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  • Writer's pictureElsa Moreira

Albert Foulcher: not going down alone

Updated: Apr 29, 2023

Hi everyone, I hope you’re doing well and that the cold isn’t too bad where you are ! Today, I’m bringing you a story that terrified the people of the region where it happened. Let’s learn about the case of Albert Foulcher !

A mysterious man

Usually, the first part of my articles are devoted to the youth of the criminal I’m talking about. But we don’t know much about Albert Foulcher’s youth. He was born in 1951, he left school at 14, and he went into the army at 18. That’s all we know about his early life.

When he was 21, he left the army, got married and became an EMT, but he wanted more of life. He took evening courses and in 1982, he managed to open an insurance cabinet in the city of Béziers. At that time, he had 2 kids and a nice house with his wife. But everything wasn’t going to be rosy for long. Indeed, Albert thought that André Meffray, the retired insurance seller he bought his client register from, was taking clients from him and pushing them towards other insurance sellers, among which was Maurice Michaud.

In 1988, Albert gave up his insurance dream, and became unemployed. In his private life, things also started going awry. Albert started having multiple mistresses, and even became the sugar baby of a woman named Danielle Herrero. In 1992, the divorce that was bound to happen happened.

Albert’s life was clearly crumbling around him, but he decided that he wasn't going down alone.

The first murder

On January 21st, 1993, in Pailhès, near Béziers, André Meffray, 64, had just finished dinner with his wife when someone knocked on the door. A few moments later, he was dead, killed by five gunshots. His wife was in the house, and thought that the dog had knocked over her flowerpots. Finally, it was a neighbor who alerted the authorities.

Several witnesses saw the shooter, but they were unable to describe him precisely. However, they were sure that he drove away in a dark car with red stripes on the side.

After interrogating the witnesses, the investigators searched André’s house and found photos of André, where his face was black and blue. His relatives said that he ended up like that when he fell off a horse, but the coroner was clear: he had been beaten up. On top of that, André was worried enough to try to buy a gun not long before his death. But who was scaring him like that?

The retired insurance salesman was making ends meet by proposing investment opportunities to his former clients, so the investigators first thought about a disgruntled client, but that lead led nowhere. They then thought about an angry rival.

While they were exploring that lead, they started interrogating the gunsmiths of the area, and found one in Béziers who had recently had a client who wanted to neutralize a Dan Wesson. That client, you guessed it, was Albert Foulcher.

The investigators soon found out that Albert was a violent narcissist who had multiple guns despite his gun license being removed. He quickly becomes suspect n°1.

The interrogation

Albert Foulcher received his first visit from the investigators on June 8th. The investigators found in his apartment a bag filled with 4 handguns and 2 talkie-walkies. That’s when Albert, who was still in the apartment, tried to run, but there were policemen waiting on his doorstep. Cornered, he then admitted that the guns were his. Moreover, his car was dark and had red stripes on the side.

The investigators placed Albert in detention, along with his ex-wife Bernadette and two of his mistresses, Danielle Herrero and Isabelle Susic.

Faced with the elements the investigators had collected, Albert denied everything, but Isabelle said that he wanted to take revenge on André.

That’s when the ballistic analysis came back: the bullets that killed André came from Albert’s Dan Wesson. The suspect still denied the murder, saying that if he had done it, he would have chosen another gun, because the Dan Wesson “doesn’t shoot straight”.

On June 10th, he was indicted and placed in pre-trial custody.

A long judicial process

In prison, Albert continued to deny his guilt. Danielle Herrero paid for his legal defense, but he chose to pursue things with Isabelle Susic, with whom he conceived a child while still in custody. After a few months, Isabelle regained some memories, and said that Albert was with her on the night of the murder.

On May 17th, 1996, reconstitutions began, but they didn’t bring any new elements, notably because the witnesses' memories weren’t as reliable after three years. Plus, more ballistic analyses were conducted, and they contradicted each other.

It’s in this climate of uncertainty that the authorities were legally obligated to release Albert on October 22nd (in France, you can only keep people in pre-trial custody for a certain amount of time). Once free, Albert moved in with Isabelle and their baby, and started taking menial jobs to make ends meet while still claiming his innocence.

On January 11th, 2000, he was arrested again. His nephew had robbed elderly people with an accomplice, and the investigators suspected Albert was that accomplice. The victims recognized him, but there wasn’t enough evidence, so Albert was released after 30 hours.

3 days later, he went on the run.

The final spree

Albert’s trial for the murder of André Meffray began on March 23rd, 2000, and he wasn’t there. He was convicted in absentia and sentenced to life. An European warrant for his arrest was issued.

He stayed hidden for a couple of months, before reappearing at Isabelle’s place, saying that life on the run was hard. He disappeared again after a few days, but came back for Christmas, and said that by this time next year, he would be rich or he would be dead.

On January 8th, 2001, he went out and told Isabelle to buy groceries and prepare a good dinner to have with their daughter. I don’t know if he believed he would be there for that dinner, because on that afternoon, he went to the city of Narbonne and killed Pascal Herrero, the husband of his former lover Danielle. She saw everything and called the police, but when two officers arrived, Albert shot and killed them. Their names were Hervé Prior and Patrick Rigaud.

Less than an hour later, Albert was at the insurance cabinet of Maurice Michaud, the guy he thought was stealing clients from him with André Meffray. He took Maurice to a deserted spot in the countryside, and briefly argued with him before shooting him to death and driving away in his car. He went through a police barricade and shot at officers, but thankfully didn't hit anyone. After that, he disappeared. The RAID, the French equivalent of the SWAT, was called, and several people, including the judge who presided over Albert's case, were placed under protection.

On January 10th, Albert was spotted in the village of Les Rives, but by the time police got there, he had already left. That’s when investigators discovered that 3 of his former cellmates were helping him.

On January 13th, Albert sent a letter to a news channel where he threatened every person he believed was responsible for his misfortune.

On January 16th, he was spotted in Isabelle’s apartment (she wasn’t there at the time). When police officers went there to check, Albert shot at them. The RAID was called on the scene and surrounded the area. Several hours went by, and on the morning of January 17th, they found out Albert had shot himself in the head, putting an end to this madness.

Albert’s 3 former cellmates and Isabelle Susic were indicted for harbouring a criminal, and all of them except one man were convicted. Since the judicial process stopped after Albert’s death, he will forever be presumed innocent of the murder of André Meffray.

That’s it for today ! Let me know what you think about this case in the comments or on r/Murder_Wine_Cheese, and if you have a French case that you want me to cover, I’m all ears ! Finally, please make a little donation if you can, so I can improve the quality of the content I put out for you ! That being said, I hope you have a wonderful day and I’ll see you next time !

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