• 52'
  • Author : Marc di Rosa
  • 04-10-2017
  • Master : 2684


At 9:30pm on Saturday 26 June 2012, firefighters receive a call from a resident of Barbézieux near Angoulême. The huge house of his neighbor, Claude Tavernier, is on fire. On the scene, the first responders discover a horror scene: the old lady’s lifeless body lies in the middle of the dining room. And it wasn’t the flames that killed her. Before dying, Claude went through real torture: she bears the marks of a struggle. Gagged with tape, she received 42 stab wounds. The tiny community is in shock. At the age of 83, Claude Tavernier was still very active and spent all her time and her money on others. The widow of a former military man who moved into the Cognac business, adored by her six children and twenty-seven grandchildren, Claude was a millonnairess and lived alone in the family home. Now, before the fire, her residence was ransacked: the television, precious objects, credit card and even her car disappeared!


Were the old lady’s attacker or attackers looking for a stash? Did Claude Tavernier surprise them before they set upon her? For months, gendarmes pursue this trail… In vain. Faced with the “perfect” crime, the case could have stalled there. But that is to ignore an incredible theatrical twist: on the night in question, a witnessed spotted a young man leaving the victim’s residence. And a detail struck him: the mystery person was wearing a light blue polo shirt, a gendarme’s polo shirt!


The gendarmes are stunned: could Claude Tavernier have been murdered by one of their own? At once, all the young gendarmes in the Charente are listed and their duty rosters are analyzed. A painstaking task that finally pays off! The main suspect is called Mathieu Buelens and he’s 27. Serving in a neighboring commune, he is about to join the forensic division. But, most important, Mathieu Buelens was a friend of the old lady’s and was in the habit of visiting her. So, under the uniform of a quiet cop, a fine one according to all reports, did there lurk a bloodthirsty killer? And if so, why, on that 26 June 2012, did he unleash his frenzy on the victim and then mask his crime as a burglary?