Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Xavier Dupont de Ligonn&es: Family Murdered, Father Vanishes

Seeds of Discontent

Xavier Dupont de Ligonnes.
Xavier Dupont de Ligonnes.
Xavier was raised in Versailles, a fitting locale for Xavier's aristocratic background that was once France's capital and the seat of its Kings for centuries. At a very early age, Xavier exhibited behavior that showed that he was not entirely happy with the Catholic Church.

Xavier's mother, who was deeply religious, was unable to convince her son to embrace the devout catholic life as enthusiastically as she did. While he attended mass regularly and dutifully went to catechism classes as a child, Xavier knew from a very young age that he did not share his mother's deep faith. He expressed his early disenchantment with the church decades later on a French forum devoted to Catholicism called, not long before his family was murdered. He described in his forum posts how memorizing masses in Latin and French and getting up at six in the morning to go to mass before school just wasn't for him when he was growing up.

But while Xavier was not particularly religious, the macabre elements of the catholic faith intrigued him as an adult. In one chilling post on the site that vaguely foretold of the horrible events yet to transpire, Xavier described how he was both repulsed yet fascinated with certain morbid aspects of the catholic religion. He was particularly interested in the concept of sacrificial rite ceremonies, which he wrote was a "bedrock concept" in the Catholic faith. Bloody or not, human or animal, which extends to even plant life, the sacrifice is an intrinsic part of all religions, especially ours," Xavier wrote. "Mass is about the sacrifice of Christ, which continues as part of the ritual of worship."

Xavier's father was not especially religious and was known for being somewhat of a playboy. He left the family home when Xavier was 10 and headed for Africa. While he did tentatively keep in touch with his only son by sending very occasional letters, they were seldom reunited in person, Le Point reported.

The father bought Xavier a vintage Triumph Spitfire sports car for his 18th birthday, in which the young Xavier would proudly drive around the streets of Versailles. Xavier also inherited an automatic .22 caliber pistol from his father, who had died just a few months before Xavier's family was killed. The same pistol served as the murder weapon.

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