Anne Guedes dropped a link into my blog about the cold case story of Grégory Villemin. The programme was a French talk show discussion of the case. It happens to have a short section on the Madeleine McCann incident. I made the mistake of not doing some research on Grégory beforehand, so I was labouring under French that I learned over 40 years ago and have seldom used since. The case is also known as Little Grégory, the Grégory Affair, and the French equivalents thereof.
The Villemins had been getting unsigned letters and anonymous phone calls from a male threatening revenge against Grégory’s father, Jean-Marie Villemin. It appears that in France, the sender of such anonymous letters becomes The Crow – Le Corbeau.
On 16 Oct 1984, the Villemins received a phone call, saying the boy had been taken and thrown in a river. Grégory’s body was found in a river 7km away. His hands and feet had been bound with rope.
On 17th Oct 1984 the Villemins received another anonymous letter stating “I have taken revenge”.
Based on handwriting analysis, a cousin of the father came under suspicion. He was released without charges, but Jean-Marie publicly vowed to kill him. On 25 Mar 1985, Jean-Marie shot dead his cousin, Bernard Laroche, and served 5 years in prison for murder.
Also due to handwriting analysis, Grégory’s mother, Christine Villemin, came under suspicion, but was eventually cleared.
At various points in time, the case has been re-examined, due to advances in DNA testing.
In June 2017, based on new evidence, 3 people were arrested. One has since been cleared. The other two, a great-aunt and great-uncle have invoked their right to silence.
The programme is at https://youtu.be/_r5nMrWcij8 The section on Madeleine McCann starts around 46.30.
I do not intend getting involved in Grégory’s case. I only do Madeleine’s case because Operation Grange conducted an expensive, farcical dig in Luz in June 2014. However, Grégory’s story is sufficiently interesting to do this single post.
My thanks to Anne for bringing this case and the programme link to my attention.