When the magistrates conditioned her release under judicial supervision on the handing over of her passport, she timidly replied that she did not have one. Gisèle B., 62, of whom forty-four spent making clothes in the neighboring factory, has never traveled. A discreet life in Deux-Sèvres, shaken up by her indictment at the beginning of the summer for the murder of her ex-husband, Jean-Paul Mahaut, whose body was found buried in the garden of his property in December 2019, in Boismé.
Several elements put investigators on his trail. First, Gisèle B. was a victim of domestic violence. Drunk, Jean-Paul Mahaut once broke his nose. Then, Gisèle B.’s son told investigators that he had been repeatedly raped by his stepfather while he was still a minor. His mother never lodged a complaint, either. A neighbor says she had “resentment” towards her ex-husband. Finally, another element to charge: the prints of the sexagenarian were discovered on the case of a rifle the format of which would correspond to that which would have contained the murder weapon. “My client regularly went to his place, in particular to do the housework, answers his lawyer, Margaux Mathieu. His fingerprints are therefore absolutely everywhere!”
Separated since 2014
The affair stunned the peaceful village of 1,200 inhabitants. In front of the investigators, the retiree says that this Saturday, November 30, 2019, she planned to go to Jean-Paul Mahaut, like every weekend since they separated in 2014. The day before, she has dinner with a dozen members of his family. She tries to reach her former husband by phone. In vain. It is not in the habits of the one with whom she lived for fourteen years, Gisèle B. is worried. Especially since the retired truck driver suffers from heart problems. Not long ago, he called her for help, in the middle of the night, out of breath. She then took him to the emergency room.
Around 2 a.m., when her family reunion comes to an end, she says, she decides to go and see if all is well. The only regular contact of this very lonely man – no civil party was formed – Gisèle B. has a duplicate of the key to the portal. But that night, it is closed from the inside. She goes around the 5,000 square meter property and enters through the garden. In the house, she notices an unusual disorder. The TV is on standby while he always turns it off before going to bed. In the garden, fearful in her stomach, she walks around the pond, as she describes to the gendarmes during her police custody. Jean-Paul Mahaut, who liked to defecate outside, could he have fallen into the water?
A ball in the head
Distraught, Gisèle B. ends up going home. It was only on Sunday, around 3 p.m., that she reported her worrying disappearance to the gendarmes, after having once again been in Boismé’s home. On the spot, the investigators discovered a pool of blood in the garden, then, underground near the pond, the body of the man, without pants or underwear.
I don’t see how she could both phone him and be killing him!
The autopsy will determine that the corpse was transported post-mortem and that the sixty-year-old was shot in the head. According to the forensic scientist, the tragedy occurred two days before, on Friday, November 30. Neighbors also say they heard gunshots around 11 a.m. that morning.
Who killed him and why? The long months of investigation do not allow us to develop a precise scenario, nor to find the murder weapon. Apart from the prints, the defense raises “many inconsistencies”. Thus, at the supposed hour of the crime, Gisèle B. called her ex-husband three times, closely. “I do not see how she could both telephone him and be killing him!”, Storms the lawyer, who also wonders how her client, who can not carry anything heavy since an operation on the shoulders, would have was able to carry a body weighing 86 kilos on her own.
“If you don’t return the money, we’ll kill you”
According to Me Mathieu, the investigation closed the doors too quickly. What for example about this tag found in December 2018 on the portal of his house: “Here lives a pedophile”? What about the witnesses who report a conversation between the pensioner and two unidentified young people: “If you don’t return the money, we’ll kill you.” Passionate about weapons, registered with the Niort shooting club, Jean-Paul Mahaut had dozens of them at his home. And he sold it too.
“It’s as if justice considered that it would be logical that my client ended up taking revenge, launches the lawyer. We would almost reproach him for not having done it!” Convinced that it is still under the influence of her former husband, yet deceased, Me Mathieu is preparing to ask the investigating judge for a psychological expertise. Faced with the magistrate, Gisèle B., she said her innocence. “100%!”