Former French Cop’s DNA Ends 35-Year Manhunt for Serial Killer

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The case came to a close after the suspect was found dead this week.

The DNA of a former French police officer is said to be that of the serial killer known as “Le Grêlé,” who has been on the loose for 35 years, BBC reported.

The identity of “Le Grêlé” was announced this week as François Vérove, after his DNA had been matched to several crime scenes linked to the French serial killer, BBC said.

The 59-year-old was said to have used his police identity card and handcuffs to abduct and restrain his victims, SKY reported.

“Le Grêlé,” which translates to “hail,” according to Insider was known as “the pockmarked man,” due to distinctive facial features. He is said to have confessed to the killings prior to his death last month, BBC reported.

The notorious serial killer terrorized France between 1986 and 1994 and is accused of at least four murders and at least six rapes, including the killing of an 11-year-old who was stabbed in the chest and raped in 1986, according to authorities.

"We won't ever know all the crimes “Le Grêlé” committed," Didier Saban, a lawyer representing the families told BBC.

Saban believed “Le Grêlé” had tried his hardest to make sure none of his DNA was left at crime scenes, BBC reported. However, thanks to modern technology and techniques that have advanced over time since the final suspected killing in 1994, his identity has been revealed, BBC reported.

Vérove was found dead on Wednesday his apartment in the coastal resort of Grau-du-Roi, which is in the southern part of the country, Insider reported.

French police contacted Vérove on September 24 in relation to their investigation and three days later, his wife declared him missing, according to Insider.

On Thursday, French prosecutors said DNA samples taken from the body of Vérove matched DNA samples taken from past crime scenes of “Le Grêlé."

French media said that Vérove left behind a note where his body was found which said he was "not well in life" when the killings occurred but then "got himself together," according to Insider.

Following the crack in the 35-year-old manhunt, Saban wants unsolved crimes to be reopened in order to apply DNA techniques that were unavailable at the time, BBC reported.

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