French Murder Victims Each Shot Twice in the Head

Husband worked on secret defense contract
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 8, 2012 5:30 PM CDT
The crime scene where four people have been shot to death in and near a British-registered car is seen, in a forest in the Alps, near Chevaline, French Alps, Friday Sept. 7, 2012. The case took on international...   (Laurent Cipriani)
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(Newser) A multiple murder in France is looking more like a planned killing than a robbery gone wrong—because each of the four victims received two bullets to the head among their other gunshot wounds, the Guardian reports. "I cannot say if the killer or killers were professional; all I can say is there was an absolute determination to kill," said Eric Maillaud, the French prosecutor investigating the murder this week of Iraqi-born aeronautics engineer Saad al-Hilli, his wife, a woman thought to be his mother, and a passing cyclist.

Both of al-Hilli's daughters survived the assault, and 7-year-old Zainab, who was shot and bludgeoned, remains in the hospital in an induced coma. Maillaud called her a "key witness" and said she will survive the attack. Police also say Al-Hilli was working on a secret contract for a European defense firm that specializes in satellite mapping, the Daily Mail reports. Corporate rivalry, or anger over satellite mapping "in countries which would not welcome such an intrusion," are considered possible motives, said one official. (Read more France stories.)

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