On Wednesday, September 5, 2012 – more than nine months ago –  the Iraqi-born Saad Al-Hilli was shot to death in Haute Savoie (Upper Savoy) in France. He, his family – wife, two small daughters and his mother-in-law – were on holiday in this very beautiful area of France. His wife and mother-in-law were also […]

Saad Al-Hilli

Saad Al-Hilli

On Wednesday, September 5, 2012 – more than nine months ago –  the Iraqi-born Saad Al-Hilli was shot to death in Haute Savoie (Upper Savoy) in France. He, his family – wife, two small daughters and his mother-in-law – were on holiday in this very beautiful area of France.

His wife and mother-in-law were also shot dead and the elder of the daughters was also shot as well as beaten over her head, but she survived. Mrs Saad Al-Hilli had the reflex to hide the younger daughter under her dress on the rear floor of the family’s BMW.

Also shot to death was a French cyclist who might or might not have been the primary target.

We, here on this blog, have been speculating about what had happened that September day from almost the day the media first reported the murders.

One of us, Alexander Cartier, went to Haute Savoie this past April and filmed the lay-by where the killing had taken place. You can watch his very interesting video here on YouTube.


UPDATE Sunday, June 16, 2013

Already on our 7th thread and this multiple murder remains as far from solving as the day of the shooting on September 5, 2012.

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

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

UPDATE Friday, May 31, 2013.

Great frustration is being expressed over the slowness of the French investigators to solve this atrocious murder, especially so when September 5 approaches and the French prosecutor’s office releases some small detail about the investigation, but as quickly fall silent again.

So, how long will the investigation continue before it will be classified as a ‘cold case’.

In France a case remains open for as long as the examining magistrate considers it necessary. There is a requirement though: the examining magistrate must regularly have a fresh lead to justify further investigation or the State will close the case because of inactivity on the part of the judiciary. A case could thus remain open indefinitely provided there is proof of judicial activity.

What if a suspect is named and the individual is not in France? Say the investigators do not even know his (or her) whereabouts?

In such a case, the French judiciary can indict the suspect and liaise with Interpol to issue an International Arrest Warrant. This means that the police of the 190 member states of Interpol are authorized to arrest the suspect. The French can also proceed to put the murderer on trial in absentia. This had happened in 1995 with the Kalinka Bamberski Case when the teenager’s rapist and murderer, the German doctor Dieter Krombach, was sentenced to 15 years incarceration. On his arrest in France in 2011 a retrial was held and the 15-year sentence was confirmed.

In a trial in absentia there will be no jury and the presiding judge, assisted by two magistrates, will pass their verdict. In such a trial the accused could, by law, be represented by a counsel who would plead his case: the counsel would be chosen by the accused’s family. In the event of a guilty verdict the counsel would not be allowed to appeal.



2012 Don't Eat Horses Campaign in Paris.

2012 Don’t Eat Horses Campaign in Paris.




Zaid Al-Hilli


Zaid Al-Hilli, 54, the brother of the murdered Saad Al-Hilli, has been arrested at his home in Chessington, Surrey, at 7.30 a.m. this morning (Monday, June 24, 2013) on suspicion of ‘Conspiracy to Commit Murder’.

Reports drifting around Paris is that he allegedly hired a gunman to shoot his brother.

If the gunman is ever arrested he faces life imprisonment for ‘assassination’ (murder with premeditation) under Article 221-3 of the French Code Pénal.  For the violence against the seven-year-old Al-Hilli daughter, Zainab, added to the life sentence will be thirty years for violence on a minor under the age of fifteen. (Article 222-14 of the French penal code – Code Pénal.)

A for Zaid Al-Hilli, should he be found guilty of ‘Conspiracy to Commit Murder’ and in the event that the murder had been carried out, he too faces life behind bars. (Article 221-5)

However, before sentencing there would have to the arrest of the gunman and then extradition to France not only of him but also of  Zaid Al-Hilli and Britain does not easily extradite its nationals.

Naturally, there would also have to be a trial and not in the United Kingdom but here in France because the crime was committed here.

Therefore, should both the British and French police find sufficient evidence to put Zaid Al-Hilli on trial, there will be no quick end to this case. French justice is slow, very slow indeed: an accused sits in prison for years. Three years easily. Even longer.


UPDATE: JUNE 27, 2013

Zaid Al-Hilli was released on bail today without having been charged. His bail is valid until July 31,2013.


If you wish to read previous posts about this shooting at Chevaline on September 5, 2012 you can do so

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





Marilyn Z. Tomlins

844 Responses

6-16-2013 at 08:56:06

Here I am on the New Thread which is our 7th.

I hope you all find your way here with safety and speed. I had to take a few detours, but arrived though a little worse for wear, but still kicking.

6-16-2013 at 09:12:32

Eugene asked for me to change the formula so that the latest comment appears above the previous comment. Eugene, this can not be done. I tried it and it is not possible. Check any other blog and you will be able to verify it. A new comment is added on.

What I will do in future is to set up a new thread more often which would make the scrawling down a little less cumbersome.

I also tried to make it possible to insert photos in your comments but my WordPress does not allow it. If anyone knows how I am to do so, do advise. I myself would like at times to insert a photo.

6-16-2013 at 10:39:00

There is nothing better than starting with a clean slate. 🙂

6-16-2013 at 11:02:00

@Lars, correct and going back to the original scrawlings of the press and interviews soon after are a good way, Max.

I’ve been doing that for a while, and some obtuse links and reportings come to light outside the big named media.

I know Peter and I have mused over the gory details in the past and I don’t wish to again, in view of the trawling back, a question about the injuries:

We are led to believe that all three adults in the car received two bullets to the head, many referring to a ‘double tap’, can shots through a window be classed as such ?

6-16-2013 at 11:48:27

@ Lynda

This “double tap” thing is yet another instance of sloppy journalism. Shooting double taps means always pulling the trigger twice in rapid succession, so that two bullets hit the same point of aim. Per se, it has nothing to do with shooting somebody in the head, and a victim being found with two shots to the head need not imply that the shooter used double taps. The only reliable way to tell whether or not somebody shoots double taps is to listen: ba-bang, pause, ba-bang, pause … Another, post-hoc indication would be finding a consistent pattern of hits with groups of two and only two hits within the same palm-sized area.

It is an old combat shooting technique hailing from the days when pistol ammunition with serious “man-stopping power” was not yet available (to police forces) or would have been banned anyway (for military shooters). For police forces at least, it has been rendered obsolete by the advent of nastier types of ammunition, but it is still taught to elite units. Nowadays, these elite units sometimes mix their ammunition, alternating armour-piercing rounds with deformation rounds, such that, even if the target be wearing ballistic body armour, at least one of the two rounds will still cause damage.

In Europe at least, civilian shooters generally are not trained in this double-tap technique. There are some exceptions such as IPSC shooting, a “combat-shooting-lite” shooting discipline, but it is tightly-regulated. Combat shooting training itself is completely banned.

Everything that I have seen and read about the Chevaline murders leads me to conclude that the killer did *not* shoot double taps.

6-16-2013 at 12:05:10

Thankyou Peter, I agree, the implication is that the way they were shot was ‘professional’, I think it was anything but !

As Marilyn has started a new thread, if you agree, so as some essential interviews are near the top and easily accessed, could Bibi post the MontBlanc TV link, with a brief synopsis of what it contains.

Max, maybe you could do the Radio 4 The Report programme, Peter the Channel 4 programme and a volunteer for the BBC Brett Martin interview.

Alex your video link, and a volunteer to post a link and synopsis of Eric Maillauds first Press Conference.

Thanking you in advance.

6-16-2013 at 12:33:14

This is the link to Alex Cartier’s video of the ‘death road’.

For those of you who have not yet watched it, it is a *must* see. “HERE

6-16-2013 at 12:45:54

Lynda, Here is Bibi’s last comment. I hope these are the links you are looking for. (Sorry I just do not have the time to look for the others you mention.)

Looking through local media, I came across 2 interviews which I find worth sharing, although they don’t bring anything new.
Long interview of EM
29 Nov.
Interview of Claude, route du Moulin, first house on the left (coming from la Combe d’Ire). He tends to go for the robbery theory…
13 Dec.
The only place where her name is given is that post by “XAV. le 12/09 à 23:20”. I couln’t find it anywhere else.
Story: They’ve not given the reason for her death
– See more at:

6-16-2013 at 15:01:53

This link from Bibi and Marilyn puts a great deal into proportion, well worth a read:

6-16-2013 at 15:28:01

6-16-2013 at 12:05:10 – “Thankyou Peter, I agree, the implication is that the way they were shot was ‘professional’, I think it was anything but ! ”

What I find difficult to comprehend is that the static aftermath of the killing could lead the PROFESSIONAL, EXPERT French investigators to many differing interpretations. These have included “professional killers”, “military background”, “more than one shooter”, “lone shooter”, “psychopath”, “escaped mental institution inmate”, “on a motor bike”, “in a 4×4″, on foot”, “amateur”, “planned assassination”, “unpremeditated”, “random act by a deranged killer”, Serbian paramilitaries”, “cheap Rumanian killers”, “local killer”, “planned from Britain” and so it goes on!

Why not say “We haven’t got a clue” or alternatively “we think ANYTHING is possible”?

One of the most inane comments by EM was that he was sure the person

“Without doubt we are looking for someone who has killed before, someone who puts no value on human life.”

Then he adds:

“The shootings were a random act by a deranged killer.”

” If it was done on a contract (as a professional hit) it was very badly done. We are looking for unbalanced people – capable of extreme violence.” (By Patrick Sawer10:04AM GMT 17 Nov 2012 Telegraph)

NB these observations are made after two months of intensive police work. They are quite unbelievable in the light of all the information that must have been garnered by then.

These statements portray what? Naivety? Stating the obvious? More importantly how to reconcile an interpretation of “imbalance”, “randomness” and a planned assassination which can be neither? And what supporting evidence does he give for it being “very badly done”? In what way was it badly done?

Four adults were shot dead in a very short space of time, despite the significant logistical problems, in a very remote location, escaped almost without trace, leaving no DNA evidence, and not a SINGLE suspect arrested after more than 9 months. Well if this is evidence of a killing being “very badly done” God help the French people when a well executed professional killing happens!

6-16-2013 at 15:29:40

@Eugene and Marilyn and all

I am still following the discussions and will join later again actively again. For today my 2 cents is on the last post first thing: you can easily do this in most browsers by viewing the blog as RSS feed. Firefoy and safari can do this. No need for Marilyn to edit anything.


6-16-2013 at 15:52:11
Comment by Teresalio on 06 June 2013 at 22:07. Sorry if this was discussed before. Possibly from somebody local?

@ Marilyn. It’s just as well your blog doesn’t permit posting pics. While convenient it makes a mess of formatting, especially page width; see David Icke pages for examples. Large image files make for even slower page loads for people on slow connections. Best option is to put pic on Instagram, Imgur, Flickr, Twitter, etc. and link to it.

6-16-2013 at 16:09:08

@TimV ‘calm down, dear!’ courtesy of the late Michael Winner.

If you take time to read the link from Bibi, Marilyn and I you will get a better understanding of Eric Maillauds position.

He isn’t the one driving this investigation, he is the public face of it.

All of us take a deep breath, on the face of it, from what we are told, Sylvain Mollier doesn’t have a reason to be targetted, accepting that his ‘in-laws’ weren’t happy about his relationship with their precious daughter. They now have, without doubt a precious grandson , the ‘petit Loulou’, Louis.

Was that really enough to kill him and take out all other witnesses……

From everything I have read, the likelihood that he was sharing ‘nuclear secrets’ to anyone was nil, he was not well travelled and although never stated categorically his knowledge of English was minimum.

If he was a target it wasn’t for international conspiracy, of course could have been for a more personal reason or event.

Saad Al-Hilli and the family, I think we have had it explained over and over that this guy was not in a position to give sensitive data to anyone, I believe that.

So, he was against Israel, those that are would make a very long line, please feel free to join it, as a result his views lead him to an extent to support Hezbollah, please join the queue.

Saad wasn’t influential enough to be targetted over this and why would that happen on a forestry country lane cul-de-sac in France ? Much easier to target on his home ground where everyday activity was known and foreseen.

The ‘cloud’ that ensues due to Zaids demands, for money from the property in Claygate, we may not like it but if he was 50% owner of this property then he had a right to demand such, especially if he needed money.

I suspect it went more like this:

When their mother died, she left the house or her part to her ‘favourite son’ Saad, who in turn was honourable enough to give 50% to his brother. We do not know if this legally took place.

After Khadim died, a Will said that he left everything he had to Zaid, or that he left everything to be split between the two brothers.

Now think about this, the property in the 10 years or so since the mother died had increased in value enormously, sorry FB but no matter how much Saad had done to ‘improve’ the house, it is the housing market that had driven the price up, Zaid felt it unfair that his brother not only profit from the increased value but 50% of the Last Will and Testament of his father.

Enough to wipe out an entire family and still not get a full payout, very doubtful.

If we take out the Iraqi origin, we are left with few other leads than all including Sylvain Mollier were at the wrong place at the wrong time.

This is EXACTLY what Maillaud is frightened of, he has local killer/s on the loose in his very pretty domain.

Did anyone ever look into all those bodies (6) found in Lac d’Annecy, were they all drownings or suicide ?

6-16-2013 at 18:27:44

@ Lynda.
Lac d’Annecy
While looking for the body of the 15 year old boy who had drowned in july 2011, divers found:
A couple (french tourists) who had drowned in 2005 while on a small boat. There were witnesses but were not able to help them.
A man in his forties who had expressed his intention to commit suicide and two men of twenty who had stolen a boat on the lake – they had been missing since 2002.

6-16-2013 at 18:57:17

Thanks Bibi, awful that it took so long to find the bodies, it must be the underlying current in the lake that caused them to accumulate, probably caused by the rivers flowing in.

Another thought, not long after the Chevaline murders, a drugs run was stopped between Savoie and Italy. I’ll see if it said what type of car it was.

Have we ever been told what car Bossy was driving, I have a feeling it was a white 4×4, used in the reconstruction of the events…….. escorted off the scene (reconstructed) afterwards …… now if it was then THAT vehicle is accounted for.

My imagination, ’41 year old Bossy, with two female passengers, seen driving too fast on the roads in the direction of the scene of the crime’ – oh so possible !

6-16-2013 at 19:06:18

#chevaline : un 4×4 blanc vitres tintées quitte les lieux du crime sous escorte. Des témoins ?

courtesy of Laurent Blanchard, M6 journalist 12th September 2012

6-16-2013 at 19:16:16

@ Peter

Thank you for your reply to my questions on the PO6….

Today I have had the chance to have lunch with the gentleman (92) and his son (old family friends).

He was in the Swiss army and has used this gun both during his service and the years afterwards when he lived in South Africa before returning to Switzerland..

In SA he had a gun collection, but prefered the PO6 as he personal defense weapon of choice.

I got the infomation that I wanted yesterday v the magazines but I was able to put some of the points in your post to them today (comments bellow)

1) He confirmed he has fired 9mm rounds in a PO6! His son also had knowlege of a gun collector in the US who thought he had bought a PO8 (9mm) but learned from an expert some time later it was infact it was a 7.65mm and had been using in it! The diamiter of the cassing is the same for both the 9mm and the 7.65mm round. So in a PO8 15 round magazine you get 15 9mm rounds. If you put 7.65mm rounds in the same magazine you still get 15 rounds in it as the cassing diamiter is the same.
2) It is a “very accurate” hand gun. Hence his choice in SA.
3) The Swiss manufactured PO6 was an “improved” version of the German equivilant and cost more to make. Hence would be prefered over a German or US manufactured model.
4) The only difference between a PO8 and a PO6 is the barrel
5) As collectors items they can reach 5000 to 15000 US$ at auction.

Going to speak with some old banking contacts here tomorrow!

6-16-2013 at 19:43:46×4-vert-et-un-temoin-cle/mlig!m18LLth0rW5Sg/

check out the fourth photo ….. what colour is that 4×4 ?

@Max on the Radio 4 programme did Philippe Ducher of the farm Chef Lieu, Chevaline say that the ‘hikers’ arrived by car ?

6-16-2013 at 21:25:00

@ See_Bee, 6-16-2013 at 19:16:16

I fear that we are posting at cross-purposes here. Your point 4) is the story in a nutshell: The only difference between a PO8 and a PO6 is the barrel
Change the barrel, and you can fire 9 mm Para. from a 7.65 Para. P06, or vice versa. However, the laws of physics say, and I say, that you would have a bit of a problem firing a ∅ 9 mm bullet through a ∅ 7.65 mm barrel (never mind the diameter of the casing, it is the bullet diameter that I am referring to here). Maybe the source of the confusion is that some P06s were also produced in 9 mm Para?

Frankly, I don’t see why this should matter. However, unless and until you can name a source who has fired a 9 mm bullet through a 7.65 barrel and still is in possession of all his fingers, I won’t even bother making any further enquiries about this.

6-16-2013 at 21:37:39

Sorry boys, the relevance of the mm has lost me, the enquiry team have the bullets and shell casings, they also have part of the wooden grip, which depending on the source and who you believe was found on the ground or embedded in Zainabs head wounds (Channel 4). It is from this they identified the weapon used.

Either way, wood becomes dry over time and therefore likely to splinter, doesn’t it ?

6-16-2013 at 21:40:08

@ Lynda
6-16-2013 at 19:43:46 re.

Fourth photo @×4-vert-et-un-temoin-cle/mlig!m18LLth0rW5Sg/#sthash.f6HLmwdX.dpuf


I happens to be a white Mitsubishi Pajero Reg, 9253 ZS 94 (?)

Here is an example of the same model for confirmation:×4-169815686-640×480.jpg

Bit of a co-incidence?

6-16-2013 at 22:28:29

Now as to yours of Lynda
6-16-2013 at 16:09:08 I’m pleased to confirm I’m perfectly calm. (Well at the moment.) I have also read that interview with EM that you recommend.

So you see no reason for any of the victims to be shot? That’s fair enough. Everyone is allowed to have an opinion. My opinion is however that it is naive as Maillaud’s appear flailing. I think you are in danger of not being able to suggest a motive with there not being one.

If you are right it means that the killings are down to bad luck on the part of the victims, of their meeting being wholly incidental, and the killer(s) totally irrational. What are the chances of that do you think? Now add in the difficulties of the location and the expert and determined nature of the killing, the way in which they effected their escape and the apparent absence of leads and clues to such an extent that the best brains, large teams, computer and forensics experts of two countries have been unable to point a finger, suggest a motive or arrest a suspect, and you have a highly unusual, even unique, criminal event.

It would also mean, as Maillaud has suggested, a deranged psychopath who murders for no reason, managed to leave no trail, and is still on the loose. Why then no further murders of a similar kind? Why the relaxed attitude of Prosecutor and Gendarme knowing the killer is local and likely to strike again at any moment? Why no general warnings to householders and visitors – not even to stay clear of Combe d’Ire and similar remote spots?

In addition if you are correct you have to explain why such a killer, presumably just killing for killings sake, would refrain from shooting Martin also. Would he not wish to eliminate any chance of witnesses reporting the scene before escaping? If his motive was blood lust why spare Zainab or Didierjean/Bossy even. Would he have shown such self discipline. Would he not have exhibited some perverted or sexual element? Would he have resisted the temptation of secreting himself in the woods to kill even more as they appeared on scene?

Would unarmed personnel have been dispatched to the scene by controllers if they believed a psychotic killer was still on the rampage having already dispatched four. If they did they were surely negligent? Contrast with the French response in the case of Mohammed Merah.

Then you appear to think that all the conflicting theories that have been thrown out by Maillaud are normal and not in the least surprising. Forgive me, I don’t.

6-16-2013 at 22:32:37

@ Lynda, 6-16-2013 at 21:37:39

I suppose that the point that See_Bee is trying to make is that the killer could have used two extended magazines, or even just one humungous drum magazine, both originally intended for the P08, rather than three standard P06 magazines – true. Also, the killer could be an aesthete amongst contract killers, retrofitting a P08 with a P06 barrel because he preferred that lighter, crisper, sparklier 7.65 Para calibre to its more pedestrian 9 mm Para counterpart – also true.

The only bit that doesn’t ring true is that about firing 9 mm through a 7.65 mm barrel. That is tantamount to saying that you have threaded a 7.65 mm nut onto a 9 mm bolt – it can be done, but only with some major previous modifications to either or both.

The “gun fragments” found either on the ground or in Zainab’s wounds can have been no more than a first pointer towards the type of gun used by the killer. Rifling marks upon the bullets as well as magazine, extractor and firing-pin marks upon the spent casings will have been decisive in the analysis and would allow the specific gun used, if found, to be identified as the gun that fired those shots.

6-16-2013 at 22:33:02

CORRECTION (APOLOGIES): “My opinion is however that it is AS naive as Maillaud’s appearS flailing. I think you are in danger of CONFUSING not being able to suggest a motive with there not being one.

6-16-2013 at 23:12:12


There is one simple reason why I am (pretty) sure that AH was not the (main) target. From Zainab and other facts we know that both AH and Zainab were outside the car. Killer X was somewhere near the barrier (possibly behind some trees .. whatever).

AH was ‘walking around’ … now it is IMPOSSIBLE to explain why X, who had at least 7 bullets in the first mag, MISSED to take out AH.

I, mean, even I, with only some gun experience from late 80’s (army service) and the remainder being CoD, BF (that is Call of Duty and Battlefield for you, Marilyn) … give me a gun, any gun with 7 bullets and I WILL take out my main target who is at 10-15 meters;)

That ‘fact’ alone will make ME shy away from AH being the main/first target.

(even though the total sum of dead UK ppl outnumbers the total sum of non-UK ppl)

If there is one thing which IS complicated it must be to kill AH in another country, in a remote place, and make him smile while on his route to his death … now THAT is complicated;)

The nutter? Oh boy yes, the nutter strikes ‘lucky’ when not 1, but 2 prey elements arrive at the same time. If the case is solved and it was really a ‘nutter’ … we can call the chevaline murders … ‘The case of the lucky nutter’

Nope for me the most simple and straightforward thing is SM=target … the ‘argument’ of both TS and EM that SM was ‘lost’ just backfires onto themselves because ‘lost’ means that SM was not where he said he would be … and thus SM …. DEVIATED … from the route he told his close ppl.

Now ‘lost’ and ‘deviate’ have the same nett result … SM ended up on Martinet … and was shot on arrival, catching 7 of 21 bullets … not too shabby;)

– M

6-16-2013 at 23:19:56

Links and favourites

6-16-2013 at 23:22:27

@Tim, with respect, you have no better idea as to what happened that day than the rest of us, unless of course you were there. So my answer to your quetion is YES.

@Peter, thankyou, I’m trying to understand why conclusions were drawn regarding the weapon.

@Tim, a 94 plate comes from Val-de-Marne, Paris and could have more to do with the ‘services’ that had been to the scene, the photos weer linked to an article of the 8th September.

The more interesting is Laurent Blanchard comment on the 12th about a 4×4 being escorted from the scene after the reconstruction, the reconstruction you have referred to.

Why does there have to be a ‘motive’, all at the wrong place, wrong time seems suffice to me.

If you want to provoke a reply I’ll give you one:

“‘Naive’, me ? I’d eat you for breakfast, lad and still not be full !”

6-17-2013 at 01:21:26

I wonder what an old white Pajero from Paris was doing up there with police car on the 8th?

I confirm I wasn’t there (fortunately) but reason (and common sense) is unconfined.

6-17-2013 at 01:24:55


Vous êtes tous très mignons.

Maintenant que le nuage de fumé est presque passé, je me permets de vous dire :

La solution est le problème et le problème est la solution.

J’ai à ma droite BACCHUS, à ma gauche SAH et au milieu mon clavier.

Le tueur est connu et protéger par la sphère politique locale.

Demander à Charles Pasqua ce qu’il en pense ?

Seul le Président Hollande peut résoudre cette affaire.


6-17-2013 at 02:14:23

“Charles Pasqua was born in Grasse, Alpes-Maritimes and has a degree in Law. From 1952 to 1971 he worked for Ricard, a producer of alcoholic beverages (most notably pastis), starting as a salesman.
In 1947, he helped create the section of the Gaullist Party RPF movement for the Alpes-Maritimes.
With Jacques Foccart, he helped create the Service d’Action Civique (SAC) in 1959 to counter the terrorist actions of the OAS during the Algerian War of Independence (1954–1962). The SAC would be charged with the underground actions of the Gaullist movement and participated in the organization of the 30 May 1968 Gaullist counter-demonstration; it was officially dissolved by President Mitterrand in 1982, after the “Auriol massacre” on the night of 18 July 1981 (the five members of the Auriol commando were condemned on 1 May 1985 to sentences between 15 years of prison and life-sentences; however, the mastermind behind inspector Massié’s murder was never identified).[1]”

The Gladio connection?

6-17-2013 at 02:23:41

@TimV 6-17-2013 at 02:14:23

No gladio, algeria

6-17-2013 at 02:44:24

Question for Marilyn:

What is the preferred language for this blog?

I as as a monoglot English speaker who struggles with posts in French.

6-17-2013 at 02:45:42

Correction: for “I as as” read “I ask as”

6-17-2013 at 02:55:40

bleb 6-17-2013 at 02:44:24

don’t worry, Marilyn autorize me to speak in french.

if you want, you can speak french too.

6-17-2013 at 08:45:28


Language = English

… but valuable info posts *may* be posted in other languages. It is after all a ‘french murder case’. Especially the french elements: Mollier, Schutz, Diderjean, Maillaud, Vinneman are MORE THAN WELCOME on this blog … and may post in french, no problem;)

– M

6-17-2013 at 09:56:29

Good morning – there is a storm raging in Paris.

All I will try to reply to all the questions.

1) @All and @Bleb – My home language is English. This blog is therefore in English, but feel free to post in your own language should it not be English.

@Bacchus you can post in French. I will reply in Bengali or whatever.

(2) @Tim V

You wrote: Would unarmed personnel have been dispatched to the scene by controllers if they believed a psychotic killer was still on the rampage having already dispatched four. If they did they were surely negligent? Contrast with the French response in the case of Mohammed Merah.

Unarmed personnel? Tim V in France even municipal police, who just keep ‘pavement order’, are armed. Pompiers (firemen) are not armed, they are there to save lives. So the Pompiers who had rushed to that lay-by would not have been armed. Normally, police, or gendarmes, and the pompiers arrive at an accident or murder scene at the same time. In this case as the phone call had alerted the gendarmes to shooting having taken place, the gendarmes would have ordered the pompiers to hang on so that they – armed gendarmes – could get there first.

I would also like to point out to you and all here that a gendarme and a policeman are two different things. Gendarmes are militarised police who have military ranks, live in barracks and fall under the Ministry of Defence. They keep law and order in the countryside and in towns/villages with fewer than 20,000 inhabitants. The police force falls under the Ministry of Interior.

As Chevaline is in the countryside and has fewer than 20,000 inhabitants, there are no police there, but gendarmes.

Because gendarmes are considered soldiers rather than police, gendarmes who are sent to France’s former colonies to put down rebellions or protect the French ex-pats, and not our police.

I would also like to confirm what Lynda had said and which I have also said before you had come to comment here: in France a prosecutor does not investigate, he prosecutes. Prosecutor Maillaud is given information by the two examining magistrates (sorry, I’ve forgotten their names and do not want to search back) who receives their information from the Gendarmerie (Colonel Vinneman) and, on the guidelines from the two examining magistrates, Maillaud releases what info will not harm the investigation.

Also it is not right to draw comparisons between the Merah affair in this one here. There was a manhunt on for a killer (Merah) so of course those who went for him had to be heavily armed (helicopters and all), whereas what we had at Chevaline was very very different.

3) @RiffRaff

I hope your moving house is going well. Thank you for telling us about how to get around having to scroll down the pages to reach the latest comments. See ya, when you are settled in. Meanwhile, we will continue to miss you.

4) @NR

Thanks for the warning about photos in a comment. I’ll drop the idea now.

5) @Tim V

You wrote: I wonder what an old white Pajero from Paris was doing up there with police car on the 8th?

The number at the end on on a registration plate identifies the region where the vehicle is registered. 94 is Val de Marne which is south of Paris.

Having said this: finally, after 9 months of investigation on this blog, you have identified the killer. The Val de Marne is where I live …………………….

Oopla! Took you all long enough to get to me.

6-17-2013 at 09:57:02

@TimV, my husband worked with Charles Pasqua in the 1960’s at Ricard.

@Marilyn, Did you enjoy Johnny in concert, were you invited to the private one after Bercy ?

In 1999, in Cardiff, South Wales, he and other TV personalities and sports presenters were leaving a famous French restaurant in the city suburbs before going to the Millenium Stadium to watch Wales v France Rugby. So, we stopped them before they got into a mini-bus, he signed a rugby ball, which actually has all the signatures of the French Team acquired in the hotel the day before and gave me a kiss on the cheek !

He was absolutely off his trolley, barely able to walk ! And the face, well….. fun story to relate, though.

@Max, love your link, I wish I’d got organised from the beginning.

The timings of the calls to the emergency services, I say calls as I think there were two, very logical, the first at 15:48 upon meeting Brett Martin made on Bossy’s phone, then second after he’d turned around his car, gone up to the clearing, his 6/7 minutes, then a second call on the way back to the car, giving the actual details of what he’d seen, this one being around 16:00.

6-17-2013 at 10:03:11

有 时候 我 和 Lars 也 谈 谈 用 中文。比方 说,我 觉得 Chevaline 的 杀手 是 一 个 疯子, 可是 我 不 要 告诉 你们 大家, 这 是 我 的 小 秘密。

6-17-2013 at 10:04:43


re: Johnny Hallyday

Did I enjoy the concert?

The answer is NO! Too many people, too much noise, too hot. As for our dear Johnny … the voice has not gone (unlike that of Charles Aznavour) but the face … What to say about the face? If only he had not had his lips done, he might look a little better.

Getting to Bercy was sheer hell though I do not live all that far away and it was only a short Metro ride. Therefore after the concert I decided it would be much better to walk home. I got to Place d’Italie and then only did I get on to the Metro.

And no, I was not invited to the private concert held after Bercy. And I had to pay my way to the Bercy one. Having been to Bercy before I knew where to sit, or rather I thought I did, but with 20,000 people there, and 99.99% of them on their feet most of the time, I could just as well have sat outside on the roof.

6-17-2013 at 10:10:07

With the Sylvie le Coeur (SLC) approach I can explain a little detail which has always been bothering me.

– BM stated he saw 4×4 and MC coming down

No problem

– But BM also stated there was ‘nothing remarkable’ about them

… this has always bothered me because if 4×4 and/or MC carried the killer I would have expected some crazy racing down vehicles … but no, BM states ‘nothing remarkable’

Also the timeline imho make it difficult to place 4×4 and or MC at Martinet at the assumed time of the killing.


Now she states seeing a guy who ‘acts’ more like a guy just having killed 4 people … namely RACING DOWN and PANIC

Furthermore, the timestamp make it so that that guy could have been at Martinet at the time of the killing. Easily fitting (only problem here is how he could get away unseen by BM and PD)

In short … 4×4 and MC (seen by BM) did NOT carry the killer and were NOT at Martinet during the killing (Zainab) … BUT the speeding car guy (seen by SLC) DOES CARRY X.

– M

6-17-2013 at 10:11:20


I was going to trash as spam but then realised what you were up to.

6-17-2013 at 10:16:27

@Peter, me too….

6-17-2013 at 10:17:04

@ Max, 6-17-2013 at 10:10:07

I tend towards the opposite conclusion. Luckily, most killers are not particularly bright (the ones who are often get away with it again and again). However, not acting as if they had just committed a multiple murder is something that even the dimmest ones would get right.

Hence, my money is on the odd motorcyclist with the big panniers seen heading up Col de Cherel. Everybody describes him as “being in no hurry,” “not looking like somebody on the run” etc. etc. To my mind, that renders him highly suspect.

6-17-2013 at 10:17:41

re: Pasqua

I met him in the 1980s when he was Interior Minister, and a bloody good Interior Minister he was too.

There was much talk about him running for President at that time, but he was a little ‘rough at the edges’ and this put some people off.

Then there was the Algerian War torture story and that harmed him too. And then also the Chirac money scandal and the ‘Contra’ affair, if I remember correctly. And he paid to have French hostages released too when he and Chirac claimed the opposite.

He’s been so quiet lately that I actually thought he was dead.


You mentioned Ricard. Can you ask Paul if a man, after having drunk 12 Ricard will be able to (1) walk straight (2) bend down to tie his shoelaces without losing his balance (3) manifest no sign of being drunk, like speaking normally, and (3) drive a car?

6-17-2013 at 10:39:36,223.html

“Le SAC était une organisation paramilitaire spécialisée dans l’assassinat, le chantage, la corruption, le trafic d’armes et de drogue, le blanchiment d’argent “sale”, bref, la criminalité sous toutes ses formes, et par ailleurs dévouée corps et âme au Général de Gaulle. ”

Interesting. I’d like to hear why Bacchus makes this link.

6-17-2013 at 10:49:34

@Marilyn, I know where you’re coming from, from personal experience of watching my gentlemen neighbours and husband put five or six of these away as an aperitif , the answer is NO. Ricard/Pastis is a funny drink, generally watered down 5 parts to 1, it creeps up on you and its effects are very long lasting.

I’d looked at going to the Barbra Streisand concert in Bercy, then saw the price, so it became a no-go.

Last concert I saw in Paris was about 10 years ago, Tom Jones at The Zenith, chaos getting away from there, brilliant concert though.

6-17-2013 at 11:11:36


Thank you for explaining my post to Lynda!

As I posted, my interest was purely to verify the types of magazine and rounds held.

I do not belive that a drum type magazine was used. The term used over lunch yesterday was that they are rarer than “rocking horse poo”!

It is not only the barrel could be swapped over I am told that the pistol grips can be changed too.

To be clear, I do not regard the mm thing as relevant, and only post the information as it was a suprise to me. This infomation, as I stated, may be worth keeping at the back of ones mind, but is probabaly not relevant.

I have made a phone call this morning, his son has promised to look out some links he has to the 9mm being used in the PO6. He assures me that the information is correct and that No modifications are required. Oh, his father does still have 10 fingers!

6-17-2013 at 11:14:25


You wrote – 1) He confirmed he has fired 9mm rounds in a PO6! His son also had knowlege of a gun collector in the US who thought he had bought a PO8 (9mm) but learned from an expert some time later it was infact it was a 7.65mm and had been using in it! The diamiter of the cassing is the same for both the 9mm and the 7.65mm round. So in a PO8 15 round magazine you get 15 9mm rounds. If you put 7.65mm rounds in the same magazine you still get 15 rounds in it as the cassing diamiter is the same. 2) It is a “very accurate” hand gun. Hence his choice in SA.

See_Bee I am very eager for your to explain about SA. Please do so.

6-17-2013 at 11:40:02

@Lynda and @All interested in life in Paris.

re: Ricard.

I will tell you something interesting about Ricard. About five years ago a cousin asked me if I could ‘look after’ a friend of hers while he was in Paris. The friend, a man in his 70s, and still practising as an attorney, had a serious visual handicap (almost blind) and I was to be his friend with a cold nose.

I was worrying about the dog poo on Paris’s pavements because I could imagine him (Mr X) walking straight into a deposit of it and what was I going to do then: clean the shoe for him? So each time I saw poo on the pavement, I drew his attention to a shop window or something on the other pavement which gave me an opportunity to take him by the elbow and steer him gently away from the stinking danger ahead.

We were going to go for dinner, but he wanted an aperitif first. We went to a bistro on Place Saint Michel and sat on the terrace. (It was summer.)

I ordered a glass of white wine for myself and he wanted a Ricard. He drank it up very quickly and asked me to call the waiter because he wanted a refill. I did so. He drank that one up too very quickly and told me to ask the waiter for a third. (He could not speak French.) I again I did so and again he drank the Ricard in a couple of gulps. He then asked me to order a fourth Ricard, and I called the waiter over. The waiter, a young man, stood behind the man and feeling embarrassed I said that ‘ce monsieur’ wanted another Ricard. The waiter shook his head and said ‘Non!’ The waiter looked at me with such empathy: what he saw was a young (well fairly young) woman with an older man who was going to get very drunk and who would need taking home and putting to bed. I told Mr X that the waiter was refusing to serve him another Ricard and he began to shout at the waiter in English. The waiter, in broken English, then told him that he had already had three Ricard and that was enough. No one, said the waiter, drank 4 Ricard.

So we left – I wanted to die – and in the resto I had to order a bottle of wine for Mr X. And yes, I did have to take him back to his hotel, but mercifully I was allowed to keep the taxi and come straight home and thus did not have to get him to his room and to bed.

Lynda, about drinking 12 Ricard, I’ve been telling ‘those whom it may concern’ that one can’t drink 12 Ricard and not get drunk …

6-17-2013 at 11:41:40


re: Barbra Streisand at Bercy

If you mean the one last year, it was cancelled because not enough tickets were sold.

6-17-2013 at 12:16:36

Well, Marilyn with the price of tickets I’m not surprised !

Your Ricard story is spot on.

6-17-2013 at 13:16:26

Currently double/triple checking SLC story

1:30 into this

1:50 into this

I have to give this sighting the HIGHEST rating, even over BM’s account. The time (16:03ish), Location (just straight from dir Combe d’Ire) and appearant behaviour (racing, panic) … are MATCH

Strangely though this sighting seems to have been muffled away, ever since!?!?!

The whole ‘UK business’ came later. Based on the stuff I know now, and using only the freshest (france) elements, I have to conclude that EM is actively steering away from the killings being a local crime.

Things which point in that direction are:

– The SLC car has vanished
– The BM 4×4 somehow turned into a RHD car (making it look like UK)
– SM=target route was shutdown from start

(perhaps this all started as soon as EM learned who the french biker was … is it the ‘locality’ he is afraid of? Of is it the PM link? … of course to INITIALLY think it was about AH is only normal, with 3 dead UK and a UK girl beaten up)

– M

6-17-2013 at 13:29:49

“Suffisant pour justifier le meurtre de toute une famille et d’un témoin innocent ? C’est ce que cherchent à savoir les enquêteurs. Il semble bien, en tout cas, que la première impression des gendarmes et du procureur, quelques heures après la découverte de l’effroyable crime, soit plus que jamais d’actualité : la tuerie pourrait n’avoir aucun lien avec la Haute-Savoie. Le frère de Saad al-Hilli devrait être réentendu

« Même si rien n’est sûr à 100 %, nous sommes en train de fermer des portes conduisant à d’autres pistes, a confirmé lundi, Éric Maillaud, procureur d’Annecy, celles concernant notamment l’hypothèse d’un tueur isolé ou en lien avec la famille Mollier ou le cycliste britannique, qui a découvert la scène de crime. »”

So, only a few hours after the crime, the Gendarmes and Prosecutor had formed their first impression, no link to the Haute Savoie ! A few hours, although Maillaud is quoted as in the process of closing doors (again) on the hypothesis of a lone gunman, link to the Mollier family or the British cyclist.

6-17-2013 at 13:38:23

Just got this from my friend in France …..born in Claygate
“Just thinking, as you are one of the few people to know that chap well, if the security services are half awake you would be investigated and by deduction a contact not so far from Annecy found. Wonder why my phone and ADSL has been so unreliable recently.
Anyway I could do with a bit of work, have useful contacts in Geneva should anyone else be reading this. You can reply to this email address,”

6-17-2013 at 15:17:49

6-17-2013 at 09:57:02 you just don’t appear to work through the consequences of your assertions. You also appear to accept official reports without question and overlook official inaccuracies that could not have been accidental. You say “@TimV, my husband worked with Charles Pasqua in the 1960′s at Ricard. ” Given the dubious record of this man including allegations that he benefited from Saddam Hussein , I am wondering if your husband’s employment has affected your judgement?

You say: ” The timings of the calls to the emergency services, I say calls as I think there were two, very logical, the first at 15:48 upon meeting Brett Martin made on Bossy’s phone, then second after he’d turned around his car, gone up to the clearing, his 6/7 minutes, then a second call on the way back to the car, giving the actual details of what he’d seen, this one being around 16:00.”

First, two telephone calls have never been reported from any source, official or otherwise. What is your evidence for this claim.

Second, you pass over the fact of the initial lie, if WBM is to be believed, that Martin made that first call. I say “lie” advisedly as how could such a profound mistake have been made accidentally? Martin was English and could hardly speak French. There is no way he could have been confused with the French speaking “Didierjean”, or that the mobile phone numbers could have been confused either.

Third, you make no reference to the fact that the claim that WBM had made the initial call until almost a week later when he denied it himself. Nor has the mistake ever been properly explained.

Fourth, if WBM did not make the call the only other option that we know of, is that “Didierjean/Bossy” did it. However this is not without its own credibility problems. All the initial reports of the mysterious “Mr D.” stated he “approached Chevaline after 4 pm”. This was never officially corrected by Maillaud, the police or “Didierjean” himself. So bearing in mind he still had to drive up the Combe to the fateful meeting with Martin as described and additional time to comprehend and phone (even were it possible to do so) there is no way this could have happened at 3.48 unless the detailed initial account was very inaccurate.

Fifth, in fact “Didierjean’s” account makes this even more impossible because he says his initial call to the emergency services did not take place until he had visited the site with Martin and then returned down the valley to obtain a mobile signal. Even erring on the cautious side this must have added at least another 10 or 15 minutes to the timeline.

Sixth, you have nothing to say as to how “Didierjean” could have transmuted to “Bossy” without a word of explanation from the Authorities. All media assume they are one and the same but even this significant fact has not been confirmed.

Seventh, if the 3.48 call is kosher, it inevitably means both the principle witnesses have lied at some point. If neither of them made a call at 3.48 (I am not disputing either of them could have made a call later) the Maillaud’s statement is inaccurate. However in either event SOMEONE must have alerted the emergency services about then because they were on scene soon after 4 pm and travel time must be allowed for.

Eighth, initial reports had WBM telephoning as soon as he arrived on scene at 3.48. On the basis of his own account and other calculations he must have arrived about fifteen minutes before this. Why? By his own account he tends to and moves Zainab, checks and moves the heavy Sylvain and checks his pockets, moves around the car, smashes the window and turns the engine, checks on the other occupants going around the other side of the car BEFORE he even attempts to use his phone. So even if he had managed to get through at 3.48, which of course he denies, he would have had to have arrived at least ten or fifteen minutes before to accomplish all he did. However to this must be added the time he cycles off to meet Didierjean/Bossy if the latter placed the call making it impossible for him to have done so by 3.48 as claimed.

If you think my reasoning is flawed perhaps you will very objectively show how. I am very open to a rational explanation if there is one.

6-17-2013 at 15:41:23

You will notice on this one there is no mention of a car – they were “walking” up the Combe. This discrepancy/variation has never been explained either. However he confirms a call had not been made at the time they met and that he did not call the police himself until after he had returned and assessed the murder scene.

This was the initial Telegraph report:-

“By Henry Samuel, in Annecy11:51AM BST 11 Sep 2012

Philippe D, 41, was walking up the forest road of Combe-d’Ire near the village of Chevaline with two female friends when the unnamed British RAF veteran came careering down the path.

“This panic-stricken man was coming back down the road,” the Frenchman whose surname has been withheld for legal reasons told Le Parisien newspaper. “He explained with difficulty in bad French that he had seen a drama a bit higher up.”

“He wanted to phone the emergency services. I didn’t understand whether he had a mobile or couldn’t get a signal in that place.”

The Frenchman then followed the Briton to the car park where four people, three from the British al-Hilli family and French cylclist Sylvain Mollier, 45, had been gunned down moments earlier.
“I understood straight away. I approached the car. I touched nothing but could see there was nothing to be done (for the victims). There was no sign of life,” he said.

He then saw seven-year old Zainab al-Hilli lying in the recovery position yards from the car, where the Briton had placed her.
A prosecutor had praised the Briton’s “nerves of steel” for tending to the girl, who is recovering in hospital in Grenoble.
“She didn’t respond to our calls. I clapped my hands but she didn’t react,” Philippe is cited as saying. “I even said a few words in English as I saw the car was registered in Great Britain. But nothing happened. For me, she was dead,” he said.
A few seconds later, he went down the slope a few yards to phone the emergency services. The prosecutor said they received the first call at 3.48pm.”

6-17-2013 at 16:04:48


“Ils projetaient de passer la nuit dans un chalet d’alpage. Mais alors qu’ils montaient tranquillement en voiture la route forestière de la Combe-d’Ire, sur les hauteurs du village de Chevaline.”

From your last paragraph:

“A few seconds later, he went down the slope a few yards to phone the emergency services. The prosecutor said they received the FIRST call at 3:48pm” If there was a first call why not a second, even if my interpretation isn’t spot on ?

“En montant sur la petite route forestière, nous avons croisé un homme qui a attiré notre attention. Il avait les mains couvertes de sang. Il nous a fait comprendre qu’il s’était passé quelque chose de grave un peu plus haut. Visiblement, il voulait donner l’alerte, mais il n’avait pas de téléphone mobile, ou pas de réseau. Le parking du Martinet n’était pas loin, alors nous avons appelé les pompiers et nous sommes montés voir ce qu’on pouvait faire… »”

6-17-2013 at 16:28:12

By 9.26 pm the same reporter for the same paper now adds “Philippe D, was the first person to call the emergency services”

Now there is a subtle change of emphasis on when the call was made:

“”There was no sound. It was like a horror film,” he said. “One of those TV series where everything starts with a murder.
“Except this time we were the actors and we didn’t have the remote control to change the channel switch.
“When we saw that nobody answered our calls and apparently everyone was dead, we were totally spooked.”

“The hiker, who called the emergency services, then saw seven-year-old Zainab al-Hilli lying in the recovery position just yards from the BMW, where the British cyclist had placed her.”

The Guardian has this:

“Didierjean said he followed the British cyclist for a few metres before arriving at the car park. “I approached the car. I didn’t touch anything, but I saw at once that there was nothing more to be done. There was no sign of life.” He said he heard no shooting and “seen nobody passing … not a car or motorbike”.

” I saw the car was registered in Great Britain, but there was nothing. To me, she was dead.”

He then went back down the hill leading to the Alpine beauty spot near Lake Annecy to call the emergency services.”

By the 11.9.13 a car has appeared in ” Didierjean’s” account:

“Speaking for the first time on Tuesday to French newspaper Aujourd’hui France / Le Parisien, the witness, known as Philippe D, recalled realising something terrible had happened when their car was approached by a panicked cyclist – the British former RAF serviceman who had discovered the crime scene.
“He had to descend the mountain road in order to get a signal to call the police. Emergency services arrived within minutes of his call.

Unlike the British cyclist, Philippe D did not see a dark-coloured 4×4 and a motorbike driving away from the crime scene at the time of the murders.”


This is repeated by WBM who relates “300 or 400 yards down the road I met a car”

6-17-2013 at 16:38:00

@Lynda and TimV,

Typically a copy/past lost in translation thingy.

I did try to locate the real SOURCE. To me it is Le Parisien who interviewed PD ‘en exclusivité’

So …

‘Quelques secondes plus tard, il redescend de quelques mètres pour contacter les pompiers. Le premier appel enregistré par les secours, qui arrivent une poignée de minutes plus tard.’

… this is to me the ‘truth’

A lot of other reports did take from LP and got things mixed up.

Of course the ultimate answer would be for us to contact PD/PB directly and ask him the question.

– M

6-17-2013 at 16:41:54

@TimV, I prefer to use the quotes of Philippe D, in his own language, French, we’ve already discussed how so much has been lost in translation.

“Le parking du Martinet n’était pas loin, alors nous avons appelé les pompiers et nous sommes montés voir ce qu’on pouvait faire… – ”

The Marinet parking wasn’t far, so we called the pompiers and we went up to see …….

6-17-2013 at 16:58:02


Our posts did cross;)

While I agree (and sure enough TimV will agree too) and try to use French sources (in case of PD) … I think you have not gotten the source!

I’m pretty sure LP is the source. We could also twitter JMD, because iirc he did twitter that the PD stuff would be published exclusively in the LP

Jean-Marc Ducos ?@jeanmarcduc 11 Sep
#Affaire Al-Hilli #Haute-Savoie. Le témoignage exclusif de l’homme, un randonneur, qui a alerté les secours. Info Le Parisien-Aujourd’hui.

– M

6-17-2013 at 17:55:50

@ TimV

That stuff you are quoting is like a bad, multi-lingual version of Chinese whispers: A witness tells a cop something, the cop relates it to Eric Clouseau, Eric Clouseau relates it to AFP, some cretin working for a UK tabloid runs that French-language AFP press release through Google translate and finally sprinkles his or her own fairy dust over it. In this manner, a hiker in a car becomes somebody hiking up a road, a car seen driving down the road turns into a car seen “careening” or “racing” up that road.

If course it is easy to find any number of inconsistencies in the press reporting generated in this way. I’m just not sure whether even bothering to do so is indicative of critical, indepedent thinking – or precisely the opposite.

6-17-2013 at 18:03:06

Max, why would the

add this to the statement in quotes:

“Le parking du Martinet n’était pas loin, alors nous avons appelé les pompiers et nous sommes montés voir ce qu’on pouvait faire”

Maillaud refers to a first call, please bear with me, Didierjean/Bossy was driving uphill to the Martinet with two female friends, they were going to stay in one of the chalets/refuges on the mountains overnight.

As they were approaching their destination in the car, a man with bloody hands was coming towards them, in his bad French he said there had been some sort of drama above and either didn’t have a phone or no signal so wanted Bossy to call the ‘pompiers’.

A bloody handed man in front of you, in a panic and trying to describe some sort of acccident or emergency, I think I’d make a phone call straight away, even whilst walking towards the scene, then a second call when I had the facts after going up with Brett Martin.

They then left the scene and stopped outside Paul & Lise Duchers farm, very shaken by what they had encountered, quoted as being about an hour after Ducher thinks he may have seen the BMW going up as he was mucking out.

Not everything in Le Parisien has proven to be fact, the JDD often has a different take on it all, as does The Telegraph and The Daily Mail.

The date on the link above is the 12th September and it isn’t a copy and paste – so after the exclusive of the 11th September Le Parisien, could it have been a free for all, with Didierjean/Bossy giving a slightly different account, or the Parisien leaving out some bits of the interview, happens all the time, doesn’t it ?

Same quote…..

@TimV – can you please stop insulting my intelligence, I have been trying to sift through the media just like you from the off, if everything is an untruth then neither you nor I have a chance of understanding what happened, it is only the reports and press conferences that are giving us any clues.

With regard to Charles Pasqua, this was a very long time ago, my husband who I hadn’t even met at the time, was a salesman for Ricard. Your inference is just downright rude, even Marilyn will agree that for all the rumours of the SAC, link posted above he was highly regarded in his position of Minister for the Interior, which was well after he left Ricard in 1967, my husband leaving the year before in 1966.

Just a thought, what if Didierjean/Bossy gave the phone to Brett Martin to make the call or to speak to the Emergency Service Operator, remember that this is a tourist region and like here, I live in a tourist region as well, the Emergency Operators do speak English, maybe not perfectly but enough to glean the information required.

6-17-2013 at 18:37:52

I saw this a while ago:

Three photos …..

6-17-2013 at 19:04:25

Thanks for the explanation although I was up to speed on the police/gendarme thing although I get the impression both lots were called into play to man the crime scene and carry out enquiries from photo’s or am I wrong on that?

As regard being armed that was my point. All the reports get the sequence of arrivals as being fire/rescue first (unarmed) ambulance (unarmed) doctor (unarmed) police armed but unused as far as we know. In other words the first three arrivals were unarmed and very vulnerable if a crazed killer was still on the loose. So I merely raise the question, were standard operating procedures followed or did the unarmed personnel go in ignoring them, bravely indifferent to their own safety? Or were they directed there by controllers, confident in the knowledge that the killer(s) were safely out of the way?

As to that white Pajero it would appear it was given preferential treatment as most vehicles were blocked at the bottom of the Combe. I can’t quite make out what the fit young man is wearing but he appears to be in conversation or some such. Not in gendarme uniform though.

So a Paris registered vehicle that would seem to have some semi official function to be allowed there but quite an old model (1994?) and one that strangely fits the early description of vehicle sought by the police, in part at least. I don’t think for one moment it’s the killer’s vehicle but these aspects are rather strange don’t you think?

6-17-2013 at 19:09:05


Ce n’est pas la peine de chercher plus loin. Nous sommes perdus.

Seul le Président Hollande peut resoudre cette affaire. Mais je crois qu’il n’a pas de couilles (tomates, en portugais) pour le faire !.

La savoie est la savoie !

Vive la savoie libre !

Vive la savoie libre qui tue des innocents!.

6-17-2013 at 19:23:50

Je laisse ici une suggestion:

Que le meurtrier se suicide, mais laisse une lettre d’aveux.

6-17-2013 at 19:35:44


The links I have been given are copied below:-

1) PO8 round in PO6 Michael Zeleny …the is a quote on Feb 20th 2007 at 02.20am

“the Luger action has been known to withstand shooting a 9mm bullet through a 7.65mm barrel”

2) 11 -10-2012 at 12:56pm #8
Explanation of diameter of 9mm and 7.65mm cassing being the same.

3) General infomation

6-17-2013 at 19:41:27

The article below the photo states that the road was re-opened but the last 500 metres had to be made on foot, so it could just be journalists or photographers, apparently coming downhill.×4-vert-et-un-temoin-cle/mlig!m18LLth0rW5Sg/

“Vendredi après-midi, les gendarmes ont levé le périmètre de sécurité et demandé aux journalistes de faire les 500 derniers mètres a pied pour “préserver” le site. Sur ce petit parking, on peut encore observer des traces et des bouts de pneu, des bris de verre et le talus abîmé.”

From the same article, I just wonder if by using the word ‘douilles’ they are referring to spent bullets rather than shell casings. This would make more sense:

“Ils ont pourtant été nombreux. Plus de 25. Dix douilles ont été retrouvées à l’extérieur du véhicule. Les autres sont venues se loger dans l’habitacle et le corps des victimes. Chacune a au moins été touchée par trois balles. Et toutes en ont reçu une dans la tête.”

6-17-2013 at 19:43:27

@bleb and others

I believe that the advantage with Marilyn’s blog is exactly that it is multilingual, since the crime in itself concerns different nationalities, it would probably be good if we had more Arabic speaking participants as well.

Most other blogs are monolingual and that naturally means that you lose at least half of the story. So much is lost in translation, especially all minute details, and there has been so much creative writing, not the least in the British tabloids, that is absolutely necessary to go back to the sources (often French).

That said, I understand that it is difficult for those that do not understand e.g. French well, but I think we often try to translate, explain and discuss the important parts in English.

It is probably good also that you remind us that not everybody following this blog understands French and that we should not be so “lazy” and use French when it is not necessary (e.g. to quote a French source).

6-17-2013 at 19:55:09


I did notice it too!

When looking at the dates

sept 11th

sept 12th

I’d say LP wins … but sure enough, even 2 french mags cannot get the stories straight … WTF??? lol

I think the only solution is to ask PD (or is it PB?;) himself

– M

6-17-2013 at 19:59:27

@ Marilyn

You asked for me to explain about South Africa(SA).

We have been visiting a Swiss friend of my parents who is now 92 this weekend, he went to live in SA in 1957. He married a girl from Durban. Their son was born in SA. They owned a large farm/ranch. In 1993 they sold up and moved back to Switzerland.
They could not tolerate the threat they felt to their personal security, sold up everything and returned.

The guy had a collection of guns for his own personal defense at his property.

Of the pistols that he had, the one that he carried/prefered, was a PO6/29, claiming that it was “very accurate”.

If you want to know more please ask, you may also like to check this link below v the SA climate with regard to guns and personal defence:-

6-17-2013 at 20:12:55

@Lars, I will make sure that I always put a translation of the salient point in future as well as the link and a copy and paste of the original, that way those that do understand French will be able to see if I’ve made a mistake in the translation.

From my last post above:

From the same article, I just wonder if by using the word ‘douilles’ they are referring to spent bullets rather than shell casings. This would make more sense:

“Ils ont pourtant été nombreux. Plus de 25. Dix douilles ont été retrouvées à l’extérieur du véhicule. Les autres sont venues se loger dans l’habitacle et le corps des victimes. Chacune a au moins été touchée par trois balles. Et toutes en ont reçu une dans la tête.” –

Ten casings were found outside the vehicle, others came to rest in the interior of the car and the bodies of the victims.

They mean bullets, not shell casings, don’t they ?

6-17-2013 at 20:13:01

This is six days after the event when the French authorities were presumably aware that their story that WBM made the initial was going to be contradicted by the man himself. “Philippe Didierjean” gives his exclusive to Le Parisien.

“This Wednesday, September 5, Philip D., 41, planned to hike with two friends in the Bauges on this side he did not yet know. They planned to spend the night in a mountain chalet. But then they rode quietly drive the forest road of Combe d’Ire on the heights of the village of Chevaline, close to the place called Martinet, they saw arise shortly before 4:01 p.m. cyclist distraught, first witness of the massacre that killed Saad al-Hilli, his wife, the mother of the latter, as well as Sylvain Mollier, a family cycling. ”

The time is brought forward from earlier accounts to “shortly before 4.01 pm”. Now don’t you find that strange wording? “Shortly before 4.01”. Why not just before 4? A very precise time moderated by a generalisation. Quite inexplicable! And why if as is claimed he made the first call at 3.48 did he not put the time at 3.45 if not earlier? After all the time they first SAW Martin had to be at least five minutes before the call was recorded, because we have to allow time to stop the car, get out, calm the distraught Martin down, get the gist of the message from the “pigeon French”, get the phone out, dial the emergency number and wait for it to be answered. So to make a call at 3.48 they would have had to meet not later than 3.43.

NB this assumes an immediate telephone call and completely ignores the fact that every report suggested he didn’t make the call until he had reached the crime scene, let alone travelled back down the Combe before he did so.

Now the problem is that if in fact they met before 3.45 where is the time for WBM to do what he says he did before the meeting? If we allow 10 or 15 mins minimum it pushes his arrival time to the one hard fact: shots at 3.30. This is what I have said all along. But perhaps even more significantly it means that either he or Didierjean are mistaken about the retreating 4×4 and motorcycle, as they could not have failed to pass on that narrow road.

So either Didierjean was there for the 3.48 call and passed the killers(?) vehicle on the way up, or he got there later and couldn’t have placed that first call.

6-17-2013 at 20:16:51

….. Or WBM was lying about the 4×4 passing him twice – once up, once back just before he arrive

6-17-2013 at 20:32:15

@ Tim V

….. Or WBM was lying about the 4×4 passing him twice – once up, once back just before he arrive

You would make a fine journalist, I’m sure. Why don’t you give it a go? 😀

6-17-2013 at 20:43:20


I really tried to determine earlier who was first with the hiker-story and I am convinced that it was Le Parisien, and that they spoke to Didierjean/Bossy at one of the crime reconstructions.
A journalist writing for the local Le Dauphine was perhaps also present.

All other press stories are based on this one “interview”.

Probably it was our Ducos fellow behind that Le Parisien article and he was also the one who leaked the false (?) name Philippe Didierjean to Peter Allen writing for ST and other British journalists.

If Philippe changed his name, or it was Ducos who for some reasons tweaked it, is hard to know for the moment.

6-17-2013 at 20:44:05

@ tim v about the hour

“close to the place called Martinet, they saw arise shortly before 4:01 p.m. cyclist distraught…”
it’s a bad translation (google translation can be very bad !)

it means : they saw arise shortly before 4:00 p.m. “a” cyclist distraught…

6-17-2013 at 20:46:55

Do the ONF mob go about armed?
Do they ever arrest people?

6-17-2013 at 21:00:34

@TimV, where does it say:

“they saw arise shortly before 4:01 p.m. cyclist distraught, first witness of the massacre that killed Saad al-Hilli, his wife, the mother of the latter, as well as Sylvain Mollier, a family cycling. ”

It says a bit before 16hrs…… 16:00 is the same in French and in English 4pm

“vu surgir peu avant 16 heures un cycliste affolé, premier témoin de la tuerie qui a coûté la vie à Saad al-Hilli, son épouse, la mère de cette dernière, ainsi qu’à Sylvain Mollier, un père de famille à vélo. ”

I thought we’d covered your double sighting of a 4×4, it didn’t exist, maybe a car was seen heading in the direction of Martinet behaving erratically, in the direction of was a few kilometres away !

The witness presented himself to the Gendarmerie a couple of days later after he’d seen reports of the crime and talk of a 4×4. This sighting was nowhere near Martinet.

Although I admit that ‘witnesses’ apparently saw a 4×4 circulating in the area of Chevaline, as Maillaud said there are 4×4’s everywhere, and so there are.

You may not believe Brett Martin, I know others on here are of the same opinion, even if not arriving at the same conclusion as you. I think it is a truth told within the allowable constraints of the enquiry.

6-17-2013 at 21:03:44

12.9.12″We left by car for a hike in the Wallows,” he recalls. Usually, it goes through the other side. This is the first time we stayed in the valley Ire. In the small amount of forest road, we met a man who drew our attention. His hands were covered in blood. He made us understand that it was something serious happened a little higher. Obviously, he wanted to give the alarm, but he had no mobile phone network or not. The parking Swift was not far, so we called the fire department and we got to see what we could do … ”

I think for the first time reference was made to “hands covered in blood”. Of course shooting a pistol is not associated with bloody hands. This, if true would have to come from close physical contact with the bloody person. WBM said that he handled both ZAH and SM so in one sense this can be explained. his DNA would presumably appear on at least two of the victims. But why no blood stains elsewhere – on his clothes for instance? And then we have the small matter of him wearing gloves….

WBM said he cycled 3/400 yards before he met them which conflicts with PD/B;s. However a later report clarified they drove car to within 50 metre turned around and walked the remaining. WBM says ZAH was covered in a lot of blood. PD/B says precisely opposite. Just small details.

6-17-2013 at 21:04:36

Bacchus has a good play on the word douilles. He wrote: Seul le Président Hollande peut resoudre cette affaire. Mais je crois qu’il n’a pas de couilles (tomates, en portugais) pour le faire !

I am not going to translate the word ‘couilles’ but will allow you the pleasure to find the meaning for yourself.

Froggy points out how poor a google translate can be. No wonder there has been such misreporting about this case.

JCave, maybe Lynda who also lives in France (as I do) will know whether ONF guys are armed. I suppose they must be in case an angry bear confronts them! I don’t think they have the right to arrest anyone. When there is a problem they have to call the gendarmes. Or maybe, if they are not armed, they can just run for it …

6-17-2013 at 21:12:00

@ JCave, 6-17-2013 at 20:46:55

Yes, their “forest technicians” and above are armed, and they are all a menace to the public. I have mentioned before that I occasionally do a “Melvin” in the forests on my Enduro bike, wherever I happen to find myself. In France, I have been chased by half a dozen of these guys sitting on some kind of golf-cart-sized crawler-type vehicle that was however quite nippy and could easily negotiate the toughest terrain.

In the event, the pursuit was farcical (the vehicle could handle the terrain, but the guys sitting on top of it kept being spilled all over the place), but I have no doubt that, if they had caught me, I should have suffered a very, very bad beating at the least. They were not at all happy about this.

6-17-2013 at 21:25:47


I was born and grew up in South Africa. I asked you my question because I was curious to know what your friend (your parents’ friend) was shooting or wanted to shoot in South Africa. I thought maybe he was a big game hunter.

6-17-2013 at 21:29:07


Re: forest guards

Peter, did you not perhaps also see Peter Sellers falling off the forest buggy?

6-17-2013 at 21:32:29


16:01 is Google translate garbage;)

Although ‘peu avant’ seems strange enough in itself, because according to the timeline (others and me) that ‘peu’ must have been at least 15 minutes(!)

– M

6-17-2013 at 21:38:34

I think it was said at the outset, regarding the off piste motorbike above Martinet, directed/escorted back to the authorised route, that they could have issued a fine, obviously ddin’t as they would have had a great deal more knowledge of the offender !

‘Bears’ Marilyn, none in Les Bauges for over a century but they do have wolves up there.

“En 1900, l’ours a disparu du secteur Tarentaise-Beaufortain-Bauges : le dernier ours (153 kg) fut tué à la montagne du Charbon (commune de Doussard), dans le massif des Bauges (Haute-Savoie), en 1887. ”

The last bear in the Tarentaise-Beaufortain-Bauges was killed on the Mont du Charbon in 1887, on the mountain opposite Martinet and with the Chalets de Planay and Rosay at its foot.

Also, thinking about it they probably have guns to put an injured animal out of its distress.

@Peter, Enduro – there is a famous one that takes place within 10kms from me on the sands ;-)!

6-17-2013 at 21:59:15

@ Marilyn, 6-17-2013 at 21:29:07

No, I didn’t see Peter Sellers anywhere, only French guys in hi-viz vests braying for blood, my blood. In hindsight, it is very, very funny indeed, a moment that I’ll never forget, but at the time, it was just scary. These guys were going all-out to get me, with a complete disregard to their own safety.

I have done similar things in many countries. The only place where I have experienced a similar reaction was Edinburgh in the early Nineties, where I rode up Arthur’s Seat (some scenes in “Trainspotting” were shot on that hill overlooking Edinburgh city entre and the coast) one early morning. E’d up to my t*ts, I lit up a smoke, let the dawn sun shine upon my face – and then saw about twenty police Land Rovers encircling me, all heading towards me. It took me about two hours to lose them between the top of Arthur’s Seat and my (then) girlfriend’s flat at the foot of Leith Walk (where other scenes from “Trainspotting” are set). Pretty much every car and motorcycle that Edinburgh police had available must have been used, dozens and dozens of both kinds at least.

If you want to verify this story, don’t rely upon my word alone. I am sure that the cops still have records of this memorable – for both sides – day.

6-17-2013 at 23:43:57


As far as I know, his interest was self preservation, that led to an interest in fire arms and a small collection of weapons, and not big game shooting of any sort.

6-17-2013 at 23:45:17

are you part of the 1% 😉

6-17-2013 at 23:49:29

Saad didnt do trail bikes
and he recently sold his
Suzuki Bandit 1200 S

6-18-2013 at 01:55:33

6-17-2013 at 21:00:34 You say:

“I thought we’d covered your double sighting of a 4×4, it didn’t exist, maybe a car was seen heading in the direction of Martinet behaving erratically, in the direction of was a few kilometres away !”

I have already given you all the references to a 4×4 OVERTAKING him on the way up, and PASSING HIM ON THE WAY DOWN. To which we must add the recent appeal for the BMW X5 passing him ON THE WAY UP at 1 K in at 3.20 pm. This latest appeal by French AND British doesn’t say the BMW passed him on the way down, but if not the only other explanation is that it continued on into the prohibited zone. This you will note was the explanation “Didierjean/Bossy” came up with for not seeing/passing WBM’s green 4×4.

As for the 4.01 pm referred to it is in the reference I posted.

6-18-2013 at 02:00:38

Yr wyf yn meddwl Lars (6-17-2013 at 19:43:27) wedi deall fy mhwynt.

6-18-2013 at 02:49:47

There can be no rational explanation for the multiplicity of contradictions put out by Maillaud other than incompetence or intention. This extends to even the objective facts of bullets and bullet wounds.

It started with the change from 15 to 25 which may be partially explained by a developing situation (ie the casings were under the car and they hadn’t yet moved it?) However no such mitigation can be extended to cover the fact it is now reported as 21 NINE MONTHS later. It has been stated ten of the bullets were were outside whilst the remaining were inside the victims or vehicle. How does this equate with the former conclusion?

Then we have EM’s definitive press conference statement that three out of four victims were shot in the head. This became all. We had both all shot twice in the head and shot once. All shot at least three times. Sylvain shot UP TO seven times.

That SM had been shot first and most immediately denied by EM. That the shooting indicated a professional killer; a very incompetent professional; an amateur; a madman; a psychopath who had killed before; an escaped mental hospital patient; a Serbian Paramilitary; a cheap Rumanian assassin; and latterly someone who knew what he was doing because “hardly a shot was wasted” – this a precise contradiction of earlier opinion that bullets were sprayed indiscriminately!

Was it a Skorpion, a Luger PO6 or PO8, 7.65 or 9 mm or something else? Did it make a hole the size of a two Euro coin (25+ mm)? Was it one or two (both opinions have been stated by French police)? The shots provide no information then the lab says SM was shot first then returned for the fatal shots last. No trace of the gun has turned up nor apparently do the casings indicate a weapon used previously. No one in the French/Swiss under-world/military/gun outlets identified a possible match despite the distinctive matching piece? No further events of a similar nature or using this weapon? Were magazines used and if so how many and what happened to them? Were WBM’s clothes/ hands tested for residues?

Have you ever seen the like?

6-18-2013 at 05:49:50

6-18-2013 at 02:00:38

Chwarae teg i ti, bleb, am defnyddio’r iaith Gymraeg yma ar flog Marilyn!

‘O bydded i’r hen iaith barhau’!

Agus anois Ghaeilge? Brezhoneg??

6-18-2013 at 07:59:17

Did WBM himself state that he was at the murder site for 10 to 15mins?
I believe I could do everything he did in approx 5 minutes.
Did he say why he went through SM’s pockets, that is the only thing I find strange about his behaviour?
Does anyone know how long SM and Claire had been together, or how they came to get together?

I’m looking for a new motive, sometimes something that seems so minor to most of us will set a killer off, will post about a recent murder in NZ that has intrigued us, and the police have now revealed what they believe the motive is and who the killer is.

6-18-2013 at 08:08:30

Cymru am Byth ! Mochyn, are you dirty one ? I loves a pint of Brains Dark me, like.

TimV – Brett Martin was filtered away from the scene to avoid the local media, he was interviewed initially over some 6 hours at the Gendarmerie.

I have no doubt he would have been relieved of his clothes, been fingerprinted, DNA swabbed, blood traces from his hands, gloves, clothes, shoes taken for identification.

Just because the Prosecutor hasn’t announced all this and the findings doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, does it ?

The same will have been done with Bossy and his female companions, the third cyclist that got close to the scene sufficiently to see ‘cyclist’ on the ground as detailed by Lise Ducher on her farmhouse balcony.

There are many outstanding issues that I’d like answers to, the chances are Eric Maillaud has those covered, but he doesn’t see fit to inform the likes of me.

I still can’t see how you’ve got to Brett Martin being passed by a 4×4 in both directions, looks as if Peter can’t either.

Out of respect, I will look at The Telegraph and The Guardian again, thoroughly, maybe you’d like to consider doing the same for the links I’ve given with explanations in English, as many of us have said Google Translate isn’t up to the job.

6-18-2013 at 08:10:36

This murder that I wanted to tell the story of involved a road worker who was killed in a drive by shooting while he was holding the stop/go sign at road works. A car just drove up shot him and sped off.

Now the police believe the killing was related to an incident a week earlier where the motorist didn’t see the roadworker’s sign because he was sitting on back of a truck,and was forced to reverse and in doing so did some minor damage to a following car.The police don’t believe it was even the driver of this car who killed the roadworker a week later, but a relation who may or may not have been a passenger that day.

Until this motive was revealed all sorts of speculation has been going on as to what the motive could be.

6-18-2013 at 08:21:07

@Sarah, bonjour from France !

Here’s my fourpenneth:

Brett Martin said he was on the scene for about 5 minutes.

Sylvain Molliers pockets were gone through, as far as I recall not attributed to Brett Martin (TimV, please post the source for this).

Claire and Sylvain had been living together for about 2 years. I think someone else has details of how they may have met. I think Lars or Oui can help.

6-18-2013 at 09:48:09

“But on Wednesday 5 September at around 15.40, having driven to the Martinet Car Park at the end of the winding Combe d’Ire Road in nearby Chevaline the family were brutally attacked.”

“The French authorities, working with officers from the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team, can reveal that they are now looking for a 4×4 vehicle, possibly a grey, black or dark coloured BMW X5. Police cannot be specific about colour at this stage.”

“The vehicle was seen some 20 minutes before the shootings on the Combre d’Ire Road around 2 kilometres from the car park.”

Crimewatch is a respected BBC programme, always produced with the help of the UK Police Force, but the time of the incident has changed by 10 minutes.

I posted earlier a link regarding the photos from Le Journal de Dimanche of the 14th October here is the copy: Three photos taken between 15:00 and 15:10 infront of typical farmhouses and chalets of the region in Arnand, which adjoins Chevaline.

Chevaline : la chronologie se resserre
Trois photos de famille ont été prises entre 15 heures et 15 h 10
TUERIE Les gendarmes chargés de l’enquête sur le quadruple assassinat de Chevaline ( Haute- Savoie), survenu le 5 septembre dernier, ont trouvé dans l’appareil photo de la famille Al- Hilli des clichés pris entre 15 heures et 15 h 10 dans le hameau d’Arnand, mitoyen de Chevaline. Saad Al- Hilli, sa femme et leur deux filles de 4 et 7 ans posent devant des fermes et chalets typiques de la région. C’est la grand- mère qui a pris les photos…….

Sorry Max and Lars, here is another reference to the first phone call, okay it is the JDD, and just for good mesure they note that Laurents (the builder) name was changed (funny, it turned out to be his name, where as TimV misses why Philippe Didierjean became Bossy – my guess, so as not to be identified by the media until he was ready).

“15h48 : les secours sont alertés

Grace au téléphone de Philippe D., un randonneur de la région qui arrive en voiture avec deux amies juste au moment où Martin s’apprête à rebrousser chemin pour chercher de l’aide, les pompiers d’Annecy sont prévenus”

Google translate does this:

“3:48 p.m.: The emergency services were alerted

Thanks to phone D. Philippe, a hiker in the region who arrive by car with two friends just as Martin is about to turn back to seek help, firefighters are warned Annecy ” to turn back to seek help, firefighters are warned Annecy ”

Which is:

The emergency services were alerted

Thanks to the telephone of Philippe D, a hiker from the region who had arrived by car with two friends just at the moment Martin had turned back to seek help, the Emergency Services were warned.

Guys, I don’t know if it is true as there is so much copy and paste but it could be, couldn’t it ?

And finally, Laurent the builder, I have found referenced that he said he saw the BMW pass a ‘good half hour’ after they had returned from lunch, please don’t think that they started back at their post at 14:00, more likely 14:30 add the ‘good half hour’, after 15:00……they were behind in the job and probably overegged their enthusiasm !

6-18-2013 at 11:18:47

Lynda @ 08:08:30 – some of the information you are looking re the car passing WBM on his way up can be found in the BBC interview of WBM.

That is also the source for WBM’s denial of making the 15:48PM phone call as well as the account of what he did on the scene.

Personally, I am extremely suspicious of the original account provided by LP of PD arriving “a little before 4:01” going through a complete re-write – about 8 months later(!) to put him on the scene earlier – this time in the person of Phillipe Bossy – who “almost” punched WBM upon arrival.

There is no way of reconciling the two french accounts provided nearly 8 months apart. And that’s true both in the original french or the English translation.

To me it looks like a deliberate re-script – perhaps an attempt to provide at least “some” plausible timing to that 3:48PM phone call. Never mind that originally WBM was supposed to have called – which he then denied – blowing a 2 Euro size hole in the favored french story line. Voila! enter Bossy – the “real” Didierjean – up by car AND foot (check it out – helps get him there faster), telling a tale that seems to strangely respond to some of the very questions raised on this blog and others. I especially liked the 6-7 minutes part. Like Goldilocks – it’s just right>>>>

In the end – it’s about who and what each of us believes. we have virtually no reason to believe the French investigator accounts – the contradictions, retractions and plain nonsensical assertions were just too numerous to list (though Tim V gave it the old college try). I am not trying to guess why the flabbed-up tales, only to mention – yet again – that flabbed-up they were. For me that forecloses the question of trust. I’ll continue to listen to what they tell but with the idee that there’s method behind the madness.

Do I believe WBM? oh well, that’s the 1 M Euro question, isn’t it? All I know is that he was spirited away from France in record time – especially for such an important witness – and appears to be none the worse for wear (ie, above suspicion). Not saying he done some bad deed. just that he knows stuff, being such a good ex-RAF and all.

As to the motive(s) for the Chevaline killings – I believe we don’t really know because we are not supposed to know. And just as well – whoever was willing to kill so many so ruthlessly, hurt a little girl etc. is still out there, Luger and all. “They” killed so the motive will not be known and in that this was a most professionally executed killing, one that will take at least “10 years” to solve – right, Eric?. Speculation is fine, of course and is no doubt welcome. As long as no one gets too close?

All that being said, i kind of liked Max’s theory of the “deal interrupted”. I mean, it does not conflict with the facts as we know them (probability is, of course, another story). Still, the post-incident behavior of the investigating authorities shows very little urgency to follow this or indeed any other thread (except the ones that lead away from France…).

6-18-2013 at 11:22:15


We don’t know how long CS and Mollier had known each other, but they know each other at least in 2009, when CS also knew other members of the Mollier family. They probably knew one another a couple of years longer, probably from Grenoble where CS was studying at the university and Mollier was also there. They could also have met through her brother or father since they both are enthusiastic cyclists.


There are numerous papers referring to that phone call but I believe they all originates from Le Parisien. I have not found another (reliable) source that has added anything to the Le Parisien story, just repeated it.

6-18-2013 at 12:05:47

@Lars, the article was wriiten by Stephane Bouchet, part of Le Dauphine Libere team, Le Progres and Le Republicain Lorrain being part of the group of local press.

I have written to him this morning to ask for an explanation, of course he could ignore me, I don’t have a Twitter account, but will go back to him if no reply is forthcoming.

Earlier someone said that maybe a journalist from Le Dauphine was also present at the Philippe D/Didierjean interview.

It matters as it throws the timings as given in the Channel 4 programme, spending 6 or 7 minutes up there, in a different light.

Work back from 15:48 and where do you end up, BM and PD (Bossy)meeting nearer 15:38, with BM having spent 5 minutes on the scene and so on ……

6-18-2013 at 12:25:28

Regarding motives and post-offense behaviour, it takes all sorts to make a world. A lawyer friend of mine recently defended a middle-aged guy, as far as everybody knows a first-time killer, who beat an old lady to death before stealing her belongings and finally setting fire to her flat. Some believe that he deliberately set out to murder the old lady, but the judge bought his story that he only killed her because she surprised him in the act of burgling her flat and physically “attacked” him (haha).

Anyway, after this (if we are to believe him) first and entirely unplanned manslaughter of his life, he went to his sister’s place to help her with some DIY work, then went home and watched TV, had an extra-large pizza delivered. The next morning, he started canvassing addresses for another old person to burgle.

I have seen this guy. He looks and sounds like harmlessness incarnate, a short, balding, middle-aged guy whom you wouldn’t give a second glance. Yet, even if one choses to believe the story that his lawyers concocted, killing the old lady just wasn’t that big a deal for him, not enough to ruin his mood, spoil his appetite or put him off targeting other elderly victims the very next day.

6-18-2013 at 12:50:45

As D Notices are very much in the headlines again, at least in the Guardian, (remember, formerly the Manchester Guardian)

I thought I would re-post my comment from a few days ago which got kinda orphaned towards the end of Marilyn’s last thread:

The thing that spiked my interest in the al Hilli case at the very outset was the alleged D Notice claim on Indymedia, which did seem to be pretty clear and specific.

I now see that this was actually discussed at the autumn meeting of DPBAC at the MOD on 1st November 2012.

Para 14 of the minutes, which I hadn’t seen before states:

“The DA Notice System. During the last 6 months the Secretary had responded to 22 enquiries about the workings of the DA Notice System: from the media themselves, officials, academics, fringe organisations and members of the public. Enquiries concerned ‘D Notices’ allegedly issued about records of the trial of Dr Stephen Ward in 1963, to block publicity on Government financial support to the National Coal Board during privatisation and coverage of the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal. More recently, the Secretary had been asked how many ‘D Notices’ had been issued to the BBC between August 2011-12 and whether there were any ‘D Notice’ restrictions on the reporting of the murders of the Al Hilli family. These and several other requests showed how little the DA Notice System, its span of oversight and workings were understood by the general public. ”

Curious comment there as it as it does not actually confirm or deny the existence of DAs in those cases, it just says the public doesn’t understand.

The implication is that there was no such DA on the reporting of the murder of the al Hilli family, so in that case I think we have to try to find out more about ‘Manchester journalist’ I think his handle was on Indymedia and why s/he posted such specific information / disinformation so early on as the story was just breaking.

Any thoughts on any of this anybody, Marilyn?

6-18-2013 at 12:57:13


At least we do know now, if we didn’t previously, the case was being discussed in the UK’s Ministry of Defence, if only in this context.

– See more at:

6-18-2013 at 13:07:58

This is the post that caught my eye on the Craig Murray blog on the thread about London Metropolitan University posted by ‘anon’ –


6 Sep, 2012 – 3:44 pm

Is this true??

Defence Advisory Notice is in effect here

06.09.2012 14:41
Today at 0750 we received information that a Defence Advisory Notice or ‘D Notice’ was in effect with regard to certain facts about this story.

No mention of his links to the Security Services
No mention of his links to Iran
No mention of his links to nuclear weapons research
No speculation regarding Israel involvement in the killing

The only place you are going to read about the real facts of this story are on sites like Indymedia.

Manchester based Journalist

6-18-2013 at 13:34:46

These early postings on the London Met thread led me to the Cezus website and zirconium –

CEZUS has its own R&D center (“CRC”) located in Ugine, France. This center is dedicated to R&D on Zirconium alloys, focusing on process and metallurgy. It is the cornerstore of innovation and is known worldwide.

Zirconium is currently the reference material for nuclear fuel assemblies, for pressurized water reactors (PWRs) and boiling water reactors (BWRs),. This is due to their exceptional transparency to neutrons and corrosion-resistant properties.

I felt at the time this was becoming curiouser and curiouser.

I still find it odd that people are content to dismiss SM as a mere factory worker.

6-18-2013 at 13:54:27

Bonjour Lynda, thanks to you and Lars for answering my questions.

6-18-2013 at 14:33:36

BFMTV says as I’ve been saying, recently …….. I do not know if it is true, merely that I had read this info a while ago and to point out to TimV that the information was out there, I wasn’t making it up.

“Un 4×4 et une moto

Premier réflexe : il coupe le moteur de la voiture, éloigne l’enfant et lui prodigue les premiers soins. Mais son téléphone ne passe pas. Il rebrousse donc chemin pour prévenir les secours et croise un randonneur français, qui appelle les pompiers.”

He returned down the lane to call the emergency services, he came across a French hiker, who called the ‘pompiers’….

“De cette journée où trois membres d’une même famille ont péri, Brett Martin se souvient également d’avoir croisé dans sa montée “un véhicule 4×4 et une moto”. ”

Brett Martin equally remembers having crossed a 4×4 and a moto as he was climbing….

I’ve gone through the Laurent Fillion-Robin, it is he who at first says they weren’t being followed, then a 4×4 and motorcycle going up before them,no timescale, then he says there wasn’t anything before or after and all before he’d apparently spoken to the gendarmes.

He quit the chalet where they were working when the commotion started, I bet that is because he and or his mate were working on the black, otherwise they also would have seen the hiking party (Bossy and friends) stopped outside the farm where Paul Ducher was mucking out the sheds.

Sorry Marlin, for all this I still can’t find a link to Brett Martin stating he was passed in both directions by the infamous 4×4, please, please post a link to the interview as I’m fed up of looking !

And my husband isn’t happy that I’m spending so much time in front of the screen when there other things ot be done !

6-18-2013 at 15:20:10


The Indymedia DA-Notice is a fake probably designed as a bit of agitprop by whoever posted it there.

The very fact the Indymedia DA-Notice states clear reporting restrictions is completely incorrect; that is not how the DA-Notice system works.

There are 4 standing DA-Notices, if it is felt a breaking news story may come into conflict with a particular standing DA-Notice the Secretary, Andrew Vallance, will contact editors drawing there attention to the standing DA-Notices and why they should proceed with caution. It is then left to editors to decide what they do and do not publish.

Editors sitting on a story may also cross-check with the DA-Notice Secretary if they need to make adjustments to their reporting if they feel it may be too sensitive. This is particularly the case with war reporting.

The enquiries about the Al Hilli family regarding DA-Notices came from the general public, probably people like yourself who read the fake DA-Notice on CM. Andrew Vallance’s email address is easy to find on the DA-Notice web site, I’m sure he would give you more details if you wished to contact him.

6-18-2013 at 15:28:07

@Marlin, I’ve found the piece ……..


Please listen again………

6-18-2013 at 18:40:40


It was probably I who said that ” maybe a journalist from Le Dauphine was also present at the Philippe D/Didierjean interview”, since I believe I have written so a number of time already. And yes I believe it was Stephane Bouchet who wrote the article for Le Dauphine and who probably was present at the interview.

I have a fake Twitter account (faked name), as I have a fake Facebook account, for these investigations. You can use my twitter account and send tweets through me if you want to.

6-18-2013 at 19:27:59

Lars, if you watch the last link to the second part of the Brett Martin interview, he says ‘Which they did’, before going up to Martinet together.

It makes so much more sense, that PD, made a second call after having been up there.

A very long while back I think it was Oui that questioned the timing of the phone call, as first reports said it was nearer 4pm, I have no doubt now that this was the second call giving a greater explanation as to what happened and why the Emergency services arrived so quickly after that call, listen to the BBC Radio 4, The Report, at the beginning there is the interview with Paul Ducher the farmer. The first response team slowed down and told him what had happened, this is no doubt what spooked Laurent the builder and he did a runner.

By the way he went from being 35 to 38 years old in a matter of days, too. At the outset there was confusion all round, I am more convinced than ever that Brett Martin is telling the truth.

6-18-2013 at 19:54:02

6-18-2013 at 08:08:30 ref. the 4×4 passing both ways i can’t do more than i have done. I have referenced the newspaper articles saying both since when we have also had the BMWX5 passing on the way UP . HOWEVER as far as I know, no press release/article contains both up and down in the same piece. As always we are reliant on the accuracy of the reporting. Having said that, again as far as i am aware, reports of BOTH up and down passing have never been challenged or corrected so we must assume they are as WBM reported to the police or media. This is not to say I necessarily believe either as there are reasons to doubt WBM’s voracity, and the clash with PD/B’s rendition, not to mention the latest BMWX5 story, but it is reasonable to assume the killers had transport, a 4×4 would fill the bill, and that if it did pass him on the way up it must surely have passed him on the way back unless it took a much less likely “prohibited”exit route.

6-18-2013 at 19:57:23

I can’t of course know since Maillaud will not explain anything, but I don’t think it is probable that a second call was made 15:48.

I agree that is would be more logical, that Bossy made a phone call directly, before they went back to the lay-by and stay there several minutes. If he then made a second call I don’t know. I have never seen anyone mentioning two calls.

I think the usual procedure for emergency centers, probably even in France, when they register a call for help they use the first call as the “main” call. That was the first time they were alerted about an emergency. You know when something dramatic happens in a city, like when our prime minister was shot, the emergency center can receive hundreds of calls, but it is still the first call registered for that emergency that counts.

6-18-2013 at 20:14:45

6-18-2013 at 09:48:09 your French quote appears to have changed the “3.15 photograph” to “which occurred on September 5, found in the camera from the Al-Hilli family photographs taken between 15 hours and 15 h 10 in the hamlet of Arnand, adjoining Chevaline.” In other words after stating categorically it was timed on the photograph as 3.15, and then awkward sods like me suggesting it was quite implausible and impractical for them to get from one to the other in 15 minutes, let alone the clash with the builder’s testimony LOW AND BEHOLD! it moves back 5 – 15 minutes to accommodate the objections! This is beyond farcical! Either a photograph is timed or it isnt. Have you ever seen a photograph automatically inscribed “3.15 or 3.10 but it might be 3 o’clock”?

6-18-2013 at 20:33:25

So, Lars how do you account for PD and WBM saying a call was made before going up and then other reports saying it was afterwards, because there were two calls.

Brett Martins account is correct, Eric Maillaud says the FIRST call was made at 15:48, it was, then after being to the scene another call was made, both by PD.

In the first call he conveyed that there were three shot in a car, a cyclist shot on the ground all dead and a CHILD INJURED AND STILL MOVING, I refer to Paul Duchers interview on Radio 4, The Report.

The latter bit is important, because PD/Bossy thought she was dead, after he’d been to the scene, as of course were the earliest reports to come out, so how can she still be moving and dead, only if the initial call said she was still alive which is the information that the ‘first responders’ told Ducher on their way up.

@TimV, I have read and re-read all your links to The Telegraph, The Guardian and your favourite The Huffington Post, nothing indicates Brett Martin was passed twice by a vehicle and certainly not in his BBC interview. Maybe the links aren’t the correct ones.

As I pointed out I have seen reference by the builder Laurent Fillion-Robin, that does not mean that Brett Martin was overtaken as he went up the hill.

When you add to that the initial reports say that Fillion-Robin was passed by the BMW between 14:40 and 15:00, his account of a 4×4 being in front, no actual timings given, puts this vehicle if it is true way ahead of Brett Martins and Molliers arrival along the routes approaching the final climb.

Now, bad reporting suggests that the old saw-mill is 100 metres from the chalet, go to Google Maps, Bing Maps, Michelin and you will see that not only is there a bend just after the chalet and Ducher farm but it enters a wooded area, the junction of Route du Moulin cannot be seen from this property at all and it is a far greater distance than 100 metres.

In reality and I’ve said this before, Saad could have taken the hairpin into Arnand and not the road up to Martinet, I have posted a link from Le Journal de Dimanche that says three photos were taken between 15:00 and 15:10, Maillaud says one at 15:15, all say in Arnand, which is a hamlet attached to Chevaline accessed from the Route du Moulin.

Take the blinkers off and look again, Saad could easily have passed the builders at the time they state, then hairpinned back to Arnand and for reason or no reason at all, seeing the mountains rise in the background go back to the now famous sign wondering what the f *** was up there, of course via the Route du Moulin so not seen by the builders again, although Paul Ducher says he may have seen the car, about an hour before the arrival of the ‘pompiers’ and the Bossy gang on his doorstep. So around 3pm, they did not go straight to Martinet………..

6-18-2013 at 20:38:25

@TimV, it isn’t because of anything you have said, it is because it is from a different source, I really don’t think you or anyone of us plebs scrawling on the odd blog have any influence at all. Get over yourself, man !!! ;-o

All I was concerned with is that there were photographs and more than one, the press report could well have the time on the camera and it be out by minutes, hours, days – mine goes back to 2005, every time I take the batteries out to charge and no I dodn’t reset the clock afterwards !

6-18-2013 at 21:19:16

As to the other points you make Lynda, that French quote:

3:48 p.m.: The emergency services were alerted

Thanks to phone D. Philippe, a hiker in the region who arrive by car with two friends just as Martin is about to turn back to seek help, firefighters Annecy are warned.

note in this version “just as he is about to turn back”. This would be quite plausible but it doesn’t fit in the slightest with Didierjean’s OR Martin’s reports elsewhere. This one clearly suggests Didierjean and the women get to Martinet crime scene BEFORE Martin starts back. How can this be reconciled with the complicated story of meeting the car with PD/B and his two female companions in it 3 or 400 yards down the road, travelling back up to within 50 then walking together, leaving the women behind in a car that has been turned around for a hasty retreat? It simply can’t and what is more these variations are not hypothetical. They have a huge bearing on the sequence of events and importantly who made the 3.48 call. Maybe we should just put it down to sloppy reporting and take no notice?

Similarly in that French JDD article published 10 days after the event it states the 4×4 passes WBM in the opposite direction when he is about half way up. That SAH get to the builders at 2.40 and are held up there for ten minutes (2.50) giving an arrival time at Martinet of about 3 which the Arnand photo flatly contradicts. The interesting question as I and Marlin have posed, is why would Maillaud be so keen to support it and delay their arrival time by half an hour?

Then there is the Crimewatch quote that puts the killing back 10 mins to 3.40. Why is that? Apparently they claim that vehicle passed WBM 2 K from Martinet. 20 minutes is 15 too long if they started shooting immediately upon arrival unless they parked up which is possible.

The big point about all this is the way times and accounts appear to be being “massaged” one way and another. Maillaud can’t admit SAH arrived at 3 without undermining the photo story so low and behold the time of it moves ever so slightly. Same with PD/B.

Is the team of 80 or 100 detectives concentrating not on solving the crime but just trying to make all the various reported facts fit?

6-18-2013 at 21:41:21

6-18-2013 at 12:05:47 you’ve got my point! You have to work BACKWARDS! If PD/B did make that 3.48 call, EVEN IF he makes it at the first opportunity, and not as was reported after he gets to the scene, (where would that report of him going back down to get reception if he had not said it?) it necessarily puts the start of his Combe journey no later than 3.35! No way can this be reconciled with even “just before 4”. But it also means that if the shooting ended only just after 3.30 which reliably seems to be the case, the escaping vehicle as WBM reports could not have failed to pass PD/B which from the beginning he strenuously denies. Conversely if he didn’t see an escaping vehicle it is hard to see how he could have made a call at 3.48.

6-18-2013 at 21:47:13

@TimV read what I’ve written, Crimewatch do not claim that this supposed BMW X5 was seen by Brett Martin !

Even Brett Martin says in his interview that the PD party called the emergency services before going to Martinet, please don’t rely upon Google translate it is crap.

Look at BFMTV, French most popular rolling news channel, link above.

“He returned down the lane to call the emergency services, he came across a French hiker, who called the ‘pompiers’…. ”

Just because it was never spelled out that there was a second call doesn’t mean there wasn’t, I refer you back to Eric Maillaud, FIRST CALL AT 15:48 ! FIRST CALL !!!!!!!

I will leave you and any others who aren’t able to grasp the events I’m asking you to consider to your own thoughts, I’m happy with my conclusion so far, the calling the emergency services before going back up to Martinet is in print and vision in at least 5 places, sufficient for me to believe it to be true.

The only difference this makes is that it puts BM’s arrival back in place, as PD’s 6/7 minutes at the scene messed it up somewhat.

What is needed is to look at this with all information laid in front of you, the good, the bad and the downright fantastical !

6-18-2013 at 22:03:11

@TimV, you are suggesting that it takes 12/13 minutes to cover 3kms in a car ?The video Alex made of the journey will give you a better idea of what distance was covered and in what time space.

The confusion is there was a second call that would have been just before 16:00, after going to the Martinet.

Nobody is lying.

The 15:30 time stamp is very loose ….. relies on Melvin the giant and his Dad cutting a hedge some kilometres away, neither apparently looked at their watch/clock/time piece.

The latter saying it was after 15:00, maybe 15:30, Melvin probably chatted with his Dad afterwards.

Tim, I assume you are in the UK, as Marilyn has explained the French system works very differently to the all singing all dancing publicity loving UK Police.

Here they keep things to themselves and in general are very successful, so don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

I’m sure our fellow posters are fed up with this banter and so am I, I am happy with my conclusion and that is all that matters.

6-18-2013 at 22:08:26

6-18-2013 at 20:38:25 you do have an acerbic tone to your tweets. So you think no one bothers to keep abreast with what you and others post? So stories like these are all in the imagination are they?

Anyway I am sure you need not loose any sleep over it.

6-18-2013 at 22:26:42

Points well taken Mochyn69
6-18-2013 at 13:34:46. We may not have discussed the D Notice thing but it doesn’t mean we have overlooked it. I guess by their very nature, we are not supposed to know their contents or indeed whether they have been issued. We cannot therefore be sure but it seems eminently possible. It is made quite plausible by the quite EXTRAORDINARY British response that went far and above what one could expect for a “conventional” murder abroad. In exceptional circumstances perhaps send a couple of high ranking Scotland Yard detectives, but twenty “military types” and the Ambassador? Never! This is why I treat the exclamations and scorn of some to any suggestion of intrigue and national skulduggery, with not a little reservation.

If that report is right, and a D Notice was circulated, what other aspects was it considered expedient to cover up?

6-18-2013 at 22:31:35

Oh and I think it’s a fair punt that the DPBAC minute you refer to is virtually confirmation, as I am sure there would have been no hesitation to deny the Al Hilli suggestion and put it to bed, were it possible.

6-18-2013 at 23:36:46

Lynda “He can consider himself lucky to be alive as he was overtaken by a French cyclist who was shot dead after witnessing the cold-blooded assassination. He has told police he thinks he saw the killers speed past him on the way to the scene.

Last night the man was being kept in a police safe house but has provided police with a full account of the carnage he came across on the small forest path south of Chevaline called Route Forestière Domaniale de la Combe d’Iré .

He clearly remembers seeing a green 4×4 vehicle and a motorcyclist speeding past him towards the scene which he arrived at minutes later, giving weight to the theory the shocking murders were carried out by more than one individual. His evidence is key to trying to solve the mystery of a horrific killing that has shocked France and baffled seasoned detectives.”

I saw Alps assassins on way to massacre | UK | News | Daily Express › News › UK‎
Sep 8, 2012 – He clearly remembers seeing a green 4×4 vehicle and a motorcyclist speeding past him towards the scene which he arrived at minutes later, …

SPEEDING PAST HIM TOWARDS. Hopefully you will now be satisfied.

6-18-2013 at 23:58:15

6-18-2013 at 20:33:25 if your theory is correct that SAH did 180 degree turn and went back to Arnald for the photos, how do explain WBM did not see (or say) he passed him, as he must have if he went up in that time slot? You believe WBM after all.

6-19-2013 at 00:02:56

Again Lynda
6-18-2013 at 20:38:25 I completely agree. As you say the alleged photograph at Arnald is completely unreliable. Why then would Maillaud put such store by it?

6-19-2013 at 00:05:22

Barely have the muezzin’s calls to morning prayer hushed as Colonel Marwan al-G., formerly of Saddam Hussein’s feared Airforce Intelligence Service, briskly walks into his office, situated inside a palatial villa in Baghdad’s Green Zone. His four personal assistants instantly leap to their feet and crisply salute him. Colonel al-G. may no longer be a colonel, but he remains a man who instils respect and even fear in his subordinates, a man accustomed to commanding unquestioning obedience.

Colonel al-G. nods a casual greeting in return, drapes the jacket of his expensive new Prada suit over the back of his office chair and sits down. While the secure workstation that his new American masters have supplied him with goes through its laborious start-up routine, he allows himself a quiet sigh of satisfaction. Life has been good to Colonel al-G. lately, very good indeed. In the old days, under that mangy son of a dog Saddam Hussein, his pay check had been a mere pittance, his suits were made in the local bazaar and often stained with the blood and sweat and piss of recalcitrant prisoners.

No more, those bloodstains on his suit are a thing of the past. Nowadays, if he needs somebody tortured, he merely has to pick up the phone and call his new masters in Langley, Virginia, US of A. Within hours, a team of beefy, corn-fed high school dropouts, hiding their bewilderment under mirrored aviator sunglasses and their fear behind more firepower than they can carry, will be dispatched to “render” his target to some lawless place where other, weedier high school dropouts will then torture the living daylights out of him, unceasingly, day and night, for years on end. Even the best Iraqi torturers never had that kind of work ethic.

With an impatient snap of his fingers, Colonel al-G. orders one of his bodyguards to fetch him a cup of mocha, with extra sugar and cardamom, the first of many cups that he will consume today. His new line of work no longer involves contact with bodily fluids, but it requires brains: cunning, patience and scrupulous attention to detail.

His workstation has finished its bootstrapping routine. He starts his secure Internet browser, which automatically loads the default start-up page. Colonel al-G.’s brow furrows with concentration as he reads the latest entries on Marilyn Z. Tomlins’ blog on the Chevaline murders. His mien darkens. Damn, damn and damn again! That Tim V has been at it again, has brought his razor-sharp intellect to bear and exposed Colonel al-G.’s tangled web of lies for what it is. Damn! Involuntarily, his fingers clench into fists. One of his bodyguards, sensing that something is amiss, puts his index finger on the trigger of his Heckler & Koch MP53, his eyes darting around the room. Colonel al-G. waves him off, leans back in his chair and forces himself to relax.

One of these days, that Tim V must be dealt with permanently, but not yet. Not yet, not while he still is so much fun to toy with. Nobody outfoxes Colonel al-G., nobody! Tim V is not a problem, he is a challenge, and challenges are meant to be overcome. His mood lightens as quickly as a lash with a sand-filled rubber hose breaks human skin. Grinning gleefully, he leans forward in his chair and types his own screen name into the comment form: Lynda.

6-19-2013 at 00:14:02


That is lost in translation. Early UK reports simply got this wrong from EM. They got the ‘towards’ wrong.

6 sept

‘ Une centaine de gendarmes est mobilisée. «Nous avons recueilli des témoignages dont certains sont parfois discordants», précise le lieutenant-colonel Benoît Vinnemann, commandant de la section de recherches de la gendarmerie de Chambéry. L’un d’entre eux ferait état d’un 4X4 de couleur sombre redescendant à vive allure des lieux du crime.’

4×4 went DOWN×4-vert-et-un-temoin-cle/mlig!m18LLth0rW5Sg/

‘L’homme en vélo qui a découvert la scène du crime mercredi a raconté avoir vu un 4×4 vert ainsi qu’une moto descendre en sens inverse peu avant.’

Motorbike went down too

Also the white 306 is mentioned (not by EM though)

– M

6-19-2013 at 01:00:41

@ Lynda
6-18-2013 at 21:47:13 I too watched the crime watch programme. It was specific that the BMWx5 PASSED WBM at c.3.20 when he was 1 KILOMETRE into the Combe. It may not say WBM reported it but if he didn’t WHY? And WHO ELSE DID would you suggest? If someone else reported it means 1. WBM was either telling porkies or was being “economical with the truth” either way not good; and 2. someone else would have to be there to view. i.e. a completely new unrevealed “player”.

NEXT you quote ““He returned down the lane to call the emergency services, he came across a French hiker, who called the ‘pompiers’…. ” This does not necessarily infer the call was made THEN. “Who called the Pompiers” could equally be interpreted time independent and merely to distinguish him from WBM and the other players. You may however be right about two calls I don’t know but don’t you think PD/B would have made a big point about ringing the emergency services straight away and not repeated instead versions of ringing, let alone returning down the hill, before doing so?

6-18-2013 at 22:03:11 you misrepresent what I said. I didn’t say it would take them 13 minutes to drive up the Combe I suggested it might be 13 minutes between the time they entered the Combe and the time of the first call at 3.48. The two ARE NOT THE SAME and the difference is significant.

The thing is you have to factor in real life and the description. It’s not just the jouney time that must be factored in but also the interaction. So for clarity what you have is three people driving slowly up the Combe probably in fairly jolly mood. Out of the blue they see a cyclist approaching in the opposite direction. The first response would probably be to pull over to the RHS to let him pass. But no instead of passing he brakes violent and gets off his bike shouting and gesticulating wildly in a language the driver can hardly understand. The hands are covered in what appears to be blood. The first reaction might indeed be alarm and a reticence to open window or door. After moments of assessment it is decided to get out of the vehicle gradually it dawns he is British and what he is trying to say – that there has been a serious accident up the hill and that he can’t get through on his mobile. OK now the decision is made, despite natural reservations to try his own phone. he has to locate it. Maybe turn it on and check out the signal before the number can be rung. Yet a few more moments before it is answered. NOW THE TIME IS 3.48!

So it is not JUST the journey time. You have to add this interaction time to it. In these circumstances I think 3.48 minus 13 minutes, giving a start time of 3,35, if anything might be an UNDER ESTIMATE don’t you?

6-19-2013 at 01:20:59

@ MaxMax
6-19-2013 at 00:14:02 Your quotes :

“‘A hundred policemen mobilized. “We have gathered evidence some of which are sometimes conflicting,” says Lieutenant-Colonel Benedict Vinnemann, commander of the research section of the gendarmerie in Chambery. One of them would report a 4X4 dark back down at high speed from the scene ‘-”

‘The man who discovered the bike crime scene Wednesday said he saw a 4 × 4 and a green motorcycle down in the opposite direction just before.’

I concur these talk about vehicles passing going DOWN.There is no dispute about that. But these do not prove he was not passed going up does it? The BMWx5 is said to pass him GOING UP. The early Express quote and others state a ” 4×4 sped past him in the direction of the layby” or some such. Insofar as any report can be trusted we have definite passing both UP AND DOWN. I can’t see why this should be so contentious or need so much persuasion????????????

6-19-2013 at 01:30:38

6-19-2013 at 00:05:22 I think that’s worth an B+ at least. (Just checkin’ doors are locked and taser’s workin’)

6-19-2013 at 02:25:48

@ Tim V, 6-19-2013 at 01:30:38

Cheers. Please don’t take it personally (the same goes for Lynda), this is just my personal brand of puerile humour. This trope of her being a mustachioed Iraqi colonel is something that we joked about even before you found your way here. Insofar as I am concerned, and I am sure that I am speaking for everybody in this regard, you are a most welcome contributor.

Anyway, I agree on the B+, there are way too many adjectives in there. That’s just the way it is with first drafts, but I don’t intend to continue this story.

6-19-2013 at 04:30:30

Peter @00:00:22 – that was absolutely hilarious. I give A- for imagery (especially the suit) but agree with the overall B+. Syntax, you know. i am just glad the fearsome Col. Al-G hasn’t yet figured out that not all marlins are fishies, slippery sliick though they may be.

6-19-2013 at 09:01:14


I apologise for not having responded to your question about the DNotice. I did not because (1) I just did not have an answer and (2) I’ve not been able to be online.

However, Y replied to your question so I hope that the issue has been cleared up.


Thank you for replying to Mochyn69’s question regarding the DNotice. I appreciate it that you did.

6-19-2013 at 09:18:17


Max rightfully pointed out the error in translation regarding ‘from’ or ‘to’ the crime scene.

Peter, I need a co-writer. Expect my knock on your front door later today. Just so that you know it’s not some 007 at your door, I will knock twice, then I will pause for exactly 20 seconds, then I will knock just once more, and you will then have to open up. I will be armed with a laptop on which will be a half-written manuscript of a novel – a love story. I will also bring some French goodies for lunch for the two of us and a bottle of Krug. Keep the bucket with ice ready.

Tim V, do not go on at Lynda all the time please. On this blog we respect the views of others even if they differ from our own. A little tolerance goes a long way.

6-19-2013 at 10:42:15


Fantastic ! Made me really laugh on a grim, grey morning ! Not a good day for me I have to go for a brain scan, I just hope they find one because if I pay any attention to our young Tim, then this ‘Colonels Brain is Missing’ (Spitting Image) !

6-19-2013 at 10:43:24


I went over a lot of article for the vehicles

I prefer the french over uk. I noticed the uk articles mentioned GOING UP from the start (around sep 7th). I assume this is ‘lost in translation’

But, I will keep an open mind to it.

To me, after reading/checking/searching 20+ articles last night I am of the impression that

– 4×4 sombre
– 4×4 vert
– BMW X5

Are all the same car. Seen by the ‘witness’ (plural?), and the witness being BM.

That 4×4 was going down. And surely must be seen by BM around 15.20, around 1 km into Combe d’Ire

That is how I see it now

But I have to admit that I have lost track of what is going on. From apr 30 article I understand there is an appeal for the 4×4 and a motorbike

‘le propriétaire d’un 4×4, avec conduite à droite, possiblement un BMW X5 de couleur grise (ou toute couleur foncée pouvant s’y apparenter) qui a été vu circulant le long de la Combe d’Ire», à Chevaline le 5 septembre 2012, jour du crime, «entre 15H15 et 15H30’

‘Aujourd’hui, il ne reste plus que deux véhicules non identifiés : la moto de couleur claire aperçue dans la montagne, au dessus de la place du Martinet et ce 4×4 noir ou gris, sans doute britannique puisque le volant était à droite.’

… which in fact baffles me.

To me there are 5 vehicles:

– 4×4 (BM)
– Motorbike (BM)
– Motorbike (ColdeCherel)
– ONF (4×4 vert ‘redirecting a MC’)
– white 306 (SLC)

Now if EM is only looking for 2 vehicles, then the other 3 are accounted for.

– White 306 (LSC) is accounted for??? That surprises me
– 4×4 vert acounted for as ONF? … Oh, well

But then we are left with

– 4×4 (BM)
– Motorbike (BM)
– Motorbike (ColdeCherel)

The 4×4 (BM) transforms into 4×4 RHD, possible BMW X5 … OK TO ME(!)

But EM is only looking for the MC (ColdeCherel)??? What does that do to MC (BM)??

Anyway, EM knows … so, MC (BM) and peugeot 306 (SLC) are accounted for … I would be interested to know what the story was about those 2 … we never heard this.

As said, I’m baffled, and frankly out of any ideas atm;)

– M

6-19-2013 at 11:40:35

D Notice
I have just remembered
When i went round to Saads house on the 6th September last year
there were a lot of journalists crowding round .
there was also someone from the daily fail .
someone asked my name which i told them
and the daily fail man said “is that your christian name ”
since he had been asking questions at me such as
“is it true Saad did not go to the royal street party” and other such crap
I turned to him and said
“you shut up or i will slap a D notice on you ”
im wondering if others noticed my put down and thought it was for real ?

6-19-2013 at 12:11:14


Could the 206/306, have been the builders mate, as posted earlier, they packed up and left when the commotion started and they overheard people talking about it, that could have been the Bossy gang with Paul Ducher the farmer opposite.

Time fits, also just a niggle point, in France when someone refers to a ‘polo’, they mean a polo shirt, golf style collared open necked, this has become a ‘polonecked’ shirt, which is of course a ‘turtleneck’. I think the latter was unlikely on a warm early September afternoon.

6-19-2013 at 13:17:25


Pretty smart idea;)

Let’s go with EM accounting for the white 306, and your explanation for it. So we can strike Sylvie’s peugeot from the list;)

– M

6-19-2013 at 13:24:28

That is just my point Max
6-19-2013 at 10:43:24 the confused story telling. That in itself is highly suspicious. It is very difficult to see how the conflicting stories can be resolved and if the investigators were any good and/or genuinely investigating, they would have sorted them and put out a definitive one for all to see instead of just adding layer upon layer of confusion. The only reasonable conclusion I can come to, is that this is INTENTIONAL. How can it be other? One of Maillaud’s earliest observations (after WBM had been interviewed) was that with his background they were confident of a detailed description of the 4×4 and the occupants. This later turned into (paraphrased) “I didn’t see anything Gov.” All we can do is use the stories as told to show how they conflict and undermine the whole as a way to eventually uncover the truth.

6-19-2013 at 15:33:34

O/T slightly, maybe ..

The tragic death of a renowned journalist:

Comments are far from free, but taking a real hammering!

6-19-2013 at 16:07:42


So young! Thanks for drawing our attention to it.

6-19-2013 at 16:08:55

@Tim V

Conflicting stories could be not of Prosecutor Maillaud’s making but rather that of journalists who have editors on their back.

6-19-2013 at 16:12:40


re: Polo

To me means long-sleeved shirt without buttons down the front and with a little green crocodile on the left pocket.

re: scan

I hope it goes well for you, Lynda. I am still crying buckets, but all the tears from the left eye only.

6-19-2013 at 16:14:17

@Fat Bastard

re: D notice.


6-19-2013 at 16:22:46
6-19-2013 at 16:46:40

There’s a graphic report on the tragic accident that killed Michael Hastings here:

6-19-2013 at 17:21:00

@ Lynda
Good luck with the brain scan.

@ Marilyn
Thanks for your kind words, but I think that I had better stick to my native language.

@ Mochyn69
Look up the term “Boston Brakes.” I have no idea where that term comes from and whether or not the concept itself is an urban myth, but there is plenty of fodder for conspiracy connoisseurs to be found under that search term.

6-19-2013 at 18:23:18

Well guys, your Colonel Al-G. can confirm the brain is NOT missing !

There are signs of damage, but nothing consequential as this starts to happen when a human is between 30 and 40 years old.

To those above this age, welcome to the club, to those below you are warned.

@Marilyn, exactly, long or short sleeved with a collar, soft cotton, sports shirt, we all have them. UK media have used the term ‘polonecked shirt’, should have used ‘polo shirt’.

I’m not mad in saying this, so many people jump to conclusions that if a man is wearing a black polonecked jumper in September in these circumstances he must be up to no good.

I’ve just enjoyed a very large, very cold glass of ‘Gris’ on the sunny terrace of my home, feeling 10 kgs lighter after todays personal news.

@Max, the elements and Marilyn clairified, there is much lost in translation, if you read the French reports of this now famous BMW X5, it says ‘probabilité’, meaning ‘likely’, by the time it gets to the UK this become a given or at best they shift the emphasis of such a ‘likelihood’ to the colour only and not the make and model.

I understand the confusion, I don’t believe it to be deliberate on anyones part, be that Eric Maillaud or the french and British Press.

Now for another large glass of that wine before it gets warm !

6-19-2013 at 18:44:05

@Mochyn, accident at 4:15am, I wonder where he’d been before ……

“Friends said that, because of the nature of Hastings’ work, he often led a very paranoid lifestyle.

“A lot of his friends were worried that he was in a very agitated state, yes. No question, people were concerned,” said Cenk Uygur, host of “The Young Turks.”

“He was incredibly tense and very worried and was concerned that the government was looking in on his material,” he said.

“I don’t know what his state of mind was at 4:30 in the morning, but I do know what his state of mind was in general, and it was a nervous wreck.””

6-19-2013 at 19:42:02

@ Lynda

That’s great news! I’m so relieved and pleased for you that I felt that I had to open a sympathy bottle 😉

Did they let you keep the pictures? I have had a brain scan done some years ago and still have the pictures, but I somehow never got around to doing anything with them, as I had originally intended. A mere lightbox hung on my living-room wall seemed too mundane, but I’m still struggling to come up with good ideas. A lampshade? A cube-shaped coffee table illuminated from within? If you should have any creative ideas, please let me know.

6-19-2013 at 20:26:25

@Peter, in France we keep all our Xrays, scans etc.

The most impressive recently was after breaking my left ankle in three places and needing plates, pins and wires ! I’ve never thought of doing anything with them, they also give a CD of them so they can be viewed on the computer !

I have some arty friends, three photographers who do both the exhibition stuff and commercial, one spent some time as a pap in the South of France, landed a proper job under a retainer, the stuff they do with old photos, cans and lights are as beautiful as any old masterpiece and so inventive.

I actually like the idea of a lampshade, easy to do just not too strong a lightbulb inside.

I paint, sew and knit for relaxation, have designed and made my own clothes since being a teenager, not all of them of course, my sewing machine is like a best friend, I’ve had her since 1979 !

I trust you enjoyed your wine, I am so relieved that I’m up for the next installment of MarilynZTomlins blog again tomorrow.

I have gained so much knowledge from all of you and that includes you TimV, I really wasn’t well a few weeks ago and again last week concentrating on here has kept me occupied and for that I thank you all, have a good evening.


6-19-2013 at 20:56:15


Glad all went well today. I’m weeping as I type these words. But only with the left eye.

6-20-2013 at 00:12:34

I don’t agree at all Marilyn Z. Tomlins
6-19-2013 at 16:08:55. I am referring to EM’s diametrically conflicting statements on both fact and theory. Presumably he knows what he is saying and means it?

6-20-2013 at 00:18:15

6-19-2013 at 13:17:25 EM was quoted as saying that they had identified the driver of the white Peugeot 2/306 and eliminated him from their enquiries. Unfortunately he didn’t tell the likes of us what it was all about nor why it mysteriously morphed into a 4×4!

6-20-2013 at 00:37:25

6-19-2013 at 02:25:48 I might have marked you higher but I thought I should allow for improvement. Unlike Queen Victoria I was amused however for many including young Michael Hastings and his girlfriend, life can be precarious in the extreme. I wonder what the circumstances of the accident not to mention her “ambush”. Even in so called “civilized” countries you take a calculated risk if you challenge powerful interests or individuals.

6-20-2013 at 00:59:31

“A weight off your mind” seems an appropriate phrase. Pleased to hear that the news was good and you have been given the all clear. Congratulations!

6-20-2013 at 01:01:31

Sorry that was meant for you Lynda
6-19-2013 at 20:26:25 though you probably worked it out.

6-20-2013 at 01:07:06


Good for you;)

But back to business. With the lost in translation and stuff I’m still wondering about the DL report ‘2 vehicles left’

The 4×4 is the car coming down seen by BM (of that I’m pretty sure)

But the motorbike (MC)??? I don’t get it. BM saw a motorbike AFTER he saw the 4×4. So MC was BETWEEN BM/4×4 and Martinet at the time of the killing. And thus the MC was closer to the killing than anyone else …

… how come that this MC (as seen by BM) is NOT searched for????

because the article refers to (yet) another MC which was high above Martinet on the Col de Cherel, spotted by that farmer … at least. it is how I read this article

@TimV re ‘One of Maillaud’s earliest observations (after WBM had been interviewed) was that with his background they were confident of a detailed description of the 4×4 and the occupants’

Yup, I have read this too, but ONLY in UK press. I don’t remember reading this (the stuff about ‘detailed’ etc.) in the french press …

… but I’m prepared to go over the french articles once again

@All … This must be the very first press stuff on the killing WITH VIDEO (short)

Furthermore the EM press conference with @7:30+ all about the vehicles etc, about BM, etc

4×4 VERT and motorbike …. NO BMW ref (yet) … heard nothing (white car? … martinans ref;)

Anyway a must see (again) video! explaining a lot of ‘lost in translation’ stuff … because THIS interview found its way into many newspapers!!

sept 7

At 12:20 somebody tells EM something (mixed with BV talking) … but I can not heard it …. something like ‘question … quitter l’autre cote’ or something. Can somebody make it up?

– M

6-20-2013 at 01:11:39

Your Comments I suppose only the little girl the killer and who may have hired him know the truth but if i was a hitman i think i would find it difficult to kill someone while they were on holiday,for a start you would have no idea from day to day which route they would take to a random destination which. as they were on a caravan holiday they probably had not decided on until the last moment on a whim as anyone would do on holiday,So you would have to follow them for hours .days even deciding on when to eat drink toilet and sleep and when not to, waiting for that moment. trying not to be spotted by anyone anytime, or perhaps you could arrange to meet, but would you want him to bring the family?. if on the other hand i was hired to kill a person in that persons local area it would be so much easier to predict where they would be and even more so if I or the person hiring me arranged for that target to take a route that took him to a remote spot even better if the target was lets say riding a bike. nice and slow i could probably fire 5, 6, maybe 7 shots into him to make sure the target was dead, what could possibly go wrong except perhaps a stupid british family come along in their car, pass the bike and dead cyclist stop , reverse in a right semi circle and stop with the back of the car into the hillside ,the driver gets out and runs over to the left hand side of the car and bends over the body, the hitman, maybe afraid he has been seen or perhaps his vehicle, shoots the brit in the back, but he stumbles back to the car gets in. but the car wont go forward the ground is too soft, the hitman is getting closer , lets try reverse to move the car a bit, in a panic now. wont go forward. wont go back and the hitman shoots, driver dead, he shoots again and again, wife, mother inlaw dead child makes a run for it, he shoots again and again and again finaly hitting the child, but she’s not dead ,maybe he did not bring enough ammo as expecting to shoot just one cyclist, so he attempts to finish her off by pistol whipping her, but cant stay any longer as he is now in his own panic, this mess was not how it was supposed to go down, he flee’s, all that seems much more likley than following a family on a holiday and trying to 2nd guess their movements when they dont know themselves and probably like all of us on holiday, decide in response to the weather, as for motive, was it a case of rich french family not wanting heiress daughter to mary the target, who suggested sylvain take that route or was it a route he was familiar with, being a local. Was he selling nuclear secrets, who knows ,but i really struggle to get my head around a hitman targetting a mark on his random movements on his family holiday.There must be a easier way.

6-20-2013 at 01:46:51

One comment with regards to these conflicting newspaper accounts:

What we seem to have here is that many accounts in the british papers differ in both content and interpretation from accounts in French papers (and video reports from ithe investigators).

The suggestion has been made by some that this is “lost in translation” – like the car PASSING WBM GOING TOWARDS THE MARTINET. Such may indeed not have been mentioned in french accounts but appeared in more than one UK account – and the interview by WBM kind of underscores the point, if not totally explicitly.

There is, of course, an obvious alternative to the “Lost in translation” scenario and that is that the SOURCES for the accounts to french and English reports differ. Which of course points to the UK and French “investigations” being at something of across-purposes. people may not want to, say Lynda or Max here, but one MUST at least entertain the possibility that far from mistranslating, British accounts use quotes from their own sources, which deliberately planted slightly different or otherwise slanted bits of information.

There is some evidence for these cross-purposes. In fact, if one is willing to accept that the two investigation teams are not exactly on “the same side” then many strange facts, timings and confusing revelations over the past many months fall into place. Not in the sense of shedding clarity on the murders per se as much as the evidence of a cross-channel conflict in the aftermath.

From WBM refusing to confirm he made that 3:48PM call, to the sudden appearance of a ‘dark” RHD BMW 4×4 9 months later(!) to keeping the girls away from the french investigators to refusing to throw Ziad to the wolves – all indications are that the british are not exactly in the business of helping the French story line (if one can call it that).

Similarly, the french seem to engage in a kind of tit-for-tat revelations throughout the past 9 months. From the unveiling of Didierjean by LP, to the mysterious 3:15PM photo time stamp , to ‘clearing” the cars seen that day (Forestry, white 302/303) to not providing anything about the MCs (see Max above) to lone nuts as culprits to the reappearance of Didierjean as Bossy complete with extra 6-7 minutes and earlier arrival on the scene. Virtually none of these revelations has been given independent support or corroborated by UK sources. Who, for the most part stayed perfectly mum (at least officially).

I don’t know what happened at the martinet on Sep 5 and if i did I suspect I would be in trouble, wouldn’t I? but I CAN look at how and in what direction the stories are weaved in the following days and months, and those stories simply cannot be made to fit together if we continue to assume that the french and british teams operate in tandem. I realize people may want to assume that there is honest interest on the part of the authorities in solving this crime most foul. But what if the real interest is in NOT solving anything?

Obviously different people way fall on opposite sides of this dilemma, and it is not surprising that a certain emotionalism may creep in. In the end it’s about trust in the authorities isn’t it? if not complete trust then at least partial trust? it’s hard to bridge the gap of parties on opposite sides of the trust gap.

To give a shorter summary of this post – if one were willing to accept that things are not “lost in translation” what are the implications?. And if one is beholden to the mistranslations model, how can they bridge the gap with one who isn’t?

6-20-2013 at 08:29:04

@Maurice Richards

You have not commented here before, so I say welcome. I am sure all our commentators say so too.

I find your comment clear and to-the-point. Your theory, by the way, is my theory too.

Do come come back sharemore of their views with us.

6-20-2013 at 08:35:44


I understand where you are coming from, but when reading the first reports of this car, the earliest I have found is 29th April, as I said previoously it reads differently when it arrives in the British Press.

I and others on here could be completely wrong, so could you, as nothing so far proves it one way or the other. Maybe I and you for whatever reason have preconceived ideas, where I think Eric Maillaud made the error was in pointing the finger too quickly at Saad being the target and has had to go to the end point with that, before some back pedalling going on inbetween.

If you read an earlier post, you will see that he hasn’t shut the door on Brett Martin, the Mollier family or the lone gunman, YET !

Press Association

“Officers are keen to speak to the owner of a right-hand-drive 4×4 vehicle that was being driven on the Combre d’Ire Road, Chevaline, at around 3.20pm on 5 September.”

Detective Superintendent Nick May said: “I am appealing for anyone with a right-hand-drive 4X4, particularly a grey, black or dark-coloured BMW X5, to cast their minds back to September last year. Were you on holiday in the French Alps at the time? Did you visit the Annecy area?

“I am particularly keen to speak to any owner of such a vehicle who visited the towns of Doussard or Chevaline on the afternoon of 5 September as they may be able to provide vital information to assist with this ongoing joint investigation.

“This location is very popular and there may have been a number of tourists staying in the local area or travelling through at that time of year. The timing of this sighting is clearly significant and it is important that we trace this vehicle, if only to eliminate it from our inquiries.”

@Max, with apologies to non-French, did you look at these sites ?

From the 14th April, before the appeal:,

This from Marc Ducos, seen in Channel 4 programme, refers to a witness seeing a white 4×4 on the Route Forestier, he was thought to be a ‘reliable’ witness. It isn’t Brett Martin, a detail by the car enthusiast caught the attention of the Gendarmes, the driving wheel was on the right, in other reports says he is an employee of the ONF (Forestry).

Un volant à droite

La présence de ce véhicule n’est pas une nouveauté pour les gendarmes. Dès les premières heures de l’enquête, un témoin qualifié de “fiable” a donné un signalement précis sur ce 4×4 qu’il a croisé sur la route forestière menant à la scène de crime. Un détail fourni par ce passionné de voitures a retenu l’attention des gendarmes : le volant se trouvait à droite, ce qui laisse penser que le conducteur est britannique, comme trois des victimes.

A Press Release was given to the AFP, Associated French Press:×4-gris/

“Près de huit mois après le début de l’enquête dans la terrible tuerie de Chevaline (Haute-Savoie), les gendarmes en charge de l’enquête viennent de lancer un appel à témoins. Ils cherchent, selon un communiqué, à entrer en contact avec “le propriétaire d’un 4×4, avec conduite à droite, possiblement un BMW X5 de couleur grise (ou toute couleur foncée pouvant s’y apparenter) qui a été vu circulant le long de la Combe d’Ire”, à Chevaline le 5 septembre 2012, jour du crime, “entre 15h15 et 15h30”.

Les gendarmes appelent toute personne qui “connaîtrait ou aurait pu entrer en contact avec un ou plusieurs individus ayant circulé” dans ce 4X4 gris à appeler le 0800 002 950. “Les occupants de ce véhicule sont recherchés comme témoins, ils ne sont pas nécessairement les auteurs présumés du crime”, a précisé à l’AFP un officier de la gendarmerie. L’appel à témoins sera également relayé dans

This is the Press release from an Officer of the Gendarmerie repeated all over the French media.

It is the possibility/likely to be a BMW X5, not it is a BWM X5, at least Detective Superintendent Nick May has been good enough to say ‘particularly’……..

6-20-2013 at 08:37:47


When and where have the British and French ever been in agreement?

Marlin, I have done a little true crime writing, and I can say that I’ve not known a murder case ever having been under such scrutiny as this one. There is always a degree of confusion and secrecy and ‘running around in circles’. What makes this case more so is that those who are reporting it, and commenting about it on blogs, work in several languages. In translation ‘very’ can quickly become ‘extremely’ etc. As I have also said here before, journalism is going through a tough time, like all professions,with the exception of lawyer and doctor, and editors are screaming for ‘lively copy’. The journalist who does not supply it is out. Written journalism must also compete with visual journalism, which results in putting too much ‘colour’ into a story.

Your comment of 1.46 a.m. today is an interesting one.

6-20-2013 at 08:38:37

@Tim V

Just call me Marilyn for goodness sake.

And I did not and do not expect you to agree with anyone here because you know it all.

6-20-2013 at 08:46:48


Welcome. Your scenario is partly flawed (or is it???;) You have the shooting of AH started after he backwards U-turned the car and checked up on SM on the ground.

This is not compatible with:

– Glass found on the ground on the other side of Martinet
– Traces of SM being ‘dragged’ (presumably by the u-turning BMW)

… but, of course all this could (in priciple) have be staged! Lol. I always wondered why the investigators didn’t clean up ALL the evidence. Why were there still glass fragments??? Certainly much to the delight of the journo’s/photographers … something for the folks??


(But I still tend to go with SM=Target too)

– M

6-20-2013 at 09:16:28

@Max and @Maurice

I say that there were cartridge casings under the BMW because that was where the shooter stood when firing at Sylvain Mollier which was before the BMW drove up. Only in films does someone who had been shot, sink to the ground on the spot; in real life one tries to make a dash for freedom and a body jerks, can even fly through the air, when a bullet hits it, and several hit Mollier’s.

Max, as for Mollier’s body having been dragged by the BMW. This might well have happened, yes. An already shot Saad Al-Hilli got back into the car and in pain and bleeding, while also shouting at his daughter to get back into the car, might have made several forward or reverse movements and could then have hit Mollier’s body.

This is just how I see it in my mind’s eye. I do not claim that I know it all.

6-20-2013 at 09:26:12


I did post this before, it is from Laurent Blanchard Jornalist from M6 on the 12th September, the day of the reconstruction of events:

#chevaline : un 4×4 blanc vitres tintées quitte les lieux du crime sous escorte. Des témoins ?

A white 4×4 with tinted windows leaves the scene of the crime under escort. The witnesses ?

Of course it doesn’t say whether the car was RHD or French, could it have been Bossys vehicle or maybe the white 4×4 seen by the car enthusiast mentioned above ?

@Maurice, hello, hope you’ll stick with us.

Sorry about the earlier diatribe, got carried away looking for links !

6-20-2013 at 09:26:33


Great links!!!!!! (I have marked them red in which I need to ‘keep track’;)

I need to ‘reset’ myself again on the vehicles.

I had 2 bizarre thoughts, just musings really:

1. The ‘masons’ did it;)


2. If you would want to create a ‘really good mask’ (SM=target, AH=mask) I would organize a strange gun (gunnutter), decoy prey/mask (AH) and even steer possible ‘sightings’ the wrong way (drive in a UK car, while you are local)

… option 2 (which baffles even me) who indicate a SM killing by someone with a skyhigh ‘vanity’ level to create the ‘perfect’ murder

Above 2 are just musings! I’m not actively going after these anymore

– M

6-20-2013 at 09:59:29

@Max, leaving aside the most recent talk of 4x4s, looking at the builders, lets assume that Sylvie Le C car was the builders mate, that means Laurent Fillion-Robin was in another vehicle, do you know where he lives, if not I’ll look, aerial view really to see if any cars, vans are there.

Still with the builders, I accept by the report that they fled from the chalet, pdq after overhearing of dead people, I’ve given my idea above.

During the time they were working at the chalet, they saw Saads car, but they didn’t see anything else, neither a bike, motorbike or apparently any other car, although I’m not 100% about the latter.

Follow me, I thought Bossy arrived via Route du Moulin, but he didn’t see another vehicle, now of course timings could come into play, but does this mean he passed the chalet on the Chevaline road, afterall it is to Paul Duchers farm he went afterwards.

That means that those builders didn’t see him and therefore could have missed Brett Martin as well, neither did they see Lise Duchers VTT cycist – so where were they ?

Working around the back, slacking ? Certainly Lise Ducher didn’t see the BMW or anything else because she was sunbathing on the terrace, which is to the side and REAR of the property, most likely the latter.

6-20-2013 at 10:21:38

Ok, I also took in the UK crimewatch stuff (starting at 5:00)

So the BMW X5 was 15:20 at 2 kms from Martinet. Ok
It was seen (eyewitness), So who is the eyewitness? Not BM, not PD …

It practically has to be that the eyewitness of the BMW X5 is the (accounted for) 4×4 and/or MC seen by BM coming down.

As the eyewitness appears to be the ONF guy …
… it follows that 4×4 (BM) = ONF … and probably the MC (BM) is the MC which the ONF guy ‘redirected’ to the Combe d’Ire road

Lol 😉 Max, moving around elements like crazy;)

But … analyzing further … Hmmm, ONF ‘crossed’ BMW X5!?!? Now the ONF was going down (BM) soooo, the BMW X5 was going UP (wink at TimV;)

But the BMW X5 was NOT seen by BM!?

I think the BMW X5 was BEHIND BM going up the Combe d’Ire but DID NOT PASS HIM

What was the BMW X5 doing there????

Possible answer: Picking up Killer X (who escaped on foot from Martinet)

Once he picked up X, he turned and escaped … before PD went up. Perhaps (hopefully) he was sighted by SLC, but SLC seemed to emotional to give a correct statement … see … (I always wondered about a ‘woman’ knowing car brands, lol, of course a french woman ONLY thinks in terms of french cars, and thus ‘Peugeot’;) … btw SLC must have had the timestamp WRONG(!) … Guess what, here … you have another guy seeing the ‘306’ at 15:45 (and not 16:15)

Now the time would match an escaping BMW X5 before PD went up. Typically SLC would have seen the car 15:35 or something.

If 306=X5 (and although a X5 is bigger, the ‘form’ is about the same) we could have a complete match!

Let me chew on this;)

– M

6-20-2013 at 10:27:54

Sorry, forget that last bit. (time is incorrect)

6-20-2013 at 10:31:38


I’ll will think over your last post (builders)

– M

6-20-2013 at 11:45:14

@Max, I agree with your statement:

“So the BMW X5 was 15:20 at 2 kms from Martinet. Ok It was seen (eyewitness), So who is the eyewitness? Not BM, not PD … It practically has to be that the eyewitness of the BMW X5 is the (accounted for) 4×4 and/or MC seen by BM coming down. As the eyewitness appears to be the ONF guy … … it follows that 4×4 (BM) = ONF … and probably the MC (BM) is the MC which the ONF guy ‘redirected’ to the Combe d’Ire road ”

But I don’t see that it is the Peugeot Sylvie saw, this X5 could have left the route and never gone all the way up, maybe a tourist who decided the road was so bad with his ‘Chelsea Tractor’, and went back via Route du Moulin, the way he arrived…….

If I recall the other sighting earlier of a dangerously overtaking vehicle with two men inside, either with long hair or wearing wigs, isn’t the same car and was apparently going in the direction of, let’s say Doussard. Either way it is accounted for.

Sylvie was only a few minutes drive from the SHOPI in Doussard, she was going around that bend a few minutes after four.

The Bossy gang arrived at Paul Duchers farm around 4pm….. the emergency services slowing down and telling him that there were four dead, a child still moving, which brings me back to the FIRST phone call and this comment can only come before they arrive at the scene, because according to Bossy he thought she was dead.

Max, the only question I get left with, is why hasn’t the vehicles owner come forward, must surely know what happened – unless it is just someone like the builders who ran off because they didn’t want to answer questions !

“Derniers témoins

Eux, les enquêteurs ne les ont pas entendus. Pas encore. Et pourtant… Ils sont certainement les derniers à avoir vu la famille Al-Hilli vivante. Eux, ce sont deux ouvriers maçons. Le jour du drame, mercredi, ils travaillaient dans une maison proche de l’endroit où la BMW a été retrouvée. Le dernier chalet avant le lieu du crime, face à une ferme. Et ce chalet, incroyable hasard, appartiendrait à un Anglais, un ancien de la RAF. Comme le témoin clé, ce cycliste qui a découvert la BMW avec ses occupants morts.

Lorsqu’ils ont aperçu cette voiture immatriculée en Angleterre qui montait la côte, ces ouvriers, qui avaient pris du retard sur le chantier, ont pris peur : et si le propriétaire, leur client, débarquait? Ils ont vérifié, bien regardé la BMW. Ce n’était pas lui, alors ils ont repris leur travail. Peu de temps après, c’est la tuerie. Très vite, ils entendent parler d’un drame. Affolés, ils prennent peur, veulent éviter les questions. Ils préfèrent quitter le chantier. Et s’ils avaient, aussi, aperçu la voiture des tueurs? “No comment”, lâche l’un deux. R.B.

6-20-2013 at 12:57:42


Nope, I was too hasty. I have to let the info ‘sink in’. The links you gave (and the crimewatch, etc) are very valuable. I just need some time to let my old brains process them;)

(Was it Alex, or Peter or somebody else here who said it was almost like they are looking for AH’s BMW … but c’mon, it is surely impossible to mix them up … I have to assume the BMW X5 is NOT AH’s BMW although the 15:20 is awefully close to AH’s timings)

Pfff, poor brains;)

– M

6-20-2013 at 14:00:32

Damn Lynda, you ARE good!

The ‘Derniers témoins’ is great, might be even disturbing … I mean the ‘no comment’ and such?? Bizarre

– M

6-20-2013 at 14:06:43


re: Michael Hastings’ death.

Running the risk of having my head chopped off by some of you, I think Michael Hastings was murdered. Killing those who have become a nuisance, stepped out of line, whatever, is a car crash in the middle of the night. I can think of someone who was killed this way. I can also think of someone else who was killed in a car. In this case it was a ‘suicide’ by fire. When I saw that Michael Hastings’ car had caught fire after the crash, I no longer had doubts about what had happened.

6-20-2013 at 14:23:25

@Max, just to remind myself, eventhough SeeBee said there wasn’t enough time, the ONF came across that motorcycle supposedly around 15:15 above Martinet, problem is it wasn’t anymore specific, other than in the ‘foret’, which officially begins further up but really it is all forest.

Anyway, where along the route could a car turn easily, or park up ? Because if Brett Martin is correct he wasn’t passed by another vehicle either way, only accounting for a 4×4 and motrbike, the former being attributed to the ONF by Maillaud.

Yes someone did wonder if it was Saads car, but the ‘reliable’ witness was a car nut, apparently……

And what of the other motorbiker on the Col-de-Cherel, Janin saw nothing, his wife says he saw a motorbike that stopped to let the herd through, then Janin was forced to tell the gendarmes he did see a motorbike, we know the account, maybe another Frenchman who really didn’t want to get involved, but his wife had opened her mouth …….

For all of this I can’t get the ONF not seeing BM, nor SM or SAH as far as we know ! As to believe the arrival in the car park was SAH, SM, BM, although if the spotting of the X5 was between 15:15 and 15:30, then it changes the layout.

I have to do some work, manual so plenty of time to think, have a good day.

6-20-2013 at 14:27:29

Just a thought
but since most of the people shot were british then perhaps a british police force for example the Met should investigate this case
instead of mistranslating items for the french ?

6-20-2013 at 14:49:50

@Fat Bastard

re: British investigators

Seeing that two of the deceased were British passport holders, a police investigation and an inquest can be held in Britain. The British can not however investigate the death of Sylvain Mollier because he was neither British nor did he reside in the UK. And most important the murder did not take place on UK soil.

A British investigation would mean that British police and crime experts would come to France to interview all those involved with the case which will include the French investigators, the paramedics who had rushed to the crime scene, doctors and nurses at the hospital where Zainab was treated, pathologists who had carried out the post mortems, embalmers who had embalmed the bodies for repatriation to the UK etc. And of course they will speak to all those the French investigators have already questioned: Sylvain Mollier’s family, the farmers, forestry guys, Philippe Bossy, the owners of the two camps sites and so on.

Seeing that the British police have not yet come to France to launch an investigation here is because the French investigation is still ongoing. There can be another reason too: no one (Al Hilli family member for example) in the UK has filed a civil case complaint against X for the murders of the Al-Hillis.

6-20-2013 at 15:27:38


I baffled too;)

If the ONF car nutt saw X5 on Combe d’Ire (halfway’ish) at 15:20 … how could he have missed AH?

I’m now trying to center everything around X5/ONF halfway Combe d’Ire 15:20 (1515-1530) … just to see how/if the rest can be fitted.

– M

6-20-2013 at 16:51:06

Quick post as busy – Re Max’s post :-

“If the ONF car nutt saw X5 on Combe d’Ire (halfway’ish) at 15:20 … how could he have missed AH?”

I thought that someone had implied that the ONF vehicle had crossed the Combre d’Ire and seen the X5 type vehicle.

Now I could be getting confused by the french for paths crossing, but it made a whole lot of sense to me in that the ONF are meant to patrol the woods, so would be looping around the interdit tracks looking for errant bikers amongst other things.

So i kind of assumed that as we know the ONF were above Martinet that they “looped” back onto to the Combre d’Ire to the North of Martinet – looked left and right, saw the X5 – maybe travelleled along the Combre d’Ire a few hundred metres – then went onto another track to the West and eventually exited the valley.

6-20-2013 at 17:40:27


Yup, ‘crossing’ the Combe d’Ire seems to be a good (and sensible) solution. ONF guys are supposed to be in the woods … and that is also where ONF ‘catched’ a MC, ‘redirecting’ him to the normal road.

Makes sense (as explanation), but my gosh, a ‘play of minutes this case is’ (Yoda speak;)

– M

6-20-2013 at 19:50:41

it isn’t the biggest of 4×4, I stood next to two yesterday in the hospital carpark, the Pajero, Land rover, Range Rover ‘appear’ taller.

@Rashomon, I like your line of thought and as Max said just looking for sensible solutions.

It may well be that this was the car to collect the brutal murderer for him to escape, it could also be someone who doesn’t want to be found, how close would someone have to be to identify this non-descript car in the 4×4 world ?

The owner is sitting pretty because although he was there, the identification is wrong.

Marilyn a while back told us how inaccurate witnesses are, as even Brett Martin said in his interview, different if you are prepped in advance.

Brett Martin also said that part of the reason for the interview was that the media were printing untruths, making it up.

From personal experience I know they do, it is all about a story if it turns out to be wrong, the apology is hidden on the inside pages, in the smallest calibre of print.

Take some time to listen again to the link posted earlier with the second part of his interview, and no with all the knowledge we have.

@Max, ‘a play of minutes this case is’, always has been, does that really point to state sponsored assasination, nothing I have read or seen leads me to that conclusion, more likely something went very wrong that afternoon.

6-20-2013 at 21:34:33

@Lynda – 6-20-2013 at 19:50:41

Re your point to Max about not seeing anything to point to state sponsored assasination but “more likely something went very wrong that afternoon”.

Well, yes something did go very wrong; the police investigation. . .

My guess would be that the police got a “hit” when they ran the names through their computers – remember the “connected with spying or international crime” line from EM – and assumed that the motive and perps would be really obvious.

Working on that assumption they then didn’t close roads etc, failed to preserve the crime scene, didn’t do exhaustive door to door, left too late to be effective the public appeals etc etc. . .

So, on the face of it, enthralled by the secret squirrels who descended on them they forgot to get the basics right.

But something TimV said upthread has been niggling at me. He pointed out that they, the french, are not behaving as if they think it is a local crime by local people. There are no ‘suppression’ activities whatsoever!

Do they still think they have the broad brush about right but just cannot connect the dots to fill in the detail?

6-20-2013 at 22:01:16


do you know a good murder lawyer who speaks French 🙂
about time someone put a rocket up these people

the Zs have been imprisoned TOO LONG

6-20-2013 at 22:08:00

@Rashomon – my comment:

“Lynda 6-20-2013 at 08:35:44

……… where I think Eric Maillaud made the error was in pointing the finger too quickly at Saad being the target and has had to go to the end point with that, before some back pedalling going on inbetween. If you read an earlier post, you will see that he hasn’t shut the door on Brett Martin, the Mollier family or the lone gunman, YET ! ”

So you see I’ve covered it and for a second or even third time , logic says they jumped to conclusions too quickly, possibly spurred on by the British Embassy, screaming down the phone ‘they’re Iraqi!’

FB’s comments here, to the newspapers and on TV and radio as himself, James Matthews, points a finger at those who have tried to label Saad as Iraqi, he was British and had chosen to be so. Of course we know of a few that bite the hand that feeds.

I am trying to be objective, to look for explanations BEFORE making a decision, often the devil is in the detail.

This 4×4, BMW X5 or not wasn’t the killer, I wish I could put into words why, if any engine driver/rider is responsible it is Denis Janins motorcyclist who was ‘escaping’ via Le Col-de-Cherel, the motorbike left near the join of the cycle route and the ‘road’ that passes through. It is the same way he arrived, to pass through either village of Chevaline or Arnand would not be a very wise move, people, farms, cattle.

He/she/it had a better chance of getting away to the otherside via Percheral/Jarsy, regrettably spotted by Janin, who did nothing to disuade the rider from being on the road forbidden to traffic – that I find odd.

He says going towards Martinet/Chevaline, that wasn’t the plan, but when spotted went back on himself, a local would know how to get off Les Bauges without being seen, Melvin the 15 year old knew how to avoid the commotion of gendarmes and helicopters, and took a protracted route to get home, the killer did the same.

6-20-2013 at 22:34:18

And to finish, it took two hours for the gendarmes to secure the area, putting up road blocks in DOUSSARD and PERCHERAL/JARSY, the silly little barrier by the old sawmill wasn’t the main barrier, look at photos of the combat style dressed Gendarmes and where they are.

That photo with the similarly dressed Gendarmes, looking in the culvert, is just posed, all be it not demanded by the press, the River Ire passes the otherside of the sawmill, you can see the bridge in many photos especially of the cows going for milking in the Route du Moulin.

By this time the killer was at home, in a bar or hotel, Claire Schutz an hour or so later passed by one or the other ‘barriers’ when Sylvain hadn’t returned home, it was not at the sawmill, in Chevaline she would not have been allowed to get that far by then, but could have been Doussard which makes sense to me. The old railway track which is now a cycle track the obvious choice, passing his old work place of Cezus, there is no obvious bike ride in Jarsy to follow.

I so hope you can make sense of these observations, it doesn’t make any assumption as to who the killer is or the motive but who it is most likely to have been.

I am then tempted to draw a conclusion, I won’t.

6-20-2013 at 22:47:06

6-20-2013 at 01:07:0 from those references i copied these.

Near another body is likely that of a cyclist also lay dead on the right front of the car next to his road bike. The vicinity of the crime scene, a lively girl seriously injured but was also discovered at the left front of the vehicle.

It is a walker bike that made the grisly discovery to 3:50 p.m.. In shock, he is currently being interrogated by the police.
20 h 35. With nearly 25 casings found at the scene of the killing of Chevaline in Haute-Savoie, the hypothesis of a single shooter seems less feasible, The number of sockets may suggest that there were two good shooters,” said a police source.  There are too many victims so that there is only one shooter, or someone very, very well trained,” said the prosecutor.
A witness told reporters Friday just have crossed a “a little crazy” white car on a road not far from the site of the massacre, shortly after the estimated time of the crime. “It was rather a kind car 306 white, but in any case not a 4×4, which was anything on the road, “the man told reporters. “They were trying to overtake everyone, while traffic was light, they seemed very nervous. At first I thought it was two girls inside, but once they have passed me they looked weird, with weird hair, as if they wore wigs. They acted as if they were fleeing, they seemed very nervous. ”
Thursday evening, a resident of Chevaline was also mentioned Thursday in front of a camera M6 a white car that would have passed through the village bang shortly after the supposed time of the crime. “I met a vehicle traveling very quickly and took the turn base. He tried to avoid me and I veered onto the side,” he told the resident. However, this woman talked about a “brown and only” man, and assured to have crossed 4:15 p.m., while the witness was presented on Friday ensures seeing “to 3:45 p.m.”, a few kilometers further.
14 h 44.
. “This case looks more and more like an ambush even if we are not even sure this is the work of a professional …”

Notice how elements of the story have changed with time?

6-20-2013 at 23:56:04

@Lynda, TimV, Rashomon and all;)

Studying the marterial once again, spurred by the Linda links, but also by the TimV and Rashomon input and other I’m ending up on on roughly the same road as Lynda.

I’m aware that Tim has the disadvantage of (I’m guessing here) not 100% being able to dechiper french articles. I had the advantage that I can, with some difficulty, dechipher the french stuff. It helps no doubt to get around in the mass of data of which perhaps 70-80% in not totally correct.

On top of that EM just doesn’t give away anything. Nothing. Zippo, Rien, Zero.Zero

So we have to deduce the stuff EM already knows, from the outside, through mostly INcorrect newitmes

Lol, now THAT I call a puzzle;)

But … as said … going through the stuff once more I have lightened up a bit, and I have to be less though on EM too.

Starting with the X5 ‘sighting’ on Combe d’Ire 1515-1530 (15.20 est) … Yup, also thanks to you TimV because you were going on about that X5;)

Well putting all the stuff into the mix I can come up with a picture (perhaps more are possible) which can place every element correctly (assuming some movements which EM must know but which poor US folks only can deduce)

My (a) conclusion could be that I will differ with Lynda on X;)


– RHD X5 15:20 Combe d’Ire, halfwayish, seen by ONF car nutter (THIS IS STARTING POINT)

(note: Now I guess/understand that this element alone made EM look at the UK, and this element he knew practically from the start!)

anyway …

– AH was still around Chevaline
– BM and SM even behind AH

allready from this you *could* conclude the X5 might have been on the way to Martinet to prep an ambush … Now EM prolly knows if the X5 went up or down, but we dont … I ASSUME he went up and I ASSUME X5 is killer X(!)

– From around 15:20 the Combe d’Ire is ‘blocked’ by BM anyway who did NOT see any X5 (he did see other), later the road is ‘blocked’ by PD

This seals off the route down to chevaline for the X5. So the only way is UP(!)

Fastforward to 1525-1530

– ONF is in the woods, catching MC
– AH and SM make their way up, passing the ONF (who is in the woods) unseen
– X5 is prepping the ambsuh at Martinet
– BM starts his climb

Fastforward 1535ish

– X5 ambushes SM and AH
– ONF catches MC and both go down to Chevaline
– BM sees both ONF and MC going down

Fastforward 1540

– ONF and MC are gone
– PD in chevaline
– BM arrives at Martinet
– X5 escapes (via ColdeCherel??)

Conclusion: X5 carries the killer. EM thought from the beginning that because of the ONF RHD X5 sighting, the case HAD TO BE a UK case

My ‘other’ interpretation: How could X5 have been sure that AH was on his way to Martinet???? … This ‘opens’ again a possibility that it was all about SM. Furthermore, perhaps X5 was ‘contracted’ to kill SM, and perhaps X5 came from Eastern Europe and perhaps in Eastern Europa there are also cars (stolen) with RHD.

PS: SLC’s 306 were the builders, fleeing the ‘questioning’

– M

6-21-2013 at 00:52:51

@Max – 6-20-2013 at 23:56:04

I like the timeline above.

I have an alternate interpretation. Lets call it “alternative three” to annoy pedants. It is essentially mistaken identity. Someone else was up there intending to kill/rob the X5 occupants (or Philippe Bossy plus 2).

The X5 and its occupants are a bit early, overshoot Martinet, get lost or are spooked.

The “someone else” arrives at Martinet sees the BMW badge and gets to work.

The X5 and its occupants hear the shots, exit stage left, and understandably are shy given somebody, still at large, set them up.

6-21-2013 at 01:40:59

6-20-2013 at 08:35:44 I am not sure what you are trying to say with these quotes. Both British and French police sources put out the same appeal simultaneously. The only significant differences as far as I can see are that the British appear to be somewhat more specific on time and place, nailing it to 3.20 one kilometre up the Combe whereas the French suggest a quarter of an hour slot between 3.15 and 3.30.

The google translate of that first one reads: “The presence of this vehicle is not new to the police. From the first hours of the investigation, a witness qualified as “reliable” gave a precise description of the 4 × 4 that crossed on the forest road leading to the crime scene. A detail provided by the car enthusiast has caught the attention of police: the wheel was on the right, suggesting that the driver is British, as three of the victims.”

So this is clearly saying this grey or dark BMWx5 is indeed the same as the first reported by WBM. EXCEPT IT WASN’T! It was GREEN. RHD was not mentioned. The police put out an “ASA” for Mitsubishi Pajero! And he said he had no idea about detail or occupants. Is it the same witness then? This event plus eight months report doesn’t name Martin just that the witness “is reliable” and a “car enthusiast”.

How can these significant differences be explained.Given the time and absence of any other reported witness we must assume that the “car enthusiast” is indeed WBM. It can’t be PD/B as he was from the first adamant that he saw no vehicle or person.

However it is more than strange that it took eight months to make an appeal for a vehicle known from the beginning and that it conflicts with the early descriptions so significantly. In fact I would call it quite bizarre. Note, no one has attempted to explain the discrepancy. Its not as if this is new intelligence. Apparently they knew all along. So is it normal practice to put out misleading descriptions of vehicles?

The other very weird aspect is why after eight months the police have not identified and located this distinctive top of the range vehicle. Did it not have sat nav which not only tells the driver where he is but also anyone in charge of the system. It is surely not rocket science to identify sat nav in a BMW on a particular at a particular location?

6-21-2013 at 01:43:44

*particular day

6-21-2013 at 02:00:00

Marilyn Z. Tomlins
6-20-2013 at 08:38:37 I copy the tag so that it’s clear to what contribution I am referring. It is not intended to be derogatory in any way unlike I might say that rather cheap jibe of yours. I do not profess to “know it all”. Indeed I have made the point on innumerable occasions that in regard to this case we cannot be sure of anything. All I try to do is examine the facts as they are presented dispassionately, and say if they contradict or don’t add up. For example one might be able to explain how 15 bullets fired became 25 (although it might have been prudent to hold back on the number until the examination of the site had been completed) but how do you explain the number DECREASING to 21 after almost nine months? Similarly at the subsequent press conference EM stated dogmatically “three out of the four victims were shot in the head”. He even repeated it for emphasis. It later turned out all four had been shot in the head. How could he have made such a fundamental error post mortem examination? These are but two examples of the many I have highlighted. If that makes me a “know it all” so be it, but it is not I assure you as I view myself.

6-21-2013 at 04:13:50

EM may get his wish for access to US servers, but he’d best file before 10,000,000 divorce lawyers do so.

6-21-2013 at 04:28:27

@ Marilyn Z. Tomlins 6-20-2013 at 14:06:43
“re: Michael Hastings’ death. Running the risk of having my head chopped off by some of you, I think Michael Hastings was murdered.”

BuzzFeed, which broke the story, claimed he was one of their journalists [shared with Rolling Stone], and said they were informed of his death by his relatives. This was shortly after the accident, while LA police were saying the remains were burned beyond recognition and the coroner said ID would be by dental records. Why would relatives immediately assume it was Hastings? He might have loaned the car to someone, had it stolen or been carjacked. No mention if it was his personal car, somebody else’s car or a rental. Supposedly he lived in NYC, but was in LA to open a West Coast office for BuzzFeed.

“BuzzFeed certainly leveraged this for maximum publicity. It is an unlikely outlet for Hastings; one of many auto-generated so-called news pages.
“Co-founded in 2006 by Jonah Peretti (who is also cofounder of The Huffington Post), BuzzFeed is located in Manhattan. In 2012, Ben Smith of Politico was hired as editor-in-chief.” Article has info on the mechanics of BuzzFeed page generation.

Remember to stuff pillows around your door, though that may only work with pillows stuffed with down from Peking Ducks, which have special acoustic properties. I cannot guarantee it will work with down from the numbered ducks at La Tour d’Argent. Always wear your secret red hood when entering passwords, and fashionable Google Glass, or equivalent, for TV interviews, as do the best Master Spies. And should you attempt to entrap Russian spies in a gay park in Moscow, always carry a Boy Scout’s compass.

Our bobble-headed news presenters/anchors/reporters/commentators tell us this straight-facedly, nodding seriously, “It’s true, it’s true!” without a hint of the absurdity. One imagines operatives just off-camera with scimitars in hand, or Luger PO6s.

6-21-2013 at 09:40:36


June 21. First day of summer and longest day of the year. Today is Music Festival day in France and there will be music on just about every street corner in Paris tonight. It is the one night of the year when the ‘silence at 10 p.m.’ rule does not apply and we can all make as much noise as we wish right through the night. I do, all the same, hope that no one in my building will be having a party tonight. I will however be playing my James Brown CDs loudly.

Must just add we’ve now been through an autumn, a winter and a spring and we’ve still not found the Chevaline killer.

6-21-2013 at 09:47:15


re: Hastings and assassinations.

Chinese takeaways ducks it will have to be because the Touyr d’Argent ones I can’t afford.

Entrapment of burly Russian spies in a Moscow park sounds so up my street. They can not however be gay, for obvious reasons.

By the way Lynda and Alex Cartier already have instructions what they must tell the police should I suddenly fall silent and I’ve not told them that I would be going on holiday. I will however take your advice and I’ve just put on my secret red hood so I am invisible.

6-21-2013 at 11:00:05


Refresh my memory plz. on ‘Denis Janins motorcyclist who was ‘escaping’ via Le Col-de-Cherel’ (MC2)

Do you have the (best) source on him/her?

Iirc that MC2 was seen going TOWARDS dir Martinet but with a timestamp AFTER the killing … which made ‘no sense’ to us (and we mused about having times incorrect etc)

However in a ‘sandwich/backup’ model MC2 can play his tune. Esp. if the target was to be SM.

SM was on a trip via Chevaline, Martinet, ColdeCherel and back to Ugine.

Now X5 could have acted as Killer1 … but MC2 could have acted as backup in case X5 failed to setup the ambush at Martinet in time. MC2 approached SM from opposite direction and this was a SURE tactic to encounter SM somewhere alomg his route, preferably in the remoteness of the mointains Combe d’Ire/ColdeCherel etc.

As X5 was succesfull and escaped via ColdeCherel, he meet/contacted MC2 and both got away via ColdeCherel etc. (unfortunately not seen by anyone that time)

… makes sense;)

(but in this scenario, I find SM a much more logic target, even though the X5 is a RHD and seems to point to a UK/AH killing)

– M

6-21-2013 at 12:02:12

Hi, Max and all,

Great reading this morning, Google translate really is funny, if only it wasn’t so serious.

A thought on the X5, came to me as I was driving the other day, I questioned how close the witness would have to be to SEE the make of the car and RHD.

Well, I’ve told you I live in a tourist area, many British cars are circulating, the first thing you notice is the number plate, not the side on which there is a driver, epecially with tinted windows and two people inside. Nevertheless, it becomes more obvious with only a driver as where you expect to see a driver the space is empty.

@TimV, when the Gendarmerie gives a Press Release (communiqué) to the AFP, Associated French Press, they use it in full or take quotes, which are clearly indicated.

So, ‘likely a grey or dark BMW X5, seen driving along the Combe d’Ire between 15:15 and 15:30’.

The Peugeot 206/306, two different witnesses, one being Sylvie Leceour, the second an unnamed man. And I would say two different cars.

Regardless, these vehicles are not outstanding in the enquiry.

Sylvies having only one occupant, short dark hair, just after 16:00 the unknown mans, two occupants with long hair or long wigs and travelling in the direction of Chevaline although some kilometres away at 15:45, the latter going to the Gendarmerie on Friday, Sylvies report from the Thursday.

I’ve just been reading The Daily Express on our case, I see why FB calls it The Daily Excess, there are soooooooooooo many errors, I can see why judgements are tainted.

@Max, Rashomon, it makes sense that the car could have gone past Martinet, nothing to stop it, if it were the killers that is heck of a risk of being seen and very little room to escape.

Back down the Combe would have been quicker and at the bottom by the redundant sawmill, a fork in the road.

@NR and Marilyn, I don’t know enough about Mr Hastings, so I won’t join in the debate.

6-21-2013 at 12:15:19

@Lynda re ‘risk coldecherel escape route’

Sure, but if X (in X5) ran out of ammo AND the escape was blocke by BM which he might have seen coming up the road … X (in X5) might had had no other option as to escape via ColdeCherel (a route which he *might* have planned/knowledge off, if MC2 was his backup)

In the first conferences by EM, there was a female journo who asked him about that escape route. EM said it would be possible (with a 4×4).

Also it was asked if the barrier was open or close. BV responds that normally the barrier was open(!) (I have to guess it *indeed* was open, as I assume X5 was parked beyond Martinet, in an ‘out of sight’ manner)

Point is that if above is the ‘correct’ movement of all vehicles known … it leaves open the question WHO was the target;)

– M

6-21-2013 at 13:07:19

I presume that Eric Clouseau kept quiet about that BMW X5 for so long because investigators must have been sure that they would sooner or later identify the owner anyway, through CCTV footage from traffic cameras.

It amazes me that they have not been able to do so in so many months. Even if there are no CCTV cameras at the Martinet, there are some in the periphery, the more the wider one casts one’s net. They could have analyzed footage from CCTV cameras as far away as Switzerland and Italy, and I’m sure that they have actually done so. Doing so would be a matter of course in an inquiry of this scale.

In my opinion, the fact that they nevertheless did not manage to identify the vehicle’s owner can only mean either of two things: Either they do have CCTV footage but the BMW X5 bore fake or stolen number plates (a common-sense precaution whilst committing a preplanned murder), or the whole thing is a red herring, SAH’s own BMW being mistaken for an X5 by an idiot pretending to be a car nut. I don’t know which one it is, but it must be either of those two.

6-21-2013 at 13:09:04

@Max, I agree, I’ve been looking at Youtube and the first reports on the 5th and 6th September, the elements of confusion, which I see as normal in the circumstances, the Press wanting to be the first to get word out of there.

It would make sense that the car continued beyond Martinet, some 20kms to Percheral, how long would you guess that would take ?

So, if the car left the scene between 15:30 and 15:40, motorbike seen by Janin about 16:00, apparently in the direction of Martinet, I’m trying to find what Janin said, what time would the car have passed Janins cheese making chalets, he said he was cleaning cheeseboards when he saw the motorbike.

@Max, these are for you, apologies to everyone, they are French links, I don’t think there is too much to add, just a bit of ‘horses mouth’ stuff. de Chevaline

WHO IS THE TARGET ? The RHD obviously points to Al-Hilli or Brett Martin !!!!

I wish I could be as sure as Maillaud that it was a RHD vehicle, whomever if they escaped over the Col they must have known the area.

6-21-2013 at 13:30:18

PS: If they do have CCTV footage, why didn’t they show it, with the fake or stolen number plate pixellated? There is nothing like a few grainy CCTV images to enlist the cooperation of the public.

On second thoughts, therefore, I stick with my original idea that there was no X5 at or near the Martinet, only SAH’s BMW.

6-21-2013 at 13:31:26


As incredible as this may seem CCTV cameras are switched off when those who man them close up for the night. This is usually at 11 p.m. This is in fact the hour when those in some spots in Paris are switched off. In such an isolated place as Chevaline the cameras might not have been switched on at all which could explain why they have not provided the investigation with evidence.

I apologise if I sound ‘preachy’, but it just so happens that I’ve been going over such details these past two years.

6-21-2013 at 13:43:18

@ Marilyn

Yes, it is quite possible that the CCTV cams in the neighbouring villages were switched off. However, I am talking about border crossings and motorways, a nationwide search, or even one involving neighbouring countries.

The French may not be as “good” as the UK at surveilling their citizenry, but they are getting there. It is well-nigh impossible to get in and out of France (I assume that the driver of that X5 is not a permanent resident of France because the car is said to be right-hand drive) without being captured on CCTV *somewhere* several times. The police have special software for pulling that footage using time-and-motion forecasting; i. e., where could the target vehicle have been x minutes or hours after a sighting.

Thus, I maintain that the police are either sitting on some pretty interesting CCTV footage (and I don’t see any good reason why they should keep this footage to themselves) or there is no footage because there was no X5.

6-21-2013 at 13:57:03
Detectives have begun analysing data from hundreds of CCTV cameras on highways, toll points and petrol stations using a complex ‘convoy analysis’ computer software, which can tell them whether the Al-Hillis were followed by any vehicles. (…) The French police chief leading the investigation, Lieutenant Colonel Bertrand Francois, said: ‘The intention is to track every movement of the car and yes, of course, to see if it was being followed.’

They have been at it for nine months now, have pulled all the CCTV footage they could get hold of and analysed it. If they haven’t been able to find a RHD BMW X5 – not exactly an everyday car in France – in that footage, the chances are that there is no such car. 😉

6-21-2013 at 14:13:53

@Peter, I question the RHD…. if it was there. If we are to believe that it came from the UK, and the Gendarmes want to speak to the occupants, stressing they are not being accused of the murder, then there must be some trace of it leaving or re-entering the UK.

Of course it could have been stolen and shipped out of the UK in a truck, I understand criminal gangs do this ‘to order’.

They say they have checked the CCTV available in a wide area, I don’t recall how wide that was but they certainly mentioned borders.

This is Bibis link again, refers to a white car at full speed, so assume it is Sylvies…but not seen by the gentleman being interviewed.

As a result of this here are the TV8 Mont Blanc videos, apologies for not translating, I don’t have time to go through them one by one, if there is anything interesting maybe someone else will.

Google France3 Rhone Alpes + ……Chevaline, Al-Hilli or Sylvain Mollier.

This is Janins wifes comments:

Dated 12th September.

“Mon mari a juste vu une moto. Il en passe de temps en temps. Le pilote s’est même arrêté pour laisser passer le troupeau. Il n’avait pas l’air pressé », confie Catherine Jeanin.”

My husband only saw a motorbike. He took his time. The rider stopped to let the herd pass. He didn’t appear to be in a hurry.

The JDD link earlier carries Janin seeing nothing with an engine, two or four wheels, dated 15th September.

There was a TV interview with him, where he said he had been questioned by the Gendarmes again, I can’t find it, he was in his barn moving bales of hay.

I also can’t find the one where he is supposed to have said that it was in the direction of Martinet, sorry Max, does someone else have a link to this report.

Apologies for the French links again, they are primarily to help Max.

6-21-2013 at 14:20:52

Suppose you were the ONF guy spotting this BMW X5 RHD on Combe d’Ire. (just imagine it, dont believe it if you dont want to) … You would find yourself in a very weird position. You SAW the X5, probably carrying X. But the X5 has vanished, nobody else saw it, and the world thinks you are crazy;)

Of course the X5 could have been ‘made up’ … but then, what about MC2 (ColDeCherel)? That was seen. … But if EM wants to ‘make things up’ he simply could have put EVERYTHING in the shoes of this X5 and simply say that the MC2 was ‘accounted for’.

Because if I were to be EM ‘making up’ stuff, I would ‘invent’ a X5 RHD, and say that X5 is probably the killer, and also say that the rest is ‘accounted for’ … and there would be no one to argue against this.

It would be funny though if the MC (1) who was catched by ONF and seen by BM would come forward and tell his/her story!! (prolly wiser though for him/her to NOT come forward and talk to the press … just look what happened to BM … you dont want this to happen to you;)

– M

6-21-2013 at 14:33:47

re: CCTV

I am doubtful that CCTV cameras, even those at border crossings, remain switched on 24/24. There comes a time at night when traffic crossing borders slow down and even dwindle down to zero. I would even say that once the last train of the night has departed a railway station (shall we say Geneva to Paris, or Basle to Paris) the cameras will be switched off.

We all remember the fatal shooting of Xavier Baligant. Deep into the night he had pulled up at a rest area on a highway to use the toilet. Those CCTV cameras had been switched off.

6-21-2013 at 15:27:31

@ Max

I don’t believe for a moment that EM is making things up. Rather the opposite, he keeps his cards very close to his chest.

There must have been a reason for that witness appeal concerning the BMW X5, either a rock-solid witness (Jean-Marc Ducos twittered about *two* witnesses seeing it, but then he seems to value exclusive over accurate information) or video footage. For the reasons given above, I don’t think that the cops have CCTV footage. Hence, the long wait before the appeal was probably due to the hope that they would ultimately find CCTV footage, and the appeal itself was due to these witnesses.

Thus, I suppose that the appeal regarding the X5 boils down to the one-eyed astigmatic, boozy sod of an ONF worker who didn’t see WBM, although he passed him, but who clearly saw an X5-type-thingie in gray-or-something-like-that 😉

6-21-2013 at 15:36:10

@Marilyn and All, being a Brit and going back to see family many times a year, I am very aware of the difference between the two countries.

I live in a rural area, the first sign of any CCTV are between 7/10/15 kms away, depending on the direction taken, my Dad lives in the UK, the first CCTV is at the end of his road ! A recent event picked up a man who has never been found, presumed dead, crossing a road nearby.

The difference between France and the UK is that the former is vast by comparison, certainly the South of England especially around the M25 is as if one town or village merges into the next, the same can be said of the M4.

If and it is only if, the mysterious possible dark grey BMW X5 exists, all the UK Police need to do is ask the DVLA, Driver Vehicle Licensing Authority, where are ALL the BMW X5 are situated, particularly dark or grey ones.

The difference between France and UK, a licence fee is payable annually for the latter where as a ‘grey card’ is paid for at purchase of a vehicle and at change of ownership in France.

Whether this helps tracking I don’t know, but the old style French system, whereby the ‘plaque d’immatriculation’ changed with ownership has now been dispensed with, nevertheless, the plates still carry the Department Code, separate from the registration number.

An example, my Peugeot 307SW has the Department Code as the last two digits, purchased in 2006, my Peugeot 207 purchased in 2011 doesn’t, but the plate carries the Department Code in white lettering on a blue background separate to the registration number.

UK plates are distinctly different, as the car carries the same number all its working life, unless of course it is reregistered with a private plate, nevertheless that has to go through the DVLA.

Both my vehicles are known when passing through Eurotunnel, number plate recognition after I have entered the plate into the booking system at my computer at home, if I use another car that is not recognised then I have to produce the Credit Card with which I paid.

Via the ferries, there is always the questions regarding the vehicle and more so when I book with one car and take another.

@Marilyn, the only difference in this case is that if we are to believe this vehicle was circulating in and around the region, it was in daylight on a warm early September afternoon…

6-21-2013 at 15:44:27


the spelling of the ‘reliable’ in French:

‘fiable’ – reliable

‘faible’ – weak

Could the press have misunderstood what was said. I’m not convinced by Ducos sincerity either.

After reading The Daily Express, I come to the conclusion we on Marilyns blog are doing a far better job.

6-21-2013 at 15:46:52

There are some tantalising aspects to the BMWx5 the most obvious being why it has taken NINE MONTHS to make a public appeal for it if that information “was known from the first”. I think I am right in thinking this announcement was primarily a British initiative, replicated by the French, rather than vice versa. If so it rather begs the question why the British would a) identify what appears to be likely to be a British registered car (although not exclusively) and b) why and how the British would know in preference to the on-site French investigators?

If both French and British timings, direction and location can be relied upon , there is only one person that we know of, who could have reported it – WBM. We have already worked out with some degree of certainty that he must have arrived at the crime scene about 3.35. He claims he took about half an hour from Chevaline. One Kilometer into the Combe where it is stated the vehicle was seen at 3.20 is therefore half way on his half hour journey and the two fit precisely.

So on this construction if the vehicle was the killer(s) they might be expected to arrive shortly before 3.30 (2K @ 60 kph = ETA 3.22; 2K @ 30kph = 3.24 not accounting for any possible stops/delays). This vehicle might or might not have passed SM as well. It all depends on how far ahead of WBM he was. Early reports put WBM arriving “only moments” after SM. We get the impression from some that SM passed him perhaps half way up. Then WBM suggests it was as they left Chevaline. Obviously this and the relative speed of the two has a bearing on whether the BMXx5 passed SM and where.

We know for certain that SM. We can be fairly certain about the time of shots being heard (if they were the fatal ones) at 3.30 (ish) So SM must have arrived by then with time to dismount (no fall off injuries) and be next to SAH and ZAH, presumably engaged in conversation.

So according to this possibility we have two options. Either the BMWx5 overtook SM just before he arrived and parked up waiting for him to do so OR arrived almost immediately after SM had arrived and dismounted, and started shooting almost immediately. I rather favour the latter given the timings above.

Now consider this possibility. What if the Al Hilli’s/Mollier had been advised to EXPECT the arrival of a RHD BMWx5? If they had, this would have allayed their initial fears and introduced an element of surprise so essential to kill a group of people. Survivors were obviously not permitted (other than children perhaps?) This might explain how the vehicle might be able to park up momentarily at the top end of the lay-by before initiating the deadly assault.

The French police gave their opinion that the attack only lasted a very few minutes, which incidentally virtually rules out motives of robbery or information exchange, before escape would be high priority, particularly as they must be aware WBM was coming up behind. They have effectively two escape routes N and S. North would undoubtedly be preferred in view of the fact they might expect the police to be alerted as soon as WBM arrived. They therefore immediately set off the way they came passing WBM on the way, just before he arrives at the scene.

This scenario certainly fits whether true or not.

6-21-2013 at 16:14:55

So pursuing the tantalising points:

Why was the vehicle that passed WBM said to be a “Green SUV/4×4” if in fact it was a grey BMWx5? Maybe as has been suggested it was a device to put the suspects off guard and allow a search to take place? However it would not explain why it has taken 9 months for the correct information to emerge.

Why was the green vehicle said to be a forestry one. Why did it take so long to identify a government vehicle. Why if they passed at the killing time did they have nothing to contribute?

If there was a green forestry vehicle as EM confirmed it would mean that WBM was passed by TWO vehicles which is contrary to what he said.

Further the forestry vehicle travelling north, would of necessity have passed the BMWx5 travelling south if times are accurate and BOTH passed WBM? So why has this not been stated? The two vehicles would have had to have stopped to pass. The infrequency and quasi-police role of the Forestry people whilst on their “domain” so to speak, would surely have resulted in them noting the registration number and occupants particularly in light of subsequent events.

If it WAS them why not say so? Does a “reliable witness” sound like a forestry employee?

Now as to the BMWx5, no one as far as i am aware has drawn attention to the almost certain sat. nav. on board. A distinctive exclusive RHD expensive new model BMW of a certain colour cannot be difficult to narrow down to a few hundred at most. Sat Nav records would place it. Why wasn’t this done.

The alternative is obviously conventional digitalised records linked to other sources such as ferry/euro tunnel records. Why have these proved so useless.

Then in britain number plate recognition is AUTOMATED and COMPUTERISED. It automatically checks and flags up any registration mark that shows no tax, insurance or MoT where applicable. It may even be able to flag false number plates. Doesn’t France have similar technology in place?

In brief, to announce a vehicle nine months after knowing about it, and not being able to identify it in the meantime, stretches credibility to breaking point.

6-21-2013 at 16:19:36

Sorry Max
6-21-2013 at 14:20:52. These last two were prompted by and in response to yours.

6-21-2013 at 16:22:57

*”We know for certain that SM WAS KILLED” @ Tim V
6-21-2013 at 15:46:52

6-21-2013 at 16:27:40

Can someone post Zainabs account, wasn’t it that she and her Dad were outside the car, when a ‘baddie’ ran from the track, shouting and shooting ???

I still have a doubt about the casings supposedly found under the car, it was never stated as being under the car, only when they moved the car, conclusions were drawn, covered this with Oui a while ago. I also have a doubt regarding casings and bullets, there were bullets inside the car, whether they were ones that had passed through the victims or others has not been made clear.

It was reported that bullets were found beyond the car on the road in the direction of Chevaline.

Bullets also found in the undergrowth, there is a big difference between spent bullets and spent casings.

@TimV, the time of the shooting, anything between 30 seconds and 4 minutes according to French reports in Le Parisien, Benoit Vinneman (Gendarmerie) offering the longest and he is the one who proposed the intended target may have been Sylvain Mollier.

6-21-2013 at 16:53:54

@ Tim V, 6-21-2013 at 16:14:55

Apart from fleet vehicles
clients of brownshirt car insurers
and Beemers stolen by absolute beginners

sat nav systems generally only receive information, they do not transmit location or other information. Or at least they are not supposed to, although sometimes companies such as TomTom are caught putting such data to creative uses

New legislation means that, soon, car manufacturers will be required in law to equip cars with location-broadcasting equipment
equipment that will of course come with all kinds of backdoors enabling the gummint to keep tabs on people’s whereabouts.

6-21-2013 at 17:44:18

Denis Janin (Col de Cherel) link

oct 18

Interestingly in that article there is mention of another motorbiker

‘Un autre jeune pilote de moto trial aperçu le jour du drame dans les environs de Chevaline a, lui, été retrouvé depuis. Il s’agit d’un adolescent qui pilotait son engin dans la zone de réserve de chasse du massif des Bauges et qui a été mis hors de cause.’

… I always thought of this MC as Melvin … but perhaps it references the MC as seen by BM and ‘redirected’ by ONF?

If the latter is the case we now can understand why/how both the 4×4 and the MC as seen by BM are ‘accounted for’ … namely as ONF and the ‘redirected MC’

– M

6-21-2013 at 17:52:37

Btw, there is always the ‘parallel road’ for X5 to possibly use for escape (dunno if it is possible)

Would X5 have been seen? Nope, ONF, who was cruising around, was already gone

Would X5 have been heard by BM? Perhaps not … remeber that BM on arrival had the problem of the BMW with engine running (and the river). It only became quiet when BM turned off the engine … but by that time the X5 already escaped (either via ColDeCherel or Parallel Route)

– M

6-21-2013 at 18:14:07

Not sure if I posted this one:

Plusieurs véhicules d’intérêt

Ce n’est pas la première fois qu’une automobile intéresse les enquêteurs. Le cycliste britannique qui avait découvert les quatre corps avait expliqué avoir été dépassé par un 4×4 et une moto. Un garde-forestier des environs avait lui mentionné une BMW X5 de couleur blanche.

A local forest guard had mentioned a WHITE BMW X5, posted a link earlier saying the same.

My only question on this WHITE 4×4 is did it belong to Bossy ? Another bizarre co-incidence if it did !

@Max, Melvin certainly thought he hadn’t been seen, so did his Houdini act.

6-21-2013 at 18:38:45

Police might be looking for information on more than one 4×4…
Annecy/Faverges: deux personnes menacées par un 4×4 sombre la même nuit (mercredi 12.09.2012)

6-21-2013 at 18:48:03

Annecy/Faverges … Another link for it:
Automobiliste menacée (9/09/12)

6-21-2013 at 19:06:58

@Bibi, yes I remember the reports and it was a handgun !

Above I should have a written forest ranger, would make more sense, wouldn’t it, I don’t think the two witnesses include Brett Martin, it would say so, could the second have been the motorbiker.

It was a Wednesday afternoon and there was no school even for ‘ados’, teenagers.

6-21-2013 at 20:16:19


ITV (UK) news 1845 tonight. EM is going to interview Z&Z (next week).

My daughter is sending me a voice recording which I will post a transcript once I have listened to it.

EM seems to belive documents in the house showed SAH was going to claim the property in Iraq and further documents showed he feared for his life in respect of the property and cash.

So EM is still on SAH = target.

Will post later

6-21-2013 at 20:28:13

@SeeBee, I have ITV +1, thanks for the heads up, hope others have picked this up.

6-21-2013 at 20:38:25

Here is a summary:

In the next few days those girls will give a final, formal statement to the French investigation. Then they will most likely to released from social services care back to family members.
“There is no evidence at all of a lone mad man in the area so we can close that door too.“

6-21-2013 at 20:45:55

On MC2 (ColdeCherel, Denis Janin)

This ‘Denis’ saw MC2 going towards Martinet … but he never saw it coming back. I assume MC2 didn’t arrive at Martinet and I assume that MC2 certainly did NOT go to Chevaline;)

But as said, this Denis did not see MC2 coming back. So … the route that the MC2 took (perhaps even past Denis, who at that moment perhaps was sleepin/drinking who knows) could also have been taken by the escaping X5

What MC2 can do (get away unseen), could be done by X5 too

I think now (seeing all info, fitting everything as good as possible) that X5 carried X and MC2 might be backup (sandwich team)

Thing is … (in this scenario) X5 sets up an ‘ambush’ … but HOW DID X5 KNOW that AH would go to Martinet???


– M

6-21-2013 at 20:53:15


The two girls will be interviewed in the next few days, it will be their final statement and they will be released to their family from care. EM belives their eveidence will catch the killer.

21 bullets, passing cyclist etc.

Random attack -discounted

cyclist – discounted

Family were the target, wanting him to be stopped from returning to iraq to clain property their, he’d been warned by the family not to go (in Iraq)

15 countries involved and so much evidence could take a year to get through.

6-21-2013 at 21:15:13

I told you there would be a development before the Tour de France charges through Annecy and Les Bauges !

Marilyn said there would be another announcement before the 5th July ……

6-21-2013 at 21:45:48

@ALL _ITV 1845pm tonight

Please find transcript of what was said bellow

@ Lynda ….there are 3 words indicated below that I could not hear on the voice note I have ….did you pick this up? Also is the Interpretors translation of EM acurate ?

(Sorry if any typos but doing this on a Blackberry!)

Emma Murphy (Europe Correspondat)

EM “hearing from them again is esential, we may not get any extraordinary revalations because they would have already said but its very important – the eldest girl was the only eye witness to this drama”

Emma Murphy ” Investigatorsi have ruled out some of the early theories and say that it wasnt a random ambush, the family were the target not the French cyclist. An Intelgence service (link?)
Into Saads work in satalites is deemed unlikely but a family fued over mr Al Hillis fathers will is now key to the enquiry. Documents found in SAH Surrey home now suggest the attack may have been timmed to stop him returning to Iraq to claim family property worth 1/2 a million (£) and a similar amount in cash. He’s’ been warned of by family there, but was determined to go.

EM ” Based on letters that were found and conversations he had had, he feared for his life. In these letters he expressed his worry for his life. Due to his desire to recover his fathers fortune and the ( conflicted ?????? To his ?????) That fear was there”.

6-21-2013 at 21:49:51

Thanks See_Bee for the tip-off and thank you Lynda and Peter for your reporting.

I am really pleased about what Prosecutor Maillaud had said because this will show that the French investigators have indeed been doing what they are paid for – investigate.

I wonder what the French knew right from the start but never revealed which made the prosecutor so sure that Saad Al-Hilli was the assassin’s or assassins’ target?

Yes Lynda you did say ‘before the Tour de France and with many in the French judiciary setting off for their summer hols at the end of next week, the prosecutor must have made his ‘before the 5th July’ announcement a little in advance. He may even himself be off for a holiday.

Not that what the two Al-Hilli girls will be telling the French will be made public.

Maybe, though, the French investigators already have a suspect and all they need is Zainab’s testimony.

Fat Bastard, you do not now need a lawyer, do you?

Question: If you need a killer who is not going to charge you all that much, where will you go look for him?

My answer is: In one of the former Communist bloc countries.

6-21-2013 at 21:50:59

@Max – 6-21-2013 at 20:45:55

“but HOW DID X5 KNOW that AH would go to Martinet???”

The key question, given the ITV clip that states that SAH and family were the targets.

My take:-

1) The Google Latitude App on SAH smartphone gave his position. Maybe also explains EM complaints re access to information held on US servers.

If my understanding of googles is correct then someone would have to request SAH’s current location from google servers i.e. this is not a peer-to-peer service. This request would normally have to be from a previously authorized friend account of SAH I think.

However we have been told that there had been hacking activities relating to SAH so it could have been his own account on a different computer under the control of bad actors.

Any such request would have recorded by google (and the NSA).

2) The family had been followed (or otherwise monitored) for some time until they went to a suitable location. In this case an isolated dead-end road.

6-21-2013 at 22:17:55

@Rashomon and all,

Lovely Emma in her first sentence … ‘but this road lead the AHs to the person who would destroy their family’


It IMPLIES an ambush was setup. It IMPLIES X knew AH was going to Martinet

Google Lattitude or whatever may ‘give a position’ … but as far as I know there are NO devices which can predict where one is going …
… unless you are 007, hack into the TomTom and ‘read out’ the location AH had programmed (perhaps AH did program ‘Martinet’ into the navsystem) and instantly know that THAT location (where this 007 himself never had been before) would be awesome to setup an ambush

I’m not impressed yet;)

(although killing off ALL adults certainly dealt with the ‘family’ aspect … who does inherit now??)

I find it also curious that it is said that SM was not the target while ‘piste’ SM=target was never ever expressed by EM himself. The only stuff on SM from EM is in negative terms e.g. he was NOT the target, etc.

– M

6-21-2013 at 22:34:37

@Max, smoke and mirrors my friend, they need to bat this away for a couple of months, what better place to bat it to than Iraq, where they’ve been told they can’t go because of security issues.

I’d like too know what the family think of their own family in Iraq being somehow to blame ?

@FB, what was the value of the property in Iraq, was Saad so determined to get hold of it to risk his life and that of his family. Was he in fear of his life or just paranoid because of his controlling brother ?

Did he say at the beginning of 2012 that he wanted to go and reclaim it – if any of this is true, then I’m going to speak ill of the dead, he had a house of a certain value in Claygate, would get half of the £750k cash in Switzerland, half of the value of the flat in Spain and he still wanted more ? That would smack of greed.

So, the girls will be handed over to their family – they are the heiresses to all this now, but considered to be safe ……..

By September the 5th after the summer holidays, there will be more ‘news’.

6-21-2013 at 22:41:09

So who is E-Maillaud accusing? exactly.

6-21-2013 at 22:42:31


Vow, Lynda you are good! Your analysis in your 10.34 P.M. is fantastic.

Now for the Tour de France and then ………… then as Prosecutor Maillaud told us it could take a year to go through all the documents they’d found in the Claygate house.

The journalists can now all go home or on holiday because the July 5 ‘revelation’ has already been made.

6-21-2013 at 23:10:31

But ok, late friday evening. I’ll play along with the devil. Here is a ‘AH X5 MC2’ version

X team = X5 + MC2 (ColDeCherel)

AH’s needed to be killed
In France? Why? (who knows, to make it look like nutter?)
X team waits for ‘good moment’
They somehow overhear AH planning to go ‘Martinet’
X team checks ‘the map’
Martinet appears to be ‘remote’ and looks ideal for an ambush
X team decides to ‘go for it’
But no time to take a look at the place
It has to be ‘ad hoc’ just from the maps
X team decides to split up (to have ‘2 shots at it’)
X5 is main hitman
MC2 is backup in case X5 fails
X5 goes to Martinet via Chevaline
MC2 acts as backup and through maps decides to approach from Jarsy as to ‘sandwich’ AH

… (now I add the only indication why above could be a scenario)

MC2 had NO prior knowledge of that route. Therefor he seems to be ‘out of place’ with his motorbike on Col de Cherel. He is too late for the party anyway, seen driving towards Martinet while the killing was already done with. Of course he was ‘too late’ … MC2 totaly miscalculated the time to get to Martinet by this weird mountain road;)

… This weird MC2 behavior is perhaps indeed pointing towards the scenario painted above. A deliberate AH killing but with an ‘adhoc’ setup/location of X team who had NO prior knowledge of the Combe d’Ire etc.

Hmmm, could be;)

– M

6-21-2013 at 23:22:35

@SeeBee, I’ll see if its on tonights news bulletin.

Yes, it is:

his fathers fortune and the ( conflicted ?????? To his ?????) That fear was there”.

‘conflict with his family’

6-21-2013 at 23:49:45

SeeBee, Forgot to add ‘intelligence – impossible to prove’

That’s me done for the day, a little nightcap and bed, considering it was the longest day, it rained almost all day, I lit the wood stove !

Tonight there is a full moon in a clear sky, I hope it stays as clear tomorrow so I can see the sun.

@Lars hope you enjoyed your Midsummer Eve party, do you have to dress up as ‘druids’ ‘vikings’ or some such ? What is the custom in Sweden ?

6-21-2013 at 23:58:50

I’m a technophobe so what do I know but sat nav must be able to track or how else would it be able to tell you where you were on any route?

6-22-2013 at 00:00:55

6-21-2013 at 16:53:54 – sorry i forgot this again for that reply

6-22-2013 at 00:11:02

Good references Peter
6-21-2013 at 16:53:5. I would suggest its 99% certain that BMWx5 (if there was one!) had Sat. Nav., and 99% certain that the police have ways and means to access the information on location for each device stored somewhere.

6-22-2013 at 00:21:36


From the ITV website final paragraph :-

He [EM] said: “We want to know why and how they have lost their parents so that we don’t have to tell them in 10 years time there’s nothing more we can do.

I know we covered this before, but to me EM sounds like he is referring to a statute of limitations issue.

Could it be a view he learned when he was young, but which is now obsolete?

By the way, I now totally understand your view on the monthly dripfeed of ‘progress’ needed to keep the inquiry active.

6-22-2013 at 00:26:23

6-21-2013 at 21:50:59 I quite agree.

In fact I made this observation many months ago. Given that it was such a remote location and not part of routine movements by “targets” the only way the assassin(s) could be there with such fine timing (if it wasn’t a lone mad gunman just by chance*) would be either

a) by arrangement, or
b) by detailed surveillance

This in turn rules certain suspects out and some in don’t you think?

* Does anyone believe that EM suggestion any more?

6-22-2013 at 00:41:09

I’ve been following this excellent discussion, and finally feel moved to comment.

A lot bugs me, obviously, but I don’t like the killer-in-rhd-bmw-x5 for many reasons.

The chief one being that I’d expect a pro/semi pro hitman to have dumped it, fairly close to the scene.

Surely to ensure a certain get away, there would have been a vehicle swap.

6-22-2013 at 00:51:56

@Max – 6-21-2013 at 22:17:55

Max, you wrote:-

“… unless you are 007, hack into the TomTom and ‘read out’ the location AH had programmed (perhaps AH did program ‘Martinet’ into the navsystem) ”

If I am correct, there need not be a separate TomTom navsystem to hack. Google maps and the google latitude app are BOTH running on SAH’s smartphone. Hack the phone, then presumably you could see location, planned route and destination.

As I mentioned upthread, information may be gleaned from hacking SAH google account, not just a friends account authorized to view current location via the latitude apps.

I am guessing here (shall check tomorrow) but a recently planned route may be accessible from any PC if you were logged in with SAH’s google account.

6-22-2013 at 01:04:01

@Tim V – 6-22-2013 at 00:26:23

You wrote:-

“This in turn rules certain suspects out and some in don’t you think?”

Yes, yes it does. . .

6-22-2013 at 01:35:47

6-21-2013 at 22:17:55 there are several strange aspects to that bang-up-to-date ITV item by Emma Murphy. Yet another to just rehash the old story but there are some new interesting bits. For example that EM has been given permission at last to interview the children and that it is intended soon to return them to the wider family. Excuse me but this was stated to be a JOINT INVESTIGATION. So how is it that the transcripts of the extended British interviews with the girls has not been forward as and when? Why was it so important to prevent French individuals at least sitting in on the British interviews? This can only be described as extraordinary.

She confirms the latest view that “Twenty-one bullets fired to snuff out four lives” and not 25 as previously stated. So how could this significant fact have been wrong and remained uncorrected for so long? And isn’t it a tad arrogant of the French authorities not to explain how and why this error occurred?

Now this statement is inexplicable even for a journalist. “She was shot in the shoulder and beaten so badly the man who found her thought she was dead and possibly the victim of a road accident.” How can this be reconciled with WBM’s account of Zainab staggering around or even later “breathing normally”?

And this: “A French cyclist, Sylvain Mollier was also killed, a collateral victim. The father-of-three saw more than the killer thought he should, so he too had to die.” Saw more than he should? The killers new where he was on the road. All they had to do was wait for him to pass. Why was he off his bike? Would he have courted danger by advancing on gun fire? If this is implausible he must have been off his bike and speaking to the Al Hillis. Why interact with total strangers? If not a target why kill him? Why not wait for him to cycle off?

“Thanks to him the seven-year-old survived ” Oh really? In what way precisely except in eventually calling the emergency services (which of course he DIDN’T do)

EM is quoted as saying “Today almost 10 months after the incident almost everything we could possibly do is done to establish the target was not the French cyclist. He is a victim and without any doubt a collateral victim.” Lost in translation or does it mean what it says?

Now this one ““There is no evidence at all of a lone mad man in the area so we can close that door too. “ So he’s dropped this particular theory now. It’s OFFICIAL. If it wasn’t inadvertent and random, it must be intentional and planned which I have argued for ten months. Its good to know that after all that time even Mr Maillaud now agrees.

““It’s too early to be pessimistic – that is a certainty.” So why did he say at the beginning solving it may take ten years? The man is nothing if not INconsistent!

6-22-2013 at 01:51:40

6-21-2013 at 23:10:31 if you don’t mind me saying, I think you completely underestimate what goes into a planned assassination that this must surely be? Do you really think a killing would go ahead on the back of a chance overheard conversation somewhere? Apart from anything else 3/4 k up a mountain pass makes the logistics problematic. There is no indication that the Al Hillis made public the intended route. That he took his wife and children plus m-in-law suggests he was confident there was no danger. To get killers on site there for a two minute killing spree with only seconds to spare, requires detailed planning and trained killers who are either expensive or employed by crime big wigs or governments.

6-22-2013 at 02:55:00

Not impressed with the latest spin
but at least it sounds like the girls will be released 🙂
Saad kept loads of docs and .pdf files
sure we knew that all along

but it would not need a hacker to find saads post it notes under the keyboard 😉

6-22-2013 at 04:38:06

@ Lynda 6-21-2013 at 22:34:37

“@Max, smoke and mirrors my friend, they need to bat this away for a couple of months, what better place to bat it to than Iraq, where they’ve been told they can’t go because of security issues. I’d like too know what the family think of their own family in Iraq being somehow to blame ?”

It’s not clear if the family in Iraq was giving him a friendly warning to stay away and not try to recover property from others, or an ominous warning of what would happen if he tried to recover property from them. Are there competing factions among the family in Iraq?

From ITV: “Documents found in Saad Al-Hilli’s Surrey home now suggest the attack may have been timed to stop him returning to Iraq to lay claim to the estate. He was planning to go at the end of 2012 and despite being warned off by family there, he was determined… The volume of documents around this family dispute is so colossal,” says Mr Maillaud… That fortune includes around £750,000 in cash in a Swiss bank account, a flat in Spain and the Green Zone in Baghdad. There are no suspects in the case at the moment but work continues with appeals for help to the Iraqi authorities… The information contained within the personal files mean the inquiry now spans 15 countries.”

Do we know who controlled the property in Iraq? At one time Saad went to Iraq and tried to take possession of a house, got into a fight with the occupants, then returned with help — Iraqi officials, US contractors, hired muscle? — and succeeded in taking the house. Who owned or occupied it after that? Are there properties other than the one house involved; factories, farms?

Unlikely someone in Iraq would arrange an elaborate assassination in France unless there was a very large amount of money at stake. They wouldn’t benefit from Saad’s estate — Claygate, the Swiss account, etc. EM cites the Green Zone; did somebody pretend to own Saad’s property there and illegally sell it on to somebody else? Like, did Saad own a piece of somebody’s embassy grounds?

What are the 15 countries involved in the inquiry? There are: 1-France, 2-England, 3-Sweden, 4-Switzerland, 5-Spain, 6-Iraq, 7-US (servers), 8-Romania (phone calls), 9-Italy (mentioned but not explained), 10-Pakistan? (the alleged Internet chats), 11-Canada? (chats with cousin)… ? ? ? ?

6-22-2013 at 09:24:26


Thank you for joining us and your comment.

You make a very good point about dumping the vehicles which had been used in an assassination. These are usually burnt and found within a few kilometres of where the crime had occurred. In France at least. And what a stupid killer would still be driving around in the region in his green/dark/white/beige whatever U.K. registered BMW or 4×4 Pajero.

You had to wait for your comment to appear which was because at 12.41 a.m. I am myself serial killing out on Paris’s streets and no one mans my PC to admin the blog.

6-22-2013 at 09:30:18


re: Ten years

The French often say ‘dans un mois, deux mois, cinq ans ou dix ans’ when they refer to some future date. It’s a matter of speech. I do so too.

As you say, we did go into the time limit thing and what Prosecutor Maillaud had said about how long the investigation could take. He did not actually say it will take 10 years. I’m not going to search for the exact quote, but I did comment about it in detail before and I explained.

6-22-2013 at 09:40:31

@ Tim V, 6-21-2013 at 23:58:50

I could go on and on (and on) about sat nav, because I have been consulting an insurance company about Pay-As-You-Drive car insurance. The key finding was that PAYD will remain a niche market for high-risk learner drivers until the eCall system is rolled out. It is simply too expensive at this point to install the required hardware in customers’ cars, particularly so because there are no standardized interfaces on the cars. eCall is going to change all that, by placing standardized hardware and interfaces aboard all new cars, which will render it very easy and cheap to plug in the additional hardware that car insurers want to install. My prediction is that it is going to become really difficult to purchase any kind of car insurance other than PAYD from, say, 2020 onwards – and you would be surprised by how much the insurers will want to know about your driving habits when that happens. They will not only collect data on where, when and how fast you have driven, whether or not you have been speeding, but also on how hard you have braked (a key indicator of a risky driving style), the lateral G-forces experienced (cornering style, another risk indicator), distance to other cars kept, etc. etc.

Anyway, basically sat navs are passive GPS receivers
that do not transmit any kind of data. However, modern sat navs are not only meant to tell you where you are, but also whether there is a traffic jam ahead of you. Thus, companies like TomTom have turned them into data-gathering and -transmitting devices as well
However, this is nothing to do with the sat nav system as such, it is an add-on.

BMW’s on-board sat navs do not do that, they do not permanently broadcast location data, but only in certain exceptional cases. If there is a technical fault on your high-end BMW, for example, the sat nav & diagnostic system will alert the nearest BMW workshop and even give them the part numbers of the parts that will need replacing. If you think that’s pretty smart and pretty high-tech: they have copied that idea from agricultural machinery, where it has been around for many years. There is ten times more high-tech inside a modern combine harvester than even in top-of-the-range cars.

6-22-2013 at 10:04:23

@ Rashomon, 6-22-2013 at 00:51:56

If I am correct, there need not be a separate TomTom navsystem to hack. Google maps and the google latitude app are BOTH running on SAH’s smartphone. Hack the phone, then presumably you could see location, planned route and destination.

And it just so happens that a certain Abiodun David John, whose trial for fraud we are waiting for with bated breath, may well have done precisely that, hacked SAH’s Google account 😉

6-22-2013 at 10:07:24

Speaking of “bated breath,” it’s on, Nigerian John’s trial starts on Monday!

The Crown Court
at Guildford
Daily List for Monday 24 June 2013 at Guildford

Court 5 – sitting at 10:00 am

For Trial
T20130018 JOHN Abiodun D

6-22-2013 at 11:05:08

Great exchange of views again !

6-22-2013 at 11:35:30

@Tim V 6-22-2013 at 01:51:40

I made my point;)

It was me who asked ‘How could X5 know that AH went to Martinet?’

And ppl (good ppl) go into NAV, GPS, hacking, etc … like it is 007 world. I just added ‘overhearing a conversation’

Yup, I think ‘overhearing’ is clumsy … but I also think ‘007 world’ is just way to romantic, especially considering the killer brought an ol Luger and not enough ammo and started to fire precious bullets at his non-primary target (namely SM)

reading between the lines this translates into … Nah, I dont belive AH was the target, it was SM;)

(as said ‘I went along with the devil’)

– M

6-22-2013 at 13:25:18

Eric Clouseau is of course desperate to avoid any suggestion that there is a violent sociopath on the loose in the Annecy area who might do something similar again soon. That wouldn’t be good for the local tourism industry at all, would it?

However, I agree with Max’ points about the inherent difficulty of the killer not only having advance knowledge of where the AHs would be at approx. 15:30 on that day, but also getting there himself beforehand and afterwards getting away without being seen by any witnesses. Unfortunately, I don’t see SM as having been the primary target, either. Some people may well have had reason to resent him, perhaps even wish to kill him, but, if so, they would have been local people who could have attacked him whenever and pretty much wherever they wanted. They would have known better than to choose this particular place and time and set of circumstances, with a carload of tourists as witnesses to the murder.

Therefore, naive and “intellectually lazy” as that may sound, I reckon that the killer was a local robber who picked this particular place and time because there was a fair chance of encountering cash-rich tourists there, who picked the AHs as targets because of their UK number plates and their fairly posh car, and who panicked and killed everybody in sight because SM might have recognized him or did in fact recognize him.

The latter suggestion would put this crime very, very close to SM’s home: somebody from the same village whom he knew at least by sight, a former work colleague from CEZUS, somebody from the rugby or cycling clubs.

We don’t know whether the killer was masked. Zainab does, and will probably have told police already. I should consider it likely that he was, as this would be good practice for a robber and not beyond the wit of the average criminal. So, assuming that he was masked, why would he have feared that SM could nonetheless identify him? That puts him even closer to SM’s home: the killer may have feared that SM might recognize him from his voice and stature alone.

6-22-2013 at 13:53:02

@ All

The missing bike
Not the missing biker: we now know that a third biker (beside SM and BM) had planned to go up to Martinet but got stopped on his way and had to ride down again, as the local witness later revealed. He was the one who could tell about the bloody hands of the British hero of the day. Things seem. Pretty clear about him, even though he should be able to provide other interesting details about how things developed from that point on. Too bad he is, to us, anonymous.
No, I’m talking about the third bike, the one that SAH had brought from the UK. Was it eventually recovered at the campsite? We never heard about that. Or was it attached to the roof-rack of the burgundy BMW, on that fateful day. If so, it seems like it left the crime scene at one point. How? Did someone ride it down? Was it while getting it that the rack got damaged? Or was it taken away by police as they froze the scene, and later taken to a lab in Bois d’Arcy for scientific examination? We haven’t heard this either. But on the other hand, there never was any public search announcement, “has anyone seen a white/gray/dark bicycle fleeing the scene around 3:30..” The missing bike.

The unaccounted-for vehicles
I think we should stop Sofia Coppola-ing everything. Okay, these crimes took place in France, and so all the witnesses are French speakers (with the notable exception of the former RAF officer hero). Also most of the reporting “journalists” (with the possible exception of Peter Allen, who presumably is fluent in French). Lost in translation? This is NOT the issue. Even for the few of us who have perfect command of both languages, things remain very, very foggy for other reasons.
As a matter of fact, not only are softwares such as Google Translate grossly inadequate, but even people following the case and assuming to understand French may be led to perfect mistakes. Like when, several months ago, many commentators believed the Prosecutor had declared the killer didn’t have a mobile (phone) when in fact he had said he couldn’t establish his motive. Mobile in French, when a noun and not an adjective, being the equivalent of motive in English. And so on, and so on..
This total lack of understanding of nuances of speech reaches a climax when it comes to many witnesses statements about the direction followed by various vehicles, car or (motor)bikes, when they saw them. In both French and English, the verbal parts of speech reported can easily be ambiguous. “Pass”, “Come across”, “Get by”, “Dépasser”, “Croiser”, “Rencontrer” can imply one thing or its opposite according to the speaker, his/her command of the language and the narrative where used. Only an actual reconstruction of the scene may then prevent drawing wrong conclusions. It’s not just a matter of “translation”.
Meanwhile, one thing is for sure and yet seldom taken into consideration. Most of the cars involved, accounted for or not, happen to be SUVs or estate models with large cargo area. I have no doubt Inspector Clouseau is right when he mentions such vehicles are run of the mill in such areas as Chevaline. But yet, have we ever examined the possibility that one of them, either on the way up or on the way down to or from Martinet, could have carried a bicycle or a motorbike hidden in the trunk? Because this might explain certain inconsistencies and deny he saying “what goes up must come down”. Or vice versa.

The running-out of ammo
How many times have we heard this report that little Zainab owed her life to the fact that the killer somehow “ran out of ammo”, as he was about to finish her, probably with his signature double-tap. Okay, this may have been the case, but there are a few other possibilities that have been totally overlooked:
Due to her young age, her slim body and agility she could run as fast as if she had been riding a bike. Also, we’re being told Luger magazines go for 7 bullets, and 21 were spent, meaning there were two reloadings. So why stick to this single scenario? She could just as well have been shot at in the shoulder then pistol-whipped by the end of magazine 1 or 2. In such case, two possibilities. She may have passed out and fallen to the ground, having the killer assume she was dead or about to die. Or she may have still found the energy to stagger away for shelter into the uphill wooded area, and left the killer with option of using magazine 3 to track her down, or to finish his job with the adults, which may have been his decision of choice. What difference does it make? Well, depending on which of the 3 magazines was involved in injuring her, she is capable of giving more, or less, information about the development of the attack.

The foster family decision
As it’s obviously a major decision that was made to put the two orphaned girls in foster care, with all the implications to them and to their relatives in the short and in the long term, we must assume it could only result from a thorough analysis of their situation. Whether or not such analysis was conducted with only their safety and/or welfare in mind, which is certainly debatable.
In that respect, 3 specific circumstances should be underscored:
– very shortly in the aftermath of the tragedy, numerous reports -supported by a few pictures- mentioned they were visited at the hospital in France by several of their relatives. This clearly indicates that at that point in time French authorities did not consider the girls had to be estranged from those relatives for whatever reason.
– while the girls are both British nationals, insofar they happened to become orphans on French territory without anybody who could legally act as their guardian, they must have been initially submitted to a French juvenile jurisdiction (” Juge des Enfants”). This being the necessary enforcement of the Juris Loci (law of the land) principle that applies in such circumstances. In short, it was a French magistrate, ruling upon the “fast enquiry” of the French social services, who had to decide when, how and whom to the girls were to be subsequently rendered.
– even after their return to Britain, from a legal standpoint, only a family Court in concert with British social services could make a later decision as to their residency and authorized relationship with various relatives or other persons close to them. In short, while police and prosecutors in the murders case could obviously have provided relevant information and “advice”, these entities had no authority whatsoever to “decide” about the girls’ fostering. We can yet suspect they put pressure on the ruling parties for reasons unknown, but should any qualifying person bring forward a claim against the decisions that were made, the Court would have to duly justify all such measures and disclose intelligence supporting them. As far as I know, the ministry of an attorney isn’t even required to introduce such claim.
Speaking of children connected with the case: People have repeatedly ask who was taking care of CS and SM’s baby when he was on a bike ride, but, to me, the real question is who took care of the baby when CS left to go look for him on September 5? Did she take the baby with her? Unlikely. Did she call her parents and told them “Sylvain is 2 hours late. I’m going look for him. Can you sit our baby?” Unusual. Did she ask someone working at the pharmacy? Awkward. So what else?

The picture black-out
I’ve discussed this before, but to no avail so far: the “wish for privacy”, though quite natural and respectable, doesn’t make sense. In our digital world, there’s no way either authorities can legally impose to the media a total black-out on photos of several easily documented persons in a high-profile case, be it SM or Saad’s wife and in-law. In France there’s no such thing as a DA notice, the only legal restraints towards publishing pictures of public figures (murder victims qualifying for such status) are limited to minors of age. So, there must be other reasons why no pictures of the adult victims are available. A rational theory could be to prevent somebody from linking them to a third party. Another, only applicable to SM but that could have been extended to other victims in order to confuse observers, could be to avoid having the surviving children make positive identification matching their recollection of events.

Yes we scan
The ITV piece doesn’t bring much that we can rely upon. EM seems to be doing his routine “closing-the-doors” showpiece, the indication that the two little girls are about to provide their “final and official” account of the scene seems both ludicrous and complacent considering their age and trauma, and the intent of having them “soon returned” to their family (?) sounds unfortunately like a perfect case of wishful thinking. I wish I may be wrong about this. We’ll see.

For some of us, the sad story that we call the Chevaline killings is an opportunity to exercise their critical thinking and -though both media reports and police statements have been unusually floppy and inconsistent- to try and find out a likely rationale to what happened that day.
For some others, such is not the case. They have, sometimes long ago, made up their mind on a specific scenario that best fits their inner feelings, didn’t hurt their attitude towards authorities or the media and now use their logical skills to adjust whatever new evidence appears out of the blue to their prior assumption. An act of faith, so to speak, that calls for respect as much -or more- than mere intelligence.
Obviously, such different perspectives hardly ever meet on common assessments, but it’s the name of the game, and it goes to show a good blog like Marilyn’s can make everybody happy. Including Inspector Clouseau who (prolly, prolly) thinks: I may have to contradict myself every single day, but I’m not the only one.
That was J. Lennon who once sung ” You may think I’m a dreamer.. ..”
Aren’t we all somehow?

6-22-2013 at 13:57:35

@Peter, correct – because my outstanding query would be if the possible Grey BMW X5 RHD (British plates) were the killer and it is linked to the family, then how the f*** can it be safe to let the children go into their hands ? As I recall it was an uncle of some sort that had offered to take care of them, who was from Iraq !

For TimV, who is the guy that said he was following his friend, Saad, via Google Latitude and realised that the car hadn’t moved, so went to the Claygate house the next day ? Look up the British Press reports. FB says this is expensive, I’ have to pass on that.

The French TV reports say there was no electronic signal from that or surrounding areas at the time, none, nada.

I am trying not to blow my own trumpet, really, Peter is right, I predicted it, there would be something to divert attention from Annecy and Les Bauges.

Now, I’ll calm down and say, if it is Saads family in Iraq that are to blame, why use a RHD vehicle, pointing to the UK and why kill all adults and leave a child for dead ? That suggests that the killer came from the UK, an elaborate scheme and kills all he sees – absolute b******s !

@NR – I only got to 11 countries as well ! You missed Australia and New Zealand, I missed Canada and Pakistan !

And that bloody gun, that is the one thing that remains a HUGE niggle, no reports of one stolen, apparently all ‘sales’ covered.

6-22-2013 at 14:47:39

@ Lynda, 6-22-2013 at 13:57:35

Surely there is no suggestion anywhere in that ITV piece
that Saad’s Iraqi relatives are in any way suspected of having had a hand in the murders? The way that I read it, they tried to warn him off travelling to Iraq, he disagreed and there was some discussion about that. That’s it. Surely, if they had wanted to kill him, they would have cordially invited him to Baghdad, where life really *is* cheap and where the police probably couldn’t care less about some foreign interloper getting himself killed.

The only (indirect) accusation against the Iraqi relatives is this: Documents found in Saad Al-Hilli’s Surrey home now suggest the attack may have been timed to stop him returning to Iraq to lay claim to the estate. It doesn’t say who suggests this and why, but it would seem to indirectly imply that his Iraqi relatives were the ones who tipped off whomever wanted to stop him.

No, as I interpret it, Eric Clouseau is trying to place the blame as squarely on Zaid’s shoulders as he can get away with. Which really will make it interesting to see whether and under what conditions the children will be returned to the family. I shouldn’t be at all surprised if the children were only returned to the family with some stringent conditions attached.

6-22-2013 at 15:06:37

Midsummer or midwinter for the southern hemisphere.
With respect to my beloved Swedish kin and in the interest of even greater
international harmony.

6-22-2013 at 15:30:28

6-22-2013 at 04:38:06

Ref. EM’s most recent “shot in the dark” that the killings are connected to family disputes over Iraqi property and that they are bogged down in all that paper work, and they still haven’t a clue who might have done it, and anyway it will take ten years to solve but we can’t afford to be pessimistic.

What the hell sort of a spokesman/leader of an investigation is he? (“No offence intended”) “We’re going to Iraq.” “Oh no we’re not!”

If the causes are embedded in Britain (where we are not allowed principal witnesses and suspects) and Iraq (where we’re not allowed to go) and America (who won’t give us access to their computer files, (though every Tom, Dick and Brett can apparently) and we haven’t even ASKED to go to Sweden, what the hell chance is there of finding out anything? As you say NR “THE VERY LONG GRASS”.

I don’t believe for one moment (despite “knowing everything” Marilyn!) that either Zaid or any other member of the Al Hilli family pulled off this crime. If it was about inheritance and property and they were that desperate about it, why leave two child beneficiaries alive? With Saad and his wife dead they are still no closer to total control of the estate. Then again what family member would not know there were TWO daughters?

If Zaid or another family member did not do the dreaded deed, they would have to employed at least one assassin, maybe more. However cautious, this leaves TRAILS. Don’t you think the British would have treated Zaid differently if there was any grounds for suspecting him at all? Quite the reverse they have demonstrated they think he also is at risk and are able and willing to protect him with armed response.

Further the French SS is particularly well equipped to deal with Islamists and Arab connections ever since they were in Algeria and dealing with that particular threat. If there had been an assassination squad sent from either Britain or Iraq don’t you think the British or French or both would have got wind of it? It is quite unbelievable that they wouldn’t have.

This had to be an ultra- secret operation, from which the British were excluded. (They would never allowed it to go ahead had they known).
But it is also inconceivable that it could have gone ahead with out French approval and assistance. I have a feeling they (the French) may have been led to believe only nasty Iraqi subversives would be harmed and Mollier’s involvement and death came as a nasty shock – partly explaining the vehement defence of the latter and attempts to protect him and his family from public gaze whilst doing quite the opposite to the Al Hilli family. There can be no sensible reason for not publishing any photograph of Mollier and the other victims can there?

6-22-2013 at 15:46:21

@Peter, the report shown on ITV News differs from the written account, I watched it three times !

Who else WATCHED ?

From SeeBee:
“but a family fued over mr Al Hillis fathers will is now key to the enquiry. Documents found in SAH Surrey home now suggest the attack may have been timmed to stop him returning to Iraq to claim family property worth 1/2 a million (£) and a similar amount in cash. He’s’ been warned of by family there, but was determined to go.”

EM ” Based on letters that were found and conversations he had had, he feared for his life. In these letters he expressed his worry for his life. Due to his desire to recover his fathers fortune and the ( conflicted ?????? To his ?????) That fear was there”.

I filled in the gap, ‘conflict with his family’!

@Eugene, very well written and astute view – if there was a target it was SM, I favour the ‘none of the above’ box.

If Eric Maillaud thinks he’s shut the case down, he has done the opposite, time to release the information he knows to be true.

For the Francophones, sorry to the rest, too much wine at lunch !

“Le procureur d’Annecy, lui, soupèse soigneusement chacun de ses propos. Va-t-il confirmer le nom du cycliste décédé? Il demande alors aux gendarmes d’avertir la veuve de sa décision. Il sait aussi garder en réserve quelques détails dont il sait les journalistes friands pour les rédacteurs locaux, ceux avec lesquels il travaille toute l’année. En vrai pro.”

La veuve/the widow – I thought you had to be married to be a widow, silly me, and he kept certain details back from the throng to give to the local journalists that he works with all year round.

I am ashamed to say this Monsieur Maillaud, you are not up to the job !

Now awaiting, the sirens and gendarmes at my door….. I’ll keep you posted, well maybe not !

Your Colonel Al-G.

6-22-2013 at 15:53:00

6-22-2013 at 09:40:31 I defer completely to your superior knowledge about this SAT NAV thing. I am sure a hedgehog knows more about it than I do. However I have a question about this “wholly passive” thing as you put it.

I would be with you if the sat nav just showed a map tat it was possible to manipulate in numerous ways but it does far more than that. It is able to indicate where you are in relationship to it as you move from one place to another. It can only do this surely by also RECEIVING information back from the device – a two way transfer of information between moving object and stationary orbital satellite? All the information passed between the two points is presumably stored somewhere in a giant computer, and could be accessed.

But even more that this CIA/NRA have put HUGE sums into being able to download this information in real time. I have no doubt at all that a targeted SAT NAV could be monitored as the signals are transferred from one to the other in real time, thus providing spacial information as required.

6-22-2013 at 15:56:49

@Tim, please read all the comments from the last time you looked in, Eugene has written a piece worthy of praise, it is accurate and describes many of us succinctly.

I’m sure FB will tell us if he’s been allowed to see the girls, I have a doubt he will, they will not have passports and where ever they stay will have some sort of surveillance or protection.

6-22-2013 at 16:17:23

re: Eugene’s comment.

I agree with Lynda that it is fantastic.

@Tim V

You are making progress – you have dropped the Marilyn Z. Tomlins and you now address me plainly and simply as ‘Marilyn’.

Before you joined us I one day said that soon now I will ask each commentator to tell us in one short sentence (one line) what he/she thinks happened that September day in Upper Savoy. I then said that I believe that Sylvain Mollier was the target and he had to be silenced because he knew too much about local political and financial corruption and could not keep his mouth shut. We did not go any further with this, but I now ask you to tell us in one short sentence what you think happened that September day in Upper Savoy. Who was the target and why?

@A Hacker

You are new here, so welcome.

You are asking me how easy it would be to hack into Saad Al-Hilli’s account? No shit! Are you serious?

6-22-2013 at 16:25:30

@Marilyn, is there a way that you can put exactly that at the beginning of a new thread, not in comments but as a synopsis of events ?

It would then be easily seen as a starting point and how eventually we are all won over or not to a different view – I like it .

Don’t want to lick your ‘boots’ Eugene, Hugo Boss, Churchills or Prada (Peter- ;)), enjoyed your post immensely !

6-22-2013 at 16:37:53

6-22-2013 at 10:07:24 when I try to google said judge i get no where fast (a removed page 404 error). Is there a clamp-down on even peripheral stories to the main one including the judges set to hear the cases?

6-22-2013 at 16:56:57

Just a small point I’d like to slip in, Zainabs account: questioning in France was filmed, as is customary here for young witnesses, this is then played in court and may not need them to be present either by via video link or behind a curtain.

In both cases the judge can see them, the rest of the court can’t.

Maillaud admits he is unlikely to gain anymore information than they already have, bloody good way to release info that you do have and been sitting on though, isn’t it ?

@Eugene, in respect of your post, I remain of the opinion, IF THERE WAS A TARGET it was Mollier, nothing I’ve seen so far convinces me it was the Al-Hillis.

6-22-2013 at 17:20:37

6-22-2013 at 11:35:30 I raised the same question at the very beginning of this saga Max simply because it goes to the heart of the matter. My point, and yours also I believe, is that if it wasn’t a lone nut who just happened to be there, as even EM now officially admits, this can only be considered a PRECISION JOB for which detailed location and timing information would be ESSENTIAL. You have to ask who or what has access to that sort of facility and I think the options are limited. As I said before, either by ARRANGEMENT or SURVEILLANCE.

Now I still have an open mind about the weapon and stated bit that fell off. The reason being first because the vacillation and imprecision. What self respecting policeman or prosecutor would announce the weapon until they were quite sure on the back of the science? I surely don’t need to list all the variations we have had which finally settled (I think) on a pre-war old Luger PO8 that cannot be traced firing a 7.65 bullet despite a “two euro hole” (25+ mm) in SAH’s head!

Only recently the number of bullets fired has inexplicably been reduced from 25 to 21! And in one report (I’m sorry I can’t give the source off hand) it was said the bullet was identified from the wound, which sounds very strange to me.

There is a BIG issue of trust with this investigation. Even EM immediately questioned the inferences drawn by the ballistics experts in relation to SM. Then the big DNA “break-through” was shown to be a balls-up (apparently)

A big worry I have is in relation to the crime scene. Why were the press allowed in only a couple of days later, not only contaminating it but rendering any subsequent investigation pointless even though it was sealed off again afterwards for more forensic work? It would have been understandable if ALL the evidence had been collected but it wasn’t. The press were able to see blood stains, stray bullets, broken glass, tyre marks. So who made the decision to leave SOME evidence in situ and why? This immediately smacks of manipulation.

Was the broken glass on the ground from the BMW or from another vehicle? Was it connected to the killing or not? Why had all the blood stained ground and gravel been collected, under strict conditions, labelled and accurately located for DNA examination to establish whose it was and what happened? The dark patch to the rear of the tyre marks – is it hydro-carbon deposit as I suspect or something else. Even this can afford information on engine type and fuel used.

So given that the site was neither pristine nor decontaminated when the hordes of journalists were allowed in, and that opinions about weapons, shot, injuries, casings have been so disputed by the team themselves can we trust this statement about the gun and the bit that fell off?

Given the resources in time and effort and high risk of being caught or even shot by police, I agree that an old luger that is falling apart just doesn’t seem credible. The possibility of a plant cannot be ruled out, even shells from a different weapon scattered where they were to confuse and direct suspicion elsewhere.

The answer to these doubts would be full disclosure in relation to location of lead and cartridges and the scientific results showing if they were all from one gun or different.

6-22-2013 at 17:24:09

CORRECTION (APOLOGIES) “Why had all the blood stained ground and gravel NOT been collected, under strict conditions, labelled and accurately located for DNA examination to establish whose it was and what happened?

6-22-2013 at 17:33:51

6-22-2013 at 00:41:09 – I agree and made this point way back. I would go a step further: the absence of ANY burnt out related vehicle virtually rules out the criminal fraternity. EricM has finally ruled out the lone nutter. This rules out criminals. What do we have left?

6-22-2013 at 17:48:07

Only one problem to your theory Peter
6-22-2013 at 13:25:18 – nothing appears to have been stolen. If it had it would surely have been announced partly to raise awareness as to items that might subsequently reappear. No such! Common robbers look for money. Killing so many to rob is very very unusual. Criminals usually prefer not to compound their offence unless it becomes essential for self preservation. Money and bank cards, perhaps expensive jewelry and watches, phones and computers. Even the vehicle itself. None as far as we know was touched. No attempt to enter the car and search the bodies. Only SM was seached apparently and we arn’t sure by whom but WBM seems the most likely as he admits to moving the body. Then there is the time factor. Attempted robbery could not begin until after the shooting had stopped presumably and the time window is really too short. And again if these were robbers why no similat attempt to do the same with WBM as they made their retreat.

No I am convinced that the purpose of this action was solely a kill mission by person or persons unknown working at the behest of others also unidentified.

6-22-2013 at 18:08:55


I assume Maillaud has eliminated the lone nutter idea, by trawling through all local, likely candidates. He won’t, though, have eliminated those of previous good character.

I’m reminded of this murder in London in 1994,

The perpetrators didn’t know their victim, and had no logical motive, so only got caught when one admitted it.

I’m still with the lone nutter theory, and have been from the start.

6-22-2013 at 18:22:39

@TimV, those that are interested have or now will Google you and see your view point.

@Marilyn, if it is inappropriate please delete it.

Regarding the 2 Euro comment, I am sure someone on here can explain, was it really a hole that size or appeared to be that, skin shrinkage , I have no idea.

You don’t like Eric Maillauds assertions, neither do I, that does not mean he is covering up for a ‘state’ any state killing, please read Eugenes last post.

And here is one for @Bacchus, no doubt sunning himself on the beach in Portugal, he asked about suicides ……

Just to lighten the atmosphere, so it could be Martians afterall !!!!

6-22-2013 at 18:49:45

I will read up on all, but a quicky to TimV is:

That was (or still is) the ‘beauty’ of my ‘mask theory. You entered MZT after I went on about this theory. In short …

‘Mask theory’ is: SM=Target, AH’s=Mask

It is about the killing of SM, but ‘masked’ as a ‘nutter’ killing. The AH’s figured as ‘mask’. The idea is that killer X could get away with killing SM because the case would be concluded as being a ‘nutter’ case. That is why X would spread as much dis -information as possible. E.g. the ‘luger’, the headshots, the ‘crazyness’

What ARE pointers to the killing being ‘masked’ is that SM received most bullets and was killed first, the AH’s nearly got away. Also it seems that the shooting started upon arrival of SM (remember that AH and Zainab were already outside … so why not kill them there and then)

I drew parallels with the 2007 Christian Marechal murder. Not solved. There was also dis-information spread by Killer X (notes, etc.)

And the link between CM2007 and Chevaline2012 is PM (Pierre Morange) who is awefully close to both baffling murdercases.

– M

(If it is not true, it certainly makes for a good thriller .. the ‘mask murders’;)

6-22-2013 at 20:14:17

Summing up:

KLunk wrote – I’m still with the lone nutter theory, and have been from the start.

Alex Cartier is also with the lone nutter theory and has been from the start.

Tim V wrote in his 5.48 – No I am convinced that the purpose of this action was solely a kill mission by person or persons unknown working at the behest of others also unidentified.

Lynda believes Sylvain Mollier was the target. So does Max, and so does Lars. And so do I.

Those are the ‘certains’ we have so far.

I will now leave you all for the night. Serial killing is waiting.

Tomorrow is another summer’s day.

6-22-2013 at 21:05:39

@Marilyn, I fell upon your website whilst trying to find out who Sylvain Mollier was, knowing French men and their ‘lifestyles’ I did think and still do think he could have been the target. Not directly linked to the family.The gun fits.

After all the months of discussion here, I haven’t dropped that thought, the difference is I think there is a possibility that it was something random, or a disturbed event, except that Zainabs account of a ‘baddie’ running from the track, doesn’t make it add up. The gun fits.

I waivered over Peters Mr Big in Geneva, toyed with Saad being followed from the bank and traced over many days, the gun would still fit.

I have never been able to reconcile myself to the Al-Hilli family being the targets of assassinaion, for every reason that our recent poster, Maurice, has said. The gun doesn’t fit

6-22-2013 at 23:53:55

@ Lynda 6-22-2013 at 13:57:35
“For TimV, who is the guy that said he was following his friend, Saad, via Google Latitude and realised that the car hadn’t moved, so went to the Claygate house the next day ?”

Recall he went to Claygate and arrived at same time as police. Is it not unusual that someone would track Saad’s movements that closely, over a period of many days, to notice he hadn’t moved for 3 hours? A spouse might or close teen friends might track each other, but would someone else do that? Unless Saad asked them to. Then what action were they to take?

“@NR – I only got to 11 countries as well ! You missed Australia and New Zealand, I missed Canada and Pakistan !”
So we’re missing two. I nominate Israel and Iran which moves the case way up on the conspiracy index. 🙂

I agree in part with TimV that, rightly or wrongly, at least the British side thought the murders were related to some high-level State involvement, industrial espionage or terrorism. There’s no explaining away the extraordinary search at Claygate lasting two weeks with searchers in bunny suits either to protect themselves or to keep from contaminating evidence. Not something they’d do if they were just looking for documents/computers to give a clue as to murderer(s) or motive. Typically they pack everything in boxes in a day or two at most, haul away, and analyze later.

Not that it means the actual massacre was caused by State agencies. It could still be the work of a nutter or SM targeted and the SAHs were collateral damage or an expendable mask as Max suggests.

As TimV said, why would police provide protection for Zaid as well as the girls? He wasn’t an eyewitness, and what about other relatives in England? They must have reason to believe the murderer(s) had the reach to get to people in England. If the motive was a property dispute in Iraq, what good would it do to eliminate Zaid and the girls. If the property ownership was heavily documented, ownership would eventually pass on to some heir, even a distant cousin, via wills or intestate laws, who could at least attempt to claim it, though it might take many years.

For the record, I have no favorite theory as to the identity of X, the intended target or the motive.

6-23-2013 at 00:10:40

6-22-2013 at 13:53:02 I enjoyed your thoughtful and interesting take on events. One imponderable regarding the girls is how they were so swiftly returned to the UK, not to loving arms of the extended family but to virtual isolation to the exclusion of family members. Not only this, the French investigators, claimed to be working in unison with the British, were also denied access for nine months! Who made these incredibly important decisions that appeared to fly in the face of normal procedures, and why? Why was it necessary to exclude the French both from girls and Zaid despite the latter being one of EM’s stated suspects?

We don’t know other than what we have been told, ostensibly Sussex Social Services and Sussex Police took the decisions but it is impossible not to see a much more influential “hidden hand”. This is not difficult to envisage given the immediate involvement of Ambassadors, Prime Ministers and Presidents.

So as to reasons, we do not know but we can suggest some.

* To protect the children from possible threats from whoever ordered/carried out the murders of their parents

* To protect them from undue influence from the extended family

* To allow an extended period to allow psychologists/police to allow them to recall and repeat all they knew without distraction or influence from other quarters

* To provide a truly protective environment to allow recovery without stressful questioning

* More sinisterly, the opportunity to subtly influence how these small children would remember the events

* To control who the girls might see and who might see them for safety and/or evidential reasons

* To ensure they said nothing “out of place” to press or third parties.

Only time will tell. Clearly somehow or another the family were “persuaded” to play ball with the Authorities. Where are the recently liberated Family Court proceedings in this case?

Whatever else that may be in dispute, no one can claim these are a”normal” set of circumstances.

6-23-2013 at 00:20:36


If you are still counting countries then you may have missed Jordan.

Remember those pesky ‘Jordanian’ Hackers?

6-23-2013 at 01:34:35

Must be the wine again, but here is another thought which could work with some tweaking.

AH went to ‘Martinet’ TWICE(!)

(remember the masons 14:40, and our ‘double back’ thingies)

Around 14:40 AH went up to Martinet, via the ‘masons’, but as there was not much to see/do at Martinet they went down again, this time perhaps via rue du Moulin, and arrived in Arnand 1515 and made the pictures.

Now, AH or Zainab or another realizes they have left something at Martinet. I dunno, perhaps a toy or whatever.

The drive back to Martinet and arrive 15:30

… etc, etc, etc, bla, bla, bla.

So what is the point?

The point is that the RHD BMW spotted by ONF might be AH afterall (with a little time tweaking), and thus … there is NO X5(!!)

3 indications that this might have happened:

1. the 1440 masons reference
2. the short time from 1515 to 1530 (explained as this time AH knew the way and drive straight back up to martinet)
3. if there was a X5 … where did it go, as it seems to have vapourized into thin air

That is Cabernet Sauvignon for you;)

– M

6-23-2013 at 02:32:07

@ Rashomon 6-23-2013 at 00:20:36
“@NR If you are still counting countries then you may have missed Jordan. Remember those pesky ‘Jordanian’ Hackers?”

No. This is the first I’ve heard of Jordanian hackers. Who were they hacking?

Some trivial things. The ITV interview with EM says SAH was determined to reclaim his property in Iraq before the end of 2012. Was that where the entire SAH family was headed, after completing business in Geneva and stopping in Spain to settle the matter of his father’s flat?

Was there some deadline to recover the property in Iraq, such as adverse possession laws that give people who have had uninterrupted access to a property for a certain number of years to have that access in perpetuity? Tenants he needed to evict or outright squatters? Though from what FB told us, property laws in Iraq were loose; deeds scribbled on bits of paper. From what was reported after the two Gulf Wars it was worse than that with sects and factions summarily evicting people and taking over their homes and land.

On the discrepancies in reported colors of vehicles. It was a sunny afternoon. Were any of the witnesses wearing tinted sunglasses. With a dark color, maroon or red, such as SAH’s BMW, some glasses would render that as gray.

6-23-2013 at 04:58:44


With reference to SAH’s reported trip to Iraq to attempt to recover the family property there.

I remember it was reported that he was disappointed as it was occupied by ‘soldiers’ and he took a bit of a beating from the tenants/squatters.

I remember the identity and location of the Iraq property was discussed way back in great detail, either here, or on CM and DI, or maybe on all three. Given what we assume we know about the al Hilli family’s business interests, it could be a farm, it could be an industrial plant, it could have been connected with WMDs or mass burials.

The question has to be asked, who were the ‘tenants/squatters’? What if they were occupation forces of the so called ‘US led coalition’?? Where might that take us?

6-23-2013 at 05:13:16

A general introduction to al Hillah

Is this where SAH hailed from? Was the family’s property here?

6-23-2013 at 05:41:46

@NR, I’m puzzled by the value of the property in Iraqs green zone – Khadim and the family left in the 1970’s, we are told with enough money that he didn’t need to work in the UK.

That’s a lot of years ago, maybe Khadim had started a process to recover property there and Saad took up the baton after his death, it could even have been noted in his will as still being in existence.

@NR, ‘Recall he went to Claygate and arrived at same time as police. Is it not unusual that someone would track Saad’s movements that closely, over a period of many days, to notice he hadn’t moved for 3 hours?’

We are told that he had invited friends to follow him, now I’ll join the conspiracy theories for a moment and wonder if you’re right, he was intending to go to Iraq, there is a problem, if you’ve followed on here, you’ll know that I have a friend doing the ‘stans’, he needed visas to pass through countries, to get through Russia, company documents.

I accept that many do this in reverse by hiding in lorries etc. clandestine or paid up front. Saad wasn’t someone escaping from the UK for a better life, apart from the row with his brother over his fathers will, he seemed a happy chap.

If he was to do this he needed money, doesn’t seem at that point he had much to spare, of course we don’t know if the mother-in-law was in possession of any since her husbands death recently.

Now I’ll jump off, from what we know of Saad, would he really drag all his family across continents to reclaim property, Iqbal had only just completed her retraining to be a dentist in the UK, appears she was qualified already elsewhere, was that Dubai or Iraq ?

He wanted his daughters to have a good education, although he seems to have toyed with the idea of returning to Iraq ‘it’s still warm’ – maybe he thought he could get ownership of the property to live in it ?

Could he have been having a mid-life crisis ? He was afterall an ‘orphan’, he’d fallen out with his brother, he was out of work, contract finished, didn’t appear to have a new one on the horizon.

I wonder where Iqbal had planned to work, at the same dental practice where she’d been retraining. Or join Dr Zaid Alabdi, he commented that he’d trained with her but it wasn’t in the UK…..

Your point about the sunglasses, also in the shade of the trees in full leaf and position of the sun, could well distort the colour, what if the witness was red/green colour blind, after all it was a BMW Series 5, wasn’t it ?

I think the brouhaha initially was purely because they were of Iraqi origin, before any other ‘info’ was brought into the mix.

6-23-2013 at 06:48:17

6-23-2013 at 05:41:46

Bore da, Lynda fach!

What’s your source for saying the al Hilli property in Iraq was located in the Green Zone?

6-23-2013 at 06:59:29

I agree mostly with Peter’s theory, that SAH was the main target.
If SM had been the main target I think the mission would have been aborted
when the killer found all the Al Hilli’s there, it wouldn’t have been too difficult
to find many other opportunities to kill a lone cyclist on a quiet mountain road.
You could just run him down.
On the other hand it was going to be way more difficult to try and kill an entire family if a planned killing.
As to whether it was a local nutter or a UK connection I’m going with the UK connection, if the killing had taken place in the UK I’m sure Zaid would have
been under much greater scrutiny. I think the family feud is huge and don’t understand why Zaid would downplay it or deny it.
It certainly wouldn’t be the first family murder caused over money.
Unless I’ve missed it, I’ve seen no outrage or even sadness at the loss of his only brother.
There seems no doubt Saad was frightened of someone or something,we’ve covered so many complicated theories etc now I’m back to a simple one.

The only other person that I would love to know more about is Iqbal’s mentally unwell brother. Pity we can’t find out how weathy his mother was. The brother must have benefitted financially from her death.

6-23-2013 at 07:12:39

This is interesting:

Poor old EM and the juges d’instruction must not have known what hit them!

6-23-2013 at 08:59:08

In reply to my question of 06.23.2013 regarding who did it and why, we’ve had these three replies during the night.

Rashomon wrote : If pushed to get off the fence, after wobbling about a bit, I shall come down and name ‘the SAH party’ as the targets.

Sarah wrote : I agree mostly with Peter’s theory, that SAH was the main target.

NR wrote : I nominate Israel and Iran which moves the case way up on the conspiracy index.

This means the Sylvain Mollier group is in the lead with 6 against the Saad Al-Hilli group of 4.

6-23-2013 at 09:17:26

@Mochyn69 and @All

re: Mastro couple

Mochyn, Thank you for drawing our attention to this excellent report in today’s Guardian.

I recommend that you all read it and comment on the Guardian site. I commented as you will see. Make your indignation that such a couple of thieves can live freely here in France known.

Haute Savoie seems to be a shady place for shady people. (This was once said about Monaco, but Prince Albert is clearing up the place.)

Before the Chevaline case broke I had thought of one day going to live in Annecy.(I’ve mentioned this before here.) It’s beautiful, it’s peaceful. Or so I thought: beautiful it still is, but the place no longer represents peace and quiet to me. I had a chat with a Geneva resident a couple of years ago and when I pointed out that Annecy being so close to Geneva (I think it is 50 kms) one can pop across the border for an afternoon tea and cakes in Geneva, I was told that a new highway is being constructed between Annecy and Geneva which will make it even quicker to get from one to the other. I do not know if the highway’s now there.

This Geneva resident told me that the highway will send up the price of property in the Lake Annecy region because of all the French who would want to move there for the easy access to their Swiss bank accounts.

Seems I am stuck in Paris now — but what a ‘stuck’!

6-23-2013 at 10:36:47

Marilyn – as to who believes what:

You can put me down as being in the camp of those who believe both SM and SAH were targets and that they were lured to a meeting place by people/entities unknown but powerful. It is further my belief that the british were taken by surprise at the turn of events – ie they did not expect some or all these murders to take place. The French OTOH, were only partially surprised (ie, they assumed only one of the parties to end up dead or perhaps just SAH and SM and were none too happy to hear of the whole family gunned down). I further believe (and I have only logic and event sequence as corroboration to offer) that the british spirited the children out of france as soon as they could – both for their protection – and to keep a tight lead on what actually happened. They did not want the french – and still don’t – to get too close to the children for reasons only the british know.

It is quite possible that SM was the more important target and that he was so for more than one reason. Perhaps different interests colluded in making sure he no longer is. like everyone else here, I have no clue what the motive could have been to kill SM (or SAH for that matter).

And since i don’t know the motives, or the reason for the ambush (or the way the victims could have been lured to the Martinet) i cannot possibly know who the killer entity(ies) X is/are, can I?

6-23-2013 at 10:41:42

BTW, when i refer to “the British” or to “The French” I mean it broadly, as in british or french-allied individuals, entities, authorities, agencies, whatever. Did not mean imply that EM was actually involved or any other official investigator. They might all be doing what they can and are allowed to as best they can – on both sides of the channel.

6-23-2013 at 11:12:44

@ Marilyn 6-23-2013 at 08:59:08
“NR wrote : I nominate Israel and Iran which moves the case way up on the conspiracy index.”

You forgot to include my smiley after that. At the end of the comment I said, “For the record, I have no favorite theory as to the identity of X, the intended target or the motive.”

I would not want to be thought of as a conspiracy theorist. Having said that, I immediately contradict myself by connecting the Mastro couple referred to above, to the famous shirtless FBI agent, Fred Humphries. He was in the Seattle office and had a peripheral connection to them, though I’ve forgotten the details. Note that in the Guardian story, the US official tracking the Mastros summons help from England — a retired intelligence agency person.

Fred Humphries was also the one who interviewed the LAX terrorist, caught with explosives by a border agent, and astutely perceived the difference between an Algerian accent and a Québécois accent, though he went to school in Ontario, where they teach formal, Parisian French.

He became famous when Jill Kelley, the Tampa socialite, appealed to him for help in her tug-of-war over one or more Generals’ affections with Paula Broadwell. Jill Kelley was the next on the list to be interviewed by Michael Hastings, conveniently murdered, as Marilyn and I agree.

Back to Chevaline, the ref to the Green Zone is in the written account of the ITV interview with EM:
“That fortune includes around £750,000 in cash in a Swiss bank account, a flat in Spain and the Green Zone in Baghdad. There are no suspects in the case at the moment but work continues with appeals for help to the Iraqi authorities.”

6-23-2013 at 12:07:35

With regard to the children, if you listen to the Maillaud interview on ITV News (dubbed translation), he says the sisters sill soon give final FORMAL witness statements, but doesn’t expect it to add to the information they already have.

Zeena, was spoken to soon after the events and Zainabs account was filmed whislt she was in hospital.

During her medically induced coma, the media was full of the ‘feud’ between the brothers, so there was plenty of time for them to determine that the children should be returned to their native country, amongst English speakers and British television, a simple thing that could act as a comfort to them, access was then restricted, not least to protect them from the media.

I still can’t see why if this was a hit on SAH, why the cyclist would need to be shot so dead, a paid hitman, if not wearing a facecovering wouldn’t be exactly worried about identity.

Whereas if Mollier was the target, the killer being someone he knew would very much have wanted him to know who was sending him to meet his maker. I am imagine that the killer in this case would have been wound up like a top and ready to go off.

If SAH was the target to stop him going to Iraq to try to recover property there, the obvious would be for him to go, kill him there, plenty of deaths still continue, would it have warranted more than two column inches in the press ‘British Iraqi killed in car bombing in Iraq whilst visiting family’.

Had that happened, do you think Iqbal would have continued to persue this line or would she have been gently advised by the family, ‘We told him not to continue with this folly’.

Do you think anyone from the British Police would be tripping out there to prove murder …….

6-23-2013 at 14:23:57

@ Marilyn:

Thank you very much once again for the publicity that my vid is receiving!

@ TimV:

As already said often before, we are in France and that should explain almost everything around Eric Maillaud’s behaviour.

Actually, since watching the Channel Four documentary, I have even some little more appreciation for the man and his work.


6-23-2013 at 15:05:08

I’m a master at making thing (more) simple. Goes with the job. I like it, it is a talent;)

Posing the possibility that AH might have gone to ‘Martinet’ twice … is such a simplification.

Of course one can OVERsimplify … but that is not what I am after.

– M

6-23-2013 at 15:24:24

6-22-2013 at 18:22:39 I have no objection to you posting my article reference here, after all it is in the public domain, but it might have been polite to just ask me first don’t you think? A much better version was published on The link has since been removed although the discussion is still there if anyone wants to see. What I find quite surprising is that despite some subsequent revelations and developments in a moving story, most of what I wrote back in September 2012 still holds pretty good, with no proven bloomers as far as I can tell! Nothing that has been revealed since leads me to change my opinion of high level state involvement in this crime. Whose is another matter.

6-23-2013 at 15:26:36

I read 300+ comments and now I have a headache (not to speak of the fact that I have to work on the side:)

@ Fat Bastard:

Saad al-Hilli owned a Suzuki GSF 1200 S “Bandit”?

Great guy!

My first bike was the small “Bandit”, the GSF 600, but N, for “Naked”.

I then wanted the engine of the big “Bandit” and so I got me a Suzuki GSX 1200 “Inazuma” which I rolled 17000 kms on.

@ Peter:

Thanks for the Boston Brakes.

Up to now I only knew about Turin Brakes.

@ Marylin:

Lone nutter.

Local crime.

Local gun.

Sylvain Mollier was shot more often than any other victim.

Doesn’t mean he was a target, just that either the killer knew him or the killer didn’t even knew him but he knew the killer or they didn’t even knew each other but the killer was afraid of him anyway.


6-23-2013 at 15:35:59

Had time to read the Guardian Link to the Mastros, please let me assure you I am Lynda with a Y and have never been to Annecy in my life, I do have a friend with a restuarant there.

Well at least he did, before getting on his boat and tootling about the med !

I have two rings of ‘value’, mostly sentimental, neither would cover a modest monthly expense !

@Alex, I am crossing to your side more and more, the possibility that it was a freak event, a drunk or drugged up ‘kid’ who fancied playing out his computer games for real, with his grandfathers Luger P06, that he’d cleaned and oiled with his Dads products used for cleaning hunting shotguns.

6-23-2013 at 15:40:33

6-23-2013 at 07:12:39

“Capper immediately visited the chief of police in Annecy, only to receive an incredibly cool reception. With reason. The small station was already investigating the shooting of the 50-year-old Surrey-based engineer Saad al-Hilli, his dentist wife Iqbal, 47, and her mother, Suhaila al-Allaf, which had horrified the region weeks earlier. What’s more, the police were still wrestling with exactly what had been happening in their quiet little town after a surprise drowning in the picturesque Lake Annecy a year earlier dredged up more than they’d bargained for: several bodies.

“The police had had in those past few months: two American fugitives; a massacre of Brits, which creates a media storm, and a guy who falls out of boat,” Capper recalls. “And they find his body but then have to ask: who are these other three bodies we have found at the bottom of the lake? This police office has got about eight staff. It’s like Midsomer.”

The one piece of useful information the overworked police deputy did give Capper was that while the Mastros had been arrested in Marceau, it was not the first address the US authorities had sent French police to. The first call had been made to a property on the lake’s eastern shore – the far more glamorous Veyrier-du-Lac.”

6-23-2013 at 15:49:14

My penultimate post didn’t pop up! Whatever could be the reason?

6-23-2013 at 15:49:37

@ Marilyn:

Haha, after 1000+ tries, I wrote your name wrong!


6-23-2013 at 16:40:51

6-23-2013 at 11:12:44

Thanks for that. I hadn’t seen that about a property in the Green Zone before.

If that’s true, are we to assume SAH had a run in with coalition troops when he went to Baghdad?

6-23-2013 at 17:27:49

@Tim V

The ‘missing’ post went into my spam folder from which I have just retrieved it. I have no idea why it had gone in there. I’ve checked and you did not use any of the words on which I have a ‘forbidden’ notice.


Not to worry about the Marylin, Aleck … I already had you down regarding the ‘nutter’ theory. Lynda, is ‘almost’ there with you too now. I used to be there, then I was unfaithful to you and sided with others, but I am on my way back to you. Sylvain Mollier was the target I say, but the nutter wasn’t quite so nuts.

6-23-2013 at 17:30:13


re: My Question: who did it and why.

Marlin wrote – You can put me down as being in the camp of those who believe both SM and SAH were targets and that they were lured to a meeting place by people/entities unknown but powerful.

We therefore have a new category: conspiracy.

NR added the following to his answer – You forgot to include my smiley after that. At the end of the comment I said, “For the record, I have no favorite theory as to the identity of X, the intended target or the motive.”

I will therefore move NR to the Conspiracy category.

TimV, I think, is Conspiracy category too.

This means that we now have: Mollier 6; Al-Hilli 3 and Conspiracy 3. In the latter the conspiracy could have been to kill either Saad Al-Hill or Sylvain Mollier, or the two were connected and both had to be killed.

Max, check my calculations!!

6-23-2013 at 17:41:28

Green Zone
the Al Hilli house was in the green zone
come to tea if you want to see proof 🙂

6-23-2013 at 17:43:09

Off to buy books and toys 🙂

6-23-2013 at 17:49:50

@Fat Bastard

You still have to tell us who you think was the target at Chevaline. Your friend Saad or Sylvain Mollier?

Thank you for the tea invite. I have no plans to cross the Channel very soon but later maybe. I’ll then be on the train from Waterloo station.

6-23-2013 at 17:59:29

@ Marilyn regarding Aleck:

I am a smart Aleck!


6-23-2013 at 19:32:09

@ Mochyn69 6-23-2013 at 16:40:51 @Fat Bastard
“@NR Thanks for that. I hadn’t seen that about a property in the Green Zone before. If that’s true, are we to assume SAH had a run in with coalition troops when he went to Baghdad?”

The conjecture was the reverse. If the story about Saad getting into a fight with the occupants of the house, leaving, then later returning to take it back is true, he had help from the Iraq government, coalition forces or contractors. Or he hired local street thugs to aid him. That was before it was known the house was in the Green Zone, which I’d guess would make it more valuable than property elsewhere.

6-23-2013 at 20:08:04

A note to Peter Allen, journalist, if you are reading this, maybe you’d like to take up the offer of tea with James, our Fat Bastard and get some truths out into the wider world. He’s not dificult to find and I’m sure would be delighted to speak with you.

He appears to have information that would dispel or prove many things regarding his friend Saad, not least that his car was not an automatic, proof of ownership of the Claygate House and now details regarding the Green Zone property in Iraq.

Many links have been posted on this blog relating to the events, people, places, cars and the media, the authority to do so has never been asked of any.

Some of our thoughts, names and links have been used in other places as well, we are all aware that once we have put it in the public domain we relinquish our rights over it.

Proving Eugenes point that almost all of us have come in with our own ideas and few have changed from that stand point no matter how much debating, ‘evidence’ is produced, as seen by Marilyns list above.

Maybe it is just blind faith or our individual instincts based upon how we view the world and the experiences we’ve had over time.

6-23-2013 at 20:40:54

@NR – 6-23-2013 at 02:32:07

NR wrote:- “This is the first I’ve heard of Jordanian hackers. Who were they hacking?”

They were hacking SAH, or so he himself stated. This was mentioned in the media as being taken from a Skype (or similar) chat log.

This was, I think, in the context of him posting on pro-Palestinian/anti-Israeli web forums. If I remember correctly it was implied that this activity had attracted the attention of Jordanian hackers who had taken control of some of his online accounts.

At the time this did not seem significant, later it seemed probable that this was part of the efforts of ‘Nigerian John’ to access SAH accounts etc.

Now however, I wonder whether ‘Nigerian John’ is a patsy. He may have been sold or given SAH details by some third party. The goal being to make the hacking activities seem financially motivated.

I guess it has worked so far, John goes to trial tomorrow!

My view is that the hacking enabled the bad actors to view SAH’s smartphone GPS location and route planning information via google’s servers.

I guess that SAH put Martinet as a destination into the google route planner on his smartphone and used it as a satnav in the car.

6-23-2013 at 21:17:29


Did Zainab have a ‘cuddly toy’?

(cuddly toys must rate amongst the most important items for which people ‘go back’. I speak from experience;)

– M

6-23-2013 at 21:39:43

@ Rashomon, 6-23-2013 at 20:40:54

Oui discovered that conversation some time ago:
I no longer use MSN since he took over my account one the idiots from Jordan and create many problems for me last year.

His interlocutor almost certainly was Hussain AH:

Like you, I am really looking forward to hearing “Nigerian John’s” side of the story, even though it may only be on a nodding relationship with reality. As a lawyer friend of mine keeps saying, there is God’s truth, there are the individual truths of the parties involved, and there is “processual truth” in a trial, a carefully-designed construct that matches the known facts but bends their interpretation to fit, or not to fit, certain paragraphs within the penal code.

6-23-2013 at 22:05:25

@Peter, good to read that link again, with this one there is something for all of us:

Even doubling back on themselves …….

I’m off to Normandy for a few days, it is the big tides, so with friends, we’re planning to go looking for crabs, lobsters and mussels.

For all the problems France has, it is still a beautiful place with a wonderful and varied coastline.

6-23-2013 at 22:09:39


I know you are a smart Aleck!!

6-24-2013 at 00:04:15

I found the sept 6th conference of EM (complete 60 minute version!) in shorthand writing. Until now I only had seen the video version which only shows the first 10 minutes.

Essential reading(!)

’14h50: «Qui était la cible? La famille, le cycliste? L’un est-il le dommage collatéral de l’autre? Actuellement, toutes les pistes sont ouvertes», affirme un des officiers de gendarmerie. En résumé selon lui: «Tout est possible.»’

SM=target was asked … and at that time all ‘pistes’ were indeed still OPEN!

– M

6-24-2013 at 00:11:51

Hi all! I’ve been out of the loop for a bit, so I haven’t read your discussions …

Inside Baghdad’s ‘Green Zone’

Iraqis in general are not allowed to enter the Green Zone, while guests enter through private gates after getting official approval. All guests are thoroughly searched and photographed.

Discussed before:

Interview Hussein al-Hilli, my father Ali was a cousin of Kadhim

One widely-mooted theory, however, is that it was a more domestic dispute, involving Saad’s father Kadhim’s old home in Baghdad’s Adamiyah district, a wealthy district favoured by the Iraqi elite during Saddam Hussein’s rule.

Nicknamed Chelsea-on-Tigris, it became a hotbed of the anti-US insurgency after Saddam’s downfall, and in the brutal sectarian war that followed, rival Sunni and Shia death squads fought savage turf battles amid its Beverly Hills-style mansions.

See my above link about Adamiyah district where new building projects are developed, not inside the Green zone!

6-24-2013 at 00:40:06

Zainab is too grown up for her comfort toy
she had passed it on to Zeena

but Zeeena had “one in the house one in the car one in the wash ” 🙂

6-24-2013 at 00:41:07

@Peter – 6-23-2013 at 21:39:43

Peter, thanks for putting those links up.

Yes John’s trial should be interesting. I guess that SAH’s murder caused John’s bank account access attempts to be given greater scrutiny than if it were my account or yours. I would therefore expect the case to be watertight. John may go for some kind of plea bargain if offered.

6-24-2013 at 00:46:37

@ marilyn . . Paris is a fine place to be stuck isn’t it?
Yertiz my sixpenceworth.
Admittedly I have not followed every detail all the way through but I am of the opinion based on intuition that there is no conspiracy add-ons, just a horrible murderous incident for human personal reasons as yet unclear.
I have been through various permutations rangeing from unrequited lover to rogue cop.

Target-wise I think only one or none of the victims was an intended target. I fear it happened for vile shallow lowlife reasons.

6-24-2013 at 00:50:11

Targets are things that thugs use to train when firing guns
I dont know who shot any of the innocent victims
but I can assure you (without any evidence)
that he or she is still in France

6-24-2013 at 01:01:46



I’m in a ‘far out’ place. Only Zeena having a confort toy might fit even better. Remeber that AH and Zainab were out of the car, but the others were ‘straped’ inside? You could ask WHY?

The ‘normal’ explantion could be that AH and Zainab checked the sign (what it said). That is/was my assumtion too.

… But suppose the double visit to ‘Martinet’ is true. Suppose Zeena lost/forgot her confort toy at that parking place (or simply lost it somewhere). Perhaps the family pondered ‘Did you leave it at Martinet, Zeena?’

And so they went back to do a quick check. Upon arriving at Martinet (2nd time, 1530ish) AH and Zainab get out to ‘have a look’. The others stayed in the car.

This scenario ligns up several details:

– 14h40 timestamp (masons)
– 15h15 timestamp pictures
– No X5 (it was AH’s RHD BMW)
– Only AH and Zainab out of the car
– Even the double route could make more sense

If this scenario IS true … and perhaps Zainab can remember this detail … then AH’s are in the clear. AH=target is out of the way, and also my ‘mask’ theory can go. We are then either looking at a nutter OR SM=target.

It would be key to hear from Zainab WHY they went to Martinet

– M

6-24-2013 at 01:34:08

Not really O/T but probably too philosophical:

On “nutters”and ‘conspirators”:

It seems to me that, usually, when we say a “nutter must have done it”, what we are really saying is that we have no solid idea about why “it” was done that conforms to what one might consider ‘rational”. so “nutter” or “lone psycho” is just another way of saying we see no motive for the killings that we find sufficiently convincing. Therefore, it must be something at least partly “irrational” – as in “someone a bit crazy”, because obviously, sane people don’t kill without enough of a motive 9or else we’d all be in deep trouble, right?).

People here don’t seem to be convinced that there was enough of a motive to “off” sylvain PLUS a car-full of other people as collaterals. Clearly, to do that, someone(s) would really have to be keen on getting rid of SM right there and then. As in – can’t wait another day! Same with Max’s “Mask” theory. The motive must have been mighty strong to use SAH plus beat up child – just to cover up for one SM.

Somehow, whatever we know about possible motives doesn’t seem all that strong – a mooch on the Schutz family? well, there are other ways of dealing with that, no?after all, Claire did not even marry him at the time. and were they really all that rich?

Same with SAH being target – everything we know about him and possible family feuds and even his work just don’t add up enough to justify an attack like this in a remote place in France. Proof is in the pudding – if it were enough of a motive, more of us would find a way to go along with SAH=target (including the more ‘conspiratorial” members).

So therefore, since the motives remain unknown and/or unconvincing, that leaves two options: a “nutter’ (ie, no more need for rational motive – just say it’s another Sandy Hook), or a ‘conspiracy”, which is another way of saying – there must have been motives but they are hidden, at which point we (cf. conspiracy buffs) start speculating about why and who has been “hiding” and where.

Analogy can be drawn to Physics; when Physicists don’t have a good explanation for an experimental result they “invent’ a “mystery factor” and give it an interesting, deep-sounding name. Call it say, “ether”, “cosmological constant”, ‘dark” energy, “dark” matter, or just a ‘strangeness’ factor which can then even get quantified. Years later, sometimes the subsequent generations of Physicists forget that these interesting mystery parameters were just names invented to say ‘we have no idea what the heck is going on”.

To me it seems that the Physics equivalent to the human “nutter” is something ‘dark” or “ethereal”. Alas, just as in physics, an Einstein doesn’t always show up to the rescue in a timely manner, so in human murder mysteries, the perpetrator(s) can stay hidden for a long time, and sometimes for ever. but unlike the materializing of Einstein from nowhere 9which none of us know how to do), we CAN all play a part in not allowing Chevaline to go into the memory hole as an eternal “mystery, worthy of mere shrugs (s**t happens?).

Blood spilled deliberately has a way of issuing calling cards. Whether they carry the nutter or conspiracy logos.

6-24-2013 at 08:31:35


Nice post.

I did (like anyone I guess) try to imagine WHAT motive could possibly be strong enough to provoke this massacre. In stead of going the AH route (enough bright people on that track) I did look at the SM side of the matter.

Making the case more simple, just leave out all AH’s … what is left is ‘The Killing Of SM’ … why?

Not the Schultz. Not CS perse.

Then I fell on another baffling murder case. The Christian Marechal 2007 murder case. Gruesome (17 knife stabbs) and unsolved.

Amazingly there *could* be a link between the two cases. The link is Pierre Morange.

If SM ‘had something’ on PM … than THAT would be the ‘dark matter’ which could have fuelled the killing of SM.

(true, I needed something beyond the elements we know. I choose PM over UK)

– M

6-24-2013 at 08:56:38

@FB – Confused about the property in Iraq.

In your interview on Radio 4 you said the house that Saad went to in 2003 (?), where he was beaten up, was worth ‘pennies’ in the end the land was sold for a few thousand.

So, the property in the Green Zone isn’t the same one ?

I tell you what though, you two must have been very close for you to know so much about his ‘business’ !

Are you a hoarder, do you keep all your e:mails and skype chats, texts ……

I agree with you that the killer is in France.

6-24-2013 at 09:12:04

@All Bonjour

Interesting comments during the night.

I will later in the day do a new calculation regarding who was the target and why.

You all must have read the comment from an ‘A Hacker’ and my reply to it. That commentator was none other than Fat Bastard, as he informed me an in email yesterday. Fat Bastard, don’t you pull one like that again. Where were you at the end of last week when Prosecutor Maillaud said that *all* Saad Al-Hilli’s papers were being studied? Do you not realise that this includes the gmail address you had used to leave that comment here on this blog? You may not care about your safety, but I do and I am sure so do all our commentators. Some of them are also parents just like Saad Al-Hilli was.

Marlin, good comment as Max said. We are all just guessing. The only thing we know is that we do not know.

Lynda, I am not so sure about the killer being in France. If someone had hired a killer to do the job, then I say that hired gun is somewhere in one of the now defunct communist bloc countries.

Have a nice commenting day.

Wimbledon starts today – I will be watching on TV – and on Saturday the Tour de France starts and I will be watching that too and for all of the three weeks.

6-24-2013 at 09:17:45

(Following up on my ‘comfort toy’ idea I *have to* bring up the following. Not not the faint of heart)

Suppose it (the double ‘Martinet’ visit by AH) was all about the comfort toy of Zeena. Upon arriving at Martinet, AH and Zainab go out of the car for a quick look. Zeena, well aware of the family searching for her comfort toy waits in excitement. Suddenly hell breaks loose …


… perhaps Zeena thought it was all about her confort toy (hence the 8 hour deep silence of Zeena, undetected by the police)

– M

6-24-2013 at 09:25:08

perhaps thats why it took 9 weeks for the SSS and Surrey Police to answer me if she got the replacement i sent her ?

6-24-2013 at 09:33:36

re Hoarding
yes i am a hoarder as was Saad
I still have so many of his things
I giggled when the police started to search his garage
how many screw top glass jars full of nuts bolts and string they must have looked through and all the bits and bobs stored for a rainy day because it would be immoral to throw them away .
BTW if anyone has a 24 v power supply for a 1994 Cadjet A0 plotter
then i could finish setting up his old draughting machine

6-24-2013 at 09:50:53


Some things ‘add up’, other things don’t

I’m always looking for things that ‘add up’

– M

6-24-2013 at 10:11:52

Yep I have done just that.
I have driven back for many kilometres on ‘chausee deforme’ French roads to find my daughters ‘nankit’ which to anyone else would look like piece of old rag.
So I find that perfectly possible.
She had tossed it out the window and failed to tell us that she had unilaterally made a decision to end the habit.
The hitch-hiker I picked up was bemused and not amused.
Do people still hitch-hike in France?

6-24-2013 at 10:11:52

Yep I have done just that.
I have driven back for many kilometres on ‘chausee deforme’ French roads to find my daughters ‘nankit’ which to anyone else would look like piece of old rag.
So I find that perfectly possible.
She had tossed it out the window and failed to tell us that she had unilaterally made a decision to end the habit.
The hitch-hiker I picked up was bemused and not amused.
Do people still hitch-hike in France?

6-24-2013 at 10:59:09

The thing is that it ‘macthes’ the routes I have in mind (as I was always puzzled how AH could have passed the masons starting from 1515 flowerhouse, or how they would be at 1515 flowerhouse when they went from Camping to Martinet … check ‘Alex video’ and you will see that Alex does NOT pass the 1515 pictures!!)

The AH double-Martinet-visit route however, would be more ‘normal’:

– AH’s leave camping
– They take the direct ‘Alex route’ tot Martinet (and pass the masosn)
– From Martinet they go back down
– AH decides to take Route du Moulin (which is perfectly normal when ‘cruising around’)
– Via Arnand they end up at flowerhouse 1515 (Doussard)
– 1515 pictures are taken
– Zeena now comes with ‘where is my cuddly toy?’
– AH decides to go back to Martinet

… and take the fastest route, back via Arnand, route du Moulin!

– M

6-24-2013 at 11:25:24

About property in the Green Zone this is from 2004:
“A few villas have been reclaimed by their original Iraqi owners, exiles who have returned, but most of the properties have been expropriated by fast-moving American agencies and contractors—clear winners in the scramble for Green Zone quarters that followed Baghdad’s fall.”

“Elsewhere in the Green Zone live squatters of a different kind. They are the Baghdad poor who, long accustomed to survival on the streets, took advantage of the confusion of Saddam’s defeat to scurry into a less leafy residential area that just hours before had been abandoned by the Baath Party elite. The first of them were true urban pioneers. In the midst of falling bombs and bursting shells, they staked their claims on empty houses, and very quickly called in family and friends. Since they were neither combatants nor allies of the old regime, the Americans could not decide how to get them out, and later gave up even trying. No one knows how many of these Iraqis live in the Green Zone now, though estimates range around 5,000. They live a dozen or two in houses made for five, and through poverty and crowding have turned their district into the Green Zone’s slum. Some of the men do manual labor, or sell soft drinks and trinkets from streetside stands, and all have learned to pass through the Green Zone’s gates by staying abreast of the ever changing requirements.”

Other comments: “Iraq has never had widespread rule of law or enforceable private property rights.” and “Private property is not sufficiently protected, and bureaucratic regulation and interference still smother much productive economic activity.” Seems as if possession is 10/10 of the law.

One real estate page had homes in Baghdad, none in the Green Zone, listed for $US120,000 to $US1,000,000.

@ Fat Bastard — Can you tell us who was involved in the property dispute at the Baghdad end? Relatives, squatters, Iraqi officials or coalition people? Also, I may have asked before and forgotten your reply, who controls Claygate now? Is there an executor of Saad’s estate?

6-24-2013 at 12:33:20

I just got an alert from

Tuerie de Chevaline : la police britannique annonce l’arrestation d’un homme de 54 ans

Un homme de 54 ans a été arrêté lundi au Royaume-Uni dans le cadre de l’enquête sur la tuerie de Chevaline, dans les Alpes, a annoncé la police britannique.

Le suspect a été arrêté dans le comté du Surrey, près de Londres, où vivait la famille al-Hilli, dont trois membres avaient été retrouvés morts dans leur voiture, tués par balles, en septembre dernier dans les Alpes françaises.

Un cycliste français, Sylvain Mollier, gisait à côté de leur véhicule.

6-24-2013 at 12:35:04

From Jean Marc Duclos on Twitter

#Chevaline. Le frère de Saad al Hilli en garde à vue en Grande-Bretagne. Info Parisien.

6-24-2013 at 12:35:41
6-24-2013 at 12:46:24

I like simple;)

6-24-2013 at 12:48:03

And (if true) congrats to EM. Well deserved!

6-24-2013 at 12:51:08

A 54-year-old man was arrested in Surrey today in connection with the
murders of Saad and Ikbal Al-Hilli, Mrs Al-Hilli’s mother Suhaila
al-Allaf, and cyclist Sylvain Mollier, who were all shot dead near
Annecy, in the French Alps in September last year, Surrey Police said.

the kettle is on ..better get some organic cookies too:)

6-24-2013 at 12:52:24

Max, thank you for this.

What to say? OMG.

The Roumanian phone calls …?

A hired gunman — from one of the former Communist Bloc countries.

And Lynda is on holiday.

Fat Bastard your first thoughts on this, please.

6-24-2013 at 13:08:10

Max yes simple is good.
Zaid was the only person I could see who had a motive.
I don’t feel bad now for naming him as my suspect.
He should have at least pretended to be upset and outraged at his only
brother’s death.

6-24-2013 at 13:08:57


I will keep quiet now to let others do some posting but … Also my first reaction was O.M.G … as in OMG keep it simple (when trying to solve a puzzle;)

I have learned again that things tend to be simple (not complex)

But I’m very curious about the details.

– M

6-24-2013 at 13:15:12

@ Max

Who knows? Zaid might be the mask to mask.

6-24-2013 at 14:04:22

HOTPRESS! Man arrested in Chessington in connection with the murders.

6-24-2013 at 14:05:06

Zaid was suspect #1 from the onset. He was arrested for questioning, I wonder what evidence the investigators have on him as a murder/contract killer suspect. Perhaps a fishing expedition to search his home for evidence?

If Zaid would have the inheritance as a motive, he knew everyone needed to be “eliminated.” Not just his brother Saad, but also his beautiful wife Iqbal and the two daughters Zainab and Zeena. The contract killer failed! A contract killer doesn’t have any regard for human life, why waste ammo on killing Sylvain Mollier first with 5-7 shots? A contract killer from Romania is not concerned about a witness or leaving evidence at the scene, the get-away would have been meticulously planned.

In the Netherlands, most mob killings are performed by former Yugoslav killers, they just vanish. Same for contract killers or mafia from Turkey.

IMHO, case is yet to be solved. An hired killer from Romania driving a RHD British BMW X5 doesn’t make sense, unless motive of leak was to mislead the public and the killers.

The Guardian article on June 10 – French Alps shootings detectives investigate calls to Romania.

6-24-2013 at 14:08:19

Thanks all for your input.

I have to be absent for the afternoon. I’ll think about sentences the guilty can expect.

Until later.

6-24-2013 at 14:08:29

BBC: “A 54-year-old man, thought to be Mr al-Hilli’s brother Zaid, was arrested in Chessington.

He had previously denied there was any feud between him and his brother.”

Strange. Strange. Strange.

What happens if he is subject to British due process? Does this block French access to him?

6-24-2013 at 14:29:27

Good fortune …

I’m so glad EM is not considering Kadhim’s Geneva bank account as Saddam’s fortune … as I have argumented for many months. The inheritance needs to be substantial for Zaid to act out of greed for a big sum of money. 😉
I don’t believe the case is solved!

6-24-2013 at 14:30:46

Zaid has been arrested
but maybe its just for fraud ?
though he has been taken across the border from Metropolitan to Surrey police land
The kettle is on and the biscuits are ready
this time ive got one taker today
one who double checks his sources 🙂

6-24-2013 at 14:33:01

Let’s see how long they keep him for …

I wonder whether it is a coincidence that he was arrested on the day that Nigerian John’s trial starts. Also, there is a piece of erroneous information in some of the articles: Zaid AH is *not* the first person to be arrested over the Chevaline murders: there is that mysterious person in Geneva who was detained for an entire month on suspicion of having supplied the weapon used, but who was then cleared.

6-24-2013 at 14:44:59

@ Fat Bastard, 6-24-2013 at 14:30:46

This arrest is not “just” for fraud.
A statement from Surrey Police said: “Detectives investigating the deaths of four people near Annecy, southern France in September last year have this morning arrested a man on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder. The 54-year-old man was detained at an address in Chessington, Surrey at around 7:30am and is currently in police custody where he will be interviewed.”

6-24-2013 at 14:47:55


But at minimum EM is now putting HIS cards on the table;)

– M

6-24-2013 at 14:58:43

@FB and all

although I do not get the point why it takes 9 months to identify calls to romania, the lead to chessington would sure explain why the girls are still in foster family care.

To me this leaves more questions open than it answers.

– RR

6-24-2013 at 15:03:26

From this Police statement, it now seems to be official: it is a conspiracy.

Could Z. and the Swede have associated with Romanian undertakers?
“Dunces with wolves”

6-24-2013 at 15:42:33

please dont stop this blog …
i think next week once Zaid is cleared there will be more to discuss
one or two threads on here are interesting me

the comfort toy discussion implies close knowledge of Zeeena !

oh and its taken me 20 mins to get on the blog today !!!

6-24-2013 at 16:45:22


The site crashed!! I was getting hundreds of hits so the site crashed. Happy though to say that it is back again now. I myself had no access to it, not even to my Admin. I emailed those of you whose email address I had on my main email account.

Fat Bastard you do not believe that Zaid did it because you wrote I think next week once Zaid is cleared there will be more to discuss

The internet is going mad, all searching for news about the arrest.

No, Fat Bastard I will not close our discussion.

Until later – if the site does not crash again.

6-24-2013 at 16:54:44


It is good to be famous:P

Remember that every possible keyword/searchargument about the Chevaline Killings will also lead to your blog;)

– M

6-24-2013 at 17:00:44

@ Marilyn, Fat Bastard

I think it is quite likely that Zaid will be released after the Tour de France has ended 😉

Given that it has taken them nine months to arrest him, they can’t have much evidence against him. Unless he obliges them with a full confession – if he has anything to confess, that is – they will be forced to let him go sooner or later. They won’t “clear” him, obviously, but they will nonetheless have to let him go.

6-24-2013 at 17:32:13


I updated my article, but posting the update here to save you having to go there to read it.

Zaid Al-Hilli, 54, the brother of the murdered Saad Al-Hilli, has been arrested at his home in Chessington, Surrey, at 7.30 a.m. this morning (Monday, June 24, 2013) on suspicion of ‘Conspiracy to Commit Murder’.

Reports drifting around Paris is that he allegedly hired a gunman to shoot his brother.

If the gunman is ever arrested he faces life imprisonment for ‘assassination’ (murder with premeditation) under Article 221-3 of the French Code Pénal. For the violence against the seven-year-old Al-Hilli daughter, Zainab, added to the life sentence will be thirty years for violence on a minor under the age of fifteen. (Article 222-14 of the French penal code – Code Pénal.)

A for Zaid Al-Hilli, should he be found guilty of ‘Conspiracy to Commit Murder’ and in the event that the murder had been carried out, he too faces life behind bars. (Article 221-5)

However, before sentencing there would have to the arrest of the gunman and then extradition to France not only of him but also of Zaid Al-Hilli and Britain does not easily extradite its nationals.

Naturally, there would also have to be a trial and not in the United Kingdom but here in France because the crime was committed here.

Therefore, should both the British and French police find sufficient evidence to put Zaid Al-Hilli on trial, there will be no quick end to this case. French justice is slow, very slow indeed, an accused sits in prison for years. Three years easily. Even longer.

6-24-2013 at 17:38:34

I trust that the daily fail will not pre try the 54 year old who is BEING QUESTIONED
I hope the powers that be dont dig up his garden leak rubbish and steal his
books toys and private stuff
However if hes found guilty then ……I hope his god $ will understand him

6-24-2013 at 17:38:48

@Peter and @Fat Bastard and @All

re: likely release after Tour de France

I like to think that both the British and French police have done their homework before they had made this move.

Of course, now they must prove that he had ordered his brother’s murder. And until they do, we must use the ‘allegedly’ word when we comment. Innocent until …. etc.

I suppose that the French investigators and Prosecutor Maillaud will be going over to London if they are not there already. They will also be speaking to the two girls this week as the prosecutor said in his last interview.

6-24-2013 at 17:48:43



6-24-2013 at 17:49:28

does Eric want to come for tea too ?
hes very welcome
he could bring the girls round …they would feel safe here
as they know where the toys are 🙂

6-24-2013 at 18:00:12

@FB at 17:49:28

Solving the case, Eric expects to be invited to Paris for dinner! Isn’t that correct Marilyn Z.? 🙂

6-24-2013 at 18:04:02

You all remember my ‘mask’ theory. That was a ‘method’ for a killer X to ‘get away with murder’.

But in the case of Zaid, what was the ‘method’???

Zaid should have seen this coming … as they did. The police, press and everybody was on his doorstep the next day. He had to be quick to be at the station before everybody else to PROclaim his innocence

But … what was his ‘method’? Or in old fashioned terms … his ‘alibi’?

Using a ‘luger’ to make it look like a local ‘nutter’ case … is indeed a smart move
However, driving around in a RHD BMW X5 … is NOT very helpfull

Very curious how this will pan out.

– M

6-24-2013 at 18:07:07

From “The Local”

“Eric Maillaud, the prosecutor for the French city of Annecy, told AFP: “We felt there were enough reasons to take him into custody.

“We need to ask him questions about his schedule, his relationship with his brother and the family inheritance.”

He said searches were being carried out at Zaid al-Hilli’s home and the golf and leisure company where he works.

“The family connection remains the preferred line of enquiry, even if no new elements have emerged recently,” Maillaud said.

Investigators have been looking at whether a possible feud over the estate of the brothers’ father could lie at the heart of the case.

In an interview with Britain’s ITV News recorded on Friday, Maillaud said documents found at Saad al-Hilli’s home suggested the attack may have been timed to prevent him returning to Iraq to lay claim to his father’s estate.”

6-24-2013 at 18:11:37

@ Marilyn @ All

I’d obviously wish to be able to provide a clear personal answer to your survey. Meanwhile, I feel reluctant to express a final option, as I think we’re still being blind-folded in this case by too many secrecies and smokescreens regarding facts and matters of evidence.
So the best I can do is to state those theories that I personally reject with confidence:
– the lone psychopath (“the infamous random nutter”)
– the UK-family feud caused by inheritance issues
– the blackmail issue linked to the Chambourcy case
– the nuclear secrets stories, whether regarding SAH or SM

I can also express my innermost conviction that both Saad and Sylvain were targeted, or lured, one being a target and the other a decoy (a “mask” as Max likes to call it). I feel sure Saad’s wife and mother-in-law were unintended collaterals, and likewise Zainab and her unharmed sister. These crimes were planned with extreme subtlety, and if there probably was some kind of cover-up from either French or British authorities, it may precisely have been because they also were somehow taken by surprise.

It could eventually boil down to the intricate conjunction of background “political” motives with a momentary more personal rationale involving an undisclosed relationship.

6-24-2013 at 18:44:27

The fact that Zaid AH was arrested and is being questioned doesn’t mean that he is guilty. All it means is that a magistrate felt that there were sufficient a priori reasons to believe that he may have committed a serious crime

His putative motive, the quarrel about financial matters with his brother Saad, had been known to investigators practically from day one. The fact that it has nonetheless taken nine months before they arrested him means that they have no solid evidence against him, zip, zilch, niente.

Unless he does the police a big favour by confessing, or unless they find a signed receipt from Murder, Inc. amongst his personal effects (which is unlikely, given that he has had nine months to prepare for his eventual arrest), all they have is a potential motive and some unexplained phone calls to Romania. Repeatedly calling a contract killer from your own home phone would rank amongst the stupidest things a criminal could possibly do. Fortunately, most criminals are stupid, but Zaid, if he be a criminal, cannot be that stupid. If he were that stupid, police would also have found records of him withdrawing £ 10,000 or so in cash from his bank account right before the murders, and would have arrested him long ago.

Hence, personally, what I think will happen is that Zaid will “confess” that he had been shopping for a Romanian Internet bride and had chatted to a few likely candidates over the phone, analysis of his PC will confirm that story – and that will have been all that. Back to square one for Eric Clouseau.

6-24-2013 at 19:24:02

@ Peter

Zaid AH will be interviewed under caution, and I am sure there will be plenty of activity going through his home , workplace etc. to seek anything incriminating.

If he was involved all this will put pressure on him, for all we know they may have found a chink in his story, hence the decision to ‘bring him in’

This development also shows that the Authorities believe he was involved and explains why they have kept the children well away from family contact

6-24-2013 at 19:33:50

@Peter re ‘Back to square one for Eric Clouseau’

With the important exception that EM then has played his most important ‘UK card’ and failed to win the game.

A nice coincidence is my 6-24-2013 at 01:01:46 post (which explains away the UK X5) with 6 hours later the police barging in on Zaid.

Perhaps FatBastard can keep an eye on the Zeena ‘cuddly toy’ idea

– M

6-24-2013 at 19:37:20

Marilyn, I think you have to put Eugene in the “conspiracy” category (he’ll be in good company – it’s a jolly little group!). That will make 4 of us, right?

Eugene, can’t disagree with most of your points, though I think I might keep the 4th exclusion (nuclear work related) open for a while. With the caveat that it needs to be generalized to “work” matters, though I somehow doubt it would be “nuclear’ related. A more likely scenario (if a conspiracy be it) is potential leak with someone trying to sell/donate potentially damaging information that they may have accidentally come across – perhaps through work relations. Or it could just as well be family relations. I am not saying this is it for a motive since obviously no information has ever come to light regarding such a scenario. But it can’t be excluded yet either. I rank it with a 25-30% probability, as long as the nature of it is kept vague enough to accommodate a wide spectrum of options.

6-24-2013 at 20:08:48

French Connection:

You seem to be counting your sheeps, Marylin. 🙂

Well, you know me, I have from the start been convinced that:

>> It is a premeditated local murder with a local perpetrator<<

6-24-2013 at 20:18:16


But why have you put Zeena’s cuddly toy on your head (see your FB site)? 🙂


Sorry, should be Marilyn, Marilyn, Marilyn, Marilyn, Marilyn……
I will repeat it 100 times on the slate… 🙁

6-24-2013 at 20:43:15

@lars thats not Zeeenas toy

I said i was going to Chacomb at the weekend
and someone said “wear the fox hat” well thats what it sounded like 😉

6-24-2013 at 21:20:27

For those who have strong confidence in the police.

As a coincidence this day was also day when the “Police ‘smear’ campaign targeted Stephen Lawrence’s friends and family” hit the international headlines. (

6-24-2013 at 21:28:30

News. News. News.

I know why Zaid was arrested. The French investigators summoned him to Paris for questioning and he refused to come so the British police arrested him.

The above I got from France’s private TV network TF1 this evening at 8.

Do not be surprised if after the French have questioned him, he will be released.

I think the wording on the UK media websites went a bit hard about how he’s under arrest ‘on the suspicion of conspiring to commit murder’. He was probably only taken in for questioning and as the police feared he might ‘make a runner’ they wanted him in a place where they knew where to find him.

6-24-2013 at 21:28:47


Sorry could not post before but still on my travels and a lot of “social unrest stuff” going on in Brasil that has taken my attention and time (business).

Interesting day today …

think Peter and Max have nailed my view. I would be supprised if “the accountant done it” and had his liberty for 9mths!

EM has, IMHO forced the hand of UK authorities and his POV (point of view) will either be substantiated or he will be left in a somewhat embarrassing position, maybe he would then be prepared to consider a viable alternative “piste”!

My view of events has not changed and my timeline still stands.

For your “scores”: –
To be clear from my analysis SAH = Target. (Professional(s) and with more than one actor / vehicals as per my time line).

However, my anaysis indicates that X waited for SM to arrive at Marrinett, is this strong enough to say SM, or indeed SM + SAH was prime target, clearly not, but do not feel easy about this point and am currently spending time trying to find out more background about SM and the extended “family”.

6-24-2013 at 21:32:28


Not to worry about the Marylin. It is surprising how many can not spell the name Marilyn. You should see the reaction when I spell the name here to the French. Em a rrr ie ell igrec en.

6-24-2013 at 21:34:22


Yes, Eugene is now in the conspiracy camp. I will do a recount in a few days because we may be getting some more decisions now with the latest development.

I am still hoping that I am right: the target was Sylvain Mollier to shut him up.

6-24-2013 at 21:36:27


Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. You will see from my above comment why the French say he was taken in.

6-24-2013 at 21:37:44


You wrote – Fortunately, most criminals are stupid.

Compared to who?

6-24-2013 at 21:39:36


re: Eric invited to Paris for dinner.

He should have us over for dinner in Annecy for all the publicity we’ve given him. That is: not a bowl of soup in a prison cell!

6-24-2013 at 21:40:04


We’re all thinking Wow!

6-24-2013 at 21:46:49


Will put you provisionally with the SMs. Enjoy your travels.

6-24-2013 at 21:48:36

I’ll now say tomorrow is another day. I’ve got some other things to do now before night falls. It is 9.50 and still broad daylight in Paris. La belle vie.

Do continue to chat. I will read in in the morning.

6-24-2013 at 23:50:23

@ Marilyn, 6-24-2013 at 21:28:30

You are right, they have arrested Zaid because he refused to accept an invitation that the gendarmerie extended to him.
Depuis plusieurs mois, les gendarmes souhaitaient interroger Zaid Al-Hilli sur ces éléments troublants. D’autant que les autres pistes envisagées au début de l’enquête se sont refermées les unes après les autres. Mais au Royaume-Uni, la procédure est telle que les enquêteurs britanniques considéraient jusqu’à maintenant les charges insuffisantes pour placer Zaid Al-Hilli en garde à vue.

Pour débloquer la situation, les gendarmes ont donc convoqué Zaid Al-Hilli le 21 juin à Chambéry. “Il nous a fait savoir qu’il ne viendrait pas”, explique un enquêteur à francetv info. “Il savait très bien ce qui l’attendait.” Cette dérobade pourrait expliquer en partie le revirement de la police anglaise qui depuis ce matin considère le frère de la victime comme un “suspect”.

If that is *all* that the UK police have against him, that he refused to voluntarily travel to France, I think that his arrest may turn out to be an embarrassing and costly mistake for them. “Inviting” him over to France clearly was a tactical gambit on the part of the gedarmes. They must have expected him to refuse; if this really had been solely about interrogating him, they could have done that via video link, or sent some of their own people over to the UK.

I really cannot blame Zaid for refusing to travel to France, where he knew that he would be locked up in pre-trial detention for months or even years, would have to deal with a foreign language and a foreign legal system, would have to find himself a decent lawyer, work out how to pay that lawyer and so forth. “Clearing one’s name” sounds like a chivalrous thing to do, but it is stuff of legal nightmares. If Zaid has any sense at all, he will have taken legal advice about this idea of surrendering himself to the French authorities, and any decent lawyer would have told him not to go.

Thus, my question is: since when does exercising one’s rights and doing the sensible thing suffice to change one’s status from witness to suspect? Frankly, from what I have read about Zaid, I find it difficult to like the man, but I doubt that his arrest for refusing to voluntarily surrender himself to the French authorities is lawful.

6-25-2013 at 00:23:53

At least some action. With EM shutting down several ‘pistes’ (nutter and SM=target) and now playing one of his main ‘UK’ cards, I don’t know what will happen if Zaid is NOT the man.

EM appears to be careful with stating Zaid as the man, but on the other hand … what does EM have left as ‘other options’?

– M

6-25-2013 at 00:32:49

I dont blame Zaid for not going to France
there is a madman with a luger there who shot his brother
when i saw Zaid at the funeral he was shaking and withdrawn

6-25-2013 at 00:36:29

This is more smoke and mirrors. Not unlike “We’d like to go to Iraq but can’t organise it somehow”. If they wanted to interview ZAH why didn’t they make arrangements with the British police to be in on a British interview? They could have invited him in (with solicitor) They didn’t even have to arrest him.Now they have arrested him they must have cautioned him so he now doesn’t have to say anything to the British or the French. Is that the intention?

6-25-2013 at 00:55:18

6-24-2013 at 21:20:27 I made the same point elsewhere Lars. Indeed the “source” inside Scotland Yard sounds distinctly spooky to me. In fact “keep the old sex stories involving personalities” sounds almost plausible as a ploy to keep more important issues off the front page.

6-25-2013 at 01:05:16

I think it’s more likely Eric is expecting an invitation to Paris for tea for NOT solving the case Oui
6-24-2013 at 18:00:12!

6-25-2013 at 01:18:45

@TimV + Lars + Peter

When checking the press reporting on todays events I noted the following at the base of the “Daily Fails” report.

“Sorry we are unable to accept comments for legal reasons.”

May well have been on previous pages – but first time I had noticed it was today.

6-25-2013 at 01:39:54

@TimV 01:05:16

A Tea Party in Paris for EM …how nice …at which Embassy were you thinking?

6-25-2013 at 02:11:13

Giving Zaid the benefit of the doubt for not wanting to travel to France, I don’t see any evidence that he has co operated in anyway with even the British police.
I would like to know more about the two different wills and what Saad was planning to do with the one he had with him in France.
Re Zaid’s calls to Romania if they are innocent he should have no problem proving it.
Unless the police can prove a link from Zaid to the killer, I think they will have huge problems, but I believe they do have the right man.

I’m quite surprised that no one here at all believes he could be guilty.

6-25-2013 at 02:35:34

So, a middle aged accountant from Chessington phones an assasin agency in Romania, and shortly after four people are slain in a remote lay by in France.

He sure lucked out with that one.

The evidence supplied (to us plebs) fits with a cold hearted psychopath, choosing a remote spot to find random victims. S/he could well be a pillar of the community, and if s/he doesn’t want to (secretly) get caught, then they’ll never find him/her.

Zaid might find himself in hot water, but I doubt it’ll be for murder.

6-25-2013 at 02:46:21

@Peter – 6-24-2013 at 14:33:01

Peter, you wrote:-

“I wonder whether it is a coincidence that he was arrested on the day that Nigerian John’s trial starts.”

I wondered too, but the best I could come up with was that some information would be revealed via Nigerian John’s trial, and that the police wanted to interview Said before he became aware of it and thus prepared for a line of questioning.

Presumably the fraud and murder investigations were under the same umbrella at the start, whatever that may imply.

6-25-2013 at 03:02:57

@Sarah – 6-25-2013 at 02:11:13

Sarah, you wrote :-

” I don’t see any evidence that he [Zaid] has co operated in anyway with even the British police.”

I believe that Zaid voluntarily went to the Police (UK) for interview very early in the investigation.

You also wrote:-

“I would like to know more about the two different wills and what Saad was planning to do with the one he had with him in France.”

Interestingly, Saad apparently had both wills with him in France.

6-25-2013 at 06:48:40

Saw tf1 also agree with marilyn

You know my opinion Zaid will be released

Tour de France is now imminent ……..

6-25-2013 at 09:00:45


Interesting comments. We’re a tough lot not swallowing all we are told. Sarah though swallowed.

I suppose that the Daily Mail closed comments because, they, like us, do not believe in Zaid Al-Hilli’s guilt and they want to prevent a court case. So, folks, please, ‘allegedly’ is the word we are going to use.

I agree with all who wrote that they also would not have willingly come to France. The French, who are not fond of their police, never get mixed up with the police if they can help it. They do not even want to ‘help the police with their enquiries’ when they’ve witnessed a road accident.

Klunk, I do not think it was a ‘pillar of society’ who did the shooting. It was to protect a pillar of society, or pillars of society, rather.

See_Bee I think the tea party will be in the Ecuadorian Embassy. With the cup cakes will be visas and asylum offers.

By the way, the story is not front page here in Paris. First on the news is Mandela, then the arrest of 4 Muslim guys from Paris’s northern suburbs who were planning attacks on ‘personalities’, then the Bernard Tapie case and him having spent much of yesterday in the Hotel Dieu Hospital, then the 11th shooting so far this year in Marseilles, then that bloke who walked across the Grand Canyon, then the flood deaths in India, and then Chevaline.

What I would like to ask Monsieur le Procureur is why he could not just have gone to London to question Zaid Al-Hilli in the company of the Met at the local Surrey police station with the arrest of Zaid and accusation of ‘conspiring to commit murder’ following if the two forces had enough evidence to have such a charge stick?

Lynda, enjoy your hols and fishing.

6-25-2013 at 09:06:23


re ‘I’m quite surprised that no one here at all believes he could be guilty.’

should read ‘not anymore’

Of course Zaid was number 1, and he himself walked into a police station the next day or so. So at that time the police had the possibility to do a first GOOD PROPER check on the guy.

Zaid still can be the man, but then you have to wonder what the (esp. UK) police was doing all these months.

There can be things that point to Zaid as the man.

A big one must be that Zaid had to know where Saad was (staying). If the police can proof that, you are half-way.

A long time ago I made the observation that Saad might have switched campsite because perhaps an ‘undesireable’ person got hold of his first campsite address. The ‘undesireable’ person I had in mind was Haydar Thaher, but it could well be Zaid (weird though that Saad only would move to a nextdoor campsite)

The sloppiness of the killing (esp. if MC2 on Col de Cherel is in) could also point to a ‘ad-hoc’ last minute setup. But if X really drove a RHD X5 the guy must go for the prize of the most ignorant killer of 2012. I would have expected to drive at least a non-UK car, e.g. a french car to make it more a ‘local nutter’ case.

On top of that … and MOST PEOPLE forget this. If SM-AH are not connected, you should see the AH killing on its own. With no SM stumbling onto the scene. So … in REALITY the Chevaline killing would read as:

3 UK people shot dead at a remote parking in France

And if that were the case, if that was the plan … ALL eyes would immediately go to the UK (with 2nd and 3rd options a local robbery, local nutter)

Most people forget to remove the collaterals from the scene to get a clearer view (only the ‘mask’ version … and the ‘nuclear version’ take into account a sync of AH and SM)

– M

6-25-2013 at 09:13:49

I should add that I guess every proper killing is a somewhat ‘masked’ killing, as the killer will normally try to ‘mask’ the killing.

E.g. AH being killed on a remote parking might look as a robbery. The ‘might look’ is a ‘mask’.

The active use of collaterals as ‘mask’ is just a devious step up, very difficult to pull off (sync) but IF it works you are indeed sending the whole bunch of investigators on the wrong ‘piste’;)

– M

6-25-2013 at 09:20:40

Marilyn, so i wonder – where is the Snowden saga sit in the french newspapers. A little bird has whispered in my ear (darn bird – so loud!) that in the US “Run, Snowden, Run” is all the rage. But what do i know, being everywhere and nowhere at the same time….

6-25-2013 at 09:22:41


re: masked killing.

True what you say in your 9.13 a.m.

6-25-2013 at 10:14:40

@ Max

Well, there are masks and there are masks. One German serial killer specializing in killing old ladies got away with it for decades because he arranged the bodies afterwards. For example, after killing one old lady by beating her over the head, he erected a ladder and put a cleaning cloth into her hands. Police fell for his “Oh, she must have fallen off the ladder whilst cleaning”-scenario. In another case, police firmly excluded foul play because, even though he had stolen a few thousand deutschmarks in cash from his victim, he left a few hundred lying around in plain sight. Clearly not a robbery, therefore 😉

That sort of diversion is good enough in almost every case. Rifling through the AHs’ belongings and stealing a few things would have been sufficient to make this look like a robbery-gone-wrong. Killing some random cyclist as well in order to distract attention away from your real targets is just overdoing it.

6-25-2013 at 11:26:57

Jean-Marc “I heard it on the grapevine” Ducos claims to know that Zaid is keeping mum during his interrogation
Pas bavard du tout ni coopératif Zaid Al Hilli depuis son arrestation pour complot en vue d’assasinats. Muet. Info Parisien.

6-25-2013 at 11:56:06


Just a step-stone jump (via PM) will bring you from Chevaline 2012 to Christian Marechal 2007

‘Une mystérieuse lettre près du corps du policier tué’

‘Cette lettre a été déposée pour maquiller le mobile.’

maquiller = makeup, disguise

(I’m atm not actively after the ‘mask’ theory, but will keep it in mind if the Zaid ‘piste’ fails to deliver)

– M

6-25-2013 at 11:57:23

@Marilyn I don’t see myself as being gullible as you seem to be inferring by saying
“sarah swallowed it”
I just see a huge motive, two brothers whose feud has got so bad they are only
communicating through lawyers and a large sum of money involved.
If only we could see the two wills, I’m sure we would learn a lot.
I was amazed when Peter told us how cheap it is to actually hire a hitman in Europe.

6-25-2013 at 12:00:56


Snowden who?

Marlin, it’s a non-story here. I am interested in it so must go to BBCWorld, CNN, and Aljazeera for updates.

6-25-2013 at 12:02:31


I am not inferring anything, Sarah. You believe that Zaid’s brother did it, so what am I to say?

I would also like to see the two wills, though it’s not our business. I wonder, however, who goes on a camping holiday, taking wills along. And I am not speaking of Wills Windsor now.

6-25-2013 at 12:13:39

@ Sarah, 6-25-2013 at 11:57:23

I wholly agree on the motive. I also think that Zaid’s potential motive is far stronger and clearer as a motive than any resentment that anybody could have felt against SM.

What I don’t see is how he could have pulled this off, finding and hiring a hit man, sending him to the area of France where Saad was vacationing, paying him without leaving a paper trail.

Likewise, I don’t see how any such foreign, non-local hitman could have pulled this off, anticipating Saad’s moves, being in the right place at precisely the right time, and then vanishing, apparently into thin air.

Ah well, let’s just wait and see whether or not Zaid will be remanded in custody. If he is, police must have some solid evidence against him, if he isn’t, then his arrest was just a fishing expedition intended to pacify the French.

6-25-2013 at 13:07:22


I will (sic) add to that that there must be thousands of people/families who are in the same situation (A will, splitting 1+ million Euro’s) and they don’t slaughter the family by contract killing.

Otoh, Zaid could be the exception in those thousands;)

– M

6-25-2013 at 13:20:50

Stilll going on today:
Daily List for Tuesday 25 June 2013 at Guildford
Court 5 sitting at 10:15 am
For Trial
T20130018 JOHN Abiodun D

6-25-2013 at 13:41:50

‘Trois enquêteurs de la section de recherches de Chambéry sont à Londres, où ils assistent à l’audition de Zaid al-Hilli sans pour autant pouvoir l’interroger directement. La procédure exige en effet que ce soit les enquêteurs britanniques qui mènent cette audition. La garde à vue de Zaid al-Hilli peut durer jusqu’à quatre jours, selon Eric Maillaud.’

The 3 french don’t do direct talks with Zaid. And Zaid can be held 4 days.

So … hopefully we will hear soon about any new developement.

– M

6-25-2013 at 13:47:35

French media reports say that the inheritance quarrel between Saad and Zaid concerned plusieurs millions d’euros. Several million euros. Seems more likely that a brother will kill a brother over several million euros than a mere few pounds and a ramshackle property in Iraq.

As Max said three investigators are assisting the interrogation of Zaid in Surrey but they will not participate in the sessions.

6-25-2013 at 13:49:14


Surely never before has so much been made of an internet money fraud case. I have twice been victim to an internet money fraud and the first time the police took down my details and the second time the bank dealt with it on its own.

6-25-2013 at 13:50:21


re: killing for a million

No Max, people kill for even less.

6-25-2013 at 13:58:51

Ehhh, 2 blocks down the road where I live, there are houses worth 1+ million euro’s easily. Add to that some savings etc and all those are potential 2+ million euro inheritance issues. If all those people start to murder each other … lol … and that is just in a 1 km radius from where I live


– M

6-25-2013 at 14:00:16


People kill because they are STUPID … don’t blame the ‘money’;)

– M

6-25-2013 at 14:01:50

And a contract killer … is just a STUPID loser, who can’t even handle a simple job at the counter.

6-25-2013 at 14:30:43

why would Saad have 2 wills with him
I and a copy of the stop on the probate
to show to the bank manager ?

Hope Zaid is out now and we can get back to finding the local in france
who did the killing

6-25-2013 at 14:34:11

6-25-2013 at 09:06:23 I can’t help thinking you couldn’t be more wrong in your reasoning on every count. Given that the family have been known to MI5/6 for AT LEAST a decade, and Zaid presented himself to the British police, do you really think it would have taken this long to prove a connection to the killing, however tenuous?

I agree with Marilyn that I can see no reason why EM or whoever, did not come to Britain and carry out a joint interview with the British Police – a point I made elsewhere. No arrest was required for this. ZAH could have been invited in “to help the police with their enquiries”. This is commonly done.

A point overlooked here I believe, is that the arrest “on suspicion of CONSPIRACY (Marilyn please note) to murder” has a down-side for the French investigators. Under British law a person cannot be arrested without being “Cautioned” i.e. that he/she is not obliged to say anything. In other words post caution Zaid can remain silent throughout if he wishes. This means that even if he were guilty, which I very much doubt, in the absence of a confession, alternative proof would have to available. If the information issued to date by EM is anything to go by, the chances of this do not look particularly promising.

Incidentally, it was impossible to log on here yesterday, so my detailed reply to Marlin and others on the thorny issue of vehicle movements, went on the CM site instead.

6-25-2013 at 14:51:00

Nor can I follow your reasoning regarding the “masked killing” Max @ Max
6-25-2013 at 09:13:49 that you say you support Marilyn. You appear to overlook the rather important consideration that Chevaline NEVER looked like a robbery, for the simple reason, nothing ever appeared to be stolen, whether it was or wasn’t. Nor is it a logical step to suggest SM was murdered simply to “mask” the Al Hilli killings leaving aside the co-incidences of timing and location. Whatever the explanation, it has to include why on the one hand not only SAD was shot but also wife and mother-in-law and a French cyclist, whilst conversely SPARING the two girls AND WBM.

6-25-2013 at 14:54:31

I agree Peter
6-25-2013 at 10:14:40

6-25-2013 at 14:56:15

@ Marilyn, 6-25-2013 at 13:50:21

Of course people kill for a lot less than £ 1 million (and Jean-Marc Grapevine has tweeted something about a valuable second property in Iraq, which kind of makes sense, given that Saad already sold the one for peanuts yet still intended to go back there at the end of 2012).

Moreover, often money is more of a symptom than the cause in dysfunctional relationships. In inheritance matters, it is a tangible, quantifiable indicator of love. Zaid as the second-favourite son, who apparently was passed over in regard to inheriting the Claygate house, may have felt bitterly resentful towards Saad, who seemed to have it all: a loving wife, nice children, loyal friends like Fat Bastard, and a sizeable inheritance coming his way. He may have felt that it would only be just for him to have a large slice of his father’s inheritance, in view of all those other things that he didn’t have.

Motive-wise, I have no problem at all believing that such a scenario could induce even a seemingly well-adjusted person to plot a murder. It is just the practicalities of such a hypothetical contract killing that baffle me.

6-25-2013 at 15:01:46

If what you have heard @ Peter
6-25-2013 at 11:26:57 is correct about ZAH keeping mum, it looks as if my suggestion made first on CM and just here @ Tim V
6-25-2013 at 14:34:11 is not far off.

My hunch is that the Al Hilli’s were so deeply entrenched in the activities of the British SS, that it would be deeply embarrassing and or damaging for ZAH to be subject to wide ranging questions that may throw light on them. The caution has that let-out and may be a convenient truth for the British SS.

6-25-2013 at 15:08:09

@tim v

British SS ?
you mean Surrey Social Services ?

6-25-2013 at 15:08:13

My guess is that when the interrogation process is over, and precious little is revealed to the French, Mr Al Hilli will be released on police bail, uncharged but “pending further enquiries” with conditions attached including not speaking to the press or others and passport with held. Whether this eventually results in charges being pressed or dropped we shall have to wait and see. It does however provide additional restraint on contact with and comment on, ZAH that may have its advantages in coming months.

6-25-2013 at 15:10:53

Sorry Fat Bastard
6-25-2013 at 15:08:09. No I should perhaps have written SIS!

6-25-2013 at 15:17:09

@ Tim V, 6-25-2013 at 15:01:46

My knowledge of the law of England and Wales is limited – just enough to know that there is no such thing as British law – but even I know that the golden rule when being questioned by the police is to stick to the old name, rank and number routine. Don’t give them anything to work with. Let them prove it.

The thing is, you don’t get any brownie points at all in terms of sentencing for cooperating with the police, and they can pick and choose which parts of your statement they accept. If you say “Yes, it’s true that I was there, but I didn’t even see the victim” that goes on file as a truthful admission that you were at the scene of the crime, followed by an evasive lie.

There is nothing whatsoever to be gained from talking to the police, there is only plenty of downside risk to it. Thus, the fact – if it be a fact – that Zaid isn’t talking to the police merely shows that he is a smart man and/or has a smart lawyer.

6-25-2013 at 15:27:39

I think I will take a step back for the moment. To see what happens to Zaid. If Zaid is the man, I do congratulate EM (and with that all who also thought AH was the target and Zaid was the man)

– M

6-25-2013 at 15:28:00

6-25-2013 at 13:41:50 your quote rather confirms my suspicion that after keeping the French investigators away from SAH for nine months or so they arn’t going to start now. This interview process is being kept firmly under their control. We can only speculate why, in the context of recent cases of extradition approval to face the Americans and Swedes, why the British should be so cagey in this case?

6-25-2013 at 15:34:46

Marilyn Z. Tomlins
6-25-2013 at 12:00:56 you say “@Marlin Snowden who?”

Can the French media be so behind the curve or is it indicative of a more profound difference in World View?

I seem to remember a similar observation on the French press disinterest in the Chevaline/Al Hilli story at first.

6-25-2013 at 15:35:54

@ Tim V
ooh are you saying Saad was a spy ?
I guess i must be too then !

6-25-2013 at 16:11:24

Well spotted Peter
6-25-2013 at 15:17:09! Constitutional Law in these “British Isles” can be a complicated business. In the sense that most criminal law is statute law and passed by a “British” Parliament I suppose it its broadest sense it could be described as “British Law” though I take your point that in contra-distinction to “Scottish Law” of which the Scots are proud, that in many respects harks back to French and Roman Law – the Procurator Fiscal for example – ZAH will be dealt with according to the “English Law” procedures I have described.

As to your general point about the advisability of “co-operating fully with the police” as it is so often put I couldn’t say. However “spill the beans boy or we will throw the book at you” is as old as Dixon of Dock Green and many indeed do see it as an advantage to reveal some or all.

However ZAH is in a different category altogether to the “common criminal” not least perhaps first he is not at all common, and to date at least, not considered to be a criminal. Further Saad and Zaid were the sons and nephews of men at the very top of Iraqi political society, closely connected with both Iraqi Prime Ministers and foreign powers, particularly Britain and America. Their family memory stretches back to these nation’s involvement in Iraq prior to the Second WW and no doubt to Iran and other nations still at the centre of highly dangerous events.

It is blatantly obvious from British reaction to Chevaline and subsequently in relation to the Al Hilli girls and Zaid, that the whole matter is being handled at the highest level. Can there be any doubt that Surrey Police and Social Services are operating under instructions? In these circumstances the arrest and subsequent interview cannot be viewed as a “normal arrest”.

6-25-2013 at 16:15:23

@ Marilyn “I suppose that the Daily Mail closed comments because, they, like us, do not believe in Zaid Al-Hilli’s guilt and they want to prevent a court case. So, folks, please, ‘allegedly’ is the word we are going to use.”

The DM always blocks comments for legal reasons once a case formally involves the UK legal system. Don’t know at what point they invoke a block; when someone is arrested or “helping with inquiries”?

@ Marilyn “I would also like to see the two wills, though it’s not our business.”

Everything is our business. It’s the prime rule of the Internet. Nothing must be concealed. If we had the two wills plus all the documents, in four languages, that EM claims will take two years to examine, we would have solved the case by now. 🙂

@ Max “People kill because they are STUPID … don’t blame the ‘money’ 😉 And a contract killer … is just a STUPID loser, who can’t even handle a simple job at the counter.”

Some are stupid and some clever. Both have a congenital disinclination to work at the counter or in a cubicle even for more money. Offer them any regular job and they’ll opt for something illegal, and usually some far-fetched illegal scheme that is unduly complicated with a great chance of failure.

6-25-2013 at 16:24:49

Fat Bastard
6-25-2013 at 15:35:54 in response to your first suggestion, the answer is “I don’t know” as it is to the second. However the fact that you appear to be attempting to undermine the first possibility, by highlighting the unlikelihood of the second, might lead some (not me of course) to the conclusion that there could be a degree of truth to both!

6-25-2013 at 16:27:58

@Tim V

You failed to get access to the site yesterday afternoon because my site crashed for a while due to the many hits it was getting, all in search of news about the arrest. I too had no access even to my Admin.

I think if you should ask Mr. Man-in-the-Street here in Paris what he can tell you about the Snowden case you will also receive a ‘Snowden who?’ response. What I forgot to say in my comment about what’s news here in Paris was that the four or five French through to the second round in Wimbledon even beat the Zaid Al-Hilli story.

I think the lack of interest here in the Snowden case is that the French consider the Americans rather naive fussing about a few state secrets having been made public. I also don’t think the French ever understood the WikiLeaks case either. Just as they totally failed to understand what Watergate was all about and what Clinton had done wrong. And they will tell you that they did tell the Americans not to go into Vietnam because it will be a war they will never win but the naive Americans would not listen.

As for the initial lack of interest here in the Chevaline story it was because murder has become very everyday here. I hate to say this but France has become a very violent society. In a popular paper like Le Parisien there are at least three pages every day of crimes: thefts, rape, murder and so on. I mean 11 men have been shot dead in Marseilles so far this year. We hear of it and we no longer even blink an eye.

I share Fat Bastard’s disbelief that his friend Saad could have been a spy. I don’t think he was. But I must add that we never really know those we think we do know. This goes even for family. And MI6 killed successfully here in France already … so what would have stopped them for doing so again?

The SS was deliberate, was it, Tim? We do need them you know.


Don’t go away, Max. You are valuable to us. If there is a time limit of four days to how long Zaid can be held, then he will either have to be freed or charged on Friday. In France the police can hold a suspect for three days maximum and he/she is entitled to have a lawyer present at each interrogation.


Yesterday when I read Max’s tip-off about Zaid Al-Hilli’s arrest my first thought was ‘ Peter is the one who’s going to get the dinner in Paris’.

6-25-2013 at 17:57:00

I have nothing to add. Zaid, as it seems, is the man they are after, the other ‘pistes’ (SM and nutter) are shutdown. I am curious to see/hear what is was all about. To me it was and still is just a puzzle, and therefor I’m eager to know what the final (UK) picture is, above all the question how X could know that AH was going to Martinet. I read that EM did not learn anything new from Zainab/Zeena … I sure hope he does learn a lot from interrogating Zaid;)

– M

6-25-2013 at 18:41:15

@Fat Bastard on 6-25-2013 at 15:35:54

Re your comment to TimV – “ooh are you saying Saad was a spy ?
I guess i must be too then !”

Unless I am mistaken it was the French investigators who stated very early on in this investigation something to the effect that the victims had intelligence and/or international crime connections.

Now given that the French have been insistant that SM was not the target then we are left with SAH, his wife and his mother-in-law.

Then it was reported that one of the Al Hilli family had worked for military intelligence contacting Iraqi commanders to persuade them not to resist too hard.

Any light you can shed on these matters?

6-25-2013 at 19:03:40

Detectives have until 19.30 BST [25 June 2013] to question Mr Al-Hilli, who has previously denied being involved in a feud with his brother.

6-25-2013 at 19:38:52


are you confusing the Al Hilli family from Pimlico with some non British family ?

6-25-2013 at 20:13:10

Just no new information is coming forward, even journalists at The Guardian are at a loss and writing old stories with a new date.

From the beginning French police, who have been working closely with their counterparts in Britain, said the murders bore the hallmarks of a contract killing.

While British police refused to name the arrested man, Annecy prosecutor Eric Maillaud, who has overseen the French investigation since last September and who had warned there would be no “quick solution” to the crime, confirmed it was the dead man’s brother.

“That doesn’t mean he is guilty,” he said, adding: “Some serious questions will be asked of him.”

Not the French investigators, but the British media wrote about a contract killer with a Czech-made Skorpion semi-automatic pistol. The French followed the reasoning of a nutter and tried and failed to make that case. The hallmark of a nutter does not in any way resemble that of a “contract killer”. Has anyone ever heard of a Serb or Romanian hitman use a classic Swiss Luger 06 with 7.65 ammo? In addition driving a RHD BMW X5 in the Savoye … 🙂 LOL

6-25-2013 at 20:48:35

@Tim V

I’m a bit embarrassed, you calling out Zaid and FB as intelligent agents. You left me out, I’m the only professed spook here on the blog. 🙂

MI6 – Secret Intelligence Service

Quite separately, one of Rosa Monckton‘s closest friends and a godparent to the Lawsons’ daughter, the late Princess of Wales had clearly been under some kind of surveillance, as evidenced by the 1,050-page dossier held by the US National Security Agency (NSA) in its archive, detailing private telephone conversations between Diana and American friends intercepted at MI6’s request. While all stories linking MI6 to the Princess’s death in the car accident in France have been complete nonsense, it has been alleged that working closely with I/Ops in an attempt to deflect enquiries away from the security services had been a chief of staff to ‘C’, Richard Spearman, temporarily posted to the Paris embassy with his assistant, Nicholas Langman.

British spooks regain a ‘Licence to kill’ – 2003

6-25-2013 at 20:57:28

They have let Zaid go

As I have said, back to square one for Eric Clouseau 😉

6-25-2013 at 21:06:47

BFMTV – Zaid released.

6-25-2013 at 21:18:01

Just as being arrested doesn’t mean that you are guilty, being released without charge doesn’t mean that you are not. It is purely a question of how much evidence the police have to show at the end of your interrogation (with or without your help).

We shall have to see how this plays out. I think that Zaid might still be done for that alleged fraud, but insofar as the conspiracy to murder charge is concerned, it is unlikely that the police will have another go at him any time soon – unless the hypothetical hit man should turn up and confess everything. I am very curious what Eric Clouseau will have to say on Zaid’s release in the coming days, whether he will describe him as “cleared” of the conspiracy to murder or whether it will be a case of a grudging “those British sissies failed to crack him.”

6-25-2013 at 21:22:25

Le Matin Online: Zaid relieved.

6-25-2013 at 21:31:05

Released on bail, which means that he probably will be charged with some form of fraud.

And now that they have managed to leave half of the world’s population with a lingering suspicion that he might be responsible for his brother’s death after all, the police are probably going to remove that panic button from his flat 😉

6-25-2013 at 21:46:42

@ Peter

Exactly. The bail goes till July 31. One week after the Tour de France finish.
I wonder what they may have found at the golf club.

Did Saad play golf, FB ?

6-25-2013 at 21:47:01

Chessington brother of Claygate man Saad Al-Hilli released on bail

The brother of a Claygate man who was murdered in the French Alps last year has been released on bail after he was arrested yesterday morning. He was released on bail on Tuesday evening until July 31.

Zaid Al-Hilli, 54, of North Parade, Chessington, was arrested at his home at about 7.30am on Monday, June 24. On Monday afternoon police had removed items from the home of Zaid Al-Hilli.

Phil Davies was clearing out his mother’s flat in Bray Court following her recent death. He described Mr Al Hili as a “mild-mannered, quiet and polite man”.

“I was in the shower when they arrested him. Apparently the police came in and he left with them. It was one big nothing. Then forensics and the press started turning up. It’s been like a TV soap opera.”

French prosecutor Eric Maillaud said the arrest on Monday had coincided with a raid on the golf club Mr Al-Hilli worked for. A neighbour said he worked as an accountant at Burhill Golf Club in Hersham, part of the Burhill Group based in Burhill Park.

Burhill Golf Club declined to comment on if a raid had taken place and if Zaid Al-Hilli had worked there.

Burhill Golf & Leisure – Zaid Hilli awarded a luxury pen for a decade of service – Oct. 2010

6-25-2013 at 22:15:42

This where the French say ‘ooh la la!’.

Poor Zaid. Put yourself in his shoes: not only was his brother shot to death, he is then ‘arrested’ and interrogated and now his home is being gone over and even the golf club where he works. I am sure that the Burhill Golf Club in sleepy hollow Hersham will never be the same again!

What a farce.

Eugene is wondering what was found at the golf club.

Eugene, I can tell you what they found at the golf club. This is an exclusive by the way. They found golf balls.


You wrote – While all stories linking MI6 to the Princess’s death in the car accident in France have been complete nonsense.

In awe as I am of your investigative powers, I am telling you that she was murdered.


There is now no need for Prosecutor Maillaud to find something new to announce about the investigation for the July 5 anniversary which will allow him to keep the case open. I would say he is ok now until September 5.

I am glad that we did not jump on the ‘jail him! He had his brother killed!’ bandwagon.

I will not close comments, but if anyone wishes to wander off and not to comment anymore, I will quite understand. Or will we still be discussing this case in 25 years from now?

Well, tomorrow is another day. Maybe tomorrow they will arrest the ‘mad’ brother-in-law.

6-25-2013 at 22:34:50

Just a thought, and one that may have been mentioned already.

What if Silvain Moliere was shot first, and so many times, because he was physically more imposing than the killer, didn’t fear him, and possibly even knew him? i.e. a local teenager?

“Come here with that gun, you little idiot!”

A psychopathic, fantasist teenager, with a relative’s gun, who could return home in a calm, unflustered state.

And remain off the police radar.

6-25-2013 at 23:01:47

@FB: ZAH crying on his brothers funeral, @Peter: how to pull this off

just a thought… lets take the information that ZAH did make several phone calls to Romania be for granted for the moment. Now that IS pretty strange if it is true, and what if ZAH was indeed intending to access the money in switzerland by the help of some Romanian hackers after not succeeding by the outdated credit card?
Now lets assume somebody (lets call him Y for the moment) in Romania simply tricked ZAH. Y hired a killer, briefed him badly saying: “SAH is on his way to switzerland to get the money. when he comes back from the bank he´ll surely has the money with himself. He has no sufficient place to keep but his car (the camping van surely is not very safe), so he´ll carry the money with him. Go, get him in a remote place and bring the money to me. ZAH can´t go to the police because he´s involved. but make sure there are no wittnesses.”
Now X goes to chevaline and messes the whole thing up especially because he realizes that because the place is so crowded that day, he has no time to search for the money in the car. He tries in the trunk and leaves it open, but then flees when WBM approaches.

When ZAH realises that he was tricked and his brother and his family have been murdered, he goes to the police to put himself in the best alibi position.

This is just an experiment of mind.. and I´m still on the local trail … but who knows …

– RR

6-25-2013 at 23:10:33

@ klunk:

Welcome to the club!

Alexander Cartier, the day before yesterday:

“Lone nutter.

Local crime.

Local gun.

Sylvain Mollier was shot more often than any other victim.

Doesn’t mean he was a target, just that either the killer knew him or the killer didn’t even knew him but he knew the killer or they didn’t even knew each other but the killer was afraid of him anyway.




6-25-2013 at 23:12:50

@ Marilyn:

I’ll be around still, 25 years from now.

Let’s, on a Friday, for tea, what do you think?


What about you guys, Lars and Peter?


6-25-2013 at 23:19:55

so Zaids out
what about the girls ?
not heard from them
<looks at phone …no missed calls 🙁

Saad did not play Golf
a walk in a field was not his idea of fun 🙂

6-26-2013 at 02:02:19

Fat Bastard
6-25-2013 at 19:38:52 – Plimlico???????????????? Could this be an “inglorious Basterds” Three Fingered Moment?

6-26-2013 at 02:09:51

Marilyn Z. Tomlins
6-25-2013 at 16:27:58
Thanks for explaining re. the access problem and giving an insight into the French psyche and culture (of which btw I am a great admirer)

6-26-2013 at 02:32:13

Sorry to leave you out Oui
6-25-2013 at 20:48:35. Even “spies” don’t like anonymity it seems.

Funny how Paris sometimes crops in connection with intelligence events and how those in Intelligence often fill top diplomatic posts. Still no one has explained why and how a platoon of SAS (?) were dispatched so quickly to the scene.

Our Ambassador to France has been under a mountain outside Lyon fairly recently.

“Sir Peter Ricketts took up his post as the British Ambassador to France in February 2012.

Before that, he was the British Government’s first National Security Adviser and, from 2006 until 2010, the Permanent Under Secretary at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Head of H.M. Diplomatic Service.

After postings to Singapore and NATO Brussels, he worked as Assistant Private Secretary to Sir Geoffrey Howe, before serving in Washington. Sir Peter Ricketts was Head of Hong Kong Department in the early period of Chris Patten’s governorship. He covered EU, economic and financial affairs in Paris from 1995-1997, before returning to London.

Sir Peter was seconded to the Cabinet Office as Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee in 2000 and was then FCO Political Director. From July 2003 he was UK Permanent Representative to NATO in Brussels.”

6-26-2013 at 03:07:39

6-25-2013 at 20:48:35

“Britain on the other hand has no such legal complications, as long as the killing takes place on foreign soil. Under the Intelligence Services Act of 1994, MI6 officers have immunity from prosecution for crimes committed outside Great Britain. Although The Criminal Justice Bill of 1998 makes it illegal for any organization in Great Britain to conspire to commit offenses abroad, Crown agents still have immunity. With the end of World War Two the SOE (Special Operations Executive) undoubted ability in both subversion and assassination was absorbed into the Secret Intelligence Service and for many years afterwards Britain is believed to have made regular, if sparing use of assassination to further its foreign policy aims.

There is in fact a long list of suspicious deaths linked to British Government or Defence Industry since 1970 including

A) Defence, Computers and Electronics (Scientists, Technicians and Administrators)
Robert Wilsort 1973,Gerard Darlow 1973,Prof Keith Bowden 1982,Lt Col Anthony Godley 1983
Dennis Skinner 1983,Jonathan Wash 1985,Vimal Bhagvangi Dajibhai 1986,Arshad Sharif 1986
Dr John Brittan 1986,Mark Wisner 1987,David Sands 1987,Peter Peapell 1987,David Greenhalgh 1987
Michael Baker 1987,Richard Pugh 1987,Shani Warren 1987,Victor Moore 1987,Trevor Knight 1988,
Brigadier Peter Ferry 1988,Alistair Beckham 1988,Dr Gerard Bull 1989,Jonathon Moyle 1990
Dr David Kelly 2003

B) SIGINT(GCHQ-Computers)
Jack Wolfenden 1982,Ernest Brockway 1982,Stephen Drinkwater 1983,George Franks 1984,Stephen Oke 1985

C) Protesters/Lawyers/Politicians
Airey Neave MP 1979 (purported to be the victim of a highly sophisticated INLA bombing),Hilda Murrell 1984,
Willie McRae 1985,Pat Finucane 1989 (one of perhaps a hundred or so ‘suspicious’ deaths linked to
British Special Forces Hit Squads or based on information illegally supplied to Ulster murder gangs by MI5,

D) Foreign targets.
Assassinations of major foreign political leaders (such as President Nasser 1950’s, Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba and President Milton Obote 1960’s, Prime Minister Ghaddafi and President Slobodan Milosevic 1990’s) and political opponents or extremists have been planned or carried out on numerous occasions over the last fifty years in Iran, Egypt, Congo, Libya, Uganda, Serbia and Ireland among others
Last year Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon appointed General Meir Dagan, his friend and close colleague to head the Mossad. Security sources confirm that Dagan, a noted hawk, had served in the 1970’s as head of the ‘Rimon’undercover anti-terrorist unit which is widely suspected of killing militants wanted by Israel. Following his retirement from the Army in 1995 Dagan became Mossad’s deputy Chief. His appointment and past track record suggest that while the Sharon Government may be publicly willing to sign up to President Bush’s ‘road-map’ for a Middle East peace it will be allied to a deadly new secret campaign to destroy the terrorist infrastructure and eliminate its leadership. Leading Israeli politician Moshe Arens said.“Dagan is one of the old Sharon’s assets. They got to know each other 33 years ago when Sharon, then head of Southern Command, cleared Gaza of ‘terrorists.’ Dagan led a commando unit called ‘Rimon’ which was known, how shall I put it, for its unconventional methods.” General Dagan is known to be keen to promote the Israeli-way of dealing with terrorism and quicklypaid an official visit to the CIA Director George Tenet in September last year and before his promotion had even been confirmed. According to usually reliable intelligence sources, it can be taken as highly significant that the CIA formally established an assassination team in November, less than two months later. This may be seen as not only a positive US response to the sharing of Israeli experience and expertise, but also as a direct result of the recent lifting of the US Presidential ban on ‘executive action’ following the Al Qa’ida attacks of 9-11.”

6-26-2013 at 03:14:20

Oui 6-25-2013 at 20:48:35

“Britain on the other hand has no such legal complications, as long as the killing takes place on foreign soil. Under the Intelligence Services Act of 1994, MI6 officers have immunity from prosecution for crimes committed outside Great Britain. Although The Criminal Justice Bill of 1998 makes it illegal for any organization in Great Britain to conspire to commit offenses abroad, Crown agents still have immunity. ”

“There is in fact a long list of suspicious deaths linked to British Government or Defence Industry since 1970 including

A) Defence, Computers and Electronics (Scientists, Technicians and Administrators)
Robert Wilsort 1973,Gerard Darlow 1973,Prof Keith Bowden 1982,Lt Col Anthony Godley 1983
Dennis Skinner 1983,Jonathan Wash 1985,Vimal Bhagvangi Dajibhai 1986,Arshad Sharif 1986
Dr John Brittan 1986,Mark Wisner 1987,David Sands 1987,Peter Peapell 1987,David Greenhalgh 1987
Michael Baker 1987,Richard Pugh 1987,Shani Warren 1987,Victor Moore 1987,Trevor Knight 1988,
Brigadier Peter Ferry 1988,Alistair Beckham 1988,Dr Gerard Bull 1989,Jonathon Moyle 1990
Dr David Kelly 2003

B) SIGINT(GCHQ-Computers)
Jack Wolfenden 1982,Ernest Brockway 1982,Stephen Drinkwater 1983,George Franks 1984,Stephen Oke 1985

C) Protesters/Lawyers/Politicians
Airey Neave MP 1979 (purported to be the victim of a highly sophisticated INLA bombing),Hilda Murrell 1984,
Willie McRae 1985,Pat Finucane 1989 (one of perhaps a hundred or so ‘suspicious’ deaths linked to
British Special Forces Hit Squads or based on information illegally supplied to Ulster murder gangs by MI5,

D) Foreign targets.
Assassinations of major foreign political leaders (such as President Nasser 1950’s, Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba and President Milton Obote 1960’s, Prime Minister Ghaddafi and President Slobodan Milosevic 1990’s) and political opponents or extremists have been planned or carried out on numerous occasions over the last fifty years in Iran, Egypt, Congo, Libya, Uganda, Serbia and Ireland among others
Last year Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon appointed General Meir Dagan, his friend and close colleague to head the Mossad. Security sources confirm that Dagan, a noted hawk, had served in the 1970’s as head of the ‘Rimon’undercover anti-terrorist unit which is widely suspected of killing militants wanted by Israel. Following his retirement from the Army in 1995 Dagan became Mossad’s deputy Chief. His appointment and past track record suggest that while the Sharon Government may be publicly willing to sign up to President Bush’s ‘road-map’ for a Middle East peace it will be allied to a deadly new secret campaign to destroy the terrorist infrastructure and eliminate its leadership. Leading Israeli politician Moshe Arens said.“Dagan is one of the old Sharon’s assets. They got to know each other 33 years ago when Sharon, then head of Southern Command, cleared Gaza of ‘terrorists.’ Dagan led a commando unit called ‘Rimon’ which was known, how shall I put it, for its unconventional methods.” General Dagan is known to be keen to promote the Israeli-way of dealing with terrorism and quicklypaid an official visit to the CIA Director George Tenet in September last year and before his promotion had even been confirmed. According to usually reliable intelligence sources, it can be taken as highly significant that the CIA formally established an assassination team in November, less than two months later. This may be seen as not only a positive US response to the sharing of Israeli experience and expertise, but also as a direct result of the recent lifting of the US Presidential ban on ‘executive action’ following the Al Qa’ida attacks of 9-11.”

Not that I am suggesting in any way that MI6 was involved in the Chevaline incident though the ability is clearly there.

6-26-2013 at 05:12:03

@Tim V
6-26-2013 at 02:32:13

‘des types militaires’, which is what I recall the witness told the French press does not translate as ‘a platoon of SAS’ even with your qualifying (?)!

6-26-2013 at 08:32:01


Can one of you Russian speakers please tell me what the Russian comment is about so that I can trash if it has nothing to do with Chevaline. It comes from Roumania, so I thought I must approve it. Could be a prostitute offering us her services though.

6-26-2013 at 08:38:34

@Tim V

Mochyn69 just pointed out what I was going to ask you about: SAS at Chevaline?

Your 3.07 a.m. landed in my Spam folder and for this reason: You had a word on which I have a ‘forbidden’ tag in it. I passed it now nonetheless because your comment is interesting.

Re Airey Neave. Hell, Tim, the IRA killed him! And seeing we are going this way what about Lord Mountbatten? How come you don’t have him down as MI6?

6-26-2013 at 08:39:07


Tea? Where? When?

6-26-2013 at 09:09:33

@Marilyn Z. 08:32:01

“Can one of you Russian speakers please tell me what the Russian comment is about so that I can trash if it has nothing to do with Chevaline.”

Must disappoint all male members, no offering of Russian beauties looking for marriage. Basic spam offering decals for personilzed cars, etc. with links to Russian website. To the trash bin. 🙂

6-26-2013 at 09:21:54

@tim V
Pimlico is where ZAH and SAH went to school

6-26-2013 at 09:34:32

can someone find me the link where Zainab said
“one bad man”
My thinking is that Zainab would know he was bad because he carried a gun
ALL people with guns were “thugs” to Saad
no mater what they were wearing .

6-26-2013 at 09:59:05


Oh what a pity. I could have made a lot of money as go-between. It was duly trashed.

6-26-2013 at 10:00:28

@Fat Bastard

Sorry, I’ve got to go out or I would have found it for you.

Interesting Saad having thought that all people with guns were thugs. And then he had become the victim of one. What strange destiny.

6-26-2013 at 10:22:40

6-26-2013 at 08:32:01

O/T What Russian comment? Oh, I see, Oui’s already helped you trash it.

When I get time, I must read your book about Pasternak, also one of my favourite Russian authors. I’m interested in how much of it is pure fiction, and how much is based on original research? Can you give us some idea? Maybe start a separate thread so we interested Russicists can discuss it there.

6-26-2013 at 10:33:07

At least Jean-Marc Ducos still considers Zaid “suspect #1”

Unfortunately (for Zaid), that probably means that UK police are going to keep him on pre-charge bail for a very, very long time and make him walk in and out of their station like a yoyo

6-26-2013 at 10:43:38
6-26-2013 at 11:26:52

So … you have a person who’s brother is entangled in a high profile murder case and who’s daughter is entangled in another high profile murder case. You walk in and out and put that person on ‘piste 17’ … Sure;)

6-26-2013 at 11:37:56


Thank you for helping out Fat Bastard.

Another thing: You wrote : So … you have a person who’s brother is entangled in a high profile murder case and who’s daughter is entangled in another high profile murder case. You walk in and out and put that person on ‘piste 17′ … Sure;)

Max, what do you mean about the daughter being entangled in another high profile murder case. What have I missed?

6-26-2013 at 11:48:36


Ah — the novel is still with my agent in London.

The novel – For the Love of a Poet – is fiction based on fact. I wanted to write about Pasternak and about Stalin, so I combined the two. The novel’s working title was ‘Sitting on a Stick’ which I took from an entry in Tolstoy’s diary, but I had the novel translated into French and that title did not quite sound right in French. The aspect of Pasternak’s life I deal with is his adulterous love affair with the Moscow journalist Olga Ivinskaya. He based ‘Lara’ from Doctor Zhivago on her.

So far my agent has not found a publisher. Those he contacted said either (1) book is too long (130,000 words); (2) the history interferes with the love story or (3) no one’s interested anymore in Pasternak and Stalin’s persecution of Russia’s intellectuals. So what to say? I have twice asked the agent whether I could have the novel back because I want to publish it with Createspace, but he’s refusing. He says the novel merits better than Createspace and he *will* find me a publisher. I am meanwhile halfway through another novel.This one is set in France in the 1980s with flashbacks to the 1960s. Title is ‘Bella … Bella … A French Life’.

Despite my true crime writing, my ‘subject’ and ‘passion’ is Russia.

6-26-2013 at 12:51:25


re: Ducos

Peter, I presume he gets his feeds from the horse’s mouth (the horse being Prosecutor Maillaud) so whatever he will write we will have to take with a pinch of salt.

6-26-2013 at 13:04:23

@Marilyn Z.

“… my ‘subject’ and ‘passion’ is Russia”

Perhaps you have some off the cuff advise for Obama how to deal with “enfant terrible” Vladimir Putin. Barack would like to jump shot VP into the hoop, however it looks like black belt VP has BO pinned to the mat. No one will ever beat GWB’s analysis looking into Putin’s heart. 🙂

Must be like Iraq’s WMD, it doesn’t exist! 😉

6-26-2013 at 13:27:23


It is a riddle.

My brother is entangled in one murder case, my daughter in another … Who am I?

– M

6-26-2013 at 13:42:13

This has nothing to do with Chevaline, but I thought that some of you crime buffs would find it interesting. It’s an article I’ve written about another interesting murder to which Eugene had drawn my attention. It will give you an idea of how our police go about investigations.

At first I had the article on and one had to pay to read it, but I’ve now put it on my website and it is free.

Eugene, I made the changes you recommended.

Alex, I added your info about ‘Claudia’.

And Eugene and Alex, the body of a man has been found 20 kms from where Xavier was last seen. I updated at the end of the article. I think it may well be Xavier. “HERE

6-26-2013 at 13:47:58


May make you angry or may make you smile at my ignorance, but I like Putin and I would like to meet him.

At last we have someone in the Kremlin who does not have the smoke of hell pouring from his bodily apertures.

6-26-2013 at 13:49:11



One unlucky bastard. (I am not going to give the game away.)

6-26-2013 at 13:53:15
6-26-2013 at 13:57:56


How would you know? Perhaps it is a case over being ‘overprotective’. I mean, *I* wouldn’t know, how could I know … but it *is* a possibility and should rank higher than #17

– M

6-26-2013 at 14:12:28

Thx Oui for

A very important little detail in that article

‘La fille aînée a cependant confirmé que la famille partait bien en balade le jour de la tuerie.’

Frankly … to me it is a COMPLETE MYSTERY how X could have prepared an ambush at Martinet while AH was ‘just cruising around’?????

Somewhere, someway, somehow X must have obtained the info that AH was heading for Martinet. (Just FOLLOWING is imho NOT ENOUGH)

I learned from the Peter Alan docu that ‘the campmanager’ suggested Martinet to AH … so somewhere between that moment and the actual ‘cruising’ X must have obtained the desired info to prepare the Ambush

(On top of that, the supposedly car BMW RHD X5 of X has since vanished into thin air)

At least, that is all info I have got

– M

6-26-2013 at 14:47:03

I quite agree Mochyn69
6-26-2013 at 05:12:03. I hold my hand up in this instance to “Artistic license”. Perhaps they were Marines? The thing is twenty or so “military types” from the British Paris Embassy? Which service personnel are likely? The British have never given details who they were and how they got there so fast (within hours) nor why they were sent. How often are troops despatched to violent crime home or abroad? It’s virtually unprecedented I would suggest. So after all that, it seems reasonable to assume that these were specialist troops on permanent stand-by to attend incidents at short notice, home or abroad. How many units in British forces would fit the bill do you think?

6-26-2013 at 14:49:10


‘Who am I’ riddle and ‘overprotective’ … I note that the ‘I’ is 2 years older that the brother, which ‘helps’ a bit when it comes to being ‘overprotective’ (just a thought, a musing, not more)

– M

6-26-2013 at 14:52:51

Apologies to everyone BTW for the double post above. This was because when I tried to do it, nothing happened at all and I thought it hadn’t worked. Also I only copied part of the article but all has been reproduced so I sorry for that as well. “Technical hitch!” Perhaps it had to go via Cheltenham?

6-26-2013 at 15:05:21

Marilyn Z. Tomlins
6-26-2013 at 08:38:34 – that article is just copy and paste because I thought it was interesting and recommended by Oui
6-25-2013 at 20:48:35.

6-26-2013 at 15:38:31

Just enjoyed yesterdays catch, picnic in a forest of lobster and crab washed down with some cold Rosé.

You’ve all been busy – @Max, GM of course !

Now where does the French investigation go from here ?

Are we still in Iraq, for the moment I think so …….

6-26-2013 at 15:44:09

Hi Lynda;)

Just close your eyes … relax … GM=X … in both cases

– M

(just musing of course)

6-26-2013 at 15:54:16

@Marilyn Z. at 13:47:58

I do respect his leadership although he lacks some form of communication, just ask the cranes. 🙂

6-26-2013 at 15:56:52

TimV – just for the record, I’ve met Peter Ricketts, a typical embassy chap, void of personality and a bit wet.

As for the ‘military types’, don’t the gendarmes look very military, especially those in ‘combats’. Peoples imagination running away with them again.

6-26-2013 at 16:19:38

@TimV & @Mochyn69

The only reference I have been able to find relating to 20 military types appearing at the scene has been the following from CM blog:

“06.09.2012 14:05
In an unprecedented action the British Embassy in Paris has sent a twenty person team to the crime scene headed by Kara Owen the deputy British ambassador. According to local TV station ‘Demain’ people describe the British Embassy staff as being ‘military type’.”

The only French TV channel named ‘Demain’ is an information channel for job seekers, largely focussed on the Ile de France region. It carries no hard news.

I find it almost impossible to believe that this channel would suddenly appear in the Haute Savoie covering a breaking news story with an angle no other news channel covered at the time or since.

6-26-2013 at 16:21:58

(stupid keyboard;)

Laurent swears AH was not followed
Also vers 15h is incompatible with 1515 pictures
Through in my double-back Martinet vist (cuddly toy)
X5 vapourizes, times align up (laurent + pictures)
SM becomes target
X waits in ambush
AH arrive on the scene
X *COULD* have aborted/relocated the mission
X *IN A FLASH* realizes AH could go for ‘mask’
(although an unmasked killing was prepared)
SM arrives
SM shot dead in first volley
AH’s killed as witnesses and (adhoc) mask
Gun ‘fits’ X (GM)

… if true and solved, EM should skyrocket;)

– M

(Just musing of course)

6-26-2013 at 16:28:24

@Max at 14:12:28

“Frankly … to me it is a COMPLETE MYSTERY how X could have prepared an ambush at Martinet while AH was ‘just cruising around’?????”

Keep it simple Max … once again an indication AH family wasn’t the target! In your time schedule, is there room for a vehicle or motorist following AH’s car up to Martinet parking to commit the murders? I don’t think so.

If AH wasn’t the target, I and a few other bloggers would point again to SM. Third parties were aware of the route SM would take that afternoon and locals knew the forest and region as their back-pocket. Plenty of military guys in the Savoie, someone with a grudge (family feuds – haha) and an inheritance. Well dog gone …

Most bullets spent on SM from the start, shooter wanted to scare off Zenab and Saad wounding them. Killer X became a madhatter when AH put his car in reverse and tries to run him over, taking out SM instead. Killer X pissed off and eliminated all adult persons and badly wounded Zenab. Killer X never was aware of the 4 year-old and this was not in his contract anyway.

French prosecutor EM is just wasting our time with his visit to London. Hopefully he gets invited to Baghdad, I hear it’s still a dangerous place … just for Sunni and Shia. EM should be safe, ask John McCain.

6-26-2013 at 16:32:24


I trashed your keyboard’s madness.

Have you been in the Sauvignon again? I am referring to the riddles.


Putin did get the non-drinking Sarkozy drunk.

@Y and @All

I wouldn’t take much notice of the 20 military types sent by the British Embassy to Chevaline. Some French reporter had probably seen a couple of embassy chauffeurs who were nattily dressed in off-the-peg Marks & Spencer suits. And put a moustache on an Englishman, any Englishman, and he looks like a Colonel. It’s the natural stiff upper lip and stiff back.

6-26-2013 at 16:36:59

@ FB 9.21 “Mr Hilli, 50, had fled Iraq with his parents in the 1970s after his father, also an engineer, had fallen out with Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath party.
He went to school in Pimlico, central London, but persuaded his parents to move to Claygate, Surrey, in 1984 so he could pursue his passion for cycling.”

There’s an element of confusion over where the Al Hillis actually lived before they moved to Claygate isn’t there?

And has this report ever been substantiated by any one?

““”General Yossi Ben Hanan (chief of defence at Paris Israeli embassy) has been flown from Paris to Chambery Airport according to Press TV. Chambrey is only a short drive from the site of the killing. He was 20 minutes on the tarmac before he left with three extra passengers. The helicopter flew on to Geneva
(.. Head of SIBAT, the Israeli Defense Ministry’s developing countries defense assistance division. Is France a developing country? Not.)”

6-26-2013 at 16:42:26

@Y at 16:19:38

Kara Owen, the right ‘man’ for the mission to Annecy

“In France, I also oversee our work with the French on foreign policy issues, our work to understand French domestic politics, and our communications. I also lead on the whole team’s preparedness for crisis response. With 19.3 million British visitors to France per year, and 400,000 residents, well as 400k second homes owned by British people, we need to be ready at any time to respond to an incident involving British nationals.”

Nothing unusual for an embassy to have a rapid response team on stand-by. Happens al the time … Mossad at crash site of El Al Boeing 747-200P cargo plane in Amsterdam. Funny part, the intelligence service always enter a denial of their presence!

6-26-2013 at 16:43:38

EM stated originally 3 out of four shot in the head. Then he stated there were no bullet wounds in the younger woman. Now the number of bullets is down from 25 to 21 and SM has only been shot 5 times not 7. This and all the other changes. “Violent dispute” between the brothers. Really – how? We have open mind re ZAH v. I would have arrested him. The Romanian phone calls do have a bearing don’t have a bearing??????????

6-26-2013 at 16:52:22


The riddle could explain all. It *is* a compatible solution which does fit ALL the facts (I know of) … I’m only adding a ‘cuddly toy’ so what, there are ppl who add complete BMW’s

Btw, I’m sober;)

– M

6-26-2013 at 17:09:16

@Marilyn Z. at 16:32:24


The UK failed to protect Saad al Hilli
spook watcher | 06.09.2012 12:47

The failure of the British government to protect Saad al Hilli and his family was thrown into stark focus this week when they were gunned down by agents of the Israeli security services while on holiday in Chevaline near Lake Annecy in South West France.

Al Hilli’s work with the Iraqi nuclear program was under duress as a result of Saddam’s Husseins threats against his family, there is no evidence he did it willingly.

Once he fled to the UK he had a right to expect protection from Israel and yet his trip was without any from UK or French police despite his repeated requests for some. He knew he had been targeted for assassination by Israel to prevent his knowledge reaching Iran and yet there was no evidence that he had continued his work or that he was working with Iran, his trip to Tehran was for religious reasons to visit the city of Qom.

Britain has once again stood by while agents of Israel kill.

I had to reconstruct the original IndymediaUK URL I found in a comment just after the killings took place. Article is available in WaybackMachineArchive.

My diary @BooMan – American Mossad Trainee Possible Killer X in Chevaline Murders.

6-26-2013 at 17:11:14


My apologies for the appearance delay of your 4.42 p.m. It was in my spam folder.

From past coverage of Brits involved in disasters here in France I know that the Embassy always sends someone to see if help is needed. Such people are not usually from the Intelligence sector, rather from the consulate.

6-26-2013 at 17:13:17


Come to France Max. Here no one is sober at 4.52 p.m. I am, by the way. I still have the English oddity in me that one does not drink until the sun has set. (Unless you are Royalty.)

6-26-2013 at 17:32:03

Y @ 16.19 I agree it all seems to trace back to Demain (i can’t evenfind the original now) although is it significant it has never been denied and the British Ambassador was cetainly down there fast enough.

The Mail had this: “Intelligence officers from the British Embassy in Paris are said to have been at the scene of the murder hours after it happened.
They were tipped off by contacts in the French Interior Ministry as soon as the identity of the car’s owner was confirmed. According to the French TV station Demain, locals described embassy staff as being ‘military types’ and numbering around 20.

Read more:
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

The Mirror had this almost identical: “Intelligence officers from the British Embassy in Paris are said to have been at the scene of the murder hours after it happened.

They were tipped off by contacts in the French Interior Ministry as soon as the identity of the car’s owner was confirmed. According to the French TV station Demain, locals described embassy staff as being ‘military types’ and numbering around 20.

Check out all the latest News, Sport & Celeb gossip at
Follow us: @DailyMirror on Twitter | DailyMirror on Facebook

6-26-2013 at 18:12:08

@Marilyn Z.

“My apologies for the appearance delay of your 4.42 p.m. It was in my spam folder.”

Was and still is in your spam folder?

Copy IndymediaUK article that disappeared on Sept. 9, 2012 in UK region.

My diary @BooMan – American Mossad Trainee Possible Killer X in Chevaline Murders.

6-26-2013 at 18:14:58

Article that disappeared on Sept. 9, 2012 in UK region.

6-26-2013 at 18:20:07

6-25-2013 at 20:48:35 and Marilyn’s comment re. DPofW purely coincidentally the current Ambassador to France ended a Paris posting just about then. “He covered EU, economic and financial affairs in Paris from 1995-1997, before returning to London before being seconded to the Cabinet Office as Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee in 2000”

“He took up his post as the British Ambassador to France in February 2012. Before that, he was the British Government’s first National Security Adviser”

For some strange reason I can find no reference to anything in his CV between 1997 and 2000. Can anyone else?

6-26-2013 at 19:05:44

@Tim V

Sir Peter Ricketts DOB 30/9/1952

Career FCO:
joined UK Mission to the UN 1974, third sec Singapore 1975-78, second sec UK Delgn to NATO 1978-81, first sec 1981-83, asst private sec to Foreign Sec 1983-85, first sec Washington 1986-89, dep head of Security Policy Dept 1989-91, head of Hong Kong Dept 1991-94, cnsllr (Financial and Euro Affairs) Paris 1994-97, dep political dir 1997-99, dir int security 1999-2000, chm Jt Intelligence Ctee Cabinet Office 2000-01, political dir FCO 2001-06, UK rep NATO 2003-06, perm under sec of state and head of the diplomatic serv FCO 2006-10, nat security advsr Cabinet Office 2010-11, ambass to France 2012-

GCMG (2011, KCMG 2003, CMG 1999)

6-26-2013 at 19:22:05

Being a total amateur (or perhaps ignorant) in the field of arms, I must ask if someone knows of a field where it usual/accepted/taught to use the firearm as a hammer to hit someone with (close combat situations?).

As an amateur I believed, and I think it has been said so here before, that it would be considered totally “forbidden”. Is that true?

6-26-2013 at 19:24:42

Like to add: I don’t necessarily mean professionally, I mean anywhere, like in paint-ball or anywhere.

6-26-2013 at 19:32:11

Have you ever even seen a person use his firearm as a hammer, in the movies, video games, anywhere?

6-26-2013 at 19:53:19


Pistol held normal manner in hand and with butt of gun hit the assailant unconscious.

6-26-2013 at 21:12:57


I just cleared another two comments of yours. I do not understand what is going on.

6-26-2013 at 21:14:56


I’ve been lucky in that I’ve never seen anyone use any kind of weapon.

6-26-2013 at 21:39:02

@Marilyn Z.

I’m back … so are the gremlins. 🙂

6-27-2013 at 00:51:50

This Express photo from a slightly different angle is quite interesting.

It’s before the car was removed but AFTER the victims have been. There are a lot of police still on site (i count 14) but from a different angle we know there were two white overalled forensics. Most are standing back and all attention is directed to the left hand corner which we know from another photograph was a blue tarpaulin covering something. What this was has never been revealed but given the fact there is no bike anywhere to be seen but one was on the low loader when it left, it is reasonable to assume it covered Mollier’s (?) bicycle. The fact that everyone is being kept back to allow only forensics, it must be considered important untouched evidence. If this correct it identifies where he left his bike i’e’ on the opposite side of the car to where he was shot and fell when next to SAH and ZAH. If nothing else that points to a purposeful meeting and that the BMW was always and only parked at that lower end. The different view of the tyre tracks is interesting too. Why do the press keep printing the obviously quite impossible statement of “fact” that these were made by the Al Hilli car?

6-27-2013 at 01:05:33

Speaking of GREMLINS everytime i close down I get Windows message “Do not turn off. Update 1 of 1” Now I know this happens periodically, but EVERY TIME?

6-27-2013 at 09:15:24


Tim V – the photo you described is not the one that opens up when I click on the link. (The photo right at the end of the article.) Have a look at that photo and tell me if it does not look like a bicycle lying in the bottom right corner?

The photo of the cops carrying stuff from Zaid’s house is interesting. Look at the cops. In a Hollywood series it will be beautiful young blondes in tight skirts and high-heels carrying that stuff out. Hollywood is giving us a view of the world that does not exist.

6-27-2013 at 09:17:56

I will open a new thread this weekend as this one must already be taking time to download.

Does anyone want to write something for an update of the article? Not to be long. Maybe something about how this crime is seen in your part of the world. Or something.

If so, email it to me.