6 Sep 2012

The Chevaline murders – a targeted killing?

Surely nowhere could be much less likely for such an occurrence of pre-meditated “savagery” – the police word today.

In the late afternoon sun you make your way through Chevaline at the pace of cows. The jingling cowbells are the only sound as they’re driven along for milking in this tiny mountain village in Haute Savoie.

Nothing disturbs the tranquillity. Alpine cropped meadow gives out to pine forests and towering white-walled mountain faces.

Paragliders hang over head drifting slowly down. The odd yacht and speedboat out in the unreal blue waters of Lake Annecy.

And then, a mile or so along the single-track lane from Chevaline – the cordon and the knowledge of what happened a couple of miles on yesterday afternoon in that car park.

The sheer incongruity of a child, seven, severely beaten as well as shot three times.

The precision – Sylvain Mollier tragically cycling the wrong route at the wrong time – shot in the head.

So too Saad al-Hilli at the driver’s wheel, engine still running in the lonely forest carpark. And the older woman as well.

Who knew they were there? Isolated and alone, save for Sylvain’s appearance. Were they followed? Or ambushed?¬†Wisely the police stick strictly to what they know, and that’s precious little.

An automatic pistol, 15 spent casings and precision injuries. The killer or killers did not spray the vehicle indiscriminately. The victims were targeted.

Tonight French media reports say not one “balle perdue” intact round, has been recovered.

If confirmed, it indicates a coldly professional approach.

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