Sophie Le Tan, the last prey

From the disappearance of the young woman, everyone accuses Jean-Marc Reiser. For the police, it could even be a serial predator.

It was in one of their journals that they recognized his name: Reiser. The one who persecuted them for thirty years, since their daughter Françoise disappeared without a trace. The face of René Hohmann, 80, was immediately doubled, as usual. A few days later, we are witnessing the same scene. First of all, it looks good; but as soon as we approach the story of Francoise, tears rise. And Marie-Antoinette, 79, gets up to go, without a comment, look for a handkerchief. A cross carried to two. The story evoked the disappearance of Sophie Le Tan, the day of her 20 years. The girl fainted in the suburbs of Strasbourg, Schiltigheim, only 37 kilometers from their home in Kaltenhouse. Almost on the anniversary of the death of their daughter.

Read also:Disappearance of Sophie Le Tan: the profile of the suspect is ever more alarming

In 1987, Françoise, 23, worked part-time as a vacuum cleaner demonstrator. This young blonde woman travels to Strasbourg at the wheel of the 205 lent by Guy, her boyfriend. Then goes door to door with a well-refined speech. On September 8th, she went to the famous Hautepierre district. After visiting two HLMs, he entered the 38 Boulevard Victor Hugo. As usual, start with the top floor and then, landing gradually, up to the ground floor. It was 5.30 pm when Jean-Marc Reiser, 27, an employee of the PTT, opened the door.

Read also:For Sophie Le Tan, the excitement of the crowd in the streets of Schiltigheim

He will say later that he left about 18 hours. No neighbor was subsequently visited by the demonstrator, but a witness testified that his car was still parked in front of the building around 19:00. So nobody heard anything new. On September 11th the friends found the red 205 in the center, rue du Faubourg-National. The demonstration material is not inside. And the driver's seat is pushed as far as possible, too far for the 1.63 meters of Françoise. But she is of age and sometimes argues with Guy … He has the right to do what he wants! We are still waiting. Finally, on September 14, six days after his death, René went to the police.

"Revolt, misunderstanding", "No to recurrence": at the foot of the Schiltigheim building, where Sophie disappeared, testimonies, some in Vietnamese, the language of her parents. © Eric Hadji / Paris Match

The eyes turn very quickly to two suspects: Guy, the partner and the last customer, Reiser. According to the initial investigation report, both have alibi. Guy, because he was at work. Reiser, because his partner, Joelle F., ensures they were together that night. Only shadow in the past of Reiser, violence on his previous girlfriend, has one day in full crisis of jealousy, dragged and beaten in the forest of Vendenheim. But when the relatives of Françoise learn that he is the son of a woodcutter, who knows the woods as his pockets, they organize excavations – "for weeks", remembers Marie Antoinette Hohmann. Research does not give anything. Nothing on the investigators side. We are at the beginning of the 90s, do not have the fatal weapon, the DNA analysis and find no clue, no proof. No cadaver In 1992, the investigation ended with an order of non-compliance.

Jean-Marc Reiser, 58 years old.

Jean-Marc Reiser, 58 years old. © DR

Therefore, apart from Marie-Antoinette and Rene, everyone seems to forget Francoise … Five years later, there is this trivial customs control in the Doubs. And the name of Reiser has re-emerged. Police find guns, a hood, a folding shovel, sado-masochistic tools, anesthetics and images of sleeping women in pornographic poses in their trunk. According to Reiser, they are prostitutes in the East. The clichés are presented to his lover, who recognizes himself, but has no memory of having participated in these exhibitions; she must have been unconscious. In shock, she submits a rape report, then gives up. Nevertheless, the prosecution decides to continue the prosecution. Because this case evokes another, that of the rape of the national 10.
In 1995, twenty-year-old Linda, a German hitchhiker on holiday in the Landes, entered the vehicle of a man who, under the threat of a knife, raped her. On the photo, he will recognize Reiser. An accusation was courageously repeated in the court of Besançon, in March 2001, in front of the man and his intimidating gesture that surprised his lawyer, Me Degeneve. He still remembers "a difficult case" and "an authoritarian defendant who plunders defense". Reiser is sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Sixth floor, on the right: the door where he played at the beginning of September.

Sixth floor, on the right: the door where he played at the beginning of September. © DR

The education regarding the disappearance of Françoise is relaunched. Joelle, Reiser's former partner, returned to her testimony and confessed to having lied. The alibi falls and, in the following May, the prisoner is facing the assizes. At the bar, Marie-Antoinette Hohmann comes to say how we celebrate a dead woman when we do not have the grave to bloom … "Every Halloween, we will put daffodils in the garden of our house." Look at the box of the accused: "I wanted to meet his eyes. This never happened. The prosecutor's office requires the maximum penalty for murder: 30 years. But the jurors do not follow. Lack of evidence, absence of a corpse … Opt for absolution. Now it will be judicial truth: Reiser is innocent of Françoise's disappearance. That René Hohmann gets angry does not change anything.

Some women tell their husbands that they do not like being alone with Reiser

"I have great respect for the family, but like the file, Jean-Marc Reiser is innocent," insists his lawyer at the time, Eric Braun. The man was released from prison in 2012, transformed into metamorphosis. He enrolled in a degree in history at the Faculty of Strasbourg and, after five years of study, he obtained a master's degree in archeology of ancient worlds. Morning and evening, we can see this student diligently in front of a computer in the library. In 2017, try a new course, this time in the third year of the Bachelor of Art History but fails the exams in June. He is registered again for the next school year. Strange student, whose criminal record is filled at the same time as the university course.

In 1987 Françoise Hohmann, 23, disappeared. She had also played at Jean-Marc Reiser's door.

In 1987 Françoise Hohmann, 23, disappeared. She had also played at Jean-Marc Reiser's door. © DR

In June 2016, he was arrested, among others, for having forced the door, with a crowbar, a veterinary practice. "It was, according to Mr. Reiser, stealing the money," says Emmanuel Spano, the new assigned defender. Investigators suspect him of stealing anesthetic products for horses. Always the idea of ​​a drug to cradle his prey … In April 2017, after a search of his house, he received 5 months to receive. The sentence is not followed by immediate imprisonment. He can continue his studies, live on RSA and help with housing. In October, he moved to rue Perle in Schiltigheim. A six-story building, families who are used to evoking rain and good weather in the elevator. With him, who lives on the top floor, no words are ever exchanged. Some women tell their husbands that they do not like being alone with him. A neighbor on the floor realizes that he has extracted the number from his door. He surprises him in attacking his lock. Intrigo Reiser. Especially since a woman, Betsy, of Nigerian origin, has played with other neighbors: she tells them she met Reiser at the Restos du Coeur, who proposed to come to her house. But there, she would suddenly feel in danger. You did not submit a complaint.

His lawyer takes his defense. "I met a polite man who, it seems to me, is a prisoner of his past."

On September 7, Sophie Le Tan, a student, responds to a real estate announcement published in Le Bon Coin. The appointment is given to 54 by Bischwiller. Sophie is not the only one who reacted to the announcement. Two other girls preceded, but were accompanied. And when they called, no one withdrew. Sophie was alone. And we answered him. A neighbor assures that he saw the young woman heading towards the elevator. It was 9.30 Sophie will no longer reply to any text message that accumulates on her e-mail to wish him a happy birthday.
No sign of agitation on the part of Reiser. If you contact Spano, it is to evoke the procedure to organize your sentence. Did you forget the other two girls who responded to the announcement?

They let the police know that they "bind" their phones and discover the number corresponding to a prepaid SIM card. On September 15th, Reiser was arrested in Strasbourg. At a traffic light, his car is surrounded by a hooded and armed police. A search is ordered. This time, the police have the luminol, this chemical that all the lovers of the criminal series know. They find Sophie's blood then a second female DNA, still unidentified. They also discover that from its balcony Reiser has a bird's-eye view of the entrance to his palace. Reiser denies. It is the turn of a new lawyer, Francis Metzger, to take his defense. "I met a polite man who, it seems to me, is a prisoner of his past."

Beats in the forest, calls for witnesses … Rene and Marie-Antoinette, parents of Françoise, know only too much. "My daughter died for nothing?" The father repeats, "For them, autumn is definitely the saddest season, when their daughter's bedroom, with her pictures on the dresser, her things in the middle of the day. closet, it seems even more empty.Orphan parents who are reduced to cultivate, helpless, this terrible hope: we find the body of Sophie, because, next to him, there will certainly be that of Françoise.Then, finally, they will have a grave where to put the their daffodils.

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