A former French police officer confessed in a suicide note to being the serial killer who committed a series of rapes and murders in Paris during the 1980s and 1990s, according to multiple French media reports.
François Vérove fatally overdosed on Wednesday after he was called in for questioning and to submit a DNA sample by police. His DNA was tested upon his death and confirmed him to be linked to several of the deaths, ending a 35-year-old hunt for the killer, according to French news outlets Le Point and Le Parisien.
The serial killer, known locally as Le Grêlé (pockmarked killer), was hunted for the last several decades after his murders and rapes drew chaos throughout Paris from 1986 to 1997.
Vérove is linked to four murders, including one 11-year-old girl, and six rapes. Vérove’s other suspected murder victims, per The Times, included one 38-year-old man, a 20-year-old woman and 19-year-old woman.
Former officer pleads guilty:London police officer gets life without parole for abducting, killing Sarah Everard
Ecuador prison riot:116 dead; country’s president declares prison emergency
His suicide kept a plethora of families from getting answers, however. “We won’t ever know all the crimes Le Grêlé committed,” Didier Saban, a lawyer representing the families, said via BBC.
Saban added that many cases will likely be re-opened to see if DNA techniques can match Vérove to other crimes.
The 59-year-old Vérove was found dead on Wednesday in an apartment on the Mediterranean coast, just five days after he’d been asked to submit a DNA sample due to detectives re-opening the cold case. French authorities said he left a suicide note that confessed to “previous impulses,” admitting the murders without naming the victims or further detail.
His DNA, tested postmortem, was still able to be linked to several of the crime scenes.
Vérove was a police officer during the time of the murders and rapes. His post included being part of an elite unit responsible for protecting the presidential palace and also in a unit that investigated paedophilia. It is unclear if Vérove used his police credentials to lure in victims.