a son reveals... my dad’s a killer
The case... family feud With his dad in the dock on a murder charge, one man took the standé
Agnes Le Roux was young, glamorous and set to inherit a fortune.
She was the heiress to a casino empire in the South of France – and itching to get her hands on some of the cash.
In May 1977, she asked her mother Renee Le Roux if she could withdraw her inheritance from the Palais de la Mediterranee, one of the biggest casinos in the area.
Aged 29, she believed she was ready for financial independence and wanted to treat herself to a few luxuries. But Renee refused. She was a very strict businesswoman and even stricter mother – and it left Agnes seething.
Agnes decided to find another way to get rich quick – and to get revenge on her mother at the same time.
She had recently been seduced by Jean-maurice Agnelet, a wealthy lawyer who was much older than she was.
Following his advice, Agnes agreed to sell her vote on the casino’s governing council to a local Mafia boss for three million francs – around £1.4 million.
The move sent her family’s business into chaos.
Her mother was suddenly in the minority and unable to stop the casino being taken over by the Mafia and used to launder drug money. But Agnes didn’t care. Blindsided by her love for Agnelet, she believed she was doing the right thing.
Again, on Agnelet’s advice, the money from the Mafia boss was paid into a joint bank account set up in both Agnes’ and Agnelet’s names.
Still, Agnes didn’t suspect Agnelet of any ulterior motive.
She was very young and vulnerable, believed he had her best interests at heart.
However, just a few weeks later, Agnelet dumped Agnes.
She was heartbroken and attempted suicide twice.
Agnelet tried to stop her, but his efforts were said to be half-hearted.
Then, in late October 1977, Agnelet suggested they took a trip away from Nice to rekindle their romance. Agnes jumped at the chance. The pair took off in Agnes’ Range Rover.
It was the last time Agnes was ever seen alive.
What happened after that remains a mystery… Agnelet and Agnes didn’t return home together. When quizzed by friends about where Agnes had gone, Agnelet claimed to know nothing. ‘She must be living it up in Marrakech or LA,’ he told any friends who asked. Many believed him, but Agnes’ mother Renee was not quite as convinced. Despite her daughter’s betrayal, she was still consumed with worry. It took until March the following year for Agnes’ disappearance to be taken seriously by police. Agnelet was immediately their chief suspect. After all, he had a clear motive – to get his hands on the cash he’d quickly transferred into his own bank account after Agnes disappeared. But Agnelet had a watertight alibi. He said he was in Geneva the night Agnes
went missing – with another woman, Francoise Lausseure.
She backed up his story, and the case was dropped.
But that wasn’t the end of the matter…
Agnelet went on to marry Francoise – but, a few years later, they split up and things turned sour.
In 1985, Francoise confessed to police that the alibi she’d given Agnelet after Agnes went missing was false.
She’d not been with him the weekend Agnes disappeared.
The case was eventually reopened and Agnelet charged with murder.
But with no body, the second trial, in 2007, was a challenge.
Agnelet was convicted and sentenced to 20 years, only the verdict was overturned by the European Court of Human Rights.
His lawyers successfully argued it was impossible to prove someone guilty without being able to say ‘when, where or how’ their crime occurred.
So Agnelet walked away for a second time.
However, Renee Le Roux remained convinced Agnelet killed her daughter, and refused to give up hope of making him pay the price.
Seven years on, in 2014, Jean-maurice Agnelet was tried for a third and final time.
This time, there was some new and shocking testimony.
From Agnelet’s own son!
Guillaume Agnelet, then 45, claimed that, when he was a teenager, his parents told him his dad did kill Agnes.
He said his mother told him, ‘I’m going to tell you who your father is. He killed Agnes Le Roux. They went off camping in Italy near Monte Cassino.
‘He shot her in the head. After, he got out [of the car] and shouted ‘‘help!” to see if anyone had heard.
‘He threw the naked body into a river, left the car [a Range Rover] with the keys in the ignition and returned home to Nice by train.’
Guillaume also claimed his father had admitted his guilt.
‘My conscience is weighing on me. I am convinced my father is the killer,’ Guillaume stated.
According to him, when he was 14, Agnelet had told him, ‘I have nothing to worry about unless they find the body, and I know where the body is.’
But in court, Agnelet fought back, telling the judge that his son was lying.
‘In my view, he’s delirious. I knew that Guillaume was going through depression. He doesn’t realise what he’s saying,’ he said.
Even Guillaume’s mother, Annie Litas, 72, denied ever saying that Agnelet was guilty.
So was Agnelet a cold-blooded killer, as his son professed?
Had he murdered Agnes Le Roux for her money?
Or is she still missing somewhere, waiting to be found?
For the third – and final time – it was up to the jury to decide…
He had a watertight alibi, was in geneva
Son Guillaume At his father’s third trial, he stunned the court