On today’s episode, Alanna’s tells us about French spree killer, Eric Borel.
Eric Borel was born 11 December 1978. He was the son of Marie-Jeanne Parenti and Jacques “Jacky” Borel, who were both working in the military at the time of his birth. However, they quickly separated and Eric was sent to Jacky’s parents in Limoges, where he stayed until he was five. His mother would visit occasionally and once she was living with a man named Yves Bichet, she again took care of Eric, much to his dislike, and took him to their home in Solliès-Pont.
From certain accounts, Eric’s mother was extremely strict – and at least outwardly – was a religious person and activist. This didn’t stop her from allegedly mistreating and beating him, who she believed to be a “child of sin
Eric never developed a close relationship to his mother’s new partner, with whom he was said to have frequent rows and who reportedly also beat him on occasion. However, Yves’ other sons, stated that their father has always been nice to Eric, even building him a shack for his chickens and other animals he took home. So it’s hard to say.
When Eric broke his arm at 8 yrs old, rather than to go home, he ran away and hid, until he was found, shivering from pain. Eric was known as a quiet boy who kept to himself and rather tended the chickens in the backyard during his free time than to go out. But as he grew up, he developed an increasing admiration for the military, telling lies about heroic deeds of his father during the Indochina War and adoring his stepbrother, who served in the army. He had an affection to weapons and started to shoot sparrows with an air gun.
Real divide from caring for his chickens and then shooting birds.
Later years and motive
Eric attended school and studied electromechanics and did quite well academically. He was said to be a disciplined and quiet student, but in his last year at school he showed some radical change in behaviour, skipping classes without permission or explanation. He regularly said that he could not bear it anymore at home, having enough of doing housework and being called names, and often stated his wish to join the military, like his father and grandfather. Apparently he also told one of his classmates that he thought about committing suicide, but not before killing two or three people.
Eric had a single friend, 17-year-old Alan Guillemette, (same age as Eric) who was a classmate. Alan was rather outgoing and popular among his peers and with whom he hang out after school.
Many reports stated his room was full of Nazi-related items. The article writes: “Besides a picture of Adolf Hitler cut out from a newspaper, graffiti displaying a swastika on his door, and a few books regarding World War II, as well as a documentary about David Koresh and the Waco siege no evidence was found that he was interested in any kind of politics.”
Uh. How many people have a photo of Hitler in their bedroom? Isn’t that enough?
On September 23, 1995, at 17 yrs old, Eric killed his stepfather, Yves, in the kitchen by shooting him four times with a .22-caliber rifle, then smashing his head with a hammer. Police assumed that they had a fight beforehand, when Eric tried to run away from home.
Afterwards, Eric assaulted his half-brother, 11-year-old Jean-Yves, who was watching TV, in a similar manner – first shooting him with the rifle and then bludgeoning his head with the hammer. After wiping up the blood trails, Eric waited for his mother to come home.
As soon as his mother arrived at home from church at about 8:30 p.m., Eric immediately killed her with a single shot to the head. In contrast to her husband and son no blunt force was used on her, (although some reports have suggested that he beat her as well with either the hammer or a baseball bat. Unsure).
When his mother was dead, Eric once again started to up the blood, covered the bodies with sheets and closed all shutters. Carrying a bag packed with food, money, a raincoat, a map, and a pistol shooting rubber bullets and armed with his father’s rifle and his pockets full of ammunition, Eric made his way towards Cuers. At first this was by car, but eventually he crashed it into a wall, where he continued the journey by foot.
The bodies of the murdered family were found at around 1 a.m. by Yves’ son Jean-Luc, a student who only occasionally visit his father on weekends. At this point, the police are notified.
On the following day at 7:15 a.m., Eric arrived at the home of his friend Alan and when Alan’s mother opened the door Eric asked her to wake him. The two had a lengthy discussion in the garden, and apparently Eric wanted something from Alan, but when Alan declined and turned to go back into the house, Eric shot him in the back, mortally wounding him. He would have also been 17.
From 7:30 a.m. onwards, Eric started shooting people at random. No one grew suspicious of his rifle until it was too late, as it was hunting season and the sight of rifles outside not unexpected.
I did read that France has tight gun control laws for handguns, but not for hunting rifles, which can be purchased by anyone with a hunting license. Minors require parental permission.
First he shot at Ginette Vialette through an open window, mortally wounding her, as well as Denise Otto, whom he killed, while she was bringing the trash out.
He also hit Denise’s husband, Jean, in the shoulder.
Eric injured an elderly woman who was walking in the streets with her husband and shot and wounded two brothers who were crossing his path.
He shot at Rodolphe Incorvala, once again through an open window, and the injuries were eventually lethal. He later died in a hospital. Eric crossed the street to shoot and kill shopkeeper Mario Pagani, who was out buying a newspaper, as well as Moroccan Mohammed Maarad in front of a cafe.
Marius Boudon and André Touret were killed while they were drawing money from an ATM and Andrée Coletta while she was taking her poodle for a walk. Finally Eric shot Pascal Moustaki to death.
Just 30 minutes later, by 8:00 a.m., police arrived at the scene. Realizing that he was being approached by police, Eric committed suicide under a cypress tree in front of a school by shooting himself in the head.
Observers of the rampage stated he had been poised and calm during the shooting, taking great care at aiming, hitting most of his victims in the head and returning when he didn’t hit properly the first time. At first, people thought he was shooting pigeons, casually walking through the village.
In total, Eric had fired about 40 shots, killing 13.
About a month later, Jeanne Laugiero, 68, died in hospital from injuries sustained in the shooting, raising the death toll to 14 victims.
Months after that, 68-year old Pierre Marigliano, succumbed to his wounds, bringing the death toll to 15.
Eric’s shooting spree through the streets of Cuers was the deadliest act of mass murder in France since a previous spree by Christian Dornier who killed 14 people in Luxiol on July 12, 1989.
- Yves Bichet, Eric’s stepfather
- Marie-Jeanne, Eric’s mother
- Jean-Yves, 11, Eric’s half brother
- Alan Guillemette, 17, a friend of Eric
- Marius Boudon, 59
- Andrée Coletta, 65
- Rodolphe Incorvala, 59
- Jeanne Laugiero, 68
- Mohammed Maarad, 41
- Pierre Marigliano, 68
- Pascal Mostacchi, 15
- Denise Otto, 77
- Mario Pagani, 81
- André Touret, 62
- Ginette Vialette, 48
Among the wounded were Jean Otto and Jean Boursereau.
In all the articles I read, there’s no real theory of motive or why this happened. It could be that he was truly abused at home and snapped, it could be some undiagnosed mental illness he was struggling with. I think it takes a lot of murder your entire family and continue on to murder strangers. Also – he killed his family in the evening but didn’t start the random shooting until the next morning, so he had quite a lot of time to think about what was happening.