid witnesses and have an easy escape.
– I totally agree with you on that this serial killer should be relatively easy to track down and bring to justice: by following his routine BACKWARDS, it seems possible to narrow down his hunting grounds and get clues on his own lifestyle. Then all it takes is a little luck or a lot of patience..

– but then I don’t think the potential “Chablais murders” serial killer has anything to do with Chevaline. Most of the distinctive features of the Chablais murders seem totally different from Chevaline to me:

Chablais. One victim at a time. Chevaline. Four victims within 30 seconds.
Chablais. Only male victims. Chevaline. Both females and males.
Chablais. Victims at home or close vicinity. Chevaline. Victims traveling around, shot in wilderness.
Chablais. No physical interaction with victims. Chevaline. Close-range shots, pistol-whipping

The main things we have in common are the use of a firearm (exact type uncertain) and the general geographic area. That’s not much. There are a lot of crimes committed in South-East France, ask Marilyn, and firearms are involved more often than not. Slingshots become less and less popular with criminals. And yes, both cars and houses have windows made of glass, but I guess the killers could have done without!

Basically, any effort to link Chevaline to previous other murders in France boils down to accepting the “lone nutter” theory. But we all know this theory hardly seems plausible any longer given the available evidence. Meanwhile, if I believe there WAS a definite target at Chevaline, this doesn’t imply I easily buy conspiracy theories, unless the word is simply understood as meaning several persons were involved.

8-15-2013 at 13:10:43

“- but then I don’t think the potential “Chablais murders” serial killer has anything to do with Chevaline. Most of the distinctive features of the Chablais murders seem totally different from Chevaline to me: Chablais. One victim at a time. Chevaline. Four victims within 30 seconds. Chablais. Only male victims. Chevaline. Both females and males. Chablais. Victims at home or close vicinity. Chevaline. Victims traveling around, shot in wilderness. Chablais. No physical interaction with victims. Chevaline. Close-range shots, pistol-whipping ”

Now take away the Al-Hilli family, who weren’t meant to be there, what are you left with ?

8-15-2013 at 13:43:42

@ Lynda

Whether they were “meant” to be there or not, the Al-Hillis were at Martinet BEFORE Mollier. And for this reason a serial killer targeting single males should have taken a rain check, canceled his plan for the day and waited for a better opportunity. Like a good hunter.

8-15-2013 at 14:12:58


Chauffeurs are funny. We take the limo sometimes….and in London or New York they always say “I was a (whatever) once you know. I’m just doing this part time”. Where as in other countries they are proud to drive a “big car”.

As for envy in my line of work, nah. Never felt it. My “boss” allows me to do what I love to do. I am more “thankful”. Although an aircraft has to “wipe it bum” so to speak…so when I take the “random” rich you find that there are some nice people…and so “not so” (or rather “bizarre”) people.
One “billionaire’s widow brought her own sandwiches onboard. By that I mean wrapped in tin foil…and “homemade”. Her “hanger onner’s” were a pain. I felt sorry for the poor dear.

A story of “envy” is when I was parked up and waiting onboard in KSA once.
Air Force One came in (President Bush in his first term). His “one 747” had to passby the “row” of the princes’ 747’s. I guess that “he” felt “envy” then.

But true “envy” is when you’re ferrying at 50.000 foot in smooth clear air and you can call the “buses” below that are bouncing around…and tell them you’ve got your coffee balanced on your knee !

But as a pilot for my boss, I am thankful that I get paid well, he tips me when he sees me (or his “bag carrier” does)…and that I am working ! A pilot is like an actor. There are lots of us about….and more bad jobs than good ones on offer.

A note on “bag carriers” in the “Arab World”.
Some are British and ex soldiers. Some are not.
But either or, they have tremendous contact with the “families”. The real high up “bag carriers” can give the “nod” when needed. And of course there are “commissions” involved. There can be many hands involved before the “commission” reaches the right man…and each hand takes a little.

When we consider the case of “Iraq” it is aswell to remember that it was/is a failed experiment. The “plan” was to install a government and a democracy.
However this failed. It was the Shia “religious leader” (I forget his name) that thought at first that it would be a good idea…and then saw how badly it was going (a “half” democracy”). The America’s installed their “government” and chaos began. The “people” were left to try an “live”…and so the “ex Ba’arthist” and the “Islamic Brotherhood” were able to get a toe in the water.

Of course as the America’s were trying to install a government they offered “western” companies 100pc take home of their profits. Could you imagine what “incentive” the “bag carriers” got !
You can build a road that the “government” using loaned money would pay (over the odds) for….and you get to take that profit “out of the country”.
The corruption would be wide spread. And that’s just for “one” road.

I once had the KSA “business model” explained to me by a VVIP Arab on a flight that we were “crewed heavy” on. (three pilots). Rather than sit in “crew rest” this old chap made me sit in the cabin with him. He told me of Arabia from his perspective. From the Egyptian threat in the Yemen in the late 50’s, through the defence of KSA in the 60’s and the arms deals, into the 70’s…and then the 80’s. It was very interesting.

…but anyway. A “long” post. Too long !
I’m sure FB could add to it. He was in KSA.

8-15-2013 at 14:56:13


Thank you for your reply of 2.12 pm. Very interesting.

I suppose ex-soldiers are much sought after as ‘bag carriers’ because they know how to fire from the hip.

Can you tell me if the wealthy Arabs’ wives can give you instructions, or are they very much part of the possessions?

Scott Fitzgerald when still living in Paris said to Ernest Hemingway that the rich are different and the latter replied: ‘Yes, they have more money’.

I suppose you have found this out.

Yes, Iraq is a mess. The question is did we (the West) cause the mess? Now there is Egypt … I just hope while they kill one another they will remember to look after the pyramids.

8-15-2013 at 15:04:11


How do you know the Al-Hillis got to the lay-by first?

I think Lars has a point that the Chablais killings are the work of a serial killer.

Eugene though made a good point that the presence of the Al-Hillis would have stopped him from killing Sylvain Mollier.

Lynda then made a counter point that if one takes the Al-Hillis out of the picture, then the Chevaline killing perfectly fits into the Chablais killings.

In other words the Chablais killer was looking for a male to shoot and saw Sylvain Mollier and did his killing, but … a car-load of people drove up and therefore had to be killed too.

I can not believe that the Chevaline investigators have not thought of such a scenario. I mean, heck, France is *not* a banana republic and our coppers are well-trained.

8-15-2013 at 15:19:12


I think Hemingway was correct.
By that I mean “they” have more money” ..but “they” are equally diverse.

As for some of the Arab women…again it is “diverse”.
I recently carried a princess. Stunning looking…and hilarious.
Which probably made her more stunning.

Of course my “time” in her company was brief. Can I “judge” her life from just a brief period ? I don’t know.

As for Iraq… did “we” make it a mess ? I think “we” didn’t.
The “we” here…are like “they” there.

It was a “mess” before…and it is a “mess” now (just a lot more money was flowing).

I can only relate one story from my limited experience. One aircraft mechanic from Iraq I spoke to said to me “It was hard then, the Americans came…and it is still hard. Nothing changed”.
He was a “normal Joe”. Just trying to make a life…like we all do.

8-15-2013 at 15:23:30


I will mail the article to Marilyn so she can forward it to you. Le Temp’s paywall is a bit strange, there are big holes in it, so sometimes you can read an article sometimes not.

@Eugene, Peter & Lynda

First I want to say that I agree with Lynda, take away the Al-Hilli family and what do you get, a single man shot in a wooded area, probably only with two shots.

So how do you remove the Al-Hilli’s from the scenario, simply by positioning the killer where he couldn’t see (or hear) the family when he started shooting. As I said a failure made by the killer during planning and scouting.

(I could add that the Mercier murder contained close contact with the killer, but I don’t think Mercier ever saw him before he was shot twice in the head. Mercier looks like a pretty tall and muscular fellow, someone I guess you didn’t start fighting with voluntarily.)

I have been through various theories how the Chablais killer chooses his victims, among them some very close to the one presented by Peter above. For the moment I lie closer to Eugene’s idea. I am quite certain that he doesn’t pick them at random. He likes to kill in wooded areas where he can hide and disappear. There are a lot of houses in wooded areas in Haute Savoie. Houses that are very isolated. If the killer just wanted a victim living in a wooded area he could have picked any of these houses and its inhabitants, but he didn’t.

On the other hand it is very difficult to see that these victims have anything in common. I hardly believe that the killer knew these men. I might have met them, but I am not sure. I am at present thinking more along the lines how Kaczynski picked his victim. They were “representatives” for something that he hated. I think that could be the case also in Chablais and Chevaline.

Somewhere he must have picked up their name and started to scout them. As we all know Sylvain Mollier is not easy to find in any open sources and the same goes for some of the other victims.

8-15-2013 at 15:23:53

@ Marilyn, 8-15-2013 at 15:04:11

How do you know the Al-Hillis got to the lay-by first?

I was about to make the same point. In fact, some factoids reported in the media (Saad having SM’s blood on the turn-ups of his trousers) can only be explained by SM already having been shot when the AHs arrived. As Saad wouldn’t have got out of the car knowing that he was stepping into an ongoing murder scene, the events might have unfolded like this: 1. The killer shoots SM off his bike (according to some reports, with three bullets to the back). 2. The killer sees the AHs arriving and hides. 3. The AHs spot the “injured” cyclist and pull into the lay-by in order to render first aid. 4. Saad checks on the cyclist whilst Zainab opens the trunk to get the first-aid kit out. 5. The killer notices that SM is not dead yet, is still moaning and twitching. Saad may well save his life and SM may then give police a detailed description of the killer, or even his name. 6. Only now does the killer decide that everybody on the scene must die. He comes out of his hiding place, firing at Saad and Zainab and the occupants of the BMW.

8-15-2013 at 15:39:04

@Peter & Marilyn

Z. said according to Maillaud that there were no one at Le Martinet when they arrived, ergo no Mollier yet.

I think the blood on the clothes is more uncertain. Could though be explained that Saad and Z. were outside the car when Mollier arrived. The killer started shooting at Mollier from beyond the barrier. Mollier jumped off his bike and ran towards the Al-Hilli to get protection.

8-15-2013 at 15:44:27


I guess you have never come across that flying Brett-Martin in your flying career?

You haven’t heard from a friend, who heard that a friend met him during training, or something like that? I know how these kind of rumours go about when somebody in “the business” is involved in some affair.

I am so curious about this Brett-Martin guy and I am very eager to hear some inside information about him. What kind of guy is he actually?

8-15-2013 at 16:02:44

Something else I would value highly is to get some inside information about the discussion inside the French investigation the first days after the killing. I think these days are the most interesting in the whole investigation.

The question is how could the investigation come so quickly to the conclusion that Brett-Martin is not a suspect, and Sylvain Mollier is just an innocent passer-by. This is the more remarkable since the investigation hasn’t come to any conclusions at all later.

I wrote earlier that a parent who has just lost its child in a crime often is in a (doubly) terrible situation since they must be/are often treated as suspects by the police.

Witnesses are often in the same situation. If you are the first person on a crime scene and there are no other witnesses or technical evidences that show that you must be innocent, your situation is not enviable.

In both these situations you can only hope that the police will handle the situation correctly, and understand how vulnerable these parents/witnesses are.

I think the normal thing in any crime investigation would be to regard Brett-Martin as a prime suspect until proven otherwise (as Max did here early on).

It is also not unusual that perpetrators present themselves as witnesses, especially when the police finds out that they must have been very close to the crime scene at the time for the crime.

However the French police let Brett-Martin leave the country immediately and said that the Mollier couldn’t be the target. Why?

8-15-2013 at 16:12:22

@Lars, I agree the BMW arrived first, pulled in, Saad and Zainab getting out of the car to look at the information sign, I’ve said this in a previous scribe.

So, why would the killer have gone ahead with his plan, why would he want to set SM in his sights ?

What did SM represent to him ?

@Peter, on his trousers, yes, on the ‘turn-ups’ of his trousers, Saad appears to be a jeans and chinos man, maybe FB can confirm his ‘style’.

@James, I bet you have some stories to tell, have you ever worked for a commercial airline ? Do you have or did you have the training and authority to carry a gun ?

8-15-2013 at 16:14:43

@Lars, I think the murderer has been interviewed as a witness.

8-15-2013 at 16:44:33


I am still pretty sure that killer saw and heard the family too late. He had already started shooting. Since his highest priority is never to be seen close to a crime scene his reaction was that he must kill these unwanted witnesses (Al-Hilli).

Had Al-Hilli not been there I guess he had fired two shots at Mollier and disappeared quickly through the forest when he saw that the result was the intended.

What Mollier represented to him is difficult to know. Perhaps he made the same mistake as many journalists and others and linked him to the nuclear industry (through Ugitech). Being a fiery enviromentalist he wanted to kill someone involved in that industry? (but I am just speculating)

Actually I believe it is very difficult to understand exactly how he picks his victims. That’s why I said that it is a much better strategy to catch the Chablais killer first and see what he has to say. (And as I said I got a method that I think would be succesful)

8-15-2013 at 17:22:51


Never flown the big commercials…I fly “private” so things are different.
On VVIP flights there are bodyguards, so things are different.


Again, I fly a different “fleet” and for a different “company” so I have never come across him (triple 7, BA, triple 7 SIM/check).

I will add, I don’t know why he retired.
The triple is “long haul”, maybe he got fed up. I don’t know what BA’s “release” policy was/is…did they have too many 777 “four bars” ?

I think he did “22 years” in the RAF, so I expect he has a pension from them.
That’s a long time. He wouldn’t have been F4 for all that time (even “tactical weapons” in North Wales on the Hawk).

As I say, he may have just got tired of flying….or he got paid off.
His “Co” said he was back in the SIM for Boeing…or was it CRM ? I forget.

Certainly “options trading” and a “B&B in France” …he certainly enjoyed his bike rides of an afternoon. His wife was in England ?

8-15-2013 at 17:24:42

@ Lars

A fiery environmentalist, eh?

I propose a simpler explanation of how the killer picks his victims. I have this guy down as an obsessive (heterosexual) voyeur who has been doing this for a very long time and who, like all major-league fruitcakes, keeps notes on what he has seen, where all the pretty women with easily-accessible gardens live. Once in a while, he stalks his imaginary “rivals”, the men in their lives.

Of course this is pure speculation, but Claire Schutz is a pretty young woman, a veritable magnet for a creature like that. I would assume that the killer regularly watched her, observed SM coming into her life, and resented SM for that.

Two of the Chablais victims had a reputation as womanizers, and I believe that this was – indirectly – what led the killer to single them out: he fancied their mistresses and resented the fact that these men had more than one woman in their lives, whereas he himself did not even have one.

8-15-2013 at 17:47:41

@ Lars

Marilyn kindly forwarded the article to me. Thank you so much. I will read it carefully and let you know. Maybe shall I change my mind..

8-15-2013 at 17:56:03

@Peter, well it would seem our ‘lonely’ killer will soon be able to drive to Zurich and then drive home again !

I agree Peter, not so much jealous as envious of other peoples lives.

8-15-2013 at 19:48:08

Totally of topic:
Sweden just won a gold medal in the World Championships in Moscau (1500m women). Such a thing happens so seldom that it has to be mentioned. 🙂


The fiery environmentalist was more of a joke. But I think that it is more complex than looking at women (who doesn’t 😉 ).

When it comes to Mollier I could also think that he was told by someone that Mollier was a pain in the ass and if someone would kill him it would be a blessing. The killer perhaps just took it too literally. I think he has been looking for new victims constantly during the last two years.

8-15-2013 at 20:09:07

Another question one can think about is why the killer waits half a year between his murders (Chevaline fits very well in that pattern).

I think he does a lot of scouting and planning and probably avoids at all cost to be noticed then, but half a year is still a long time.

It might indicate something in his habits or his occupation but it could also indicate what I said above that the motive is more complex. It takes time to find the right victim and to find the right opportunity to kill him. I also think it is quite probable that he tries several times, but there are too many people around or the victim is not visible and still long enough to shoot.

In the xenophobic shootings in Sweden the killer has shot at persons several times per month, sometimes even several times per week.

8-15-2013 at 20:12:55


Thanks for the answer concerning Brett-Martin.

I hope someday someone will be able to tell more about that man and how he could away from the French police so easily.

8-15-2013 at 21:04:06


You wrote : The fiery environmentalist was more of a joke. But I think that it is more complex than looking at women (who doesn’t?)

Lars, I don’t…


Have a good commenting night.

8-15-2013 at 23:30:41

Does anyone know if Saads BMW was an especially quiet-running kind of a car?

Maybe the shooter has a hearing impediment?

8-16-2013 at 08:09:48


Do have a nice commenting day.


Like he couldn’t hear the BMW approaching? No one has thought of that yet. Maybe he had those mufflers on that shooters do when in shooting galleries?

Speak lata….

8-16-2013 at 10:36:47

@ JCave

Good point. The BMW 5.30 approchaching, possibly in 3rd gear, and then pulling-in at the lay-by couldn’t be very silent. Hard to remain unnoticed, even assuming it was in a blind spot for the shooter.

@ Marilyn

Why not? Maybe that’s why he ended up shouting without realizing.
Or could it be that he was listening to some heavy metal on his iPod, as a tribute to the teenage thugs in “Clockwork Orange”?

8-16-2013 at 11:07:09

@ JCave, Eugene

The noise of the nearby stream alone would have made it very difficult to hear the BMW before it pulled into the lay-by, where the crunch of tyres on gravel could have been quite noisy.

Also, the noise level of a 7.65 Para pistol is just below the pain threshold. If the killer had already shot SM before the Al-Hillis arrived, he would have been temporarily deafened by those shots. Alternatively, he might have worn a motorcycle helmet, which would have saved his hearing, but which would also have made it next to impossible for him to hear a car approaching.

8-16-2013 at 11:32:49

I think more likely to have been in second gear and probably fairly slowly, agree with Peter a motorcycle helmet would mask the sound, then it begs the question that if ‘he’ was unidentifiable why kill everyone ?

8-16-2013 at 11:49:36

@ Lynda, 8-16-2013 at 11:32:49

Well, we are back to the old dilemma: If we assume with Lars that the killer originally targeted SM and somehow overlooked the AH family until it was too late, we make the Chevaline killer *more similar* to the Chablais killer, who targets solitary men. Upon the other hand, this version of events does not satisfactorily explain why the entire AH family had to die, and why the killer came equipped with so much ammunition.

If we assume that the Chevaline killer intended to do something very similar to what he ended up doing, then the similarities with the Chablais murders are scant. If both sets of crimes were committed by the same person, why did he change his game so drastically?

8-16-2013 at 13:42:00

Thanks for yesterday’s responses. I found myself accompanying my stepfather up to hospital for an eye operation. And apologies to Lars for misrepresenting you: it’s not the first time my words have let me down…

I really struggle with the notion that the killer could have been unaware of the Al-Hilli group. The area roped off by the police tape is SO small; it’s virtually just the car park itself which suggests the whole incident played out entirely within that one small space.

What does intrigue me a little however is that, if the killer was already in situ when the Al-Hillis arrived then there must have been a good few minutes before Sylvain Mollier also appeared (that’s combining the two accounts of Zainab and BM). Now of course in some scenarios he’d be simply waiting for Mollier to show up, but in others…? He’s figuring out whether he’s got the wherewithal to take on a target of that size…?

Surely the shooting through the windows simply comes about because the thing’s gone a bit wrong, no? Having rather lost control of things, he’s now faced with a locked car full of people who’ve seen him gun down Mollier. From his perspective, he’s got very few options in that situation in my view…

8-16-2013 at 14:20:27

I don’t think it was so strange that he killed the Al-Hilli family, even though I agree that it was from any angle you look at it quite “unnecessary” (and in fact stupid). Had the killer choosen to run away after the first shots at Mollier none had been any wiser.

Actually I can’t think of any (logical) scenario where it was “necessary” to kill the parents, the grandmother and a French cyclist, but not the girls.

But on the other hand if we have a man who had so carefully avoided being seen for such a long time at every murder scene, and then being confronted with a whole family in a car being witnesses to a murder, I can see that this might be the result.

The killer expected an empty lay-by and only Mollier at the road, and that was what he saw.

The killer probably heard the Al-Hilli family before he saw them. He heard the screams from Saad Al-Hilli to Z., and then perhaps she also started screaming. Everything then happened so quickly. Saad started to reverse the car, and the killer saw the car going pass him. Nobody had much time to think, not even the killer. Nobody can say what had happened otherwise. I guess the killer reacted instinctivly, this was a situation he wanted to avoid at all cost.

The amount of ammunition was a habit, I guess.

8-16-2013 at 14:53:40


I have also struggled with that question.

I started from the assumption that Mollier was the target (why is another story) but why were then the Al-Hillis killed? That seemed very hard to explain at first with the very little information we had directly after the murder. I then created a rather complex scenario to explain that (can be found in the two short stories I wrote in the beginning of this blog).

With the introduction of the Le Monde-scenario it became a lot easier. Then the car had moved from its initial position at the further end of the lay-by to the position where it was found.

With the help of Max I was able to find photos that shows the lay-by from a position beyond the barrier (towards the hairpin bend). It is then obvious that you can’t see a car standing where Al-Hilli’s car was standing initially, when you are just a few meters from the lay-by. This due to the terrain and the shrubbery. This is even more clearly shown in Alex’s video.

Now we also have Z.’s own story that the “bad man” came from that direction.

The killer can’t have been standing waiting at Le Martinet for several reasons. Firstly Z. said that Le Martinet was empty (no people) when they arrived. Secondly had the killer been standing there, even if he stood beyond the barrier, he had seen the car as long as it was on the road, and then probably called off the attack on Mollier.

So the most logical explanation is that the killer arrived at Le Martinet simultaneously with Mollier. Either he was walking a long the tarmac road and the hairpin curve towards Chevaline, planning to shoot Mollier when he met him, or he came through the forest to the lay-by.

8-16-2013 at 17:20:13

I have noticed how not one of you believed Prosecutor Maillaud when he said that Sylvain Mollier was not the target and when he said that the explanation for the killing was in the UK. But you all believed him when he said that Zainab said that there was no one at the lay-by when they got there and that there was ‘one bad man’. Why do you do that?

8-16-2013 at 19:03:28

Maybe because it would be easy for someone other than Maillaud to claim that isn’t what Zainab said.

The ‘not the target’ seemingly more to be an opinion.

8-16-2013 at 19:29:29

Yes Marilyn, I agree with Lynda. None of us (two at least) believe that Maillaud is lying. I, as Lynda, believe it would be very difficult since there are perhaps 100 gendarmes and policemen also working on the case + a number of other people.

I find however some of Maillaud’s conclusions very strange, but there the people working in the investigation can just shrug their shoulders and say, well that is Maillaud’s opinons.

8-16-2013 at 21:32:35


“I have noticed how not one of you believed Prosecutor Maillaud when he said that Sylvain Mollier was not the target”

I don’t know who was the target.
Molier. Al Hilli et al, both of them, non of them.

But how did Eric “know” that Mollier wasn’t the target ?

8-16-2013 at 21:54:03

Or to turn that on it’s head, how did Eric “know” Al Hilli was the target ?

It’s a hell of a statement to make after all.

8-16-2013 at 22:04:40

Maillaud lacks communication skills, I think someone on this blog has already said so, much of his ‘announcements’ are far too personal to him, his ideas, his thinking, this man isn’t ‘driving’ the investigation, he is the monkey, the ‘organ grinder’ remains silent.

For now ……

8-16-2013 at 22:21:58


On the first point, I think the two statements were made more-or-less in tandem with each other…ie…not only was Sylvain Mollier NOT a target, but that in addition, the answer to the crime lay in the UK (and therefore with the Al-Hillis). I believe also that these declarations came very early on, indeed probably in those first few days following on from the shootings. Now it may well be that the investigators have discerned something from the crime scene which supports that…but it does seem a little odd that all further enquiries have seemingly failed to turn up any other pointers…
It was simply such a bold, definitive pronouncement to make so early on…

And on the second point: it would surely be extraordinarily inept – or worse – of Maillaud and his team to misunderstand or misrepresent the ‘testimony’ of a 7 yr old girl who’s just lost both her parents. I actually think it’s quite interesting that he did opt to release some of the crime scene information through Zainab’s eyes…

thanks for your post to me earlier on; I’ll come back a little later if that’s ok..

8-16-2013 at 23:01:33

Lynda’s 10.45 p.m. is very true:

this man isn’t ‘driving’ the investigation, he is the monkey, the ‘organ grinder’ remains silent.

Lynda is talking of Prosecutor Maillaud.

I think he may well now regret his first statements. Of course, he had no idea when he made them that it was not going to be crime which an email from London was going to solve in a couple of days.

Do continue to talk this night, as for me, I am going to do some serial killing myself now.

Speak 2morrow.

8-16-2013 at 23:48:23

Certainly you all played already the game of the negation.

SM is not the target = SM is the target
SAH is the target = SAH is not the target
origin in UK = origin in Savoie(Savoy)
A single bady = several badies.
Etc. …

But those what I love most are:
SM did not know the Martinet = SM knew the Martinet
SM was lost = SM was not lost.
I recommended him the combe d’Ire = I told him of step to go there.

EM and the father-in-law of SM must have read ” The prince ” of Machiavelli, or somebody read it for them.

8-17-2013 at 07:25:20


Silent was the night.

Bacchus though brought some culture to the blog: Machiavelli.

Indeed, Bacchus, we are all staggering around in circles, thinking this today, while having thought that yesterday, and will, yet, tomorrow, think something else.

But we can’t blame our staggering on Bacchus …

If you think the secrecy around this case is weird, let me tell you that two days ago a family of four disappeared while canoeing in south-central France and disappeared. So far we have been told only that they were ‘holidaymakers’. Their surname, ages, nationality we have not been told.

Vive la France.Vive la Republique.

(And if someone can tell me how to type accents on a qwerty keyboard I will be forever grateful. I can type them on ‘Word’ naturally, but not when I am typing here.)

8-17-2013 at 07:50:58


Morning Lars. In response to your post to me yesterday at 14.53…

I’m not sure that Zainab confirmed that the baddie had come from ‘beyond the barrier’. The key phrase used by Maillaud (which I recall and discussed with Lynda) was that the killer had positioned himself ‘amont du parking’. We both thought that probably suggested the killer had come ‘down into the lay-by’. For what it’s worth I have him taking up a position in the bushes overlooking the lay-by, and simply waiting for a suitable target to come along. For me the killings happened at a very specific, and deliberately chosen, place…

Oh and by the way, did you ever come across any reports regarding the police reconstruction of the events of that day? It would be very instructive to know if they’d done it primarily to aid their own understanding of the shootings themselves…or whether it was also designed to jog the memories of the locals who might then have recalled something useful. Did the reconstruction involve the dark-coloured 4WD and the motorcycle, for example..?

8-17-2013 at 09:19:55


You wrote in your 7.50 a.m.:For what it’s worth I have him taking up a position in the bushes overlooking the lay-by, and simply waiting for a suitable target to come along

This is also what I think and I’ve written this in past comments. Whoever was the target of course, the shooter was waiting behind the trees.

As for the reconstruction at the site. It is French policy to stage a reconstruction. It is French law actually. It is to assist the investigators in understanding the crime, of course, but it is also to awaken hidden memories in those in and around the crime scene. The murderer is or the murderers are present if they’d already been apprehended. Always handcuffed and well guarded. Such reconstruction is normally filmed and shown on TV news. In this case, if I remember correctly, it was not shown on television. If the reconstruction had been done by the ‘norm’ then the two girls would have had to be present, unless for some reason they could not be: i.e. they were in hospital or too young and reliving the experience would have been traumatic. I think it was like that with this case. William Brett Martin ought to have been present too. His presence would without doubt have been required.

I am sure that our other commentators will be able to fill you in regarding the reconstruction.

PS: I hope your Dad’s eye op went well.

8-17-2013 at 10:28:28


I don’t remember how Maillaud has worded Z’s answers, we have discussed this several times so someone might remember, but Z was surely not aware that there was a barrier, so she didn’t say anything like ‘beyond the barrier’, but she was able to give a general direction from where the baddie came.

The area above the lay-by and the hairpin curve is very small, as you can see on this photo: Le Martinet, helicopter view, day after, or in this video : Le Martinet, helicopter video.

I think I can count four trees in a row from the lay-by to the hairpin curve. If our scout (Alex) is able to return to Chevaline I hope he will take a look if one can see the lay-by when standing on the road above.

If the killer was standing in that area it would firstly been very difficult to shoot Mollier, even though the lay-by is very small, it would secondly be very easy for the killer to stop Saad Al-Hilli to get back into the car, which the killer didn’t.

A position somewhere near (or on) the road is much easier to explain. I think you need to be there, at Le Martinet, to say exactly where the killer was when he started shooting. I hope I will be able to go there one day.

8-17-2013 at 10:34:07

@Marilyn Re:”canoeing”

Maybe it was another British family….?

The French authorities will then perhaps wait until the tourist season is over before they will tell.

(I know a pretty dirty American joke about canoeing, but I will not tell it 🙂 )

8-17-2013 at 11:23:44

@partlucid, if I recall there was mention of coming from a track.

Brett Martin was there for the reconstruction, he referred to having to wear a bullet proof vest, it’s in his TV interview. Pity you weren’t successful in getting a reply from him, Marilyn.

The day of the reconstruction is when the shots were heard by the gendarme whilst being filmed. Did we ever find that footage again ?

I’ve posted this before from the Facebook account of Laurent Blanchard journalist for M6, 12th September 2012:

#chevaline : un 4×4 blanc vitres tintées quitte les lieux du crime sous escorte. Des témoins ?

14th September 2012:

#Chevaline : Zainab auditionnée, la fillette rescapée n’aurait vu qu’un seul tireur (exclusif #M6)

If you have access it is worth reading his jottings from the hours after the murders, I suspect he has a Twitter Account, never checked.

By the way I think the white 4×4 referred to above probably was that of Philippe Bossy, I posted a link previoulsy of an old white 4×4 being ‘escorted’, TimV said the number plate was a 94, it was a rubbish photo, so maybe it was a 74 registration plate.

I’ll see if I can find it and come back.

@Bacchus, so it is all lies ? Who in your opinion would be able to get away with that ? Don’t name anyone, Marilyn will have a fit !

8-17-2013 at 11:56:15

It took Eric Clouseau quite a while, certainly more than a week, to come to the firm conclusion that the murders had their causes and origins in the UK. By that time, he will have been apprised of witness statements seeing a dark RHD BMW X5 at the scene, he will have learned of Saad’s quarrel with his brother, plus perhaps other facts that he chose not to reveal.

Against that background, his assumption seems a fairly straightforward one.

8-17-2013 at 11:58:45


Maybe Maillaud’s Italian wife is reading ‘Il Principe’ as a bedtime story for him. 😉

8-17-2013 at 12:44:34

He is aware that every word will be analysed, as marilyn says I am sure there are some things he regrets saying.

The comments after the article are interesting, I am looking for the first time he said it was in the UK that the answer would be found.

@Peter, I think it was less than a week.

8-17-2013 at 14:14:51

Completely off topic…. but good for a laugh.

You have to admire the Swiss for “bonkers” ideas.
Introducing the “sex box”.

“Drivers will have to follow a clearly marked route along which up to 40 prostitutes will be stationed”.

Only the Swiss can “station” prostitutes !

But check out the sign. What the hell are they doing !

PS. I was looking through the telegraph for Eric’s “It’s Al Hilli” quotes…and happened upon the article. One of the better quotes for the “news” paper was….. “Al-Hilli police seek white BMW driver”.

A male of female Caucasian driving a BMW ? That narrows it down then !

8-17-2013 at 14:42:50


I think that it was actually the Germans who invented the sex boxes.
Peter can probably confirm that.
The Germans introduced them for a World Championship, either in Athletics in Berlin 2009, or if it was in soccer 2006 (?).

8-17-2013 at 15:11:49


I hoe you means “Peters historical expertise”….can confirm this fact.
Not experience ! He’ll be after you otherwise !

8-17-2013 at 15:32:44

Yes, James I posted the link in French a couple of days ago, I suppose they have to ‘rent’ the space, government collecting the taxes, I laughed at the comment that it would be less disturbing for the locals !

Many years ago, I had a bedsit that overlooked a small public garden, the hookers parading up and down, the kerb crawlers, none of us in the house would ever go out alone, even if it was only to go to the chippy across the road.

Weren’t prostitutes from Eastern Europe bussed in during the Olympics last year, demand was so high.

I love your description, Lars, ‘sex boxes’

James, with you working for rich Arabs, do you ever get to know the reality of what they think of Westerners ? I mean from a ‘Western decadence’ point of view ?

Will the torment in Egypt have any repercussions on your working life ? Nothing to do with Chevaline of course, just interested.

8-17-2013 at 16:20:13

Actually, those sex boxes were pioneered in 1986 in Utrecht (Netherlands). In 2001, Cologne in Germany followed suit.

Apart from the various societal benefits claimed for these boxes, a chief objective seems to be to collect taxes from street prostitutes. At least in some places in Germany, there are vending machines for anonymous tax vouchers next to these boxes: one night of street prostitution costs a flat tax rate of eight Euros.

8-17-2013 at 17:54:44

Thanks for the correction Peter!

There is no limit on what you can learn reading Marilyn’s blog.
Now we also established the history of sex boxes!

8-17-2013 at 19:41:47

@ Marilyn

The MET is reopening investigations on Diana’s death. And this isn’t operation Paget.

8-17-2013 at 20:10:15
8-17-2013 at 20:22:55

Apparently information given to them by parents-in-law of a former soldier ….

8-17-2013 at 21:33:55

Sex boxes!!

I suppose when a man walks by it is going to be a case of : money or the box.

It’s surely so out in the open. The French are much more discreet about such matters.

8-17-2013 at 21:42:58

About Princess Diana’s assassination.

Lynda emailed me the link to the Daily Mail’s article. I thanked her in an email,but again now Lynda, I say,thank you very much.

And I am furious.

As you all know I’ve researched the death of Diana and Dodi and I know she was murdered and I know how it was done. I have a 55-page proposal for the book I plan to write – Scenario of a Death – but my London agent tells me that those publishers he had spoken to told him that they can not offer me publication because the book will endanger my life and they will not be able to protect me. I also offered the book to the publishing company who re-published my ‘Die in Paris’ earlier this year,and the publisher, a very honest and decent man, also told me about two weeks ago that he can not offer me publication and for the same reason as that of the other publishers. I say in my proposal that I do not know the name of the assassin, and even if I did, I could not name him.

I’ve now sent the Daily Mail link to both my agent and my publisher. And I’ve left a provocative comment to the Daily Mail’s article. I will see whether they will publish it.

I will not shut up! Princess Diana was assassinated assassinated assassinated.

There is a conspiracy in England to keep the people from knowing this.

By the way I do not claim that any member of the Royal Family ordered her ‘removal’.I found no evidence of that.

But we will see if there might now be interested in my planned book.

A thought has just come to me. Did one of the publishers who had seen my proposal not hand it to the MET? It was what I always feared would happen.

And will I talk to the MET. No, I won’t.

PS: I checked the Daily Mail.They did not publish my comment.

8-18-2013 at 00:05:50

@Marilyn 07:25

QWERTY : I use a QWERTY keyboard and I haven’t problems in this blog for to write “république” , but I have problems to write other things.

The “vintage” solution is to use the ASCII TABLE (Extended ASCII Codes) with the ALT-Key.

For example : “é” is same that ALT and 130. (press ALT and at same time 1 3 0).

Are you satisfied with my answer ?

For modern solution, please consult MAX.

8-18-2013 at 00:09:00

1 3 0 on numeric keyboard (pad) only.

8-18-2013 at 00:29:38

@Lynda 11:23

“so it is all lies”

– Yes, THE BIG LIE. At the begin of beginning.

Claude Antoine said :

“Parfaitement. J’étais dans mon jardin en train de faire de la petite maçonnerie. Mon épouse n’était pas loin, en train de jardiner. Tout était vraiment très calme …”

“Les jours suivants, on a entendu des coups de feu et vu quelques barrages de gendarmerie en forêt. C’était certainement lors des reconstitutions. “

Lynda what you think about this ?

Perhaps @Bibi have a good answer.

Good night

8-18-2013 at 03:28:55


Good Morning (or good dawn, depending where you are !).

Re the Arab view on ‘Western decadence’.
The VVIP’s can win hands down in a “decadence” race.

How do they feel about “the west” ?
Oddly they do like “aristocracy”. Most likely because it is “order”.
They like “order”. They like keeping “order”.

As for Egypt. That is “disorder”.
I have been there twice recently. And from where I was it looked “calm”.
But to put that in perspective I have also been in Beirut and that’s a cool place. Unlike Washington where it is kind of scary if you go down the wrong street (as in “you might get shot” type scary). They don’t show you that on the TV. Give me Beirut any day.

Workwise…Egypt doesn’t alter things so much. For now !
The “brotherhood” are like the “working class unions”.
I don’t think they’ll “win”. Too much power against them.

And that is strange… didn’t they get elected !
Like it or not, that is democracy.

Maybe the Americans will send them some tanks.
Or a drone or six.
They like fighting “for freedom” ?

That’s when you realise that democracy doesn’t exist….but “it pays the wages”. When I lived in Dubai you realise it is not a democracy…BUT it works. Especially if you’re “up in the pecking order” (i.e. Not Indian).

Funny thing in Dubai, the WHO said workers can’t work in 50 degree heat.
Dubai authorities agreed.
Do you know it never hit 50 when there was a big project on.
Always 49. My car must have been bugged as the “outside temp” gauge showed 52 on some days ! But the radio man said it was 49.
Funny that !

8-18-2013 at 03:50:04


“Apparently information given to them by parents-in-law of a former soldier”.

A living former soldier…or a dead one ?
Or a divorced one who has said too much and isn’t playing ball.

And they didn’t go for the “kiss and tell” but to the police, so that sounds like they have possibly/probably taken legal advice on this.


You’ll have to keep us informed now.
Sounds like your work may well be in demand.

8-18-2013 at 04:48:16


Many moons ago, I met Princess Diana in Glastonbury when she visited an organisation I worked for.
She certainly radiated oodles of charisma and a palpable raw attractiveness.
I would say she was very used to getting her own way and capable of throwing a major sulk on if she didn’t get it. Kid gloves on please everyone.

8-18-2013 at 09:00:56


Thanks Bacchus. I just typed alt130 and nothing happened. Just typed it again and again nothing happened.

JCave – Diana’s husband was cheating on her (remember: there are three in this marriage) so she had all the right in the world to sulk if she could not have her own way. I would have done more than sulk. And where is the third-party now, she’s going to be your next ‘queen’.

James, your info is very interesting. I’ve only been to Israel, Jordan and briefly to Egypt. But I would so like to see the other Middle East states and kingdoms. I also want to return to Egypt,but this seems unlikely now, at least for a while. As for Egypt, who is one supposed to support?

To all of you, re: Diana. Why did the parents-in-law talk now? Maybe the ex-son-in-law has stopped paying alimony and they are p….. off with him so they thought they will get him.

I have a missing link in my book proposal which is who did what was done for the Merc to have crashed. I know who his accomplice was (dead now,conveniently topped) but the actual assassin’s identity I did not know. Could it have been a soldier? Makes perfectly sense. Not your tommy-in-the-trenches type but a trusted ‘man of the forces’ who undertook little tasks on the sideline.

I would love to talk to the parents-in-law. They will certainly have a ‘good’ lawyer who would have guided them to and into the step they had now taken.

Associated Press (AP) broke the story and then Sky News followed with it.

My Cable Co. took Sky News away from me and so too BBC World. If I want to watch the news in English I now do so on Aljazeera English, CNN and RT. RT gives one the news as the others do not. Aljazeera is best. This is because they took the best journalists away from CNN,BBC etc because of the huge salaries they pay, and wonderful perks like living in Doha and having a chauffeured Merc to take you to the bureau.

At the moment I am deep into a novel. I promised the full manuscript for the end of the month. But when it’s done I am going to take up Diana again.

PS: My website has exploded. It is just 9 a.m. and I’ve already had 500 hits today. All seeking info about Diana and reading what I had written about her. The way to go! Somebody is going to get sacked today….

I will now say, have a good commenting day.

8-18-2013 at 10:10:34

Good luck with your book.

8-18-2013 at 10:39:33

@ Marilyn, 8-18-2013 at 09:00:56
Could it have been a soldier?

Surely not 😉 The only potential counterargument I can think of is that, given that the SAS is the armed branch of the PEN Club, everybody involved would have written a book about it by now.
The existence of E Squadron is well known within the special forces community but has not hitherto been discussed publicly. It was formed five years ago to work closely with the intelligence service MI6, and is mainly involved in missions where maximum discretion is required, say Whitehall insiders.

Its role as a small, handpicked force operating with MI6 makes it the modern-day successor to the shadowy cell sometimes referred to as the Increment.

By the way, this idea of killing the driver of a car by blinding him or her with bright lights is an old hat. The East German MfS even planned doing that to a football player who had defected to the West. Whether they actually did it is an open question.

8-18-2013 at 12:16:25


I won’t get involved in the Diana debate and I have no problem with Camilla, the fault in the ‘marriage’ wasn’t just hers, maybe if the establishment hadn’t insisted on the young virgin, life would have turned out differently for all of them.

A bit more information on the link, although last night on Sky News The Sunday People said they had an exclusive.

@Bacchus, are you suggesting it didn’t take place at all ?

@James, thankyou for your insight and as Lars has said we learn something new all the time on Marilyns blog.

8-18-2013 at 12:17:53


Thanks for the links. I will get to them.

The Sunday Express speaks of SAS today.

Oh, Peter, if only you know what I found out, but I am keeping that for the book. The book I’ve been stopped from writing by wimps. Now, I am getting emails in which I am told to write my book ‘quickly’. No, I can’t write it quickly.

8-18-2013 at 12:33:04

Everyone can relax. There won’t be a book from me about Diana’s assassination any time soon. I can do a hash job yes in two months, but that is not my style. What I will put in a book will be exclusive, which means I will speak to those involved – police, doctors, eye witnesses etc etc. As I say in my proposal it will not be a book about Diana’s life but about her death.

Right now I am at the end of a novel. I’ve promised the MS to the publisher for the end of the month, so I am working like crazy. It is very very different from the true crime I’ve been writing and from the ‘Russian’ novel which is with my publisher now but he still has to decide whether to offer for it.

So no quick Diana. I will sit back and see what happens.

I, personally, think the SAS story is not the real story. It is in the right direction, but we will probably never know who the individual was whose action caused Diana and Dodi’s death.

8-18-2013 at 13:15:56

I can’t contribute to your British debate on the British royal family. My knowledge there is simply non-existent. Since I also live in a country with a royal family I can however say something about royal marriages and their relation to reproduction and heirs. I think it is one of the strangest manifestations of outdated ideas in a modern society that you can find. I actually find these ideas as strange as these ‘sex boxes’ mentioned above . But I guess that it is also one of the things that make them (both) attractive to some.

8-18-2013 at 13:27:28


I don’t think you need to hurry on with your book on the death of Diana.
I guess you should always wait until you are fully prepared, collected all material necessary, and the time feels right (as I am thinking about possibly writing a book on Chevaline 🙂 ).

Even if there are several authors working on books right now it is not always the first book on an historic event that will stand the test of time.

I am just now rereading James Boswell’s ‘Life of Johnson’. It wasn’t the first biography about Samuel Johnson, but while the others are forgotten by most people, Boswell’s book is still a classic and reprinted after 250 years.

8-18-2013 at 13:40:40


Sound advice. Thank you, Lars. I will continue with the novel I am writing now and which I want done by the end of the month – and it is already the 18th.

Lars, I am so happy to hear that you are thinking of writing a book about Chevaline. I will be 100% behind you, and I am sure so will be all our commentators.

You need not wait for a conclusion to the case. You can already now get a proposal down on paper and start with the background/atmosphere of the case.

8-18-2013 at 14:26:03

Can one of you tell me what is going on in Egypt because I certainly do not know.

8-18-2013 at 14:56:52


I don’t think even the Egyptians know. They seem to have lost all control of the situation, could lead to some sort of collapse, if it hasn’t already.

8-18-2013 at 15:09:49

@ Lars

I am absolutely delighted to hear that you are considering writing a book on the Chevaline murders. Unlike the death of Princess Diana (sorry, Marilyn, it is not you, it is simply that I have never had much time for that woman), the topic keenly interests me. I hope that you intend to write it in English, though 😉

8-18-2013 at 15:17:57

@Peter & Marilyn Re: writing about Chevaline

Thank you Peter, I can even write it in German if you want to! 🙂

Yes Marilyn, but I still hope that Mr. Brett-Martin will grant you that interview. I am certain that he can add a lot of interesting information that would be very valuable in a book about Chevaline.

8-18-2013 at 16:32:10

Good for you Lars, I couldn’t do it, haven’t kept enough info and don’t have the attention span to write a book.

As far as I’m concerned anything I’ve input into the blog is yours for the taking.

8-18-2013 at 18:35:36

I tend to think something awful is slipping under the radar, when Princess Diana re-emerges news-wise and all the politicians are on their hols.
Pour example . . . UK is bankrupt?

8-18-2013 at 18:46:26

@J.Cave, I wondered what ‘bad news’ it was burying …….

Keep the sheep occupied, I am often appalled by the beatification of the woman, she neither was nor deserved to be.

Did you see some of the interviewed on TV before and after the birth of Prince George, women who were children when she died, ‘oh we want it to be a girl and name her Diana, so one day she’ll be Queen’, at that point I turn off television and vow that I’ll never look at it again, of course I do and to my shame probably only a few hours later !

8-18-2013 at 21:04:52

The book I planned to write about Diana’s death was not to honour her,but to right a wrong. A man has been wrongly accused of her death: Henri Paul,the driver of the Mercedes. I wanted to right that wrong.

I will tell you this, and I say so in my proposal for the book, whatever Diana had the Royal Family gave her, this is from the perfect set of teeth, the perfect hair, and the designer clothes to the money. You will all recall the plump girl in the terrible blue suit as she was on the engagement photos. And you will recall the tall, slim, blonde in the tight white Versace pants on the night she got into the Mercedes to go to her death. I believe that she loved Charles when she married him. I also believe that he never loved her. Camilla was the woman of his life; I mean he was so mad about Camilla he even wanted to be her tampax.

I believe she fell for Dodi. He was a goodlooking man and very generous. And he was wealthy. And that was what Diana wanted in life and from life. As she said: ‘he has all the toys’. Show me the woman who would not fall for that. Yes, maybe Mother Theresa would not have.

My book would have started on the Saturday,August 30, 1997,the couple just having arrived at Le Bourget Airport, and from there I would have taken it through that day and night and the investigations and the verdicts and the final verdict. I would have shown that Henri Paul had not killed Diana and Dodi. I would have shown who had done it and how.

However – I am finishing a new novel now, and that has all my attention now.

Lynda, I did not watch Diana’s televised funeral. My husband and I went out that day, but we videod it for a friend who was working and who wanted to see it. I still have not watched that funeral,but I’ve seen the bits with Elton John signing. I always thought that Diana was stupid, that many women were going through what she was going through and they were not to be the Queen of England one day. I thought she should have kept quiet and her revenge would have been the day of her coronation along with Charles at Westminster Abbey. She was after all also having affairs. So what was the problem. Maybe it was that Charles was publicly humiliating her not because that was his intention, but because he was Heir to the Throne and his every move was scrutinised by the media.

Anyway, I feel about royalty as Lars does, but I also feel about justice as Lars does and in the case of Daina’s death an injustice has been done.

Voila. Now, I may not talk about ‘Lady Di’ again as the French still call her.

8-18-2013 at 21:38:29

@Marilyn, I agree that Henri Paul was not guilty of any crime, had he been ‘told’ to drive under influence and the teller knew that he’d been off duty drinking, then who exactly is at fault, especially if you can’t say ‘no’.

That being the case I’m sure that the Paul family will be grateful to anyone that can clear his name…… can you imagine living with that as a memorial.

Not so unlike the blame being laid at the feet of Zaid Al-Hilli, me thinks.

8-18-2013 at 22:00:29

I found the this shooting in Haute Savoie 01/02/2011 Trois balles tirées contre la maison du député maire
I don’t think they found the perpetrator.
Interesting because of the place and the “weapon” used “22 long rifle”.

8-18-2013 at 23:51:22

I think Princess Diana wanted to be respected more than loved but unfortunately her tendency to be an airhead mitigated against that.

However I hope she want offed just because of her petulant brattishness. What kind of a world do we exist in when this is acceptable.

8-18-2013 at 23:51:23

I think Princess Diana wanted to be respected more than loved but unfortunately her tendency to be an airhead mitigated against that.

However I hope she want offed just because of her petulant brattishness. What kind of a world do we exist in when this is acceptable.

8-19-2013 at 00:09:47

@Lars, Bonneville, seen that name before.

8-19-2013 at 07:16:33


I was going to open a new thread this weekend but was otherwise engaged. I see little hope that I will be able to do it this week. I’m trying to finish a novel. Actually, I’ve set myself a deadline to finish it by the end of the week. Time passes fast. If I start getting mixed up with my characters at night in a dream/nightmare then it is time I finish the writing.

Have a nice commenting day.

Speak later.

8-19-2013 at 09:51:41

Bonneville got a mention in this article which I posted on the first thread. Woah that was a comment-heavy thread.

About drug bust in Faucigny. Cars were impounded including a BMW

8-19-2013 at 10:28:37


I can guess in connection with what you seen the name Bonneville. 😉

I should have added the following link above Tir de balles sur la maison du député maire : les rumeurs vont bon train

What should be noted in that short article is what M. Martial Saddier says “De plus, le préfet et le procureur m’ont informé qu’une enquête avait été commanditée concernant la procédure de construction de ma maison puisque la rumeur laissait entendre que j’aurais construit sur un terrain non constructible.”

I guess there is a lot of tension in the area because very rich people buy properties that the local people can’t afford to buy, or build in areas where the local people think you shouldn’t build. This is a phenomenon known over the whole western world, but perhaps especially in places like Haute Savoie and the Rivieria.

M. Saddier, though he is born in Bonneville, seems to think that this tension can make someone shoot through your windows.

I have not been able to find anything more about this incident.

I would very much like to know where he has his house, if it is close to a wooded area, but since he is a pretty important politician I have not been able to find his private address.

8-19-2013 at 10:45:31

@ Lars, 8-19-2013 at 10:28:37

It sounds as if the house was still being constructed and Saddier did not live there yet when the shots were fired through the windows.

Otherwise, it would be a clear case of Saddier being saved by his double-glazing. As you can see from the photos, the windows are double-glazed. Hitting a target with a .22 LR bullet fired through a single pane of glass is tricky enough, with double-glazing, it is almost impossible.

8-19-2013 at 10:50:03

The more I read about Haute Savoie, the more I am reminded of Twin Peaks by David Lynch, though they have many peaks in Haute Savoie.

All these very rich people mingled with the not always so rich local people, and the possibility to get very rich by selling properties to, or serving, the tourists. It seems to create an atmosphere that is not totally healthy. There is of course also the proximity to the Italian and Swiss borders, with some smuggling, and Geneva with its banks.


Have you been flying any SA sheikhs from Geneva lately? I just read that a multimillionaire sheikh left his Geneva hotel without paying his 100 000 € bill. 🙂

8-19-2013 at 10:53:28


Yes, the house was then under construction, and it was the builders who found the bullet holes.

I think I added a zero too much above. I think it was a 10 000 € bill.

8-19-2013 at 12:17:15

@ Marilyn

My granny used to say: If it looks like a duck, if it walks like a duck and if it quacks like a duck, it’s gotta be a duck.

Applies to the Princess of Wales’ fatal crash:

Operation Paget official report (Verbatim)


French Dossier D2599
On 25 May 1997 the vehicle steering geometry and wheel alignment were checked and minor adjustments made. This followed the theft of the car in April 1997 after which some repairs were carried out. There were no further reports of unsatisfactory handling.

14. Electronic Control Units
The French investigation reported the presence of stored data codes within some of these units. David Price concluded that no additional testing was possible. He considered that the conclusions reached by the French investigators, that the codes had been created at the time of the crash, were most probably correct. (As mentioned Page 424)


17. Interference with the Car
No evidence was found of anything attached or having been attached to the car that could have affected its control.
Specifically, there were no signs of patches of adhesive, no non-original holes drilled into the bodyshell and no unusual wiring, other than that apparently added for the telephone system fitted at the request of Etoile Limousine.
Nothing considered likely to have affected control of the car during the approach to the crash was found. David Price found no other anomalies or points of interest in his examination of any of the other components of the car. (As mentioned Page 425)

I tend to think so many concerns were there being dismissed without appropriate inquiry that it raises serious suspicion that the car had been “fixed”. Why it was used that night instead of others is unclear. But Etoile Limousine only started its business in 1996, a year before, with a substantial fleet of vehicles, none other of which had experienced handling issues nor had been “stolen”. Unusual.
It couldn’t hurt to have the driver under the influence, a wonderful cover, even though chronic alcoholics tend to remain quite capable of driving safely to a fairly wide extent. By all accounts, the Mercedes wasn’t over 70 mph, a speed at which such a car is rather easy to control.

8-19-2013 at 14:19:35



I know the one about the duck.

I can not discuss with you here what I know. I studied the Paget report as well as the thousands of other documents. The French are keeping their investigation secret, which is, as you will know, how they do things.

I know what there is to know about Etoile Limousine and the Merc: how it was chosen, who decided that it would be used and who decided it etc etc.

I know what there is to know about Henri Paul,the driver.

I know that the Merc was not ‘fixed’.

For three years now I’ve known all of this and much more. And I am bloody furious because two agents have done nothing to find me a publisher. The current agent emailed me this morning in reply to my email to him and he said that the new ‘twist’ is interesting. There is no bloody new twist. What was revealed last weekend I have in my book proposal which he has and which tells me he never read it.

I am however at the moment finishing a novel – I want it written by this weekend – and next week I have to reread it and then it will go to a publisher who is waiting for it. As for Diana, I will get back to that soon.

8-19-2013 at 16:23:19

I have now received an answer from the Swedish journalist Gunilla von Hall.
She was however not willing to admit all the errors she made in that article yet. I’ll keep you posted of the developments. 🙂

8-19-2013 at 16:54:11


So Gunilla von Hall replied. A point in her favour.

I normally classify people who I do not know personally in two categories: (1)Those who reply to emails. (2) Those who do not reply to emails.

8-19-2013 at 17:04:18


I agree but I would divide the first group in

1a) those who give good and relevant answer
1b) those who just write a lot of b******t

The right thing for Gunilla von Hall to do was to do a “poodle” (see explanation above) and just admit that she was illinformed.

8-19-2013 at 17:11:01


I remember that you have said that they still produce the ammunition to Luger P06 in Italy (and George added that they do as well in Switzerland, if I understood correctly). Does this mean that the Luger P06 was also used a lot in Italy? Is that the reason why they manufacture the ammunition?

8-19-2013 at 17:37:21

@ Lars, 8-19-2013 at 17:11:01

Fiocchi are a major ammunition manufacturer, they produce pretty much every sort of ammunition there is.

Regardless, the calibre 7.65 Para. is comparatively popular in Italy, because Italy has (or at least used to have, I’m not sure) a law prohibiting civilian use of “military” calibres such as 9 mm Para. As 7.65 Para. is very similar to 9 mm Para., it is a good substitute.

Whether that implies that the P06 was also prevalent in Italy, I don’t know. Probably more so than in other neighbouring countries except Switzerland.

8-19-2013 at 20:54:24

@Lars, Peter

dont know how credible but this might be interesting for you

“Die 7,65 Para ist in Italien sehr beliebt. Da die 9 Para in Italien dem Militär und den Behörden vorbehalten ist, weichen dort viele Schützen auf die Flaschenhalspatrone um. Ausserdem ist gerade bei der 08 die Funktion sicherer als mit der dickeren Patrone. Zudem noch weniger Rückstoss und mehr Präzision.
Wie beliebt die 7,65 Para in Italien ist zeigt folgender Umstand. Bei Waffenauktionen in der Schweiz, gehen schweizer Parabellums, die unter sFr 1000.- zum Zuschlag kommen, in der Regel nach Italien.”

8-19-2013 at 21:39:50

Thanks Peter and George!

I interpret what is said in that forum.waffen-link as pretty much a support of what Peter said above.

I tried to search a bit myself but I can’t find any support for the idea that the Luger P06 has been used on a larger scale, like the military or the police, in Italy.

8-19-2013 at 21:45:31

This is the last time I will mention Princess Diana.

The story about her assassination by a SAS soldier is a story which would have received no media attention had it not been summer – the silly season. Apparently, two years ago the former parents-in-law of a SAS sniper had written to his commanding officer to complain about his erratic behaviour and that he was saying that Princess Diana had been assassinated. He did not say that he had killed her though as has been reported in the media. The story about the Diana assassination came out only now because this SAS sniper was a witness for the SAS sniperDanny Nightingale in the latter’s recent trial and the prosecution wanted to blacken him and therefore produced the letter from the former parents-in-law. MI6 does use SAS.

If I say anything more I will have to kill you all.

So instead I will say: have a nice commenting night.

8-19-2013 at 22:30:59

@Marilyn, I picked up what you’ve just written, basically it is being discounted as anything serious. Respecting your enquiries, I look forward to one day reading your evidence and conclusions.

I think I’ve already mentioned that I’ve had one foot in Italy and one in France, up in the alps near Montgenevre.

There is no real demarcation, just a sign. I haven’t been to Mont Blanc although I’ve seen it from above the clouds, whilst still on land. It is wonderous to stand and look at the peaks that for so many are only viewed from the charter flight that takes them and me, to and from our holiday destination.

What I’ve noticed recently is that many of the names being mentioned here are of Italian origin, have we always been looking in the wrong direction ?

Maybe it is isn’t such a surprise being so close to the border.

8-19-2013 at 23:50:13


Interesting titbit for you. (re “the views of the Arab world” previous post)

I note the Emirati has had “his”/”their” pay increase.
70 pc and 100pc in some cases. This to “avoid” an “Arab Spring”.
Happy People don’t make war.

Assad looks like he’s getting “in control”.
Some worry about backing the wrong horse.

And Egypt…all eyes on them.
The “official view” is the “elected gov” had dealings with the “Hez”.
That is illegal.
Therefore the “elected gov” operated illegally and were removed.
The worry is “civil war”. The further worry is how to “contain” a civil war.

8-20-2013 at 00:40:16


The “adim” pay the bills.
I fear the hotel may have to apologies to the Sheikh for publishing the possible oversight….or the manager may be looking for a positions vacant…
….if he is not already !

8-20-2013 at 07:14:32

@Marilyn on 8-18-2013 at 14:26:03

I’ve kept busy …

Developments Arab Spring Egypt’s Revolt Explained

Added a comment with link to article – Egypt’s Revolt About Its Identity and Culture.

Background on powers behind the scene – MB Axis Egypt – Turkey – Qatar Faces Defeat.

Perhaps you even want the name of the person who killed Lebanon’s PM Rafiq Hariri? The ICC trial in The Hague is following the wrong lead …

8-20-2013 at 07:19:58

The whereabouts of your loved one? Technology of stealth sms discussed by Dutch police …

How To Locate A Mobile Phone
With the use of this app, you can easily track your loved ones wherever they are in this world. Whether you want to know their exact position or who they interact with each day, this app can help you out. Take a look at this program at: SMS Locator Software Program.

Tip: keep your iphone inside a Faraday’s cage. Use a virgin phone when traveling to the Haute Savoie.

8-20-2013 at 07:20:08


Early I am today: I want to catch the worm and the early bird always does so.


re: Egypt.

Thank you for your explanation of what is going on in Egypt. In a nutshell you explained it perfectly. Now I can tell others who are asking me what is going on in Egypt and to whom I had to say I do not know.

re: Revolution

Yes, you are right. Look at peaceful Switzerland. As for France, there is so much discontent here in this country, soon now Paris’s Fresnes prison may be stormed … (seeing the Bastille no longer exists).


re: Diana

I agree with you, Lynda. It is a story which the tabloids should not have made such a thing of, but anything to sell a newspaper.


Last night at ten there was yet again a shooting in Marseilles. A man in his twenties in a car was ambushed by two men, each on a scooter, and shot dead. It was the 13th such killing in Marseilles this year. And we think Haute-Savoie is the place for such stuff.

And oh yes, I mentioned a family of four having disappeared during a canoeing outing. Well, it was not a family of four, but two couples, and they’ve been found. They’d gone into an area of the lake on which they were which was dangerous and forbidden, so they became scared, abandoned the rented canoe and set off home on foot. On Sunday a motorist had gone to the gendarmes to say that he had given ‘hikers’ a lift from the lake that day and so they were found. The two couples claimed they did not know that 50 gendarmes which included a team of frogmen and two helicopters were looking for them. They’ve not, apparently, broken any law by not having come forward – or for having abandoned the rented canoe – but they are going to be given the bill for the search: 65,000 euros.

Have a nice commenting day.

By the way, this is the 500th comment on this thread.

8-20-2013 at 08:07:10


I see you beat me to it this morning. My 7.20 was therefore not No. 500, it was your 7.14.

I read your Boomantribune on Egypt on Sunday night. I thought ‘Vow, Oui understands what is going on there’. Very good piece, Oui. I admire you.

Your howtolocateamobile phone is frightening. Is there then no place to hide?

Oh yes, I am interested in the Hariri assassination. France is always very prominent with Lebanese news because of the two countries’ past ties. I remember when the Lebanon was called the ‘Switzerland of the Middle East’. Nothing stays the same does it?

8-20-2013 at 09:23:00

@Marilyn Thanks!

I Love the French (people), the state and intelligence compete with global evil for position #1 …

There was always rumoured a link between an hired sharpshooter from Marseille maffia in the plot to assassinate JFK in Dallas. Fatal shot from the railway overpass. Just a few days ago found another French connection difficult to grasp its value. If you want to lose all hope for humanity, an interesting documentary on Al Jazeera on the French African Connection and the Jacques Foccart network. A blue print how intelligence agencies operate.

Keeping true to the Cold War era, new documents have been declassified. CIA admits complicity in role with the British to overthrow Mossadeq of Persia (Iran) on August 19, 1953 … 60 years ago. The West loves democracies … NOT!

8-20-2013 at 10:59:28


Ah, Jacques Foccart. Those were the years of sanctions against ‘apartheid’ South Africa and when the French were breaking them every day.

The African heads of state hated Foccart but at the same time kissed his a…. so that he would continue to fill their begging bowls.

After Foccart there was Mitterrand’s son in charge of Africa. The Africans called him ‘papa-m’a-dit’. They, too, hated him, but that part of the anatomy of Foccart they used to kiss, they too kissed of Mitterrand’s son. The Mitterrands! Oh yes. I am sure Madame Mitterrand was in love with Nelson Mandela …

But that is another story.

Thanks for the links.

8-21-2013 at 07:46:34


I was updating wordpress yesterday evening and red lights started flashing. Next the fire alarm in the apartment went off and in the following minutes not only the fire brigade drove up but so too the police, some of them in protective clothing. I nearly fainted. Like the passenger in the toilet when the plane crashed and wondered what button she had pushed to have crashed the plane, I too was wondering what button I had pushed. There was hammering on my front door and before I could get to it to open it, it was broken down with something that looked like a 14th century cannon, one like those they have on ramparts in France’s medieval villages …

Ok, I am exaggerating a little …

The nitty gritty of the matter is: a gremlin wanted to have fun and all comments to blogs on my website were closed.

Coming on-line this morning the problem had solved itself during the night.

Anyway, have a nice commenting day.

8-21-2013 at 09:02:02


These gremlins are certainly a nuisance! 😉

8-21-2013 at 09:03:04

Geography & History

I have started to look a bit closer on the geography and history of Haute Savoie. Not that I believe that it has anything directly to do with the Chablais & Chevaline killings, but it could perhaps have had influences on the family histories of the persons involved and thus offer clues to certain events. It is always better to know than not to know.

First of all I must say that my own knowledge, even after this year, was pretty limited. I have had a very rough picture of the geography (I have after all been there once) and history of the area, but that is all.

Let’s start with geography:

First of all none of the Chevaline victims came from Haute Savoie. Al-Hillis of course not, but Sylvain Mollier came, as we all know, from Ugine which lies just outside the “border” of Haute Savoie (in Savoie). Actually Le Martinet lies only about 3 km from the Haute Savoie “border”.

I have used the term the “Chablais-killings” for a number of other murders in Haute Savoie. In this group I have also included the murder of Gregory Mercier. However Etrembières, outside of Annemasse, where he was killed is not situated in Chablais but in the province Faucigny. So I guess it should really be called a “Faucigny-murder” but I think I will keep the Chablais-killings as a collective name.

The Mont Blanc tunnel is the main route to Italy from Haute Savoie and starts in Chamonix. On the Mount Blanc the borders of France, Italy and Switzerland meet, but if you, like Lynda, want to stand with one foot in one country and the other foot in another country, or perhaps stand in all three countries at the same time, I guess you have in this case to be an experienced mountaineer.

Chamonix is thus one of the main borders areas (to Italy) in Haute Savoie, the other is the region around Annemasse-Geneva (to Switzerland, with Lake Léman). There are also some crossings along the “eastern border” to Switzerland (from Châtel and Evian-les-Bains).

Important cities:
Annecy (préfecture), sous-préfecture: Bonneville, Thonon-les-bains and Saint-Julien-en-Genevois. These are the cities you go to to handle legal businesses.
Biggest cities in the area are Annecy and Annemasse. As I said before there are a “commissariat de police” (i.e. not the gendarmerie) in Annecy, Annemasse and Thonon-les-Bains

History of Haute-Savoie:

On the history of Haute-Savoie I knew even less. The modern history, after the second world war, is the period that is of interest here, and I have so far found very little. Haute-Savoie was occupied by the Italian fascist regime (Mussolini) during the WW II, but what happened thereafter I don’t know. I think the movements of people across the borders after the war is of interest. It seems that these movements have historically mainly been between Italy and France, and that it then has been the “Italian” population moving back and forth depending on where they could find work, while the French and Swiss populations seems rather stable. Due to the then poorer population in Italy there seems to have been an emmigration to France to get an income.
I guess there could have been some tensions between French families and families with an Italian background after the war (though I haven’t found any proof for that).

Since Haute Savoie definitely was an area where the war was very present it was also an area where weapon was stashed away by different parts of the French resistance movement, probably also forgotten here and there.

8-21-2013 at 14:07:00

Hi, back from holiday. After a 3+ weeks news/internet blackout I learned that they are still after Zaid?

I gave this some fresh thought. I have not changed my mind much, still the same ‘facts’ around to be fitted.

To kill AH at Martinet seems bizarre to me
I’m not convinced there is a RHD BMW X5
I’m not convinced by the ONF statement (on which the X5 is supposedly based)
Some think Zaid is the ‘baddie’
What about GS(M)?

I’ll coin another ‘baddie’ … GS(M)

GS is the overprotective type (first PM as brother, now CS as daugther)
GS wants to get rid of SM
GS can handle a gun(?) and gets her hands on a Luger + 3 mags
GS waits for SM at Martinet
Upon seeing GS, SM smells trouble
SM tries to run, drops bike but is shot in the back
GS has to eliminate adult AH’s (witness)
GS has some luck when AH’s BMW gets stuck
GS beats up Z (this is the only troubling detail I have)

TS, CS and most of all PM … protect GS
Perhaps ONF plays along by ‘inventing’ the X5 and thus redirecting the case to nomansland UK/AH

Moral: As long as the ONF/X5 sticks, GS and friends are in the clear

– M

8-21-2013 at 14:43:30

@Max, hope you had some happy hols !

I too think the ONF ‘tale’ is fake.

The white 4×4 seen at the time was that of Philippe Bossy, I bet he did drive fast down the hill from Le Martinet, no doubt encouraged by the women to get away from there fast.

That is why ‘this’ vehicle isn’t missing.

I agree, as Lars has said it is the most strange place to kill off a family, if Saad were an informer, agent, whatever, that could have been done much more easily and left the women and children unharmed.

8-21-2013 at 15:09:29


Like Lynda I too hope you had a happy holiday.

I can see you did some thinking during it.

Yes, Zaid still has a few days to wait to hear whether his bail is being lifted. It must be a stressful time for him.

Max, you have no idea how I missed your abbreviations. Each night I had these nightmares that you were not to return and never again would I have the opportunity to query an abbreviation.

But mercifully you have returned, and I am able to ask you who/what is GS(M) and who/what is TS? I understand you are protecting all of us here by using abbreviations, but your analysis sounds so plausible that I would really like to know who/what you mean. If you do not want to tell me here on the blog, can you pop the names on to an email. Thanks.


Strange, yes, is the lay-by for killing off a family, but not strange if it were the last opportunity to have done so because the Al-Hillis were about to return to the U.K. (No,Lynda, I won’t mentioned somebody else …)

8-21-2013 at 15:36:50


GS(M) is the wife of TS, the mother of CS and the sister of PM … Of course she could be just the poor unlucky mother/sister, but it IS intriguing that by her brother she is connected to a great mystery killing and by her daughter she is connected by yet ANOTHER great mystery killing. Now what are the odds on that? … Sure would make her the most notorius french female killer;)

The holidays? I was in Castres. One day we were walking around and I saw the hq’s of the local ONF … lol, normally you would not give this another look, but you know, with the ONF as a key element in this killing, the words ‘Office National des Forêts’ were enough to give a twinkle in my eye … but the rest of that 3 week holiday were a near complete news/internet blackout;)

– M

8-21-2013 at 15:39:21

Yes, welcome back from the refreshing holiday, Max.

To Marilyn: S = Schutz (almost always), first name you might figure out.

8-21-2013 at 16:37:02

@Max and @Lars

Thanks for the explanations.

Lars, I worked out the S, but the G got me.

Max,maybe she is just unlucky,but as you say, how extraordinary. I suppose the coppers did think of this. Or do they think?

A news blackout is what I need. Some days I do not watch news on TV or listen to it on the radio and that is always the day when something interesting happens which then decides me that I *must* not switch off like that.

8-21-2013 at 17:31:38

I’m posting this news, it is in the region, unlikely to be connected, just that if we are being followed by the murderer on this blog, here are the people you are one day going to see walking up your driveway:

That’s some kit !

On another note, Moubarak appears to be heading towards liberation under certain conditions, has re-paid the 1.5 million Euros – will be interesting to see how this unravels.

8-21-2013 at 17:34:30

My van broke down near Castres once on a Sunday evening. I was three days late arriving in St Martial. I expect things are better now.

I also discovered that when I asked at the petrol pumps to “fill her up” . . . . I was in fact saying “Make me pregnant” Ha Ha.

8-21-2013 at 19:18:52


Makes me wonder how they responded “Sounds like a reasonable request….” and how they told that story in the bar on the following days “Strange people these foreigners…”

8-21-2013 at 20:33:13


re: how French cops dress.

That’s the world we live now, Lynda. I can well imagine what will happen if they turn up in a suit and tie, as Eliot Ness used to do.


What was ‘fill her up’ in French?. Knowing it, may come in useful.


I also would have liked hearing what they were saying in the bar. ‘Une anglaise, mon dieu!’ They think English women are all frigid and Englishmen are all gay (a French PM, Edith Cresson, actually one day said that about the men). I mean whatever has happened to ‘no sex please, we’re English?’ The French however believe that Swedish girls are all nymphomaniacs. Odd, that is a word one never hears anymore these days and I had to look up how to spell it.

8-21-2013 at 20:49:07

@Marilyn Re: “Swedish girls are all nymphomaniacs”

I don’t know if I should say “I wish they were”, but that wouldn’t be political correct, and I am no certain that I actually wish it. 😉

I think that the rumour was created by some Swedish movies during the fifties and early sixties. These movies were however more of an expression of dreams by some male filmmakers and the possibility to speak freely about such things in Sweden, than a description of the situation in the country at the time. Especially the fifties I remember as a rather prudish decade in Sweden.

8-21-2013 at 21:13:30

‘no sex please, we’re British’ !

That aside, as far as I can ascertain, all our ‘findings’ relate to the internet, we copy stuff from the French or British Press, we do our digging, turn up oddities.

If any of you have been subject to press or more recent internet invasion, you will know how wrong they can be, a sly comment from a competitor, a disparaging view on your hotel, TRIPADVISOR, leaves me wondering, is any of the ‘stuff’ we read on the outskirts of MSM, (for Marilyn – Main Stream Media), worthy of attention ?

Some maybe, mostly not, as it is heavily weighed with opinion and playing to those that want to read about the ‘devil incarnate’.

Bacchus was able to enter into Hades and return, I will not say I have been to hell, although I have been in the pit and wondered why clamber out.

Obviously I did, I just wonder how low do you get to be able to commit a multiple murder, I remain with the thought that the original target was just one man, then it went out of control.

Maybe we need to turn the attention towards who is capable of these murders ?

How was he dressed and how could he escape unseen ?

Call me naive, irrational and so much more, if this is an intelligence hit why hasn’t it been written off, TV and newspapers at the ready for the 5th September.

8-21-2013 at 22:15:07


French guys really go nuts over Swedish girls. There is also a myth that all French men are wonderful lovers. I’m not really the one to confirm or trash such a belief.


Thanks for the MSM explanation – I’ve seen it around here and wondered whether it has something to do with Microsoft. Now I know. Must though ask: what is considered Main Stream Media? Would The Times of London be it? What about the Daily Mail, the People? What about CNN?

re: being low to commit multiple murder.

I wrote about a cheated wife who fed her husband sleeping pills,then hammered him to death, and then she cut up his body.She was not however finished with the him yet as she then burnt the remains before she buried it. Happened here in France and not so long ago. His head is still missing. She’s doing time now.

How does a killer dress, you wonder. Like you and me if it’s a woman, like Lars, Peter, Alex etc if it’s a man.

What do they look like? Also like us, although some do have a killer look: staring eyes like Dr Petiot for example. From the time I wrote that book about him I’ve never felt quite the same way about eyes. I tend to look at someone’s eyes first these days and if what I see there I do not like I quickly go for the exit.

However, it is said that we all have a kind side and a cruel side in our face. Do the half-face test and you will see that this is true. Cover one side of a face on a photo and next you cover the other side of the face, and you will see two different people: one kind,the other cruel.

Anyway, someone is about to say we are talking rubbish yet again here on this blog, so I will say – have a good commenting night.

Speak tomorrow.

8-21-2013 at 22:42:29


Since I am still exploring a possible link between the Chablais and the Chevaline killings I am thinking very much about how the killer picks his victims. I don’t believe they are picked at random. I’ve got the feeling that there is some kind of system or idea behind it.

If I could understand that idea it would be an indication that I am on the right track (or otherwise that it is wrong).

The victims seem to have nothing in common and they seemed also not to have known each other. I don’t believe that any of them could help us with a motive.

The motive lies with the killer.

Then as you said one can wonder how he gets away unseen. “Normally” you hear witnesses say things like “we saw a man running from the scene…”, “we saw a motorcycle/car speeding away from the scene…” or “strange people were seen in that area at the time of the crime…”.
But in all these killings not a single witness has seen anything suspicious. I think the killer is very careful, and that he uses the terrain/forest to disappear from the crime scene. So he is probably a person used to move around in the forests and mountains of Haute-Savoie. But still, at the end he must get to some sort of vehicle to get home, and he can’t walk around for miles. So there must be something about him, that even if he is seen somewhere nearby, nobody suspects him.

I have just read that Gregory Merciers father intends to put up an Internet site to collect ideas and suggestions how that case can be solved. I might contact him then.

8-21-2013 at 22:55:11


I think you can safely thrash that idea. It is strange though that such ideas can still be thriving today in our international society. One should have guessed that we knew by now that the person and the personality matters more than nationality or race.

Dressed for killing:
Perhaps the killer is dressed like an old farmer woman? I think it would be an excellent disguise. Who would think that and old woman who goes muttering to herself in the forest is really a man who just shot some innocent people?

8-21-2013 at 23:34:38


Thanks for setting out the French policy on crime scene reconstructions – interesting that they’re mandatory by law…and my stepdad’s ok thanks; he had a detached retina which now sees him spending the best part of 20 hours per day resting his head on just the one side…


particular thanks Lars for that overhead video you linked for me. It gives an excellent view of the road as it climbs up after the hairpin bend at Le Martinet. Given that I had previously proposed that SM’s main interest in the Combe d’Ire was probably that climb…then I’m now prepared to accept your video as Conclusive Proof..!


Happy holidays, I hope you had.
I think there probably was a RHD BMWX5. I can’t think that they’d have issued a Crimewatch appeal for something merely speculative. The details were that it’d been seen about 20 minutes BEFORE the shootings, on the Combe d’Ire road, and about 2km from Le Martinet. To me, that would seem to pretty much tally with Brett Martin’s account of things…in which case the BMW would have been moving back down (harmlessly?) towards Chevaline. Interestingly the police seem to have somehow firmed up the identification in the interim, because of course initially the vehicle was simply dark-coloured, and they hadn’t been able to pin down a make either. Perhaps Brett Martin responded well to the hypnosis…or maybe the ONF or some other bystander along the route was able to add to the description. To my mind though, it smacks as much as anything of an innocent sighting of somebody who simply didn’t want to ‘get involved’…though obviously the police would be very keen to speak with them.

8-22-2013 at 00:52:08

@partlucid and all

Suppose the ONF guy dropped off GS(M) at Martinet

He didn’t came forward directly (because he was ‘in’)
He was able to tweak his story based on what BM stated
BM saw ‘a car’, perhaps BM saw the ONF car after ‘drop off’
But the ONF guy (knowing BM only saw his car vaguely) tweaked his car into the non-existing X5 (and diverting attention to AH/UK)
Remember that ONF denied seeing BM (why this extra ‘deny’?)
Remember that BM saw a car possibly a 4×4 (now saying 4×4 means a ‘landrover’ type imo, not a X5)

– M

8-22-2013 at 01:01:36


In the Gregory Mercier´s case, there have witness, because He/She call twice the police.

It’ s our chance ! The only and unique chance !.

Remember that the paintball’s players have shoot with their guns (paintball) on the homosexuals, It’s the manager of the paintball club that said that.

8-22-2013 at 01:36:05

@Lars post 8-21-2013 at 22:42:29

Lars, re your search for a link between the Chablais and the Chevaline killings. If the killer(s) is the same or an associate, then there may be a moral and/or religious imperative, however warped.

I seem to recall that there were hints that Le Martinet had a reputation locally for unsalubrious activities. These were never clearly defined, but drug dealing, dogging and prostitution were suggested.

Perhaps the connection is the elimination of vice and corruption, in whatever form it takes.

Having said that, the preparation in terms of no DNA, no fingerprints etc. speaks against one of the the “hearing voices” crowd being involved.

My view is that the murderer of Gregory Mercier was incredibly careless if, as claimed, they stole and used some of his luncheon vouchers. That does not fit with my assessment of Chevaline.

However, as I was writing the last paragraph, it occured to me that we are not absolutely sure that the Chevaline murderer did not steal anything, even something low-value as a ‘souvenir’. I understoood that Mollier was searched, and that was done by Brett Martin, but he may also have been searched by the killer earlier.

8-22-2013 at 03:21:52

Do you think it would be possible to live completely off the grid in a wild place like Bauges?
I mean without anyone knowing you are there?

8-22-2013 at 07:43:09


No, I am not late.Been working since 6 a.m. but my server would not allow me to come on-line.

Interesting comments overnight. I will reply later in the day.

Till then, have a nice commenting day.

8-22-2013 at 08:44:26


welcome back. I too hope you had a wonderful time off. I found your GS(M) scenario quite interesting, BUT I think that this crime has a very “male” handwriting in terms of execution. I purely can´t imagine a woman (and mother) beeing in whatever rage killing three (then not directly involved) people including two women and beating a girl almost to death. Moreover my scepticism is backed by statistics: women tend to murder differently, more intelligent, silently e.g. with poison, but not hands on involved with the blood.

What find worth thinking of is an involvement of CS brother.


8-22-2013 at 08:56:54


I am not certain that he (?) who called was a witness. It could very well be the killer. That has happened before.
Otherwise it was probably another homosexual who arrived at the lay-by after the murder and didn’t want to identified.


I have also thought a lot about moral or religious motives, especially since there are a lot of mystic religious movements in the area, see comments above. The murders have also an assassination-like appearance. I have however not come to a conclusion.

I am uncertain about the stolen luncheon vouchers. It could just be a mix-up by the police (and the employees at the bookshop). But if they were used by the killer at exactly those restaurants I don’t think it was due to carelessness of the killer. I think it was a very well-considered move by the killer: “see, I can do anything, the police is so stupid!”. He seems to have done some other small things at the other murders of the same type. And as you say he could very well have stolen something from Mollier as well.

8-22-2013 at 09:01:29


BTW: your scenario would work with LS too 😉


8-22-2013 at 09:35:05

@JCave Re:”off the grid”

I think it depends on what you mean.

A couple of years back a man was living in the woods near where I live. These woods, that I can see from my window as I write, streches for miles and miles. I never saw the man myself, but I saw where he was living. Since a lot of people walk around in the woods, picking berries and mushrooms (like me), walking their dogs, hunting, hiking, I think it would be very difficult to live there unnoticed for a long time. Someone will always see your tent or smell your camp fire.

I don’t believe that this man was hunting either, someone would hear the shots and call the police, so he had to go somewhere to buy his food. People like him are often homeless people who don’t want to live in a hostel because of all the drugs and rows there. To buy food they also have to fetch the money they get from the social welfare system.

So I guess you could live in Les Bauges (you could probably steal milk from the cows), but I think you have to go to one of the surrounding villages to buy necessities like, salt, ammunition if you hunt, and so on, from time to time. I guess it would be pretty difficult to live there in the long run without being discovered.

8-22-2013 at 10:13:35

Allow me to drop in one random thought. Doesn’t prove anything, but what if the reason for keeping the Zs incommunicado and still under some police protection is not because they can identify the killer, who might want to eliminate them, but because one or both saw or heard something that identifies the motive behind the crime or points in a certain direction.

Could be any of hundreds of things. The language spoken by X or Xs during reported shouting — strange that has never been identified — or was X silent and it was Saad and Sylvain yelling? Or someone saying, “Maudit Anglais!” “Hand over the zirconium,” “C’est pour briser le cœur de CS!” Something shouted in Arabic or Swedish, etc., etc.

BM reported Zainab was staggering about when he first saw her and then fell unconscious or semi-conscious. Was she playing possum, thinking he, and later PB, were some of the baddies? BM muttering, “This is a fine kettle of fish. M, Q and Miss Moneypenny will be most displeased”.

It might be something one of them saw. X’s clothing, a glimpse of a number plate, etc. They could be unaware of the significance, and even lower level police would not grasp the meaning, but higher-ups on the French or English side could, and they may not want to reveal the true motive for complex diplomatic reasons or to avoid embarrassment.

Even if the general motive is known, it’s doesn’t identify a killer and then connect that killer to his/her employers, if any.

8-22-2013 at 11:25:46


GS(M) as X has a number of ‘advantages’ (over e.g. LS)

1. Connected strongly with PM who is very closely involved in a high profile unsolved murder case (17 knife stabs, a.o 1 ‘coupe de grace’ … female touch there? 😉

2. Connected most strongly to CS, her daughter, and thus to victim SM

3. Influence on e.g. ONF (maybe even directly involved, e.g. as driver)

4. The odds … what are the ‘odds’ of being very closely ‘connected’ with 2 incredible high profile murder cases (she should play the lottery;)

5. The ‘Luger’ … A female would pick a ‘luger’ over e.g. a scorpion (but I’m no expert, nor a woman)

6. The f*ck up. The AH’s being there was not planned. Things went horribly wrong with no way back. Could explain why ONF only came forward later (after having settled for a ‘solution story’ … the notorius X5)

7. SM shot most … in the back too(?) which could be explained as SM trying to escape upon seeing GS(M) aka ‘trouble’

8. Locality … makes it imo more french than UK

9. Known route/Got lost story of SM … TS did ‘advice’ SM on this route, so GS(M) could have known (aka a much more elegant ‘solution’ than the X goes after AH at Martinet)

10. Wall of silence, as ‘adviced’ by PM … yeah sure;)

11. … the list goes on

12. Good stuff for a thriller;)

– M

8-22-2013 at 11:32:04

@ Lars

Having read the extra info from the several articles you kindly provided, I remain unconvinced the various Chablais murders have a link with Chevaline.
There’s almost certainly a serial killer on the loose around there, and he may strike again. And Inspector Clouseau might be in charge of closing doors once again.
But to me Chevaline is very different, and is a killing with a specific motive, albeit there could have been collaterals among the victims.
Thanks anyways.

8-22-2013 at 11:39:31

@Max Re: GSM vs. LS

I think LS has a number of ‘advantages’ over GS(M)

1. LS is as stronly connected as GS(M). Family member. the big uncle. Male touch of crime.


1a) Z said a bad man (baddie). Certainly not a formulation for a woman.

2. LS connected most strongly to CS, his beloved (I assume that 😉 ) sister, and thus to victim SM

3. Influence on e.g. ONF (maybe even directly involved, e.g. as driver). Could be true for LS, too.

4. , 5. , 6.,7., 8., 9., 10. All that is true with LS, too. No specific argument for GS(M)

11. Has LS shares (he´s the brother) in the pharmacy? Was SM finally spending also his money? at least in his point of view? If I would be TS and GS(M) I would give the same shares to my children. If one child gets the pharmacy, the other gets the same amount in money. If the money isn´t there in cash by CS, LS gets shares which pay off over time.


8-22-2013 at 11:45:07


It took me many months to convince myself.
You have to think carefully about how these crimes in Chablais and Chevaline probably was planned to get convinced.

8-22-2013 at 12:25:33


Why would LS ‘help out’ PM in ‘removing’ CM in 2007 (LS then aged 20)? Makes hardly any sense. Besides the risk PM would take by having rookie LS on board. Remember that CM supposedly knew his killer(s) because he supposedly opened the door for them. Would CM know LS, or would he know GS(M)?

You see, in this scenario, I use/need the 2007 happenings to explain the 2012 killing. It is far fetched, I know, but GS just fits better then a only 20 years old LS (at 2007) … although I leave the door open to that possibility seeing the one-off one-time-only curious Hi5 activity of CS and LS only 2 months after the 2007 CM killing (HI5, perhaps nothing to do with it, but curiously coincidence in time nevertheless)

Because, I once had the possible PM-CS ‘crush affair’ as scenario (as CS seems to prefer ‘older men’), in which case of course brother LS could wistle a tune.

– M

8-22-2013 at 13:05:19

I guess that what I am trying to say is that *if* the Chablais killer got the idea to kill Mollier he would do it in a way very similar to what happened at Chevaline (with no Al-Hillis present).

8-22-2013 at 13:56:24

I’ve wanted to mention this before, but did not get a chance. Now, Lynda having mentioned what a killer’s clothing might be like, I will mention the following:

The Verona-born criminologists and founder of the Italian School of Positive Criminology, Césare Lombroso, said, and wrote in his book ‘Criminal Man’ (published 1876), that there was a link between one’s appearance and one’s character. According to him all murderers have the same facial, anatomical and psychological traits. From his theory France in 1912 introduced a law that all ‘nomads and itinerants’ must carry a document that bore their photograph, name, date and place of birth and their anthropometric details, as well as their parents’ name, date of birth and place of birth and their place of death if applicable.

Another criminology pioneer, Alphonse Bertillon, policeman and biometric researcher developed anthropometrical signalment – Bertillonage – in which the human body was measured and the measurement recorded in order to identify recidivist criminals. Bertillonage led to fingerprinting and the mug shot.

France also produced another criminology pioneer. This was Lacassagne, founder of the Department of Forensic Science of Lyon University. He is actually known as the ‘father of forensic science’ because of how he discovered that there were certain blood patterns in a human body after death. He also matched bullets to guns.

There was yet another French criminology pioneer. This was Edmond Locard, assistant to Lacassagne. He created the Locard Exchange Principle which established that every contact leaves behind a trace. Of course this led to DNA.

So thumbs up for France.

PS: This is not a copy and paste job. I rewrote it from my true crime about Dr Petiot.

8-22-2013 at 14:11:56


NR, you are always welcome to comment, as you know and we like to hear from you.

You make good points in your 10.30 a.m. today.

The first question I would have asked Zainab would have been: ‘Who was shouting? Your Daddy?’ If she could not answer this question, I would have asked her: ‘Were the people shouting in English?’ The continuation of the questioning is not difficult to work out.

@Lars, your view that whoever is responsible for Chablais is responsible for Chevaline, makes more and more sense with each of your comments. You must without doubt get in touch when that website is up.

@Max, M is doing her best to decipher your abbs. And imho you are doing great with your analyses. C.w.t.g.w. Now there I’ve got you haven’t I?


The French police are not *so* Clouseau as you think they are. Usually, they get their man.


You are leaning over towards SM having been the target as I can see.

In fact, I think, most here are now doing so.

8-22-2013 at 15:26:05


Even though I don’t give much for biometric as a science for measuring peoples character ( it was however much used during the late 19th century up until the second world war), I agree that France once pioneered the work in, and use of, criminology.

The man who introduced criminology in Sweden and first used it in police investigations (whose name I have now forgotten) had actually studied in Lyon.

I think however that some prosecutors in France (no names) don’t use modern methods and crime statistics properly.

8-22-2013 at 15:42:12


Maybe the Swedish guy studied under Lacassagne in Lyon.

We don’t have many pioneers in the field in France these days – as you know.

The name Bertillon is now famous here in France for the nicest ice-cream on earth. Whenever I have an opportunity I go to their shop/ice-cream parlour on the Ile Saint-Louis for some of their ices. There is always a long queue of Japanese there. So most of the time I just buy a small cup of ice-cream and I go sit on a bench on the bank of the Seine overlooking Notre Dame Cathedral and eat it there. I do though have to fight off the pigeons.

8-22-2013 at 15:43:30

@Max Re: Connection between Chablais/Chavaline – GS(M) fitting

well, I´ll got that idea from you and under this scenario (connection exists) GS(M) indeed fits better. However I´ve never bought that thought that these two killings are connected directly apart from the savoyen nutter theory. What I can imagine is that X, be it LS or whoever, got as Lars said the blue print for his ambush from chablais and adopted it. Reason? Simply because it was successful and working without getting caught.

@ Marilyn Re: Leaning towards SM = target

Well I haven´t commented actively for a while. Silently and passively reading the interesting comments from you and all the others I was leaning towards SM = target for quite a while 😉


“It´s irrational, it´s emotional, it´s local!” Hence not SAH = target.


8-22-2013 at 16:23:45

Going back to partlucid comment about the X5, since the end of April there has been no further comment, it was never suspected as being the killers, the usual to eliminate from enquiries. I wrote before, the owner came forward discreetly, not wanting to be involved in a man hunt, they possibly lost looking for the golf club!

That is part of the point, I think the tyre tracks are that of the BMW reversing, many suggest it is a 4×4, well why the heck not ! One that had driven up and realising they were on the wrong road, swung in and swung back out again, being seen at around 3:20pm, some 2kms from Parking Le Martinet.

I am convinced that whomever was responsible for this wasn’t ‘following’ anyone, they knew where to be and they knew where their ‘prey’ was to be found. I’d even say, again, that the original ambush wasn’t to be Le Martinet, but higher up the zigzag.

The ONF being present escorting a motorbike back to the authorised route, upsetting the apple cart.

By the way, I’m in the north of France and I have ripe apples, Grandma and kids could be picking them here right now, so why not at the beginning of September along Lac d’Annecy.

Loads of House Martins filling the sky, Swallows have gone somewhere else, the Swifts don’t come here, they tend to stay near the estuary, it can be like an RAF flypast !

@RiffRaff – perfect wording “It´s irrational, it´s emotional, it´s local!”

8-22-2013 at 16:33:45

@RR and all,

The (possible) motivation behind GS(M) = X is simple … GS(M) is of the ‘overprotective’ kind (scenario … because I wouldn’t know it for true because I have never met GS(M))

I looked it up. GS(M) is a few years older than PM, so might be the overprotective sister to PM (defending/protecting his political career). And of course GS(M) is the mother of CS, so she could be the overprotective mother towards her daughter (who might have fallen for the, in her eyes, wrong man).

I just paint a possible scenario. In fact, I ‘just’ need one(!) excessively ‘overprotective’ woman to possibly explain the whole case (or better, 2 cases). In other words, put this overprotective woman in the middle and all pieces fall into place, with pretty much no exception;)

– M

8-22-2013 at 16:50:01


I do not see this as a woman’s crime. I intend to think that women kill differently. With poison for sure but these days it is not easy to get hold of poison, and it is detectable in the body, in fact, very easily detectable. Then there is also another way – fix the brakes of a car. But to ambush the victim and then add another three to one’s score, and shoot a girl and beat her over the head into the bargain, this I can not see as the work of a woman. But then there was ‘Bonnie Parker’.


Our commentators change their mind so frequently, that it is difficult to keep with with who believes what. I, for one, must be the one here who has most often changed her mind. But it was agreed that I am allowed to do so because I am a woman. So, yes, I remember, you fancied SM as the target, but I meant you appear to lean over more towards that conclusion now.

And your ‘it’s irrational, it’s emotional, it’s local’ is good. But the ‘local’ one may no longer be local, but has since returned to his own country and from there reads this blog every day.

NB: I do not have anyone in mind.


I think the tyre tracks are those of one of the rescue vehicles. But it is nice to differ in a civilised way, is it not, and not to start calling one another names …

8-22-2013 at 17:26:19

@Marilyn re: local

You´re right. Local does not mean necessarily X is a local person. However in a broader context of the word “local” it could also be a local person hiring an outside “non-local” gun. We went through this before. I am more convinced than ever that the motive/reason is local. No matter who did execute it in the end. As many of us pointed out before it took a bit of knowledge on the local area to get in there and out there without leaving a trace. Knowledge an outside person could get from a local person, a person nobody would miss locally, no problems with local talks and – as it is in many cases – after some time, lies that do not work anymore, but still with the competence to execute a messy crime with local knowledge. (a lot of local, uhh?! Sorry 🙂 )


8-22-2013 at 17:32:47


I have looked up the facts about the start of criminology in Sweden.

The Swedish pioneer was Harry Söderman, called “Revolver-Harry”. He was a very coulorful person that you could tell many stories about. He studied first civil engineering and then got the opportunity to study criminology for Edmond Locard at the university in Lyon, he got his doctors degree in 1928 in ballistics. As you wrote above Locard was initially an assistant to Lacassagne.

8-22-2013 at 17:40:28


My apples are not ripe yet. I still have to wait a couple of weeks.

Re:”House Martins filling the sky”: You have not seen any Brett-Martins in the sky? 🙂

8-22-2013 at 21:15:08


Harry Soderman sounds an interesting man. I’ve not heard of him before.

I did some calculations.

Soderman 1902-1956. Studied with Locard in 1926 when he was just 24 years old. He died aged 54.

Locard 1877-1966. He was 49 when Soderman came to Lyon as his pupil. He was 89 when he died.

Lacassange 1843-1924. Was 81 when he died. So he was already dead when Soderman went to study under Locard.

Yes, Soderman was also a pioneer in ballistics. I am sure his findings are being used today in this case.

There is an article in the history of forensics in these men. So Lars if you want to undertake it. Not for the blog, but for a website. It can be mine so if you ever feel like it.

re: Brett-Martins.

It flew over the cuckoo’s nest, Lars. Jack Nicholson told me.


re: local.

I think it might well have been a local hiring a non-local gun. A while ago I suggested one from one of the former Communist Bloc countries.


I will now say: have a good commenting night.

Winter is creeping up on us here in Paris. It is hardly after 9 p.m. and it is already dark. The long ‘white nights’ have gone.

I will now go do some serial killing of my own. You should all try it some time.

8-23-2013 at 08:18:04

Good afternoon everyone!

Did you all have as bad a night as I did? Looks like it.

Anyway, have a good commenting day.

8-23-2013 at 10:24:30


We are waiting for the media storm around Sept. the 5th. 🙂

8-23-2013 at 11:10:29

@Marilyn Re: bad night

Well, I spend the first half of the night at the hospital with my second born after he decided to almost break his knee. :-/

crazyly this morning he is much better although not completely up and running. we´ll see what the day willbe like


8-23-2013 at 11:10:52

Off topic (or a small chance it’s not). 5 page true-crime story on secret compartments in vehicles. A French Connection, top of page 3.

Did Saad, with his mechanical skills, get himself in a bad situation by doing one of these for somebody who later, perhaps mistakenly, thought Saad informed on him? We know Saad was in fear of something, plus was in hospital twice with heart problems, attributed to his dispute with Zaid. But was he squeezed between other factions?

We also know his movements were tracked by a friend, who noticed he hadn’t moved from Martinet for 3 hours. There are $2 apps that can be surreptitiously installed on anyone’s phone, if one has access as shown below; there are others too. Assume hackers can do the same without access.

The Wired article shows the absurdity of current US justice and what happens to a small-time, peripheral player who refuses to become an informant, for fear of his and his family’s life, and later refuses to take a plea deal, since he thinks he’s committed a minor offense, whereupon he’s sentenced to a far longer time than the major operators.

8-23-2013 at 13:46:41


re: secret compartment

According to Fat Bastard, who knew Saad Al-Hilli, the latter was just an ordinary guy, one who needed a hand with his d.i.y. work around the house and car. I tend to believe Fat Bastard. Yet, Hitler was once a hobo with dreams of being a great architect.Therefore, do we ever know those we think we do know?


re: Children

My mother always said that a child is a joy and worry for life. I wouldn’t know because I am not a mother. I do hope your 2nd born is now indeed up and about again.


re: September 5.

Oh yes, the English papers will have a field day.

8-23-2013 at 18:51:52


I will agree with you there. How well does anyone know a person.

Did FB “know” Saad ?
Did Claire “know” Mollier ?
Does “Mrs Brett” “know” Mr Brett ?

As the “one year” mark approaches can Eric really say that this is a “random” killing ? (Mid afternoon, on a “one way in, one way out” track, with a village at the start/end of that track).

8-23-2013 at 20:16:49

Will say have a good commenting night – or just have a good night.

Speaking of knowing those we think we know: I think I can say that I’ve come to get to know you here and I can’t see that any of you will be serial killing tonight. Will let you in on a secret: neither will I. Going out for dinner on this hot Friday night in Paree.

Speak again 2moro.

8-23-2013 at 21:22:41

The heir …and the spare

You can see why the “royals” needed William to do his “thang” !

Diana deceased, Charles “unemployed”, that leaves “Will”… Vs the “spare”.
The “Firm” know how to “cook ’em” !

8-23-2013 at 23:34:13


‘Tout en continuant de travailler sur la personnalité de la victime, la PJ explore le venimeux contexte politique entourant l’assassinat. « Une coïncidence nous chiffonne », confie un enquêteur. En effet, deux jours auparavant, le chef de la police s’était rendu à un conseil municipal houleux visant à évincer le député maire UMP Pierre Morange, confronté à un putsch fomenté depuis plusieurs mois au sein de sa propre majorité. Sur fond d’une sourde guerre de succession du défunt patron départemental de l’UMP Michel Péricard, plusieurs adjoints ont accusé Pierre Morange de détournements de deniers publics.’

In that meeting PM nearly was put out of power. Best friend CM was ‘acting a bit strange’ (from grande enigmes video) … was he about to ‘change sides’? He, as best friend might have something on PM which could topple him. Who knows … And … in that situation I put forward GS(M) as overprotective sister. She (with a helper) pays CM a visit. CM knows her so he opens the door. Fact is that CM probably knew his killer(s). CM was stabbed from behind and finalized with a 18th ‘coupe de grace’ stab. Some amateuristic ‘masks’ are placed (letter Al Qaida)

Now it could be coincidence but if I line up these 2 killings … which person could have a motive and would be in the center of these 2 major baffling and unsolved killings?

A: It is GS(M) … correcting the world to her liking, protecting the 2 people most close to her (brother and daughter) with a deadly hand … and getting away with it … because, ask yourselves, who is suspecting an old(er) lady?


Just fitting pieces of course. Well, they seem to fit, so it could in principle be a (but perhaps not THE) solution.

– M

8-24-2013 at 08:27:24

Good morning.


re: your 11.34 p.m.

It is a frightening thought though not so? Maybe not doing the killing, but hiring someone to do so. Vow!

Thanks for the Figaro. Interesting.


re: heir and spare

Diana did what she was brought into the family to do, then she was got rid of.


Have a good commenting day. It is a rainy day in Paris, and much much cooler.

Speak later.

8-24-2013 at 10:33:03

@NR, regarding the car not moving, Fat Bastard said that he may have started that line, he on here writing he only followed them until the ferry.

Drove M25 yesterday, how on earth does anyone get any work done, 25 mile queues, in both directions. It took nearly 5 hours from Channel Tunnel to Reading Services ! (I was driving a car 😉 )

8-24-2013 at 11:34:34

Apropos Mr Maillaud and his method(s)…does anyone recall how the detail of the Romanian phone calls became public knowledge? Presumably it must have emerged around? the time of Zaid’s arrest, but I’d be interested to hear if Maillaud had specifically done a piece to camera, for example, or whether the incident was maybe even handled by just a press release? on the French side…

8-24-2013 at 12:52:54


Somebody “leaked” that info to the press 9-10 Juni, perhaps to our friend Ducos at Le Parisien? Maillaud later confirmed it.

8-24-2013 at 13:32:17

Thanks Lars, I had been wondering about that. It’s such a specific pointer, and of course so very damning (whether true or not!). I couldn’t quite envisage a British Bobby, or his besuited modern-day equivalent, waxing speculatively about some ‘named’ phone calls on a ‘suspect’s’ bill.

Although Zaid was actually arrested because he’d declined to go over to France to aid the enquiry, no? The charge was really rather grandiose, I believe: conspiracy to murder…

8-24-2013 at 14:05:34

@ Lars, partlucid

The orginal leak was factually inaccurate, because it suggested that these calls to Romania had also been made from the residence of Ikbal’s sister. Eric Clouseau then stepped in and corrected that information, true to his declared policy of always clarifying erroneous media coverage.

That is not to say that he wasn’t the original leaker, though. If he was, however, he was quite subtle about it, first leaking dodgy information and then publicly correcting it.

8-24-2013 at 16:14:19

@partlucid, Peter

No, the important thing was *not* that the information was correct, but that it was spread.