Marc Dutroux on the road to Hell
Dutroux was convicted in 1989 for the abduction and rape of five young girls (with his then-wife Michelle Martin) and other accomplices. He was released on parole after three years in prison.
In 1996, Dutroux was arrested on suspicion of having kidnapped, tortured and sexually abused six girls aged between 8 and 19, four of whom died. His widely publicized trial took place in 2004. Dutroux was convicted of all charges, along with the murder of a suspected former accomplice, and sentenced to life imprisonment. Dutroux’s accomplices included Michelle Martin, Michel Lelièvre, Michel Nihoul, and Bernard Weinstein. Martin was convicted and sentenced as an accomplice to 30 years in prison, while Lelièvre was sentenced to 25 years. Nihoul was initially tried as an accomplice to the kidnappings, but was acquitted of these charges due to insufficient evidence. He was instead convicted of involvement in a gang that participated in human and drug trafficking and was sentenced to five years in prison. Weinstein was never tried, as he was murdered by Dutroux.
A number of shortcomings in the Dutroux investigation caused widespread discontent in Belgium with the country’s criminal justice system, and the ensuing scandal was one of the reasons for the reorganisation of Belgium’s law enforcement agencies and widespread allegations of corruption and infiltration of the Belgian justice system by a criminal enterprise. In the White March, 300,000 Belgian citizens protested the mishandling of the case.