Alps killings linked to murdered Derbyshire couple

Murder victim Lorraine Glasby
Murder victim Lorraine Glasby

A murder case involving two former Derbyshire schoolteachers which has been unsolved for almost 30 years has been linked to the brutal killing of four people in the French Alps in 2012.

Saad al-Hilli, 50, his wife Iqbal, 47, mother-in-law Suhaila, 74, and French cyclist Sylvain Mollier, 45, were all gunned down on a remote mountain road near Lake Annecy in September 2012.

DT front page from 10/10/86

DT front page from 10/10/86

Now a retired French detective thinks that the 1986 murders of teachers Paul Bellion, 29, and Lorraine Glasby, 28 - who had both worked at Mortimer Wilson School in Alfreton, now Alfreton Grange - may have been committed by the same man.

Lorraine Glasby’s mum Rosemary told The Sun newspaper: “The moment I heard about the Al-Hillis I thought the cases might be linked. There are so many similarities.”

The young couple’s bodies were found bound back-to-back and gagged in a shallow grave in maize field at Le Mezeray in Brittany in October 1986.

They had been missing since failing to return from their cycling holiday - leading to an agonising six week wait for Lorraine’s parents, who are from Basingstoke in Hampshire.

Murder victim Paul Bellion

Murder victim Paul Bellion

No one was ever charged in relation to their murders.

Now, a French detective, Pascal Huche, who worked on the original investigation, thinks that a man who was considered a suspect in those murders, 53-year-old Belgian, Michel Hecht, should be looked at by the investigation team.

He says similarities in the cases - such as the isolated places the murders took place and the ways in which the victims sere killed - could mean they were committed by the same person.

Hecht was also convicted of the attempted murders of three members of his own family in Belgium in 2008 but was freed ten months later as he had already been on remand for three years.

He currently lives in Vosges, less than two hours from Annecy, and a cellmate of his said he had confessed to the Brittany murders in 2001.

Lorraine Glasby had spent half her teaching career at the Alfreton school before she moved, in 1985, to Diss High School in Norfolk.

While teaching at Mortimer Wilson, she lived at a flat in Highfield Road, Newbold, with a fellow Alfreton teacher, where her boyfriend Paul would often visit her.

Headteacher Peter Billing said at the time: “She was a excellent teacher and a tremendous colleague. She was full of life. We are all completely shattered.”

The prosecutor for the Annecy region where the Al-Hilli murders took place confirmed he had passed the tip-off to investigators.