Ghislaine Marchal was a wealthy widow who spent part of the year at her Mougins villa, La Chamade (in the Alpes-Maritimes department.) Her body was discovered in the annex of her house on June 24, 1991. She’d been savagely beaten. Two bloody messages will be found in this annex, which was barred from the inside before the gendarmes knocked down the door.
“Omar m’a tuer” is written in both mails (Omar killed me.) The investigators immediately accuse Ghislaine Marchal’s gardener, Omar Raddad, of being the murderer, as evidenced by the gory notes. Despite the lack of conclusive evidence that Omar Raddad was the perpetrator, the gardener was sentenced to 18 years in jail on February 2. Omar was published on September 4, 1998.
The case is reopened in 2021. Unknown men’s DNA traces are tested at the crime site in the hopes of determining who they belong to.
The case in detail
The unspoken lead:
The book Ministère de l’injustice (Ministry of Injustice) will be launched on March 16 (the same day I’m writing this piece). The Ghislaine Marchal case is the subject of one of the book’s chapters.
New elements that were buried during the investigation are exposed in this chapter. Ghislaine Marchal’s companion allegedly told the gendarmes in 2002 that Ghislaine had a relationship with a man named Martial, who managed a restaurant lounge and was regarded a “thug.”
Marc Leplongeon, one of the book’s authors, explains: “After the testimony of an informant in 2002, there is an investigation that is treated extremely seriously. Ghislaine Marchal, she said, had become friends with the restaurant’s proprietor. Omar Raddad and she [the witness] proceeded to this eatery. She [the witness] claims to have overheard weird talks that showed he was planning to rob Ghislaine Marchal.”
The gendarmes would then have spent two years following up on this lead. However, when they requested the ability to conduct searches, place the restaurant management on a wiretap, and review the bank statements, the public prosecutor’s office did not answer. After that, the lead will be buried.
This lead will subsequently be buried, with no explanation as to why the public prosecutor’s office does not want the gendarmes on the case to pursue it further.
Martial, the subject of the probe, was never questioned. We have no way of knowing if he is still alive today.
With these additional details, it’s possible that Ghislaine Marchal’s murder was a botched burglary.
To be honest, we still don’t know enough about this lead. I’m not sure what information the witness provided led the police to believe it was a serious lead. However, I believe that if Omar had visited Martial’s restaurant with Ghislaine Marchal, and the latter had informed the management about Omar, this could explain why Omar was the focus of the bloody messages.
Let’s pretend that Martial (alone or with others) breaks into Ghislaine’s villa. She manages to catch him in the act. There’s a chance that a battle will ensue, complete with threats. He murders her. He is terrified (or not) and considers Omar Raddad’s existence and decides to blame the gardener with gory messages. Then he runs away.
This would explain why only the money in the wallet was taken, not the jewelry (Ghislaine would have surprised Marchal at this point.) It could also explain how an outside assailant could have recognized Omar and hence blamed him.
Of course, this lead does not explain everything and does not provide any answers to the enigma. However, I believe that is a real lead. Ghislaine Marchal isn’t known for discussing her personal life with her pals, which could explain why this lead has remained a mystery.