“Every man” to 54 victims

For thirty years he had neither a distinctive name nor a face. He was a dark, gloved and menacing figure who acted early in the morning in the deserted streets of the 30 km strip along the Sambre River crossing the border with Belgium. Investigators pursued him relentlessly, but never came close to him.

This dark and gigantic relationship began in November 1996 in Maubeuge (Noord). One foggy morning, about 7 a.m., Sandra (First name change) is walking the usual way to elementary school where she works when a man attacks her from behind and wraps a scarf around her neck. Paralyzed his prey, he then dragged him into the woods and forced him to have oral sex with him before escaping. The traumatized young woman files a complaint and begins a long-term investigation without knowing it…

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A few days later, another attack was reported. It happened two weeks ago in Saint-Rémy-du-Nord, at the same time, about ten kilometers from the first. Cindy, 15, was walking to the school bus stop when a man pushed her into an unoccupied yard and then rushed toward her and put a scarf around her throat. Taking care to stay behind and carry her with the cloth, he took her to a meadow in the back of the house. Then he lifts the teenage jacket over her face and rapes her. Before leaving the scene, he orders his victim: You don’t move until I tell you Then it disappears.

He sometimes tells them to close their eyes and start the painful countdown to 20, 30 or 50, allowing him to run away without seeing him. »

As the weeks go by, the list of similar attacks increases. A modus operandi is formed, which makes it possible to make connections with old cases. The predator works early in the morning, between 5:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m., from March to October, when the night dissipates late. She attacks her prey from behind, strangling her with her arm or a ring, and luring her to a secluded place to commit her crime. He often uses a knife to threaten them and ties the most rebellious of them with a rope. He also sometimes blindfolds them with their own clothes. Finally, I sometimes tell them to close their eyes and start the painful countdown to 20, 30, or 50, allowing him to run away without being seen.

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The man described by the victims appears to be the same. Hat on the head, gloves and dark clothes, about 1.70 meters tall and speaks without an accent. Some of them managed to escape the rape by screaming and resisting allowing them to catch a glimpse of their attacker’s face. Then the composite image of a dark bald man of about 35 years old, with a flat nose is drawn. In some scenes of the attacks, DNA was found. are compared. It’s really the same guy. But it is unknown. The DNA profile did not see the light of day in the 1990s.

To get to know him after all, Lille’s detectives, in charge of the case, have dubbed him the “Samber Rapist” and hope to put a name on it soon. However, the search for this person is complicated. Hundreds of suspicious hearings, verification and surveillance of known perpetrators of sexual acts in the area do nothing and a search around a car, Renault 21, seen by the victim, leads to the assailant.

“Luck finally smiled to the investigators as the man was filmed on the street by CCTV cameras as well as the car he joined.”

In 2003, without a suspect, the investigation, however massive, ended with dismissal. But three years later, identical facts were observed in Belgium, only a few kilometers from the border. There he is called the aggressor.” rope rapist ” where ” morning rapist The investigation was reopened. The modus operandi is similar and even the DNA of some facts corresponds to the acts committed in France. In 2013, an investigative judge ordered a genetic paternity experience in an attempt to find relatives of the author who might be on file. Without success.

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On February 5, 2018, an additional attack shook the investigation. That morning, in Erquellnes (Belgium), Sabine*, 15, was walking to the bus stop, nose in her shoes, when she saw a shadow on the asphalt. Suddenly he grabbed her hair and neck and ran into some bushes. ” If you scream, I will kill you “Then her assailant always threatens behind her back. The teenager screams and struggles. He takes out a knife and touches his chest with the other hand for several minutes. Sabine asks him to leave her, and the bus will miss her.” You won’t come here again and don’t tell anyone ‘ he whispered to her before leaving her.

Luck finally smiled to detectives as the man was filmed on the street by CCTV cameras as well as the car he joined. The license plate is French and thus allows its identification. On February 26, 2018, the “Samber Rapist” was finally arrested and arrested for his crime epic. In her house and in her car, PJ found several hats, gloves, knives, wires, and condoms. All the tools described by his victims.

“Besides, I’m normal”

Without a doubt, the man is following the investigators, surprised by the individual’s profile. At 57 years old, Dino Scala works in the Industrial Maintenance sector. He is a father of five, married for 25 years and a former president of the local football club. A quiet man who did not talk about him but good. His criminal record is pure. “Mr. Everyone,” the attorney general points out.

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However, in police custody, his statements cool the blood. Recognizes forty attacks ” For all kinds of girls “committed under the influence” impulses “.” It’s my turn. I can go years without doing anything, and then I can take action several times a month. »« I drove and noticed (…) the habits of women who regularly take a certain route. (…) I was sitting and waiting for the opportunity. »« Besides, I’m normal ‘ he explains to the police, surprised.

Psychiatric experts are confused

In Pont-sur-Sambre, where he lived for more than 20 years, these discoveries provoked many reactions. Richard Hovell, the former president of the mountain bike club frequented by Dino Scala, is surprised. ” I called him regularly for the telethon. He came with pleasure and opened or closed the circuit with the bike. He came to weld my bulkhead for free without me asking. He was a nice guy. He told me he likes to leave early for work to prepare for his daily tasks. Now I understand better why… “, trust me Marian.

In his family, it’s also a shock. ” If it was him, he hid his game well The reaction of one of his daughters. Even psychiatrists can’t really pinpoint this guy. compound ‘has personality’ two faces On the one hand, the husband Useful and brave “, taking care to put his stepfather who has Parkinson’s disease to bed every night, and on the other hand” sniper And the rapist of women, sometimes young.

Paradoxically, the man is working on untangling it in custody, according to his attorney, Professor Margo Mathieu. “ Since his imprisonment, he has made use of a helpful weekly psychiatric follow-up to understand his actions. Since his arrest, he is on his way to the truth, he expresses his sincere guilt and wants to explain himself to the court and civil parties. »

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