On September 5, 2012, Brett Marin, a British tourist cycling through the French Alpine village of Chevaline, discovered a disturbing scene in a remote parking lot near Lake Annecy. He found a little girl lying in a pool of blood next to a car with the engine still running. Inside the car, he found Saad Al-Hilli with a gunshot wound in his head, along with his wife Iqbal and mother-in-law Suhaila, both with several gunshot wounds. The little girl turned out to be Zainab, the Al-Hilli’s 7-year-old daughter. Marin also found another victim, French cyclist Sylvain Mollier, shot five times.
Ultimately, there were four fatalities, including Saad, Iqbal, Suhaila, and Sylvain. However, Zainab survived, and miraculously, another survivor, Zeena, was found under her dead mother’s body. She had hidden under her mother’s skirt during the shooting and remained unharmed.
The investigation revealed that 21 bullets were fired in about a minute and a half, but the perpetrator’s identity and motive remain unknown. French police have been unable to solve the mystery of the Chevaline case, with no eyewitnesses, few traces, and little information from the traumatized girls.
A new book and documentary series now provides a new perspective on the case. It examines theories that the Chevaline case and the murder of Belgian tourist Xavier Baligant may be linked to the same unknown serial killer. Both cases involved similar circumstances, including the victims’ foreign license plates, children present, and specific firearms used in both instances.
Another avenue of investigation involves Iqbal’s past, as she was reportedly previously married under a different identity and was rumored to have been part of an extortion gang. Her former American husband was found dead on the same day as the Chevaline murders, leading to speculation about a connection.
These new perspectives shed light on potential leads that the police may not have thoroughly investigated, opening up new possibilities for solving the Chevaline case.