Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Risqué Management: The Murder of Edouard Stern

The Million-Dollar Promise

Despite his riches, Cécile's relationship with Edouard varied over the years. Whether or not Gillet approved of Cécile's relationship with Edouard, it seems Gillet and Cécile's relationship was more platonic than that of a husband and wife. Still, Cécile would not, she claimed, abandon her relationship with Gillet to marry and live with Stern.

Cécile's lawyers claim Edouard proposed marriage to Cécile in December 2004 and offered to "make her independent." Part of Edouard's marriage proposal, they say, was the offer to pay Cécile $1 million. But when the money was not wired to her account a few days later as promised, Cécile told Edouard she wanted to end their relationship. Cécile then sent Edouard a letter in which she said that the gift of a million euros would prove that he really loved her.

Edouard then, Cécile claimed, made good on his promise and wired $1 million to Cécile's account in January. But in February, documents show, Edouard then reversed the wire transfer and the money was frozen in her account. Stern's family maintains the money was a down payment for the purchase of some paintings for Edouard, but Cécile's lawyers maintain that the money was a lover's present which Edouard revoked in an attempt to maintain control over her.

On February 28, Cécile came to Edouard's apartment with, her lawyer's claim, the intention to discuss why Edouard had reneged on his promise. Nothing was resolved, but evidently both had sex on their minds. Cécile slipped once more into her fetish garb as the dominatrix, and Edouard put on his latex body suit to let Cécile tie him up, ready to be punished.

Still, Cécile was far from happy about Edouard's handling of the money and became enraged, her lawyers maintain, when Edouard said something to the effect of "$1 million is a lot of money to pay for a whore." Cécile then removed one of the pistols Edouard kept in a drawer and shot him at point blank range.

When the first bullet struck him, her lawyers relate, Edouard, exceptionally fit at the age 50, stood up, but crumpled to the floor after Cécile fired two more shots into his body. She then fired a final shot into his right temple.

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