Robert Boulin’s death; suicide or murder?

Robert Boulin

Robert Boulin

Warning: crime scene photographs!

In the autumn of 1979, press reports emerged that Boulin had abused his position to gain favourable terms for a series of property deals on the French Riviera. Boulin’s family believes that Robert, tipped in 1979 as a future PM before he was engulfed by that property scandal, did not commit suicide to avoid the investigation. They believe that he was murdered. The first officer on the scene agrees.

Francis Deswarte was that first officer and the first to see Boulin’s body. According to the official verdict, Boulin drowned after taking barbiturates.

Robert BoulinMr Deswarte said that he had been the first to see the minister’s body in the pool in the forest of Rambouillet, on the morning of 30 October 1979. He was called in to look for a senior citizen who might have taken his own life.

I quote from the BBC: “After spotting a car behind a wood pile, he saw the body in nearby water, said to have been 50cm (19in) deep. He was kneeling, with his head out of the water, looking towards the car,” said Mr Deswarte.

Asked about the official verdict of death by drowning, he replied: “Robert Boulin did not drown. It is not possible. He was virtually on all fours, his head out of the water.

I am convinced that he was trying to crawl to the bank. And then, he had marks on his face like red scratches.”

The former officer said he had been taken off the case 30 minutes later.

(Photo Association Robert Boulin)

(Photo Association Robert Boulin)

Two or three months afterwards, Mr Deswarte was called in for questioning and asked by police to change his version of the events, he told 20 Minutes.

“When I talked about the marks on his face, they explained to me that emergency workers had dropped the body when they removed it from the pond. “But that is not true. I was there. The emergency workers removed it without any difficulty.”

Asked why he had finally chosen to speak out, he said he had heard “a lot of lies” and wanted to tell the truth.”

Boulin’s family wants authorities to check the many letters and suicide notes with modern technology for finger prints and DNA.


  1. […] Boulin was found dead in 1979 under suspicious circumstances. Boulin’s daughter Fabienne has long pressed for a second investigating judge to be appointed to investigate her father’s death. The request for a second investigating judge was made last year in November. Her arguments were to speed up the process as time is running out. Witnesses pass away, evidence deteriorates, etc. […]

  2. […] week, I got some links to articles that shed more light on the cold case of Robert Boulin. I have not finished reading them yet and they are in French but Google can translate this for you. […]

  3. […] chance: Robert Boulin was either murdered in 1979 or he committed suicide. We might be able to find out a little more […]