Why do the craziest ones always look like schoolteachers?

Last night we watched our third documentary, Dance With A Serial Killer (hot docs) at the ROM theatre. Quick note about that venue: don’t watch any film there featuring subtitles. It’s practically impossible to read them over/around the person sitting in front of you.

Now then: the documentary. Very interesting, considering it was a 20-year-old case. A woman is murdered on a beach, in broad daylight, with lots of people around, but no apparent killer. The documentary follows the thought process of detective Jean-Francois Abgrall as he ran every lead in search of the murderer. Eventually the investigation focuses on one man, who all but confesses but continues to elude arrest. Finally, after a few years (and another murder) Abgrall gets the man to confess, and he’s eventually convicted of nine killings. Because he only partially confesses to crimes (drawing elaborate, detailed pictures of murder scenes police don’t even ask him about, but then professing not to have been there) and is now very heavily sedated in prison, there’s probably no hope of ever confirming the extent of his killing. Abgrall believes him guilty of fifty, perhaps more.

Remember, this was 1989, so Abgrall wasn’t using computer searches, DNA evidence, fancy-pants CSI labs or anything else. Nor was French law enforcement a great deal of help; indeed, his case would be the cause of some reforms. Abgrall didn’t get into high-speed chases or fire his gun; he used doggedness, ingenuity and a lot of luck to bring down a psychopath.

[tags]dance with a serial killer, hot docs, jean-francois abgrall, francis heaulmes[/tags]

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