Monday, April 10, 2017

True crime à la Française

Eighteen year old Charlotte Troadec had come home to Nantes early this February for the school holidays. Both she and her brother Sebastien, 21, stayed at home after the holidays finished. However after February 16, Charlotte, her parents Pascal and Brigitte both fifty, and her brother Sebastian weren't seen again. 
(L to R: Pascal, Brigitte, Sebastien, and Charlotte)
The police were called to the house. Investigators couldn't find Sebastien's car but the parent’s vehicle was parked outside. The prosecutor said bloodstains were found throughout the Troadec's two-story house, including on Sebastien’s cellphone and on the mother's watch, along with efforts to wipe some of them away. No toothbrushes or hairbrushes were found inside the home and the beds had been stripped, with some sheets drying on an indoor rack.

Food had spoiled in the refrigerator and there were dishes in the sink. The police found there had been no bank activity or mobile phone usage since February 17. “It’s as if the life of the house was frozen in time,”  said the police investigator  
This bizarre case sparked lurid headlines as the police investigated a potential abduction and murder. Reports claimed that Sebastien, the son, had suffered from “psychological problems” and Pascal, the father, from depression. The police noted that in 2013 Sebastien had been sentenced to carry out community service after being convicted as a minor for making death threats on his blog. But his classmates told French media that he was a quiet, friendly youth, one said he was “always ready to help out”.
Several reports recalled a murder in 2011 of Agnès Dupont de Ligonnès and her four children in Nantes, noting that Sebastien, the Troadec's son, attended the same high school as one of the victims. The father, Xavier Dupont de Ligonnes, disappeared and remained at large and is the suspect of an international arrest warrant.
Few clues had emerged since the family's mysterious disappearance and the country was gripped. The first breakthrough came on March 1 when a jogger found a pair of grey jeans in a forested area by the Brittany town of Dirinon, near Brest, that contained Charlotte's national health card. 
Search teams with sniffer dogs combed the area, which is 280 kilometers northwest of Nantes. Divers also took part in the search because the zone lies between two estuaries. The next day, two children's books belonging to Pascal were found in the area near where the suspect and his wife once lived. After that investigators found Sebastien's car in the port of Saint Nazaire, some 60 kilometres from the parents' home to the west.
The sudden disappearance of Charlotte's family left France on tenterhooks as investigators scrambled for clues.
They quizzed Brigitte Troadec's brother-in-law, Hubert Caouissin and his wife, Pascal's sister, Lydie Troadec for nearly 21 hours at the start of the probe. Caouissin told investigators he had fallen out with the family over an inheritance dispute.
But initial suspicions centred on Sebastien Troadec, who had a history of psychological troubles.
The focus shifted after traces of Caouissin's DNA were found at the Troadecs' home in suburban Nantes and then in Sebastien's car, abandoned in the port of Saint-Nazaire about an hour's drive to the west. Meanwhile, Hubert Caouissin's mother told Le Parisien that the claims about an inheritance were 'nonsense'.
Finally during his confession, Hubert Caouissin admitted the murders and told investigators that he burned some of the body parts and buried others after killing the family in his rage over the inheritance dispute and left the remains at his farm.

However, in a bizarre twist, the mother of Pascal Troadec, the father who was brutally murdered along with his family, spoke out about the inheritance of gold treasure that she thinks motivated the slaughter.
'This gold shattered everything,' the 76-year-old widow, who declined to give her first name, told Thursday's Le Parisien daily, days after Troadec's brother-in-law, Hubert Caouissin, admitted to killing the family. She said her late husband found a cache of gold coins and ingots in 2006 while renovating an apartment in the northwestern port of Brest. He took the gold, 'perhaps stolen from the Bank of France' during World War II, and hid it in the couple's garage, said the woman. It was the year after her husband died in 2009 that she said her son, Pascal Troadec, helped himself to the gold while she was in hospital, adding that he had 'robbed his sister' Lydie and her partner, Caouissin. Pascal later told the family that he had invested the gold in Monaco and Andorra, tauntingly adding that they 'couldn't touch it', his mother said. The value of the coins - and even their existence - remains uncertain. 

Cara - Tuesday


  1. Just one wonderful family tale after another. :)

  2. I was thinking there has been a lot of true crime this week!

  3. Crime, truly, is fascinating. Thanks, Cara!

  4. Zoe's post on the missing Madeleine really made me think of this and how, sadly, you can't make this stuff up.

  5. If you did make it up, editors would say, no one will believe a motive like that!

  6. Money and families--I would believe it. It's the whole gold stolen from the Bank of France during the war that would sound to me like something imaginable, but certain unreal. The kind of thing, which if I saw it in a book, would make want to pitch the thing across the room.

    In the meanwhile, that monster had the capacity to murder and dismember all this people? Scary. SCARY!!

  7. It got even more bizarre after it was revealed Hubert had listened from their garage with a stethoscope at night to the family discussion. Then killed and dismembered them...

  8. WOW. What a story!! I'm with Michael - it's amazing, and even more so because it's true (and yet, almost too astonishing to believe).

  9. Your all post are always great, Lots of thanks for sharing the best and useful informations. Thanks again!

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