The series of events began on Sunday night in the southern city of Montpellier, when police received a horrifying emergency call at around 9pm.
An emergency operator was stunned when an 83-year-old man called, claiming to have killed his own wife, chopped up her body into small pieces, and put some of them in his freezer.
And if the operator was not disturbed enough, the man also claimed he was masturbating as he spoke.
Geolocation on the caller’s mobile phone led cops towards the town of Bédarieux in the nearby Hérault department, but they were unable to pinpoint his whereabouts.
A few hours later, police 750 km away in the 3rd arrondissement of Paris received an identical sick call, but this time from a man claiming to be ringing them from the south-western city of Bordeaux.
A homicide inquiry was immediately opened, and investigators worked through the night to track down a brutal and twisted killer.
In the end, police in the southern city of Beziers were able to pinpoint the location of the caller’s phone, and early on Monday morning arrived at an address in Bédarieux.
What they found, however, was a group of young men sleeping off the effects of a night’s drinking – among them the 24-year-old, who admitted having made the prank calls.
For wasting some 35 man hours, disturbing police work, as well as upsetting telephone operators in two cities, the vividly imaginative culprit could face a possible six month prison sentence and a fine of €45,000.
Police reportedly also want to sue the caller to recover the costs of the time they spent on the wild goose chase.