UK & World News
Emile Louis: French Serial Killer Dies
A notorious serial killer who murdered seven young women, many with severe learning difficulties, has died at the age of 79, his lawyer has said.
Emile Louis, a former bus driver, died in a hospital in Nancy in the early hours of Sunday, according to Alain Fraitag.
He was transferred to hospital last Monday to undergo a neurological scan and a source told the newspaper Le Parisien that he had ??repeatedly fallen and had sores on the back of the skull.
The father-of-four was jailed in 2004 for the 1970s killings as well as the rape and torture of his last wife and daughter.
Louis kidnapped the youngsters, who lived in homes for the disabled, while driving a bus meant to transport them.
The justice system came under heavy criticism for ignoring the disappearances in the Yonne region of Burgundy for so long and recording them as runaways.
The case was widely seen as one of the country's greatest postwar judicial scandals with speculation that the girls were victims of a high-level sex ring, which was covered up by the authorities.
An officer who submitted a report in 1984 calling Louis a prime suspect was found dead in 1997, but his death was ruled a suicide.
However, in 2004, it emerged that two bullets that entered the brain were from different angles and both should have been instantly fatal.
Several scholars have hypothesised about Louis' split personality, born of a painful childhood.
According to Le Parisien, during his trial many witnesses said he was a "good father", a man "without blemish" and was jovial, polite and very understanding.
However, there was a darker side in which Louis felt "real pleasure to establish dominance over the other," with a psychologist in 2006 saying he enjoyed "extreme perversion, cruelty and suffering".