A French police officer took his own life after authorities linked him to a series of killings and rapes from 1986 to 1994.
Police used DNA evidence to identify François Vérove as the “pockmarked man,” a serial killer and rapist who avoided capture for 35 years. Vérove, 59, used his police card and handcuffs to kidnap women and girls – similar to the case of Sarah Everard in the United Kingdom.
Cold-case investigators had focused the search on former military police officers. Vérove took his life after investigators summoned him – along with some 750 other retired officers – to answer questions, The Guardian reported.
ARKANSAS MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO SYDNEY SUTHERLAND MURDER, GETS LIFE IN PRISON
Investigators collected Vérove’s DNA after his death, matching it to DNA on a cigarette butt from a crime scene and a victim’s sanitary protection.
Vérove wrote a confession before taking his life, in which he discussed “past impulses” and childhood problems that he claimed to have “under control,” the Metro reported.
TEXAS MAN CHASED DOWN CARJACKER WHO ALLEGEDLY DRAGGED WOMAN TO DEATH WITH BASEBALL BAT
“I admit to being a major criminal who committed unforgivable deeds until the end of the 1990s,” the letter said, according to French newspaper Le Parisien.
“We were convinced it was a police officer or gendarme, both by the violence he used against his victims, and also his techniques – his way of presenting his tricolour [police] card, a certain number of things victims reported him saying,” Didier Seban, a lawyer for victims’ families, told France Info. “He knew all the police techniques.”
GLORIA ESTEFAN SAYS SHE WAS MOLESTED AT MUSIC SCHOOL AT AGE 9
Vérove committed at least four murders and six rapes during his decade-long spree.
Five unsolved murders have been linked to the “pockmarked man” (or Le Grêlé). The name comes from a sketch based on witness testimony that depicted a man with severe acne in his mid-20s.
Vérove was a father of two children and lived in a rented apartment in the Mediterranean resort of Le Grau-du-Roi. His youngest victim was 11 years old.
Peter Aitken is a New York born-and-raised reporter with a focus on national and global news.