At Jean-Marc Reiser’s Trial for Sophie Le Tan’s Assassination, the “Ghost” of Françoise Hohmann’s Disappearance

A trial and two families united in the same ordeal. Sophie Le Tan will be present at the Assizes of Bas-Rhin in Strasbourg, from Monday 27 June to Tuesday 5 July, in order to see Jean-Marc Reiser, the judge there for the assassination of the 20-year-old student in Strasbourg, killed on 7 September 2018 and not found His body was only buried after about a year. But another family will attend the sessions: the family of Françoise Hohmann, a 23-year-old salesperson, who disappeared on September 8, 1987 in Strasbourg and her remains were never found.

The complicity between the Hohmann and Lotan family is built around a common pain and conviction: that Jean-Marc Reiser, who confessed to the murder of Sophie Le Tan, is also the murderer of Françoise Hohmann. It was he who saw the young woman alive for the last time. Which in their eyes makes him the perfect perpetrator, even if justice acquitted him in 2001.

“In Françoise’s case, the perpetrator slipped through the cracks. That is the only difference between the two cases”, confirms Laurent, cousin of Sophie Lou Tan, who became the family’s “spokesperson,” but is also a friend of Al Hohmanns. The presence of the Humans in court “Above all to support the Le Tan family”Hohmann’s attorney, Marylène Correia, insists. But according to the latter, they will be there too “To say that, perhaps, if we had been able to get Jean-Marc Reiser’s conviction at the time, we wouldn’t have been there.”

“I want Jean-Marc Reiser to see that we are present, that we will not leave them, that we will fight to the end.”

Fanny Mihaiden, niece of Françoise Hohmann

in franceinfo

For 35 years, the Hohmanns were convinced that Jean-Marc Reiser was the killer of their daughter. This certainty is reinforced When Sophie Lou Tan’s case broke out, In September 2018, that The press revealed the details of the student’s disappearance. “I said, Mom, it’s starting over.”Remembers Fanny Mohiuddin.

Relatives first noticed the commonalities between the two young women: Sophie Le Tan was barely celebrating her twentieth birthday, and François Hohmann was 23 years old. Both were brunettes with long hair.Marilyn Correa says. Then there are the dates: one disappeared on September 8, 1987, the other on September 7, 2018.

Françoise was a little girl

Finally, there are the circumstances of their disappearance. Françoise, like Sophie, who had come to visit the apartment of the man who would become her executioner, disappeared after he knocked on Jean-Marc Reiser’s door. The young girl, who wanted to finance her studies in dietetics, worked as a saleswoman. On September 8, 1987, his day ended around 7 pm with a vacuum cleaner demonstration in a building in the Hautepierre district of Strasbourg. The traces of Françoise’s presence end there, on the ground floor of this dilapidated building. Despite the three decades separating the two cases, Thierry Moser, the Hohmann family’s attorney until 2020, sees these similarities. Signal A kind of signature, like a modus operandi.

Jean-Marc Reiser’s heavy criminal record reinforces Hohmanns and Lotans in their belief in guilt. In 1997, this son of an Alsatian forester was caught during a routine customs inspection. The latter discovers in his car an arsenal of pistols, shotguns, masks, drugs, and especially images of unconscious women, in degrading sexual positions.

The impeccable image enjoyed by a former student at the Regional Institute of Management in Bastia (Hotcourse) was seriously shaken at the time of Françoise Hohmann’s disappearance. It was suspected that in a “sequestration” investigation that began in 1987, he had profited from dismissal in 1992, and the judicial investigation was closed. But after his arrest in 1997, investigators now consider Jean-Marc Reiser a potential sexual predator. He was charged with two rapes in 1995 and 1996: a rape of his former companion, identified in the photos, and a German rape. In 2001, he was sentenced by Dobbs felony to 15 years in prison. The verdict was upheld on appeal two years later.

On the evening of September 8, 1987, Françoise did not return to the family home.  Al Hohmanns was immediately convinced that something had happened to him: & nbsp;

The arrest of Jean-Marc Reiser has revived suspicions about his possible involvement in the disappearance of Françoise Hohmann. In 1999, he was charged with “premeditated murder”. The case was also adjudicated in 2001, this time before the Asssizes of Bas-Rhin. But the record is still poor. The body of the victim was not found, and the scientific police were not present at the time of the disappearance of the young woman. Doubt still favors the accused, Jean-Marc Reiser was acquitted for lack of evidence.

“No body, no scientific evidence. Faced with that, the court could have doubts.”

Valerie Gleeti, former lawyer for the Hohmann family

in franceinfo

Hohmann’s family is in shock. “My grandfather stood in court and shouted loud and clear to Jean-Marc Reiser’s lawyer: You are the devil,” France Info tells Françoise’s niece, aged 14 years on trial. Fanny Mohiuddin recalls the toxic atmosphere in the house when the verdict was announced. An acquittal that is difficult to live with for a family, without burial”, He had never been able to grieve in over thirty years.

René Hohmann, Françoise’s father, died at the beginning of May. “She will have It was the battle of his life. he is He left without knowing the truth.”Sorry for Fanny Mohieldin. A painful situation fuels his determination to get a trial. “His and my grandmother.”

“I fight for all those who loved Françoise so much, who pampered her and never had an answer. We are collateral victims.”

Fanny Mihaiden, niece of Françoise Hohmann

in franceinfo

After the death of Sophie Le Tan, this mother of three tries to restart François Hohmann’s profile, and goes to Lawyer Thierry Moser who defended the parents two films In the case of little Gregory. sProblem: Jean-Marc Reiser was acquitted of the murder charge simultaneously where Neither the public prosecutor nor the plaintiff could appeal a decision of the criminal court. So the judgment is final.

But Françoise’s body was never found. Thierry Moser He then asks, after nearly 20 years of trial, to prosecute not for “intentional murder” but for “hiding a body,” as well as reopening judicial information on “kidnapping.” The lawyer invokes three new elements: the conviction of Jean-Marc Reiser of rape in 2001, and highlighting “very annoying personality ; Sophie Le Tan Affair; Finally, science advances. “This is an argument that I have already referred to in the case of two films,” He argues.

“I would say that science has made very important progress since 1987. We can use new investigation techniques.”

Thierry Moser, former lawyer for the Hohmann family

in franceinfo

This reasoning convinces the Prosecutor’s Office in Strasbourg, which reopened the case in February 2020. Two investigative judges against X were arrested on charges of “criminal arbitrary confinement” of the young woman and “disappearance of the body”, in two separate judicial investigations.. Confident, now retired lawyer hopes in a trial “In two years”. Optimism tempered by Jean-Marc Reiser’s advice: “At this time, Mr. Reiser has not been heard on the file and has not been charged due to any other criminal capacity.” Pierre Giuriato insists.

In the meantime, Jean-Marc Reiser will be well judged for “premeditated murder” for Sophie Le Tan’s death. During the ten days that the trial will continue, the story of Françoise Hohmann will not be completely ignored. “Certain minutes from Hohmann’s file have been attached to the procedure concerning Sophie Le Tan,” Identifies Pierre Giurato, Jean-Marc Reiser’s lawyer. He attempted to challenge this annexation before the investigative chamber of the Colmar Court of Appeal. without success.

“Françoise Hohmann’s name is mentioned in Sophie Le Tan’s file, but that is not what he will be judged on.”

Pierre Giuriatto, attorney for Jean-Marc Reiser

in franceinfo

“His ghost will hover over the jurors and will incite them to be very cruel,” She wants to believe Valerie Gleeti, the lawyer for the Hohmann family during the 2001 trial. She hopes that Jean-Marc Reiser will be convicted this time For all his works.

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