Netflix’s Crime Documentary, The Women and the Murderer, investigates the manhunt and the trial of a serial killer, Guy Georges. Guy was accused of assaulting and murdering seven women in Paris in the early 1990s until his arrest in 1998.
The French documentary, directed by Mona Achache and Patricia Tourancheau follows the pursuit of two women, inspector Martine Monteil and the victim’s mother, Anne Gautier. The valiant endeavors of these two women led to the arrest and prosecution of Guy Georges. Let’s investigate further.
‘The Women and the Murderer’ Plot Summary
The Women and the Murderer opens with Anne Gautier, who recounts the past events and communicates the tragedy of July 8, 1995. On the mentioned date, Anne found out that her daughter, Helene, a 27-year-old psychology student, was stabbed to death in her apartment in the neighborhood of the Bastille in Eastern Paris.
After the tragedy, Martine Monteil was appointed to the Serious Crime Unit, and she eventually became the first woman in the unit. She arrived at the HQ on February 2, 1996, and was immediately informed about the murders of many young women in Eastern Paris that followed a similar pattern. Martine found another murder case involving Agnes Nijkamp, a 32-year-old interior designer who was similarly stabbed in her bedroom. Martine procured DNA samples from the crime scenes, while in the meantime, she learned about another victim, who managed to escape her attacker.
A 23-year old Occupational Therapist, Elisabeth, was attacked on June 16, 1995, but she managed to untie herself and run away. Martine linked the three cases after she found the same male DNA in all three crime scenes. However, due to the lack of a DNA database in France, Martine failed to identify the killer. That made the case more complicated.
Martine obtained a facial composite from Elisabeth and tried to locate the offender. But on August 31, 1997, Martine was appointed as the investigating officer of the car accident that led to the death of Princess Diana. The high-profile case hampered the serial murder case for the time being, while the serial killer on the loose continued his slaughter.
Two more murders came to light, as the serial killer attacked a 19-year-old student, Magali Sirotti, on September 23, 1997, and another 25-year-old secretary, Estelle Magd, on November 16, 1997.
On March 24, 1998, a pioneer DNA specialist, Doctor Pascal finally matched the DNA sample with an offender, Guy Georges. He was initially arrested in ’95 while the police were investigating girls murdered at the parking lots. The police had information about the murder of a 27-year-old Marketing Assistant, Cathy Rocher, and 22-year-old Press Officer Elsa Benady. But due to the lack of DNA, Martine didn’t connect the dots earlier. However, later, it all indicated the same person. She also found out about an older case from 1991 concerning the murder of a 19-year-old student, Pascale Escarfail. The assault and murders of these seven women were finally connected to the serial killer, Guy Georges, who was arrested on March 26 1998.
The Trial of Guy Georges
On March 19, 2001, Guy Georges was presented in court and put on trial for the assault, rape, murder, and torture of seven French women. The 30-year-old victim’s lawyer, Solange Doumic, speculated that Georges might confess to murders where his DNA was found but could deny allegations for those where no evidence was found against him.
In court, Georges pleaded not guilty, which angered the victims’ families. Later, a statement of Georges given to police captain, Francis Bechet (alias Sindey), came to light. In his statement, Georges confessed to following and killing a 19-year-old student, Pascale Escarfail. Guy Georges’s lawyer, Alex Ursulet, tried to defend him, but finally, Solange noticed something unusual in Georges’s behaviour and decided to question him in court.
According to an investigator, the evidence underlined that the person who cut the victims’ clothes was most likely left-handed. But Georges told Solange that he was right-handed. Solange pushed the question further and asked Georges if he was someone who used both hands, like an ambidextrous person. Georges denied it again. In the end, Solange clearly stated that when Georges was handed photographs, he took them with his right hands. However, he flicked the pictures with his left hand. He even moved the microphone with his left hand. The revelations triggered Georges’s psychopathic tendency, and unconsciously he put his hand in a stabbing position. Solange concluded that Guy Georges used his right hand when he struck or stabbed a victim. In response, Georges agreed. The court now had enough evidence to frame Georges for the assault and murder of seven French women.
The judge read the final verdict and sentenced Guy Georges to life in prison with a minimum term of 22 years.
Why did Guy Georges kill innocent Women?
Guy Georges was abandoned by his black American father, and soon, he ended up with child services. He was placed with the Morin family, who already had seven children of their own and had 13 children placed with them through child services. His caretaker, Jeanne Morin, told the court that Georges had attacked two girls in his teenage years, and, thus, she sent him from the foster home. Constant rejection in childhood triggered psychotic and narcissistic symptoms in Georges. He was sent to a children’s house, but he became a runaway, a delinquent, and from thereon, it went downhill.
The lawyers and police officers failed to decipher any pattern in Georges’s crimes. However, later, he explained to the police that his victims’ energy triggered him. The more energetic they were, the more he was drawn to them. Maybe, Georges has been attracted to the self-love these women radiated because love and care were the only feelings missing from Georges’s childhood. He was rejected by society and was void of love, which pushed him off-limits. The difficult and abusive childhood often resulted in moulding a psychopath, and our community has witnessed a plethora of such examples.
Helene’s mother, Anne Gautier, communicated with Georges through letters to fill the void in Guy Georges’s life. Through these letters, Anne understood the conflicted life of Georges that created a monster out of a person. Anne believed until the end that Georges could still be saved, that he could be treated, that he could undergo therapy and work through it. Anne didn’t want to share hatred in the world, and thus helping her daughter’s murderer was her journey to find peace.
The Women and the Murderer is a 2021 Netflix crime documentary directed by Mona Achache and Patricia Tourancheau. It investigates the manhunt and trial of French serial killer Guy Georges.