Archive for the 'Crime Blotter' Category


The Plight of Peddlers

On my way home from the Eurostar in a taxi recently, we hit an unexplained traffic jam at a strange time of day. When we finally drove by, we saw that the problem had been caused by a police raid on a flower peddler near the Gare Saint-Lazare. The poor peddler must have spent a […]

Tragic End of a Street Artist

Four years ago, a giant gorilla appeared on a wall opposite my kitchen window. It stayed there for at least a year before slowly disappearing behind the rising walls of a new construction. It’s still there now, perhaps one day to be uncovered by future urban archeologists. I grew quite attached to that gorilla. But […]

Grave Trawlers

Planning on visiting Père Lachaise Cemetery? Looking for Jim? Need a guide? Whether you do or not, they’ll find you. Over the past few years there has been a steady increase in the number of characters hanging out in the cemetery waiting to pester unsuspecting tourists — or just anyone who looks like they’re lost, which […]

Morning Mayhem

Now that the days are getting super long, it seems easier for an evening of aperitifs to turn into a night of drinking. You would do well to keep that in check, especially now. Small gangs are preying upon revelers taking that early-morning metro home after a night of boozing.

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.

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