France - 5 shot, 4 dead in French Alps, may have int'l ramifications, 2012 #2

kimmie0313

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I just recently found this case here after seeing the documentary on Netflix. Many of the theories in the documentary have been discounted by now. Anyone know of any updates on this case? So baffling with many twists and turns
 

Satchie

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Three years after the murders, there is a 6-part article in GQ about the case. I haven't had a chance to read it all yet, but here is a link to the first part:

http://www.gq.com/story/alps-murder-chevaline-solving-crime

I guess if you have time to read an exhaustive record of all the misinformation and bad theories that have ever been proposed. Could have just explained what is known for certain, but that wouldn't fill up 6 articles and wouldn't provide the advertisers with a captive audience for such a long time.
 

Satchie

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Has anyone ever seen a complete source for the known forensic details of the crime, the sequence of events, and the scene. It seems to me that's the key information that's missing from all this speculation and theories.

For example, there's cited evidence that al-Halli got out of the car with his 7 year old daughter. Then got back in the car (leaving her outside), and tried to reverse the car, presumably under attack. http://www.thejournal.ie/alps-shooting-643138-Oct2012/ But would the adults in the car let the little girl out if he'd stopped to investigate a cyclist lying on the road, and/or saw a stranger or a lone car or motorcycle? Or, if it was just a leisurely stop and everyone was going to get out and stretch, for example, was it normal, if a gunman suddenly appeared out of nowhere, for them to abandon the girl and instantly get back in the car, lock all the doors (wouldn't some of them be open if everyone was getting out of the car?) and put it in reverse? I just imagine that most families, in a scenario like that, would be overwhelmed by confusion and instinctively rushing to protect the little girl.
 

ZaZara

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Has anyone ever seen a complete source for the known forensic details of the crime, the sequence of events, and the scene. It seems to me that's the key information that's missing from all this speculation and theories.

For example, there's cited evidence that al-Halli got out of the car with his 7 year old daughter. Then got back in the car (leaving her outside), and tried to reverse the car, presumably under attack. http://www.thejournal.ie/alps-shooting-643138-Oct2012/ But would the adults in the car let the little girl out if he'd stopped to investigate a cyclist lying on the road, and/or saw a stranger or a lone car or motorcycle? Or, if it was just a leisurely stop and everyone was going to get out and stretch, for example, was it normal, if a gunman suddenly appeared out of nowhere, for them to abandon the girl and instantly get back in the car, lock all the doors (wouldn't some of them be open if everyone was getting out of the car?) and put it in reverse? I just imagine that most families, in a scenario like that, would be overwhelmed by confusion and instinctively rushing to protect the little girl.

There is a map with the alleged sequence of the shooting here:

http://www.lemonde.fr/societe/infog...e-et-d-une-grande-brutalite_1782079_3224.html

The map gives an indication of where the victims were standing when the first shots were fired, the movement of the car, the places where broken glass (bris de vitre) from the windows of the car was found, and places where cartridges (douilles)were found, indicating the position of the shooter.

infographchevaline.jpg


The eldest daughter was interviewed by the Police. The only detail from that interview that has been made public is that she saw one shoooter, 'one bad man' if I remember well.
Because the children were so young at the time, it is expected that they may be able to tell more when they get older.

The shooter appears to have come from the opposite side of the road.
Zainab and her father were outside the car. It is not known if they had just gotten out of the car of if they were returning from the woods after a sanitary stop (my idea). The mother and grandmother were still in the car with their seatbelts on.

Zainab and her father were outside the car when the shooting started and the cyclist was hit first. The father was hit too, he made it to the car and reversed gear. As he tried to turn the car, the cyclist was dragged by the car.
The car gets stuck in the sand and that is the end for the grown-ups in the car, the youngest daughter survives because she has been hidden by her mother under her skirt.
 

kimmie0313

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I'm new to this thread after just hearing of this case a few days ago. So hard to believe that there doesn't seem to be any new leads or updates with this case.
I am perplexed as to why there has never been much info on Mollier, and why the majority of the focus has been on the al-Hilli family.

For both the al-Hillis and Mollier, the drive on that fateful day seems to have been a random one for both, so my opinion is that these murders seem to be completely random. Thoughts?
 

ZaZara

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I'm new to this thread after just hearing of this case a few days ago. So hard to believe that there doesn't seem to be any new leads or updates with this case.
I am perplexed as to why there has never been much info on Mollier, and why the majority of the focus has been on the al-Hilli family.

For both the al-Hillis and Mollier, the drive on that fateful day seems to have been a random one for both, so my opinion is that these murders seem to be completely random. Thoughts?

The cyclist has been investigated deeply too, but most of it never made the headlines. Also, the family has refused to speak with the press.

In 2016, prosecutor Maillaud left the investigation and moved on to a new job in Clermont-Ferrand.

Interview from september 2016:

LCI Direct TV
http://www.lci.fr/faits-divers/tuer...-pour-le-procureur-eric-maillaud-2001230.html

The four years of investigation have not resolved the enigma. The culprit is still at large. "We may have missed something, but all that we were able to do has been done," he said. "The investigative section of Chambéry did an incredible job. All possible avenues, from a mad killer to a family conflict, from industrial espionage to secret services, have been explored. Does this mean that the investigation has been botched? I believe there are astute criminals and others who sometimes have an improbable 'luck'."

The former prosecutor of Annecy has only one regret: "I took a little belated interest in the relatives of the victims. I contacted the family of Sylvain Mollier (the French victim) after 4 days. I am angry with myself about that. I had wanted to do it earlier... I was drowning in work ... "

When it comes to the gist of the file, Eric Maillaud no longer has any conviction today: "In the majority of investigations, there is an inner truth that emerges. The circumstances of the Chevaline case are that there is none."


BBM
 

kimmie0313

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ZaZara.... thank you so much for the info!!

From what I've read, I'd have to say that I agree with the prosecutor in that all avenues seem exhausted. This crime does seem like it was one of a gunman laying in wait for an opportunity to kill.

Zazra...I don't mean this as a question of intrusion, but I was curious if you are from the area where the murders occurred and have gotten a chance to visit the crime scene and could lend some first hand accounts
 

ZaZara

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ZaZara.... thank you so much for the info!!

From what I've read, I'd have to say that I agree with the prosecutor in that all avenues seem exhausted. This crime does seem like it was one of a gunman laying in wait for an opportunity to kill.

Zazra...I don't mean this as a question of intrusion, but I was curious if you are from the area where the murders occurred and have gotten a chance to visit the crime scene and could lend some first hand accounts

No, I am not from the area. Sorry! can't tell you more about the crime scene.

The best account about the crime scene comes from Brett Martin, the British cyclist, who arrived on the spot a few minutes after the shooting. He probably had a near escape with death himself:

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-24476627
Brett Martin, a former RAF pilot who has a holiday home in the area, set off for a cycle ride in the early afternoon of 5 September 2012.

"I left the house at about 14:30 [with] no fixed route in my mind," he said.

"It was sunny… [and] quite a peaceful, pleasant afternoon."

He took the same narrow road up the mountain. Ahead of him was a French cyclist. On his way up he was overtaken by a vehicle which he believes was the al-Hilli's car.

According to French police, the Al Hillis reached Le Martinet at about 15:40, having passed the French cyclist. Saad al-Hilli got out of the car with his seven year old daughter, Zainab.

In less than a minute, Saad and his wife Iqbal, from Surrey, her mother Suhaila al-Allaf, and the French cyclist Sylvain Mollier, had been fatally shot.

Interview in full: ‘I left girl to get help’
A British cyclist who was the first person on the scene of the shootings near Annecy last week has been speaking exclusively to BBC News.

The interview was made a week after the shootings. Lots of details about the fresh crime scene.

http://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-19...ngs-interview-in-full-i-left-girl-to-get-help
 

kimmie0313

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Thank you once again for the info. Wow. So many twists and turns with this case it's hard for me to keep it all straight!

Thanks again!!
 

Satchie

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I'm new to this thread after just hearing of this case a few days ago. So hard to believe that there doesn't seem to be any new leads or updates with this case.
I am perplexed as to why there has never been much info on Mollier, and why the majority of the focus has been on the al-Hilli family.

For both the al-Hillis and Mollier, the drive on that fateful day seems to have been a random one for both, so my opinion is that these murders seem to be completely random. Thoughts?

I think the shooting of a family, while in a running car, with precisely two bullets to each head, and very few shots going astray, has all the hallmarks of a targetted assination by an experienced hired assassin, and really doesn't fit the profiles of other types of killings. Clearly, not robbery or sex assault, the purpose was simply to kill, yet most such rare shooters will find a more vulnerable victim(s) (eg a couple camping, or those two girls hiking in Indiana, or an isolated home), or will go to a busy place and just start shooting because they're truly mad.

The killer must have decided that location was perfect, for some reason. Perhaps because they had the perfect getaway from that spot. Surely there were attempts to track where the killer went, for eg an unused trail.

It seems to me it would be possible to kill the cyclist in many places anywhere along the road, just pull over out of sight to other cars. It seems to me this killer deliberately chose the parking lot, and was lying in wait for a car.
And that's the thing: To lie in wait in the middle of the afternoon, with a plan of escape, nerves steeled to commit a massacre for no particular reason...and wait, and wait, until someone shows up to the parking lot and a man gets out of their car, even though others stay in the car, and a cyclist comes along- and then decide at that point not to wait any longer, even though conditions are not ideal, that seem a very unusual type of killer.
 

Satchie

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There is a map with the alleged sequence of the shooting here:

The shooter appears to have come from the opposite side of the road.
Zainab and her father were outside the car. It is not known if they had just gotten out of the car of if they were returning from the woods after a sanitary stop (my idea). The mother and grandmother were still in the car with their seatbelts on.

Thanks very much for this excellent information.

It's frustrating how a TV show will, for example, go through an elaborate process to hook a camera up to a bike to get a cool shot of the witness cycling, and will create a vague, impressionistic reconstruction of the crime, but nobody films what the victims would have seen when they drove up to and parked in the actual parking lot.
 

Satchie

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This article explains that French investigative procedures require a great deal of secrecy, and personal privacy for individuals, so much so that rumours and leaks aren't always denied, thus allowing lots of misinformation and unfounded theories to thrive. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/w...rench-judicial-process-that-lets-8223361.html

For example, the story about the chief suspect being the former member of the French Foreign legion, seems to have originated with a book published (or perhaps "rushed into print") by the UK tabloid The Mirror. They claim to have been given an "exclusive interview" by the French prosecutor, who allegedly revealed this bombshell about a prime suspect only to them (not to the Fench media), just in time for their book to go on sale. How terribly convenient. It was reported as fact by all the English media.

However, in a french language article I found this statement:

The prosecutor of Annecy, Eric Maillaud, however, denied the way his remarks were reported by Tom Parry [The Mirror reporter].

"I never said that this man should be considered the suspect number 1," said the prosecutor. "It is true that this suicide, accompanied by this letter evoking the case intrigued the investigators, which is quite normal The man had only been heard as a witness, and it was merely a conversation with the investigators, not a priori traumatizing a former legionnaire. Inquiries were made last summer And have been followed by a few later checks, but nothing has been found that can link this former soldier with the drama of Chevaline. Let a writer want to make his favorite hypothesis, but I do not admit [that] I make statements that are not mine." Google translated from http://www.ledauphine.com/haute-savoie/2015/05/26/la-piste-de-l-ancien-legionnaire-toujours-suivie

Also, this ex soldier was a one point a paratrooper, but somehow through the magic of headlines (where you can say anything) he became a "sniper". Becoming a sniper is very specialized training, and I don't believe he ever had it, it was just made up because it sounds more compelling.

Also, someone claimed he "wrote a letter" saying he was committing suicide because he couldn't bear to be considered a suspect, but apparently he must have said a lot more than that because his suicide note was 7 pages long. However, no one's going to discuss the other reasons for his suicide listed in the letter. https://www.gq.com/story/alps-murder-the-perfect-crime

All in all, I would say the media are extremely an unreliable source of information in this case, and anything they report should be taken with a large dose of skepticism.
 

kimmie0313

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This article explains that French investigative procedures require a great deal of secrecy, and personal privacy for individuals, so much so that rumours and leaks aren't always denied, thus allowing lots of misinformation and unfounded theories to thrive. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/w...rench-judicial-process-that-lets-8223361.html

For example, the story about the chief suspect being the former member of the French Foreign legion, seems to have originated with a book published (or perhaps "rushed into print") by the UK tabloid The Mirror. They claim to have been given an "exclusive interview" by the French prosecutor, who allegedly revealed this bombshell about a prime suspect only to them (not to the Fench media), just in time for their book to go on sale. How terribly convenient. It was reported as fact by all the English media.

However, in a french language article I found this statement:



Also, this ex soldier was a one point a paratrooper, but somehow through the magic of headlines (where you can say anything) he became a "sniper". Becoming a sniper is very specialized training, and I don't believe he ever had it, it was just made up because it sounds more compelling.

Also, someone claimed he "wrote a letter" saying he was committing suicide because he couldn't bear to be considered a suspect, but apparently he must have said a lot more than that because his suicide note was 7 pages long. However, no one's going to discuss the other reasons for his suicide listed in the letter. https://www.gq.com/story/alps-murder-the-perfect-crime

All in all, I would say the media are extremely an unreliable source of information in this case, and anything they report should be taken with a large dose of skepticism.

Absolutely!!! I couldn't agree more. Most of the time with the media,it's all about who can get the most info, the quickest. I came in to this just recently, so I have been reading the various findings and theories all at once, as opposed to when they were happening, so it's been a bit of a challenge to keep it all sorted.
Thanks to you guys in helping me do so!
 

gregjrichards

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"Police say the British family murdered in the French Alps five years ago were the victims of a random unplanned attack by a local person.

Authorities admit, however, they have no leads on the identity of the person who killed engineer Saad al-Hilli, who was shot alongside his wife Iqbal and her mother Suhaila al-Allaf while on holiday in Chevaline in September 2012.

A 45-year-old French cyclist - Sylvain Mollier - was also found dead close to the car but the couple's two daughters, aged four and seven at the time, both miraculously survived the attack."

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...Alps-victims-random-killer.html#ixzz4rmhXRSfh
 

ZaZara

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"Police say the British family murdered in the French Alps five years ago were the victims of a random unplanned attack by a local person.

Authorities admit, however, they have no leads on the identity of the person who killed engineer Saad al-Hilli, who was shot alongside his wife Iqbal and her mother Suhaila al-Allaf while on holiday in Chevaline in September 2012.

A 45-year-old French cyclist - Sylvain Mollier - was also found dead close to the car but the couple's two daughters, aged four and seven at the time, both miraculously survived the attack."

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...Alps-victims-random-killer.html#ixzz4rmhXRSfh


They sure took their time to reach that conclusion! IMHO that is indeed the only option left standing. I hope they apologize to the brother.
 

ZaZara

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FIVE YEARS AFTER THE MURDERS IN CHEVALINE, A FEELING OF IMPOTENCE PREVAILS

LeFigaro
http://www.lefigaro.fr/actualite-fr...e-de-chevaline-un-sentiment-d-impuissance.php

Today, the handful of investigators in charge of this unresolved case concentrate "by default" on the local trail, that of a bad encounter. The murder weapon remains at the heart of investigations.

"Impotence". This is the feeling that prevails in Véronique Denizot, Annecy's prosecutor, when asked about the murders of Chevaline. Five years after this tragedy, which took place in a forested area of Haute-Savoie, the magistrate said straight away: "We have the feeling that we are no longer making progress in this investigation." Checks and hearings are still under way "but no new elements have emerged to date". Like her predecessor, Véronique Denizot, who took over from Éric Maillaud in September 2016, hopes for a stroke of luck in this "out of the ordinary" affair. "All it takes is a thread to pull from, a person who starts talking and this puzzle could be solved."

76 volumes of procedures

After five years of investigation and more than 10,000 procedural acts compiled in 76 volumes, many avenues have been explored but none of them proved to be "operative".
However, resources have been deployed. As in the Grégory case, the gendarmes ran Anacrim, this powerful criminal analysis software, which links the protagonists of a case. More than a thousand people were interviewed, three people were arrested and many letters rogatory were ordered. In vain.

Today, the few investigators still active - including one who has been present on the file since the beginning - concentrate "by default" on the local trail, that of a bad encounter, of an isolated killer who would have eliminated embarrassing witnesses. But not all the actors in the case - magistrates and gendarmes - agree with this thesis. Others believe more in the contract scenario. As long as Chevaline is not clarified, anything is possible," according to prosecutor Véronique Denizot. One thing is certain:"he's not a serial killer because we didn't get a Chevaline 1,2,3".

The murder weapon remains at the heart of investigations. The objective: to trace all the weapons of this model to trace back to all the holders of this pistol at the time of the killing. In other words, it is a titanic work since it represents several thousand people to be investigated. Investigators also rely on luck. That luck may appear in the course of an investigation into another case," Annecy's prosecutor notes. It happened recently with an investigation in Lyon.

Once registered with the National DNA Databank, DNA can still speak and "ring" in another case. It's very frustrating but we remain active," concludes Véronique Denizot. "I can only hope that the killing of Chevaline will not become a big judicial enigma."


BBM
 

Muy Curioso

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One thing is certain:"he's not a serial killer because we didn't get a Chevaline 1,2,3".

This seems to me weak thinking. In fact, I think he is a serial killer who suffered an "accident". He did not intend to kill so many, probably only the cyclist.
 

ZaZara

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One thing is certain:"he's not a serial killer because we didn't get a Chevaline 1,2,3".

This seems to me weak thinking. In fact, I think he is a serial killer who suffered an "accident". He did not intend to kill so many, probably only the cyclist.

BBM

Good point. This is one of the big question marks that I have about this case.
I have seen some maps with the spot where every victim was, and where the shooter allegedly was standing, and how he walked around the car.
But where did he come from? And where did he go?
If he had been nearby, laying in waiting for someone to arrive, a specific person or just anyone, how come he did not notice the arrival of the al-Hilli car? The shooter took a huge risk, because the family almost managed to get away. What if that car had not gotten stuck ...

I wonder if they had sniffer dogs at the scene, I don't remember that they did, but that may have slipped my mind.


BTW and IMHO if that gun had been used again, or before, LE would know.
Meanwhile, the thought had never crossed my mind that LE had been considering more massacres in the region around Chevaline.

:eek: :eek: :eek:
 

Satchie

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One possibility occurs to me, maybe this wasn't a psycho-killer, but somebody with a purpose to show someone or some group what he could do? For eg, threatening someone: watch what happens at Chevaline next week, it could happen to you and your family. Or proving themselves in order to join a criminal group, or proving their loyalty. That way, the victims were randomly chosen, but the crime had a purpose.

The person was likely local, but perhaps they buried the gun and left the area. Or grew up there, so that's why they chose it, they knew and felt comfortable in that location.
 

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@ Muy Curioso

I write as this particular crime has, along with many people, fascinated me since the beginning (perhaps the wrong word).

With your experience, and with the known 'facts/evidence', if you were tasked with revisiting this case, how would you approach it? I appreciate that the only authority with all known pieces of information are the French Prosecutorial team and it would require their cooperation, but do you think that there are areas of the investigation that have not been fully covered and are worthy of closer scrutiny?

I think the phrase is sorting the wheat from the chaff, and with internet forums there is always much speculation, but I would be interested to see a timeline and/or what are indisputable facts relating to this case.

A few areas that I am still uncertain have been answered anywhere are:

1) As noted in this and other forums at some stage, there appeared to be damage to the roof/bonnet of the victim's car. I don't recall if it has been ascertained if that damage was relevant or otherwise (i.e. damaged roof cycle rack).

2) The immediate area around the crime location is as I understand it quite difficult terrain, but how wide an area would you have initiated a through forensic search? In similar crimes it is apparent that weapons are sometimes disposed of quite near to the crime if only to avoid being found in possession when the emergency services arrived, which I assume the killer would think would be pretty quick.

3) Knowing now (according to the French authorities) that the motorcyclist seen by the forestry workers has now been identified and ruled out as a suspect, can we rule any subsequent sightings of a motorcyclist (i.e. WBM's interview from Panorama of October 2013) as irrelevant? In this interview WBM seemed quite clear that a motorcycle passed him going back down the hill - his timeline was 15.45 according to Panorama but it would be interesting to know at what point of the hill this was, so that it could established if this was the Forestry Worker's innocent motorcyclist or otherwise.

4) If we were to believe the origins of the crime related to SM (I'm not saying that I do), once again given WBM's interview, he mentions one vehicle passing him on the way up the hill going in the same direction, which he believed to be the victim's car, and nothing else apart from SM himself. I understand the margin of error with eyewitness testimony but he struck me a quite a lucid, intelligent man and the interview was only just over a year after the events. This puts the killer already there and waiting for, well, anyone if we go down the route of the random killer. That doesn't sit well with me and perhaps it is just human nature to not be able to believe that there are the odd few out there who could do something so vile for no apparent reason.

Now for pure speculation, if we are to accept that the motorcyclist sighting by WBM related to the same innocent motorcyclist spoken to by the Forestry Workers, how did the killer get there and get away. Or were there 2 motorcyclists, one being the killer and the other an innocent man? Quite a coincidence if that was the case. That leaves one person not telling the truth. Just my opinion.

As you can see I have nothing new to offer, perhaps I'm just recycling the same confusing/conflicting pieces of information, but I would appreciate your thoughts.

Simon
 
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