Tourists find murder victim in Père Lachaise

A group of American tourists had a horrific surprise this week when they stumbled upon the body of a murdered pensioner as they visited Paris’s famous Père Lachaise cemetery, the final resting place of countless famous figures such as Oscar Wilde and Doors singer Jim Morrison.

Tourists find murder victim in Père Lachaise
The famous Père Lachaise cemetary in Paris where tourists found the body of a murdered man this week. Photo: Olivier Bruchez/flickr

Police arrested a 27-year-old man who lived in a district near the burial ground in the east of Paris just hours after the macabre discovery.

The Americans were visiting the popular tourist attraction on Wednesday when they spotted the body lying between two tombs. The dead man, named by Le Parisien newspaper as 66-year-old François Boudinot, had suffered several blows to the head but police said that the autopsy on the victim was not able to conclude that these had been the cause of death.

The victim lived in an apartment in the 20th arrondissement of the city just 400 metres from the historic cemetery, where he regularly went for a stroll among the elaborate sepulchers and tombs in its tree-lined alleys.

Police investigating the murder quickly went to the home of the 27-year-old suspect who had been arrested a fortnight earlier after a violent incident in the cemetery.

The suspect was named only as Eric N. by Le Parisien, which said that police found clothes with traces of what appeared to be blood in the apartment where he lived with his father.

One neighbour told the paper that the young man was “very polite and friendly” but that he often had shouting matches with his father.

The suspect was still in custody in Friday in police headquarters in Paris.

Situated on a hill overlooking Paris, the 110 acres of the Cimetière du Père Lachaise houses the graves of French and foreign figures such as the writers Balzac and Marcel Proust, the composer Chopin, and the singer Edith Piaf.

The tomb of the legendary Doors frontman Jim Morrison is one of the most visited. He died in Paris in 1971 of a suspected drug overdose.

by Rory Mulholland

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French police shoot dead knife-wielding man at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport

French Border police at the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris shot - and killed - man who was wielding a knife in the public area of the airport on Wednesday.

French police shoot dead knife-wielding man at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport

Border police reportedly shot a man with aggressive behaviour who brandished a knife in the public area of the Charles de Gaulle airport outside of Paris, on Wednesday morning, police and airport sources told AFP.

“This morning officers neutralised a threatening individual in possession of a knife at the Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport,” the Paris police department said on its Twitter account.

A source close to the investigation told BFMTV that the man – who was likely homeless – went towards the officers, despite being asked several times to put the knife down. In response, police shot the man in the abdomen, and the individual later died.

The incident took place in the busy, public area of terminal 2F around 8:20 am, when “a homeless man started bothering security agents and border police were called in to remove him”.

Initially the man left while yelling curses but he soon returned and brought out a knife, when one of the officers fired his weapon.

An AFP photographer who witnessed the scene said “a large person of colour brandished something that looked like a knife at the police”.

“He was ordered to stop but kept advancing toward them, and an officer fired a single shot.”

The man was quickly put on a stretcher and evacuated, the photographer said. 

Security forces have been on high alert for terrorist attacks since a wave of jihadist killings that have killed more than 250 people since 2015, often by so-called “lone wolves” who often target police.