Toulouse. The Escadillas Affair: Joel Bourgogne, the good friend who became a killer?

I Eric Mouton, with Jean-Baptiste de Boer-Montegot, included the defense of Joel Bourgogne accused of killing Martine Escadillas, in 1986, whose body has not been found. (© Laurent Derne / Actu Toulouse)

fund income, and closed face. A glance at his wife and two daughters in the front row, an imperceptible gesture to thank them for their unwavering support, Joel Bourgogne, 59 years oldfaces, on Friday 1Verse July 2022, at the Haute-Garonne Assize Court for facts dating back to his youth.

Same group of friends

a killing. that Martin Escaladeswho has a admit to custodyIn 2019 (32 years after the events, editor’s note), before backtracking. In 1986, Bourgogne was acquainted with the couple formed by Martin and her companion Thierry. Parents know each other, they are neighbors. Young people belong to Same group of friends. The Club Editions unite them. The football, Moreover. boys tampering with cars In the cellars of Santa Fe’s residence, Ramonville Saint Agnes (Haute-Garonne), near Toulouse. Live love for the couple.


“They shared their free time,” confirms the director of the investigation, a former member of search section Toulouse (SR). And it is precisely this closeness to the victim and his companion – the friendship that put him (re) in the eye of the storm – Which the accused is trying to mitigate today.

36 year old cold case

A small leap back three decades. Monday 8 December 1986, in Ramonville Saint-Agne (Haute-Garonne), near Toulouse. Martin escorts Thierry, her lover, to the bus station. the guy Breakdown car. He has to go to work by public transportation.

The 24 year old young womanFor his part, he is preparing to resume his position Accounting Secretary In a real estate construction company in Portet-sur-Garonne, after a week of sick leave. You go home to finish getting ready. He’s around 8h15-8h30. Her body and soul disappear, leaving traces of blood in the stairwell, from the third floor, where she resides, to the basement of her home. No one will see her again.

2016 investigation director avoids accusations against colleagues

On the grill, he tells the gendarmes who lead the ship Investigations resume in 2016after, after Two other places issued by the court. Over time, the Escadeillas case has become a cold case. It is these unresolved issues that remain the obsession of any investigator. and the families of the victims. until Amazing turn of events : After thirty years of facts, Mail Joël Bourgeon is convicted as a possible perpetrator of the crime.

The gendarmerie returned to the file. The accused was first heard nine days after the events. You turned out to be the bestIndifferenceat worst coolerMartin’s disappearance. The investigative judge had requested to deepen investigations with him. Unfortunately, this was not done at that time,” laments the director of the investigation, who avoids overburdening colleagues.

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“The Bud Hypothesis Doesn’t Come From Nowhere”

“The Bud hypothesis does not come out of nowhere. He mentioned his name from the beginning From the first investigation in 1987. There are many elements of incrimination. And they always go in the same direction,” he stresses Me Frederick DavidAttorney The Escalades family. Detective shells. Joel Bourgogne knew the place well, and probably owned a key to the apartment of his friends he had. made furniture.

On the day of Martin’s disappearance Upstairs neighbor He hears a scream, around 8:45 a.m. It emerges from the stairwell. Exit on landing, tilt and mark the man above the woman who sees her legs on the ground. The woman screams. Understand the word “police”.

“The Witness Who Says Everything and Its Opposites”

she Describe a 45-50 year old manto me Gray hair And the slight baldness. The man in the box was 23 years old at the time. The split in which the defense celebrates – a guarantee Mbe Eric Mouton and Jean Baptiste de Boer Montgot – Who does not hesitate to refer to him as soon as possible. The first quote confirms:

“I insist on a key point: the testimony of a neighbor on the fourth floor. Suddenly, it is used to mark the writer’s clothes or the table of facts; and suddenly we are told she has seen nothing from where she was. The witness cannot be made to say everything and its opposite.”

I’m Eric MoutonJoel Bourgogne’s attorney

a re showed that the witness could distinguish a little better from a silhouette: the light was off and the stairwell received only light from roof window.

Thinmedium size, blue shirt clear on dark jeanshis legs crossed, the accused, his eyes are darkened, he seems to represent a tired look on things. Is he the man who came to him in love with Martin Terry’s betrayals revealedThis Monday morning, are you secretly dreaming of seeing her consoling in his arms?

murder scenario?

Is he the one who rejected the girl, He hitsAnd the chased down the stairs, is dragged into the basement, where there is a “large amount of uncoagulated blood”? “Proof of the victim’s death according to the forensic doctor.”

This scenario does not stem from speculation, but from the findings and the confessions Written by Joel Bourgogne, in 2019, without the presence of a lawyer he did not want. He wanted to clear his conscience. These are The confessions spread over a period of more than five hours, with many stops. He explained things we didn’t know, detective details. The Martin’s face is bleeding. The The last three steps leads to the vault who wiped it. No one other than the investigators and the author could know these details.”

good hideaway

A month and a half after Martin’s disappearance Leaves Toulouse, abandoned his relatives “with 3-4 boxes in his Renault 4L”, without promise of employment, while “has just been established as a regional agent at the Déodat de Séverac high school” in Toulouse. However, it was “a good hideaway,” he said. I enjoyed Complete freedom of movement In particular by ensuring the maintenance of the facility’s swimming pool.

Investigators revealed a “leak”. Wanting to escape from a heavy environment? For Joel Bourgogne, this sudden transition to the Rhone takes on the trappings of a 16 years love affairI crossed the beach last summer. He gives her a watch and a ring. The Martin jewelryWho does the victim’s sister claim to have known him? “There is nothing to install,” I was plagued by defense. Disturbing details: He encourages a brunette from Leon to choose blonde boxwear red lacquer on the fingernails. Like Martine Escadeillas.

Testimonies and confessions are hotly debated

The Certificate from the neighbor above and Confession of the accused It was at the center of the first day of the hearings. The controversy between the defense and the civil and the prosecution that it brought was fiercely discussedAttorney General Nicholas Raff.

The gendarmes directed their experts: a detective in behavioral science IRCGN (National Institute for Criminal Research of the Gendarmerie), which helped investigators prepare for the suspect’s hearing, in 2019; a Forensic Research AnalystWhich presented the murder scenario regarding the elements of the file.

where is the body

For them, everything converges with Joël Bourgeon, a familiar place, never revealing where he managed to get rid of the body. The Missing piece of the puzzle. The behavioral sciences investigator shares her feelings:

“I believe his confession was sincere. The 56-year-old recognizes the actions of the 23-year-old. But he does not assume that the photo he sent to his family, his wife or his wife was two girls. He never identified the gestures to the victim – which were none Extremely violent doubt – nor body movement.”

Investigator of behavioral sciences from the gendarmerie

to the displeasure of the defense. “I think there are a lot of assumptions in this case. He will end up being pre-guided,” protests M.e Sheep.

Not an exaggeration

Emotional instability. Depressed mother. Father died when he was young. Military ‘alcoholic’ stepfather. Joel Bourgogne is described as impulsiveAnd the Angry. “He exercised violence on one of his comrades,” points out the criminal analyst of the gendarmerie, which he describes as “cold, without sympathyMaher, calculator”. Unpleasant picture if any. dependency?

“For me, the fatal mistake he made was to deposit Martin’s body in his own vault, which he knew he was messing with there with his companion, but had a (fake) lock on it. While the first vaults within reach were open and directly accessible .but he acted on instinct.”

Criminal investigation analyst for the gendarmerie

“Mr. President, I am innocent.”

On the morning of the events, in the time period corresponding to Martin’s attack, a witness described a young man (accused’s height 1.72 m, editor’s note), with “slight shift”, at the level of the residence intercom. The accused suffered a knee arthroscopy Three months later, in Lyon, March 1987. Coincidence?

“Mr. President, I am innocent.”Joel Bourgogne asserted in a firm voice, at the opening of the debates, in Council Member Guillaume Russell. Discussions will resume on Monday.

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