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Marc Paul Alain Dutroux[1] (French: [dytʀu]; born 6 November 1956) is a Belgian convicted child molester and murderer.

Marc Dutroux
Marc Paul Alain Dutroux

(1956-11-06) 6 November 1956 (age 63)
Ixelles, Belgium
Criminal statusImprisoned
(solitary confinement)
Spouse(s)Francoise D.
Michelle Martin
  • Child pornography
  • Child sexual abuse
  • Kidnapping
  • Murder
  • Theft
Criminal penaltyLife imprisonment
Partner(s)Michelle Martin,
Michel Lelièvre
Victims11 (possibly more)
Date19??–1986, 1995–1996
Date apprehended
13 August 1996
Imprisoned atPrison of Nivelles
Marc Dutroux from Belgium pronunciation (Voice of America)

Dutroux was convicted in 1989 for the abduction and rape of five young girls (with his then-wife Michelle Martin, and his accomplice Jean Van Peteghem). He was released on parole after three years in prison.

In 1996, Dutroux was arrested on suspicion of having kidnapped, tortured and sexually abused six females aged between 8 and 19, four of whom died. His widely publicised trial took place in 2004. Dutroux was convicted of all charges, along with the murder of a suspected former accomplice, and sentenced to life imprisonment. Martin was convicted as an accomplice. Michael Lelièvre was also sentenced to 25 years in prison as his accomplice. Businessman Michel Nihoul was first charged as a co-defendant of Marc Dutroux but was later tried separately and convicted for car smuggling and drug offences.

A number of shortcomings in the Dutroux investigation caused widespread discontent in Belgium with the country's criminal justice system, and the ensuing scandal was one of the reasons for the reorganization of Belgium's law enforcement agencies. Dutroux repeatedly stated that he wasn't acting alone but was part of a child sex ring network. Severe shortcomings of the police and judicial system in the case has lead many people in the Belgium public to make allegations of a cover- up of a network behind Marc Dutroux.


Early life of DutrouxEdit

Born in Ixelles, Belgium, on 6 November 1956,[2] Dutroux was the eldest child of five of Victor and Jeanine, who were both teachers. He spent the first years of his life in Congo. After the Congo crisis his parents had to return to Belgium.[3] Dutroux reported that he was repeatedly beaten by his parents. His parents divorced in 1971 and Dutroux left home. He then became a drifter and a male prostitute.[3] Dutroux married at age 20 and had two children. He admitted to beating his wife and cheating on her. They separated in the 1980s.[3] One of his mistresses was Michelle Martin, who he later married and had three more children with.[3] Dutroux and Martin were married in 1989 while both were in prison. They divorced in 2003, also while in prison.[citation needed]

Early release of Dutroux after abduction and rapesEdit

Dutroux had already committed similar crimes (kidnapping and rape of young girls). He had been imprisoned for that in 1989.[4] He was however released early and was thus able to reoffend. Namely he was released in 1991 after only serving three and a half years of a thirteen-year sentence.[5][6]

Dutroux had for example abducted Axelle D. on 14 December 1985. During her testimony she told the police that Peteghem had told her that "he was part of a gang" led by two gang leaders, "an Italian and a crazy stupid one." Jean Van Peteghem admitted to have taken part in the abduction. He said he had abducted the girl with Marc Dutroux and Michelle Martin. He had lived with Dutroux after being discharged from the military and having his marriage fail. Peteghem told police that the first victims of his and Dutroux were two girls from Morlanwelz. The victims were never recovered by police. On 7 June 1985 the first proven abduction by the two took place. They abducted eleven-year-old Sylvie D. On 17 October 1985 the pair abducted Maria V., 19, from Peronnes-lez-Binche. Maria V. also identified a third man that took part in her abduction and appeared to be in his fifties. The man was never found by police. On 17 January 1986 Catherine B., 18, was abducted from Obaix. Dutroux had one or two accomplices in her abduction that were never found by police. Peteghem was stationed as army personnel in Germany during that time and could not have assisted Dutroux. On 18 December 1985, Dutroux abducted Elisabeth G., 15, in Pont-à-Celles. Peteghem told police that Dutroux filmed Elisabeth naked and took pictures of her. At the beginning of February 1987, Martin, Dutroux and Peteghem were arrested. This had to a large extent been the fault of Peteghem who had given out a lot of information about him in conversations with the girls, which had been enough for police to identify him. The three were eventually convicted on 26 April 1989. Dutroux received 13.5 years. Peteghem received 6.5 years and Martin received 5 years. Dutroux received a harsher sentence because he had also committed several robberies with Peteghem. Dutroux was thus additionally convicted for the brutal robbery of a 58-year-old woman. The robbery was also committed with accomplices. One of the accomplices in this robbery was also never found by police.[7] The early release of Dutroux was against the advice of the public prosecutor and against the advice of the psychiatrist who had examined him in prison and stated that he remained dangerous.[7] The early release was granted by Melchior Wathelet.[8]

Granting Dutroux state assistance, sleeping pills and sedativesEdit

While in jail he managed to convince a health professional that he was disabled because of mental illness. He thus was able to collect public assistance by the Belgium government of $1,200 a month. He, furthermore, convinced the professional that he needed sedatives for sleeping problems. Dutroux later went on to use those sedatives to sedate his victims.[9] and has had for decades.[10] He owned seven small houses, most of them vacant, and used three of them for the torture of the girls he kidnapped. In his residence in Marcinelle, he constructed a concealed dungeon in the basement. Hidden behind a massive concrete door disguised as a shelf, the cell was 2.15 m (7 ft) long, less than 1 m (3 ft) wide and 1.64 m (5 ft) high.[citation needed] He has been described by psychiatrists who examined him for trial as a psychopath.[11]

Crimes after releaseEdit

On 24 June 1995, eight-year-old classmates Julie Lejeune and Mélissa Russo were kidnapped after going for a walk in Grâce-Hollogne, probably by Dutroux,[12] and brought to his house in Marcinelle. Dutroux kept them imprisoned in the dungeon he had created, repeatedly sexually abused them and produced pornographic videos of the abuse. Two months later, in the early hours of 23 August in Ostend, Dutroux and accomplice Michel Lelièvre kidnapped An Marchal and Eefje Lambrecks, two teenage girls from Hasselt[13] who were on their way back to their holiday home in Westende following a night out in Blankenberge.[14] With Lejeune and Russo already in the dungeon, Lambrecks and Marchal were kept chained up in a bedroom. In September, according to Martin, Lambrecks and Marchal were drugged and brought to Jumet, where Dutroux and accomplice Bernard Weinstein killed them by burying them in a hole.[15]

Around the time of Lambrecks and Marchal's deaths, Weinstein and a man named Philippe Divers stole a van and hid it in a hangar; after it was found there by the hangar's owner, it was taken away by the police. Dutroux and Weinstein suspected that Divers and his friend Pierre Rochow had betrayed them, and on the night of 4 November, wishing to interrogate them about the van, Dutroux and Weinstein lured Divers and Rochow into Weinstein's home in Jumet and drugged and sequestered them, before leaving to go to Rochow's house to search for clues about the van. There they found his girlfriend Bénédicte Jadot, whom they took with them back to Jumet and questioned before leaving again to pick up another person. While they were away, Jadot escaped and alerted a neighbour, who called the police.[16][17] With Weinstein wanted by police, Dutroux decided to kill him to prevent his capture. He kidnapped Weinstein and held him in the dungeon at his house in Marcinelle between 13 and 20 November. During this time, he let Lejeune and Russo roam freely around the house. After feeding him food laced with Rohypnol, Dutroux placed hose clamps around Weinstein's testicles until Weinstein told him where his money was hidden. Dutroux then killed Weinstein by burying him in a hole on his (Dutroux's) property in Sars-la-Buissière.[18] In December, Dutroux, having been recognised by Rochow, was arrested.[17]

According to Dutroux and Martin, Lejeune and Russo were still alive in the house at the time of Dutroux's arrest in December, and Dutroux had ordered Martin to leave new food and water for the girls in the dungeon each time they went out. Martin neglected to feed them, later claiming she was too afraid to go into the dungeon.[19] Lejeune and Russo eventually starved to death. Dutroux initially stated that they were still alive when he returned home following his release from prison on 20 March 1996; according to him, Lejeune died that day, and Russo followed suit four days later despite his efforts to save her; during his trial, he said they were already dead when he returned from prison.[20][21] An expert asserted that they would not have been able to survive the entire time Dutroux was in prison on the total amount of food and water they were said to have been given.[22] Dutroux buried Lejeune and Russo's bodies in the garden of the house he owned in Sars-la-Buissière, near Weinstein.[23]

On the morning of 28 May 1996, Dutroux and Lelièvre kidnapped 12-year-old Sabine Dardenne who was cycling to school in Tournai.[24] In a book originally published under the title J'avais 12 ans, j'ai pris mon vélo et je suis partie à l'école[25] (and published in the United Kingdom under the title I Choose to Live), Dardenne described her time in captivity in Dutroux's Marcinelle home, where she spent most of the time imprisoned in the dungeon and was starved and repeatedly raped by Dutroux.[26] On 9 August, Dutroux and Lelièvre kidnapped 14-year-old Laetitia Delhez as she was walking home from her local swimming pool in Bertrix.[27] An eyewitness observed Dutroux's van, described it and was able to identify part of the license plate.[28] On 13 August, Dutroux, Martin and Lelièvre were arrested.[29][30] An initial search of Dutroux's houses proved inconclusive, but two days later, Dutroux and Lelièvre both made confessions. That same day, Dutroux led the police to the basement dungeon inside which Dardenne and Delhez were imprisoned, and the girls were subsequently rescued.[31] On 17 August, Dutroux led police to his house in Sars-la-Buissière, and with his help they were able to locate and exhume the bodies of Lejeune, Russo and Weinstein.[32] On 3 September, the remains of Marchal and Lambrecks were located and exhumed in Jumet.[33] Hundreds of commercial adult pornographic videos, along with a large number of home-made sex films that Dutroux had made with Martin, were recovered from his properties.[34]

Grave errors by law enforcement and prosecution during investigationEdit

Failure to follow up on letter of Dutrouxs mother warning of kidnapped girls being held at his houseEdit

In 1995 Dutroux's mother wrote a letter to the authorities stating that she knew that Dutroux had kidnapped two girls and was keeping them at his house.[35]

Failure to rescue Melissa and JulieEdit

After Melissa and Julie were kidnapped in 1995, it took police 14 months to arrest Dutroux even though he had been a prime suspect from the start and had committed similar crimes before.[36]

During the search for Melissa and Julie, police visited Dutroux's house twice on 13 December and 19 December where Julie and Melissa were held. However, no attempts were made to free them, even though the locksmith who accompanied the police, René Michaux,[36] said that he heard screams of children coming from inside the house. The locksmith repeatedly said: "I'm not leaving before we turn the place upside down. The screams are clearly coming from inside the house." To which Michaux replied: "Who is the police officer here? You or me?"[5]

Dutroux arrest on car theft chargesEdit

Around the time of Eefje Lambrecks and An Marchal's deaths, Weinstein and a man named Philippe Divers stole a van and hid it in a hangar; after it was found there by the hangar's owner, it was taken away by the police. Dutroux and Weinstein suspected that Divers and his friend Pierre Rochow had betrayed them, and on the night of 4 November, wishing to interrogate them about the van, Dutroux and Weinstein lured Divers and Rochow into Weinstein's home in Jumet and drugged and sequestered them, before leaving to go to Rochow's house to search for clues about the van. There they found his girlfriend Bénédicte Jadot, whom they took with them back to Jumet and questioned before leaving again to pick up another person. While they were away, Jadot escaped and alerted a neighbour, who called the police.[16][17] With Weinstein wanted by police, Dutroux decided to kill him to prevent capture. He kidnapped Weinstein and held him in the dungeon at his house in Marcinelle between 13 and 20 November. During this time, he let Julie Lejeune and Melissa Russo roam freely around the house. After feeding him food laced with Rohypnol, Dutroux placed hose clamps around Weinstein's testicles until Weinstein told him where his money was hidden. Dutroux then killed Weinstein by burying him in a hole on his (Dutroux's) property in Sars-la-Buissière.[18] In December, Dutroux, having been recognised by Rochow, was arrested.[17] Marc Dutroux was arrested on 6 December 1995 on car theft charges and subsequently convicted to three months in jail.[3] During the three months Melissa and Julie died of starvation and dehydration in their dungeon cell as the wife of Dutroux didn't feed them, even though she knew that they were there.[36]

Failure to review video tapes confiscated from DutrouxEdit

During the search of the houses of Marc Dutroux several video tapes were found. Those were never looked at. Some of them showed Dutroux constructing the dungeon in which Melissa and Julie were held. Had police looked at it, they would have found the dungeon and Melissa and Julie.[36] The video tapes had been in possession of the police since December 1995. They had been passed on the to the prosecutors in the case but not to the judges.[37] Furthermore, the some of the video tapes were actually returned to Dutroux by police officer René Michauxm without ever being looked at. The later leading investigator Michel Bourlet said that some of the video tapes had disappeared and that he want to have them all recovered and reviewed.[38]

The videos were reportedly stolen after they were returned to Dutroux.[38] In 1999 some of the tapes were finally reviewed. One of them showed Dutroux raping a young woman in Slovakia.[38] The videos could have made it possible to identify other victims and also exactly determine the severity of the torture that the victims had to endure during their ordeal.[38]

Later during the trial the lawyer of one of the victims, Laetitia Delhez, also expressed disappointment that the videos weren't reviewed, because they could have proved that Dutroux wasn't acting alone.[38]

Escape of Dutroux in 1998Edit

In 1998 Dutroux was allowed to have a look at his case files. He was accompanied by two police officers for that. When one officer went on a break Dutroux overwhelmed the other officer and was able to escape. He was captured a few hours later.[5] The Minister of Justice Stefaan De Clerck, the Minister of the Interior Johan Vande Lanotte, and the police chief resigned as a result. In 2000, Dutroux received a five-year sentence for threatening a police officer during his escape. In 2002, he received another five-year sentence for unrelated crimes.[34][3]

Failure to analyse DNA from basement dungeonEdit

Thousands of hairs were found in the cellar dungeon where Melissa and Julie were held. However those were for a very long time not tested for DNA.[5]

Inquiry into officer De Baets handling of the police investigationEdit

An inquiry was initiated into the way the investigation was handled by officer De Baets. As this inquiry into his handling of the case took up a lot of resources and during the inquiry it wasn't possible for him to pass on information to the Parliamentary inquiry into the handling of the case, crucial time was lost.[39]

There were accusations that language difficulties obscured the investigation. The testimony of Régina Louf was in Dutch, however it was reviewed several times by the new investigators who were primarily French speaking and they had difficulties in understanding her. Thus they changed the meaning of her testimony in a way that made her sound less credible.[39]

Failure to properly investigate leads to Slovakia and Czech RepublicEdit

Several sources said that Michel Nihoul and Marc Dutroux were planning on a prostitution and trafficking operation between Slovakia, Czech republic and Western Europe. Several pieces of evidence lead to connections to Slovakia and Czech republic. This included a video tape of Dutroux raping a young woman in Slovakia that wasn't reviewed after it was seized. It also included testimonies saying that they were planning on setting up a trafficking operation. Also the car theft and smuggling operation that Dutroux was involved in lead to those two Eastern European countries. During the time of his arrest Dutroux was in the possession of 2.000 SKK (Slovakian currency) in cash. Six Belgian investigators visited the Czech Republic and Slovakia in August 1996. It wasn't possible to proof that Dutroux had committed any crimes while being there. Thus they returned without any substantial evidence.[40]

Accusations of cover-upEdit

Many Belgian people believed that Dutroux was part of a pedophile network, that included high- ranking members of the Beglian establishment and that the other people involved were never prosecuted.[5]

Judge Jean-Marc Connerottes removal from the caseEdit

Press reports claimed that before his removal judge Jean-Marc Connerotte was on the verge of publicly disclosing the names of high level government officials who had been recognized on video- tapes.[41] Judge Jean-Marc Connerotte had said that the business man Michel Nihoul was the brains behind the child kidnapping operation.[36] Investigators also believed that Dutroux and Nihoul were planning on a long distance prostitution trafficking network involving cars and the import of girls from Slovakia.[42] The investigating police said in 1996, that Dutroux was part of a child- prostitution ring, that may also have been responsible for several other disappearances still unsolved. They also said that the gang surround Dutroux offered 5.000 $ per girl they received. Their criminal activities also involved car theft.[4] It was said that the criminal network around Dutroux was involved in car theft and smuggling. The car in which Melissa and Julie were kidnapped has never been found. The general prosecutor, Anne Thilly, decided to have the car theft and smuggling be investigated by different police authorities in different parts of the country. In this way it was nearly impossible to investigate the connection between the car theft, kidnapping and human trafficking.[42] Dutroux also said that Nihoul had proposed to traffick girls from Eastern countries.[6] Michel Lelièvre the accomplice of Marc Dutroux said that the two girls Melissa and Julie were kidnapped as an order by a third party. However while in arrest Lelièvre stopped cooperating with the authorities.[36] He told police that he had been threatened and couldn't risk saying any more. .[42]

The father of Melissa Russo, Gino Russo, said during the White March that the removal of judge Connerotte was like "spitting on the grave of Julie and Melissa." Russo subsequently said that after Connerotte was removed there was no progress in the investigation.[36]

Dutrouxs wealth and assetsEdit

Dutroux owned ten houses. He was in total worth 6 million Francs.[39] While he had all of this wealth in property he also received public assistance of $1.200 a month. It isn't clear how Dutroux was able to acquire the ten properties. Documents were released by Wikileaks that show that large sums of money in different currencies arrived in Michelle Martins bank account timely linked to the disappearances of the abducted girls.[4] The money was also transferred in foreign currencies from Morocco and Saudi Arabia.[6] Both the transfers and the value of the six properties that Dutroux owned suggested to investigators that he was financed by a larger pedophile and prostitution ring.[39] The Flamish newspaper Nieuwsblad reported that he had committed health insurance fund fraud, theft, insurance fraud and investments on the stock market and that that had contributed to his wealth.[43] Other outlets suggested that he was able to acquire his wealth through criminal activity such as drug trafficking and insurance fraud.[3] Additional sources said that he made a lot of money with car theft and pimping.[35]

Claims by the victims familiesEdit

The father of one of the murdered girls, Paul Marchal, the father of An Marchal accused the police and the judicial system of a cover- up in 2001. He was angry that still in 2001 the trial hadn't started even though Dutroux had already been under arrest for several years. Paul Marchal said: "It feels like they don't want to find the truth. It is not a good feeling and not only I think this."[5] Carine Russo and her husband Gino Russo were not permitted to identify her daughter and look at her body. They were told by authorities that Dutroux had identified her and that that was enough.[36] The autopsy of Melissa showed that she had been raped repeatedly over a prolonged period of time. No DNA evidence was taken from the body to conclusively make sure that only Dutroux had raped her. Dutroux always denied raping Melissa and Julie.[36] Eventually several families of victims boycotted the official trial stating that it was a circus and there had been no progress in the case since the removal of judge Connerottes.[44]

Failure to test hairs in the dungeon for DNA evidenceEdit

There were countless hairs found in the dungeon where the two girls were held. The judge Langlois refused to have them tested for DNA evidence even though the leading police investigator Michel Bourlet had begged him to have them analyzed in order to know whether more people aside from Dutroux were involved.[36] The general prosecutor of the case, Anne Thily, said that she didn't believe that there was anyone else involved and thus didn't have the samples analyzed.[36] Thily told investigative journalist Frenkiel that: "In any case the hairs have all now been analysed - all 5,000.' And the results of this analysis? Nothing. No evidence of any relevance in the Dutroux affair. Which proves, of course, that Langlois was right all along." But according to Frenkiel this wasn't true. Sources central to the investigation confirmed that in 2002 the hairs had still not been analysed. Thus Frenkiel accused the senior prosecutor Thily of lying brasantly.[36] Frenkiel continued to question Thily and asked her how she would want to prove that Dutroux raped the girls, as he was denying it and there was no DNA evidence. Thily then replied that there were DNA tests, but that the results came back inconclusive as the bodies were too decomposed at the time the samples were taken.[36] Dutrouxs lawyer, Xavier Magnee, said during the trial proceedings "I speak not only as a lawyer, but also as a citizen and father. He was not the only devil. Out of the 6.000 hair samples that were found in the basement cellar where some of the victims were held, 25 "unkown" DNA profiles were discovered. There were people in that cellar that are not now accused." However it was never attempted by the prosecution to match those DNA profiles to people implicated in the case. .[45] Magnee also said that the prosecutors didn’t follow up on evidence leading to a cult called "Abrasax", which allegedly performed human sacrifices.[45] In a wooden house of Bernard Weinstein (accomplice of Dutroux) a letter was found from the occult sect "Abrasax", in which a gift for the high priestress (Dominique Kindermans)[46] was mentioned consisting of 17 girls between the age of 2 and 20 for anal, oral and vaginal sex. It was signed by priest "Anubis". This priest was later identified as Francis Desmedt. Later investigations showed that four police men in Charleroi were also members of the sect, one was even the treasurer.[47] The headquarter of the sect (Institut Abrasax) in Rue Emile Vandervelde 223 Forchies La Marche was raided in 1996 by 150 officers. The television showed police taking away bags of papers, video cassettes and a refrigerator. They also took away black magic ritual implements and human skulls.[46]

Removal of police officers from the caseEdit

Several police officer that had worked on the case were subsequently removed in 1997. They were reportedly removed because they had manipulated evidence surrounding the testimony of Régina Louf. However the involved officers always denied that accusation. This included officer Rudi Hoskens, who believed that the testimony of witness X1, Régina Louf, was true because her testimony matched an unsolved murder case that she could have had no knowledge on, had she not witnessed it. What she described was the murder of then 15 year old Christine van Hees. She said that the girl was tortured to death by the group and that Nihoul took part in the torture. She said Dutroux watched. Christine's body was found in 1984.[36] The officer leading the investigation, Mr. De Baets, said that they followed up on all testimonies the X witnesses had given, in order to determine whether what they said was possible or not and that they came to the conclusion that it was possible that the things had occurred as the witnesses described them. As this took up a lot of resources and time of the police force an inquiry was initiated into the handling of the case, which then again took up as much resources as the investigation of Mr. De Baets itself. It was said that: "The suspicion grew that De Baets and others formed part of a sect bent on destabilising the kingdom." So De Baets and large parts of his team were removed from the investigation and sent home on indefinite leave.[39] Not only was De Baets dropped from the investigation, he was also charged in 1997 with concealing the fact that Louf had wrongly identified the photograph of one of the victims. However, on the video tapes of her interrogation it is visible that it was very hard for her to stand looking at the photographs and that her right answer had been in the files all along. In 1999 De Baets was exhonerated from the charges.[39] Additionally two journalists from Le Soir Illustre, who had defamed him and four colleagues were convicted to pay two of them 55.000 $ plus court costs.[39] Even though De Baets had been exhonerated, he and his colleagues remained on leave.[39]

Promotion of René Michaux, who failed to save Julie and MelissaEdit

The officer that searched Dutrouxs house while Julie and Melissa were likely still alive on 13 and 19 December 1995. However even though the locksmith that he inspected the house with suggested they should search the whole house to find out where children's screams were coming from, Michaux left after not having searched the house thoroughly.[38] Not only did Michaux fail to rescue Julie and Melissa, he also failed to look at video tapes that were confiscated from Dutrouxs house. Those video tapes showed him constructing the dungeon, which would have led them to the place where Julie and Melissa were kept. Some of the videos also included tapes of Dutroux raping women. A large amount of the tapes was returned to Dutroux without ever being looked at by law enforcement.[38] Even though René Michaux committed grave failures in his duty as a police officer in what was one of the most important criminal cases in the history of Belgium, he was never removed or put on leave like other officers had been. He was subsequently promoted to the position of police commissioner.[6]

Arrests of law enforcement personal believed to be connected to DutrouxEdit

At least seven members of law enforcement were arrested on suspicion of having ties to Marc Dutroux. One of them was Georges Zico a police detective believed to be an associate of Dutroux.[48] According to prosecutor Michel Bourlet, Zico was charged with truck theft, document forgery and insurance fraud.[48]

Judge Van Espens close ties to suspect Michel NihoulEdit

The judge presiding of the Dutroux case, Judge Van Espen, had a close relationship to Michel Nihoul. A journalist releaved that as a lawyer Nihoul had represented the wife of Nihoul. Van Espens sister was the godmother of Nihouls child. However even though his close friend Michel Nihoul was involved in the case, Van Espen never resigned. He was also not removed from the case for a very long time. Even though judge Conerotte had been removed simply for attending a fundraising dinner.[36] Van Espen was further more the judge presiding over the murder case of Christine van Hees from 1984. He only resigned from this case in 1998 when Nihoul was accused of being involved in the murder and van Espens close ties to Nihoul were revealed.[36]

Testimony of judge Jean-Marc Connerottes in courtEdit

Judge Connerottes testified in the Dutroux case on 4 March 2004. He broke down in the witness box stating that there had been high-level murder plots to stop his investigation into the child-sex mafia. He stated that he had to drive in bullet-proof cars and had armed guards around him at all times because shadowy figures from the crime world were threatening him. The police had informed him that murder contracts had been taken out against the prosecutors in the case. He alleged that organised crime methods were used to discredit his work and make sure that the investigation would end in a judicial failure.[44] Connerottes criticised authorities for not rescuing Julie and Melissa even though Dutroux had been a prime suspect for one year before they were found dead. The judge also said that he had received files describing a child- sex network. It described seizure of children and foreign trafficking. The sum of 150.000 Francs was mentioned as the price for a girl.[44] Connerottes also said that he was doubtful about the official explanation on how Julie and Melissa died. It was said that they starved to death in the dungeon. An adult can last about three days without water and maximum 60 days without food. If they received nothing to drink and eat they should have been dead very soon after Dutroux was imprisoned. However Michelle Martin insisted that they were still alive when he returned.[44] Connerottes had even written to King Albert in 1996 stating that his investigations into crime networks were being blocked because suspects "received serious protection". The judge said that the "dysfunctional judiciary" was breaking down as mafia groups took secret control of the "key institutions of the country".[44]

Letter of judge Jean-Marc Connerottes to King Albert IIEdit

A letter of juge Connerottes addressed to King Albert II in 1996 stated: "This institution seems to acquire its authority and supremacy over sectors of the justice system by relying on a complex and secret modus operandi, that of the appropriation of certain key circuits of our institutions created and regulated by the Law. It is a matter essentially of political, financial, police, and media circuits. This mafia-style criminal phenomenon is evidently not peculiar to Belgium, but it involves particular manifestations that are well suited to this small country. We can imagine the obstacles that a judiciary inquiry will meet when investigating such facts: numerous taboos, problems of mentality, and a lack of cultural reference on the issue in order to be able to become aware of or deal with such criminal phenomena, taking advantage in Belgium of official reticence in terms of their acknowledgement, which favours or supports their occultation. The function of a criminal system of this sort is obviously to serve its fundamental purpose, the pursuance of particularly profitable illicit activities, such as money-laundering, and to protect the ‘legitimacy’ of its activities and the impunity of its agents. This indispensable function corresponds to the motive of criminal protection that assures the permanency of the incriminated system by means of the infiltration of the certain circuits of our institutions, especially the police force, a veritable ‘knot’ which my whole investigation has come up against."[49]

Book by chairman of the parliamentary inquiry Marc VerwilghenEdit

Marc Verwilghen, the chairman of the parliamentary inquiry into the handling of the Dutroux case, reported attempts in a book he published in 1999 to stifle their investigation into how the case had been handled. Verwilghen eventually published a book which claimed that the commission’s findings had been muzzled by political and judicial leaders to prevent the revelation of details which would have implicated the complicity of additional perpetrators. Mr Verwilghen claimed that senior political and legal figures refused to cooperate with the inquiry. He said magistrates and police were officially told to refuse to answer certain questions, in what he described as 'a characteristic smothering operation'. Verwilghen blamed Mr Langlois for refusing to hand over evidence of official protection for Mr Dutroux. He said that if they had received that information, their report would have been without doubt more precise and detailed. Verwilghen added that for him, the Dutroux affair was a question of organised crime.[50]

Statements by senator Anne-Marie LizinEdit

The Belgian senator Anne-Marie Lizin commented on the case saying: "Stupidity (by the police) can't be the only explanation. It's a question of stupidity, incompetence and corruption. Dutroux must be a friend of somebody important. Or else he was being protected because he was known to be a police informant." Lizin said Dutroux was not a true pedophile, as he has been portrayed. He had a record of dealing in stolen cars, selling arms to hoodlums and trafficking in prostitution. "When he discovered that men paid a lot more for little girls for prostitution, he started kidnapping them," she said. When Dutroux finally was arrested, police found in his house video films of him raping little girls. They said he did this so he could sell the films to pedophiles.[51]

Attempts to have access to Dutroux Dossier from Wikileaks blocked in BelgiumEdit

In 2009 Wikileaks published the Dutroux Dossier. Belgian authorities tried to have the dossier taken down. The prosecutor general of Liege, Cedric Visart de Bocarme, said ‘’” There is some true, some false, some very disparate information here, involving some people who have done nothing wrong, who have simply been mentioned in an investigation and are thus exposed to public contempt, whereas all this material should have remained classified.”’’[52]

Deaths of potential witnessesEdit

More than 20 potential witnesses of the case have died with no explanation.[53]

Name of the witness Connection to the case Time of death Cause of death
Alexandre Gosselin[54] 86 year old former metal worker who sold his house (rue Daubresse 63-65, Jumet) to Bernard Weinstein (accomplice of Dutroux). The remains of the victims An and Eefje were found on the property. After selling the house, Gosselin continued living on the property in a wooden chalet. He told his son that he found Bernard Weinstein's behavior strange. Weinstein said repeatedly that he wanted to buy the chalet as well in order to not be disturbed by neighbors. He allegedly attempted to kill Gosselins dog. Afterwards he told his son that he only slept with a gun under his bed. 4.07.1995, 4 days after Julie and Melissa disappeared, November that year Weinstein and Dutroux abducted three adolescents and sedated them in the house, January 1997 the house burned down by arson natural death after abdominal pain
Guy Goebels[55] police officer who worked on the case from the start in Gras Sologne 25.08.1995 suicide by headshot with gun
Bernard Weinstein[56] accomplice of Dutroux November 1995 poisoned by Dutroux
Bruno Tagliaferro[55] acquaintance of Dutroux and scrap dealer, people alleged that he was blackmailed and forced to commit crimes, before his death he told his wife that he was going to die because he "knew too much", his wife told a witness that he got rid of a car that was used to kidnapp two girls 5.11.1995 was poisoned (was first ruled suicides, but declared murder by poison after autopsy)
Jean Paul-Taminiau[57] had rented a garage across a hangar that Dutroux was using 2.04.1995 After telling a friend that he received important information about Dutroux His foot was found in a river one year later, the complete corpse was never found
Francois Reyskens[57] was part of the drug and crime scene, told his father that he wanted to talk to him about Melissa before the public knew about her kidnapping 26.07.1995 Before being supposed to testify concerning his knowledge about one of the kidnapped girls, Melissa (died the day he was supposed to testify) Supposed accident (fell in front of a train)
Simon Poncelet[57] Police men that was investigating the car smuggeling ring around Dutroux 21.02.1996 Was shot during a night shift in his office
Michel Piro[57] Was a night club owner familiar with the redlight scene in Charleroi 5.12.1996 Contacted the families of the kidnapped girl Julie and Melissa 3 months after the arrest of Dutroux Shot on a car parking lot
Joseph Toussaint[58] Confessor of Michelle Martin 5.03.1997 heart attack
Christiaan Coanrads[59] was a prisoner who was supposed to be questioned about his connections to Dutroux but managed to escape and was found dead one month after the escape 7.03.1997
José Steppe[59] Well connected person from Charleroi, said that he had important info on Dutroux 25.04.1997 Two days before testifying to the police dropped dead (Rohypnol- a sedative was found in his asthma breathing device)
Gérard Vannesse[60] Police officer investigating Dutroux case 16.11.1997
Brigitte Genard[59] Friend of Michel Nihoul and dentist 5.04.1998- one year after the trial for Dutroux started suicide
Anna Konjevoda[59] Had contacted the police to tell them about connections of a porn ring around Dutroux to Eastern Europe[61] Found 7.04.1998 Beaten, choked and dumped in the river Meuse
Gina Pardaens[55] social worker supporting victims of a child pornography ring, told friends that she saw a child pornography tape in which one girl was murdered and claimed she recognised one of the perpetrators as an acquaintance of Michel Nihoul 15.11.1998-After calling the police to tell them that she has been threatened with death (by a car accident) in connection with her work car crash (80 km/h into bridge railing)
Fabienne Jaupart[55] wife of Bruno Tagliaferro 18.12.1998- After finding important documents of her husband and asking for police protection suicide (burned on bed, after bedroom was filled with methanol and lit on fire)
Hubert Massa[59] Senior public prosecutor in the Dutroux case 13.07.1999-One month after he started working on the case suicide
Grégory Antipine[62] Police officer investigating Dutroux case 15.08.1999 suicide by hanging
Sandra Claeys[63] ex-girlfriend of Lièvre, said that she heard him and Dutroux talk about "a way to make a lot of money" 4.11.1999 suicide
Jean-Jacques Feront[64] pedophile hunter 1.03.2001 heart attack
Nadège Renard[65] Was an acquaintance of Dutroux Before wanting to give a list of contacts surrounding Dutroux to the authorities April 2001 car crash
Bernard Routmond[59] Film director who traded pornography tapes, accused of kidnapping a girl, police found children's toys at his apartment One the way to the police after he called in to testify about Dutroux via a car crash (slammed with own car into building) car crash
Marie-Louise Henrotte[57] Old woman who saw how Julie and Melissa entered "a dark car with 4 doors" in front of her house Suffering from dementia, thus unable to testify
Christoph Vanhexe[65] Journalist investigating the Dutroux case car crash
Pierre-Paul "Pepe" De Rycke[66] acquaintance of Michel Nihoul, owner of the Jonathan bar, member of red light milieu, pimp 17.05.2001 suicide
Philippe Deleuze[67] lawyer and acquaintance of Michel Nihoul 15.11.2001 unknown

The Abrasax sect with members working at the police force in CharleroiEdit

In a wooden house of Bernard Weinstein (accomplice of Dutroux) a letter was found from the occult sect "Abrasax", in which a gift for the high priestress (Dominique Kindermans)[46] was mentioned consisting of 17 girls between the age of 2 and 20 for anal, oral and vaginal sex. It was signed by priest "Anubis". This priest was later identified as Francis Desmedt. Later investigations showed that four police men in Charleroi were also members of the sect, one was even the treasurer.[47] The headquarter of the sect (Institut Abrasax) in Rue Emile Vandervelde 223 Forchies La Marche was raided in 1996 by 150 officers. The television showed police taking away bags of papers, video cassettes and a refrigerator. They also took away black magic ritual implements and human skulls.[46]

Parliamentary investigation and escape from custodyEdit

A 17-month investigation by a parliamentary commission into the Dutroux affair produced a report in February 1998, which concluded that while Dutroux did not have accomplices in high positions in the police and justice systems, as he continued to claim, he profited from corruption, sloppiness and incompetence.[citation needed]

Public outcryEdit

In October 1996 more than 300.000 Belgians marched through the streets of Brussels after the beloved judge Jean-Marc Connerotte was removed from the case. He was removed for attending a fundraising dinner for the families of the victims, which the court system claimed damaged his impartiality.[36] They demanded an investigation and reform of the police and justice system. The protest was called the "White March".[36][5][41] Judge Jean- Marc Connerotte was beloved by the public because the only two surviving victims were rescued on his initiative, which made him a national hero.[41] Protesters were wearing signs that said "Stop the cover-up".[41]

To protest the prospect of a conditional release of Marc Dutroux, a "Black March" was organised on the 23rd anniversary of the historic "White March" protest that was held in Brussels on the 20th of October 1996. The calls to take part in the march were made after it was made public that a court had approved the request of Michel Lelièvre for conditional release, who was an accomplice of Dutroux and had received a 25-year sentence.[68]

The guardian reported in 2004 that "the entire credibility of the current reformist government of Guy Verhofstadt and Belgium's very reputation as a normal civilised country is on the line."[69]

Assassination of Andre CoolsEdit

Alain van der Biest, a Belgian politician was arrested in 1996 in the unsolved assassination from 1991 of Andre Cools, a onetime deputy prime minister. The revelations in the Cools case coincided with the revelations in the Dutroux case and in total made the Belgian public loose trust in their government. Van der Biest was eventually convicted but had already been investigated five years prior as the one who ordered the contract hi on Cools. Due to failures in the investigation he wasn't charged. It was found that several Belgian politicians had been bribed with large sums of money by an Italian helicopter manufacturer, Agusta-Dassault, in exchange for military contracts. This included Belgian secretary general of NATO, Willy Claes. There were allegations that both the assassination of Andre Cools and the case surrounding Dutroux showed that organised crime had spread in Belgium and that the institutions weren't efficient in combatting the spread or corruption and organised crime.[4]


Dutroux's trial began on 1 March 2004, some seven and a half years after his initial arrest.[70] It was a trial by jury and up to 450 people were called upon to testify. The trial took place in Arlon, the capital of the Belgian province of Luxembourg, where the investigations had started. Dutroux was tried for the murders of An Marchal, Eefje Lambrecks and Bernard Weinstein. While admitting the abductions, he denied all three killings, although he had earlier confessed to killing Weinstein.[70] Dutroux was also charged with a host of other crimes: auto theft, abduction, attempted murder and attempted abduction, molestation, and three unrelated rapes of women from Slovakia.[71]

Martin was tried as an accomplice, as were Lelièvre and Michel Nihoul. To protect the accused, they were made to sit in a glass cage during the trial. In the first week of the trial, photos of Dutroux's face were not allowed to be printed in Belgian newspapers for privacy reasons; this ban remained in force until 9 March.[72] Throughout the trial, Dutroux continued to insist that he was part of a Europe-wide paedophile ring with accomplices among police officers, businessmen, doctors, and even high-level Belgian politicians.[73]

In a rare move, the jury at the assizes trial publicly protested the presiding judge Stéphane Goux's handling of the debates and the victims' testimonies.[74] On 14 June 2004, after three months of trial, the jury went into seclusion to reach their verdicts on Dutroux and the three other accused. Verdicts were returned on 17 June 2004 after three days of deliberation.[75] Dutroux, Martin and Lelièvre were found guilty on all charges; the jury were unable to reach a verdict on Nihoul's role.[75]

Dutrouxs testimonyEdit

Dutroux claimed that he was a low dog in a powerful pedophile network. He further claimed that Michel Nihoul was the organizer of their abductions. ."[76] He said that he did torture and abuse all of the girls but denied killing any of them until the very end.[77] Dutroux further denied the kidnapping, raping and murdering Melissa and Julie. He however admitted to incarcerating them at one of his houses.[36] On the case of Melissa and Julie Dutroux also claimed that he had "protected them from a power and sinister child sex ring."[78] His testimony that he never raped Julie and Melissa was somewhat supported by examinations of psychiatrists in 1996 stating that Dutroux didn't fit the pedophile profile. He wasn't attracted to children. But might have chosen to abduct younger victims because they were easier to manipulate and control.[3]

Dutroux admitted to abduction and rape of the other girls. He also admitted to burying his accomplice, Bernard Weinstein, alive for "letting the girls die."[79] Dutroux further said that two unidentified policemen had taken part with him in the kidnapping of An Marchal and Eefje Lambrecks.[78] He boasted about having build the dungeon in which An and Eefje were held for a while. He said: "I wanted to create a hiding place to spare them from being sent to a prostitution ring." Dutroux admitted to raping Eefje. He said that Weinstein had raped An. He also admitted to drugging both of them. Dutroux also admitted that he kidnapped Sabine Dardenne and raped her. He also admitted to kidnapping and raping Lateita Delhez but not handing them over to Nihoul ‘’"to spare them the fate of An and Eefje."’’[78] Dutrouxs lawyer, Xavier Magnee, repeatedly said that the prosecution never followed up on evidence of a network surrounding Dutroux.[79]

Michelle Martins testimonyEdit

Martin testified that Dutroux and Weinstein kidnapped Melissa and Julia.[78] She also said that Dutroux had told her that he had murdered Weinstein.[78] Martin further said that Dutroux and Weinstein had killed An and Eefje.[78] She further testified that Melissa and Julie starved to death in their basement in 1996 while Dutroux was in jail. She calims, that she was too scared to go down into the basement.[78] Martin said that Dutroux had already decided to abduct girls in 1985. He had said that it was easier to abduct and rape girls than having to start affairs with them. This way he would also have more resources and time to spend on her. So she had to help him with the abductions.[43]

The X filesEdit

The X files were testimonies of people who claimed to have been victims of Marc Dutroux. They had been created after judge Jean-Marc Connerotte had made a public appeal for victims to come forward. In total at least ten victims subsequently contacted the police. All of the witnesses were given the code name "X number". One of the witnesses names, namely X1, was revealed to be Régina Louf.[36] X1 said that from the age of 11/12 onwards a family friend named Tony Van den Bogaert took her to sex parties with the approval of her family. Several witnesses and family members of Louf confirmed that she had a sexual relationship with Tony Van den Bogaert starting from at least age 12. However Tony Van den Bogaert has never been interrogated, charged or convicted for sexual abuse. She claimed that other minors were present at the sex parties and that those were secretly filmed for blackmail purposes. She said: "It was highly organised. Big business. Blackmail. There was a lot of money involved." During her testimony she described some regular clients including judges, a prominent politician and one banker. She gave the police names, addresses and detailed description of two murders that matched unsolved cases of the two murders of teenage girls. Louf said that the parties didn't only include sex but also sadism, torture and murder. She claimed that one of the organisers of the parties was a man she knew as Mich (Jean Michel Nihoul). Louf described him as a cruel man, who sadistically tortured girls.[36]

Louf said that Marc Dutroux was at that time a young man who brought drugs to the parties for the girls to numb themselves and took care of them in other ways. As a reward he was also allowed to use them for his pleasure.[36] The crimes that Louf described took place about ten years prior to the arrest of Dutroux.[36] Régina Loufs full name was leaked to the press. She was subsequently made out to look like a fantasist and liar.[36] The new presiding judges declared that she was not a credible witness and that her testimony and the testimony of the other X witnesses would not be used during the trial.[36] One of the other X witnesses, who's real name wasn't revealed, but who's now working for the police said that they had witnessed and experienced similar abuse. They also recounted instances where children were chased through the woods with Dobermans.[39]

Witness X3 testified that one of the people present at the gatherings that involved sex orgies with minors, torture and murder was Willy Claes, secretary general of the NATO. Claes resigned after he was found guilty of corruption in a tendering process for a large defence contract connected to a large military helicopter producer from Italy.[39]

The testimony of X2 implicated that Etienne Davignon, Maurice Lippens, Paul Vanden Boeynants, Benoit de Bonvoisin and Prince Alexandre of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha were named as having been present at orgies involving underaged persons.[49]

A book was published in November 1999 titled: "The X-Files: What Belgium Was Not Supposed to Know About the Dutroux Affair." It was written by two journalist from the Flamish Belgian newspaper De Morgen, Annemie Bulte and Douglas De Coninck and another journalist from the French Belgian newspaper Journal du Mardi, Marie-Jeanne Van Heeswyck. It claimed that the X witnesses were much more believable than stated by the media. But it also stated that there had been substantial efforts by the magistrates and senior police officials to demolish the testimony of the X-witnesses. The father of a police officer that was murdered while investigating a car smuggling ring, Judge Guy Poncelet, said that the book was brilliant and convincing. He said he believed that crucial evidence had been down played by the authorities.[39]


The death penalty was abolished in Belgium in 1996. The last execution for common law crimes was in 1918. However, the majority of Belgians, at the time of the trial, would have had no problem with Dutroux receiving the death penalty.[80] On 22 June 2004, Dutroux received the maximum sentence of life imprisonment, while Martin received 30 years and Lelièvre 25 years. The jury was asked to go back into seclusion to decide whether or not Nihoul was an accomplice.[citation needed]

On 23 June, Dutroux lodged an appeal against his sentence.[81]

Although Nihoul was acquitted of kidnapping and conspiracy charges, he was convicted on drug-related charges and was sentenced to five years imprisonment. Nihoul was released in spring 2006. He resided in Zeebrugge until his death on 23 October 2019.[citation needed]

On 19 August 2012, about 2000 people in Brussels demonstrated against Martin's possible early release from prison. She has since been paroled, 13 years into her sentence,[82] and was released into the care of the Poor Clares in Malonne. She was given shelter, although she was not part of the community. The sisters have declared that they were not her guardian and shelter was given under the condition that she would not violate the conditions of her parole.[83] As the convent has since been sold, she has had to find new shelter or go back to prison. A former judge has created an apartment in his converted farmhouse, where she now lives.[84][85]

Lelièvre is currently serving his prison sentence in the prison of Ittre. His application for parole in 2013 was denied.[citation needed] He has since then been granted temporary leave, but has violated the conditions of release. He may be released if he can find an apprenticeship as a cabinet maker, which has so far been unsuccessful. The Belgian state was forced to pay Lelièvre 6000 euros. The European Court of Human Rights ruled that a moral compensation was in order because he was held in custody (nearly eight years) without receiving answers to his requests.[citation needed]

On 4 February 2013, Dutroux requested the court in Brussels for an early release from prison.[86] He insisted that he was "no longer dangerous" and wanted to be released into house arrest with an electronic tag (ankle bracelet) placed upon him. On 18 February, the court denied his request.[87] Dutroux is currently being held in solitary confinement in the prison of Nivelles.[88]

Name of suspect Profession Charged with Convicted of Sentence Release
Marc Dutroux unemployed electrician, convicted child kidnapper and rapist Murder (of An and Eefje as well as Bernard Weinstein), rape, kidnapping (of six girls), conspiracy, drug offenses Murder (of An and Eefje as well as Bernard Weinstein), rape, kidnapping (of six girls), conspiracy, drug offenses Life in prison eligible for early release after 30 years in 2021
Michelle Martin housewife Kidnapping, murder of Julie and Melissa Convicted of letting Julie and Melissa starve to death and assisting in the kidnappings 30 years imprisonment Released under conditions in 2012 after serving 16 years out of 30[40]
Michel Nihoul businessman Kidnapping, conspiracy, gang formation, document fraud, drug trafficking, car smuggling Acquitted of kidnapping, document fraud, trading of stolen vehicles[89] 5 years imprisonment Was released early in May 2006 under conditions[90]
Michael Lelièvre drug addict and petty thief Kidnapping, rape, murder Kidnapping of An, Eefje, Sabine and Laetitia and rape 25 years imprisonment Was released under conditions in October 2019[91]

Michel NihoulEdit

Michel Nihoul was a business man that was known to frequently attend sex parties. He was accused of being the brain behind the child kidnapping and abuse operation around Dutroux.[36] Nihoul was charged in relation to the case with "kidnapping, rape, conspiracy and drug offenses."[6] Nihouls lawyer in the case was, Frederic Clement de Clety. His lawyer denied all charged made against Nihoul by Dutroux and called him a ‘’"liar and manipulator."’’[78] When the investigative journalist, Olenka Frenkiel, met Nihoul in Brussels he reportedly greeted her with the words "I am the monster of Belgium." He told her that he was certain that he would never be prosecuted. During the encounter he grabbed her, tickled her and pulled her unto him so that she called for her colleagues to help her get away from him. Frenkiel was working on a documentary on the case for the BBC.[36]


  • Jean-Marc Connerotte (on his initiative two girls were rescued, was removed from case for attending fundraising dinner for families)
  • Judge Jacques Langlois (investigating magistrate). Dutroux case was his first assignment[36]
  • Stephane Goux (judge presiding over verdict)[77]
  • Judge Van Espen (was in charge of the murder investigation of Christine van Hees, resigned from the Dutroux case and the murder investigation around van Hees after his close ties to Michel Nihoul were made public in 1998)

Effects in BelgiumEdit

The Dutroux case is so infamous that more than a third of Belgians with the surname "Dutroux" applied to have their surname changed between 1996 and 1998.[92]

Confirmed victims of DutrouxEdit

  • Sylvie D., 11, 17 October 1985, abducted and raped[43]
  • Maria V., 19, 17 October 1985, abducted and raped[43]
  • Catherine B., 18, 17th 1986, abducted and raped[43]
  • Elisabeth G., 15, 18 December 1985, abducted, raped, Dutroux took videos and pictures of her[43]
  • Axelle D., 14 December 1985, abducted and raped[43]
  • Melissa Russo, 8, 24 June 1995, abducted and imprisoned, died of starvation and dehydration,[36] found in Sars-la-Buissiere
  • Julie Lejeune, 8, 24 June 1995, abducted and imprisoned, died of starvation and dehydration,[36] found in Sars-la-Buissiere
  • An Marchal, 17, 23 August 1995,[5] abducted, imprisoned and raped, buried alive after being wrapped in plastic,[6] found August 1996[79]
  • Eefje Lambrecks, 19, 23 August 1995,[5] abducted, imprisoned and raped, buried alive after being wrapped in plastic,[6] found August 1996[79]
  • Sabine Dardenne, 12, 28 May 1996, abducted, chained by neck for 79 days and raped repeatedly[6]
  • Laetitia Delhez, 14, 9 August 1996, abducted, chained to bed and raped for four days

Dutroux's housesEdit

Marc Dutroux owned seven houses, four of which he used for his kidnappings:

  • The house on the Route de Philippeville 128 in Marcinelle is most often cited in the media. All victims were held captive here in the basement and bedroom. The municipality of Charleroi seized ownership of this house, because of what happened there and the bad state of the house. There are plans to create an open space with a memorial site here. In the Belgian procedure of compulsory purchase, an owner has a last right to visit a house. Therefore, Dutroux visited this house on 10 September 2009, under heavy police guard.[93]
  • A house in Jumet, that has since been demolished. The remains of An Marchal and Eefje Lambrecks were found buried in the garden of this house. Bernard Weinstein lived in this house for a while. A small monument is placed at this location.
  • A house in Marchienne-au-Pont. Julie Lejeune and Mélissa Russo were held captive here for a short while after their kidnapping.
  • A house in Sars-la-Buissière. The bodies of Lejeune, Russo and Weinstein were found buried in the garden. The house was bought by the municipality of Lobbes in the first months of 2009. It is planned to make a park with a monument commemorating Dutroux's victims here.

See alsoEdit


Inline citations
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General references

External linksEdit