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  • Writer's pictureElsa Moreira

The paratroopers of Francazal, deviants in uniform

Updated: Jan 12


Hi, if you're here from the Reddit post, I need you to know that I forgot to put the "mischievous" part of the title in quotation marks. That's how the accomplices described what they did in this case, but it nowhere near "mischievous fun". It's cold-blooded murder. I apologize for the mistake.


TW: SA, CSA, torture


Isabelle

On May 30th, 1989, during the evening, Isabelle Rabou, a 23-year-old physiotherapist, is done having drinks with her friends near Toulouse, France. Around 12:15am, she leaves to meet a friend, Agnès. She is supposed to sleep at Agnès’ place. She never makes it.

The next day, Agnès and Isabelle’s parents start to worry and go to the local police station to report her missing.

That same day, Isabelle’s car is found in a field, calcinated. The policemen look for Isabelle, but she is nowhere near the car. At this point, everyone is seriously worried. But the investigators are realizing something. They are near the Francazal military base.


One body, and a lot of suspects

The police officers first try to investigate the base by themselves, but they are only allowed to get superficial information since they are not part of the military. They soon decide to team up with the gendarmes, who are considered part of the military. The gendarmes question the staff of the BOMAP (Airborne Mobile Operational Base) and read all the available files related to them. However, they don’t find anything. This doesn’t dishearten them, so they start staking out the zone around the camp. Sadly, it is already too late for Isabelle.

On July 3rd, 1989, early in the morning, a farmer finds her body in field about 12 miles away from Toulouse. An autopsy is conducted, and it shows that Isabelle was beaten, sexually assaulted, and strangled.

The determined policemen and gendarmes continue their investigation and their stakeouts, but the conscripts’ movements aren’t registered between diner and the following morning, so it’s impossible to know who was off the base when Isabelle disappeared.

The surveillance is ceased on July 12th, and the tragedy picks up where it left off.



The second car

On July 13th, a second burned vehicle is found near the Francazal base. This time, there are two bodies in the trunk. They can’t be formally identified, and car was stolen, but the coroner still manages to determine that they are two young women who went through the same horrors as Isabelle. The investigators’ suspicion turns into a certitude : there are killers in the Francazal military base.

The gendarmes enter the camp again and check the most recent files. And suddenly, a breakthrough: two conscripts, 19-year-old Thierry El Borgi and 20-year-old Philippe Siauve have deserted. Thierry had illegally left the base on July 13th, and Philippe never came back from his July 15th leave. An arrest warrant is immediately made against the two.


Thierry

The suspects didn’t have an easy childhood.

Thierry El Borgi was conceived when his mother’s stepfather raped her. She manages to escape her family and marry a man who adopts Thierry, but the child never gets any affection from this man. Neglected, Thierry runs away from home at 12 after falsifying his legal documents, and ends up in the street, alone and vulnerable. At 16, he attends a training course to become a mechanic, but he soon gives up and goes back to the streets, the drugs and the alcohol. When he turns 18, he joins the army and meets Philippe while taking the paratrooper exam.


Philippe

Born in Lyon, Philippe is the son of a prostitute who abandons the family when he is 12. He goes to live with his grandparents with his father and three brothers, and soon gives up on his studies. He starts committing petty crimes and taking drugs, and after a few years he decides to join the army to “become a man”. That’s where he meets Thierry, who gets him back into drugs and criminal behavior.



On the run

The two conscripts left the base separately, but they met up on July 16th in Saint-Romain-de-Jalionas, where Philippe was visiting his mother (who came back in the picture at some point, I guess). The duo breaks into a house, where they steal a rifle, ammunition and 1700 francs (approximately 260 euros, or 292 dollars). They steal a car on the following day and go for a long ride. In the evening they drive by a bar where Philippe spots a couple of North-African men. The violent racist thus decide to shoot in their direction, thankfully missing. They keep driving, and at some point stop by a field to shoot at cows. They later drive by a low-cost housing complex, where they suppose a lot of North-Africans live. They shoot, but don’t hit anyone.

When the sun starts to rise on July 18th, they are back in Saint-Romain-de-Jalionas. They are walking after setting the stolen car on fire when they see Marcel.


Marcel

Marcel Douzet is a 62-year-old gamekeeper. He has lived his whole life in Saint-Romain-de-Jalionas, and even joined the Resistance there during WWII.

On July 18th, around 5am, someone tells him that there might be some foxes in the woods. He immediately gets dressed and goes there. Once in the woods, he walks into Thierry and Philippe. He knows the latter, so they engage in a conversation. He doesn’t see Thierry aiming at him. A gunshot rings out. Marcel dies.

The duo takes the body further into the woods, and throw Marcel’s rifle in a cornfield. The gamekeeper is found in the evening.


The arrest

After killing Marcel, the two fugitives go to the local doctor’s office. The doctor knows Philippe, but it’s Thierry who asks for a medical certificate to justify his absence from the Francazal base. The doctor categorically refuse and starts to be wary of the two men, who start being agressive. They end up leaving, not knowing that only have a few hours of freedom left.

Indeed, at 7pm, they are spotted in a cornfield. They manage to run to the basement of a house, but they surrender rapidly enough. They are taken to the Cremieu gendarmerie station.



The confessions

Once in the interrogation room, Thierry and Philippe explain the burglary, the violent escapade and Marcel’s murder.

On July 20th, the two paratroopers are repatriated to Toulouse to be interrogated about Isabelle Rabou as well as the two unidentified women. That’s when they tell the investigators that they had two accomplices : Franck Feuerstein and Thierry Jaouen. These two new suspects are immediately arrested and quickly confess their part in Isabelle’s murder.


Thierry Jaouen and Franck

Franck is 19. He is the oldest of 5 children. He doesn’t know his father, but his stepfather raised him like he was his. A mediocre student, he failed his mechanic training and lived from paycheck to paycheck before joining the army. That’s where he met Philippe, who got him into alcohol and drugs.

Thierry Jaouen is also 19. His mother is a child care assistant and his father is city hall employee. As a child, he is smart but not a good student. He still completes his training as a butcher and works for 3 years before joining the army. Once in a uniform and surrounded by the other Thierry, Philippe and Franck, he goes from calm and collected to violent.


Back to the confessions

Philippe confesses to killing Isabelle with Thierry Jaouen and Franck Feuerstein. On the evening of May 31st, they were in Toulouse looking for a car to steal, and spotted Isabelle’s car. They entered it, took her hostage and brought her to a field, where they beat her before taking turns raping her and finally strangling her. After they were done, they took her body to another field, burned the car, and went back to the base like nothing happened.

Thierry El Borgi and Philippe then tell the investigators how they killed the two unidentified women on July 13th. The nightclub where they wanted to go was closed, so they decided to go to the National Day fair. That’s where they spotted 18-year-old Noria Boussedra, and 12-year-old Luisa De Azevedo, who were waiting for the bus. They picked them up and took them to a field or on the side of a road, depending on who you ask. Thierry started beating Noria, but didn’t rape her because she was on her period. He directly strangled her. Then Philippe beat and raped Luisa, before strangling her and stabbing her in the throat.

Once they are done confessing, the four paratroopers are immediately placed in detention and indicted for first degree murder, kidnapping, rape, torture and barbaric acts.



The trial

From left to right : Franck, Thierry El Borgi, Thierry Jaouen and Philippe (Source : La Dépêche)
From left to right : Franck, Thierry El Borgi, Thierry Jaouen and Philippe (Source : La Dépêche)

The four evil paratroopers’ trial starts on April 15th, 1991. The jurors and the judge have 130 counts to rule on. None of the accused give any explanation on why they did what they did. In fact, they are quite cold and detached from the whole thing. They try to express some regrets at the end for the female victims, but nothing for Marcel Douzet.

Thierry El Borgi and Philippe Siauve are sentenced to 30 years to life. Thierry Jaouen is sentenced to 15 years to life, and Franck Feuerstein is sentenced to 13 years to life. They can consider themselves lucky, because a few years earlier they would have all been sentenced to death.

Since 2009, Thierry Jaouen is under a semi-freedom status, which means that he gets to be out between 7am and 7pm. Sources differ regarding the whereabouts of Franck Feuerstein. Some say he died in 2012, some say he is still in prison.

Thierry El Borgi and Philippe Siauve are still in prison, and they aren’t getting released anytime soon.


And that’s how this case ends. Tell me what you think about this case in the comments or on r/Murder_Wine_Cheese. If you can, please make a donation so I can offer you better content.

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