Author: Carter Bussell | Date: June 8, 2020 | Update: September 2, 2020
“I met Nihoul in a restaurant in Brussels. ‘I am the Monster of Belgium,’ he roared at me by way of greeting. He is confident he will never come to trial and that the evidence against him will never be heard by any jury. During the course of our meal he, apparently playfully, grabbed me, tickling, and finally pulled me over on to him in the restaurant booth until I had to appeal to my colleagues for rescue.” (May 5, 2002, Olenka Frenkiel for The Guardian, ‘Belgium’s silent heart of darkness’)
“I control the government. … Everyone has compromising dossiers on one another, to be used as leverage in the right situation. … This is the Belgian disease.” (2001, Der Spiegel, ‘In the Network of Dossiers’, quote of Jean-Michel Nihoul)
- 1940s-1960s: From Verviers to Brussels
- 1970s: Where is the Network?
- 1980s: A Turbulent Decade
- 1990-1996: Latter Years
- 1996-2006: The Coverup
- 2006-2019: Recovery and Death
- Review of Important Connections
“One of the regular organisers of these parties, she [victim-witness X1/Regina Louf] said, was the man she knew as ‘Mich’, Jean Michel Nihoul. The sessions not only involved sex, they included sadism, torture and murder; and again, she described in detail, the place, the victims and how they were killed.” (May 2, 2002, BBC, ‘Regina Louf’s testimony’)
“I would like to reveal other things about Jean-Michel Nihoul, but I don’t want that these testimonies are taken up in the dossier. As I said, I fear for my life and those around me. I remind you that Nihoul told me the following: ‘if you cross me, I will destroy you’. With those words he made it known to me that he would kill me or have me killed.” (PV 2557, August 29, 1996, testimony of Michel Lelievre, a close accomplice of Marc Dutroux)
“I was afraid that they would hurt me or my kids. With “they” I mean Marc [Dutroux], Jean-Michel Nihoul and his gang… I have heard Marc personally telling Lelievre that he should bring a girl for Michel Nihoul. If I haven’t mentioned that before, that is because I’m afraid of that gang, I mean Nihoul, Marc Dutroux and others in Brussels. I mean well-placed individuals whom Nihoul knew. The connections of Nihoul made me fear for my children and myself… I was afraid, because Jean-Michel Nihoul, Marc Dutroux and Michel Lelievre were part of a gang that was involved in all kinds of business, like drugs, pills, girls and forged papers… at the time of the kidnapping of Sabine and Laetitia, Michel Nihoul, as I already stated, often called to Sars, to my home. He was looking for Marc Dutroux… When Nihoul tried to reach Marc he always remained vague. I never knew why he called so often to Marc Dutroux. Over time I became more and more convinced that Marc Dutroux and Jean-Michel Nihoul did things that couldn’t stand the light of day and which I was not supposed to know about. By the way, Marc told me that he went more and more to Brussels and met an increasing number of people in light of his activities with Michel Nihoul,” (PV 2557, August 29, 1996, testimony of Michelle Martin, former wife of Dutroux)
“Nihoul always gave me the impression that he had many connections that he could count on. Marc Dutroux told me that Nihoul had taken care of many of Lelievre’s problems… Marc had accurately sensed that he would benefit from continuing to see Nihoul, because of his connections and those of his wife, the lawyer [Annie Bouty; however, Nihoul was really married to Marleen De Cokere]. The more they saw each other, the more they opened up of course. I think that at a certain moment a mutual trust was built. I see evidence of that in a conversation between Lelievre and Marc that I coincidentally heard and in which Dutroux said that they had to bring back a girl for Nihoul. I think that Jean-Michel Nihoul had influence on Marc Dutroux. Marc often told me that he was impressed by the connections Nihoul had.” (PV 2739, October 9, 1996, testimony of Michelle Martin)
“Michelle Martin, the ex-wife of Marc Dutroux, says that her former husband kidnapped the girls Julie and Melissa at the instructions of co-defendant Michel Nihoul… Also, a witness has spotted co-defendant Nihoul in 1995 together with Dutroux and Lelievre in Oostende, shortly before the kidnapping of An and Eefje.” (2004, ANP, ‘Ex-wife Dutroux points to Nihoul as contractor’)
“… former electrician [Marc Dutroux], dubbed the Monster of Marcinelle [and of Belgium], argued that he had been ordered by his fellow defendant, Michel Nihoul, to procure his young victims for a sex ring widely believed to involve members of the country’s establishment.” (June 18, 2004, The Times, ‘Murdering, raping monster convicted at last’)
The apparent connection of Marc Dutroux to the Network is Jean-Michel Nihoul. With the information of previous articles in mind and the quotes just provided, it becomes clear that “the connections” of Nihoul need to be explored. That is exactly what this article has attempted to do, despite having a lack of availability to numerous reference materials and sources. Like a biography, Nihoul’s life is, for the most part, chronologically broken down with a focus on the connections he made and the scandals surrounding him.
It is a fascinating story and makes one wonder how much could be true, what is the full story? It doesn’t appear that anyone really knows the full story, although there are pieces of the puzzle out there to be discovered. However, many of those puzzle pieces are missing and may never be found.
Despite not having every fact and every detail available, there is enough information to form an incomplete story about the life of Nihoul and the Nihoul affair. Much of the evidence provided supports the testimonies of the victim-witnesses, who spoke about Nihoul.
What follows is a brief, but incomplete, biography of Nihoul’s life with a focus on his connections to child abuse networks. The chronology is followed by a review of most of the important connections spotted. This review is kind of like a repetition, which helps to solidify the names, but was also used to add some additional details.
1940s-1960s: From Verviers to Brussels
Almost a year into Nazi occupation of Belgium, Jean-Michel Nihoul was born during World War II on April 23, 1941, in Verviers, a French community in the province of Liège. He was the youngest son of a “simple family”, the father was a chief of office in a textile factory, a staple industry of the town, while the mother was a housewife. Until the age of 18, the children were sent to bed at 10 o’clock in the evening. Michel was known to have been a good, normal boy, although he was a little big-mouthed. Aside from this, not much else is known by this author about Nihoul’s first twenty years.
After the government had returned and King Leopold III abdicated the throne to his eldest-son Prince Baudouin, over ten years prior, Nihoul got married in 1962 to his first wife, Adrienne, with whom he would have three children. It is known that in the early sixties, Nihoul worked as a house painter and at some point graduated in interior design. He went on to become an independent interior designer in Verviers, which was undergoing an economic downturn since the 1950s because many factories in the town were closing. Around the early ’60s, Nihoul would stroll around the roulette tables, during the weekends, at a casino in Middelkerke, where his father had become a croupier.
At some point, with experience in house painting and interior designing, he became a representative of a US paint company, which fired him for lack of performance. Around the age of 23, in 1964, Nihoul took over a hotel of his parents and he also opened up a coffee shop. Running the coffee shop and especially the hotel must have been an interesting experience for him. However, both businesses went bankrupt within a few years.
Despite his failure to maintain his parents hotel, finding a job was never a problem. “He pretended to be a journalist at the RTL,” said an old acquaintance, Philippe Bouveroux. What he really did was fill the racks of the Grand Bazar in Liège or make a living off truck driving. In the 1960s, Nihoul opened up the disco Le Truc ‘n Spa. According to Nihoul, “It was the place to be” and “the opportunities of the competition were empty.” He also stated that all the stars, actors and celebrities at the time were children.
In the late 1960s, Nihoul went to Brussels, where he continued truck driving for a number of years and did some paint and wallpaper jobs with one of his brothers. Brussels was increasingly becoming an international hub and in 1967, NATO had relocated their headquarters to Brussels from Paris, while The European Communities (predecessor of the European Union/EU) had been developing there since 1958, which was also the year Brussels hosted the World’s fair. During the time that Nihoul was a truck driver, Brussels would have been undergoing a process of deindustrialization and suburbanization.
1970s: Where is the Network?
Having been in Brussels since the late ’60s and having established himself in the area, he began finding his way around Brussels. Somehow, Nihoul managed to meet a woman named Annie Bouty in 1971; they would meet again about three years later. How exactly this transpired is not known to this author. Perhaps some details are provided in Nihoul’s own autobiography. However, this book is unavailable to this author at this time.
In 1973, Nihoul was sentenced for fraudulent bankruptcy and issuing bad checks. He had managed to setup United Corporation, which he did under the name of his wife, Adrienne. Nihoul became an expert in real estate, apparently through the company. However, it went bankrupt fraudulently and his wife took the fall for it, resulting in her going to jail. While his wife was in prison for his crimes, Nihoul was declared personally bankrupt as the sole director of United Corporation on March 3, 1974. Reportedly by a royal pardon, Nihoul would only serve two months of his one year sentence in prison with a four month delay from the punishment he got in 1973. It is around this time, in the fall of 1974, that victim-witness Anneke Lucas says she was to be murdered at the age of 11. Anneke was delivered to Nihoul by Patrick Haemers, she says. She claims to have been taken to a butcher’s room in the home of Paul Vanden Boeynants, with whom Patrick negotiated to release of Anneke. Although the testimony of Anneke has not been fully examined by this author, it is definitely a crucial piece and palces Nihoul with Patrick Haemers and Paul Vanden Boeynants together in the early 1970s. His wife got out in 1975, was picked up by her brother and then she left with their three children to go live with her grandmother.
Aside from going bankrupt, Nihoul was very active in the year of 1974. Nihoul met Annie Bouty again, around the time his wife had gone to jail for his crimes. Bouty was a trainee of Jacques Marres, who was a counselor to Mobutu Sese Seko, who was the CIA and Belgian colonists-sanctioned dictator of Zaire/Congo. Bouty had quite a number of higher level connections, knowing people in politics, the justice department, embassies, banking and even soccer. Sometime in 1975, Nihoul and Bouty decided to live together.
Meeting at a company called Confortex, Nihoul met another interesting individual in 1974, Achille Haemers. Achille has been described as a wealthy Flemish textile merchant. Achille had two sons with his wife, Liliane, named Eric and Patrick. In the 1970s, Patrick was becoming familiar with the Brussels nightlife. His brother Eric owned a pub called “The Gypsies”, which was known to have suspicious regular customers, including Patrick. In 1972, Achille founded a nightclub, “The First”, which Patrick took over in 1973.
After having moved in together with Bouty in 1975, Nihoul set up an interior design firm, in 1976, with Claude Michel, who was a former fiancée of Bouty. Unsurprisingly, it went bankrupt at some point in the late 1970s. But, Nihoul still had business opportunities. He would convince Bouty to leave her mentor Jacques Marres and set up her own attorney’s office specializing in seeking asylum for refugees in Africa. Nihoul would take care of public relations and subsequently, he brought in a lot of clients.
In 1978, Nihoul spent sometime in jail for the fraudulent bankruptcy of United Corporation. So he contacted a man named Joseph Michel, who was involved in the PSC and was a founding member of the CEPIC, which was founded by Paul Vanden Boeynants and Baron Benoît de Bonvoisin. At the time of being contacted by Nihoul, Michel was the minister of national education, from 1977 to 1979. Michel would become responsible for the early release of Nihoul.
With the revelations of the X-witnesses, it was claimed in 1996 by X1 (Regina Louf), that she first met Jean-Michel Nihoul in the late 1970s, when her mother, Christiane Louf, brought her to the apartment of Nihoul. Others she claimed could be found there included Annie Bouty, Antoine “Tony” Van Den Bogaert, Michel Vander Elst and Marc Dutroux. X1 claimed that since she was 8 or 9 years old (between 1977-1979) Nihoul would often take her with him and give her the assignment to hang around a certain customer. Nihoul, known as “Mich”, would ask X1 to stand next to a customer in order to make a photograph. The whole purpose was to remind the subjects, child abusers, that they were blackmailed and trapped. Tony V. was also involved in blackmail. X1 explained very well what the blackmail was all about:
“When I was eight, nine years old, Mich [Nihoul] took me with him already and instructed me to hang around a specific person… Mich asked me to go stand next to a customer to make a photo… The customer knew he was trapped… At night they had been in control, now they were being controlled… once they realized they were trapped in the network, [they] started to experiment even more… it seemed [like] a stepping-stone towards even more cruelty… [X1 explains an example of how there was a room in a mansion in Brussels on Avenue Louise where a camera was set up for the purpose of secretly capturing, not only child sex, but abuse, which X1 was supposed to get the customer to do to her, because “normal” sex was often not enough] I started to understand the real meaning of the word ‘blackmail’, a word never pronounced in the network, when I was about fourteen years old.” (Regina Louf, ‘Belgium’s X-Files: Regina’s Story’, page 53)
X1 continued to explain the whole purpose of the blackmail operations:
“From the moment one has had sex with a child, one is chained, unless all parties involved keep their mouth shut… Contracts between the business and the political world, contracts among business people, cheating with subsidies or permits, the establishing of fake companies, criminal contracts, and illegal arms trade, nothing was impossible. And it always ended with sex and children. When the deal was good, the other party got the services for free. They then were allowed to do all kind of immoral things with one or more children, for free. Pictures were taken, jokingly, to keep both parties to their contracts… [The pictures were used for blackmail] These “parties” were a nightmare for the kids… [X1 goes on to explain that if the customers decided, they could pay for torture or murder]. (Regina Louf, ‘Belgium’s X-Files: Regina’s Story’, page 54)
When X1 was ten, she gave birth to her first daughter, Cheyenne, who was born in February 1979, but disappeared about six weeks later. After the disappearance, X1 became increasingly rebellious, and wanted to leave Knokke, where she had been living with her grandmother. Apparently, after the disappearance, Nihoul and “Pepere” would hit her in order to get her to carry out their orders, which she did with aversion. About four months later, in June, 1979, X1 was allowed to go back to Ghent with her parents. Two years later, she would meet Tony V. again, to whom her mother essentially sold her. Tony groomed her, knew how to utilize her MPD, became her pimp and began taking her to many places where she and other children were abused and tortured.
1980s: A Turbulent Decade
Having been in Brussels for over ten years, Nihoul had built up a number of interesting connections and apparently became involved in pedophile blackmail operations, according to X1, at the latest, by 1979. Brussels was experiencing a faltering economy, but was undergoing an increasing process of federalization, eventually becoming federal state and capital of Belgium by the end of the decade. Nihoul’s connections increased in the early 1980s, meeting even more influential people. In 1980, after an introduction by Andre Damseaux, Nihoul first met Jean Gol, both of whom were leaders in the Parti Reformateur Liberal (PRL). Damseaux had already been an associate of Nihoul and as a liberal went on to become the second Minister-President of Wallonia during 1982. Gol was a politician who had been a co-founder of the PRL in 1976 and went on to become vice-premier, minister of justice and institutional reform between 1981-1988. Additionally, Gol was Jewish and a Freemason, as a member of the Grand Orient of France.
In 1980, Nihoul set up Bio Plantal en Bio Clinic, which went bankrupt about two years later. However, at some point in 1980, Philippe Deleuze, who had been a college friend of Bouty, became a partner in the law firm, which Bouty and Nihoul set up. Deleuze resigned after 10 months, in 1980, after stating that Nihoul gave too much work to Bouty and too little to him. Deleuze’s wife was Francoise Van Espen, who stated that the company received too many complaints from clients who didn’t receive answers to their letters. That was something Nihoul was responsible for. Both Philippe and Francoise have interesting connections. Francoise was the sister Jean-Claude Van Espen, who acted as a partner to the firm occasionally. Philippe had multiple connections to VdB and BdB, an example being that he was a member of the PSC and the CEPIC.
From 1971 to 1981, Annie Bouty owned an apartment on Rue Dupre 51, in Jette, where X1 says she was raped by Nihoul in the presence of Bouty in the early 1980s. Also around the time Bouty and Nihoul had been together, they were involved in a scam, the Centre Medical d l’Est affair. In November, 1981, Nihoul first met Paul Vanden Boeynants at the PSC headquarters, where they discussed an aspect of the CME affair. Nihoul and VdB would later meet again.
During the latter years of Bouty and Nihoul living together, since before June 29, 1981, Nihoul had been a member of a sex club in Etterbeek, Brussels, called Les Atrebates, which had been managed by Dolores Bara and Michel Forgeot since 1975. However, all was not well between Bouty and Nihoul in the early 1980s and they separated in 1982, which was around the time Nihoul’s Bio Plantal en Clinic went bankrupt. However, Bouty and Nihoul would remain close over the years. Nihoul became close to the co-owners of the club, Bara and Forgeot, and knew some of the other customers, such as Jean Gol, Serge Kubla, Robert Darville, Edouard “Doudou” Vanhuynegem, Jean-Louis Delamotte and apparently, Michel Vander Elst. Other customers included Georges Marnette, Frans Reyniers, Guy Jadot, Guy Collignon, Claude Leroy, Leon Defosset and people from NATO. Victim-witness Nathalie Waeterschoot stated that she was raped by Nihoul in the early 1980s and also by Serge Kubla. Before then she claimed to have been raped by Forgeot and Marnette.
Not only had Nihoul apparently been involved in pedophile blackmail operations, but he was also a regular organizer of child abuse parties since the early 1980s. Again according to X1:
“One of the regular organisers of these parties, she said, was the man she knew as ‘Mich’, Jean Michel Nihoul. The sessions not only involved sex, they included sadism, torture and murder; and again, she described in detail, the place, the victims and how they were killed. She also claimed the young Marc Dutroux was there. “At these parties Nihoul was a sort of party beast while Dutroux was more on the side.” Regina Louf’s testimony was vitally important.” (May 2, 2002, BBC, ‘Regina Louf’s testimony’)
Around the time between late 1981 and early 1982, X1 testified that she had undergone an extremely horrific event, which happened at the ASCO factory of Roger Boas. She testified that a child pornography and snuff studio had been located there, referring to it as the “factory of the films” and that she had been taken there many times. X1 testified that she witnessed the murder of her daughter, which happened nearly three years after her birth, right before her eyes, inside the factory. After having been abused, tortured and tormented by several abusers for two days and having been forced to kill a young child, a little girl of about the age of 2 was shown to her. Someone, apparently “Rick”, said, “Don’t you recognize her, pussycat? They say that a mother always recognizes her daughter! Look at her! This is your daughter Sweetie Pie, and you can save her life. Do what we ask you to do and we kill you. If you don’t we kill her.” X1 begged Rick to not do this, but Rick proceeded to put a knife in X1’s hand and forced her to put it inside her vagina. Rick squeezed her fingers around the handle, after which she bent down to her knees, begging, crying and asking for mercy, but all in vain. After he pulled the knife out, X1 lost consciousness for just a few brief moments and as a result, they slaughtered the little girl, whom they said was X1’s daughter, Cheyenne. According to X1, Nihoul, Bouty, Tony V. and two gendarme officers were present at this horrific event.
Around the time Nihoul’s Bio Plantal en Bio Clinic went bankrupt in 1982, Nihoul and Bouty separated, but would remain close over the years with a business relationship at Bouty’s law firm. However, Nihoul also became a real estate expert at Offices des Proprietaires, which was headed by the sister of the head of Refugee Service. In September 1982, Nihoul met Marleen De Cockere, who was 25-years-old, at one of the orgies at Les Atrebates and De Cockere went to live with Nihoul within the month.
X1 recognized Les Atrebates and testified how she was taken there with Nihoul at the ages of 12 to 14, about 1981-1983. She even recognized the photo of another victim-witness, Nathalie Waeterschoot and placed her at the club in the early 1980s. Nathalie W. indeed claimed that she had been taken to this club between the ages of 15-16 and that she had been raped by Nihoul, Kubla and others in the early 1980s. Nathalie W. didn’t recognize X1, but did recognized Tony V. and identified him as a friend of Nihoul, whom she also called “Mich”. Two others testified about Nihoul being inside the club in the presence of minors, cab driver Francoise Fontelle and later a certain Lambermont. In 1983, the police closed Les Atrebates after an investigation into the orgies that went on there, for the official reason of encouraging debauchery. According to at least one former member, orgies continued to be organized in Les Atrebates after it had been officially closed. Many of the former customers would become members of Les Atrebates’ successor, The Dolo.
Continuing to create businesses, Nihoul set up something called Inter Restho in February 1983, which went bankrupt the next year, in 1984. But, Nihoul had other projects he had been working on. In 1983, Nihoul and De Cockere, with funds from the Centre Medical de l’Est affair, took over a bar in Brussels called Le Clin d’Oeil. The bar counted among its regular customers Patrick Haemers and Brussels police commissioner Albert Toch. According to a former employee of the bar, Agnes Dumont, Nihoul was always buying drinks for different police officers from Brussels.
Back in 1981, when X1 was 12, her mother sold her to Tony, who became her pimp and made her, again, into a prostitute. She had customers almost every evening, Tony picked her up during her lunch hour at school for his own needs and during the weekends, Tony often took her to parties. Around October or November of 1981, Tony introduced X1 to “Clo”, who was about three years older and became her best friend and like a “big sister”, which was a great thing for X1 because she had become very lonely and isolated from the world outside the network. Tony took X1 and Clo to not only sex parties, but to sadomasochistic evenings, in which X1 tried to take on most of the torture, because Clo hated pain. During the X witnesses investigation, X1 identified Clo from two picture of Carine Dellaert, who had two completely different looks. On August 3, 1982, Carine “Clo” disappeared, but X1 occasionally still saw her at abuse parties with the same wealthy old man. X1 was not allowed to go near her and Tony told her that she had become an “angel”, which meant she had ended up in the end circuit, meaning that she would die. Clo was kept alive for several months because she was pregnant, something Tony had a great deal of demand for. At some point, apparently mid 1983, X1 was picked up by Tony from school and taken to a house in Gent, where Clo was there lying on a bed in a room, trying to deliver a baby. However, Clo had been raped in the process, she had been tortured with knives, scissors, fragments from a broken bottle and as a result she had lost a lot of blood. At some point, the abusers left X1 with Clo and Tony demanded that she deliver the baby for her. X1 had to push the baby out, but after that, Clo did not wake up, she had died and this devastated X1. Those identified as having been present in the house were Michel Nihoul, Annie Bouty, Tony V., Leopold Lippens, Michel Vander Elst and a businessman from Flanders and his son. Apparently, VDB and Maurice Lippens were claimed to have been present. Hours later, this group took X1 to a Chinese restaurant, where the deputy police commissioner of Knokke joined them. From there they went to the hotel villa of X1’s grandmother, “Madame Cecile” Beernaert, where X1 was gang raped. On a later note, Carine’s father, Emile Dellaert, was accused of being present at the murder of Veronique Dubrulle, whom was murdered either before or after Clo. There is much more to Clo’s murder story, but for space, that will be saved for a later section and the rest for another article.
On September 4, 1983, a 16 or 17 year old girl, Veronique Dubrulle, died officially of cancer. Her death certificate was written and signed by neuropathist Dr. Luc De Schrijver and Dr. Luc De Waele, an internationally esteemed neurosurgeon. In late 1996, X1 picked a photo of Veronique and said she was murdered when she [X1] was “not yet 14, I think.” X1 stated that Veronique was regularly taken to child abuse parties in 1983, when X1 was 13 or 14. X1 stated that Nihoul, Bouty, Tony V., Vander Elst, a member of the Bert family and Emile Dellaert were present at the murder of Veronique, whom was tortured by a knife for a while before ultimately being killed. Additionally, X1 stated that Dr. Schrijver was one of her customers and that Dr. Waele was more interested in 7-8 year old girls. The X-dossiers were closed before all of this could be further investigated. It was also discovered that Tony V. had a close relationship with Veroninque’s father, Jacques Dubrulle.
In the month September, 1983, Tony V. took X1 to a flat on Theo Van Pe Street, Brussels, a place where Tony often met Nihoul and brought X1. At the flat, X1 first met Chrissy. There, Nihoul talked Chrissy into having sex with X1, who noticed that she was clearly “in love” with Nihoul. After this event, Tony, Nihoul and X1 went to a resreraunt where it was decided that Chrissy needed to undergo an “initiation”. Pior to this, in the early 1980s, it is known that Marc Dutroux and Bernard Weinstein visited the Poseidon, an ice rink in Brussels, which was also visited by a girl named Christine Van Hees, later identified as Chrissy by X1. It appears that Chrissy was initiated the next month, in October, when friends of Christine Van Hees claimed she began to act different for the first time. Chrissy was initiated into the Network through a traumatic ritual abuse ceremony, which resembled a “macabre satanic mass” held in a garage of a house in Sint-Pieters-Woluwe, a Brussels suburb. X1 said that the abusers were not Satanists, but rather that the ritual was skillfully used to scare the children present so they wither would not talk and to gain control over Chrissy. The abusers X1 named as having been present included Nihoul, Tony V., Baron Benoit de Bonvoisin and Annie Bouty. The whole initiation has been described in the previous article about Christine. From October to November of 1983, Christine regularly saw the people from the network. X1 told how she saw Christine at the “villa of the boats”, which was owned by Herve d’Ursel, the spouse of Marie-Cecile Bonvoisin, a sister of BdB. Additionally, X1 spoke about how at one evening, Annie Bouty was looking for a snake, which was brought by Bernard Weinstein, who occasionally walked around with snakes at abuse parties. The snake brought by Weinstein was used by Bouty on Chrissy.
At some point in 1984, apparently January or February, Nihoul was brought into Radio Activite, as a DJ, by Didier Genart, who was the son-in-law of Leon Defosset, who had been a visitor of Les Atrebates. Radio Activite was headquartered in Etterbeek, Brussels and Nihoul surrounded himself with teenagers and artists, for whom her organized parties in a local town hall and at Chateau Faulx-les-Tombes. Soon Nihoul and his entourage came to consider these events as sex parties, where underaged teenagers went. It doesn’t seem to be known whether Nihoul and his group had sex with any underaged children, but it is known that a lot of recruiting was done with alcohol.
Christine was afraid to tell her parents about the mess she had gotten herself into and was afraid of what Nihoul would do if she spoke. Apparently, around February, 1984, X1, who was supposed to train Christine, advised her to tell her parents what she had become involved in, to break the protocol of the Network and talk. X1 did this because Christine was unable to handle the pain from the more sadomasochistic evenings and as a result, the other girls would receive additional abuse sessions. X1 told Mieke, another girl in the Network, what she had advised Chrissy to do, but Mieke became afraid of what the reprisals would be if Chrissy suddenly left the Network. As a result, Mieke told Nihoul and Tony what X1 did. In the following days, a plan was made to murder Chrissy, but for some reason, not X1. On February 13, X1 told how Christine and her were taken to an abandon champinonniere, where Chrissy was severely tortured and subsequently tied up and burned alive. Those identified as having been present include Nihoul, Tony, Bouty, Vander Elst, the parents of a girl in the network named Anne, Weinstein and Dutroux, who only watched the murder in the basement where the mushroom farm used to be.
The coverup of the murder of Christine began immediately, with a group of punks surrounding Serge Clooth becoming the primary suspects. After Michel Elroy quit as examining magistrate, Jean-Claude Van Espen took over. Van Espen is closely connected to Nihoul as has already been discussed. One of the two lead investigators was Guy Collignon, who had been a customer of Les Atrebates, a nightclub attended by Nihoul. Collignon would also acknowledge that the investigation was leading toward “high level” people and that there was an apparent ongoing coverup. This has all been outlined in the previous article about the murder of Christine.
At some point, Nihoul became a regular visitor of Le Mirano, another notorious nightclub in Brussels. A man named Juan Mendez claimed that Le Mirano was the key to solving the Bende van Nijvel (Gang of Nijvel) case. Other frequent visitors included Madani Bouhouche, Robert Beyer, Patrick Haemers, whose father Achille also visited, Charly De Pauw and Jean Bultot. According to X2, Baron Benoit de Bonvoisin, Paul Bourlee and her pimp Oliver Castiaux visited. Also, apparently Prince Laurent and then Prince Albert II visited. A major scandal broke out when in April 1984, a close relative of a prominent judge died from overdosing on drugs in Le Mirano, resulting in a police investigation. The investigation not only uncovered evidence of drug dealing, but also of a clandestine pedophile ring headed by Philippe Cryns and his partner Alexis Alewaeters. However, the prosecution and the judge decided to only focus on evidence dealing with drug dealing, for which Cryns was sentenced to 3 years and Alewaeters to 5 years. Both Cryns and Alewaeters, who was a close associate of both Nihoul and Bouty, were named as the main organizers of pedophile parties at Le Mirano and personal villas. Witness VM1, who had been a child prostitute employed by Cryns, testified in 1997 about his experience in the ring.
“I had to pick up children and get them drunk or give them drugs, then take ’em to the private area [of Le Mirano], where they were abused.” (VM1, testifying on February 16-17, 1997, as translated by ISGP)
Tapes had been confiscated, which allegedly showed Cryns’ clients having sex with children. However, judge Claire De Gryse said she didn’t watch them because “everyone assured me that nothing was on there that would even shock a capuchin.” VM1 also testified that he witnessed children being murdered and how newly-initiated who worked against the program ended up in car accidents. This would not be investigated further, along with the claims of every other victim-witness, who came forward in the aftermath of the Dutroux affair breakout, as the inquiry was manipulated, obstructed and dismantled, which was done as part of a massive coverup, which will be briefly explained later. Another interesting detail is that Alewaeters’ lawyers were Philippe Deleuze and Didier de Quevy, who became the lawyer of Marc Dutroux in the late ’80s and together with Jean-Paul Dumont had represented Serge Clooth at the European Court of Human Rights in defense of Clooth’s innocence.
At some point, in 1984, the mayor of Etterbeek, Leon Defosset, invited Nihoul and De Cockere to stay for a month at Chateau Faulx-les-Tombes. Over the course of a year, seemingly 1985, Nihoul got to know a lot of people, including local politicians and prostitutes he interviewed on his radio show. In September 1985, Nihoul set up his own Radio JMB, of which he became chairman. Marie-Bernard Gilds and Jean-Louis Bogaert were apparently involved with radio-libre JMB. Bogaert was press attache of the defense secretary at the time, Jose Demaret. Also, Bogaert was press attache for Jean-Pierre Grafe and Bogaert told Nihoul that Grafe was a child molester, who liked to whip his boys. Located just one floor below Radio JMB, were the headquarters of the Parti Reformateaur Liberal (PRL). Nihoul got to know a number of PRL politicians and had already known a number of them, such as, Andre Damseaux, Jean Gol and Henri Tombeur, who ended up being convicted for pedophilia.
Also, in 1985, Nihoul got to know Emile Robijn, the chairman of SOS Sahel, which was founded in 1974 and was supposed to be a foundation to support people living in Sahel, a boundary zone between the Saharan desert and Sub-Saharan in Africa. Robijn was a swindler who would later be convicted in 1996 for having embezzled more than one million euros since 1980. Nihoul even defrauded Robijn and was also would be convicted for having embezzled about 125,000 euros of SOS Sahel.
From the mid to late 1980s, Nihoul worked with Bouty and her law firm Cadreco, which was specialized in representation of refugees from Africa (especially Nigeria, where Bouty had governmental relations) in Belgium. Bouty and Cadreco even represented Alexis Alewaeters, the woman involved in the drug and child prostitution scandal of Le Mirano with Philippe Cryns.
On October 6, 1986, Lt.-Col. Guido Torrez, head of the Neufchateau district of the gendarmerie, personally contacted the gendarmerie in Schaarbeek in order to tell a gendarme officer to leave his suspect, a Portuguese man named Juan Borges, alone. The reason for this highly unusual move was discovered three years later in 1989, when Cadreco went bankrupt and all its financial records were seized. It turned out Nihoul was told by Bouty (admitted to this in 1989) to personally contact and convince Torrez to leave Borges alone. Borges was involved in the underworld, was a business partner of Nihoul and involved in the illegal trade of gold, drugs, counterfeit money, art and apparently humans. Borges had high level connections to the Italian mafia and fascist members of the Jonathan Club, such as Frederic Godfroi. From 1985-1986, Borges owned a firm called Candy Medical, which was a front for illegal arms trafficking. The firm was located in a building owned by the Security Bureau of the European Union/Commission, which was headed by the fascist Pierre Eveillard. Brigitte Jenart, the girlfriend of Borges since 1983, only found out about the criminal circuit he had been involved in after a while and in 1996, she claimed it took one phone call from Bouty at the time for the gendarmerie to leave Borges alone. Jenart also claimed that Bouty would have it checked every once in a while if Borges had not appeared on an internal watchlist of the gendarmerie. Jenart committed suicide in April 1998, but it is suspected that she may have been assassinated.
Sometime in 1987, Dolores Bara and Michel Forgeot founded The Dolo, the successor of Les Atrebates. The new nightclub took many of the former clientele of Les Atrebates and one of them was Nihoul, who was to be notified if any problems arose from local authorities. The story about the Dolo has been outlined in the previous article and suffice to say, Nihoul was implicated in a child abuse and kidnapping ring with other members.
Together with his son, Nihoul founded J.M. Nihoul et Associes, in 1987. Bouty had an advisory role during the founding of the partnership. The company went bankrupt in 1989, largely do to his son, not wanting to become Nihoul’s next fraudulent bankruptcy victim, provided evidence to the police of his father’s swindles and had the company declared prematurely bankrupt. During the investigation into the bankruptcy, the justice department found videotapes and invitations of sex orgies at Nihoul’s home. After Nihoul was released in 1989, his daughter had to convince him not to have his own son murdered. Then, in 1989, Nihoul started a “wholesale” company in fish and shellfish, called De Cokere-Nihoul, although Marleen claimed to have nothing to do with the enterprise.
The same year J.M. Nihoul et Associes went prematurely bankrupt, Nihoul and De Cockere were invited, in 1988 to become members of Confrerie des Maitres Brasseurs et Distillateurs de Wallonie, which was a group that promoted locally produced alcoholic beverages, through Marcel Henrottay, who was a customer of The Dolo. Michel Forgeot, who was the co-owner of The Dolo, was also invited to CMBDW. Two years later, in 1990, Nihoul was asked to become the chairman of the group.
1990-1996: Latter Years
Nathalie Perignon, who began confirming parts of the Van Hees murder and work at the Euro 92 bar in Tervuren, a bar for wealthy Eurocrats and NATO officers, where there were lots about under aged prostitution, orgies and bungled police investigations. Perignon told how, apparently, her husband had been introduced to Graindorge and Vander Elst by Nihoul around 1990-1991. Nihoul bragged that he was protected by the judicial system, magistrates and politics (VdB). Perignon,’s husband saw Nihoul together with VdB at The Dolo, that notorious nightclub.
In the early 1990s, Guy Einsweiller/Eschweiler testified in 1996, that he remembered Nihoul’s fish trade and during a deal he saw Jean-Paul Dumont drinking a glass with Nihoul. Sometimes he saw Nihoul at the restaurant Mayflower in Koekelberg. He also testified that he regularly saw Dumont and Paul Vanden Boeynants in the private area of the fish and crustacean enterprise that he exploited. Additionally, Nihoul is said to have helped arrange political campaigns for Dumont and Philippe Deleuze, who had been involved in Nihoul and Bouty’s law firm in the late 1970s to early 1980s. Michel Nihoul is also known to have helped with election campaigns and at some point VdB reportedly couldn’t stand him.
Some time around the early 1990s, Nihoul was a prominent visitor of Coco Beach, which was a club owned by “M.C.D.”, a former girlfriend of Patrick Haemers, with whom she had a son. The club was frequently visited by members of the Haemers gang and was also visited by Jean Bultot, who had visited the Jonathan. At the time, M.C.D. lived with Jean-Paul “Pepe” Derijcke, the former owner of The Jonathan club in the 1980s, where blackmail of customers, such as NATO and CIA-sponsored Nazi militants, took place. Pepe Derijcke and Nihoul were friends and both were doing blackmail. At some point, they went to see a castle in Hoei, which Pepe was interested in buying to turn it into a hotel for wealthy people. A couple went a long with them who had the odd idea of turning it into an SM castle.
In the evening of December 17, 1991, a 15 year old girl disappeared from Antwerp, after have last been seen making a phone call of the cafe Les Routiers (the Truck Drivers). She was found dead on June 22, 1992 and the autopsy showed that she had been murdered soon after the kidnapping. Five years later, X1 recognized Katrien from a series of pictures, and without being for sure, she suspected this girl had been recruited by Tony. As the X1 investigation unfolded, Katrien was taken to Castle Kattenhof where, she was murdered by a group of people including Nihoul, Bouty, Tony V., Vander Elst, Joost Bert, Leopold Lippens, the assumed owner of the castle and several others. X1 was forced to kill Katrien, because if she didn’t, her own children would be killed instead. The purpose was to make X1 feel like one of them, so that she would never speak. X1 also testified that she was taken to the castle at least a dozen times, where several girls were abused and killed. Because of discrepancies between X1’s Katrien and the real facts of Katrien De Cuyper, the investigation was closed. However, these were high specific details and X1 sketch of Katrien was similar, plus the timeframe fit. It would also be discovered that Tony, who lived in Antwerp, was in contact with a gendarme officer from there, who was placed as a lead investigator into Tony. One bizarre fact is that when the Zandvoort stash in the Netherlands was discovered in Gerrie Ulrich’s flat by Marcel Vervloesem, it was found that Ulrich regularly made large deposits of money to a post office box located just above Cafe Routiers, where two Dutch porn firms were located, Studio De Pauw and X-Kiss. Among that photos found in the stash, was a picture of a girl, who strongly resembled Katrien de Cuyper.
In 1992, Nihoul’s fish/shellfish business, De Cokere-Nihoul, which was largely a front for criminal activity, went bankrupt. A French investor, Michel Briat, was willing to pay the debts of the company. Briat happened to be a murderer and member of a French gang involved in trade of stolen cars. At some point in 1993 or 1994, Nihoul had a falling out with these men, and fearing for his own life, distanced himself from them.
In late 1992 or early 1993, Nihoul became a member of Comiqu’art, a club for actors in theatre and singers. According to the owner, Nihoul was not involved in organizing any of the club’s events, but at least one witness got the impression that Nihoul was coordinating the club’s Monday evening singing competition for girls from the ages 8 to 15 years old. This witness also noticed how Nihoul could often be found in the dressing room of the young artists. After his release, Dutroux is known to have visited the club at least once in 1995, but his membership and how much he went has not been investigated.
One of the more bizarre witnesses, that came forward in the ’90s, was X69, a transvestite specialized in sadomasochism and scatology. X69 testified that in 1993 or 1994, he was asked by a pimp, Micha, if he wanted to make 50,000 franks in a single night. X69 was interested and was to an old house in Berendrecht. While walking toward the house he noticed a large American car and a gray Mercedes with a license plate of the Consular Corps. Inside, X69 found four men and three women, including Nihoul and Bouty. Three girls and one boy were present, whom X69 estimated were between 8 and 13 years old and probably from the Netherlands or Germany. Nihoul had sex with several children while Bouty made them watch her as she had sex with a guy of about the 30 years old. X69 was very uncomfortable that night and did not touch the children. However, he did have pee sex with a guy in his fifties. Investigators were eventually able to locate the house, although it had been demolished.
It is certain that Nihoul knew Michel Lelievre since September 1994. Lelievre had had met Casper Flier, a former business partner of Bouty, while they were both in jail in late 1993. Flier had been convicted for international cocaine trafficking while Lelievre had been jailed for trafficking in XTC pills. After his release, Lelievre went to work for a gas station owned by Flier. In March 1995, Lelievre stated a couple days at the place of Bouty and it is here that Lelievre allegedly first met Nihoul. Soon, Lelievre and Nihoul became partners in crime, trafficking stolen cars and drugs, with Nihoul telling Lelievre what to do. At some point, Lelievre introduced, or reintroduced, Dutroux to Nihoul. Whatever the case, Dutroux and Nihoul certainly knew each other since August to September, 1995. There was continues phone contact between Nihoul, Lelievre and Dutroux in 1995 and 1996. At some point, Dutroux, Lelievre and Mikhael Diakastavrianos traveled to Yugoslavia, Slovakia and the Czech Republic in order to get young girls, either for their own personal use or to be placed into Belgian prostitution through the connections of Nihoul.
On September 15, 1995, Nihoul went to gendarme officer Gerard Vanesse, for whom he was an informant, and managed to convince Vanesse to not arrest Lelievre, who was wanted at the time. At the same time, Nihoul was an informant of Brussels police commissioner Albert Toch, whom he knew from The Dolo and Le Clin d’Oeil. Additionally, Nihoul was in contact with two BOB officers of the financial section, Eddy Verhaegen and Bernard Meurant, who were using him as a potential informant on investigations into fraud with telephone cards and mobile phones. Also, Nihoul had been an informant in the Walsh affair, which was solved in the drug section of the BOB. A certain man named Walsh, a Briton, had been involved in trafficking of 10 kilograms of amphetamines and was on a stopover in Brussels. It turned out that Walsh had been in the possession 5,000 XTC pills and stashed them away in a tire somewhere in a place of Bouty. The pills were never officially found, but later turned up in the possession of Lelievre.
Anyway, in the month of September, 1995, a new phenomenon occurred in Belgium, when a wave of reports came in about occupants of white Mercedesses were following and photographing schoolgirls. Initial reports came from Bergen, La Louviere and Charleroi, and soon another 15 reports from Couvin, Thuin, Chimay and Beaumont. Then, in the following month, on the day of the disastrous search in Dutroux’s basement in Marcinelle, on December 13, 1995, Rene Michaux (head gendarme of Operation Othello) met with police officer Christian Dubois in La Louviere. Dubois informed Michaux about even more reports about these white Mercedesses. Besides Claude Thirault and gendarme Christophe Pettens, Dubois had been told by an informant that the white Mercedesses belonged to a pedophile centered around the company Achats Services Commerces (ASCo, not to be confused with the ASCO factory), in Shaarbeek or Sint-Gilles. According to the informant, the occupants were putting together catalogs of children. Their clients, whoever they may have been, could pick one of the children, whom would then be kidnapped, locked up in Belgium for a while, and the. exported to eastern Europe of Thailand. The price per children would have been 300,000 franks or 7,500 euros. Michaux told Dubois that Dutroux went to countries in eastern Europe and that the sums mentioned by Dubois’ informant matched what Michaux knew about Dutroux. For some reason, Michaux took no further action in regard to these matters. Meanwhile, Dubois was being ridiculed by his boss, police commissioner Monique Devodder, who went on Au Nom de la Loi in January to denounce the reports about the white Mercedesses as nothing more than unsubstantiated rumors. Take note that this would be the same news source that went on a campaign to denounce the X witnesses. Dubois taken off field investigative work to a support division, but this didn’t stop him from investigating Dutroux and ASCo. On June 18, 1996, Dubois sent a fax to police commissioner Daniel Lamoque informing him about connections between ASCo, Dutroux and the disappearance of Julie and Melissa. Lamoque gave no response, later claiming to have read “mineurs” as meaning only boys and thus there could be no connection to Julie and Melissa.
Despite all the down play of the reports about white Mercedesses from Dubois’ superiors, the ASCo company, which the informant pointed out, apparently should have been investigated. Achats Services Commerces (ASCo) was primarily incorporated on July 2, 1991, by Jean-Louis Delamotte, who was a client of Les Atrebates and The Dolo, and was a friend of regular business partner of Nihoul. The company was secondarily incorporated by Michel Forgeot, the co-owner of Les Atrebates and The Dolo, and Marleen De Cokere, who met Nihoul at Les Atrebates. Nihoul, Weinstein, Lelievre and Martin had all been regularly spotted around the area of the company. Locals in the neighborhood noted that Nihoul was often surrounded by young negro girls and got the impression that they were on transit. At some point after the company went bankrupt in 1994, the company’s headquarters were searched, during which five mattresses and some baby milk were found. Located at the same address as ASCo was another company of Delamotte, Soparauto, which owned five white Mercedesses, all with French license plates, a direct match to what had been reported.
On November 5, 1995, an owner of a junk yard named Bruno Tagliaferro died from poisoning. Tagliaferro knew Mikhael Diakastavrianos and had allegedly took apart the vehicle in which Dutroux and Lelievre kidnapped Julie and Melissa. Apparently he knew too much and knew that he would be killed, as his wife, who later died in mysterious circumstances, would testify. A certain man named Theirry, an accomplice of Dutroux and Nihoul, would tell investigators that Dutroux was looking for a hitman to kill Tagliaferro and had been offered the job, but declined.
In early 1996, Nihoul was interested in buying two bars in the western side of Belgium, toward France. He had a special interest in the number of rooms and as a result it is thought that he was planning to turn these bars into brothels.
On February 21, 1996, policeman Simon Poncelet was apparently murdered when he was alone working after hours at the police station, he had been shot. Poncelet had been working extensively on cases dealing with international trade in stolen cars, which is something closely related to Dutroux and Nihoul. Poncelet’s father suspected that he had been murdered for stumbling upon a child kidnapping and abuse network. But, the Justice Department didn’t want to hear about that and the cameras weren’t working so it will never be known exactly what happened.
In May 1996, Lelievre and Dutroux went to Nihoul to buy XTC, which Nihoul, who as an unregistered informant with permission from gendarme Vanesse, had stashed away after ratting out one of his partners in crime, a certain Walsh. On August 8, 1996, Nihoul was spotted with Dutroux by 8 or 9 witnesses at the place where Dutroux and Lelievre would kidnap Laetitia Delhez on August 9th. The next day, on August 10th, Lelievre met Nihoul, who gave him 1,000 pills of XTC, which Lelievre expected to sell for 4 euros a pop, which is an apparent lie because the street value of XTC was 10 euros per pill. This XTC pill exchange would never be adequately explained when it became the focus of the coming trial, leaving Michel Bourlet and others with the impression that this was payment for the kidnapping of Laetitia.
After a witness had noticed a suspicious van and part of its license plate, the Neaufchateau authorities were informed about this and soon enough, Dutroux was found. On August 13, 1996, Dutroux, Lelievre and Martin were arrested. After the close connection between Dutroux, Lelievre and Nihoul was discovered, Nihoul was arrested on August 16, 1996. When Regina Louf, soon to be X1, saw him coming down the stairs on television, she had been totally shocked and thought the police knew everything and finally stopped him. A friend of her would later convince her to testify and got her in contact with Patrick De Baets, the lead investigator for Jean-Marc Connerrotte and Michel Bourlet. From the beginning, Regina felt that this would be a battle in vain against her abusers, who were too powerful to be taken down and held accountable. But, her friend and the way De Baets and his team treated her, gave her some hope. She wanted to believe that something would really be done, but she would soon find out that her initial feeling was true.
1996-2006: The Coverup
Finally, Nihoul, the apparent connection of Dutroux and gang to the Network, was arrested. Surely, Jean-Marc Connerotte and Michel Bourlet would see to it that stopping Nihoul would lead to the exposure and the dismantling of the Network, which has only been briefly explained in previous articles? Obviously, the title of the section gives away the answer to that question.
The next month after the wave of arrests on known/suspected pedophiles, child kidnappers, Annie Bouty was arrested, on September 5, after her connection to Nihoul and Lelievre was discovered. In the following days, Connerotte asked the gendarmerie if they had any dossiers on Nihoul and Bouty. The gendarmerie lied to the examining magistrate, claiming they had not a single file on these two persons. After a search of Nihoul’s apartment, not a single fingerprint of Nihoul was found. It also turned out that someone had been deleting files on Nihoul’s computer after his arrest. However, through remaining files, it was discovered that Nihoul was in contact with Thierry de Haan, a director of Royale Belge, which connected to the car theft case that sent Dutroux to jail in 1995. Despite any luck of the investigators, after a few interrogations, Bouty was released on October 20, 1996.
One of the 8 witnesses who saw Nihoul at the site of Laetitia’s kidnapping, with Dutroux, the day before it happened, was a family including a father, a mother and a son, who all recognized Nihoul and Dutroux as having been at the location. Early into 1997, in February the mother was almost struck by a car. Around the time this happened, the family was receiving numerous anonymous phone calls, was followed by a car and men attempted to break into their house. The righthand of police commissioner Georges Marnette was supposed to support the family, but miserably failed. With help of the gendarmerie, the family’s statements and actions were misrepresented by the media. Ultimately, the family had to backdown and remained anonymous to the public.
When Nihoul needed to provide an alibi for August 9, 1996, it took him eleven days to come up with it, which was provided by none other than Michel Vander Elst. This was the lawyer provided false alibis for the Haemers gang, who kidnapped Paul Vanden Boeynants. The lawyer who was a client of Les Atrebates and The Dolo; whom would be accused by X1 as having been among her sadistic abusers along side VdB and Nihoul. The alibi for August 9 was largely confirmed, but may have been totally false, because it claimed Nihoul was present at a barbecue that day and the participants could not get their story straight. Vander Elst claimed that Nihoul went with Bouty, while others claimed that Nihoul came with De Cokere. Philippe Cravatte, someone with interesting connections to say the least, was named by Vander Elst as having been present at the August 9 barbecue. However, Cravatte claimed Vander Elst had invited him to the barbecue early in August, while others claimed the idea had spontaneously arisen earlier that day. Despite all this, the family that saw Nihoul on August 9 at the place where Laetitia was kidnapped, contacted Michel Bourlet in mid-1997 to tell him that they would be withdrawing their testimonies as a result of the intimidation over a period of months. Although, the family mentioned again that they certain that they had seen Nihoul and then attended an evening market. Bourlet decided to launch an inquiry into this evening market, which the original organizers somehow did not think of doing and told the family it had been organized on August 9. But thank to Bourlet, it was confirmed that indeed the evening market had been organized on August 8, the date the family had seen Nihoul at the swimming pool in Bertrix where Laetitia was kidnapped the following day. The family had certainly been there, and when they were shown photos of car wrecks from Dutroux’s garden and picked out the correct Renault Trafic, which other witnesses saw in Bertrix on August 8 and 9 with Dutroux in or next to it. At least 8 witnesses were found who saw Nihoul in Bertrix on August 8, some of whom saw Nihoul in the company of Dutroux. In may 1999, Vander Elst was interviewed again about the alibis of August 7 and 8, which he provided for Nihoul. Now, all of a sudden, Vander Elst claimed that he had been mistaken. Vander Elst had been painting with Nihoul in an apartment in Shaarbeek on August 6 and 7, but was not in the company of Nihoul on August 8. One of the persons present at the alleged August 9 barbecue, Anne Noel, was reinterviewed and now, all of a sudden, was certain that Nihoul was unable to work at the apartment on August 8, telling her that he had to go somewhere. Both Vander Elst and Noel claimed they had simply made an honest mistake and blamed the investigators for not being thorough enough in confirming their testimonies. Although, at the time they first testified, they were all very certain about what they said and the investigators spent three full days trying to confirm their testimonies. What this all means is that does not have an alibi for August 8, 1996, the day he was seen all over Bertrix, at the swimming pool and in the presence of Dutroux, the day before Dutroux and Lelievre kidnapped Laetitia. Dutroux and Lelievre acknowledged that they had done some reconnaissance in Bertrix the day before the kidnapping, but apparently left out Nihoul. The day before the kidnapping, Dutroux was in continuous phone contact with Nihoul, including the day of the abduction and the following few days. If all this isn’t enough, after Dutroux, Lelievre and Martin were initially arrested, they all acknowledged that they constituted a gang, which included Nihoul.
On December 5, 1996, a man named Michel Piro was murdered. Piro visited clubs, where Nihoul also went. Piro had wanted to organize a dinner in remembrance of Julie and Melissa and inform the parents of some of the things he knew. Before he murder, Piro had talked about being threatened by a number of armed men. His wife, whom he allegedly regularly battered, is suspected of having ordered the murder, but the actually perpetrators have not never been found.
On December 30, 1996, Nihoul was sentenced to 3.5 years for his frauds in SOS Sahel and J.M. Nihoul et Associes. On January 22, 1997, Nihoul was acquitted from any accusations that he was involved in kidnapping girls with Dutroux. Nihoul was sentenced to an additional year in 1998 for another fraud he committed. Nihoul was first released on December 16, 1999. However, Nihoul was back in jail by December 24, as a result of efforts by Marc Verwilghen, head of the Dutroux Commission from 1996 to 1998, because Nihoul had not reporting to an officer who was supposed to guide and supervise him for a while. In January 2000, Nihoul was set free by the Justice Department, prompting him to file a complain against the government.
On November 16, 1997, gendarme officer Gèrard Vanesse died from a case of trombosis. Vanesse is the one Nihoul went to with Lelievre to get him to stay off Lelievre. Vanesse’s death has been viewed with suspicion that he may have been assassinated.
On April 5, 1998, Brigitte Jenart died, officially she committed suicide after locking herself in her house for a while. She had been the former girlfriend of Juan Borges and began testifying that Annie Bouty and Michel Nihoul were protecting him by working with certain individuals in the gendarmerie. The main individual was Lt.-Col. Guido Torrez, head of the Neufchâteau district of the gendarmerie, who would play a part in terminating the 1996 investigation into Nihoul. However, details about Juan Borges have already been discussed.
On November 15, 1998, a part-time investigator at Marcel Vervloesem’s Morkhoven Workgroup, Gina Pardaens-Bernaer, died in a traffic accident, driving into a pillar. Few close to Gina believed this had been an accident. Gina had spoken to a number of friends about a video of a sex party in which a little girl was abused and murdered. She thought to have recognized one of the participants as a close associate of Nihoul. It was also said that she had obtained evidence of a Belgian-French-Swiss child abuse network, and had given what she had to a very interested Swiss police. In the weeks and days before her death, Gina had been warned off her investigation on multiple occasions. She received numerous death threats. Her son had been run off his bike by a car. Emails and phone calls had apparently been intercepted. Strangers followed her on the streets and in cars. During a train ride, she was stopped by men who told her to cease her inquiries. At times, her phone calls, fax machine and internet were jammed. She had also been questioned and intimidated over one of the children she had been trying to locate.
On December 18, 1998, Fabienne Jaupart, the widow of Bruno Tagliaferro, died in a fire several days before she was to testify about the Dutroux gang. She was found dead, partially burned, by her 14 year old son. The death was labeled a suicide or accident, but evidence pointed to her having tried to make an escape while someone else broke into the house. Jaupart was certain that Tagliaferro had been poisoned, instead of by a heart attack, and was proven right after the body had been dug up.
On May 17, 2001, Pierre-Paul “Pepe” De Rycke died, the owner of the fascist Jonathan Club who was close to Nihoul, officially of suicide. Some suspect he may have been “suicided”, or assassinated. Several months later, Philippe Deleuze died from a disease on November 15, 2001. Deleuze was closely connected to VdB, was married to the sister of Jean-Claude Van Espen, and had been involved in Bouty and Nihoul’s law firm.
When the Dutroux process was about to start in 2004, Nihoul was again jailed. But, Nihoul was soon released do to heart problems. In June 2004, Nihoul was sentenced to 5 years in prison for having been part of a gang, which was involved in trading in stolen cars, trade in forged identities, trafficking in drugs, and trafficking in humans. Despite the latter charge, he was not sentenced for abduction of or trade in children.
2006-2019: Recovery and Death
In April 2006, Nihoul was released early, after having served a third of his sentence, something that is normal in Belgium. Soon after, Nihoul was contemplating to sue Marc Verwilghen, a number of journalists and anyone thinking of making “false testimonies”.
In 2007, Nihoul announced legal charges against Regina Louf and journalists who defended the thesis of the pedophile network behind the Dutroux affair.
The following year, Nihoul published an autobiography, on April 23, 2008, which sold 10,000 copies within a week in Belgium.
In 2009, Nihoul set up ASBL Adheh, an association for the defense and honor of human beings. Which he managed for several years from Zeebrugge, a place he moved to at some point.
In 2010, Nihoul was completely dismissed from all facts of his involvement in the crimes of Dutroux against his victims. The same year he received 250,000 euros in damages from Verwilghen, who ended up himself announcing an action against Nihoul, attempting to reclaim 18,700 euros.
On October 23, 2019, Michel Nihoul died at the age of 78 in Zeebruges, Belgium. At the moment, this author is unaware of the cause of Nihoul’s death, but considering he had heart problems, it may have been linked to that.
Review of Important Connections
What follows is largely a repetition of what has already been stated above, except that some of the key points have been pulled out with some additional information. It also serves to solidify some of the important names and connections. Many of these connections have already been mentioned in previous articles.
Nihoul was born in Verviers, a province in Liege, during Nazi occupation if Belgium, where he grew up, eventually graduating and becoming an independent interior designer in the area. Nihoul’s father had been a chief of office in a textile factory, which had been an important industry of the town, going back several centuries. Interestingly, since the beginning of the 1600s, the de Bonvoisin family had developed the textile industry in the region of Verviers, where members of the family held positions in public office. When Nihoul was in his 20s, during the early 1960s, it is known that he would go all the way to the north coast of Belgium, where he strolled around a casino in Middelkerke, where his father had gotten a job as a croupier. In 1962, he met his first wife, Adrienne, with whom he would have three children.
At some point, with experience in house painting and interior design, he became the representative of a US paint company, which fired him for lack of performance. But around the age of 23, in 1964, he took over a hotel of his parents and opened up a coffee shop, apparently in Verviers. One of these or possibly a separate venture was the disco he opened up in the 1960s, Le Truc ‘n Spa. The hotel, the coffee shop and probably the disco all went bankrupt within a few years. Whatever the case, it isn’t very clear what kind of connections he made from the late 1950s to 1960s while in Verviers, but he certainly gained experience in the areas of interior design, representation of a company and running a hotel, coffee shop and apparently a disco. This experience would certainly come in handy for the type of business he would later become involved in. Somehow, Nihoul became motivated to move to Brussels, in the late 1960s. Exactly why he made this move isn’t known to this author, but I am guessing he was looking for greater opportunities.
Whatever the reason(s) behind Nihoul’s move to Brussels, after a few years, he somehow managed to meet Annie Bouty in 1971 and would later meet her again after a few more years. At some point, Nihoul set up United Corporation, under the name of his wife who had nothing to do with the company. He became an expert in real estate, but in 1973, he was sentenced for fraudulent bankruptcy and issuance of bad checks. However, because his wife, Adrienne, was the front person, she ended up going to jail and only got out in 1975. But, Nihoul was seemingly quite active the previous year, despite having gone bankrupt early that year. Nihoul knew that the secret to getting higher up, more successful, lie in connections and relationships. In 1974, he met Annie Bouty again and they went to live together the following year. Bouty was a lawyer and trainee of Jacques Marres, who was a specialist in Zairean affairs and a counselor of Mobutu Sese Seko [member of WWF’s 1001 Club], the CIA and Belgian colonists-sanctioned anti-communist dictator of Zaire/Congo. Bouty had numerous high level connections, knowing people in politics, the justice department, embassies, banking and even soccer. Additionally, Nihoul met a major figure in the underworld, Achille Haemers, at a company called Confortex, in 1974. The year prior, Achille’s son, Patrick, had taken over a nightclub of his called “The First”, which he apparently burnt down on purpose. Patrick’s brother, Eric, also owned a pub called “The Gypsies”, which was known to have regular suspicious customers, including Patrick. We will see these members of the Haemers family come up again. Suffice to say, Nihoul was very active in the early 1970s, clearly up to no good and making some very suspicious contacts as he found his way through Brussels, in particular, Annie Bouty and Achille Haemers.
Having gone bankrupt and managing to move in with Annie Bouty, Nihoul set up an interior design firm, in 1976, with Claude Michel, who was a former fiancée of Bouty. This man Claude Michel would later surface as a founding member and chairman of a nonprofit company, vzw Asetanas, of which included the brother of Annie Bouty, Georges Bouty as secretary and Claude Ceresa as treasurer. The company was supposed to represent the interests of African students. But, apparently among these people were visitors of Coco Beach, which was ran by the former girlfriend of Patrick Haemers, “M.C.D.”, and also visited by Nihoul and members of the Haemers gang in the early 1990s. Remember that M.C.D. had been staying with the former owner of the fascist Jonathan Club, Jean-Paul “Pepe” De Rycke, and one of the customer of this club also went to Coco Beach, Jean Bultot. Anyway, without digressing too much, that interior design firm, unsurprisingly went bankrupt at some point in the late 1970s. But, Nihoul had more business opportunities. He convinced Bouty to leave her mentor Jacques Marres and set up her own attorney’s office specialized in seeking asylum for refugees in Africa. Nihoul took care of public relations and subsequently brought in a lot of clients. However, something interesting is that Annie Bouty appeared later as the leader of the Celestial Church of Christ, which the State Security started to take an interest in. Apparently, it was a link in a network of companies and non-profit organizations through which Annie Bouty carried out human trafficking between Belgium and maybe through some African states?
Because of the fraudulent dealings with United Corporation, Nihoul spent sometime in jail in 1978. But Nihoul would get released early because he had contacted Joseph Michel, the minister of education from 1977 to 1979, who was involved in the PSC and a founding member of the CEPIC, which was founded by Paul Vanden Boeynants and Baron Benoît de Bonvoisin back in 1972. Joseph Michel would go on to introduce Jacques Langlois to politics in 1988. According to Andre Rossignon, Joseph Michel would play an important role in the removal of Jean-Marc Connerotte from the Dutroux case and the prevention of Langlois from searching PSC headquarters.
Apparently, it is around this time, 1977-1979, that Nihoul had become involved in the Network, at least according to the victim-witness X1 (Regina Louf). She testified how she had first met Nihoul when she was 8 or nine years old and that he would use her for blackmail operations. By bringing her along to certain events and instructing her to go stand by a particular person, who had been a customer, a child abuser, in order to take pictures and remind the target that he was trapped and there was no way out. How did Nihoul become involved in such business? Well, apparently it had to do with his move to Brussels and most probably, his relationship with Annie Bouty and maybe the contact with Joseph Michel. According to one source, X1 testified that she first met Nihoul at an apartment of his, which she had been taken to by her mother Christiane Louf, where others that could be found there included Annie Bouty, Antoine “Tony” Van Den Bogaert, Michel Vander Elst and Marc Dutroux. These individuals are very important in relation to the abuse network of Nihoul, going into the 1980s and as for Dutroux, apparently in the 1990s.
X1 gave birth for the first time to her daughter, Cheyenne, in February 1979, in the hotel-villa of her grandmother, Madame Cecile Beernaert. X1 gave the names of those present: the Count Leopold & Count Maurice Lippens (the Lippens brothers), Paul Vanden Boeynants and the assistant commissioner of Knokke, then Baron Benoît de Bonvoisin and Michel Vander Elst. Most, if not all, of these individuals would end up with ties to Jean-Michel Nihoul and less than three years later, Nihoul, along with Bouty, Tony V. and two gendarme officers would be present at the murder of Cheyenne at the ASCO factory, which was a location visited by Vander Elst, VdB, BdB and others, according to X1, for the purpose of child abuse. ASCO was owned by Roger Boas, who was a member of the CEPIC. X1 mentioned a certain “Roger”, who may have been Roger Boas.
Backtracking a bit to Bouty and Nihoul’s law firm, Philippe Deleuze, who was a college friend of Bouty, became involved in the law firm in 1980, but decided to leave after ten months because Nihoul gave too much work to Bouty and not enough to him. Deleuze was married to Francoise Van Espen, who acted as a godmother to Nihoul’s son and was the sister of Jean-Claud Van Espen [later played crucial role in covering up the murder of Chrissy and the Dutroux/Nihoul/X-witnesses]. If that isn’t already a schocker, Deleuze was a prominent member of the CEPIC and was on the board of the Tentoonstellingspark (exposition park) foundation, which was chaired by Paul Vanden Boeynants. VdB and Deleuze are also said to have been responsible for the appointment of Van Espen to examining magistrate. It was through Deleuze that Nihoul first met VdB in 1981 at PSC headquarters, where they discussed an aspect of the Centre Medical d l’Est affair, a scam involving Nihoul and Bouty.
Between what has been described in the previous few paragraphs, X1 stated that Nihoul was a regular organizations of parties. These were not normal parties by any means, they were orgies and included child abuse, sadism, torture and murder. According to X1’s testimony, Marc Dutroux was there at multiple parties, where he brought drugs like cocaine and occasionally young girls. However, Dutroux was more on the side, while Nihoul was described as some kind of “party beast”. It is not exactly certain who attended these parties, but this author assumes they included these names at least: Nihoul (regular organizer), Annie Bouty, Antoine “Tony” Van Den Bogaert, Michel Vander Elst, Leopold Lippens, Albert Bert, Joost Bert, Bernard Weinstein and Marc Dutroux.
Back in 1980, Nihoul was introduced to leading Parti des Réformes et des Libertiés (PRL; now Mouvement Reformateur) leader Jean Gol, by his associate Andre Damseaux, who was a PRL head and PM of Walloon in 1982. Nihoul would later meet other PRL members as Serge Kubla. Toward the end of 1981, Nihoul became a client of Les Atrebates, of which Jean Gol and Serge Kubla were also customers of this nightclub. Nihoul later set up his own free radio, Radio JMB, which was located one floor above the PRL headquarters. Edouard Nihoul was also a member of the PRL and CEPIC. Another PRL politician Nihoul met was Henri Tombeur, whom he met back at Radio Activite and who ended up in a conviction for pedophilia. Tombeur would become a customer of The Dolo, along with Nihoul, Gol and Kubla. The PRL would also be linked by Lt.-Col. Herman Vernaillen to a plot to destabilize the Belgian state in order to bring in a more hard-right government. Vernaillen was given a number of names by former CEPIC member Leon Finne, which included Paul Vanden Boeynants and Jean Militis, who was a member of the CEPIC and a PRL member of parliament. Finne was later assassinated by the Gang of Nijvel in 1985.
In 1981, Nihoul had become a customer of the swingers nightclub Les Atrebates, which had been set up by Dolores Bara and Michel Forgeot and has been described already in the previous article. Many of the others customers had or would end up tied to Nihoul, such as Jean-Gol, Robert Darville, Claude Leroy, Jean-Louis Delamotte, Serge Kubla, Edouard Vanhuynegem, Marleen De Cockere, a brother of Nihoul and others. He built up a relation with the founders Bara and Forgeot; and may have participated in the orgies with people as Georges Marnette. There were two important victim-witnesses who spoke about this nightclub, Nathalie Waeterschoot and X1. Les Atrebates had been set up in 1975 and around this time, Nathalie W. testified that she had been raped by Forgeot and Marnette at an place located on Churchill Avenue, when she was 10 to 12 years old, 1975-1977. At Les Atrebates, she told how she had been raped by Nihoul at least three times in the early 1980s, when she was 15 to 16 years old. She called Nihoul, “Mich”, just like X1 did, and said he was a regularly involved in the child abuse, but was not the most important individual there. Regina Louf (X1) testified that she had been taken to Les Atrebates with Nihoul between 1982-1983, when she was 12 to 14. She too told that orgies with minors took place there. X1 even recognized Nathalie W. as one of the girls there in the early 1980s. Another victim-witness, X4, was able to corroborate their stories. On top of that, there were a couple other witnesses who testified about Nihoul being in the presence of minors at Les Atrebates. For more information, read the previous article, of which many of the connections discussed will be re-mentioned here.
One of these connections was a company called Logitel, which was owned by Serge Frantsevich, who was a business partner of a suspect in the disappearance of Loubna Benaissa, Roland Corvillain. This Benaissa case would be connected to none other than Jean-Claud Van Espen. Another suspect was Jacques Genevois, a customer of the Dolo, who visited Nihoul at Le Perroquet. However, according to witnesses, Nihoul, Achille Haemers, Robert Darville, Marc Dutroux, Michelle Martin and apparently Michel Lelievre, visited this company. It turns out that Nihoul and Darville, except for being a friend of Nihoul, was a customer of Les Atrebates, just like Nihoul. Additionally, Darville was a customer of The Jonathan, whose owner was a friend of Nihoul and involved in blackmail. Plus, Achille Haemers and Nihoul were customers of The Dolo. According to one witness, Dutroux and Martin had been spotted leaving the Dolo on two occasions in 1996. Nonetheless, Logitel would become suspected of involvement in child trafficking.
Although it is not certain by this authors how Antoine “Anthony/Tony” Van Den Bogaert met Nihoul and how close their relationship was, it is known what X1 testified. Apparently, they knew each other since at least 1979-early 1980s. Both Nihoul and Tony V. were involved in blackmail. Both were central figures in X1’s testimony. One thing that is certain is that Tony spoke both Dutch and French, so could have spoke with Nihoul, who spoke French and X1, who spoke dutch. The connections of Tony will be explored more in depth in a later article.
In 1983, Nihoul and Marleen De Cockere took over a bar in Brussels, Le Clin d’Oeil. This takeover was funded by profits from the Centre Medical d l’Est affair, which was a scam involving Nihoul and Bouty. Nihoul had met De Cockere an orgy in Les Attebates, back in 1982. Among the bar’s regular visitors were Patrick Haemers and Brussels police commissioner Albert Toch, who would become a customer of The Dolo. One employee of the bar said that Nihoul was always buying drinks for Brussels police officers.
One of the many girls X1 witnessed being murdered, was apparently Veronique Dubrulle, who officially died of cancer on September 3, 1983. However, X1 stated that this girl had been murdered. X1 told how Veronique was frequently taken to child abuse parties and she was killed after being tortured with a knife for a while. Those identified by X1 as having been present include Nihoul, Tony V., Bouty, Vander Elst, a member of the Bert family and Emile Dellaert. It is known that Tony maintained a close relationship with Jacques Dubrulle, the father of Veronique, manager of Daska Films, administrator of Decatron NV of the Bert family and the chairman and patron of the International Film Festival of Flanders. Both Albert Bert his oldest son Joost Bert have been identified by X1 as having been present at child abuse parties with Nihoul, Bouty, Vander Elst and others. Apparently, at least one of them was present at the murder of Veronique Dubrulle, according to X1. Albert Bert was a pioneer in the cinema industry. One of the co-signers of Veronique’s death certificate was Dr. Luc De Waele, whom X1 claimed to have first met at a private party at the Decascoop of the Bert family in the early 1980s. X1 claimed to have been at this party with Clo, a Natasha and two other little girls. X1 testified that De Waele raped 7-8 year old girls and was involved at parties in the UCO-Belvuco complex of the Hanet family in Gent. The other co-signer was Dr. Luc de Shrijver, whom X1 accused of having raped and having been involved in the child abuse parties at the UCO complex. Also, Joost Bert would be accused of having been present at the murder of Katrien De Cuyper at Castle Kattenhof, which will be mentioned later.
Another girl X1 witnessed being murdered was her best friend Clo, apparently Carine Dellaert, whose father was Emile Dellaert, the one allegedly present at the murder of Veronique Dubrulle. Clo was pregnant and had been raped and tortured, ultimately bleeding to death in the arms of X1, who was forced to deliver baby. Those identified by X1 as having been present in the house where Clo was murdered include Nihoul, Bouty, Tony V., Vander Elst, Count Leopold Lippens, a businessman from Flanders and his son. Clo was one of the girls Tony V. would take to parties and had introduced her to X1, making them “sisters”. She disappeared in 1982 but X1 saw her sometimes at parties with the same old wealthy man. X1 was not allowed to go near her and was told that Clo had become an “angel” and ended up in the end circuit. The group present at the house was later joined by the deputy police commissioner of Knokke in a Chinese restaurant. They then went to X1’s grandmother’s hotel villa, where she was gang raped. The murder case of Carine Dellaert remains unsolved to this day, despite the incredible amount of accurate statements by X1. It is known that the house mentioned by X1 was a brothel called the International Club, which was owned and operated by Gustaaf Derdijn. In the early 1980s, Derdijn was the owner of the nightclub Co-Cli-Co, to where X1 claimed to have been taken to be prostituted out by her pimp, Tony V. When the nightclub went bankrupt in 1984, one of its largest creditors was Le Cinema Publicitaire, a video store owned by Tony. However, its largest creditor, its real owner, was the firm All-Meat, in which Dendijn was a partner with Dutch porn dealer Gerard Cok, a business associate of Charles Geerts. This line of inquiry will be explored later.
Returning back to the de Bonvoisin family connection, there are a few links between this family and the testimony X1 gave about Chrissy (Christine Van Hees). In 1983, X1 had been taken to an apartment of Nihoul by her pimp Tony V., where they regularly met, she was introduced to Chrissy. Soon after, it was decided by Nihoul and Tony that Chrissy should undergo an “initiation”, before she would be brought to the main parties, which included sadomasochistic evenings. The initiation took place in a garage of a certain house and those present, according to X1, included Nihoul, Tony, Annie Bouty and Baron Benoît de Bonvoisin. The event has already been described in a previous article. After this took place, Chrissy was taken to child abuse parties and in the ones involving sadism, Chrissy became unpopular among the other girls because she couldn’t handle the pain, unlike X1, who had trained since the age of two. X1 was supposed to train Chrissy on how to behave during the parties. X1 had been at the “villa of the boats” with Chrissy on a few occasions. This villa was owned by Count Hervé d’Ursel, who was recognized by X1 and married to a sister of Baron Benoît de Bonvoisin. X2 also spoke about a meeting between “Count d’Ursel”, prince de Merode, prince and princess of Chimay and Baron de Bonvoisin. Another interesting connection is that, according to X2, Henri Bil [private driver of Vanden Boeynants] had been present at The Dolo talking with Madani Bouhouche. The Dolo was pointed out as being an important piece to the people responsible for the murder of Christine Van Hees. X1 pointed out Bil and Bouhouche as drivers who took her to the ASCO factory. What is interesting is that Henri Bil testified that it had been his understanding that Nihoul was the righthand man of Baron Benoît de Bonvoisin.
In 1984, Didier Genart brought Nihoul into Radio Activite, in Etterbeek, as a DJ. Genart was the son-in-law of Leon Defosset, a Jewish Grand Orient freemason, who had been a customer of Les Atrebates and later became a customer of The Dolo. At Radio Activite, Nihoul surrounded himself with teenagers and artists, for whom he organized parties, which took place in a local town hall De Gerlache and at Chateau Faulx-les-Tombes. Soon Nihoul and his entourage began to consider these events, to which many underage teenagers went, as sex parties. It is not known if Nihoul and his group had sex with any underage children, except that a lot of recruiting had been done with alcohol. Additionally, it is known that Nihoul and De Cockere were invited by the Etterbeek Mayor, Les Atrebates visitor Claude Leroy, to stay a month at Chateau Faulx-les-Tombes. One of the employees at Radio Activite was Dominique L., who was involved with the parties organized by Nihoul. He had played a role in pointing the Christine Van Hees murder investigation towards the punks. Interestingly, one witness said that Dominque was a doorman for The Dolo. It is known that the co-owner of The Dolo and Les Atrebates, organized orgies at Faulx-les-Tombes, which were visited more than once by Nihoul, according to witnesses. However, no evidence of minors having been present was found by investigator Yves Zimmer, who was close to Les Atrebates and The Dolo visitors Frans Reyniers and Georges Marnette. Another interesting detail is that Radio Activite was located one floor above a pool, which Christine often visited.
During the time Chrissy had been in the Network, she had become unpopular among the other abused girls, because she was resistant, defiant, stubborn and could not handle the torture at the sadomasochist evenings. As a result, the other girls received additional torture sessions. X1 was tasked with training Chrissy, but because X1 felt it would be better if she left, X1 advised her to tell her parents and leave. Not talking about the Network was the most important code, but X1 told another girl in the Network, Mieke, about her advisement to Chrissy. Mieke, growing increasingly frightened about the reprisals that would follow if Chrissy left, informed Nihoul and Tony about what X1 had done. Nihoul and Tony immediately began to devise a plan to have Chrissy murdered. On February 13, 1984, the body of Christine Van Hees was found in the basement of an abandoned mushroom farm. The murder has already been described and it is almost totally certain that X1 was there. The perpetrators identified by her were Nihoul, Tony V., Bouty, Vander Elst, the parents of Anne, Bernard Weinstein and Marc Dutroux. The reason X1 was not murdered with Christine appears to have been that she was simply too valuable and popular in the Network.
In the early 1980s, Nihoul was a frequent visitor of Le Mirano, which has been described already. Here to, as with other clubs, blackmail was reportedly going on and pedophile events, of which VM1 was an important witness. The scandal that broke out there, in 1984, centered around Philippe Cryns and Alexis Alewaeters. Other reported frequent visitors include Madani Bouhouche, Robert Beyer, Patrick Haemers, Charly De Pauw and Jean Bultot. According to X2, Baron Benoît de Bonvoisin, Paul Bourlee and her pimp Oliver Castiaux also visited the club. Prince Laurent and then Prince Albert II also visited. Cryns was a member of the Cercle des Nations, of which Baron de Bonvoisin was a co-founder with Paul Vanden Boeynants. On another note about this scandal, the partner of Cryns was Alexis Alewaeters, whose lawyer became Didier de Quevy, who with Jean-Paul Dumont defended Serge Clooth, the main punk used to obstruct the investigation into the murder of Christine Van Hees. De Quevy also became the lawyer of Marc Dutroux, whom was being convicted for repeated child kidnapping and rape, in the late 1980s.
In 1985, Nihoul got to know the chairman of SOS Sahel chairman Emile Robijn, who was a swindler. SOS Sahel was a foundation set up to support people living in the Sahel region. Nihoul would later be convicted of embezzling its money and had even defrauded Robijn. From the mid the late 1980s, Nihoul worked with Bouty at her law firm Cadreco, which was specialized in representing refugees from Africa, especially Nigeria, in Belgium. Bouty and Cadreco even represented Alexis Alewaeters, who had been involved with Philippe Cryns at Le Mirano.
When Cadreco went bankrupt and all of its financial records were taken up, it became known that Michel Nihoul had personally called head of the Neufchateau gendarme Lt.-Col. Guido Torrez to convince him to leave Portuguese Juan Borges alone. Torrez obliged and personally called the gendarmerie in Shaarbeek to tell them to leave his suspect, Juan Borges, alone. As has already been mentioned, Borges was a business partner of Nihoul in the underworld, and was involved in illegal trade of drugs, counterfeit money, art, gold and apparently humans. Borges had high level connections to the Italian mafia and fascist members of The Jonathan Club, such as Frederic Godfroi. In 1985-1986, Borges owned the firm Candy Medical, which was a front for illegal weapons trafficking and located in a building owned by the Security Bureau of the European Union/Commission, which in turn was headed by fascist Pierre Eveillard, whose brother was a police commissioner who visited and protected The Dolo, Christian Eveillard.
An entire article has already been devoted to The Dolo, of which Nihoul was a prominent visitor accused of involvement in child kidnapping and prostitution ring. Nihoul had even been seen there at The Dolo with Paul Vanden Boeynants. For spacial reasons, these connections will be left alone.
During the founding of J.M. Nihoul et Associes by Nihoul and his son in 1987, Bouty held an advisory role. Yet another link between Nihoul and Bouty.
In 1988, Nihoul was invited to Confrerie des Maitres Brasseurs et Distillateurs de Wallonie, through Marcel Henrottay, a visitor of The Dolo. Marleen De Cokere (met Nihoul at Les Atrebates) and Michel Forgeot (co-owner of Les Atrebates, later The Dolo) were also invited. In 1990, Nihoul was asked to become chairman.
In 1989, Nihoul set up a “wholesale” in fish and shellfish, which was named De Cokere-Nihoul, although Marleen claimed to have nothing to do with the business. It was at this enterprise that Nihoul would be connected to the notorious lawyer Jean-Paul Dumont and yet again, Paul Vanden Boeynants.
“[Guy Einsweiller/Eschweiler] Remembers Nihoul… During a deal, he saw Dumont drinking a glass with Nihoul… declared to have regularly seen Dumont and Vanden Boeynants in the private area of the fish and crustacean enterprise that he exploited. [early 1990s]” (PV 42.665, October 14, 1996, testimony of Guy Einsweiller or Eschweiler)
Another says claims that Jozef De Poorter, who was the head of the construction firm VDK, which he took over from Arthur Vande Kerkhove after he died, that Kerkhove was a great fan orgies, which Kerkhove attended with Paul Vanden Boeynants and Nihoul. In regards to Dumont, the “Dutroux Report”, says Janssens, “regularly points to certain lawyers who arranged all kinds of business for Nihoul.” These lawyers would have included Jean-Paul Dumont and Philippe Deleuze. Both of these lawyers were involved with the PSC’s CEPIC, set up by VdB and BdB.
In the early 1990s, Nihoul was a prominent visitor of Coco Beach, which was club owned by “M.C.D”, who was a former girlfriend of Patrick Haemers. The club was repeatedly visited by members of the Haemers gang and Jean Bultot also liked to visit. At the time, M.C.D. lived with Jean-Paul “Pepe” Derijcke, the former owner of The Jonathan in the 1980s. Jean Bultot was a visitor of the Jonathan Club, in which De Rycke had images taken for blackmail on the customers when they were involved with one of the prostitutes.
In the afternoon of December 17, 1991, 14 year old Katrien de Cuyper disappeared in Antwerp after having been seen making a phone call in the café Les Routiers (the Truck Drivers). She was found dead on June 22, 1992, and the autopsy showed that she had been murdered soon after the kidnapping. X1 recognized Katrien as one of the girls she had witnessed being murdered and suspected that she had been recruited by Tony. Those named by X1 as being present at Castle Kattenhof, where numerous murders allegedly took place, were Nihoul, Bouty, Tony V., Vander Elst, Leopold Lippens, Joost Bert, the assumed owned of the castle and several others. As has already been mentioned, Marcel Vervloesem was the one who cracked the Zandvoort case, in which he obtained a ton of child abuse images from the flat of Gerrie Ulrich, in Zandvoort, Netherlands. It was discovered that Ulrich regularly donated large sums of money to a post office box located above café Les Routiers, where two Dutch porn firms were located, Studio De Pauw and X-Kiss. A photo has been found in the Zandvoort stash that strongly resembled Katrien de Cuyper. However, the Antwerp Distric Attorney’s officers stated that the child in the photo was a boy. Whether this was or wasn’t the case, the close connection to café Les Routiers is alarming.
At some point in late 1992 to early 1993, Nihoul became a member of Comiqu’art, a club for theatre actors and singers. One witness got the impression that Nihoul was coordinating the club’s Monday evening singing competition for girls 8 to 15 years old. This witness also noticed that Nihoul could often by found in the dressing room of the young artists. It is also known that Dutroux went to this club at least once in 1995.
Among the French connections, was the investor Michel Briat, who was willing to pay the debts of Nihoul’s shellfish/fish business after it went bankrupt in 1992. It turned out that Briat was a murderer and part of a French gang involved in trade in stolen cars. Around 1993 to 1994, Nihoul had a falling out with these men and distanced himself from them, fearing for his life.
The last even Nihoul was named in by an X-witness appears to have been a party witnessed by X69 in 1993-1994 at an old house in Berendrecht. X69, who was specialized in sadomasochism and scatology, was asked by a pimp, Micha if he wanted to make 50,000 franks in one night. Being interested, X69 was pointed to the old house and while walking towards the house he noticed a large American car and a Mercedes with a license plate of the Consular Corps. Inside, X69 saw Michel Nihoul and Annie Bouty, along with 3 other men and 2 other women. Three girls and one boy were present, whom he estimated were between 8 and 13 years old and probably from the Netherlands or Germany. Nihoul had sex with multiple children and Bouty had sex with a guy around the age of 30, making the children watch her. X69 did not touch the children and was very uncomfortable that night. However, X69 did have pee sex with a man in his 50s. The house has since been demolished.
It is certain that Nihoul knew Michel Lelievre since September 1994. Lelievre had met Casper Flier, a former business partner of Bouty, while they were both in prison. After they got out, Lelievre went to work at a gas station of Flier. In March 1995, Lelievre went to go stay for a couple of days at the place of Bouty, where he allegedly first met Nihoul. Nonetheless, Nihoul and Lelievre became partners in crime, trafficking stolen cars and drugs, with Nihoul giving directions. At some point, Lelievre [re?]introduced Dutroux to Nihoul. When Lelievre, Dutroux and Mikhael Diakostavrianos traveled to a few eastern European countries in order to get girls, it is suspected that they did this for either personal use or to be placed in Belgian prostitution through connections of Nihoul. After Dutroux and Lelievre kidnapped Laetitita Delhez, they went to Nihoul to pick up XTC pills. It is also known that prior to this, Nihoul had protected Lelievre when he went with him to see gendarme officer Gerard Vanesse to convince him to not arrest Lelievre. Nihoul was an informant to Vanesse and at the same time an informant to police commissioner Albert Toch, a visitor of The Dolo.
One of the very interesting connections is to the ASCo-Delamotte affair. In September 1995, reports began coming in about white Mercedesses following and photographing school girls. An informant later came forward to Christian Dubois saying that the company Achats Services Commerces (ASCo), in Schaarbeek or Sint-Gillis, was behind these reports. The informant said the occupants were putting together catalogs of with pictures of children. Their clients could pick one and the child would be kidnapped, locked up in Belgium for a while, then exported to eastern Europe of Thailand. ASCo had been primarily founded by Jean-Louis Delamotte (customer of Les Atrebates and later The Dolo) and secondarily by Michel Forgeot (co-owner of Les Atrebates and later The Dolo) and Marleen De Cokere (customer of Les Atrebates, where she met Nihoul). Delamotte was a friend and regular business partner of Nihoul, whom was seen by locals around the area of company often surrounded by young black girls with the impression that they were in transit. Lelievre, Michelle Martin and Bernard Weinstein had been seen around the area of the company.
The situation surrounding the trial has already been discussed for space, enough has already been written and rewritten. Suffice it to say Michel Vander Elst, who had provided false alibis to the Haemers gang that kidnapped Paul Vanden Boeynants, provided false alibi for Nihoul to “prove” he wasn’t at the place where Laetitia Delhez was kidnapped. One of Nihoul’s lawyers, Virginie Baranyanka, who had gotten Conerrotte removed as examining magistrate, had a questionable tie to Xavier Magnee, one of Dutroux’s questionable lawyers.
It is clear that more needs to be investigated in regards to the Network connected to Nihoul. No one knows the full story, but the incomplete story laid out in this article and the various sources where this information came from makes it clear that much more needs to be investigated. It is certain that this article is missing a ton of additional important details, which will be added in found.
Having made an overview about the life of Marc Dutroux and a summary about the murder of Christine Van Hees, it became clear that Nihoul was the next step to follow the trail of this Network. Before this was started, I decided to write about the nightclub, The Dolo, because Marc Dutroux, Michelle Martin and Bernard Weinstein had allegedly visited there, Nihoul was a prominent customer and it had been named as an important development of the group behind the murder of Christine. With that oversight made, it was clear that once again, the paths were all leading to Nihoul and the Network he was connected to.
The earliest and most apparent connection of Nihoul is clearly Annie Bouty, whom he met after he had moved to Brussels. She had many connections and was named by X1 as having been involved in the murder of Christine. So, the next step to follow in this trail is Annie Bouty.