French police to DNA test entire male population of village in hunt for serial firebug who torched holiday homes popular with Brits

by jeeg 12. February 2013 22:25

The entire adult male population of a small village in northwest France are to be DNA tested in a bid to identify a firebug who has destroyed eight properties over the past year, including holiday homes rented out to British tourists.


Four hundred Frenchmen aged between 15 and 75, representing half the population of Larmor Baden, on the coast of southern Brittany, will be asked to give saliva samples to forensic Gendarmes this week who will go from to house in a bid to trace the culprit.

Their genetic profiles will be compared with DNA found by investigators at the scene of one of the blazes.

The firebug first struck just over a year ago when three holiday homes went up in smoke leading investigators to suspect racist attacks.

Then the village Post Office and another holiday home were torched. Since then a garage, a bar  and an ancient presbytery owned by the village have been targeted.

A spokesperson at the Village Hall refused to link the attacks to racism saying the holiday homes were not British owned but only rented out to tourists including Britons.

Mayor of Larmor Baden Denis Bertholom said that the attacks had created feelings in his village which varied from 'weariness to anger'.

News of the mass DNA search sparked national headlines in France.

It will be compared to genetic testing of the entire adult male population of another small village in Brittany 17 years ago during the hunt for the killer of 13-year-old Caroline Dickinson who was raped and suffocated in a youth hostel.


One hundred and seventy men aged between 15 and 35 were tested but the killer was only found five years later in Florida.

Spanish drifter Francisco Arce Montes had crept into a Miami youth hostel and cut off a girl’s knickers with a pair of scissors. Montes was jailed in 2004 for thirty years in Rennes for murdering Caroline.

The DNA tests at Pleine Fougeres were carried out at the insistence of Caroline’ s father John Dickinson who campaigned relentlessly for justice for his daughter.

Tim Finan, Daily Mail



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