“Disappeared of Perpignan”: opening of the trial of the “killer of the station”

Ⓒ AFP – RAYMOND ROIG – | The lawyers of Jacques Rançon (in the box of the defendants), Xavier Capelet (g) and Gérald Brivet-Galaup (d), at the opening of the trial of the “killer of the station”, March 5, 2018 in Perpignan

The investigators had dubbed him the “killer of Perpignan station”. Twenty years later, the trial of Jacques Rançon opened Monday afternoon in the Assize Court of the Pyrénées-Orientales.

A gray jacket on a fluorescent orange t-shirt, this former 58-year-old storekeeper is being tried for raping, killing and atrocely mutilating two women, as well as for trying to rape two more dead victims in 1997 and 1998.

Four men and two women were drawn to be the main jurors for the trial, whose verdict is expected on March 26. Four additional jurors were also drawn.

Before the hearing, Rançon asked not to be photographed or filmed in close-up. However, he accepted sweeping images made by the many journalists present for this trial, epilogue 20 years later of the case known as the “disappeared of Perpignan” at the origin of a psychosis in the Catalan city in the years 1990.

Ⓒ AFP – RAYMOND ROIG – | Jacques Rançon incurs life imprisonment with a 22-year security period

At the opening of the proceedings, supervised by three police officers, the accused clearly declined his identity. He then sat down with his arms crossed, his gaze lost in the void and kept his head down during the reading of the facts by the president of the court, Régis Cayrol.

Originally from Picardy, Rançon, whose first sexual assault dates back more than forty years, incurs criminal life imprisonment with a 22-year security period.

He could also be given a period of security detention at the end of his sentence because he was in a state of lawful recidivism. This man with a heavy judicial past had been sentenced in 1994 for aggravated rape, and had been incarcerated in Amiens before arriving in Perpignan.

Before the hearing, the plaintiffs facing the accused refused to speak. But many have not left their eyes, sometimes in tears.

“He must pay for what he did, my daughter, the other victims, me, my husband, my family,” said a few days ago Conception Gonzalez, mother of the last victim, Marie -Hélène, 22, killed on June 16, 1998.

– False tracks –

It is thanks to a new software on the national file of the genetic fingerprints (FNAEG) that the suspected murderer was identified on October 13, 2014. Originally, a trace on the top of the right shoe of Moktaria Chaïb, 19 years old , killed on December 21, 1997.

Ⓒ AFP – RAYMOND ROIG – | People arrive at the Assize Court of Perpignan to attend the trial of Jacques Rançon, March 5, 2018

In the past, all-out investigations had turned into false disappointments.

There had been hundreds of interrogations, some under hypnosis. Ransom had himself been heard after the murder of Marie-Helene. But there was no tangible evidence of this man with a long judicial record, with convictions for “sexual assault” or “spousal abuse”.

It therefore took a change of technique in the DNA analyzes to confuse it. Ransom finally confessed at the end of his custody.

He explained that he cut the breasts and sexual parts of Moktaria because he did not want to leave any marks. A Peruvian surgeon with a doubtful diploma had long been suspected of having committed the mutilations, before benefiting from a dismissal and dying strangled in June 2012 in Valencia (Spain).

Ransom was recognized by Sabrina who miraculously escaped her on March 9, 1998. She saw him in a photo in a newspaper the day after the arrest.

In 2015, he confessed to killing Marie-Hélène, found beheaded, amputated hands, genitals cut. The head and hands were found six months later.

Rançon also admitted to being the author of Nadjet’s assault on December 20, 1997. It was only four days after his arrival in Perpignan. He had just served several years in prison for rape and said he wanted to move away from his past.

Ⓒ AFP/Archives – RAYMOND ROIG – | The station of Perpignan, in October 2014

On the other hand, two disappearances can not be attributed to him. That of Fatima Idrahou, 23, raped and killed on 9 February 2001, for which Marc Delpech was sentenced in 2004 to 30 years in prison.

As for Tatiana Andujar, who has disappeared since September 24, 1995, Rançon has an alibi: he was incarcerated in Amiens.

Terms of service