Did Swiss shooter also kill the al-Hilli family? Police at bedside
Locations of two gun rampages are within 100 miles and in both cases antique weapons were used
FOLLOWERS of the al-Hilli mystery - the assassination of the British-Iraqi engineer, Saad al-Hilli, and his wife and mother-law in the woods near Lake Annecy last September – have finally been presented with a possible solution that actually makes some sense.
According to the Daily Telegraph, police who investigated the al-Hillis' death and that of the French cyclist Sylvain Mollier, shot dead in the same incident on 5 September, are to question a psychiatric patient who went on a shooting rampage in the Swiss village of Daillon this Wednesday, killing three women and wounding two men.
The 33-year-old man, known only as 'Cedric', is understood to be a former soldier who, according to the Telegraph, "was kicked out of the Swiss army for threatening people with guns”. He was reportedly placed under psychiatric care in 2005.
Cedric starting shooting soon after leaving the Channe d'Or restaurant in Daillon on Wednesday after a drinking session. Armed with a hunting gun and an antique military carbine, he shot three women he knew, aged 32, 54 and 79, and two men, aged 33 and 63. The latter is thought to be his uncle, a former police chief, with whom he was in dispute.
The possible links to the al-Hilli killing are obvious. Chevaline, the village in the French Alps where the al-Hillis were found shot dead in their BMW, is less than 100 miles from Daillon. The Chevaline killer also used an antique firearm – thought to be an ex-service Luger. And in both cases, the shooter was cold-hearted enough to dispatch several people in a very short time. (In Chevaline, he also attacked one of the family's two daughters, Zainab, but she escaped with her life.)
But perhaps the most persuasive line picked up by the British press today is that the prosecutor in charge of the al-Hilli investigation, Eric Maillaud, has always said he believes the killings at Chevaline were more likely to be the work of a deranged gun enthusiast than a professional hit on either the al-Hillis or M Mollier.
"We are looking for unbalanced people capable of extreme violence," Maillaud has said in the past. "People who have access to weapons – hunters, collectors, shooting club members, some with psychiatric problems."
'Cedric' was shot by Swiss police marksmen at the end of Wednesday's spree in Daillon. Police will have to wait for his condition to improve before they can quiz him about the al-Hillis.