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  • Writer's pictureElsa Moreira

Patrick Salameh, certainly a killer, absolutely an asshole

Updated: Apr 23

Hi everybody, I hope you're doing okay ! I didn't write an article for Halloween, I hope you'll forgive me ! Regarding today's article, I think we've made enough fun of Northern France, so we're taking the TGV to visit some other lands and discover the human equivalent of burnt plastic named Patrick Salameh.

Patrick Salameh

There was once a man from Marseille...

Patrick Salameh was born on April 21th, 1957 somewhere in the South, we don't really care where. He grew up in Marseille, a city as south as Southern France goes, and we don't really know much about his early life. We just know that at 30, he owns a restaurant and has a wife and two kids. A normal man. But the darkness within his brain and soul is growing.

...who liked money and torture...

One day, in 1988 Patrick Salameh starts thinking that owning a restaurant is boring, and that he would much rather be an asshole full time. He rapidly finds accomplices in the gutters of Marseille, and the newly formed crew starts robbing houses. The thing is, they rob houses while people are inside, and take whole families hostage. Salameh takes it even further by torturing the adults and raping anything with two X chromosomes. Even his accomplices thought that he was going too far, which prompted them to immediately flip on Patrick once they all got arrested in 1989 after robbing and torturing a friend of a known gangster (I'm sure they had a nice time in prison after that). Once in custody, Patrick remained the same pile of cockroach poop, except that he got really silent. When the judge asked him about that during his trial in 1993, this motherfucker compared himself to Jean Moulin, a resistant who died being tortured by the nazis during WWII, and said his courage inspired him to remain silent. I...Anyway, the judge wasn't convinced, and gave him twenty years.

...but didn't like prison and women.

For a guy who loves being silent, Patrick sure craved attention in prison. He barely got acquainted with his prison cell before trying to escape by bribing the guards (which worked, btw) and climbing over a wall. Don't worry, he ended up breaking his leg like the little bitch he is and got dragged right back to his cell. Realizing that he isn't much of an escape artist, Salameh decided to take the first word of that expression out and become an artist. He started reading, writing, painting, always with the same demonic panache. He wrote a manifesto praising Alfredo Stranieri, a serial killer that he met in prison or something idk I didn't read it. He also painted tons of naked women behind bars and other creepy shit. He even ended up having his art put up in art gallery, and I don't know if that says more about him or about the artistic circles of that period.

The system was nice, maybe too nice...

Even though he tried once more to escape in 1995 (with explosives this time, no jumping involved), Salameh is freed in 2005. He rejoins his wife and kids, who accepted his return for some reason, got a job doing construction, and continues exposing his art. I would call that a return to normal if he didn't also get a secret apartment near the family house. the bad man got worse.

It's in that apartment that Salameh commits his worst crimes. On October 5th, 2008, Iryna Sytnyk, a 42-year-old Ukrainian sex worker, disappears in the middle of the night. On October 22nd, 23-year-old Cristina Bahulea also disappears, leaving all her belongings in the hotel room she rented after arriving in France from Romania. Finally, on November 7th, Zineb Chebout, a 28-year-old Algerian sex worker, tells her mother that she's going out to run errands, and never comes back. This time, a friend of Zineb gives clues to the investigators. She tells them that she spoke to Zineb on the phone, and Zineb told her that she was meeting with a client who had booked her for the night and promised 900€, a price well above usual rates for sex work.

Iryna and Zineb

The investigators quickly realize that they are facing an unhinged piece of trash, so they get to work. They interrogate the sex workers of the area, and the name of Patrick Salameh rapidly finds itself in a lot of mouths. One sex worker in particular, Soumia El Kandadi, affirms that Salameh held her hostage and assaulted her for 6 hours during the night of October 5th. She says that she only managed to stay alive by completely submitting to her torturer. The worst is that when she was finally about to leave, Salameh revealed to her the dead body of a woman in his bathtub, saying "This is what I do to women who don't obey me". The date matches the disappearance of Iryna. The latter's SIM card is later found in the phone of a young boy, who confesses that Salameh gave it to him. Having seen and heard enough, the investigators place Patrick Salameh in detention on November 15th, 2008.

But it wasn't his first rodeo.

Once Salameh is in detention, Soumia, his only survivor, shows to the investigators where his secret apartment is and where the clues are inside. The detectives find ropes, the DNA of the missing women and Zineb's panties and bracelet. However, no proof of violence is found, and the bodies will never be.

Salameh is interrogated, but he says that he has never seen the missing women. He quickly changes his tone when he learns what has been found in his apartment. Apparently, he only had sex with them and never saw them after that. What a coincidence...Speaking of coincidences, the detectives start making a connection between Salameh and another disappearance which occurred earlier that year. Fatima Saiah, a 19-year-old student, disappeared on May 7th, 2008, after accepting a babysitting job offer.

Fatima Saiah

Her boyfriend had dropped her off near Salameh's secret apartment, and a couple hours later, he received a text from her saying that she was seeing some friends and that she would call him later. The thing is, he was always her ride so that was weird. When she didn't show up the next morning, her parents headed straght for the police station. The detectives soon discovered that the call for the babysitting job came from a phone booth, and a homeless woman later testified that Salameh paid her to make that call. The rat is caught.

With his back against the wall, the bad man dances...

Salameh's trial starts in March 2014. He somehow got the support of his whole family, who scream to whoever will listen that "he might be an armed robber, but he would never hurt anyone". They must have been in the restroom in 1993 when the guy who got stabbed in the foot for the equivalent of 450€ was testifying. The defense lawyer doesn't do better, and says with a straight face "if Patrick Salameh wasn't Patrick Salameh, he wouldn't be here today". Erm...bitch...yes ?

On the other side of the shackles (I know that doesn't make sense), Salameh seems determined to be the life of the party. He insults the lawyers, the prosecutor, the judge, the witnesses and even your mom (just kidding). According to him, Zineb left her panties and her bracelet because she loved him. At (literally) first sight, of cooooouuuuuuurse !

...and finally, the curtain falls.

The fact that the bodies of the missing women were never found (to this day) was a weight that prosecution gracefully carried, and Salameh ended up being sentenced to life without parole for the murder of Iryna, Cristina and Zineb, and to life without parole for 22 years for the disappearance of Fatima Saiah.

Salameh is now going through the appeals process, and still maintains his innocence. I presume that he will keep making noise until he dies, and that we will keep on not caring. Unless he manages to escape, but seeing how the previous attempts went...

Anyway, I hope you liked that article ! If that's the case, let me know on Reddit (r/Murder_Wine_Cheese) and tell me which french-speaking killers you would like me to do next ! Until the next article, I wish you lots of serotonin and kittens, bye ❤

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