• The editorial staff of

    20 Minutes

    accompanies you during the summer on the trail of famous crows who have poisoned the lives of investigators and families in often insoluble cases.

  • In this last episode of our series, look back at the Christelle Maillery case, a teenager stabbed to death in December 1986 at Le Creusot.

  • It will have taken more than twenty years for the judicial institution to come to the end of this file, peppered with numerous anonymous denunciations.

Thirty-six years after the murder of Christelle Maillery, commissioner Daniel Guichot remembers well this "file that he did not digest".

The image of the teenager with red curls, killed by around thirty stab wounds in the cellar of a building in Le Creusot (Saône-et-Loire) on December 18, 1986, remains anchored in the mind of this investigator. .

“At the time, we had neither DNA nor CCTV camera”, regrets the now retired ex-policeman.

So, for lack of having found the murder weapon and without a solid lead, the investigations are stalled.

Until February 1987. That month, hope was reborn for the criminal squad in charge of the case.

A switchblade knife was discovered in a bush a hundred meters from the basement where Christelle, 16, had been found dead by residents of the Charmille district.

At the same time, two postcards are sent to the group led by Daniel Guichot.

"I am the murderer of Christelle", signs the author.

The first crow has just burst into the Maillery affair.

False track and bucolic landscapes

Behind the bucolic landscapes of the Nivernais region carefully chosen by the sender, a few lines taunt the investigators.

The author speaks directly to "Monsieur Guichot", says he lives in Nevers and claims the murder of the young girl.

“Even if we should be wary of them, these letters should be considered as leads to be exploited.

Especially when you have nothing else, ”breathes the commissioner to



The police therefore draw up a list of people likely to travel regularly between Le Creusot and Nevers.

The suspects are all subject to dictation and their writing compared with that appearing on the cards received by the criminal brigade.

With hindsight, Daniel Guichot believes that this research "which mobilized a whole bunch of officials" helped to "disperse" their investigations.

The crow, which remained untraceable, and the discovery of the knife in the bush adjoining the crime scene came to nothing.

In 1990, the ax fell for the family of Christelle Maillery: a dismissal order was issued by the investigating judge in charge of the case.

The case has just switched to the

cold-case category


A momentous revelation

It was not until 2003 that the investigation took a new turn.

At that time, Marie Pichon, the teenager's mother, joined the “Christelle” association.

Created with the families of the "disappeared from the A6", it brings together the relatives of the victims of a series of unsolved murders that occurred in Saône-et-Loire between 1980 and 1990. To compensate for the shortcomings of the investigation, the group hires a private detective to take over the Maillery case.

Referred by the lawyers of Marie Pichon, the sleuth collects the testimony of Michel, the ex-boyfriend of Christelle at the time of the facts.

The young man then delivers vital information that he has never confided in before, not even to the police officers of the crime squad.

A man, a metal worker from Creusot allegedly confessed to the crime and offered 2,000 francs in "compensation" for the murder of the teenager.

This alcoholic confession, released during an evening organized shortly after the facts, had not been taken seriously by Michel.

The man who incriminated himself is called Jean-Pierre Mura and this is the first time that his name has been linked to that of Christelle.

Transmitted to justice, the private report justifies the resumption of investigations and in 2005 – victory for the civil party – a judicial inquiry is opened.

An anonymous letter

Suffering from schizophrenia, Jean-Pierre Mura was placed in police custody only in 2007.

A very short hearing during which he formally denies the facts of which he is accused and even accuses Christelle's former boyfriend of being the perpetrator of the crime.

The file stagnates once again and it is necessary to wait for the arrival of a judicial police officer, Raphaël Nedilko, so that finally, everything accelerates.

“In 2010, I saw an anonymous letter added to the file that caught my attention.

The writing of the author was very specific ”, tells

20 Minutes

the former cop of 36 Quai des Orfèvres.

This spelling is that of Jean-Pierre Mura.

Like all the suspects, the man had been subjected to dictation while in police custody and the writing is in all respects similar to that of the anonymous missive.

What does this letter indicate?

"There were delusional remarks but Mura also said that he knew Christelle's killer," continues Chief Sergeant Nedilko.

Intrigued, the policeman will concentrate his efforts on the former worker.

He learns in particular that he was arrested shortly before for a knife attack on a cashier at a service station.

And a notebook, kept by Mura, entirely devoted to the Maillery affair, is brought to his attention.

“We felt in him a desire to get caught,” analyzes Raphaël Nedilko.

A crow with a cane

In December 2011, the former worker was arrested by the police and heard.

At his home, dozens of knives were found.

The blades are compared to those of the crime scene knife, since destroyed but photographed by investigators.

The incriminating elements accumulate and lead to his indictment.

On December 15, 2015, Jean-Pierre Mura's trial finally opened before the Assize Court of Chalon sur Saône.

Found guilty of the murder of Christelle Maillery, the accused was sentenced to twenty years in prison, the jury having found that his discernment was impaired at the time of the crime, due to his schizophrenia.

Judged on appeal in 2016, he will receive the same sentence.

And the postcards, sent twenty years earlier to Daniel Guichot?

Can they be connected to Mura?

Again, Raphaël Nedilko will put an end to the mystery.

"A handwriting expertise attributed these cards to a person who died a year after Christelle's murder," he explains.

To remove any doubt, the policeman decides however to exhume the medical file of the author of the missives.

“I passed it on to a pathologist who analyzed it.

The author had been the victim of a serious traffic accident and was using a cane.

In 1986, he was physically incapable of committing this crime, ”concludes the policeman.

The crow hunt is over.


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  • A6

  • Cold box

  • Murder

  • Dijon

  • Burgundy

  • Miscellaneous facts

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