Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Risqué Management: The Murder of Edouard Stern

Unhappy Past

Cécile was not raised in a world of wealth and privilege like Edouard's. Little is reported about her mother except that she suffered from depression. After her parents' divorce, Cécile lived with her mother outside of the Paris region until she moved in with her father in the Parisian suburbs as an adolescent.

Paris is regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, but the surrounding suburbs are very different. The suburbs can be dreary, treeless small towns and cities connected by chaotic tangles of streets, highways, commuter train tracks, and thousands of square miles of pavement over what had once been fields and meadows. Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, where Cécile last lived with her father after her parents' divorce, was one of these suburbs in the greater Paris metropolis.

Movie poster: A Clockwork Orange, Being the adventures of a young man whose principal interests are rape, ultra-violence and Beethoven
Movie poster: A Clockwork Orange
"Being the adventures of a young man
whose principal interests are rape, ultra-
violence and Beethoven"
Cécile's father, who had worked at an ad agency, was surprisingly happy to speak to reporters about his daughter. He claimed that he had sought to instill in Cécile an appreciation for music, art, and literature during her childhood, although, in fact, he had often been absent from her life, especially when she was a child. "Was she capable of murder?" Mr. Brossard was asked. Mr. Brossard responded that he thought Cécile would never "pull the trigger." She was far too clever to commit a murder, her father said, that could be so easily linked to her. If she were to kill someone, then it would be in a way that would make it difficult to link her to the crime, Cécile's father said.

However, Mr. Brossard's credibility as a character reference for his daughter was soon put in doubt. Besides his well-documented absenteeism as a father in Cécile's childhood, reports later revealed that he had hardly had any contact with his daughter in the eight years prior to the murder. Most of the few conversations they had had were by phone.

Cécile's lawyer, Pascal Maurer, told truTV that Cécile's father had unusual notions about what was appropriate for children to see and witness, such as thinking it was acceptable to let Cécile watch Stanley Kubrick's ultra-violent movie A Clockwork Orange at the age of eight.