By Derek Daly | 13 December 2007
THOUGHT LEADER — It’s worth reminding ourselves of the events surrounding Belgian paedophile abductor Marc Dutroux. Institutions that are meant to protect society can sometimes contribute to misdeeds of the most sinister kind. The Dutroux case was characterised by deliberate police incompetence and behind-the-scenes murder of witnesses.
In June 1995, two eight-year-old friends, Julie Lejeune and Melissa Russo, walked to a bridge to wave at the traffic, a regular pastime of theirs. They never came home. In stark contrast to the Madeleine McCann saga this year, the case attracted little attention, including from the police.
The families were soon disillusioned by the non-committed and lacklustre police investigation and hired a private investigator to look into things. The person came up with a profile that was passed on to the police investigators. It reported that the person responsible would probably be unemployed and very methodical.
There were only five suspects in Belgium who matched the drawn-up profile of the abductor at that time. One of them was Marc Dutroux, who had been convicted in 1989 for the abduction and rape of five young girls. He had been released in 1992 after serving only three years of a 13-year sentence. […]