Crime Files Network

Archive for March, 2013


As far as I can tell, police departments employ two main strategies when they’re under pressure to cut crime fast. In strategy no. 1, they flood crime zones with special police units that muscle criminals and contraband off the streets. In strategy no. 2, they simply downgrade crimes, or make it more difficult for citizens to report them.


The Dallas police department chose the latter strategy last year when it announced that police officers would no longer respond in person to shoplifting incidents involving items worth $50 or less. Instead, victimized merchants were instructed to print a form off the DPD website, fill it out, and put it in the mail. According to the Dallas Morning News, the new process has been a huge hassle for merchants. “Retailers overwhelmingly described a time-consuming process with onerous paperwork requirements,” reported Tanya Eiserer and Steve Thompson.

As a result, more and more small thefts are simply going unreported. “Minor shoplifting offenses averaged about 10 a day before the policy,” write Eiserer and Thompson. “Immediately afterward, that fell to fewer than three a day.” The paper estimates that there’s been a 75 percent drop in petty shoplifing reports over the past year. Hooray, crime is tumbling!
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Dallas Police Chief David Brown told the Morning News that this strategy wasn’t a matter of trickery. Rather, it was about resource prioritization—“not responding to Class C shoplifting calls freed up the equivalent of nine officers,” he explained. (There are more than 3,400 officers on the force.)

I don’t have a big problem with this. Police departments have to make tough choices, and this is an example of a choice that’s entirely defensible given the realities of the municipal budget.

That being said, the Dallas police should not be allowed to claim the resulting statistics as some huge crime-fighting victory. The Morning News reports that the decision to ignore petty shoplifting accounts for one-third of Dallas’ 11 percent drop in total reported crime over the last year. This just goes to show that you need to be really, really careful when you’re talking about crime statistics, and what they mean. (The Morning News has done a consistently good job contextualizing these statistics.)

It also further validates my belief that, when it comes to police departments, qualitative assessments are more valuable than quantitative ones. A huge drop in crime doesn’t necessarily mean that the police are being any more effective; it could just mean crimes are being downgraded or ignored. As this Dallas situation shows, “less crime getting reported” is not the same thing as “less crime.”
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You can’t imagine ever getting scammed. Besides being a diligent internet user who knows the ins and outs of web terrain, you have an email account that siphons all harmful messages into a neat little folder, which you never even check. So you’re completely safe, right?

Don’t be Naked to the world.

Public WiFi is just that. Public. Every time you use a public wifi hotspot, you’re naked to the world. Hackers can steal your data out of thin air.

Learn more about how to protect yourself on public WiFi.

It’s not just that one “Nigerian prince” from years ago – there’s a whole royal family of scammers out there. ……..Think again.

<em>Photo: Marina Oliphant</em>
Photo: Marina Oliphant

VPN Protected Laptop

Cybercrime at Hotels?

Let’s face it, hackers love hotels. And not because they want to get away and sip margaritas by the pool. The huge volume of personal information collected, transmitted, and stored by the hospitality industry has made it a prime target for cybercrime. Learn More

Scam emails and viruses can fall through the cracks every now and then, and when they do, be ready. Studies show that email scams target people who are likely to fall for something more than once. You don’t want to be lumped into that group.

Scammers are getting smarter these days, too. It’s not just that one “Nigerian prince” from years ago – there’s a whole royal family of scammers out there.

Here are 10 indicators you should watch out for when going through your inbox. Keep your guard up and you’ll have nothing to worry about.
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1. Disembodied links

Here are the types of emailed links that should make you especially wary:

  • Links that are the only content in the body of an email
  • Shortened links that don’t display the actual address, such as and tinyurl
  • Hyperlinked text (for the same reason as shortened links – there’s no indication of what you are clicking on)

When in doubt, don’t click. But to help you out, browsers such as Google Chrome can reveal a link’s full address when you hover over it with your mouse cursor. For shortened links, you can use nifty link expanders such as LongURL to view the real content before clicking.
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2. Inordinate number of recipients

If you get an email with hundreds of email addresses in the recipient field, yet the message seems directed toward one person, your scam sense should be on high alert.
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3. Vague, generic or non-existent subject lines

Sure, you send emails without subjects to your friends all the time, but if an email pops up from an unrecognised address with “(no subject)”, be careful. The same goes for vague or generic subject lines, including “Fwd: private” or “Free to look!” If you have no idea what you’re opening, it’s probably best to leave it alone.
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4. Intense enthusiasm

WHEN IT COMES TO EMAIL SECURITY, CAPS LOCK CAN BE MORE THAN JUST ANNOYING – it can indicate spam. Overly enthusiastic emails with emphasis and exclamations (“I JUST LOST 45lbs W/ THE X-Fit fitness program!!1!!) are sure fire signs the information isn’t what it seems.
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5. Grammar and spelling

You don’t have to be a grammar nut to notice odd mistakes in scam emails. Look out for questionable syntax and major typos, especially if the email supposedly comes from a reputable company or bank.

Also watch out for scammers that purposely misspell things to avoid your spam filter, such as “V1agr@” instead of “Viagra”. (Tip: you probably shouldn’t be buying Viagra via email, anyway.)
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6. Strange requests

This one’s easy: If someone is emailing you for medical assistance or writes “Help me cheat on my husband”, it’s just not legit. That’s what emergency contacts are for. And Snapchat.

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7. Urgency

People don’t typically use email to send urgent messages of an emergency nature. If you get an email that claims a situation is a matter of life or death – or a desperate person who needs money wired now – it’s safe to assume the sender wouldn’t be targeting you, a stranger, in the first place.
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8. Sensitive information requests

Unfortunately, people accidentally send secure information to scammers more often than you would expect. This is how scammers (that is, smart scammers) operate – many ask for personal information (credit card numbers, passwords) and disguise emails to look official. Companies, schools, banks and other institutions won’t ask you to transmit sensitive information in an email.

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9. Name-sender disagreement

Scam email addresses often have different names to dupe the recipient. Check the address before assuming something is true – an email from wouldn’t have the email address “” (true story).

10. Sure fire guarantees

You should know by now that nothing on the internet is guaranteed. Promises to boost your sex life or quick money for working from home shouldn’t be taken seriously. “Watch this video and women will adore you?” More like: “Click this link and regret it.”

Wireless Security

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The story of the wild west & the most wanted outlaws of the west shown in this video.James boys, Dolton brothers, Col Younger, Billy the kid , Butch Cassidy & The Sundance kid and more…

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Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha



Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Here’s a quick parenting tip: it’s not OK to offer to sell your children on Facebook, even if you really need the money.

Misty VanHorn, a 22-year old mother of two in Sallisaw, Oklahoma, found that out the hard way over the weekend.

VanHorn was arrested on Saturday for the alleged trafficking of minors on Facebook – offering her 10-month old and her 2 year-old for $US4000 ($3890).
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According to the police report, VanHorn offered her children several times on the social network – offering the 10-month old girl for $US1000 ($972), or both of them for $US4000. And she had a taker.

Police believe VanHorn wanted the $US1000 to bail her boyfriend out of jail.

VanHorn was dealing with a woman in Fort Smith, Arkansas, according to The Oklahoman. This means she could be charged with a federal crime because the act would have crossed state borders.

“Just come to Sallisaw, it’s only 30 minutes away and I’ll give you all of her stuff and let y’all have her forever for $1000,” read VanHorn’s Facebook message to the Fort Smith woman, as unearthed in the police report by the Daily Dot.

She is being held on a $US40,000 ($38,900) bond. The children are in the custody of the state’s department of human services, which alerted the police in the first place.

A word of caution for anyone rushing to Facebook to find the alleged perpetrator: there are multiple Misty VanHorns on the social network. Two of them live in Oklahoma. One looks similar to the mugshot released by the Sequoyah County Police Department, but does not appear to live in VanHorn’s town, Sallisaw.


A Maldives court has sentenced a 15-year-old alleged rape victim to 100 lashes and eight months under house arrest after she admitted having had premarital sex in a separate incident, an official said on Wednesday.

During a police probe into allegations that the girl had been raped by her stepfather, investigators uncovered evidence that she had had consensual sex with another man.

“Though she has been sentenced she will be lashed once she turns 18,” the court official, who asked not to be named, said. “But the sentence will be enforced immediately if she wants it to be carried out now.”
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Premarital sex is illegal under the Indian Ocean nation’s strict Islamic law.

The child’s stepfather faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted of rape and a murder charge, after he allegedly killed a baby which resulted from his alleged rape of his stepdaughter.

The premarital sex charge against the teenager has been condemned by rights groups and the government has urged leniency towards the girl, saying she had been traumatised by the repeated rapes by her stepfather.

President Mohamed Waheed’s spokesman Masood Imad said that the teenager should be treated as a victim rather than a perpetrator of a crime, but clarified that she should nevertheless “feel the shame” for her offence.

“She is not going to be lashed to cause her pain… rather, it is for her to feel the shame for having engaged in activity forbidden by the religion,” Imad said in a phone interview.

It was unclear if the girl’s male partner would also be charged with having premarital sex.

Imad added that the government was keen to engage in a dialogue with the national human rights commission and the judiciary to modernise the penal code and limit flogging punishments.

Meenakshi Ganguly, south Asia director for Human Rights Watch, criticised the decision.

“The girl is already a victim and is traumatised, the authorities should be trying to protect her, not punish her,” Ganguly said.

Ganguly also urged the Maldives to abolish flogging, calling it “an inhuman, degrading practice… the kind of punishment that should not exist in their law books”.

The nation of 330,000 Sunni Muslims has been practising a liberal form of Islam for centuries. But in recent years men and women have been prosecuted for sex outside marriage.

Minors are liable for the punishment when they reach 18, the age of majority. The Maldives continues to subject women to flogging despite UN calls to drop the practice.

In September a court in the Maldives ordered the public flogging of a 16-year-old who confessed to premarital sex. Her lover was jailed for 10 years.

Folklore, Fairy Tales, Myths and Legends from Around the World

Some pics herein are sourced from a medical human body study

NEW YORK CITY—One day last summer, New York City police officer and accused cannibal-sex plotter Gilberto Valle typed this phrase into Google: sound you make with the knife before carving.

“That is not normal,” assistant U.S. attorney Randall Jackson tells a packed courtroom Thursday, as this troubling two-week trial draws to a close. In the government’s version of the facts, Valle had been working up “practical and strategic” plans to kidnap, rape, torture, kill, and eat several women, including his own wife. This Google search shows he was looking for audio clips of knives being sharpened, utensils clanking, or whatever else might serve to whet his violent appetite. “Officer Valle is a sexually sadistic individual,” Jackson concludes. “This is a man who is sick.”

But if Valle suffers from a mental illness, no one talks about a treatment. On Thursday, the jury in the Cannibal Cop case began its deliberations. If they choose to convict, the 28-year-old father may spend the rest of his life in prison. In the view of Jackson and his fellow prosecutor Hadassah Waxman, this would make the world a safer place. “That the women were not actually kidnapped is incredibly fortunate,” said Waxman in the opening of the government’s summation. The defendant never touched his victims, nor did he ever buy the large cooking tray, the largest cooking tray, the huge cooking tray, or the smoker grill for which he’d also searched online. He never squirreled away a coil of rope or jar of chloroform, as he said he’d do in online chats. He never built a pulley apparatus in his basement, or bought a cabin in the mountains, as he’d also claimed to his alleged co-conspirators. Yet the government saw him as a serial killer in waiting.
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The fact of Valle’s failure as a kidnapper and a flesh-eater has no bearing on his guilt, of course. Some laws exist to prevent crimes before they happen, Jackson explains. As an example, he cites DUI arrests: Even if a drunken driver doesn’t end up in an accident, he puts everyone on the road at risk. The jury is left to probe the limits of this analogy—is Valle really like an inebriated motorist? A driver on the highway can be tested with a Breathalyzer: If he’s above a certain threshold, then he’s deemed a menace. But what about the sexual sadist whose mind is full of fantasy? How do you decide when those thoughts have gone too far?

That’s what makes this case so confusing and upsetting. If Valle really planned to kill his wife and friends, then he’s guilty of an enormous crime. But if he didn’t plan to kill them—if this was just intense role-playing, as his lawyers have alleged—then he is completely innocent. There’s no hazy middle ground, no legal space in which a drunken driver, for example, might be a little buzzed but not so blitzed that he’s declared a danger to society. But Gilberto Valle must be one thing or the other. He’s a monster or a martyr. There is no in-between.
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The defendant shows up Thursday morning in his dark-gray suit. Right before he sits he takes a breath, puffing out his cherubic cheeks in a deep exhale. On Wednesday afternoon, as his lawyers wrapped up their modest case, Valle pinched his nose and wiped away a tear. Now his lawyer, Julia Gatto, tells the jury that his life is ruined. “He’s lost everything,” she says, and shows a photo of the officer in his uniform, holding up the baby girl that Valle’s wife has whisked away to Reno, Nev. Valle begins to cry.

Gatto’s closing claims that Valle is a decent guy who has indecent thoughts. The problem is the mooks in law enforcement who aren’t hip to S&M. Valle’s online life is nasty, she concedes. We’ve seen his porn in open court—the ultimate embarrassment for any modern man—and Valle’s stash is pretty gnarly: He’s looked at autopsy photos of women slashed and shot; scenes of people roasting on a spit; a video of a girl who’s chained at hand and foot, with a tattoo and belly-button stud, crying out as a candle-flame effect pretends to burn her crotch. “It’s gross, no dispute,” says Gatto, but “the government simply doesn’t understand what fantasy role-play is.”

She singles out FBI special agent Corey Walsh for this attack, all but calling him a square. He’s the one who went through Valle’s hard drive and testified last week. “[Walsh] didn’t understand that stories come in different forms,” Gatto says. When the agent uncovered Valle’s online chats, detailing gruesome plans to rape and kill, he split the records into piles. According to his G-man logic, 21 of 24 were fake. Though the acts described therein were violent and illegal, Valle made it clear he wasn’t serious. He negotiated prices for a kidnapping, and described how he would use chloroform and rope to carry out the crime. He posted photos of his wife and friends, and offered them for sale. But he also gave disclaimers: “No matter what I say, it’s make-believe,” Valle wrote to one fetish friend. “I just have a world in my mind,” he told another, “and in that world I am kidnapping women and selling them.”

But the remaining chats—three of them—didn’t have those all-important caveats. At one point Valle’s partner asked him, “ARE YOU REALLY RAELLY [sic] INTO IT?” Valle typed that he was. “I am just afraid of getting caught,” he said. He’d kill and eat a girl if he could.

The government cites these back-and-forths as evidence that Valle meant to carry out his plans. Gatto says that fantasists are prone to fantasizing that their fantasies are real. It’s like “dark improv theater,” she explains: If someone asks you, “Are you for real?” then you have to say “yes” or the scene is over. Valle didn’t pause to disavow his plans in these three chats, but that doesn’t prove they’re real. Over and over again in her summation, Gatto reminds the jury that “80 percent” of Valle’s chats were designated as “fantasy.” It’s a funny piece of rhetoric, since it makes it sound as though the rest might be genuine. Also, it’s inaccurate: Agent Walsh assigned 21 of 24 to the fantasy pile—88 percent.
Wizard Trivia

Jackson, the prosecutor, smacks down Gatto’s two-piles defense. It’s not surprising, he contends, that a real-life cannibalistic killer would indulge in fantasies about cannibalistic killing. “Cops watch cop movies,” he says, “and soldiers play Call of Duty.” This sounds sensible, until you remember that cannibalistic killers aren’t quite as common as cops and soldiers. All throughout the trial, the government has had to argue that Valle’s weird, cartoonish thoughts were plans for real-world action, no matter how improbable they sound. If Valle said he’d like to roast a girl on an outdoor spit with an apple in her mouth, then that’s what he was going to do.

Some of the most damning evidence against the defendant was also the most absurd. At one point, the defense convinced the judge to exclude a portion of a chat transcript in which an online friend claimed to have purchased delicious babies from drug addicts desperate for a fix. The judge agreed that this statement, made by someone other than the defendant, might so horrify the jury that Valle would himself be blamed. But couldn’t this have gone the other way? Maybe the baby-eating detail would have convinced the jury that this was nothing more than silly make-believe for cybersex.

Search terms from the defendant’s browser history might have had the same effect. When Valle entered I want to sell a girl slave into Google, was he really looking for a buyer, or had he simply given voice to thoughts inside his head? (Later on, his wife put the phrase my husband doesn’t love me into the same computer, another case of typing-what-you’re-thinking.) Valle also looked up cases of real-life abductor-murderers, and spent some time on the Huffington Post, reading an article titled “Cannibalism Can Be Addictive, Expert Says.” And in the strangest twist of the fantasy/reality conundrum, the prosecution presented evidence that Valle had searched the phrases how to abduct a girl and how to chloroform a girl on the Internet, and that he’d also viewed a 2009 blog post on Techdirt called “If You’re Kidnapping Someone, Maybe Don’t Search Google For ‘Kidnapping.’
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Valle didn’t testify in his defense, and so he never had the chance to look the members of the jury in the eyes and tell them he’s a freak. As a self-proclaimed sexual sadist and a cop who chatted about rape and murder while sitting in his squad car, his testimony would have been too risky—Valle would have been flayed on cross-examination. So Gatto chose to feed the jury more generic facts about her client’s fetish. On Tuesday, she brought Sergey Merenkov to the stand. He’s the webmaster of a site called DarkFetishNet. It’s like an evil clone of Facebook—a social network where most of the profile pics show a woman being choked or strangled. Valle’s handle on the site was “GirlMeatHunter.”

Merenkov testified via video link from Moscow, a trim, balding 34-year-old in a black T-shirt, sitting in a leather swivel chair and sipping from an “I [heart] TEA” mug. Sexual asphyxiation is the main fetish among his site’s 4,500 active users, he explained, but cannibalism is also popular. He leaned back and gripped the chair behind his head with both hands. The site has tens of thousands of images, mostly pornographic, he continued, and these include “an ever-increasing flood of photos” of private individuals, pulled from Facebook, Flickr, or other sharing sites. Valle uploaded some of these to the site’s “What Would You Do to Her” forums.

Then Gatto calls her paralegal to the stand. A recent graduate from Barnard College, Alexandra Katz looks just like one of the girls that Valle dreamed of cooking and eating. (All of Valle’s alleged victims resemble his wife: They’re petite brunettes with long, straight hair.) To help with the defense, Katz created an account on DarkFetishNet.  She visited the site “50 to 100 times,” she says, and now she’s testifying as to how the site actually works. Gatto’s message seems to be: Even this sweet-faced college co-ed visited the site, and she’s totally OK!

It’s not clear how well the gambit works. Katz has a tendency to grin while on the stand, and she ends up seeming smug, not innocent. Still, she gives a sense of how members of the community interact. After setting up her profile, Katz received several dozen private messages. One user called “I Eat” wrote to her with the diction of a Muppet: “Would you like talk with cannibal?” he asked. She declined.

This is Valle’s world, the defense will argue in its closing. All he ever really did was “talk with cannibal,” and then “talk with cannibal” some more. Valle and his friends made plans to kidnap and eat women in online chats, but when the target dates that they had agreed upon arrived, nothing ever happened. Despite the details of his negotiations, Valle never met his DarkFetishNet friend from Asia in a Pakistan hotel, never had a Labor Day rendezvous with his British co-conspirator, and never drove a girl to New Jersey in exchange for $4,000. And no one who was involved in these “conspiracies” ever lamented the fact that these plans hadn’t come to fruition. They just kept on bantering as they had before.

In the final hour of the trial, the prosecutors assure the jury that the First Amendment is not at issue here. What Valle did “goes a thousand steps beyond yelling ‘fire’ in a crowded theater,” Jackson says. “His fantasies point to actual desires.” The closing statement takes a turn, and Jackson works himself into an eloquent lather of prudery and indignation. First he likens the defendant to a 9/11-style plotter who later claimed that he only fantasized about taking down a plane. Then he starts to argue that Valle’s fantasies weren’t sexual at all. “There’s no fun” in what Valle was doing, Jackson says. There’s no pleasure in it for him or you or me.

Jackson reminds the jury that Valle looked at autopsy photos, and pictures of naked girls on spits. According to the prosecution, these images “have no sexual value” at all. “This is not normal pornography for any human being,” he says. And as he did in his opening argument, Jackson reminds the members of the jury to use their “common sense.” Finally, he tells them what’s been at issue in the case from the very start. Gilberto Valle fantasizes about seeing women executed, Jackson announces to the court. “That’s not a fantasy that’s OK.”

Sourced from Slate


The full horror of the Holocaust is even more shocking than was believed. Experts who have dedicated their lives to documenting the Nazi atrocities were astounded when researches at the United States Holocaust Museum revealed there were around 42,500 Nazi ghettos and camps across Europe, reports the New York Times. That marks quite the increase from the 7,000 Nazi camps and ghettos that researchers expected to find when they began their work 13 years ago. The figure doesn’t just include death camps but, among others, also some 30,000 forced labor camps and 500 brothels filled with sex slaves.

“The numbers are so much higher than what we originally thought,” said Hartmut Berghoff, director of the German Historical Institute in Washington, D.C. Researchers now estimate that as many as 20 million people died or were imprisoned in the sites they have identified in an encyclopedia that is expected to have seven volumes by 2025.


Sydney conman De Angelis who

photoshopped pictures of himself

with famous people

gets 12 years’ jail

A Sydney conman who duped investors out of more than $8 million and pretended to be friends with celebrities like former US president Bill Clinton, has been jailed for a maximum of 12 years.
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Judge Richard Cogswell spent two hours sentencing Dimitri de Angelis in the NSW District Court on Friday as he detailed the extravagant lifestyle he had fabricated.

Justice Cogswell said de Angelis duped potential investors by showing photoshopped pictures of himself with famous people.

“The photographs depicted himself with no lesser persons than Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, His Holiness the Pope John Paul II, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, US presidents George Bush senior, George W Bush and Bill Clinton and Australian prime ministers John Howard and Kevin Rudd,” Justice Cogswell told the court.

“He represented to people that he owned fleets of luxury cars as well as mansions and luxurious homes in Sydney and Melbourne.

“Part of the proposition that he put to investors was that every one per cent in his company would be worth $6 million when the company went public.”

Justice Cogswell said de Angelis’s company was actually “in financial crisis” but he was “very skilled” at deceiving his victims.

De Angelis pleaded guilty to 16 fraud charges last year.

The former Qantas steward also rented Rolls-Royces, luxury holiday homes and offices to fool investors into thinking he was a wealthy businessman and that his recording company Emporium Music was a “foolproof scheme”.

The amazing Dimitri De Angelis and David Hasselloff.
Dimitri de Angelis and David Hasselhoff. Photo: Supplied

Those stung by de Angelis included Anne Keating, the sister of former prime minister Paul Keating, Sydney’s former deputy lord mayor Marcelle Hoff, experienced businessmen and lawyers.

Justice Cogswell said he acknowledged that Paris-born de Angelis might have narcissistic personally disorder and that he had had a tough childhood in France, having spent most of it in state care.

He will be eligible for parole in May 2020.

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