Lemerle case: traces of blood revealed by Bluestar

On the first day of Vanessa Lemerle's trial for the violent confinement of her brother

Le quotidien : October 26, 2021

On the first day of the trial of Vanessa Lemerle for the violent kidnapping of her brother on April 10, 2018 in Saint-Gilles, the director of investigation returned at length on the circumstances of the discovery of the facts.

“He was stoic when the police arrived. But once out of the hospital, he seemed terrorized, realizing that he could have died.” Invited to testify on the occasion of the first day of the trial of Vanessa Lemerle and her companion (our edition of yesterday), the gendarme in charge of leading the investigation tells the first contacts with Nicolas Lemerle this April 10, 2018, when the Saint-Gillois says he was a victim of a violent sequestration at his home.

On the spot, “the findings are consistent with his statements,” as noted by President Virginie Bellouard. The military first discovered “the two dogs groggy and slumped.” At the entrance of the villa, remains of pet food. And in the garbage can, a tube of sleeping pills suggesting that the dogs had been drugged. In the garden, near a tree, “a rope, a garden hose and a shower hose” that the victim described as having been used to tie him up.

And in the house, “traces of blood absolutely everywhere, that had marked me” tells the investigator of the brigade of research of Saint-Paul. On the pillow of the bed, in the living room, on sheets of the office. “And especially in the bathroom, with large projections on the walls. Everything fits with the story of Nicolas, pulled from his bed around 00:30 that night by a mysterious assailant in black tracksuit, beaten with what he first takes for “a baton”, then the forearm lacerated with a knife.

The policewoman also tells about her discoveries at Vanessa Lemerle’s home in Saline-les-Bains, since it is indeed her own sister that Nicolas suspects of being the instigator of his aggression. It is necessary to say that, during the three to four hours that lasts his sequestration, the man in black made several times reference to Vanessa and to a conflict about the inheritance of their father, late the president of the chamber of the notaries Paul Lemerle.

"Perplexed as to its good faith"

“In the garden, not far from the car with the still warm hood, we will discover two small piles of smoking ashes.” In one of them, a remnant of a gray sock matching another sock found in Vanessa Lemerle’s Peugeot 208, and which Nicolas described as having served as gloves to his assailant when he threatened him with a chainsaw. A machine of a particular brand, usually stored in the garden shed of Vanessa Lemerle’s house and that the gendarmes found not far from the car. There is also this empty package of Chesterfield, the brand of cigarette butts found in front of the gate of Nicolas Lemerle’s house.

And then, under Vanessa’s bed, there is this large Maglite flashlight, which looks like what the victim had initially taken for a baton and which was used to hit her. Passed to the Blue-star developer, the lamp turns out to be carrying traces of blood having been cleaned…

The gendarme remembers the attitude of Vanessa Lemerle, who says she did not notice anything abnormal that night, and that she lives alone. While the military saw a man suddenly pull the curtain of one of the rooms. “His version did not stick to our findings, and I was puzzled about his good faith, so I decided to place it in custody, “says the investigator.

During the auditions, she will discover the visceral hatred that the brother and sister seem to have for each other

During the auditions, she will discover the visceral hatred that the brother and sister seem to have for each other, and not only since the death of their father or for a question of inheritance. It is the elder sister, Emmanuelle, who confirms this from her home in London. “The conflict has always existed between them, even when they were children. And for Emmanuelle, there is no problem of inheritance, their father has put them all in a safe place” relates the policewoman.

It would not be the first time that their relationship drifted into violence. “In 2010, during a birthday there was a dispute that led to a complaint from Vanessa Lemerle,” recalls the director of the investigation. That time, it is Nicolas who would have struck Vanessa … with a large Maglite.

The grudge, to the point of hiring a henchman to go and terrorize his brother, even “cutting off a finger or a limb”, in the style of “gangster films” as M’Barki will say? “One cannot help but think that there is a link with the use of this lamp”, the president remarks.

Briefly questioned yesterday, Vanessa Lemerle continues to say that she is not involved in any form of complicity in the facts of the case. Resumption of the debates this morning, with the hearing of the witnesses.