Marc Paul Alain Dutroux (born Nov. 6, 1956) is a Belgian convicted child molester and murderer.
Dutroux was convicted in 1989 for the abduction and rape of five young girls with his then-wife Michelle Martin and other accomplices. He was released on parole after three years in prison.
In 1996, Dutroux was arrested on suspicion of having kidnapped, tortured and sexually abused six females aged between 8 and 19, four of whom died. His widely publicised trial took place in 2004. Dutroux was convicted of all charges, along with the murder of a suspected former accomplice, and sentenced to life imprisonment.
Michelle Martin was convicted and sentenced as an accomplice to 30 years in prison. Another accomplice Michel Lièvre was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison. Michel Nihoul was first tried with Marc Dutroux but then convicted in a separate case and sentenced to five years in prison. Another accomplice of Marc Dutroux, Bernard Weinstein, was killed by him and thus never tried.
A number of shortcomings in the Dutroux investigation caused widespread discontent in Belgium with the country's criminal justice system, and the ensuing scandal was one of the reasons for the reorganisation of Belgium's law enforcement agencies and widespread allegations of corruption and infiltration of the Belgian justice system by a criminal enterprise. In the White March, 300,000 Belgian citizens protested the mishandling of the case. [Excerpt from Wikipedia]
MICHELLE MARTIN : CHRONOLOGY
1960 ca – Michelle Martin born.
1983 – Martin married Dutroux in 1983 and had three children with him.
Jun. 24, 1995 - The eight-year-old girls Julie Lejeune and Mélissa Russo are abducted in Liège.
August 13, 1996 - Dutroux, his wife Michelle Martin, and a friend, Michel Lelièvre, are arrested on the basis of witness statements. Martin was a schoolteacher when detained.
Aug. 17, 1996 - The bodies of Julie and Mélissa are dug up in the garden of a house that Dutroux owns in Sars-la-Buissière. The girls died of starvation . The corpse of Bernard Weinstein, a French companion of Dutroux, is also discovered in the same garden.
2003 – Michelle Martin divorces Dutroux. Martin married Dutroux in 1983 and had three children with him before they divorced in 2003.
Jun. 22, 2004 - Michelle Martin convicted of letting Julie and Mélissa starve to death and assisting in the kidnappings. Dutroux is sentenced to life imprisonment and 10 years at the government's disposal. Michelle Martin gets 30 years in prison, Michel Lelièvre 25 years and Michel Nihoul 5 years. Dutroux appeals in cassation.
Aug. 28, 2012 - The Supreme Court ruled that it had found no procedural errors in the decision of the criminal court. A few hours later Martin leaves the prison on the way to the monastery in Malonne.
Mar. 31, 2015 – A former Belgian judge , Christian Panier, Namur, said he will risk controversy and rent out part of his home to the former wife and accomplice of Belgium's notorious serial child killer Marc Dutroux.
[“Timeline: Dutroux paedophile case,” 17 June, 2004]
Belgian paedophile Marc Dutroux, 47, is on trial for the murder of four young girls. The bodies of two teenage girls, An Marchal and Eefje Lambrecks, and two eight-year-olds, Melissa Russo and Julie Lejeune, were found buried at properties belonging to him. Mr Dutroux, on trial with three others, has denied killing the girls, but admitted to kidnapping and rape.
- Jun. 24, 1995: Eight-year-olds Julie Lejeune and Melissa Russo disappear near their home in Grace-Hollogne, east Belgium.
- Aug. 23, 1995: An Marchal, 17, and Eefje Lambrecks, 19, go missing during a holiday at the seaside town of Ostend.
- Dec. 6, 1995: Mr Dutroux is arrested on car theft and other charges. He is convicted and spends nearly four months in prison.
- May 28, 1996: Sabine Dardenne, 12, disappears while riding her bike to school in the town of Kain, south-west Belgium.
- 9 Aug. 9, 1996: Laetitia Delhez, 14, disappears after leaving a swimming pool in her home town of Bertrix, south-east Belgium.
- 13 Aug. 13, 1996: Mr Dutroux, his ex-wife Michelle Martin and Michel Lelievre are detained in Sars-la-Buissiere, south Belgium.
- Aug. 15, 1996: Mr Dutroux leads police to makeshift cell in house in Charleroi suburb of Marcinelle where Sabine Dardenne and Laetitia Delhez are found alive. Both have been drugged and sexually abused
- Aug. 16, 1996: Mr Dutroux admits kidnapping An Marchal and Eefje Lambrecks. Fourth suspect Michel Nihoul is detained.
- Aug. 17, 1996: Mr Dutroux admits killing suspected accomplice Bernard Weinstein and takes police to the bodies of Julie Lejeune, Melissa Russo and Weinstein buried in the backyard of a Sars-la-Buissiere house.
- Sep. 3, 1996: Police find remains of An Marchal and Eefje Lambrecks under a garden shed at Weinstein's house in Charleroi suburb of Jumet.
- Oct. 20, 1996: Some 300,000 people march on Brussels in support of victims' families and to protest against the authorities for the bungled investigation into missing girls.
- Apr. 9, 1997: Parliamentary interim report into the Dutroux case finds police "inhumane, inept, inefficient and ill-equipped" and lists blunders and rivalry during probe.
- Apr. 23, 1998: Mr Dutroux escapes custody during a court visit but is swiftly recaptured. Belgium's police chief, justice minister and interior minister resign.
- Mar. 1, 2004: Trial begins in town of Arlon.
- Trial: Key moments
- Mar. 4, 2004: Jean-Marc Connerotte, who led the initial investigation, testifies.
- Mar. 18, 2004: A key to a pair of handcuffs is found near Mr Dutroux's prison cell, hidden in a bag of salt in a kitchen. The keys fit Mr Dutroux's cuffs.
- Apr. 19, 2004: Sabine Dardenne appears in court and gives dramatic testimony against her abuser - asking him why he did not kill her.
- Apr. 20, 2004: Laetitia Delhez takes the stand, describing how she was chained to a bed and raped after being abducted.
- Apr. 27, 2004: The court and the two surviving victims, Sabine Dardenne and Laetitia Delhez, visit the cell where the girls were imprisoned.
- May 24, 2004: The lawyers for both sides begin making their final arguments.
- Jun. 10, 2004: Mr Dutroux makes a final appeal to the court in which he says he is not a murderer.
- Jun. 14, 2004: The jury retires to consider its verdict.
- Jun. 17, 2004: Dutroux convicted of murder and leading a child kidnap gang.