Wounded pride? Blind lust? What made Patrice Alegre murder the women who'd turned him down?
He knew each of them. Some lived near him. Others danced in the nightclub where he worked.
All of them had long brown hair. All of them refused the sexual advances of Patrice Alegre.
And all of them would pay a high price for it.
Drunk, hurt by their refusal, Patrice beat each of his five known victims, tied their hands, raped them and strangled them.
The victims would be left sprawled across their beds. Each one naked but for her socks.
Patrice Alegre was born in the bustling French city of Toulouse in 1968. And from the start, things were difficult for him.
His mum was Michelle, a 17-year old trainee hairdresser. And his dad, Roland, was a police officer. Baby Patrice had not been planned and although his parents stuck together, theirs was a stormy relationship. A stormy and violent relationship.
Michelle was often at the receiving end of her husband’s hard punches.
The weight of his father’s fists was familiar to Patrice, too.
By the time he was 14, Patrice had moved in with his gran and had fallen into a life of petty crime and minor drug dealing. By 16, he’d committed his first sexual assault and was a regular drug user himself.
Was he externalising the pain of the abuse he’d suffered as a child by abusing himself with excessive drugs and alcohol?
In 1988, he met Cecile Chambert and a year on, the couple had a daughter, Anais. Their relationship was stormy, like that of his mum and dad. And it often became violent.
But Patrice was determined to provide for his young family and took a steady job in a café by Toulouse train station.
It’s there that he met waitress Valerie Tariote, 21.
When she refused his advances, Patrice forced his way into her home. He then raped her.
When her body was found soon afterwards, the police knew they were on the hunt for a brutal and merciless killer. Valerie had been suffocated to death, her scarf stuffed down her throat.
For Patrice, this murder had been a success.
He’d got away with it. For now at least.
Over the next seven years, Patrice killed again and again. Four more victims the police know of. Each a young women with brown hair who’d turned him down.
He also started work as a bouncer in a nightclub. After his arrest in 1997, Patrice would claim that it was while at the club that he started working as a pimp, forcing his young prostitutes to attend frightening S&M orgies. Whether they wanted to or not.
Finally, in 1997, it was endgame for Patrice Alegre. He beat and raped a young woman called Emilie Espes in the back of his car. But during the attack, Emilie spoke to Patrice calmly and persuaded him to let her go.
But Emilie went straight to the police. And soon afterwards, Patrice Alegre was arrested.
He promptly admitted to more killings. But he wouldn’t say where the bodies of his victims were. His 12-year old daughter wrote a letter to him, begging him to reveal the locations and help the families of his victims.
He ignored it.
And then, as he stood trial for five murders, an attempted murder and six counts of rape, Patrice Alegre made a sensational claim.
The S&M orgies he’d organised while working at the nightclub had been attended by the great and good of French society, including the mayor of Toulouse himself. The claims were proved to be false.
He was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison, with a minimum tariff of 22 years.
But Patrice’s victims aren’t just the women he murdered. They’re the families of those women.
And they’re his own family, too.