Annecy Lake Murders: Madeleine McCann, Laurent Fillion-Robin and ideas
THE ANNECY Lake murders: the murders of four people in the French Alps have been knocked off the front pages by the London 2012 Paralympics closing ceremony. Feel good beats a murder mystery. But there are reports:
The Telegraph tweets: “Alps shootings: police widen cordon around al-Hilli family home in Claygate, ask neighbours to leave houses.”
The Times has a Q&A, which is more Q than A:
Q. “Were the Hillis victims of a carjacking that went wrong?”
A: “…Investigators say it is possible…”
Q. “Was Saad al-Hilli a target for professional hitmen?”
A. “…investigators say it is also possible.”
Q. “Could a family feud have led to the massacre?”
A. the murders have “left investigators questioning whether it could really have been carried out by, or on the instructions of, a relative”
Q. “Are there other theories?”
See this straw plucking from the Guardian:
The theory of a lone killer driven by psychopathic, religious or racial hatred is, perhaps, one of France’s worst fears in the aftermath of the Annecy shootings. It would take the country back to the dark days earlier this year when Mohamed Merah, who claimed links to Islamic extremism, went on three separate killing sprees in and around the south-western city of Toulouse.
Q. “What evidence points to a professional hitman?”
After all those, erm, facts, some good news. Zainab al-Hilli, the seven-year-old beaten so badly she was placed in an artificial coma, is now sedated and with an aunt and uncle at a hospital in Grenoble. Zeena al-Hilli, 4, has returned to Britain.
The BBC says the police search of the family home in Claygate, Surrey, is expected to take two more days.
The Irish Timesquotes a witness, of sorts:
Laurent Fillion-Robin said he did not hear any gunfire, and speculated that the killers may have used a weapon equipped with a silencer. “I find it bizarre that the British people were up there (at the carpark). There is not much up there apart from a few chalets. It is not the sort of place that families with young children or older people would go to unless you know the area.”
A family with two small children stop at a car park. Theories are rife. Meanwhile, if you need to go to the toilet, do it in the bushes…
The Australian announces:
Witness describes the final movements of the Hilli family in the French Alps shooting
No. He doesn’t. He says what he saw and didn’t hear:
Laurent Fillion-Robin, 38, was doing building work on a house in Chevaline when he saw the family’s red BMW approaching. He said he saw the car between 2.30pm and 3pm. The shooting was reported to police at 3.58pm by a former RAF serviceman who was cycling past. “I saw an English car coming up the road from the village,” said Mr Fillion-Robin, who has not yet been interviewed by police. “There were no other cars with it. I did not see or hear any other cars pass by that afternoon.”
The Independent then uses its editorial to tell readers that Britain and France must work together and:
…the French clearly feel irritated both by the pressure coming from the other side of the Channel and from the army of reporters camped out in Annecy, whose presence, some feel, is a distraction, adding only to a swirl of speculative rumours about who may have been responsible for the killings of Saad al-Hilli, his wife, a Swedish passenger of theirs and a passing cyclist.
The Indy reprots elewhere:
The seven-year-old girl who is the only eyewitness of the massacre in the French Alps was brought out of her coma yesterday and may soon be able to provide investigators with crucial evidence
The only eyewitness… Aside from the killers and her younger sister. And do we know that Zainab al-Hilli saw the murders? No.
Back to the editorial:
The last thing anyone needs is a repeat of the unhelpful recriminations that followed the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, when British and Portuguese police traded insults through their respective countries’ newspapers, as a result of which the case assumed the contours of an international dispute. That did not help the McCann family, and a repetition of those events certainly won’t help this family…
The libel in the press didn’t help the McCanns’ either, not last of all the still missing child. This time the children are not missing and the parents are dead. Plus ca change, eh….
Photo: Eric Maillaud (left), the Prosecutor of Annecy holds a press conference in the town in the Haute-Savoie region of south-eastern France following the murders of Saad al-Hilli and his family while on holiday there. Mr Al Hilli, his wife Iqbal and his mother-in-law were found murdered in their BMW car near the village of Chevaline on Wednesday.