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Netflix documentary on the Grégory affair relaunches the “raven” hunt on Facebook

Over 100, over 200, plus 300 members in recent days: since the start of the Netflix broadcast in late November of the documentary series Grégory, who reports on the kidnapping and assassination of four-year-old Grégory Villemin in 1984, the Facebook groups devoted to the affair have a second youth – most were created two years ago, in a previous rebounding of the file. Thirty-five years after the kidnapping and murder of Gregory Villemin, then the murder of Bernard Laroche, suspected of crime but released by the father of the little boy, amateur investigators, former protagonists and simple curious are now in line, in these Facebook discussion groups.

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So long after the fact, and in this particularly complex file, of which only a tiny part of the elements has been digitized, the chances for ordinary Internet users to discover new elements seem nevertheless null. The participants in these groups share court documents, family photographs, extracts of testimonies or television programs devoted to the file … But above all, their “intimate conviction” that the culprit, the accomplice, the raven is such and such a member of the family.

Recordings of the voice of the “raven”, the anonymous person (s) who harassed the Villemin family by telephone and then by mail before claiming the murder of the child, are available on YouTube; under the images, dozens of Internet users are certain to have recognized the voice, in a long litany of names belonging to a Villemin or a Laroche, without bringing any other proof than their certainty.

And among the “certainties” of the enrolled, the theory of guilt or complicity of Christine Villemin, the mother of little Grégory, is among those who come back most frequently. It does not matter that “CV”, as it is called between the proponents of this thesis, was totally put out of action by a non-place of exceptional magnitude, relying on material elements proving, without the shadow of a doubt, his innocence. Thirty-five years after the fact, the specter of the infanticide mother continues to haunt discussion groups that absolutely want to see in this crime that of her mother. Some groups are even explicitly devoted to the guilt of Grégory Villemin's mother, like the one evoking a ” state matter “, and a dark conspiracy that would have covered Christine Villemin, “Evil succubus” who would have “Everything from A to Z”. Approximate red stripes explain, without a second degree, that “To solve the affair Grégory is of a childlike facility”.

“Evidence” published in a Facebook group devoted to the Gregory case.

The thesis of involvement of “CV” is also maintained on Facebook by several protagonists of the file, starting with a man and a woman who strongly supported this hypothesis at the time: the journalist Marie-France Bezzina-Lefèvre, who with her husband, Jean-Michel, covered at the time the file for a dozen newspapers, and Jacques Corazzi, at the time commissioner to the SRPJ who will resume the investigation when the gendarmerie will be seized. The two journalists and the policeman have defended the thesis of the infanticide mother for decades, and continue to do so today. Especially in a Facebook group called “Bernard Laroche innocent”, created by Mr. Corazzi in 2011 and fed very regularly by Mme Bezzina-Lefèvre, who does not hesitate to challenge with vehemence participants in other groups, still replaying the division between “pro” and “anti” Villemin.

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Presumption of innocence and internal charters

Other groups try to maintain, as best they can, a semblance of civility or respect for the presumption of innocence. “Gregory case, the truth for soon? “Or” The case Grégory Villemin – The essential “and ask new entrants to commit to respect the rules of the group and discuss in a well-reasoned and polite manner. The latter group also applies a strict moderation charter, which notably prohibits “To discuss the guilt, or not, the protagonists”. Others, like a group called “Murielle Bolle and others”, go further, calling to remember the protagonists of the case, starting with the young woman whose testimony overwhelmed Bernard Laroche before she retracts, all remain human beings.

These reminders to reason do not seem to weigh very heavily against Internet users who seem convinced that they can, years later, solve the “enigma of Vologne”. Most often taking as a starting point the guilt of a protagonist: some groups ask any new member to answer questions about their vision of the case, such as the degree of complicity or guilt alleged Murielle Bolle . In some groups, conspiracy rhetoric plays out – a hacked version of Netflix's documentary is portrayed as “Download before censorship”.

Question from the administrators of a group dedicated to the case to those who wish to enter.
Question from the administrators of a group dedicated to the case to those who wish to enter.

But beyond belief, these groups often rely on the errors of the investigation of the time, both on the side of justice and the media, detailed in the documentary Netflix as in the book of reference on the subject of journalist Laurence Lacour, The Pyre of the innocents. It is also in the sum of errors and malice committed at the time by investigators and journalists that the conviction of more than one online amateur investigator, convinced of not being able to be worse than those who failed to solve the “Grégory affair”. “Justice, media, you are not credible, and thus the presentation of a group accusing Christine Villemin. The truth, anyone is able to find her in front of her computer without [lever] his behind the chair with Google Earth. “

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