The 35-year hunt for a serial killer in France may finally have come to an end after a former police officer left a posthumous confession saying he was “the pockmarked killer”.
The corpse of a 59-year-old man identified only as Francois V was found in the southern town of Grau-du-Roi near Montpellier on Wednesday, French media reported.
A suicide note suggests he may have been “Le Grele”, which translates as the pockmarked killer, accused of four murders and six rapes since 1986.
The crimes included the murder of a child, 11-year-old Cecile Bloch, in Paris.
She was reported missing by her mother when she failed to return home for lunch on 5 May 1986. After a search her partially naked body was found under and old carpet in a cellar and evidence suggested she had been raped.
Other suspected murder victims were Gilles Politi, 38, a 20-year-old German woman, Irmgard Müller, and Karine Leroy, who was 19.
In his letter, the man reportedly said he had been in a poor mental state at the time of the crimes but had since “got himself together”.
He is said to have been a gendarme, and to have had two children after getting married.
Newspapers Le Point and Parisien said he took his own life after becoming a suspect in the crimes.
Authorities had ordered him to appear before a magistrate but he failed to comply, according to Le Parisien.
A DNA test is being carried out on the body, reports said.