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  • Writer's pictureElsa Moreira

Marcel Barbeault, the French BTK

Hi little crazies, I hope you're having a good day ! Today, I'm going to tell you about a case from Northern France, and to add a little more flavor to it, I'm taking you to my district ! Yeah, today I'm going to take you on a little tour of the Creil district, the last stop of the Parisian D train and the end of all hope. Today's case is going to show you how this place was always weird. Here's the story of Marcel Barbeault, the "Shadow Killer".

Marcel Barbeault

Marcel Barbeault was born on August 1st, 1941 in Liancourt, a little village on the northern end of the Creil district. We don't know much about the beginning of his life, but we can surmise that it wasn't a walk in the park since a poor village under Nazi occupation isn't exactly where happiness pitches its tent.

Marcel very soon realized that, just like the other men of the village, he was destined for a career in factory work, and he reluctantly stopped going to school at 14 to start working. Unsatisfied with his life, he joined the army as soon as he could and became a medic in the Algerian war. That's when he feels for the first time some kind of pride and glory, and he loves it so much that upon his return to France, he tries to become a police officer. However, he forgot that he was a mediocre piece of shit, and completely failed the police exam. Also, to confirm his POS status, he also fails his driver's license 8 times in a row (how ??????). Disappointed, young Marcel puts his dreams of glory on the back burner and goes back to factory work. In 1962, he marries a local girl, Josiane Vandeponselle, and the couple begins the most ordinary life. They soon have two children, but they sadly aren't enough to satisfy Marcel's ego.

Things start to go crazy in 1968. That year, Marcel's mother dies from cancer. Many people say that that's what pushed him to murder but come on. The guy is just another mediocre power-hungry white guy, just like BTK, so it was just a matter of time. Don't worry, unlike BTK, Marcel isn't interested in bad poetry.His crime spree starts with a series of burglaries, and the guy is immediately creepy. In addition to the burglary, he looks at family photos and heirlooms and serves himself some food from the fridge, making himself at home. He ends getting caught, but he is put on probation, so he ends up free to launch phase 2 of his plan to dominate what would end up being my hometown. On January 10th, 1969, in Nogent-sur-Oise, he attacks Françoise Lecron, one of his colleagues' wife. He shoots 6 times in her direction with a .22 rifle, but he still manages to fail, like the mediocre asshole he is. After the 10978765th failure of his life, he tries again on January 14th, and shoots 17-year-old Michèle Louvet, who was just taking a walk. She also survives, forcing Marcel to realize that he isn't a very good sniper. On January 23th, 1969, he finally reaches his goal. He traps Thérèse Adam, a 46-year-old widow, in her own home, and kills her. The saddest thing is, Thérèse saw it coming. She had been saying for days, to her friends and to the police, that she was being followed, but nobody believed her.Her body is found face down near the train tracks of the town, stripped from the shoulders down and raped with a piece of wood.Despite the position of the body, and the trail of blood leading back to Thérèse's house, the cops first think it's a suicide.

However, and luckily for everyone, detective Louis Courtois stop this bullshit quite rapidly and begins an investigation. The thing is, despite the fact that Thérèse's house is literally jammed between two other houses, nobody saw or heard anything, and the rifle used for the murder is a type of weapon owned by e-ve-ry-one in the district. As a result, the investigation is stuck. Happy with the panic he's causing in Nogent-sur-Oise, Marcel gets cocky and decides to give himself a 2-for-1 special. On November 16th, 1969, in the evening, he enters the house of Suzanne Mérienne as her daughter Micheline comes home from school. He takes them hostage and takes them into their garden before realizing that he left his bag with his kill kit inside the house like a dumbass ! He takes Micheline to make the trip, but then changes his mind and lets go of her before shooting Suzanne. Micheline, terrified, takes off like a rocket, and Marcel leaves before the police arrives, without accomplishing his depraved ritual. And just like with Thérèse, the neighbors didn't see or hear anything.

Micheline isn't able to give a good description of her mom's killer, since he had his face covered and shit, but she still manages to tell that he's tall, young and has "eyes like a cat", which is surprising because he's actually a lil bitch. The police officers, in addition to this description, also get Marcel's bag, that this moron left at the scene !Inside the bag, the cops find rope, a little log of wood, a green wallet, bullets, and a type of napkin given mainly to factory workers at that time. The problem with that is that there were a lot of factories in the Creil district. Little by little, the panic fades away, and everybody returns to their everyday life and the car thefts (which are still a local specialty today) start again. Sadly, Marcel isn't done yet.

On February 6th, 1973, the body of 30-year-old Annick Delisle is found by her husband in a bush in the goddamn city center ! The people of Nogent-sur-Oise give the usual "didn't see or hear nothing", and they immediately start calling Annick "the most beautiful dead girl in Nogent", because the sexualization of women doesn't even stop when they die #menaretrash. The investigators notice that the ritual is the same, but the killer also stole Annick's purse. This detail doesn't help really help though. On May 28th, Marcel kills a couple, Eugène Stéphan et Mauricette Van Hyfte, in the parking lot of the Laigneville cemetery, which is near Nogent-sur-Oise. Marcel does his ritual with Mauricette, but his rifle isn't the same as before (he went on a "shopping spree" at his neighbors' house). A bullet casing is found near the fountain of the cemetery, which isn't easy to find. That allows the investigators to confirm that the killer is a local.

On January 8th, 1974, Marcel breaks in the apartment of Josette Routier, and waits for her to come home from work before killing her with his rifle, which is now equipped with a silencer. The neighbors heard something suspicious this time, but they. Didn't. Do. Shit.Thus, the crime scene, despite a very visible broken window, is discovered only 3 days later !Once the police is (finally) called, they discover another clue: shoe prints made with size 42 boots. The panic reaches an all-time high and noticing that all the victims were brunettes, women start dying their hair blonde. In 1975, detective Neveu (which you might know from my article about Alain Lamare), is affected to the Creil homicide division, and takes over the investigation. He makes tremendous progress compared to the other detectives but he won't be fast enough, and 2 more women will die before Marcel is caught. On November 25th, 1975, at 6 AM, Julia Goncalves is on her way to work. Her body is found the next morning in a local park. The ritual is the same, and the killer stole her watch. The investigation makes big progress because a witness saw the killer this time and gave a precise description to the cops.

20-year-old Françoise Jakubowska is the last victim of Marcel Barbeault. On January 6th, 1976, her body is found in someone's backyard, but that someone still didn't hear or see shit, even though she was stabbed three times and shot in the head around 7 AM ! Detective Neveu, who realized a while ago that the killer was a cleptomaniac factory worker, decides to go over all the clues again and realizes something else. Even for a local guy, knowing where the cemetery's fountain is is quite particular. Do you know where the fountain of your local cemetery is ? I don't.Detective Neveu follows his gut and crosses every name on the headstones with the suspects' names, and manages to reduce the suspect list to 30 names. He then tells his men: "Bring them all in. Even if one of them is a pastor, you bring him in." I stan. Finally, on December 14h, 1976, investigators knock on Marcel Barbeault's door. His wife Josiane opens and tells the cops that her husband is out shopping (at the mall this time). The police officers search the house anyway and find aaaaalllll the evidence: the rifle, the bullets, the jackets, the knife, the boots, everything !So, when Marcel comes back home, he's swiftly handcuffed.

Once in the interrogation room, Marcel claims that he's innocent and that everything found in his house was stuff that he found in the street (sure, Jan).However, when the investigators put Marcel in his burglar outfit, Micheline Mérienne immediately recognizes him. Upon hearing this, Marcel exclaims "How can she recognize me after 6 years ?", immediately showing everyone in the room how stupid he is. No one had told him which crime Micheline witnessed. Since nobody ever found the first murder weapon, Marcel was only charged with 5 out of his 8 murders, and still claims his innocence. At the beginning of his trial in 1981, he tries present himself as a good ol' loving husband and father, but seems so bored at this own trial that he makes the jury uncomfortable. The testimony of the amazing detective Neveu is the final nail in his coffin, and Marcel is sentenced to life without parole.

Marcel is still rotting away in jail, being now one of the oldest inmates in France. Regarding he Creil district, and Nogent-sur-Oise in particular, life went back to normal, except for old people and true crime nuts like myself, who are still waiting to spit on the grave of our very own little BTK.

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