In 1984, little Gregory was found dead in the Vologne. Since then, despite the mourning, the suspicions, the media relentlessly, his parents held together. While the case bounces back on a couple of exceptions.
"We do not let us time to sink because they attacked us immediately: we had to defend, defend our love and our son. We like to be together after so many hard to separate. "Thus spoke Christine Villemin in an interview for ELLE in 1994, ten years after the assassination of his son Gregory. On that day, Christine and Jean-Marie Villemin had trusted in their home in the Essonne on their "love conquers all". Today they still live there, the portrait of the little boy is still hanging on the walls, but they do not talk to the press. However, their lawyer, Marie-Christine Chastant-Morand, representing since 1985, ensures that these words spoken there are twenty-three still reflect the reality of Villemin, while the case has bounced with the indictment June 16 Marcel and Jacqueline Jacob, great uncle and great-aunt of the child, for "kidnapping followed by death". Then, on 29 June with the indictment of Murielle Bolle, whose testimony at the time called into question Bernard Laroche before it retracts. How the couple he could withstand the abysmal pain of losing a child, the atrocious suspicions carried by the mob (powered by the errors of the first magistrate in charge of the investigation)? In 1986, Christine Villemin, in the end, will try to end his days. It will take seven long years before it is bleached by a dismissal for "total absence of expenses" in February 1993.
"I was struck by their dignity."
Their couple held still, despite their forced separation from March 1985 to December 1987, during the detention of Jean-Marie Villemin who killed his cousin Bernard Laroche, head in his abduction and death of the little boy. How could they overcome their pain as justice has not established the truth? How they managed to rebuild a new family? The long interview that Villemin spouses have given to Jean-Marie Cavada, on 27 April 1994, illuminates their resilience. They underscore the strength of their relationship. They evoke their common struggle for the truth. The journalist said: "I was struck by their dignity. I was facing methodical people, moderate, without hatred. They impressed me with their strength, their link. They spoke while looking as if each held a piece of the sentence. I felt a great esteem among them. "On the set of" The Walk of the Century, "Jean-Marie Villemin affirm that he never doubted his wife when the suspected infanticide. She will answer how she was afraid at the same time, that the police influenced Jean-Marie "and [the] separates."
"It is a symbiotic couple, thirty years later, still holding hands."
To get through the ordeal, they have found no better therapy than their mutual support, says Ms. Marie-Christine Chastant-Morand, who never stopped to see the couple on the occasion of appointment around the investigation or at home, with family, in friendly lunches. "It emanates from them a strength that has never wavered, she explains. It is a symbiotic couple, thirty years later, still holding hands. Their proximity struck me when I met them in 1985. It's the same today. What kept them together? But it is this love so strong between them. And their search for truth. They never gave up. Throughout these years, they repeated to me they had to Gregory, but also to their other children born after the tragedy. "Three adult children today who know all about the tragedy. "They are very balanced, they managed a good education. Remain very welded. And close to their parents who were able to tell them about Gregory, tell them the matter while protecting the media. "The two older children have left the nest. Julien, 32, is an optician. Emelyne, 27, aggregated in life sciences and earth at 22, is a teacher. Simon, 19, whose name pays tribute to judge Simon - who succeeded Justice Lambert, first investigating judge of the case - is crazy sport.
"These are people who want to preserve their privacy, stresses me Chastant-Morand. Jean-Marie, with his former boss, has found jobs arriving in the Paris suburbs. "Christine Villemin, aged 56, has resumed work after having raised her children. "This is a soft and warm fifties, still testifies to his lawyer, reserved, but very positive. The couple's life continues to revolve around their children, their families, which allowed them to rebuild. "They also held to continue their endless quest for justice. "There are some days, Jean-Marie said they relied on the judiciary and were confident she goes to the end, continuing the criminal lawyer. But they are also caught between their visceral need for truth and the painful burden entailed by this need to know. "
In 2006, during their last public speaking in a long interview in "La Croix", while France 3 broadcast a fiction drawn from the case, they explained they had written together their book "October 16" ( currently unavailable): "for people to understand what bound us together for so long and how much cement that had kept us from falling into a definitive despair. Nothing could separate us. "
This article was published in ELLE magazine July 7, 2017. Subscribe here.