French authorities nab gay serial killer

Bryan Ochalla | November 29, 2007

PARIS — French police have arrested a 68-year-old man they believe to be responsible for murdering 18 people, most of them gay, between 1980 and 2002.

The suspect, Nicolas Panard, is alleged to have killed 11 people in the Alsace region, four others in Franche-Comte and three near Paris, BBC News reported earlier today.

Authorities believe Panard, who is said to have worked as a "transvestite performer" in cabarets in Alsace and neighboring Germany, worked with an accomplice, a 43-year-old currently serving 20 years in a prison for an unrelated murder.

The arrests are the result of two years of work by a French police officer who had originally only been investigating a murder in 1991 in nearby Sochaux, according to BBC News. Using a police crime database, the officer found mentions of Panard's name in the case files of several unsolved murders.

The officer also discovered several common features in the murders, including that the victims had all been killed by blows to the head followed by multiple knife wounds. Each time the victims' bodies were found partly naked, but with their faces covered.

More information on the arrests is expected tomorrow afternoon, when the deputy state prosecutor of Montbeliard, Jean-Marc Gervason, is due to hold a news conference. – Issued by Gay Link Content

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