She claims to have strangled him to defend himself, after 26 years of domestic violence. A fifty-year-old appears on Wednesday before the Assize du Pas-de-Calais, in Saint-Omer, for the murder of her husband, in murky circumstances. The investigation did not make it possible to clearly determine the causes of death.
On April 3, 2015, the body of Reynald S., 49, was discovered lying on his bed, in the apartment he shared with his wife. Dead for a fortnight, he is in a state of putrefaction.
Strangled with the iron extension?
His wife Laurence S., 47 years old at the time of the events, has remained cloistered at home since the tragedy. She quickly explains to investigators that during a heated argument, she strangled her husband with the extension of the iron, when he had just tried to suffocate her with a pillow. He did not defend himself, she assures, lending him over the interrogations of suicidal intentions.
Blows, insults, threats, according to his statements, supported by testimonies from the couple’s entourage, Laurence S. had been the victim of physical and psychological violence for 26 years. Her husband, who has bipolar disorder and who accused her of an extramarital affair, had become increasingly aggressive over the years as their financial difficulties worsened.
Bossy and depressed
Cashier in a supermarket, Laurence S. claims to have been forced by her husband to steal from the cash register. “When the employer found out, he was so aware of what she was going through that he asked her to resign, but did not file a complaint for the embezzlement, which is increasing by nearly 20,000 euros in total ”, comments the lawyer of the accused, Me Emmanuelle Mauro.
Relatives and neighbors, interviewed during the investigation, described the victim as an angry, bossy and depressed man. He had been followed for fifteen years by a psychiatrist following two suicide attempts. Neither Reynald S.’s daughter nor any of her relatives are brought against. In May, during the first day of the trial, finally postponed following the discomfort of a member of the court, no relative of the victim was present.
“False memories? “
Behind the question of self-defense, another will arise concerning the causes of death. Because according to the autopsy report, the scientific findings are not compatible with strangulation using a cable or a link.
“One of the leads that I submit to the court is’ Didn’t Madame convince herself that she killed her husband?” […] We can legitimately wonder what was his state of health, and if ultimately she can not be convinced of having caused death “, then create” false memories “, advance Me Mauro.
During the aborted trial in May, “I asked the psychiatrist expert the question, whether false memories existed in the scientific literature,” she continues. “He replied that it was a known notion. And without being completely explicit, […] he said, “Why not”. “