The Murder of Maud Maréchal: The News Story that Inspired the Film “The Night of the 12th”

the night of 12

Mystery Desk, Magazine: Delhi It’s a case that keeps troubling the investigators from the Versailles police. Despite nine years of looking into it, making over 1000 reports, interviewing 240 people, and making five arrests, they still haven’t found the person who killed Maud Maréchal. They also don’t know why this 21-year-old woman, described as leading a quiet life by those who knew her, met such a tragic end.

On the night of May 14, 2013, Maud Maréchal was burned alive on a sidewalk in a quiet part of Lagny-sur-Marne, not far from her family home. This unsolved crime became the basis for “The Night of the 12th,” which won the César for Best Film. On Friday evening, the director, Dominik Moll, wanted to remember “the real Clara, the real victim who inspired the film.” “Her name was Maud.”

On May 14, 2013, Maud Maréchal was burned alive after a night out in Lagny-sur-Marne. She had attended a gathering with friends and her brother. Maud, who had just returned from vacation, worked as a waitress and had no plans for the next day. The short walk to her family home turned tragic as her charred body was found on the sidewalk the next morning.

A neighbor discovered her remains early in the morning. The police found pieces of her burned belongings scattered around, including a charred handbag, a lighter, a cigarette butt, and a piece of shoelace. The autopsy confirmed she was doused in gasoline and set on fire, ruling out suicide.

The investigation explored various angles, including revenge from an ex-boyfriend or a classmate. Maud had previously reported telephone harassment but filing a complaint didn’t lead to any resolution. Despite questioning her boyfriend, exes, and neighbors, the investigation hit a dead end.

The family organized a silent march on May 25, 2013, with around 500 people expressing their grief and denouncing violence. Maud’s mother spoke about the cruelty done to her daughter, emphasizing the need for peace. Friends remembered Maud as a joyful and strong-willed person.

For ten years, the family and friends have sought answers about Maud’s tragic fate. In September 2021, a call for witnesses on M6 did not yield conclusive information, leaving the mystery unsolved.

Today, the case is still open in the Meaux court. Last September, the prosecutor of the Nanterre court, Pascal Prache, said that this case is important for the “serial or unsolved crimes” division. This division, started a year ago, has already received 77 cases and might bring new attention to this case.

Delhi Magazine Team

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