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  • Writer's pictureElsa Moreira

Francis Heaulme: the vagabond

Hi everyone, I hope you're doing well ! Today I'm going to tell you about a guy who considered the world his home, and people were his preys. Without further introduction, I present to you Francis Heaulme.

Francis Heaulme

Francis Heaulme was born on February 25th, 1959 in Metz. His parents, Marcel and Nicole, are violent alcoholics. His father is particularly violent towards Francis, who often ends up locked in the basement without food. His mother is the only one who expresses any kind of kindness towards him, making her a saint in his eyes.

Outside of his home, Francis is a lonely boy. He suffers from Klinefelter Syndrome, which means he's got a low IQ, atrophied testicles and oversized mammary glands. Because of his illness, Francis is ostracized by everyone, including his family. He's very sensitive, so he reacts to this by skipping school and having mental breakdowns.

As if that wasn't already enough, his parents often leave the house for extended periods of time, so Francis is often left alone with his little sister Christine, and has to beg his neighbors for food because the cupboards are empty.

Once he reaches his teenage years, Francis finds comfort in two things: biking and alcohol. His alcoholism rapidly becomes such a problem that he ends up being fired from his military service.

After high school, where he didn't graduate, Francis finds a construction job. His mental state deteriorates, to the point where he self-harms in front of his colleagues.

He is committed to a mental ward for the first time in 1981, and between that year and the year of his arrest, he will be committed to a mental hospital or a detox center more than a hundred times. However, at no point (NO POINT ffs) will he be considered dangerous by mental health professionals, which will have dire consequences.

On October 16th, 1984, Nicole, Francis' mother dies. Francis is completely devastated by this loss, and even tries to jump on her coffin as it's being lowered into the ground.

Three weeks later, he commits his first murder. With an accomplice named Joseph Molins, he kidnaps, rapes and kills Lyonnelle Gineste, a 17-year-old baker apprentice. The modus operandi will stay the same for almost all of his murders: find an accomplice, find a victim, the accomplice rapes, and Francis kills.

In 1985, both his father and sister get married and subtly tell Francis to get the fuck out of their faces. He's too broke to geet is own place, so he moves in with his grandmother in the village of Veaux, near Montigny-lès-Metz, where he kills two 8-year-olds, Cyril Beining et Alexandre Beckrich in September 1986. In the same year, he kidnaps and kills Annick Maurice, a 26-year-old saleswoman who was going to work.

In 1987, Francis decides to become an honest to God vagabond, and leaves the Metz area. He will have visited every region in France by the time he is arrested.

On June 22nd, 1988, he's robbing a home when its two inhabitants, Georgette Manesse et Ghislaine Ponsard, catch him in the act. Instead of running, he stabs the two old ladies. This time, he didn't have an accomplice, which explains the fact that the two victims didn't show any signs of sexual abuse when they were discovered.

On April 5th, 1989, Francis abducts and kills 9-year-old Joris Viville in Port-Grimaud, in southern France. He has another mental breakdown the same evening and confesses in the local mental hospital, but his confession isn't believed by the staff. Why couldn't someone still call the cops, just in case ? I mean, just because Francis is mentally unstable doesn't mean he's innocent ! Anyway...

On May 14th, 1989, the body of 49-year-old Aline Pérès is found on the Relecq-Kerhuon, in the northeast of France. That's where the hero of this story enters the scene: make some noise for investigator Jean-François Abgrall !

Abgrall manages to determine that Aline was killed on the beach between 5pm and 5.05pm. Moreover, a witness tells him that he saw two poorly dressed men staring at Aline, which gives an idea to Abgrall. He goes to the local refuge and asks for a list of all the homeless people that slept there in the last few days. Once he has it, he sends it to every police precinct in France.

On July 18th, 1989, as Abgrall is investigating Aline's murder, Francis beats 30-year-old Sylvie Rossi to death near the city of Reims. In the same month, he gets caught riding the train without a ticket, and Abgrall is informed that he's in detention. Abgrall immediately goes there and starts interrogating Francis, who tells him that he was having his temperature taken at the Quimper hospital when Aline Pérès was killed. Abgrall verifies this information by calling the hospital, and without any other element to justify an extended detention, he has to let Francis go. He still believes that Francis killed Aline, so he goes personally to the Quimper hospital, where he learns that Francis actually left the hospital early. Nurses even tell him that they found sand below his bed. Sadly, Francis was already out of the city by that time.

Abgrall sends an alert regarding Francis to all the police precincts in the country, and one of them tell him that they have Francis, who went there to signal the loss of his ID (the audacity of this man). Abgrall goes there, but he doesn't have any new element, so he has to let Francis go again. Francis makes fun of him and even tells him "I know that you know".

On May 7th,1991, near Metz, he abducts and kills 14-year-old Laurence Guillaume with the help of her own cousin.

On December 26th, 1991, a homeless man nicknamed "the Gallic" goes to the police and confesses that he saw Francis killing Aline Pérès, but didn't say anything because he was too scared. With that confession, Abgrall finally has enough on Francis, and starts chasing him.

On January 5th, 1992, Francis kills his last victim near Boulogne-sur-Mer, in Northern France. He stabs Jean Rémy to death because he had told him about his suicidal thoughts.

On January 7th, Abgrall finally arrests Francis. He confesses almost immediately about all of his murders.

Francis' murders having happened literally all over the place, he has to travel all over France for his trials. His first trial starts in 1994, and the last one ended in 2018. In one of his trails, Francis had to be both the accused and a witness, because a man had been wrongfully convicted of the Montigny-lès-Metz murder of the two little boys and had spent 15 years in prison. Thankfully, Francis' testimony allowed the man, named Patrick Dils, to finally be freed.

Regarding Francis' sentences, he has been convicted enough times to spend the rest of his life in prison. He is not sad about that, and neither am I.

That's it for today ! Tell me what you think about this case in the comments down below or on r/Murder_Wine_Cheese. If you want to make a donation or a suggestion, the homepage is right there (you can translate it in English). See you in the next article !

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