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  • Writer's pictureElsa Moreira

Alain Lamare and the institutional mess

Hi ! It's been a while, I know, but my French readers asked for a case related to the police, and wouldn't you know it, there are not a lot of information on those. Most of the time, I didn't even get anything besides the name of the victim. I still found a case interesting and detailed enough to show that regarding police, France isn't exactly an A+ student in the world class. Today, I'm talking to you about Alain Lamare, a pathetic asshole in a uniform. Before we jump into the case, I need to explain one thing to you. We have two types of police in France: the police and the gendarmes. Even French people can't really find the point in this system, so don't ask me.

Alain Lamare

The beginning

Everything begins on May 31st, 1978. A couple of gendarmes discover a Citroen 504 on the Ripailles crossroad, in the forest near the city of Chantilly. The windshield has bullet holes in it, and the rear-view mirror is broken. Inside, the gendarmes find candy wrappers, cigarette butts, ropes, a syringe and a bloodied handkerchief. Near the car, there is hand-drawn map seemingly made for the robbery of a post office in the town of Pierrefonds (there was a lot of money in post offices at that time).The investigation is first assigned to the gendarme Henri Cavalier, before behind assigned to the investigation squad of the police in Creil. This squad quickly discovers that the car was stolen from a gendarme's wife, who had left the keys on the ignition. Because apparently that was something that people did back then.

Two months later, a 17-year-old girl named Karine (not Karen, Karine) gets shot while she's going home from the movie theater in the town of Pont-Sainte-Maxence. Her leg is hit, but she is not severely hurt. She identifies the assailant's vehicle as a Renault 12, and investigators once again discover that the car was stolen from someone who ONCE AGAIN left their keys on the ignition.This time, the investigation is assigned to the gendarmes and not the police, so the link with the 504 of the Ripailles crossroad. Ten days later, a police officer notices a strangely parked car in Creil. He opens the door and BOUM ! The car was rigged with a bomb, and the poor guy is burned on the hands and face. The bomb is examined, and seems to have made in a hurry with weed killer and potassium by a guy who thinks that the same things used to grow tomatoes can be used to make a bomb. Regarding the car itself, it was stolen from a farmer, who reveals to the investigators that his checkbook was also stolen.

As soon as the investigations begin, so does the dick-measuring contest between the gendarmes and the police officers. Not much information is shared, so investigators on both sides take some time before realizing that all three cases are linked.As soon as they do, a letter is delivered to the police precinct in Creil. It's written by the culprit (OMG)! In this letter, our new favorite asshole confesses to everything and even says "Karine knows me, but she'll never know how". Later in the letter, he states "I'm a killer, and as such, I will kill <...> Next time, I will aim for the heart and not for the legs". First of all, thanks for the job description Mr. HR, but please stop trying to make us believe that you shot Karine's leg on purpose. You shoot like a blind man with Parkinson's, period. Also, he signed the fucking letter with a question mark...not a inch of style to be seen !

Anyway, the police officers follow the farmer's checks, which our ""killer"" uses to basically fuck around. Gas, restaurants, clothes, champagne, the little cunt really goes all in. But what that dumbass doesn't realize is that 10 stolen checks used = 10 people who are mad about losing money and now know what you look like. And that's how we get a first police sketch ! The Walmart cowboy is described as a tall, handsome (?) guy who gives off military vibes. Hmmm...

Clean uniforms, but dusty brains

When he examines the letter, police detective Neveu has an epiphany. The letter resembles a police report ! However, when he starts talking about this clue, everybody ignores him. "Blablabla, no criminals in our ranks..." you know the drill. Desperate for some kind of confirmation, he shows the letter to his wife, who immediately says "That's not a police officer's writing, that's a gendarme right there !" Another element confirms the speculation: the weapon used against Karine is a Berertta 9mm, a rare weapon known only by collectors and military officers, who follow the same training as gendarmes. The hypothesis is credible, but nobody listens to Neveu, even though he caught a serial killer only 2 years before. So, without any additional clues and having thrown the only viable lead out the window, the investigators soon find themselves in a dead end. Luckily for them (and for everyone, actually), the culprit suddenly goes silent and inactive. But this break won't last for long.

Indeed, on November 16th, 1978, a 20-year-old woman is run over by a car which immediately speeds off. The police officers immediately start a manhunt, but to no avail. The car is found two days later on the parking lot of the Orry-la-Ville train station, and just like the car in Creil, it's rigged.It's still a shitty bomb, so no one is seriously wounded. The investigation squad in Creil gets this case, but one gendarme is done fucking around.Captain Pineau investigates the local sexual offenders and the recent hit and run incidents, and ends up discovering that a stolen car was used in the robbery of the post office of Senarpont. The witnesses have the same description of the suspect, but they add one detail: he got big ass ears ! Maybe that's why he can't aim for shit, he can't keep his head steady.

Pineau is happy with his findings, but his smile fades away on December 1st, when the gendarmes discover a wounded woman behind the racetrack of Chantilly. 19-year-old Yolande was shot several times and got pistol-whipped on the head. She had been hitchiking that morning in Pont-Sainte-Maxence and got picked up by a well-dressed, courteous gentleman. After a couple of minutes, the man brutally changed his behavior, and the Yolande was trapped. She dies on the following evening. The weapon is the same, and thee man shot her near the heart, so investigators immediately think of the letter. That's it: they have a killer on their hands now. The car used to pick up Yolande is found on the parking lot of the Orry-la-Ville train staion (yes, again), but the gendarmes are wise to the scheme now and manage to disable the bomb inside.

Avoiding the obvious like it's the IRS

On December 12th, the commanding officers of the gendarmes of the Oise county organized a metting to FINALLY share information amongst themselves (yeah, they hadn't been doing even that). Everybody is informed about the stolen cars and checks, the robberies, the assaults and the murder of Yolande. Detective Neveu and Captain Pineau have already determined that the killer is a gendarme, but nobody believes them because gendarmes and police officers can only be little angels from the heavens above. Commander Colson, from the gendarmerie precinct of Senlis (most cases happened on his district), even says that this hypothesis is an insult to all gendarmes. Ok boomer...

Some time passes, and the dick-measuring contest between police oficers and gendarmes continues, so the investigation moves as quickly as a stop sign. The killer, on the other hand, keeps busy.

On the morning of December 29th, someone sees something falling out of a green Citroen 504. This "something" is 19-year-old Andrée. She had been picked up in Compiègne by a courteous, well-dressed gentleman, who ended up saying out of nowhere "I'm going to hurt you", before shooting her 3 times. But Andrée is badass, so she managed to open the car door and throw herself on the road in front of witnesses, causing the killer to speed off. The bullet still did a lot of damage, and she will be paralyzed for the rest of her life.

Having a description of the car, the gendarmes put up barricades on all nearby roads, and as the afternoon begins, they finally the green 504. The driver attempts to run over the gendarmes and tries to escape Tokyo Drift-style, but that dumbass gets stuck in the mud like a peasant. He takes off on foot, and the gendarmes, with the backup of dogs and a helicopter, go on the hunt. Sadly, it starts raining before they can catch him and tracks disappear, so everyone goes home, muddy and humiliated.

This failure makes Pineau and Neveu's hypothesis more credible, and the journalist Yvan Stefanovitch publishes it on December 31st. Everyone in the police and the gendarmerie denies it, but the damage to their reputation is done. Happy New Year !Now that everybody is forced to look at reality for a second, Captain Pineau tries to push for a systematic verification of the gendarmes' schedules. Commander Colson pretends to have done it but of course that motherfucker didn't.

Andrée, after a short coma, starts giving interviews to the newspapers and the police sketch is also broadcasted. That lights a fire under the killer's ass, and he sends a second letter where he assures that Andrée will die "despite her temporary survival", because he can't live with the fact that he fucked up even though his target was less than a foot away. He also declares that the gendarmes who tried to capture him in the forest will suffer his wrath because they "exhausted" him. Just do some cardio and stop being a little bitch, how about that ? Nothing much happened after that. Cars and checks being stolen here and there, because apparently boomers left everything unattended on their front yard. The investigation doesn't progress because police officers and gendarmes still don't like each other. So, our killer ends up becoming cocky (I mean, even more).

On March 17th, in Rambouillet, he steals Boulogne-Billancourt's mayor's car (keys on the ignition, still), but the car breaks down on the highway. And that's when police officers come to his rescue ! No, that's not some way of saying that he got caught, they literally came to his rescue. They called him a mechanic, who got him and his car to the garage, where he ended up stealing another car and fucking off ! After this second, and spectacular failure, everybody kinda wakes up, and THAT'S WHEN the sketch of the killer is sent to every precinct in the Oise county (yeah, because besides the commanders and the people who read the newspapers, no one had actually seen it). And just like that, on April 7th, 1979, Claude Morel of the Clermont division of the Senlis precinct, recognizes a former colleague, Alain Lamare.

Plot twist : the smart ones were right !

Morel immediately goes to Captain Pineau to tell him...well, that he was right the whole time. So, who's Alain Lamare ? His colleagues describe him as basically a military fanboy. At 23, he doesn't smoke, doesn't drink, doesn't have a girlfriend. Basically, take off the uniform and the guy disappears.

Lamare was first placed in the Clermont division in April of 1976, before being sent to the Chantilly division the following January. Upon hearing that, Pineau immediately calls the gendarme Cavalier (remember him from the beginning of the article ?) and explains everything to him. Cavalier, who is Lamare's superior, first can't believe what he's hearing, but soon remembers that Lamare was present at most of the crime scenes with his colleagues, and even heard some of the victims --> "Karine knows me, but she'll never know how". Chantilly is on Commander Colson's district, so Lamare's schedule was never verified, and when Cavalier finally looks at it, he realizes that it's a perfect match. The letters are also compared to Lamare's reports: the handwriting is the same.

Cavalier snaps into action and starts looking for Lamare. He's told that he's on patrol, so he waits for him to come back. He actually does and is arrested on the spot after trying to pull a gun on Cavalier. Despite his matching fingerprints being added to the pile of evidence, he doesn't confess.On April 8th, his apartment is searched, and the proofs are all over the place. Guns, maps, cigarette butts, everything is in there.The media and the population is waiting outside the apartment to catch a glimpse of the killer, and the journalists even engage a pursuit with the vehicle taking Lamare back to holding, causing an accident and killing a 14-year-old.

Once Lamare starts confessing (what else can he do, seriously ?), a general bursts in and tries to make him sign his resignation so that technically the killer won't be a gendarme. The priorities are quite peculiar in the police. That's not even the worst: somebody somewhere (no one wants to admit it even today) makes sure that Lamare is declared criminally insane, so he will never be judged. And since his insanity invalidates his resignation, he stills receives his pension to this day !Regarding the police and the gendarmerie's fuckups, Neveu and Pineau are forced into silence and Commander Colson is promoted and sent somewhere else ! Oh, and the victims ? They are only compensated by the state in 1988, almost ten years later.

In conclusion ? Well, I can't really tell you something that you don't already know so I'll just say this: you can't put a pig in a uniform and pretend it's a hero. You'll just make the uniform dirty.

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