Mystery of vanished French casino heiress sealed by death of man convicted of her murder


One of the most mysterious, high-profile murder mysteries in France over the past five decades was the disappearance without trace in 1977 of Agnès Le Roux, the 29-year-old heiress of one of the country’s biggest casinos, the Palais de la Méditerranée in the Riviera city of Nice. In an extraordinary legal saga, her former lover, lawyer Maurice Agnelet, was acquitted of murdering her, after an initial case against him had been dropped, and twice found guilty. Last Tuesday, Agnelet, 82, died, apparently of a heart attack, shortly after he was released from prison on medical grounds. His death most certainly removes the last hope of ever knowing the truth of what really happened to Agnès Le Roux. Michel Henry reports on an enduring mystery.

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Maurice Agnelet, the man at the centre of one of the most high-profile murder mysteries in France over the past five decades, died on January 12th, at the home of one of his sons, in the Pacific Ocean French territory of New Caledonia. “I found him in the morning in his bed,” Thomas Agnelet told Mediapart. “He died in his sleep.”