Paris – They hunted him for 35 years. Now the police have finally tracked down one of the most notorious killers in French history. The riddle about the “smallpox face” is solved!
After 35 years, the police have clarified the identity of a serial killer and rapist. The man was found dead in an apartment in southern France, the prosecutor announced on Thursday evening.
The DNA analysis identified him as the perpetrator of several crimes. According to French media reports, one of the victims was a German au pair who was killed in 1987.
The killer was shown with numerous acne scars on a phantom image from the 1980s by the police. That had earned the wanted man in the media the name “smallpox face”.
It makes him sad “that the criminal is taking his secrets with him to the grave,” said the lawyer of the family of a girl who was raped and killed in 1986 at the age of eleven. The unsuccessful search for the perpetrator had occupied France for years.
The investigation had recently picked up speed, as there had been indications that the wanted person could be a gendarme. The investigators had asked 750 gendarmes, who were stationed in Paris at the time in question, for a DNA sample. The 59-year-old François V., who was one of them, was reported missing by his wife shortly before the appointment.
François V. had committed suicide in an apartment in Grau-du-Roi on the Mediterranean Sea and committed himself to crimes in a letter, investigators confirmed to the AFP news agency in a report by the magazine “Le Point”. According to other media reports, the family man stated in the letter that he acted in an affect, but later got his problems under control.
In the letter, however, he did not comment in detail on his victims, reports the newspaper “Le Parisien”. The public prosecutor’s office is investigating, among other things, kidnapping and rape of minors and murder. He is charged with a total of four murders and six rapes.
According to information from investigators, the man had previously been a police officer and most recently a pensioner.