Marc Dutroux, an unemployed electrician and father of three, committed a series of kidnappings, rapes, and killings of an unknown number of teenage girls. Dutroux and accomplices, including his wife, are considered among the most evil criminals in the history of Belgium.
- Born - 6-Nov-1956
- Birthplace - Brussels, Belgium
- Gender - Male
- Religion - Unknown
- Ethnicity - White
Marc Dutroux, born in Brussels, was the oldest of five children. His parents, both teachers, fought constantly and often yelled and beat Dutroux when he was a young child. Shortly after his parents separated in 1971, Dutroux left home. At age 15, he was on the streets surviving with the money he earned as a homosexual prostitute.
Marriage and Children:
At the age of 19, Dutroux married and fathered two sons. The marriage did not last long and the two separated in the early 1980s. Prior to the separation Dutroux was involved with Michelle Martin who later became his second wife. The couple had three children and built a sizable portfolio, that included ownership of at least seven houses, allegedly with money they got from their criminal activity.
A Mother In Fear:
In February 1986, Dutroux and his then-wife Michelle Martin were sentenced to prison for the kidnapping and rape of five young girls. Dutroux was given an early release after serving just three years of his 13-year sentence. His mother wrote to the prison director stating she feared her son's release. According to the BBC, in the letter she wrote, "What I do not know, and what all the people who know him fear, it's what he has in mind for the future."
After Dutroux's release from prison in 1989, he convinced a psychiatrist to declare him as disabled, offering him the opportunity to receive a government pension and also sleeping pills and sedatives that he later used on his victims. He also began the construction of a dungeon type room in the basement of one of his homes that he concealed behind a heavy door lined with shelving.
The Killing Begins:
On June 24, 1995, Dutroux kidnapped two eight-year-old girls, Julie Lejeune and Melissa Russon and kept them in his cellar dungeon where they were subjected to repeated sexual abuse and used to produce pornographic videos. In August, 17-year-old Ann Marchal and 19-year-old Eefje Lambrechts were kidnapped by Dutroux and bound in the upstairs bedroom in the same house were the children were being kept. Both teens were killed several weeks later although specific details were never discovered.
Left To Starve:
Dutroux was making money by dealing drugs and stealing luxury cars. He continued to keep the two children captive in the basement but when he was arrested for car theft and kept in police custody, he left the care of the children the responsibility of his accomplices. From December 6, 1995 until March 20, 1996, Dutroux was incarcerated. It is believed that during this time, Lejeune and Russo were never fed, eventually causing the two to starve to death in Dutroux's basement.
An Eye Witness:
On May 28, 1996, 12-year-old Sabine Dardenne was kidnapped and placed in the basement dungeon by Dutroux and possibly his accomplice Lelievre. Three months later, on August 9, 1996, 14-year-old Laetitia Delhez was on here way home from a public swimming pool when the pair allegedly kidnapped her and kept her in the dungeon with Dardenne. However, this time the police had an eye witness who gave police a part of the license plate that investigators were able to match to Dutroux.
On August 13, 1996, Dutroux, Martin and Lelievre were placed under arrest. A search of Dutroux's home failed to uncover Dardenne. While still in police custody, Dutroux and Lelievre confessed to the kidnapping and directed police to the dungeon where Dardeene and Delhez were found alive. He then led them to the bodies of Julie Lejeune and Melissa Russo. Along with them was the body of Bernard Weinstein, Dutroux's accomplice who Dutroux drugged, crushed his testicles then buried him alive.
As the atrocities of the crimes were disclosed, the public became very critical of the way the authorities handled the case. Failure to properly search Dutrox's home in December 1995 may have resulted in the deaths of LeJeune and Russo since they were alive in the dungeon when the police searched the home. One officer said he heard a child crying while performing the search.
Authorities were also criticized for not following up on leads including an informant who reported that Dutroux had offered him money to bring him girls who would be kept in a cell Dutroux was building in his basement. Dutroux's mother also wrote to authorities also wrote to authorities telling them her son was holding young girls captive in his home.
Other errors were made delaying prosecution of Dutroux and his accomplices resulting in a protest march of over 300,000 Belgian citizens that earned the name, The White March and influenced reform of the Belgium judicial and police system.
Rumors of a Satanic Cult Surface: Rumors of Dutroux's involvement in a Satanic network of pedophiles that included some of Belgium's most elite, spread throughout the country. Parents of some of Dutroux's victims believed this and the rumor seemed to be fueled by Dutroux who was more than willing to try to bring members of the police and the court system down with him.
Finally Justice Is Served: Dutroux's case did not go to trial until March 1, 2004, nearly eight years after his arrest. On Jun 17, 2004, Dutroux, Martin and Lelievre were found guilty on all charges.
Dutroux was sentenced to life in prison, Martin received 30 years, and Lelievre received 25 years.
Defining Dutroux: Four psychologist evaluated Dutroux and agreed that he is an antisocial psychopath rather than a pedophile. The age of his victims was not important to him. It merely made them an easier target to kidnap and control.