National Obituary Review, Shades of Gray

Dead Person of the day November 2 – Jacques Mesrine

0 Comments 02 November 2011

Lets go over some of the facts about this guy eh?

  • He used to kidnap millionaires to bank roll his crime spree
  • After his criminal activity made him toohigh profile in Europe he moved to Canada and carried on being dubbed (with his girlfriend) the French Bonny and Clyde only to escape to the US for the Apollo moon rocket launch at Cape Canaveral because he was interested in it (he was later arrested in Arkansas).
  • Hi signature move was breaking into multiple banks within 10 minutes of each other to capitalize on the hysteria
  • After being the first Frenchman to escape a high security prison He attempted to break back in to release friends
  • He was arrested in March 1973 and escaped from a courthouse in Compiègne by taking the judge hostage with the help of a gun hidden in a courtroom toilet
  • He wrote an autobiography highlighting his exploits saying ” “Some people like golf or skiing. My relaxation is armed robbery.”
  • And finally The Independent’s obit claims he bore a curious likeness to Charles Bronson

Boom, you had me at Charles Bronson. Today’s DPD is another example of the stellar work at The Independent.

Jacque Mesrine ( December 28, 1936- November 2, 1979)

Of all the rumpled margins of Paris, the Porte de Clignancourt is the most unchangingly grim. The tattered stretch of avenue between the end of Metro line four and the Boulevard Périphérique has become depressingly familiar to generations of tourists bound for the largest Paris flea market.

Down this way, on a Friday afternoon 30 years ago this year, there drove a burly, middle aged man wearing a wig and a false beard. His girlfriend and her dog were beside him in a gold-coloured BMW. Like tens of thousands of other Parisians, they planned to escape from the city to spend a weekend in Normandy.

As they drove towards the ring road, a blue truck pulled in front of them. The canvas tail-gate parted, revealing four men holding rifles. They fired 52 shots, 14 of which struck the chest and head of the man in the wig.

His name was Jacques Mesrine (pronounced “Merrine”), then one of the most famous men in France. His assailants, or maybe his assassins, were police officers. They were part of a special squad created especially to combat him or maybe to execute him.

The police chief in charge of the showdown at the Porte de Clignancourt in 1979 swears to this day that he tried to arrest Mesrine. His family and lawyer insist that the police set an ambush and fired without warning. Mesrine had, on several occasions, jovially recommended that the police should shoot first and ask questions later. Continue

 

- who has written 511 posts on The Shade.


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