French police presence boosted on serial killer fears

Last Updated: Saturday, April 7, 2012 - 16:11

Evry: Hundreds of extra police were
drafted into the Paris suburbs on Saturday where four murders have
been carried out with the same weapon since November, raising
fears a serial killer is on the loose.

"The main aim is to check suspicious behaviour," top
local official Michel Fuzeau said, saying police would
carry out "vehicle checks and identity checks" and respond to
any alarms raised by the local population.

He said "several hundred" officers had been mobilised.
The massive boost to the police presence in Essonne came
after the latest killing on Thursday of a 47-year-old woman on
a working-class housing estate in Grigny, south of the
capital.

Around 100 investigators are probing the murders, carried
out between November 27 and April 5, within a 10-kilometre
radius, of apparently innocent victims, two men and two women,
with no known links between them.

All the victims were shot with the same small-calibre
semi-automatic 7.65 weapon.

While nothing suggested any political or religious motive
for the killings, investigators have not ruled out any
hypothesis. They believe it could be the work of a serial
killer or a hired hitman, working for one or several persons.
The gunman or gunmen could be acting alone, or have
accomplices.

Local prosecutor Marie-Suzanne Le Queau told journalists
yesterday: "The way of killing is not identical in all four
cases."

"In the first case, the victim was shot in the body
several times while in the other three cases we have deaths
caused by a single shot to the head," she said.
The first victim was a 35-year-old laboratory assistant
also shot dead in her building in Grigny, on November 27.
A disabled, unemployed man who said he was her
ex-boyfriend turned himself in, was arrested and charged, but
has since retracted his confession.

On February 22, one of the first victim`s neighbours, a
52-year-old man, was shot dead in their building`s car park.

Then, on March 19, an 81-year-old man was killed by a
shot to the head in the entrance to a similar block of flats
in Grigny`s neighbouring suburb of Ris-Orangis.

"No link has been made between the four victims except
for the fact that the second lived in the same building as the
first," Le Queau said.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, April 7, 2012 - 15:52

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