Lionel Gougelot, edited by Philippe Folgado // Photo credit: Jeff PACHOUD / AFP 20:16 p.m., September 21, 2023

The wife of the professor who had been stabbed to death in the night from Sunday to Monday at his home has admitted the murder this Thursday in custody. This academic and municipal councillor in Dunkirk taught at the same university as her husband. Students who knew them are still reeling from the news.

Nothing suggested such an event in the behavior of this brilliant teacher at the Université du Littoral Côte-d'Opale. Justine Jotham and her husband were a couple recognized and appreciated by the entire university community and who, on the surface, were uneventful. And this Thursday morning, the students of the IUT technique de commercialisation were still struggling to realize what could have happened and the same question comes back on everyone's lips: what could have happened?

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"Everyone is shocked"

"She was a very nice person, we didn't think she was capable of doing something like that," said one student. According to another student, when he was together in the hallways, "It didn't seem to walk between them." What is certain is that "everyone is shocked and no one can realize what she has done". Some also evoke the fate of the couple's granddaughter "who has no one today". A listening cell for students and teachers was opened on Thursday.

There is therefore also a lack of understanding among the professors of the University. This is the case of Nicolas, teacher and researcher. According to him, things were going well with this discreet couple: "It worked very well, they had their notoriety in the university, so we are rather stunned by the news. These are things that we can't analyze ourselves." The elected officials of Dunkirk also remain very discreet about the case, because there are still many questions about what could have pushed this young woman to stab her husband in the middle of the night and then make believe in a burglary that would have gone wrong.