A 59-year-old former French police officer has unmasked himself as a notorious serial killer in a suicide note written just before he overdosed on pills Wednesday, according to local media reports.
Le Parisien reports that the man, identified only as Francois V., had been called for questioning in connection with the case of the killer dubbed “Grele” for his pockmarked face. His body was said to have been discovered Wednesday at a seaside resort near Montpellier.
He had reportedly been due to provide his DNA to police, but never showed. Now, a DNA test is said to be underway to confirm whether the story in his suicide note is true.
If so, he would be responsible for a string of rapes and killings in Paris in the 1980s and 1990s, including the murders of 11-year-old Cécile Bloch, and 38-year-old Gilles Politi and his 21-year-old au pair Irmgard Mueller, both of whom were savagely tortured.
The murder of a 19-year-old woman named Karine Leroy has also been attributed to “The Pockmarked Killer.”
The serial killer terrorized Paris for years, and was also accused in six different rapes. The crimes were shockingly brutal. Block was snatched up as she left her apartment building for school in May 1986. She was later found dead in a basement of the building, half naked and covered by an old carpet. She had been raped, strangled, and stabbed in the chest.
During the subsequent police investigation, residents of the building recalled seeing a man in the elevator with “pockmarked” skin.
“He seemed very sure of himself. He spoke to me in a very bold, very polite way, too. He said something to me like, ‘Have a very, very good day,’” Cecilia’s older half-brother, Luc Richard, was quoted saying in the Sud Ouest newspaper.
Genetic testing conducted a decade after Cecilia’s murder revealed that her killer had gone on to commit a series of rapes. In three separate attacks on a 26-year-old German woman, a 14-year-old girl, and an 11-year-old girl, he had identified himself as a policeman—a clue which investigators at the time thought was just a ploy he used to gain control of his victims.
But it seems the law enforcement detail is also what finally led investigators to Francois V. He reportedly wound up on police radar after they uncovered evidence that “Grele” was a member of the security forces who had been driving a white car.
In his suicide note, according to sources cited by Le Parisien, the retired officer said he was “not well in life” at the time of the killings.
Cecilia’s parents, now deceased, lived out the rest of their lives with the uncertainty of who “The Pockmarked Killer” was that had tortured their daughter.
Her half-brother said he, too, was still haunted by the case years later.
In a 2015 interview with Sud Ouest, he said: “I manage to live, but I have a great feeling of injustice, irreparable.”