Marc Paul Alain Dutroux is a Belgian convicted child molester and murderer. He was convicted in 1989 for the abduction and rape of five young girls, the youngest of whom was 11 years old. Take a look below for 30 more disturbing and scary facts about Marc Dutroux.
1. In 1996, Dutroux was arrested on suspicion of having kidnapped, tortured and sexually abused six females aged between 8 and 19, four of whom died.
2. His widely publicized trial took place in 2004.
3. Dutroux was convicted of all charges, along with the murder of a suspected former accomplice, and sentenced to life imprisonment.
4. A number of shortcomings in the Dutroux investigation caused widespread discontent in Belgium with the country’s criminal justice system, and the ensuing scandal was one of the reasons for the reorganization of Belgium’s law enforcement agencies.
5. Born in Ixelles, Belgium, on November 6, 1956, Dutroux was the oldest of five children.
6. His parents, both teachers, emigrated to the Belgian Congo, but returned to Belgium at the start of the Congo Crisis when Dutroux was four years old.
7. They separated in 1971 and Dutroux stayed with his mother.
8. Dutroux married in 1975, at the age of 19, and fathered two children; the marriage ended in divorce in 1983.
9. By then, he had already had an affair with Michelle Martin. Dutroux and Martin would eventually have three children together, and married in 1989 while both were in prison.
10. They divorced in 2003, also while in prison.
11. He has been described by psychiatrists who examined him for trial as a psychopath.
12. An often unemployed electrician, Dutroux had a long criminal history including convictions for car theft, muggings and drug dealing.
13. Dutroux’s criminal career also involved the trade of stolen cars to Czechoslovakia and Hungary.
14. All of his illegal activities gained him enough money to live in relative comfort in Charleroi, a city in the province of Hainaut that had high unemployment at the time and has had for decades.
15. He owned seven small houses, most of them vacant, and used three of them for the torture of the girls that he kidnapped.
16. In his residence in Marcinelle, he constructed a concealed dungeon in the basement.
17. In February, 1986, Dutroux and Martin were arrested for abducting and raping five young girls.
18. In April, 1989, Dutroux was sentenced to thirteen and a half years in prison. Martin received a sentence of five years.
19. Showing good behavior in prison, Dutroux was released on parole in April, 1992, having served only three years, by Justice Minister Melchior Wathelet.
20. Upon his release, the parole board received but never replied to a letter from Dutroux’s own other to the prison director, in which she said that Dutroux was scaring his own grandmother during supervised visits to her house, and that she was certain that he was planning something nefarious, although she didn’t know what.
21. Following his release from prison, Dutroux convinced a psychiatrist that he was psychiatrically disabled, resulting in a government pension.
22. He also received prescriptions of sleeping pills and sedatives, which he would later use on his victims.
23. During his time in prison, Martin made a plan. He wanted to kidnap many girls, then create an underground city in a mine shaft where he would live with them.
24. He later described the underground city as a sort of utopia, where harmony and safety would reign supreme.
25. He wanted to make sure that the girls would always have companions and be “safe” from a pedophile ring that would force them into sex work. He wanted to be the only one to own the girls he abducted.
26. Several incidents that occurred during Dutroux’s criminal activities between June, 1995, and his arrest in August, 1996, suggested that despite several warnings about him, the authorities didn’t investigate him.
27. The death penalty was abolished in Belgium in 1996. The last execution for common law crimes was in 1863. However, the majority of Belgians, at the time of the trial, would have had no problem with Dutroux receiving the death penalty. On June 22, 2004, Dutroux received the maximum sentence of life imprisonment, while Martin received 30 years.
28. The Dutroux case is so infamous that more than a third of Belgians with the surname “Dutroux” applied to have their surname changed between 1996 and 1998.
29. More than 20 potential witnesses of the case had died with no explanation.
30. On February 4, 2013, Dutroux requested he court in Brussels for an early release from prison. He insisted that he was “no longer dangerous” and wanted to be released into house arrest with an electronic tag placed upon him. On February 18, the court denied his request. Dutroux is currently being held in solitary confinement in the prison of Nivelles.