Perplexed by the murder of a mother and four teens, French police are baffled in the odd yet almost seemingly, “perfect murder.” The alleged killer, Xavier Dupont de Ligonnes, the head of the household, is the number one suspect.
De Ligonnes, still missing three weeks after the murder, is France’s “most wanted man.” De Ligonnes, a man of old French nobility, has written a literary-style murder mystery in blood. The story occurs all too often, but it is the man under investigation that has riveted the French to rag mags and the press. This seemingly average father of four, of noble ancestry, had committed a calculated, pre-meditated, screenplay; that he enacted in mid-April.
The perfect family of French nobility:
A strict Catholic, which later became an Achilles Heel; de Ligonnes bears ancestry back to the 19th Century poet Lamartine of Rouergue, in southern France.
Born in Versailles, he metand married. The pair bore four children; Arthur, 20; Thomas, 18; Anne, 16; and Benoit, 13. The family was picture perfect. The elder children were destined for greatness in their fields. All were scholars in art and literature.
It was the tale of a happy family of noble birth, until one April night, when the lead character shot each member of the cast. The family dogs did not escape the bullet and lay with their mistress and children. Each body was buried under the terrace and de Ligonnes disappeared.
The bodies were found in chalk-filled sacks, lying next to each other. With them were the family dogs. There was no sign of struggle within the house. When police investigated a missing person’s report, they discovered the cupboards bare and the beds stripped. The hard-drive on the family’s computer had been removed. A note for the postman, attached to the mailbox, stated; “Return mail to sender, please.”
Correspondences had been sent to the children’s schools, alerting them that the family was moving to Australia. Enclosed were checks to cover the student’s fees. The Catholic school, in which Agnes taught, was alerted to “medical issue” she was struggling with. De Ligonnes had begun the web of tangled threads in his story of deceit and murder.
The Catholic Church, crisis in faith:
Enter conversations in which he argued about the church he and his family served. Pushed to preserve the faith of his heroic father, De Ligonnes entered a chat site and rambled about religious differences. His rantings appeared frantic and aimed more at his father, whom had died recently, than at the church itself. Family members have reason to believe that his crisis in faith and the tumultuous way that he attacked the church; may have caused him to go over the edge.
Add a mysterious woman that may have caused the “outwardly family man” to have strayed from his expected, ideal life. A woman de Ligonnes allegedly had an affair with, was demanding repayment of monies owed her.
The man whose outward character of calm, poise and immense devotion to his family; had been mounting debt and utilizing his mistress’ cache. Time was running out for de Ligonnes as his behavior stayed stoic to his family, neighbors and co-workers.
In December of 2010, de Ligonnes began attending a shooting club. Stating he inherited a rifle from his father, de Ligonnes learned to utilize the weapon. At times he took his two younger sons to the club, dining with them and holding hands.
In April, his visits increased to four times a week and a silencer was purchased. De Ligonnes also purchased sacking, cleaning fluid, chalk lime, a spade and a two-wheel trolley.
The night of horror:
On Sunday, April 3rd, de Ligonnes took his wife and four children out for dinner in Nantes. The evening appeared perfect. The night quickly turned to terror. After a last supper, a few whimpers and barks from the family dogs, the house was silent and de Ligonnes was no more.
All stories have an ending. In the case of de Ligonnes, the last chapter has yet to be written. A noble man, a normal man, a man whose life appeared perfect, entered the macabre darkness of madness and wrote the story author’s dream of.
When literature crosses the line and reality becomes blurred, the calculating story of de Ligonnes becomes a tragic mystery. It is a tale of a man who cannot live up to his father’s dreams, his faith’s demands, and cannot deny his lust. While the murder is “perfect,” the fact remains that five people are dead. Whether it is a dime store novel, or literary finesse, the victims will remain in their graves.