Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Michel Fourniret Serial Killer

Scandal

Many in the community believed that the murder cases were deliberately ignored and the files stolen or destroyed because they implicated high-level officials. Investigators re-examining the cases determined that it was more likely that gross negligence on behalf of local magistrates was to blame for the mishandling of the cases. In all likelihood, it was probably a combination of both theories that prevented anyone from being apprehended for the crimes.

In March 2002, four magistrates from Burgundy faced accusations of gross negligence in the cases of missing and murdered women in their region. The judges included former chief prosecutors Rene Meyer and Jacques Cazals and former deputy prosecutors Daniel Stilinovic and Bertrand Daillie. The men were ordered to appear before a panel of six senior judges, who would review the cases over a three-day period.

According to a 2002 article by Susan Bell in The Scotsman, accused magistrate Stilinovic admitted that "there were people who allowed information to be stifled." He was further quoted saying "magistrates tampered with procedures on behalf of people they wanted to protect. It is a conspiracy at the very top." However, he maintained his innocence, suggesting that he did not stifle any of the investigations. His peers thought otherwise.

Note from Stilinovic
Note from Stilinovic

The panel returned a verdict in late March and found Stilinovic guilty of negligence. He received the severest penalty and was dismissed from his position. Cazals was also found guilty and transferred from his prestigious post in Paris. Meyer, who was retired at the time of the inquiry, was stripped of his honorary title after he too was found guilty. Daillie received no punishment.

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