Emile Louis | Serial Killer
Killing the Weak
French Serial Killer
Crime Spree: 1970
Emile Louis is a retired French bus driver and prime suspect in the disappearance of seven young women in the department of Yonne, Burgundy, in the late 1970’s. In 2000 Emile Louis confessed to their murders. He retracted this confession, however, one month later.
Mr. Louis was serving a 20-year jail sentence for the rape and torture of his last wife and of her daughter. He was also twice convicted of sexual attacks on minors: once in 1983 for which he was sentenced to four years in prison, and again in 1989 with a five-year jail term.
Emile Louis is a prime suspect in the disappearances in the Yonne Département of seven young women with mild mental deficiencies between 1975 and 1980. The disappearances initially did not attract much attention, as the girls had no close relatives and lived in homes for the handicapped. It was assumed therefore that they had simply run away. Emile confessed to murdering the seven girls in 2000, before retracting his statement. However, his statement led police to find the remains of two of the victims. Louis allegedly kidnapped the girls while driving a bus meant to transport them.
One recurring question is how the justice system could have ignored this string of disappearances for so long, even though suspicions had grown and some official reports indicating probable foul play had been produced. In particular, gendarme Christian Jambert submitted a report in 1984 designating Emile Louis as a prime suspect. On August 4, 1997, Jambert was found dead and judicial authorities found the cause to be suicide. However, an examination of his skull on March 31, 2004, indicated that two bullets had entered the brain, and both of which should have instantly been fatal.
In 1992, Pierre Charrier, the head of the Yonne APAJH association managing the home for handicapped young people where the missing girls had been staying, was sentenced to six years in prison for raping a 23-year-old handicapped woman. Nine years before, Nicole Charrier, his spouse, had testified in favor of Emile Louis. In 2001, Nicole Charrier was removed from her management position at APAJH.
The lack of reaction on the part of judicial authorities has led to suspicions that the blocking of inquiries was not out of negligence or incompetency, but because of the possible involvement of locally well-connected people in a network providing sadistic prostitution services.
One issue in the legal treatment of Emile Louis actions is prescription (the statute of limitations). Even if Louis admitted to crimes committed in the late 1970’s, it might be impossible to prosecute him. The Court of Cassation ruled that certain acts that before would not have been considered to be interrupting prescription, but in fact interrupted prescription.
Louis’ trial by the Yonne assize court for the seven murders started on November 3, 2004. On November 10, the court visited the location where the bodies of two victims, Madeleine Dejust and Jacqueline Weis, were exhumed after Louis confessed their location to the Gendarmerie. Emile Louis has retracted his confession and maintains his innocence.
On March 26, 2004, Emile Louis was sentenced by the assize court of the Var for the rape and torture of his second wife and his stepdaughter to 20 years in prison, two-thirds of which are without parole. With this last disposition, the jury went beyond the requests of the prosecution. He was sentenced to life in prison on November 25, 2004.
UPDATE: Emile Louis died on October 20, 2013.
source: murderpedia / wikipedia