The drama takes place in the heart of the Vologne valley, in the rural and working-class Vosges, where several families gather who, for generations, have lived more or less the same daily life.

Docelles, Lépanges, Aumontzey… In the triangle formed by its three municipalities, many secrets are born and die. But what exactly happened, where?


Aumontzey (480 inhabitants):


Dijon :


In this jumble of names and villages, it is difficult to find your way, especially since the case has been sitting on the shelves of justice for 38 years now… And the twists and turns have gone well.

On the occasion of the publication of our special investigation, Murder of little Grégory: the cases in the case, Planet invites you to discover an exclusive infographic, bringing together the main dates of the case, and retracing, in a summary way, the frame of the drama.

Click here to enlarge the image

Here, in more detail, is the complete chronology of the case:

The Villemin family (the couple Jean-Marie and Christine, as well as the grandparents Albert and Monique) received the first calls and letters from the “crow”: they received several hundred until May 1983.

October 16, 1984

5 p.m.: Grégory Villemin, 4, disappears while playing in front of his house.

5:32 p.m .: Michel Villemin, one of Jean-Marie Villemin’s brothers, receives a call from the “raven” informing him of Grégory’s death, stating that he was thrown into the river.

5:50 p.m.: Christine Villemin reports the disappearance of her son to the gendarmerie.

9:15 p.m .: He is found dead, bound hand and foot, in Vologne (Vosges), in Docelles, 6 km from the home of his parents in Lépanges-sur-Vologne.

October 17: Grégory Villemin’s parents receive an anonymous letter from a “raven”, “Your son is dead. I took revenge”. The letter bears the Lépanges-sur-Vologne postmark of the previous day at 5:15 p.m.

A few days later, Jean-Marie Villemin receives a new letter “I hope you will die of grief, the chief. This is my revenge”

Grégory’s autopsy affirms that he died of drowning, but does not make it possible to conclude whether he was drowned in the waters of the Vologne or in a bathtub, and whether he was tied up before or after his death. The body shows no hematoma, lesions or traces of defence: only a bruise is observed at the level of the detachment of the scalp.

November 3: Murielle Bolle, 15, sister-in-law of Bernard Laroche, cousin of JM Villemin, is heard in police custody. She told the gendarmes that she was in the car with Bernard the day Grégory disappeared: that the latter went to get the little one in front of his house, then got out of the car a little further on with Grégory “the kid”, to come back on their own a few moments later.

Murielle Bolle’s father, Lucien, signs the report of his daughter’s deposition the same day.

November 5: Bernard Laroche, cousin of Jean-Marie Villemin, is charged with murder after the testimony of his sister-in-law, Murielle Bolle. His jealousy for his cousin’s success is put forward as a possible motive.

The same evening, according to a cousin of Murielle, the latter would have been seriously lynched by her family.

November 7: Murielle Bolle retracts and returns to her testimony to journalists: she claims to have invented her story in the face of pressure from the gendarmes, who, according to her, promised her the house of correction if she did not speak. “Bernard is innocent” she proclaims. The expertises are canceled for defect of form.

November 9: in Docelles, a rural guard discovers an empty insulin vial, its packaging, and a syringe on the banks of an arm of the Vologne. The location of the discovery is also the place designated by Murielle Bolle as the place where Bernard Laroche would have gotten out of the car with Grégory. Injecting insulin into a non-diabetic can lead to a deep coma, but is almost impossible to detect during an autopsy. The presence of insulin in Grégory’s body has not been proven and remains only a guess. No toxicological analysis has confirmed this hypothesis.

February 4, 1985: Bernard Laroche is released. The gendarmerie is divested of the investigation: it is the SRPJ of Nancy which takes over all the investigations from the beginning.

March 29, 1985: Jean-Marie Villemin shot Bernard Laroche dead with a hunting rifle, at his home in Aumotnzey. He is convinced of his cousin’s guilt.

July 5, 1985: Christine Villemin, Grégory’s mother, then six months pregnant, is designated as the possible crow of the anonymous letter by graphologists (80% probability), witnesses say they met her at the Post Office on the day of drama and cords similar to those found on Grégory are found in the family home; she is charged and imprisoned for 10 days.

July 16, 1985: Christine Villemin is released and placed under judicial supervision.

July 17, 1985: Publication of a controversial text by Marguerite Duras in Liberation, where she both defends Christine Villemin’s gesture while accusing her of having committed infanticide.

July 24, 1985: the Villemin grandparents receive a new letter from the crow “I will kill you again. Next victim: Monique”.

July 22, 1986: Jean-Marie Villemin is returned to the assizes for the murder of Bernard Laroche.

December 9, 1986: Christine Villemin is returned to the assizes for the murder of Grégory.

March 17, 1987: Cassation of Christine Villemin’s dismissal judgment. The Dijon Court of Appeal resumes the investigation.

December 24, 1987: Jean-Marie Villemin is released, placed under judicial control, assigned to residence in Essonne (in Etampes), where the couple has settled with their three children.

February 3: Christine Villemin is dismissed for “total absence of charges”.

December 16: After four weeks of trial, Jean-Marie Villemin is sentenced to five years in prison for the murder of Bernard Laroche, one of which is suspended; he was released a few days later, having served most of his sentence in preventive detention since 1987 (34 months).

June 14, 2000: Brief reopening of the investigation for a DNA search on a stamp of a letter from the “raven” dating from 1983, at the request of the Villemin spouses: finally qualified as unusable in October of the same year.

2001: Closing of the investigation.

June 30, 2004: The state is ordered to pay 35,000 euros to each of Grégory’s parents for “gross negligence”; implying the dysfunction of justice.

April 2005: Jean-Marie Villemin asks for his rehabilitation.

2006: Gendarmerie Colonel Etienne Sesmat, who led the investigation in the early stages, publishes a book Les deux affaires Grégory, in which he suggests that serious suspicions still hang over Bernard Laroche.

October 25, 2006: Murielle Bolle requests the reopening of the investigation, request rejected on January 9, 2007.

June 26, 2007: The general prosecutor’s office indicates that it does not oppose the rehabilitation requested by Jean-Marie Villemin in order to erase his conviction pronounced in 1993 for the murder of Bernard Laroche.

July 3, 2007: The investigative chamber of the Paris Court of Appeal finally rejects Jean-Marie Villemin’s request for rehabilitation.

July 5, 2007: Jean-Marie Villemin waives an appeal in cassation.

July 9, 2008: Traces of DNA are taken from Grégory’s pants, sweater and anorak. Seized by the Villemin spouses, the Dijon public prosecutor requests the reopening of the investigation.

December 3, 2008: The Dijon Court of Appeal reopens the investigation.

October 22, 2009: The Attorney General of Dijon announces the discovery of two identifiable DNA, a male and a female, recovered from anonymous letters addressed to the family, and from the cords which had been used to fetter Grégory.

November 17, 2009: a cell of 12 gendarmes is activated to resume the investigation.

December 11, 2009: All the actors in the file in the case are subjected to DNA samples.

January 21, 2010: the president of the investigative chamber of the Dijon court of appeal gives up exhuming the body of Bernard Laroche for DNA identifications; justice has other means.

May 5, 2010: DNA samples from seals from 1984 are usable, but do not correspond to any profile among the 150 relatives surveyed.

The instruction announces future voice analyzes on the “crow’s” phone calls. Also unsuccessful.

January 4, 2011: the criminal chamber of the Court of Cassation definitively rejected Marie-Ange Laroche’s request for civil action, widow of Bernard Laroche.

April 24, 2013: analyzes of the DNA traces found on Grégory’s clothes yield nothing.

June 14: Marcel Jacob, 71, Jean-Marie Villemin’s maternal uncle and his wife Jacqueline, 72, are placed in police custody along with Jean-Marie Villemin’s sister-in-law, Ginette Villemin (wife of Michel ).

For more than a year, two criminal analysts have reread the 12,000 items in the Grégory file: each protagonist has been “positioned” in the fatal time frame (half an hour) of Grégory’s death, thanks to the Anacrim software.

Among the many handwriting expertise in the file, some would be compatible with the writing of several suspects.

June 15: Ginette Villemin is released at the end of the afternoon.

Grégory’s grandparents, Albert and Monique Villemin, as well as Murielle Bolle are heard as witnesses during free hearings.

The handwriting expertise confused Monique: she sent threatening letters to the 1993 investigating judge, Judge Simon. She would therefore be one of the other crows in this story.

On June 16, prosecutor Jean-Jacques Bosc announced the indictment of Marcel and Jacqueline Jacob for “arrest, kidnapping, kidnapping followed by death”. They are temporarily incarcerated. The graphological analyzes incriminated Jacqueline Thuriot married Jacob, and the investigation established a link between these letters and the threatening calls, probably launched by her husband Marcel.

June 20: The general prosecutor’s office requires the continued detention of Marcel and Jacqueline Jacob. Jacqueline Jacob wrote a letter explaining that she had “nothing to do with it”. Her husband, Marcel, “screamed his innocence”, according to his lawyer.

However, the investigating chamber decided to release the Jacob spouses on the same day, while keeping them under judicial supervision and prohibiting contact between them.

June 28: Bernard Laroche’s sister-in-law, Murielle Bolle, 48, is arrested at her home. The gendarmes still have 25 hours of police custody that Murielle had started in November 1984 for “acts of complicity in assassination, non-denunciation of a crime”.

June 29: Murielle Bolle is released from police custody. She is referred to be presented to the investigating judge, and will then be either indicted or placed under the status of assisted witness. However, she left the Dijon Court of Appeal in the early afternoon, before her hearing, on a wheelchair, after feeling unwell.

She is finally indicted in the evening for “abduction of a minor followed by death” and imprisoned.

July 5: several elements collected by Le Figaro weaken the testimony of Murielle’s cousin. The latter claimed that on the evening of November 5, the lawyer Pau Prompt was at the Bolle home, preventing the broadcast of an interview with Murielle on TV and already staging his retraction the next day.

However, according to the newspaper, Me Prompt only arrived in Vologne on November 8, seized of the file as Laroche’s lawyer on the 6th.

July 6: According to her lawyer Christophe Ballorin, Murielle Bolle begins a hunger strike in prison. She demands the rapid organization of a confrontation with her cousin who witnessed the violence on November 5, 1984.

According to Christophe Ballorin. Murielle Bolle lives in terrible conditions of detention (isolation, threats) and is said to have suicidal thoughts.

July 10: Marie-Ange Laroche, widow of Bernard Laroche and sister of Murielle Bolle speaks to several media, assuring that she or her family have never abused Murielle. She also sends a letter to the President of the Republic, in which she denounces the content of Judge Simon’s instruction books (between 1987 and 1990), which are disclosed in the press the same day and which attack the Laroche clan. .

July 11: Judge Jean-Michel Lambert, nicknamed the little judge, who heard the case from 1984 to 1986, is found dead, a plastic bag on his head, at his home in Le Mans.

For her part, Murielle Bolle stops her hunger strike, in order to prepare for the confrontation, set for July 28, with her cousin.

July 17: Murielle Bolle files a request for release through her lawyers.

July 19: Judge Lambert’s suicide letters are revealed: he reiterates that Bernard Laroche is innocent.

July 28: The confrontation between Murielle Bolle and her cousin takes place in the presence of the Dijon investigating judge, Claire Barbier.

August 4: Murielle Bolle is released under judicial supervision.

May 16, 2018: the indictments of Murielle Bolle, Marcel and Jacqueline Jacob are canceled for formal defect.

November 2018: Murielle Bolle publishes Briser le silence with Michel Lafon editions, a testimonial book in which she accuses “cousin Patrick” of lying

In the process, Patrick Faivre filed a complaint for “defamation”.

June 2019: Murielle Bolle is indicted for “aggravated defamation”

However, the procedure ended in a dismissal due to a procedural error.

January 16, 2020: The Court of Cassation annuls the police custody of Murielle Bolle in 1984, deemed unconstitutional

April 2021: a stylometric expertise on file designates Jacqueline Jacob as the crow, reveals 20 Minutes.