Saturday, November 19, 2005

Bonnie and Clare

More material for film noir:

The leader of a lesbian gang was jailed for 28 years last night for the murder of a country baker in a robbery described by the prosecution as revealing a clash of cultures between "two kinds of France".

The country has been shocked by the killing of Sylvain Bétrix, 22, who was shot dead as he rushed to the aid of his wife when Magali Rossi burst into their bakery in the old Roman town of Saint-Just-Saint-Rambert, near St Etienne, brandishing a hunting rifle.

Rossi got away with just £20 from the till.

The prosecuting lawyer, André Merle, contrasted the life of Mr Bétrix, who rose early each day and worked long hours, and those of Rossi and her two accomplices, "who don't work and don't especially look for work".

He told the court in St Etienne: "These are two kinds of France colliding with each other. It is for you to say which France we ought to protect and which one we must repress."

Rossi, now 34, lived with her lover, Anne-Sophie Royol, 33, Royol's daughter and a third woman, Emilie Després, 22, on unemployment benefits in what the judge called a "ménage à trois" in Marseilles.

....Until her late teens, Rossi shared her father's passions for hunting, nature and Gaullist politics. Then she went astray, drifting into a life of heavy drinking and drug taking,

It was her idea, when money had run out in August 2002, to stage a hold-up to raise funds for food and drink, the court was told.

Royol waited in their car on a sunny afternoon outside the baker's shop as Rossi entered. Mr Bétrix, who was resting, heard the terrified cries of his wife, Virginie, and tried to intervene. Wearing only underwear and socks, he confronted Rossi but she shot him in the throat.

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