A bit outside the usual scope for PisteHors but we have to report that one of the events that has mystified the Haute Savoie ski resort of Le Grand Bornand has been tragically resolved. On the 11th of April 2003 the five members of the Flactif family, residents of Le Grand Bornand, went missing from their chalet. The family 4x4 was seen parked on a nearby track and was then later found at Geneva airport. Xavier Flactif was an estate agent specialised in selling ski chalets to rich English and Dutch investors. Locals assumed that one of his business deals had turned sour and the family had skipped the country.
The police were not convinced. Using recent advances in laser imagery they were able to identify the trajectory of minute traces of blood found in the main room of the chalet. The blood samples belonged to all five members of the Flactif family plus another, then unknown person. The images indicated foul-play. Like an Agatha Christie novel there were no shortages of suspects. Nine year old Laetitia Flactif was an accomplished skier who had won local competitions and had aroused the jealousy of the locals. With the cost of real estate sky rocketing her father was even less liked. One neighbour had sprayed his luxury Mercedes with petrol and another had said he could happily strangle him.
Early on the 16th of September the police made their move. They stopped the car of a mechanic, a neighbour of Flactif. In a lightening operation the mechanic was wrestled to the ground and cuffed. Simultaneously the house was searched and his wife was arrested as an accessory, their two year old son taken into care. In the end the murderer, like Flactif, originated from the North of France and had seemed to be one of Xavier Flactif’s few friends in the area. After killing Flactif he had forged a lease for one of the estate agent’s chalets.
Since the shocking news broke it has been local people and school friends of the Flactif children who have brought cards and flowers to their closed chalet.
Posted by davidof
on Thursday, 18 September, 2003 at 11:21 PM
The wheels of justice grind slowly in France, very slowly. David Hotyat, who has been accused of murdering the Flactif family, is coming to trial on the 13th of December, 2004 at Annecy. However this trial concerns only the matter of Hotyat burning down one of M. Flactif’s chalets. Hotyat and his Stéphane Haremza are expected to plead guilty.
The murder trial is expected to be brought to court in 2006, some 3 years after the events.
Posted by davidof
on Monday, 22 November, 2004 at 07:37 PM
David Hotyat has won a injunction against the Rap group Sinik who include the line “David Hotyat - child killer” in one of their recent songs. The French High Court has upheld Hotyat’s presumption of innoncence. The trial is due to start on the 12th of June and last 3 weeks. Hotyat has already admitted killing the Flactif family although it is not clear how he will plead at trial.
Posted by davidof
on Wednesday, 03 May, 2006 at 04:12 PM
As expected David Hotyat was found guilty of murdering the five members of the Flactif family on the 30th of June. He was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 22 years. Alexandra Lefèvre, Hotyat’s ex-girlfriend was sentenced to 10 years for her part in the murder. Lefèvre had denied any connection with the crimes but an interview with French television made shortly after the Flactifs disappeared showed her hatred for the family. The jury were not convinced by her story. Since the murder she has had time to find a new boyfriend and start a family possibly hoping this would result in a more lenient sentence. Hotyat’s accomplices Stéphane and Isabelle Haremza and his brother Mickaël Hotyat all received various jail terms.
The Flactif family disappeared on the 11th of April 2003. Xavier Flactif, an estate agent, had debts said to total 3 million euros and it was widely believed in the village that the family had fled the country after their car was found at Geneva airport. The police were not convinced, although many people in the area bore a grudge against M. Flactif their investigations centered on a friend David Hotyat and his entourage.
Posted by on Monday, 03 July, 2006 at 12:36 PM
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