Archive for the 'Crime Blotter' Category


Nazi Artifact Auction Cancelled

The Nazi Hermann Göring, who died 68 years ago, was in the news again this week. The reason: a Paris auction of 40 Nazi artifacts which included Göring’s passport. The auction, which had been scheduled to be held on April 26, has been called off due to pressure from several Jewish and anti-racism groups as [...]

The Ho Mobile

In the US, we pioneered food trucks. Here comes France with its own version of rolling service.

Summer Scams in Full Flower

The scam: A sweet looking gypsy girl approaches with a smile asking you to sign a petition in favor of deaf-mutes. While you are occupied, her child colleagues pickpocket or otherwise rob you. This has been captured on film, documented in the press and observed and commented on by most reputable Paris bloggers. They used [...]

A Highway Serial Killer?

A little more than years ago  – July 19, 2011 – Xavier Balignant, a 29-year-old, was shot to death. The divorced father was driving home to the town of Pont-à-Celles in Belgium after a camping holiday in the Ardèche department of the French region of Rhône-Alpes. (France is divided into regions and each region into [...]

The “Night Tour” Scam

One of my clients mentioned in an email today that she had booked a “Paris by Night” bus tour for her late-June visit to Paris. It starts at 9pm. But as everyone who lives (and runs a company) in Paris knows, in summer the sun doesn’t set until around 10pm. And even then it’s still [...]

Gainsbourg vs. Hallyday

File under: you can’t make this stuff up. In July 2011, a Serge Gainsbourg impersonator stabbed a Johnny Hallyday impersonator in the neck. This being France, the rivalry was over the creative merit of their respective performances. The verdict in the trial comes Monday.

Still Unsolved: The Al-Hilli Murders

On Wednesday, September 5, 2012 – nine months ago –  the Iraqi-born Saad Al-Hilli was shot to death in Haute Savoie (Upper Savoy) in France. He, his family – wife, two small daughters and his mother-in-law – were on holiday in this very beautiful area of France. His wife and mother-in-law were also shot dead [...]

Kiss Off

This anti-gay backlash in France mystifies me. The US looks more tolerant than France on this issue, which is rare. The latest: Movie posters for L’Inconnu du Lac have been taken down after bigots protested its image. The a-holes contacted JCDecaux, which rents out the billboards across the region, and the company caved. This is [...]

Street-Naming Rights

It is the law in France that no street, square, or building may be named after a living person. Mrs, Thatcher having passed away, a UMP – Union pour un Movement Populaire – councillor, Jérôme Dubus, motioned at a Paris municipal meeting that a street or square in Paris should be named after her: Rue or Avenue [...]

Paris’s Most Notorious Serial Killer

The recent release of two films starring Vincent Cassel about the notorious French killer, kidnapper, and bank robber Jacques Mesrine plunged me into an obsession for French criminals. So the timing was perfect (for me, at least) for Ravencrest Books to release Die in Paris: The True Story of France’s Most Notorious Serial Killer. (Full [...]

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