Double Trouble for Marseille Police Hunting Serial Rapist as DNA Turns Up Identical Twins

Devorah Lauter, Telegraph (London), February 10, 2013

Police hunting a serial rapist in the French city of Marseille have used DNA evidence to arrest two men—but are unable to say which is the culprit as the pair are identical twins.

Both brothers are being held without bail as investigators face having to run extensive tests costing up to a million euros to distinguish between the 24-year-olds’ genetic codes, which are so similar that normal DNA tests cannot tell them apart.

“It’s a rather rare case for the alleged perpetrators to be identical twins,” said Emmanuel Kiehl, the chief investigator in the case, speaking to French media.

“We must determine the exact role of each one,” he said, adding that current techniques available for identifying the differences between DNA of identical twins were “onerous,” costly, and rarely conducted in French labs.

Mr Kiehl said the victims—six women between the ages of 22 and 76—had formally identified their assailants from photos shown to them by police, but that they also could not tell the difference between the twins.

Both suspects, identified only as Yohan and Elwin, 24, denied accusations they raped and sexually assaulted the six women between September and January in the southern French coast city of Marseille.

The attacks increased rapidly at the beginning of the year, with three committed in a span of three weeks.

The 76-year-old woman was the first victim. After being injured by her attacker, she was forced to perform oral sex.

Each attack took place at night, with the suspect or suspects assaulting the victim while in the entrance hall or stairwell of a building. The assailants also took the victims’ mobile phones.

With the help of video footage, a traced telephone belonging to a victim, and positive identification from the victims, local police were led to one twin. Then they discovered he lived with his identical brother.

“The seriousness of the crimes necessitates that an expert genetic examination is now launched and financed,” said a source working on the case, speaking to the French daily Le Parisien.

Investigators are going through with plans to complete the “enormous” job of decoding the DNA of the suspects, then comparing it to DNA found at some of the crime scenes, which reportedly matches the twins’ “common DNA”.

Local newspaper La Provence reported that police were told it could cost up to one million euros (£845,900) for the necessary tests.

It quoted a DNA expert saying that only the smallest of differences exist in the DNAs of identical twins. “For a normal analysis we compare 400 base pairs,” the expert said, adding that with twins: “We would be looking at billions.”

Scientists have demonstrated that differences in the DNA of identical twins exist. However the process of decoding those differences is “expensive and not fully developed and remains confined to research laboratories,” said Catherine Bourgain, a specialist on the issue at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm), speaking to French media.

The twins were described as being of mixed minority and Caucasian origin. “They are real identical twins, nothing really distinguishes them, and they repeatedly use and lean on the fact that they are twins,” said another source on the case, speaking to Le Parisien.

The brothers have stuck to the same line of defence, and only one of the two positively identified himself in a video taken on a bus. One of the victims had identified her assailant as the man in the video.

Both twins are unemployed deliverymen, who live alone together in an apartment in the working-class Belle-de-Mai neighborhood in Marseille. They are said to often share mobile phones.

Topics: , ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • Tim

    Funny what you remember for forty or fifty years. I recall a Hawaii 5-O episode from my childhood where two teenage brothers from the mainland start a kidnap/rape/murder spree. One homely girl walked by and the younger brother wanted to move on her. The older one nixed the idea saying, “We can pick a pretty one, not just anyone!!…” For some reason the devilish reasoning behind that both repelled and intrigued me. I guess thru the miracle of the internet and You-tube I could watch again to see how it turned out.

  • The__Bobster

    Solomon says put both of them on the gallows with timers on the trap doors to see which one cracks. If neither of them does, oh well.

    • Triarius

      You beat me to it.

      • Garrett Brown

        Male and female! Did you hear about the nurse keeping that 80 year old white man as a slave in his own nursing home? YUCK!

      • French Reader

        You are certainly correct since Yohan and Elwin are not Maghrebi names. Moreover, Marseille benefits from the largest population of Comorans outside the Comoros. It’s actually the biggest Comoran city in the world (around 100.000 immigrants).

  • NYB

    As soon as I heard the city was Marseille, and the range of the victim’s ages, I suspected this was probably the work of non-whites attacking whites.

  • Bill

    The rape of a 76 year old clearly identifies the rapist(s) as negroid. Only blacks do that.
    As to the subtitle I agree.

    • Joseph

      I’m surprised that the victims were not immolated. That seems to be another popular black passtime.

  • 48224

    Simple, give them both a polygraph test. The one that fails the test is executed first!
    BTW…..This is not the first time this has happened. Black twins were suspected of a rape about a decade ago……I forget how that turned out.
    In another case, a black guy was accused of raping a woman, the victim ID’ed the guy in a line up, turned out DNA did not match…..but it matched HIS BROTHER who was not a twin but looked just like him. Yes, strangely they actually had the same father (hard to believe) and they looked nearly like twins. The suspect’s DNA did not match the sperm sample but it was close so the cops knew it was a relative, and through a poo-lice work they figured out that it was the brother that had raped the woman and they arrested him.
    A DNA sample can now tell the cops race, and even eye color about 90% of the time.

    • Joseph

      “A DNA sample can now tell the cops race, and even eye color about 90% of the time.”

      • Joseph

        No way this is true. I keep pointing out that DNA is only a social construct.

  • StillModerated

    Here’s a picture if you’re interested: They look like jocks.

    http://roadsmag.com/marseille-des-jumeaux-violeurs-en-serie-trahis-par-adn9474655790873/

    • French reader

      Those are only random twins. It’s not a picture of them. Moreover, there is no American football in Europe.

      • Flossie

        Yes. According to the filename, the photo is of twins named Mike and Marlin McKeever.

  • bigone4u

    First, I disagree with feminists that rape is purely a crime of control, not sex. Since the goal of rape is orgasm, there is clearly some sexual motivation involved. One of the things that Internet pornography teaches is that sexual attraction knows not the boundaries of age and race. These may be unfortunate facts for society to face, but they are true.
    In geriatric porn the participants are sometimes young males with much older women, say women who appear to be in their 60s and older. So, porn teaches us that young males will seek sexual stimulation from older females. When I was in higher ed, I observed young male students throwing themselves at women in their 50s and 60s, seeking hookups at university parties. At the time I was freaked out by their behavior, seeking sex with a woman old enough to be your grandmother. Now, I understand the male sex drive better.
    One thing I have never understood is why the crime of rape exists (outside war, when it serves to disorient the male enemy when the female is left raped and pregnant–not that I’m saying it’s right; it should be a war crime). I cannot conceive of anyone wanting sexual satisfaction with an unwilling partner. I counseled one of my students who was raped at knifepoint by a black male who had broken into her apartment in the middle of the night. Her life after that was spent staying up all night waiting for him to return, so she could blow his brains out with the pistol she kept in her lap as she dozed off at intervals. DNA was not so well established in the early 80s when she was victimized. Thanks to DNA, the French creeps will do hard time in prison. I used to believe that rape should be a capital offense, but the US Supreme Court has taken that option off the table.

    • Formerly_Known_as_Whiteplight

      “One of the things that Internet pornography teaches is that sexual attraction knows not the boundaries of age and race.”

      No, what it illustrates is that some people do not care how they are abused sexually or even racially for money. It shows that there is an “industry” that seeks to create customers through coming up with “creative entertainment.” The notion that the market already exists is debatable. I think it is being created like much else in the cyber world. When I was younger, the idea of sex even with a woman over 30 seemed creepy. When I was 36, a 70 year old woman actually propositioned me. I saw photos of her when she was young and she was beautiful, but it gave me the creeps all the same because it was like having sex with grandma. I also think this “cougar” thing is created as well, at least the extremes of it. Feminism of course, has created more older, single women with money who can buy a young man for companionship. My guess is that they will be alone in the end.

    • Triarius

      To say rape isn’t about sex is about as logical as robbery not being about money.

      • Joseph

        I am certain that there are liberals semi-excusing robbery for this very reason. As in my post above, I think they see everything in terms of some class struggle.

        “Daeonetae (a real, but unrelated name) made an unfortunate mistake in striking out inappropriately against privilege because of a troubled childhood.” It is never just evil, greed, or laziness on the part of the poor or *gasp* minorities. Only the successful in the power class (whites) can be greedy. How many times have you heard some shooting or robbery referred to as a “mistake” when the punk is caught -like a wrong answer to a math problem?

    • Joseph

      Rape is almost entirely about sex. Biologists know this.

      Modern liberals, like their communist progenitors, frame almost everything in terms of some class-based power struggle .

  • LHathaway

    “six women between the ages of 22 and 76—had formally identified their assailants from photos shown to them by police”

    They just need more police training. With more sensitivity training these women will know they shouldn’t endanger the future prospects of a young afro by coming forward and maligning a whole race which would be the real tragedy.

  • Thor Bonham

    Throw them both in prison .. It’s safer ..

  • Alexandra

    Speaking of DNA…I wonder if Maury ever had to deal with which of a pair of identical twins is the father. That would be interesting.
    Stick ’em both in jail if one’s covering for the other. Problem solved.

  • ograf

    Their fingerprints are NOT identical. Research it.