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DNA confirmed this week that a former cop who claimed in a suicide note to be a French serial killer is indeed the notorious murderer.
François Verove’s DNA matches that found at the scene of several victims killed by “Le Grêlé,” Le Parisien reported.
The “Le Grêlé” or “The Pockmarked Killer,” named for his pockmarked face, was a serial killer and serial rapist who preyed upon the French — mostly in Paris — in both the 1980s and 1990s.
Verove fatally overdosed on pills at a seaside resort near Montpellier on Wednesday. In a note found by his body, he admitted to being the elusive killer. Before dying in what has been characterized as a suicide, he had been called in for questioning in connection with the case.
Amongst the killer’s victims is 11-year-old Cécile Bloch, who was murdered in 1986. DNA found at the scene of her murder linked her killer to the 1986 rape of an 8-year-old girl and the 1987 rape of a teenage girl. In the 1987 case, the suspect had allegedly been pretending to be a police officer, French outlet La Depeche reported last year.
The DNA linked the long-unknown serial killer to six rapes in total and two murders: the 1987 torture-murder of 38-year-old Gilles Politi and his 21-year-old au pair, Irmgard Mueller. The murder of Karine Leroy, 19, in Montceaux-lès-Meaux in 1994 has also long been attributed to the predator.
Verove’s DNA was examined after he died. He was supposed to provide his DNA to police in relation to the probe into the string of killings but didn’t show up for his appointment.
Now investigators are vowing to look into what other crimes to which the former cop could be connected, Le Parisien reported. However, there is fear that they will never know the full extent of his actions.
"We won't ever know all the crimes Le Grêlé committed," Didier Saban, a lawyer representing the victims’ families, told the BBC.
Saban said he believes that Verove, who had worked as a policeman with the French military, took advantage of his badge.
"We had this conviction that he was either an officer or a gendarme [a member of the armed police force], both from the violence he used against his victims and the tactics he adopted," Saban told France Info TV.
Former California cop Joseph DeAngelo was also infamously identified as a depraved serial rapist and killer who abused his badge. Genetic genealogy led investigators to determine in 2018 that DeAngelo was the “Golden State Killer,” who victimized at least 87 people across 53 separate crime scenes spanning 11 California counties. He pleaded guilty last year to 13 murders and 13 rape-related charges that terrorized large swaths of California between 1975 and 1986.
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