He was known as The Pockmarked Man.
In the 1980s and 1990s, he committed a series of rapes and murders in the Paris region, with one victim aged just eight. Now, finally, police know his real identity.
The killer got his nickname (in French, Le Grêlé) in 1986, following the murder of Cecile Bloch. On May 5, 1986, the 11-year-old schoolgirl, who was a talented violinist, left her family’s apartment to go to school. But she never made it out of the building.
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When her mother rang home at lunchtime to check she’d come back, there was no answer. She rang the school and found out Cecile hadn’t turned up.
The schoolgirl’s body was found under an old carpet in the apartment building’s basement. She’d been raped, stabbed and strangled.
Her older half-brother, Luc Richard, and a number of other people had seen a stranger in the lift that morning. The man was in his late twenties and athletic, with a pockmarked face. He’d seemed very confident, and had said one thing to Richard: "Have a very, very good day."
Police linked the crime with another attack on a young girl just a month earlier.
The eight-year-old had been accosted in the lift of her apartment building by a man who said he was a police officer.
He had taken her to the basement, raped her, and strangled her with a scarf. He’d left her for dead, but she’d regained consciousness.
The following year, aeroplane mechanic Gilles Politi and his family’s German au pair, Irmgard Muller, were found dead.
The crime scene shocked police, with both victims having been bound and tortured before their deaths.
It was believed that the killer was one of the au pair’s lovers.