SAAD AL-HILLI MURDER NO LONGER COLD CASE –

On Wednesday, September 5 of 2012, Iraqi-born but British-nationalised Surrey-based businessman Saad Al-Hilli, 50, on holiday in the Lake Annecy region in France, was brutally shot down. Saad (if I may call him that) was making an afternoon-outing in this beautiful eastern French region of lakes and hills and mountains and forests, so loved by […]

Timline and other details

On Wednesday, September 5 of 2012, Iraqi-born but British-nationalised Surrey-based businessman Saad Al-Hilli, 50, on holiday in the Lake Annecy region in France, was brutally shot down.

Saad (if I may call him that) was making an afternoon-outing in this beautiful eastern French region of lakes and hills and mountains and forests, so loved by both foreign and French tourists, and in his BMW were his wife Iqbal (47), her mother Suhaila al-Allaf, 74, and the Al-Hillis’ two young daughters, Zainab, seven, and Zeena, four.

Saad’s had chosen to drive along the region’s Alpine Road leading from the hamlet of Chevaline into a forest.

Why he chose that road we do not know, and what happened from the moment Saad steered his BMW onto that road, and from the time the vehicle was seen by an English cyclist, also out for an afternoon’s excursion, pulled up beside the road, Saad’s body and those of his wife and mother-in-law, lifeless in the vehicle, we do not know.

In the vehicle, still alive 4-year-old Zeena, petrified, was hiding under her mother’s skirt. And alongside the vehicle lay 7-year-old Zainab, whimpering and frightened, and bleeding, but alive.

There was another body to be seen.  It was that of local resident Frenchman, Sylvain Mollier, 45.    Like the Al-Hillis, he too, had been shot to death. Just a few minutes before he, also on a bicycle, had passed the English cyclist. 

Sylvain (if I may also call him that) had been shot seven times at close range as an autopsy would determine.    His bike lay next to him.

 The Al-Hillis each had a bullet in the head and another in the chest.

Were Sylvain and Saad acquaintances?  Did they have a rendezvous there on that forest road? 

That we also do not know.

Just as we do not know whether Sylvain rode his bike into the shooting of the Al-Hillis, or whether Saad drove his BMW into the shooting of Sylvain.

The French police having been summoned to the murder scene by someone the English cyclist had raced up to stuttering about the macabre scene he had just cycled up to, had no clue what had happened on that road.  And today, eight years later, they still do not.

The case having become known as the Chevaline Case, was indeed being investigated these past eight years, and not only here in France but also in England and indeed also in Iraq, and other Middle East countries.

BUT what had happened that day of September 5 remained a mystery.

It had become a Cold Case.

But on the contrary, the police both here in France and in the U.K.  claim that they had never stopped investigating the case.   A Cold Case, it was not, they said.

Few believed them.   The U.K. and American media did not mince their words about the Chevaline Case calling the French investigators a bungling bunch.

However, on Thursday, September 30, this year of 2021 – in other words three days ago, suddenly, and without advance notification, French policemen sealed off that Alpine Road, and heavily-armed police were walking about, touching here and touching there, and measuring here and measuring there, and taking photographs.

Present were forensic police – and a magistrate. 

September 30 French police close of Chevaline road

The Chevaline Case was no longer a Cold Case.

Not that it ever was.

This Line Bonnet-Mathis, who has just been appointed as the new prosecutor for the Annecy region, confirmed to journalists. Said she: “The Chevaline case is continuing and still involves an investigating judge and investigators.”

 However, whatever the French police were looking for on that road, they did so only for two days.

 What could they have been looking for?

  DNA?

Do they hope that the shooter had left his DNA there?

It just so happens that a 35-year-old Cold Case was solved at the end of this week when a retired former gendarme (militarised police) and retired policeman committed suicide after having written a confession to a series of rapes and murders of the 1980 and 1990. He feared arrest and conviction because the police, having new information about that case, had begun to verify DNA of policemen.  Some 750,000 DNAs were being verified.

Saad Al-Hilli

I have often written about this case. I even had a chat group going about the case., You will find all my writings and those of the members of the chat group here on this website.,

Marilyn Z. Tomlins

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Should you wish to contact me you can do so by email: marilyn@marilynztomlins.com