“Exemplary conduct of prisoners”. With this motivation, the murderer Jean-Claude Romand (sentenced to life imprisonment in France in 1995) will be free again in exactly one month after serving only 26 years in prison.
But who is Romand, indeed, “Dr.” Romand? Brilliant researcher at the World Health Organisation and until that tragic January 1993 father-model with highly placed friendships, a swarm of “advantageous investments” which he proposed to friends and acquaintances bragging knowledge in Geneva in the round that counts. Apparently, a guy to trust to the point of giving him money and respect.
In reality it was all false. In the second year of medicine (where he remained 12 years without passing exams) he left the university falling into the labyrinth of lies. Every morning he didn’t take the car to go to work at the WHO but he stopped in the same motorway to drink beer on the French-Swiss border; or he stayed in the car for hours.
To discover the deception that lasted six years was the lover, who managed to escape his murderous fury that he had previously focused on his wife (hammered in Prevessin-Moens, on the shores of Lake Geneva), on the two sons of 5 and 7 years (shot) and finally against his parents (shot to death after traveling 80 kilometers to reach their home, where he also killed the dog).
A life of lies that resulted in the extermination of the entire family that inspired French directors, TV series and the novel-inquiry The Adversary of Emmanuel Carrère, from which Nicole Garcia will draw the film of the same name. Now the well-known murderer on the small screen returns to freedom. Because his criminal history, also used by Laurent Cantet to build the film plot of full-time in 2001, according to judges and jailers is over: “Conditional freedom”. The French will have to get used to the idea of having a mytho-maniac in the spiral of lying no longer in fiction, but in the reality next door or on the roadside.
Not without controversy. For psychiatrists and psychologists who have examined him, Jean-Claude Romand, a narcissist raised in cotton wool, remains an inscrutable personality. He never really gave up his criminal act, saying in the process that “the more the lies multiplied, the more difficult it was to explain them”. Fake, even the vaunted lymphoma thanks to which he obtained loans “for treatment”. After the massacre, the firefighters find him semi-unconscious, in the flames of his burned house before self-inflicting the “false” poisoning based on expired barbiturates. He was squeezed in debt but polished.
He will be free to move again by June 28th. For the former brother-in-law Emmanuel Crolet, “with the choice to appeal, he killed my sister and her children a third time, he managed once again to manipulate reality by making the judges believe he was a model father.” It is in fact thanks to the Bourges court of appeal – which authorised release on Thursday. He had been denied in the first instance on 8th of February because he had never apologised for his crimes. Not even in film.
However, he managed to find a home, obtaining the “conditional” and an electronic bracelet for the first two years. According to the lawyer, “the decision honours the judges who took it, but I will not put this sentence on the list of my professional successes,” says Me Abad, trying to reassure the public. “He is neither a pervert nor a monster nor is he dangerous and it is for this reason that the judges granted him freedom”.
At age 64, the most deceitful killer in history will have only two “restrictions”: not being able to go to the scene of his crimes and the ban on speaking to the media. For the rest, tout est pardonné.