Author: Carter Bussell | Date: April 2, 2020 | Updated: August 24, 2020 |
“[Guy] Collignon explained to me that the investigation [into the murder of Christine] was evolving towards important, high level people. He said it would be better to leave those people alone, that he would soon be promoted and that he would probably not be involved anymore in the investigation.” (P.V. 100.450, January 19, 1997, quote of Michel Van Hees, the brother of Christine) (Note: Guy Collignon was a visitor of Les Atrebates, which was the predecessor of the Dolo, which he also would visit.)
“If you want to keep a little bit informed, then go to the Philippe Baucq street no. 140, to the Dolo. You might learn something about the champigniere[where Christine Van Hees was murdered in 1984]… ” (PV 33797, April 27, 1987, a quote of an anonymous informant during the Van Hees murder investigation)
- Christine Van Hees murder case
- Review of connections to the network
It is clear after having briefly examined the life of Marc Dutroux, that the murder of Christine Van Hees on February 13, 1984, stood out as one of the most significant accusations against him that would implicate his involvement in the Network, which was surrounding Jean-Michel Nihoul.
Aside from all the other connections of Dutroux and his gang to Nihoul, it was at the murder of Christine that places Dutroux in the presence of key individuals as Nihoul, Bouty, Vander Elst and Tony Van Den Bogaert, not to mention Nihoul’s apartment in the late 1970s and Nihoul’s parties since the early 1980s, according to X1 (Regina Louf), whose story has been substantiated and corroborated. Despite X1’s story being backed up by multiple people close to Van Hees and in the Network, the investigation was manipulated and ultimately terminated by figures in the Belgian justice system, who themselves had connections to this Network, which surrounded Nihoul.
Some of the strongest evidence that Dutroux was involved in the abuse network of Nihoul come from this story and it is crucial that anyone investigating the Dutroux affair, understands the evidence surrounding Christine’s murder. What follows is again a brief timeline outlining the life of Christine and the apparent relation with the child abuse network of Jean-Michel Nihoul, which Dutroux very well may have been involved in since the early 1980s.
Christine Van Hees murder case timeline
- April 6, 1967: Christine Van Hees was born on April 6, 1967. Her parents were Antoinette and Pierre Van Hees, who owned a newspaper shop in Brussels. She had two bothers, fifteen and eighteen.
- 1979-early 1980s: X1: in late 1979, Marc Dutroux was present at the apartment of Jean-Michel Nihoul, where X1 was taken by her mother. Others who could be found there included Tony Vandenbogaert, Annie Bouty and Michel Vander Elst. Since the early 1980s, Dutroux would have been present at parties organized by Nihoul, to where Dutroux would bring drugs like cocaine and occasionally girls, however, Dutroux was largely on the side.
- Early 1983: Marc Dutroux and Bernard Weinstein visited the same skating rink as Christine Van Hees in Brussels, the Poseidon. According to Michelle Martin, Dutroux’s wife and accomplice, Dutroux went there alone since 1983 to make it easier for him to “seduce girls”. Just before her death, it is known that Christine had a date with a “Marc” from Mons, who could well have been Marc Dutroux, who lived near Mons in Charleroi. Nathalie Geirnaert, a friend of Christine who lived on the same street as her, recognized Marc Dutroux on two old pictures from the early 1980s as someone who she had seen in the company of Christine among other statements backing up X1. Nothing was done with Nathalie’s testimony.
- September, 1983: X1 (Regina Louf) first met Christine “Chrissy” at a flat on the Theo Van Pe Street, in Brussels, near the highway, a place where Tony V. met Nihoul often and brought X1. Michel talked Chrissy into having sex with X1. It was clear that Chrissy was “in love” with Michel Nihoul. After this, Tony, Nihoul and X1 went to a restaurant, where it was decided that Chrissy had to undergo an “initiation”.
- October, 1983: X1: Christine Van Hees had met with Jean-Michel Nihoul and she started a relationship with him. Friends of Christine later testified that she had begun to act different for the first time in October 1983. Christine often went to the swimming bath of Etterbeek. One floor above this swimming bath the radio show of Michel Nihoul was located.
- October 1983: Christine had talked for a long time to the driver of a black car with an eagle-head on the hood. Several years later, a number of locals would be interrogated about this vehicle and indeed remembered it. The people in the car were apparently in their twenties and avoided contact, but Christine seemed to know them. It would later be discovered that Marleen De Cockere, a friend of Nihoul, had bought a dark brown Mitsubishi with an eagle head on the hood. One witness, Christian V.G. had been given a ride in it by Nihoul several times.
- Sometime in 1983?: In a letter, Christine mentioned a “community” to a friend, Patricia S.
- Sometime in 1983?: Christine exchanged several letters with Pascal Lamarque, a young criminal who belonged to a group of Nihoul and Bouty according to a Belgian State Security memo.
- October-November, 1983: According to Fabianne Kirby, Christine would have seen these people regularly:
- PV 7112, February 20, 1984 (after the murder), Fabienne Kirby (anonymous at the time) to the judicial police: “We got to know each other in October 1983. Over time our discussions became more and more intimate. Christine told such unbelievable stories that I slowly became convinced that she made things up. She told me that she had gotten to know a group of people. She regularly saw them at an abandoned house close to her house. She regularly saw these people in the months October and November 1983. These people were older than Christine. She explained to me that meetings were held in that house, to which a road led about nobody knew. Other girls were in the group. Sometimes, she said, she went alone to the house to write her diary. Christine never spoke about this with girls from her school class. I was bewildered when she told me what happened there. She told me that if she ever spoke about this with her parents or brothers, her so-called friends would kill her and burn down the house. She told that in the group free love is practiced… She told me that this group attracted and frightened her at the same time. In early 1984, I noticed that Christine had changed a lot. She had lost weight, was paler and in any case took less care of herself. She said she wanted to blow up all bridges because very bad things had happened. I noticed that she had bruises, and a cigarette burn on her arm. She then explained that it had started as a game, that those games had started slowly, but then became violent. Christine had come into conflict with one of the other girls in the other group. She felt very much attracted to a member of the gang. She told me that it was possible to feel sexually attracted to a man, without really loving him. She truanted from school. About her friends she said: ‘They are pigs, but I feel good with them.’ She said me that, once you ended up in that milieu, you never got out. It was of little use, she said, to talk about it with someone, because no one would believe her.'”
- Kirby explained that she had undergone an abortion during the time that she knew Christine. The father would have been a member of the Derochette family and a full cousin of the now well-known pedophile Patrick Derochette. A law clerk of examining magistrate Jean-Claude Van Espen, who headed the investigation into Christine Van Hees, married into the Derochette family and was tied to the kidnapping and murder of Loubna Benaissa.
- October, 1983-February, 1984: X1: Christine had been “initiated” to the network through a traumatizing ritual abuse ceremony. The abusers present included Nihoul, Tony V., Baron Benoit de Bonvoisin and Annie Bouty. The victims included X1, a foreign 8-year-old girl, a 10 or 11-year-old boy and Christine. The “initiation” resembled a “macabre satanic mass”, which was held in the garage of a house on a street in Sint-Pieters-Woluwe, a Brussels suburb. The men with capes and masks and the “Mistress” dressed in leather, including a mask, commanding the men to torture or abuse the children in certain ways. The point was to the children so terrified that they wouldn’t talk about it. X1 states that the abusers were not Satanists, but skillfully used the ritual to scare the children so they wouldn’t talk and to gain total control over Christine. The climax of the event included a slaughter of a white rabbit over the belly of X1, who was strapped on top of a table on spinning wheels, with black leather. Christine was ordered to drink from a chalice with the rabbit-blood and then Christine promised that she owed lifelong loyalty to the group. Christine was allowed to leave while the other children were then abused. At some point, Christine had told X1 that she was very afraid to talk with her parents about the mess she had gotten herself into. Not only was she afraid that her parents wouldn’t understand, she also worried about threats of Michel Nihoul that her family would be hurt if she spoke to them about the network. Against all protocols, X1 told Christine that she should try to speak with her parents. When X1 indicated to Mieke, another girl from the network, that she had given this advice to Christine, Mieke went to Michel Nihoul and Tony Van den Bogaert and told them about X1’s advice to Christine. The reason for Mieke ratting out X1 was that she became afraid of reprisals if Christine suddenly left. Besides that, Christine was very unpopular, even with X1, because she didn’t handle the abuse very well, and as a result of that the other girls were continually punished for her mistakes and stubborn behavior. In the days following Mieke informing Tony and Nihoul, Christine was tortured and murdered in the presence of X1. In the months leading up to Christine’s murder, Fabienne Kirby was a friend of Christine Van Hees. Fabienne would have been told by Christine that she had ended up in a dangerous group of people involved in sex orgies and apparently sadism.
- Friday 20th – Wednesday 25th, January, 1984: Christine did not show up at school. In the afternoon of Wednesday she received a medical certificate from a certain Dr. Hallard, which covered her absences. Christine’s parents did not know this doctor and could never explain the absences.
- February 1984: Visitor of the Poseidon, Ariane M., became aware that Christine had a date with a “Marc”, from Mons, not far from Charleroi, where Marc Dutroux lived.
- October, 1983-February, 1984: Nathalie Geirnaert explained that in the days before Christine’s kidnapping, Christine had become extremely scared of someone or something. When she would leave Nathalie’s house, Christine would ask Nathalie to accompany her to her house or ask her to stay at the door until she was inside.
- February 12-13, 1984: The night before the murder Nathalie Geirnaert noticed a suspicious black car in front of Christine’s house from 23:30 to 13:00. A man had been sitting behind the wheel the whole time. Nothing was done with Nathalie’s testimony.
- February 13, 1984, around 5:20 P.M.: Christine’s former Girl Scout leader Didier saw her around this time with her friend Chantal, whom she took with her to the metro. Chantal got off halfway, while Christine normally got off at the Petillon station. Some witnesses stated to have seen Christine heading home not long before 6 p.m.
- February 13, 1984: Christine Van Hees was severely tortured and subsequently murdered by being burned alive. According to X1, those present were Marc Dutroux, Bernard Weinstein, Michel Nihoul, Annie Bouty, Tony Van den Bogaert, Michel Vander Elst and the parents of Anne. The abuse began in one building, where Christine’s books and belongs were left, and was moved to the champignon factory, where Christine was murdered in the basement. About 30 feet away from the basement in which Christine had been murdered there was a tampon with blood on it, which matches X1’s 1996 testimony. The blood type matched that of Christine’s. X1 was blindfolded and bare-footed when she, Christine and the abusers stepped out of the car. Before entering the compound, she felt a lot of gravel under her feet. The compound she was brought into smelled moldy, like it hadn’t been used for a long time. The only source of light in the house were candles. Vander Elst beat a hollow metal bar though Christine’s left wrist. The way in which she was tied caused Christine to strangle herself if she moved. In the last room, X1 saw a rope and a jerrycan. Christine was set on fire while lying face down tied up behind her back on the ground.
- Zembla (Dutch TV), ‘De X-dossiers – Part I’ (March 11, 2003): “The doors. We had very special, hand-made doors. Old doors with ornaments, which she described perfectly. She knew all that. She drew the chimney and the living room. It matched quite well. The chimney looked like it. She drew the rose window. A rose window is a rose window. It could well be our rose window. What she told about the champignoniere was accurate. I showed the description [of X1] to one of my brothers. That girl had to have been there. There’s no other way.”
- 1999, Marie-Jeanne Van Heeswyck, Annemie Bulte and Douglas De Coninck, ‘De X-Dossiers’, p. 244-245: “The son is responsible for a stir when the texts [descriptions of the champignoniere of X1 and an inspector at the scene. They differ] are presented to him. ‘That police officer has not been inside there, your witness X1 was’… The police officer in question, Jacques Dekock, is summoned that evening and immediately confronted with the son. The confrontation doesn’t last long. It’s true, he admits. He was so dismayed by the body that evening that he hardly looked at the rest of the building. The complex was demolished in 1989. Nowhere information is available about how the building looked in 1984. It was such a complex clew of houses, hangers, driveways, halls and basements that all who would try to do a little guessing on describing the place would be seen through immediately. And that is what is so bizarre. The inspectors just couldn’t figure it out how X1 told them that she got there by car, stepped out, stumbled… The son of the owner had no problems with this. Almost immediately he could tell exactly through where X1 entered the building and how she reached the basement. That she stumbled in the hall is logical, he says. More people used to do that. By rebuilding two houses into one, a connection had been created with two stairs: the first one going down, then up again. ‘In reality she was in the kitchen’, the son deducts from the description of the wallpaper and the tiles – which also is perfectly accurate. He went through it with his family. ‘There are things we read in her testimony that reminded us of details that we ourselves had long forgotten, like the motif on the tiles’, he later says. Indeed, from the kitchen there was a separate doorway to the basement. And those flesh hooks? Yet another detail that only now recalls memories. ‘Of course, then she was in the scullery’, the son says. His uncle made meat pies and had created a sort of industrial kitchen in the adjacent building. With a pen in his hand the son draws the route that X1 must have travelled that night. The rugged wooden table, the rain barrel… Yes, yes, his father had left that when he moved out. It is extraordinarily, no question about it.”
- 8:47 PM, February 13, 1984: Fire department gets call from a car phone that there was a fire in an abandoned house called “La Champignoniere” (the mushroom farm). They arrived at the location swiftly and discovered two fires, one in the house and another in the cellar.
- 8:45 PM, February 13, 1984: The dead body of 16 years old Christine Van Hees was found naked and charred in a heap of smoldering crates. The body appeared to be a young female, whose hands and feet had been tied up with some sort of metal wire, which also went around her neck. The legs were bent backwards. This was the body of Christine, whom had been severely tortured before having been murdered. The perpetrators attempted to burn the body, but they had been partly successful.
- February 14, 1984: Christine’s father, Pierre, reports her missing. In the following couple days, he would be informed that she had been murdered. Investigating magistrate Michel Eloy, who had already been charged with the Cellules Communistes Combattantes (CCC) bombings, had been put on the case. Against standard regulations, two heads of the investigation were put on the case instead of one, Guy Ceupens and Guy Collignon.
- February 15, 1984: Marc Dutroux opened up a bank account at Credit Professionel du Hainaut and his account was immediately credited with 35,000 Belgian franks (about 850 Euro). Another bank account of Dutroux at the same bank recieved 65,000 franks.
- February 17, 1984: 100,000 Belgian franks were deposited into Dutroux’s bank new account.
- February 20, 1984: Fabienne Kirby gives testimony. At some point, Patricia S.’s letter from Christine about the “community” would lead to the suspicion of a group of punk, which Christine was said to have been in contact with.
- August 23, 1984: Witness Freddy V.D.S. testified that Christine was a regular visitor of cafe Les Bouffons, the pub where staff of Radio Activite, a free radio owned by Nihoul, used to meet. Christine was sometimes accompanied by a paracommando named Marc Goossens, who had never been found.
- September 12 and 15, 1984: Serge Clooth, a punk severally mentally disturbed and addicted to sniffing glue, told the investigators a whole story about the murder of Christine and that he was responsible.
- September 27, 1984: Philippe Moussadek, who worked at a free radio in close collaboration with Radio Activite, FM Inter, was interrogated, because his telephone number had been found in Christine’s notebook. Moussadek fled Belgium afterwards.
- November 1984: Serge Clooth’s grandmother testified that a young attorney from Brussels had informed her son (Serge’s father) that Serge had been drugged and liquored up by the judicial police in exchange for reading a scripted testimony.
- October 3, 1984: Serge Clooth says he made up his testimony.
- Late 1984: Fabienne Kirby, a friend of Christine Van Hees in her final months, gave a testimony that would not be incompatible with the one of X1, 12 years later. According to Fabienne, Christine had told her how she had ended up in a dangerous group of people involved in sex orgies and apparently sadism.
- January 1985: Serge Clooth “confesses” again, but this time speaks about a Black Mass, in which Christine was sacrificed. Investigating judge Michel Eloy (also tasked with the CCC bombings; would never meet the parents of Van Hees) was struck by a heart attack, followed by a nervous breakdown.
- June 1985: Serge Clooth again retracts his testimony. Eloy quits the job and Jean-Claude Van Espen, who had no experience in homicide cases, would take over as examining magistrate.
- October 1, 1985: Jean-Claude Van Espen takes over the Christine Van Hees murder case as an examining magistrate, who never had any experience with homicide cases. Against standard regulations Guy Collignon, who visited Les Atrebates, and Georges Ceuppens were appointed as heads of the investigation.
- November 25, 1985: New examining magistrate Van Espen first meets Serge Clooth, who again states that his earlier testimony were repeats of what the police officers read out to him.
- August 1, 1986: One of the punks, Marc Duriau, died from an overdose of heroin in the presence of his lawyer and two other once suspected junkies. Clooth and another punk would later claim that Duriau knew too much and therefore was killed. The lawyer was later arrested for involvement in drug business with these punks.
- April 27, 1987: An anonymous informant had informed the Etterbeek police that the Dolo in Etterbeek was key to solving the Christine Van Hees murder in the Champignon factory. Some how the team of Van Espen wrote café Chez Dolores, instead of The Dolo.
- Late 1980s: At some point, Guy Collignon, one of two chief investigators of the Christine Van Hees case, picked up Michel, Christine’s younger brother, from school. According to Michel, Collignon told him: “While I was eating, de Collignon explained to me that the investigation was evolving towards important, high level people. He said it would be better to leave those people alone, that he would soon be promoted and that he would probably not be involved anymore in the investigation.” (PV 100.450, January 19, 1997).
- November 17, 1987: Serge Clooth was released. Around this time, he came into contact with Didier de Quevy (lawyer of Alexis Alewaeters and soon Marc Dutroux) and Jean-Paul Dumont (CEPIC lawyer; accused by different sources of being part of the Nihoul abuse network), who represented him at the European Court of Human Rights.
- 1989: the mushroom farm was demolished to make room for a social housing project.
- 1991: Belgium was condemned for having detained Clooth too long without any good reason. Quevy talked about the police rewarding suspects with drugs in exchange for testimonies.
- October 25, 1996: X1 mentioned a number of girls she had witnessed being murdered. Among these names was a “Kristien”. Because of the timeframe, De Baets and Hupez soon thought about “le crime de la champignonniere”, but thought it had been solved (the punks). After inquiring they were told that this was not the case. Nathalie Perignon phoned up Fabienne Kirby during the Dutroux and X-witness investigation. Coincidentally, Perignon had been present with three men in a black car observing the champignon factory where Christine had been murdered the week before. All four individuals in the car worked at Nihoul’s Radio Activite and personally knew Nihoul.
- Early June 1996: According to one witness, Dutroux and Michelle Martin were spotted twice leaving the Dolo, which was named as key to solving Christine’s murder in 1987.
- June 1996: The Christine Van Hees case was officially closed and Van Espen wrote a letter to the parents of Christine saying the murderer(s) had not been found and somehow after 11 years still didn’t know the name of Christine, instead calling her “Claudine”.
- November 13, 1996: X1 (Regina Louf) recognized a picture of Christine Van Hees in P.V. 116.990
- January 1997: Christine Van Hees case is reopened after X1’s statements, again the examining magistrate as Jean-Claude Van Espen.
- First half of 1997: Obelix cell given the task of the Christine Van Hees case as high level people were mentioned. Van Espen again headed the inquiry and saw to it that it was terminated.
- March 20, 1997: The house of X1 is searched at the order of Van Espen.
- 1999: A DNA test for the blood on the tampon found near the champignon factory where Christine Van Hees was murdered in the basement in 1984, was in process, just as a DNA test on a cigarette butt that had been found at the murder site. However, Jean-Claud Van Espen closed the investigation before the results could be made available.
Review of connections to the Network & the coverup
Naatje Van Zwaren de Zwarenstein was identified by X1 as someone she had seen at one point. The 14 year old Naatje went missing on March 12, 1976, three days after one of her alleged friends, Paulette N., had also disappeared. The media didn’t make a big deal of this and especially not when Naatje turned up on April 7, 1976, in the Netherlands. However, the friends of Naatje told a disturbing story. They named Naatje’s riding school as one of the locations through which a child prostitution ring operated. This riding school happened to become the school Christine Van Hees. This ring, which Naatje and Paulette had ended up in, apparently provided services for several foreign embassies in Brussels and had connections in the Netherlands and England. One of the girls, Joelle J., who knew Naatje and Paulette, spoke about forced abortions, orgies at which children were cut to pieces and people who had been beaten up or killed for having spoken about the network. Other girls from this abuse network, Marie V. and Mireille D.B., backed up portions of Joelle J.’s testimony. Soon after Naatje returned, she moved with her parents to the United States, but died in 1980 during a traffic accident.
Marc Dutroux and Bernard Weinstein are known to have visited the same ice skating rink in Brussels as Christine Van Hees, in the early 1980s. Prior to this, Dutroux had visited a ice ring in Charleroi, where he met Michelle Martin in 1982. Dutroux had gained a reputation for molesting girls at the ice ring in Charleroi and was banned because of it. Dutroux had been active in Charleroi since he started going to school there in 1961 and by 1970 or 1971 apparently met an old pedophile at his school and became a boy prostitute. Getting back to the Brussels ice ring, according to Michelle Martin, Dutroux went to there in order to make it easier for him to “seduce girls”. According to X1, Bernard Weinstein and Annie Bouty sometimes walked around with snakes at abuse sessions, which they used to rape the girls with. At one of the abuse sessions, Annie Bouty went looking for a snake, which was brought by Bernard Weinstein. Back to the murder of Christine, just before Christine’s murder on February 13, 1984, it is known that she had a date with a “Marc” who may have been Marc Dutroux. According to PV 116.990, Bernard Weinstein brought a snake to Annie Bouty, which was used on Christine and X1. Strangely, a note connected to the Abraxas cult was found during a Charleroi gendarmerie search of Weinstein’s house in Jumet. Additionally, Weinstein’s sister was married to Charles Shulman, whose brother was Joseph Shulman, the manager of BVBA Audio Corporation, of which Michel Vander Elst was a regular advisor since 1992. Also in the 1990s, Weinstein, Nihoul, Martin and Lelievre were spotted near ASCo, which was primarily founded by J.L. Delamotte, who had been a visitor of both Les Atrebates and the Dolo.
According to X1 (Regina Louf), Christine met Nihoul in October 1983 and began a relationship with him. Christine often went to the swimming bath in Etterbeek, just above the pool, on the next floor, Nihoul’s Radio Activite was located. According to X1, Christine had been initiated into the network through a traumatizing ritual abuse ceremony. Christine told her friend Fabienne Kirby “that she had gotten to know a group of people… [and] regularly saw them at an abandoned house close to her house”, during the months October and November 1983. Apparently Christine wasn’t popular among the other girls in the Network because she wouldn’t handle the torture well and as a result the girls in the Network received additional abuse sessions. X1 claimed to have seen Christine at the “villa of the boats”, which was owned by Herve de Ursel, the spouse of Marie-Cecile Bonvoisin, who lived for some time. At one point, against all protocols of the Network, X1 advised Christine that she should tell her parents about the network she had became involved in. X1 then told Mieke, who was another girl in the Network, about her advise to Christine and because Mieke became so afraid of reprisals if Christine had left, she told Michel Nihoul and Tony Van Den Bogaert about X1’s dissent. In the following days, Christine was murdered in the basement of the Champignon factory in front of X1.
Those named as having been perpetrators in the “initiation” ceremony of Christine included Nihoul, Tony V., Baron Benoit de Bonvoisin and Annie Bouty. The accusation made against BdB, of being present, is also interesting as X1 saw Christine at the “villa of the boats”, which was owned by Herve de Ursel and occupied by the sister of BdB at one point.
Again, those present, according to X1, at the murder of Christine Van Hees in the basement of the champignon factory on February 13, 1984, included Marc Dutroux, Bernard Weinstein, Michel Nihoul, Tony Van Den Bogaert, Michel Vander Elst, Annie Bouty and the parents of Anne, who was a girl in the network. According to X1, Vander Elst beat a hollow metal tube through the left wrist of Christine with a hammer, which was apparently found at the crime scene back in 1984, along with candles, which X1 said were the only sources of light in the champignon factory.
Nathalie Perignon is known to have called Fabienne Kirby during the Dutroux and X-witnesses investigation. Perignon had been present with three men in a black car observing the Champignon factory, where Christine was murdered the week before in 1984. All four of these individuals knew Michel Nihoul and worked at his Radio Activite. During the the Dutroux affair Perignon had spoken about Nihoul and Dolo employees attending orgies there at the Dolo. Additionally, Perignon had worked at the Euro 92 bar in Tureven, which was a meeting place of wealthy Eurocrats and NATO officers. The bar had a lot of stories surrounding it involving under aged prostitution and terminated police investigations. Today a sex club called Le Mirage is located there. Perignon’s husband also saw Nihoul and Paul Vanden Boeynants together at the Dolo.
According to Fabienne Kirby, she had undergone an abortion during the time that she knew Christine. The father would have been a member of the Derochette family, which has a number of curious ties. The father was also apparently a full cousin of well-known pedophile Patrick Derochette. A law clerk of examining magistrate Jean-Claude Van Espen, who headed the investigation into Christine Van Hees and will be discussed, married into the Derochette family and was linked to the kidnap and murder of Loubna Benaissa, who was murdered in the home of Patrick Derochette.
After having suffered a nervous breakdown in January 1985, examing magistrate over the Christine Van Hees murder case, Michel Eloy, decided to quit the job in June, 1985. The man who took his place as examining magistrate was Jean-Claude Van Espen, who had no prior experience with homicide cases. Van Espen would never contact the parents of Christine nor would he visit the crime scene. On November 25, 1985, Van Espen first met Serge Clooth, who told him that his earlier statements were repeats of what read out to him, in exchange for Serge being liquored up. In November 17, 1987, Serge was released and around this time he came into contact with Didier de Quevy and Jean-Paul Dumont, who represented him at the European Court of Human Rights. Later when the Christine Van Hees murder case was reopened in the late 1990s and as a result of no higher officials being named as having been present or involved, Van Espen was again appointed as head of the investigation and saw to it that the inquiry would be terminated. During the original investigation under Van Espen, an anonymous tip came in that a nightclub called the Dolo was the key to solving the murder case. Somehow the investigative team headed by Van Espen wrote down Chez Dolores instead of the Dolo. Some more peculiarities about Van Espen include that his law clerk married into the Derochette family, which has already been discussed in relation to Fabienne Kirby, a friend of Christine and the Loubna Benaissa murder case. Van Espen closed the reopened Christine murder case investigation before DNA test results came in about a cigarette butt found at the crime scene. Interestingly, Philippe Deleuze, who was a college friend of Bouty, was married to Francoise Van Espen, who was Jean-Claude’s sister and acted as a godmother of Nihoul’s son. Deleuze was a partner for some time of Nihoul and Bouty’s law firm and occasionally so did Jean-Claude Van Espen himself. Deleuze was a member of the CEPIC and a board member of the Tentoonsellingspark foundation, which was chaired by Paul Vanden Boeyants, who met Nihoul at the PSC and apparently the Dolo. According to Nihoul, Deleuze and VdB, both of the right-wing group of the PSC, the CEPIC, were responsible for appointing Van Espen as examining magistrate. Van Espen also was a lawyer for Annie Bouty in mid 1984! Also, X1 stated that she had seen Van Espen in the presence of Nihoul and Bouty a couple times, but not at any of the abuse parties. When Nihoul’s J.M. Nihoul et Associes, which was set up with the help of Bouty, got into legal trouble, Nihoul contacted Deleuze, who then contacted his brother-in-law Jean-Claude Van Espen to discuss their legal strategy. Additionally, in 1988, Audenaert was approached by Van Espen in regards to the ‘Pinon’ dossier, which VdB and others were tied to. Van Espen was a member of the High Court of Belgium along with Guy Delvoie, who was identified by X2 as having been present at sex parties, such as ones at in a castle near Eindhoven, Netherlands, together with Jean-Paul Dumont, Baron de Bonvoisin and many others. Another point about Van Espen is that he headed the investigation in the PELF affair and would have been involved in sabatoging the whole Dutroux and X-witnesses investigation. Van Espen apparently benefited from the who Elio de Rupo affair as well in discrediting De Beats and his team. Van Espen supported Colonel Brabant, who was apparnelty tring to mislead De Beats and his team in some way. Van Espen was also present at the Obelix cell, with many others. It is known that Nihoul claimed to have learned from a lawyer named Vidick that Van Espen in a child molestation network, although this could have been a warning the Van Espen and other top officials to pressure them into getting him released. Also a man named John W. Verswyver, who was a cellmate of Dumont and Georges Marnette’s disinformation asset Jean-Paul Raemaekers, claimed in early 1997 that Van Espen protected a network of pedophiles. Former peace judge Bernard Devisscher was close to Van Espen and often visited the Dolo. Nihoul also dated the sister of Devisscher.
In 1997, according to colleagues, Baudouin Dernicourt was obsessed at the time with the murder of Christine Van Hees and all he could do was talk about how the murder was much bigger than most people thought. In the summer of 1984, Dernicourt had become afraid that someone was trying to assassinate him for looking into the case. Some days later he claimed to know everything about the murder, what actually had happened and that he would never speak about it again. He would never speak about the case again until he became one of the chief “re-readers” of the X-testimonies as a debunker of Nathalie W. under Commandant Duterme.
About a year and a half before Van Espen had taken over the investigation of Christine’s murder investigation in 1985, a group of punks began making completely incoherent statements that they had murdered Christine Van Hees. Every now and then they made talked about black masses, druidism and Satanism. The primary suspect became Serge Clooth, a drug addicted punk who completely changed his testimony nearly every day. However, he did know some details about the murder. In November 1984, the grandmother of Serge testified that her son (Serge’s father) had been informed by a young attorney from Brussels that Serge had been drugged and liquored up in exchange for reading a scripted testimony by the judicial police. In January 1985, Michel Eloy, the examining magistrate of the case, was struck by a heart attack, followed by a nervous breakdown. In the next five months, Eloy quit his job and Van Espen, who never had any experience with this type of case, became the new examining magistrate. On November 17, 1987, Van Espen first met Serge, who again stated that his earlier statements were repeats of what the police officers had read out to him. On August 1, 1986, Marc Duriau, one of the punks, had died in the presence of his lawyer and two other junkies from a heroine overdose. Serge and another punk would claim that Duriau knew too much and therefor was killed. The lawyer was arrested later for involvement in drug business with the punks. Serge was released on November 17, 1987, and around this time he came into contact with Didier de Queve and Jean-Paul Dumont, who represented him at the European Court of Human Rights. In 1991, Belgium was condemned for having detained Serge too long without any good reason. Queve talked about the police rewarding suspects with drugs in exchange for testimonies. Inerestingly, Queve had been the lawyer of Alexis Alewaeters, who was named as an accomplice of Philippe Cryns in running a pedophile ring at Le Mirano. Queve also became the lawyer of Marc Dutroux in the late 1980s. As for Dumont, he had been a CEPIC lawyer and would later be accused by multiple sources of having been involved in the child abuse network of Michel Nihoul.
Remember what Guy Collignon said to the younger brother of Christine Van Hees, after he had picked him up from school? He said that the investigation into the murder was evolving to high level people and that it would be better to leave these people alone so that he could get his promotion. Interestingly, Collignon is known client of Les Atrebates, which was the predecessor of the Dolo and visited by Michel Nihoul and Michel Vander Elst, both of whom were accused of being involved in the murder of Christine. All three of these men, Collignon, Nihoul and Vander Elst would also visit the Dolo.
In 1987, an anonymous tip came in during the Christine murder investigation stating that the Dolo was apparently the key to solving the case. This is interesting because two known visitors of the Dolo were Michel Nihoul, who was one of the most prominent, and Michel Vander Elst, both of whom were accused by X1 of having been perpetrators in the murder. Another suspected visitor is Tony Van Den Bogaert, who was X1’s pimp and also accused by her of being present at Christine’s murder in the basement of the Champignon factory. One witness claimed to have seen Marc Dutroux and his then wife Michelle Martin leaving the Dolo twice in early June 1996. Dutroux was accused of having witnessed the murder of Christine. Victim-witnesses X1 (Regina Louf), X2 and Nathalie Waeterschoot were familiar with the Dolo and alleged that child abuse took place there. Both X1 and Nathalie W. were familiar with Les Atrebates, which was the predecessor of the Dolo and visited by both Nihoul and Vander Elst. Guy Collignon was also a known client of the club. The Dolo will be discussed in the following article.
With all this evidence and information showing that Dutroux was involved in the murder of Christine Van Hees and the abuse network of Nihoul, I can’t help but feel, and know, that the surface has just been scratched here. With all the testimonies and proof substantiating X1’s story of Christine’s murder, it is clear that the investigation should have never been closed. Rather all the evidence points to manipulation and a blatant coverup of the case by figures in the Belgian justice system, many of whom had themselves tied to Nihoul and the abuse network surrounding him.
Whatever the case may be, and as has been briefly explained, there is very strong evidence that Christine was murdered by people close to Nihoul and the alleged abuse network he was involved in and that the whole case was covered up by figure with ties to him and the abuse network. It is a bit strange that this whole story, of Dutroux, as received significantly very little coverage in the conspiracy community and there is much more to be found out. Thanks to the work of a few researchers this information has reached the English speaking world, in particular I must thank Joel Van der Reijin of ISGP-studies.com.
As may have been noticed by the reader, the clear next step to follow in this story, aside from Michel Nihoul himself, is the nightclub called the Dolo, which will be discussed in the following article.
- 2015, Joel van der Reijin, ISGP-studies.com, ‘Beyond the Dutroux Affair-section on the girls X1 witnessed being murdered’; Link: https://isgp-studies.com/belgian-x-dossiers-of-the-dutroux-affair#girls
- PDF version of Appendix X to Joel’s article, ‘Beyond the Dutroux Affair’, Link to one of the PDFs: https://thebridgelifeinthemix.info/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Dutroux-case-and-X-Dossier-victim-witnesses.pdf
- ‘Beyond the Dutroux Affair’ Appendix B on the bad guy investigators, section of Jean-Claude Van Espen; Link: https://isgp-studies.com/Belgian_X_dossiers_investigators#bad
- ‘Beyond the Dutroux Affair’ Appendix C on the accused, mostly under the bio of Michel Nihoul; Link: https://isgp-studies.com/belgian-x-dossiers-of-the-marc-dutroux-affair-the-accused#michel-nihoul
- 1999, Annemie Bulte, Douglas De Coninck, Marie-Jeanne Van Heeswyck, ‘De X-dossiers: Wat Belgie niet mocht weten over de zaak-Dutroux’: One of the important sources of information on the murder of Christine Van Hees, which I am unfortunately unable to read, without the help of google translation or someone who knows Dutch and English very well.