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  • Writer's pictureElsa Moreira

Patrick Tissier, the ogre of Perpignan

Updated: Apr 29, 2023

Hi everyone, I hope you are having a good day. Make yourself a tea for this one, because you're going to be angry. Without further ado, here is the case of the ogre of Perpignan, Patrick Tissier !

Patrick Tissier (Source: Murderpedia)

An unhinged child

Patrick Tissier was born on August 24th, 1952, in the city of Bourges. He is the youngest of 6 children.

His childhood is far from a walk in the park. His father is very violent, and his mother, described as very unfaithful, abandons the family in 1963. His father then starts dating a woman named Maria Luna but the familial atmosphere doesn't get better, to the point where some of Patrick's siblings try to commit suicide. If you want to consider Patrick as a victim in all of this, wait a bit, because your pity is quite misplaced.

In 1965, at 12 years old, Patrick tries to rape his sister, but she manages to calm him down. However, he is not done. In 1969, he tries to rape his step-mother...twice. Only then is an investigation launched by social services. Patrick is monitored by a judge, which makes him stop his assaults for a while. However, he is not taken away from his family/victims, for some mysterious reason.

Towards the end of his teenage years, he meets Marie-Françoise Pinson, a 16-year-old apprentice hairdresser, while working as a gas station attendant. The two begin a relationship, and at the time everyone sees them as ordinary lovebirds. But Marie-Françoise is in a relationship with a predator who sadly doesn't wait long before acting on his impulses.

Marie-Françoise Pinson (Source: Faites entrer l'accusé)

The first crime

On May 1st, 1971, Patrick is about to leave for his military service. He decides to go to a ball with Marie-Françoise. At the end of this ball, they start walking by a river, and Patrick starts making sexual advances on her. She refuses, and all hell breaks loose. Patrick strangles her, takes off her clothes, rapes her, and throws her body in the river.

Marie-Françoise's body is found the next day, and Patrick is immediately suspected. He is arrested on May 3rd, 1971.

Patrick Tissier during his first arrest (Source: Murderpedia)

In April 1972, he is sentenced to 20 years of prison. The fact that he is still a minor (majority was at 21 at the time) saves him from the death penalty and from a life sentence. This should be the end of this story, but it sadly isn't.

Patrick is on the run

Patrick is a model prisoner, and ends up getting the authorization to temporarily leave the prison. His 5 first releases go well. The 6th one is a tragedy.

On December 22nd, 1982, in Toulouse, Patrick uses a BB gun to take a secretary hostage during her lunch break. He makes her drive outside of the city, before raping her and running away.

The next day, he tries to rape another woman, but she manages to run away. Patrick still manages to steal her bag, because in addition to being a killer and a rapist, he is also a thief.

In April 1983, he is spotted while committing an armed robbery in Nice, and is arrested. He is sentenced to 10 years of prison in 1985.

A premature release

Patrick only behaves in prison, and that's how he earns an early release on January 4th, 1992, after only 8 years of prison. He goes to Perpignan to start a new life. There, he is approached by an American Mormon, and starts going the local Mormon church. He even gets baptized. His new faith allows him to make a lot of friends who know nothing about his past. Among those new friends, there is the Volckaert family. He helps the family by giving them money and food when they need it, and the children even start calling him "uncle Patrick". I wish I could end this story here, even though it would be far from perfect, but the dark side of "uncle Patrick" is asking for more blood.

The rampage

On August 6th, 1993, in unknown circumstances, Patrick kills Concetta Lemma, his 45-year-old next door neighbor. He ties her up, wraps her in a shower curtain, and drives to Canohès before hiding her in the "Coves" tunnel.

Concetta Lemma (Source: Faites entrer l'accusé)

Concetta's daughters rapidly report her missing, with the help of their good friend Patrick. However, the investigators don't take their pleas seriously. Indeed, Concetta is linked to a local drug dealer, and must be put on trial in September for complicity. The authorities thus assume that she is on the run. The fact that her car had disappeared and that her card was still being used doesn't help. Patrick isn't even suspected.

Almost a month later, on September 10th, Patrick goes to the home of his friend Marie-Josée Gauze to "have a drink". Marie-Josée doesn't have a lot of time for him, and when he makes advances on her, she firmly refuses. Patrick pretends to accept it, but when he leaves, Marie-Josée doesn't lock the door behind him. He realizes it, and comes back in to assault her. She fiercely defends herself, to which he says "You bitch, you're a tough one."

Marie-Josée Gauze (Source: Faites entrer l'accusé)

He strangles her until she loses consciousness, before very probably raping her. When she wakes up, Patrick says "I have to finish you off, you're the only one who resisted me." Marie-Josée manages to calm him down, and Patrick ends up running away. Marie-Josée immediately calls the police, but Patrick can't be found. He still has one more tragedy in store for everyone.

On September 13th, Patrick waits in front of Karine Volckaert's school. The 8-year-old girl was supposed to go home with her brother and their neighbor, but she wanted to stay and play some more. Her little brother was supposed to go pick her up an hour later, but he got distracted by cartoons. So when 6pm rolls around, Karine is alone outside of her school. When he shows himself, she immediately recognizes "uncle Patrick" and when he proposes a ride home, she accepts. Patrick starts driving, but instead of taking Karine home, he parks in an isolated area and tells her that they are going to play a game. He handcuffs her, gags her, and tells her to hide under a seat. He takes her 2 hours away to the village of Fitou and parks next to an abandoned house. That's where he rapes the little girl, before strangling her to death and raping her again. Once he is done, he puts Karine's body in the house's well and covers it with trash.

Karine Volckaert (Source: Murderpedia)

The investigators, immediately called when Karine's brother realized that she had disappeared, quickly link Karine's disappearance and Marie-Josée's assault. Indeed, Marie-Josée told the policemen that she once passed in front the Volckaert's house with Patrick, who told her that he knew the family. Moreover, one of Karine's classmates tells the investigators that he saw Karine get in the car of a man that she seemed to know. A description of Patrick is broadcast all over French police stations.

On September 21st, 1993, Patrick is finally spotted in the city of Paulhan, and is arrested after a car chase. He doesn't resist, despite having several firearms in his car.

The confession

During his first interrogation, Patrick says nothing. It's only when he is about to be handed off to the Perpignan investigators that he tells them that he will take them to Karine, and leads them to the little girl's body. After that, he also confesses to Marie-Josée's assault. He is indicted and placed in custody.

While he is in custody, he writes a lot of letters to the judge in charge of his case, even telling her that he is in love with her. It's to her that he ends up confessing to the murder of Concetta Lemma. However, he lies several times about the location of her body, before finally taking the investigators to Canohès.

The trial

Patrick Tissier's trial begins on January 26th, 1998. This trial is very hard for the victims and their families. Marie-Josée Gauze has an asthma attack on the first day, and when Karine's murder is brought up, Karine's mother passes out. Despite all of this, Patrick remains calm, and explains that he simply had impulses, and that his victims were "piles of flesh and bones" to him.

According to the experts, Patrick doesn't suffer from mental illness, but he associates violence and sexuality.

On January 30th, 1998, Patrick is sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for 30 years. When the sentence is handed down, Patrick expresses regrets and says that he doesn't want Perpignan to have to live through "another Patrick Tissier". Yeah, us neither...

I have to note that after this case, a law authorizing life without parole for child killers was passed, but it has yet to be applied.

That's it for today ! Tell me what you think about this case in the comments or on r/Murder_Wine_Cheese. Watch some kitten videos to relax, and I'll see you with the next case !

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