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  • 52'
  • Author : Nabyla Zaknoun
  • 21-11-2018
  • Master : 2790

THE JACQUES METAIS CASE : CRIME IN MURKY WATERS | Enquêtes criminelles | W9

On October 4 2010, off the calanques of Marseille, marine firefighters fish out a body. It is weighted with a ship’s anchor, the feet and hands are bound with chains and padlocks and, a sordid detail, the body is wrapped in sticky tape, like a mummy!

The corpse, which the Press calls “The Mummy of the Goules”, is that of Jacques Métais, 66 years old. A former executive at the Bank of France and father of 6, there is nothing about this man to explain his tragic end.

His ex-wife, Annie Slama, a 54-year-old dance teacher, claims she dropped him off at the airport and has not seen him since. Although Annie remained on good terms with her ex-husband, she explains to investigators that she left him 5 years earlier because he constantly beat her. According to her, the man suffered from an extremely irascible and aggressive temper. He couldn’t hold his tongue and he was liable to highly violent bouts of anger. So, did the former banker’s fiery temperament prove fatal? It could well be because the man had plenty of enemies.

8 months after the discovery of the body, a major discovery tips the investigation in an entirely different direction.

Fingerprints on the tape used to mummify the victim are identified as those of Annie Slama! So, the ex-wife lied to investigators right from the start.

When arrested, the mother confesses to the murder and relates that following a dispute over custody of their youngest child, aged 15, she set up a weekend aboard Jacques Métais’ catamaran in order to “cool the situation”. But, once aboard, an argument erupted and turned into a nightmare. According to her, Jacques Métais grabbed her by the throat and in the struggle she managed to throttle him. But she insists: if she killed Jacques, it was only because he was going to kill her! It was him or her!

To the investigators, Annie Slama puts the case for self-defence, but her scenario is not convincing to them. How could she kill Jacques with her bare hands, then tie him up and throw him overboard all by herself? And that’s not all: further investigation reveals that the ex-wife had stolen the identity of her dead husband to carry out money transfers for her own benefit. So, what really happened during that incredible secret meeting aboard a yacht in the Mediterranean? Self-defence or pre-meditated murder ?