The Crime Story Of Xavier Dupont de Ligonnes (+100 words explained) - Learn French With News #10

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The Crime Story Of Xavier Dupont de Ligonnes (+100 words explained) - Learn French With News #10

In April 2011, in Nantes, a 50-year-old man murdered his wife, their four children and their two dogs. He then buried them under their terrace and disappeared without a trace. Many mysteries surround this criminal case, which has fascinated the whole of France.

Welcome to another episode of the French with News special "crimes".

You loved the episode on Jean-Claude Romand. I'll repost it just above. So I've decided to bring you a new episode on a major French criminal case.

Today, I'm going to talk to you about the Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès case. It's a story that obsesses a lot of French people.

It's one of the most talked-about news stories, and one that comes up regularly in the media and in conversation. In fact, if you're talking to a French person, don't hesitate to ask them what they think about this case, because practically every French person has their own theory about it.

The main protagonist of the story has disappeared, and it's been almost fifteen years. It will soon be fifteen years and everyone will be wondering where he is.

Regularly, frequently, reports are made to the police from people who think they recognize him. But unfortunately, so far, these have always been false leads.

As usual, you can download the free vocabulary sheet that includes all the words we'll be looking at in this video by clicking on the link in the description.

But who is Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès? This is the last image we have of him, Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès, withdrawing €30 from an ATM. This is the last image of France's most wanted man. Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès was born in Versailles in 1961. He has two sisters.

His mother is the founder of a prayer group that is considered a cult. She had created a sectarian movement. Christine, one of her sisters, later became the leader of the group.

When Xavier was about fifteen, his father left the marital home. So he stayed with his mother and sisters. Xavier became a salesman. When you're a salesman, your job is to sell.

He went on to set up several companies in this context, but they didn't do very well. They didn't work out very well.

Xavier speaks English very well, with practically no accent, and has a real fascination for the United States. As you'll see, this is important for the rest of the story. He meets his wife Agnès in the early 80s and marries her in 1991.

She works in a school in Nantes. Among other things, she gives catechism classes. So it's religion, Christian religion. Together, they had four children, Arthur, Thomas, Anne and Benoît. At the time of the events, in April 2011, Agnès was 49, Benoît 13, Anne 16, Thomas 18 and Arthur 20. Over the years, with all these companies failing, Xavier has accumulated a huge amount of debt. So he owes money to a lot of people. He's going to be drowning in debt, and he probably felt he had his back to the wall.

This meant that he had reached an impasse. A year before the affair, he sent an e-mail to two friends in which he wrote: "If things go wrong, I have only two solutions: I can blow myself up with my car, or I can set fire to the baraque when everyone's asleep." La baraque is a colloquial French word for house. "So I'll be up against the wall at the end of August/beginning of September, with a final decision to make.

Suicide alone or collective suicide." So that means with several people. This message will be accompanied by an attachment called disposition.doc. And this attachment looks like a will. Today, Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès is considered the main witness and suspect in the murder of his wife and four children.

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Let's return to the Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès case and move on to the alleged facts. We say "presumed facts" because we're not sure how they happened. It's simply how we think they happened. Because, as I said, we still haven't got to the bottom of this.

This means that we don't have the solution, that we don't have the key to this case. Today, Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès is only a suspect, even if, as you will see, there is a huge amount of evidence against him, which points to his guilt. Let me remind you that the murders took place in April 2011.

As early as December 2010, the father of the family, Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès, was registered at a shooting range where he went to train. On January 20, Xavier's father died and Xavier took home a rifle. It's a type of firearm. Two months later, we know that he is going to buy ammunition for this rifle and a silencer.

A silencer is an object that you can put on a firearm and that allows you to attenuate the noise when you shoot, to reduce the noise of gunshots. On 1ᵉʳ April 2011, we know he went to a DIY store and he's going to buy two bags of cement, bags of rubble. So rubble is waste after a demolition.

A gardening tool that stirs up the soil and a spade. A spade is also a gardening tool that looks like a shovel. The difference is that the spade is flat and the shovel is rounded. On Sunday April 3, he and his family go to the movies and out to dinner as if everything were perfectly normal.

Except that it was probably on this night that he murdered his wife Agnès and three of his children. The fourth was not at home.

The next day, the 4th, he went to Angers to see his other son, Thomas, and they dined together in a restaurant. The following night, between April 5 and 6, he probably killed his fourth child. And on the 6th, apparently, he spent the day quietly at home, as if nothing had happened.

On Thursday, April 7, he was spotted by neighbors going back and forth between his house and his car, carrying heavy things. On April 8, the next day, he sent a letter to nine people in the family circle. It's a rather astonishing letter.

In this letter, in a nutshell, he explains that the family had to leave France for the United States in a hurry.

In this letter, he claims to be an undercover agent, i.e. a spy, and explains that from now on, the whole family... er... They are American residents and no longer have French nationality.

In this letter, he also leaves a few instructions for his loved ones. Some will be asked to clear out the attic, others to collect household appliances.

In this letter, there's a postscript, a PS that may seem a little strange, especially when you have the whole story in its entirety. I'll read it for you. So he writes: "PS: no need to worry about the rubble and other junk piled up under the terrace. It was there when we got here."

So basically, he's saying... Don't go into that area. So this letter goes out on the 8th, and the next day he moves into his son's student accommodation, which he empties completely. And finally, on April 10, he left the family home for good. From there, investigators were able to retrace his steps in the days that followed. So we know in which cities he stayed and in which hotels.

So he'll be travelling down France, passing through Charente-Maritime, Haute-Garonne, Vaucluse and finally the Var, and the last hotel where we know he stayed was the Formule 1 in Roquebrune-sur-Argens.

And now it's April 14, 2011. He's going to spend one night in this Formule 1 and the next day he's going to leave this hotel on foot at 4.10pm.

And that's the last trace we have of him on surveillance camera footage. And since then, radio silence. No one knows where he might have disappeared to. It was only a week later, on April 21, 2011, that the bodies of his wife, children and dogs were found buried under the terrace of their home.

That same day, the police spotted Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès' car in the Var, in the parking lot of this Formula 1 hotel.

On April 22nd, an autopsy was carried out on the bodies, and it was discovered that the family members had been drugged with sleeping pills before being shot, i.e. killed with a rifle. We even learn that the victims were shot at close range in their sleep.

So point-blank means very close, and the rifle model is identical to the one Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès is said to have taken from his father.

An international search warrant has been issued for Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès and searches will be organized in the region. In the region where he was last seen, but you guessed it, without success.

But what are the leads and what are the theories? Where is Xavier and what has really happened, or what hypotheses can we imagine?

As I said at the start of this video, there's a huge buzz around this case, and already at the time, Facebook groups had been created, where people were collectively trying to find digital traces of the family, so of their last interactions on the networks to try to find them or find out more about what... about what had happened.

One of the first leads investigators considered was that of monasteries. So in this region, in the Var, there are a lot of monasteries and it's a place where it's potentially easy to hide.

So a monastery is a place where there are monks, religious people. And several times, even years later, monasteries were searched because reports had been made. People thought they had seen Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès, but nothing came of it.

The second is the United States. As I said, he had a fascination for the United States. It was really his country of heart. So we suppose he could have fled there too. Incidentally, should this lead prove to be true, he could have used the services of a certain Gérard Corona. Gérard Corona is a French expatriate who specializes in helping foreigners with the administrative formalities involved in moving to the United States. And we know that he also offers his clients his services to open bank accounts abroad and obtain anonymous payment cards. So you can withdraw money anywhere in the world without leaving a trace.

The third possibility is that of a former companion or mistress.

In particular, investigators tried to follow the trail of one of his former lovers, who is German and lives in Germany.

But nothing came of it. And there's also the possibility of one of his former mistresses, because over the years, he's had several mistresses.

A mistress is someone you cheat on your wife with. In fact, a year before the tragedy, he also sent a letter to Catherine, one of his former mistresses, in which he spoke of "getting it over with". When you say you want to get it over with, it means you want to kill yourself. You want to kill yourself.

So one theory is that one of these women could have helped him, particularly financially, as we know that Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès had no money left.

Another theory, which joins the previous one, says that he would not have acted alone, but in this one, that he would have been helped by his two best friends, notably to bury the bodies. It's a theory that appears in a book called "Without Pity for His Own", which was published in 2017, which tries to retrace the facts.

There has been an enormous amount of content, books and reports that have tried to find out more.

And so, in fact, this theory comes from the fact that it seems impossible that he could have done this work alone. He had serious back and shoulder problems. It seems impossible that he could have dug the pits under the terrace by himself. So the pits are holes.

And finally, the last but not least convincing clue is the suicide clue. So, yes, after killing his family, he could have made his journey and then killed himself. But as I was saying, there's a lot of evidence against this theory.

Why had she gone to such lengths to hide the bodies? Why empty his son's apartment? Why did he organize such an escape, if he was going to take his own life anyway?

An interesting fact that happened in 2015 and that feeds the theory that Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès is alive and well.

A journalist from the city of Nantes received a photo. She received a letter with a photo inside showing Arthur and Benoît.

So he's the oldest and youngest member of the family. On the back of the photo, it says: "I'm still alive from here to this hour." It's a rather enigmatic phrase. It's not really a very common expression in French, it's signed Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès, but naturally, we're not sure that this letter comes from him.

As I said at the beginning of the video, there have been a huge number of reports. There have been over 900 since 2011, and none of them have led to anything.

But you may have heard about one of the latest ones that caused quite a stir in the media In 2019, Le Parisien, a French media outlet, announced the arrest of Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès at Glasgow airport in Scotland. The man looks nothing like him, but over the years, he could have undergone cosmetic surgery naturally, and changed his physique.

According to Scottish police information that had been passed on to France. It was certain that it was him, that the fingerprints matched.

But we soon discover that this isn't the case at all, and that the fingerprints don't really match. The man is also older, and the distance between his eyes doesn't match that of the wanted man at all. All in all, another false lead.

Let's move on to theories that are a little... conspiracy theories, theories that contradict the facts as I've presented them to you.

More far-fetched theories about what really happened. Autopsies reveal that Agnès and three of the children were murdered between the night of April 3 and 4. However, there are also testimonies from neighbors that cast doubt, especially among those who have other theories on the facts.

Indeed, one neighbor said she had spoken to Agnès on April 7, three days after her death, and that she had come across her walking her dog and talked to her.

Some people also believe that the bodies were not those of the family and that they are still alive somewhere. This theory is fuelled by two things.

Firstly, the fact that the judge dissuaded the family from seeing the bodies. So the family didn't recognize the bodies. And secondly, the fact that the judge very quickly issued the permits for the bodies to be buried. He did so on the same day as the autopsy, and that's something quite rare.

So burying bodies means burying them. In fact, Christine, one of Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès' sisters, is convinced of this theory. She's convinced that they weren't the family's bodies, and that they're still alive and have gone to the United States, as Xavier indicated in his letter.

And to support her theory, she published on a blog she had with her husband in 2013, an extract from an e-mail Xavier sent her in July 2010, in which he talks about accidents that could happen to his family.

And he writes: "Finally, I hope that even after a police investigation, my parents, brothers and sisters will never be led to believe that these accidents were deliberately caused by me, even if the evidence is clear.

And that's how I'll end this video on these slightly crazier theories.

I hope you enjoyed this video and learned some new vocabulary through this story. If you liked it, don't forget to "like" the video. If this is the first time you've watched one of my videos, subscribe and activate the bell so you don't miss any, and I'll see you soon!

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