French 'train killer' caught in Lisbon

in News · 15-01-2000 00:00:00 · 0 Comments

An Algerian man suspected of committing a series of ghastly slayings on night trains in France, was arrested in Lisbon on Tuesday afternoon after fleeing to Portugal to escape a nationwide manhunt in France. Portuguese police were the first to react on the international arrest warrant issued a day prior to his arrest in Lisbon by Interpol.

Algerian citizen Sid Ahmed Rezala has been in hiding since French police released a photofit of the man, announcing that he was a suspect in the murders of two women, one French and one British. He later became a suspect in a third killing.
The 20 year-old man, who hails from Marseilles in the south of France, gained notoriety when he became a prime suspect for the murder of three women.
Known as the "Train Killer", Rezala put an end to his victim's lives using differing methods on each occasion. One victim was stabbed 14 times, another strangled, and one was flung from the window of a speeding train.
Rezala's hiding place was snuffed out by Portuguese police, who arrested the man in Barreiro, south of Lisbon. He had been staying in Almada with friends of a Spanish acquaintance and was planning to leave within 24 hours for Spain's Canary islands, police detective Luís Neves said. Rezala was reported not to have resisted arrest.
The Algerian youth was arrested after Portuguese authorities had been notified via information sent to them by Interpol a day earlier. French police had reportedly traced a cellular phone call Rezala had made to the mother of child's house in France from his hideout in Almada. Portuguese police reacted swiftly to ensure his immediate arrest. Rezala had made a call to France to inquire about his 18 month-old daughter, and was reported to have been boasting that he could not be traced using a cellular phone. Rezala, who has been described as a "social misfit who has difficulties in adapting to norms", was said to have had "physical relationships" with all of his victims.
The first murder victim was the 20 year-old British law student, Isabel Peake, who was killed when she was thrown from a train travelling at 150 kilometres an hour en route to Paris. The French police's manhunt for Rezala began in earnest when he was verified to be the prime suspect in Isabel Peake's murder after incriminating clues were found at the scene of her murder.
On October 29, 1999, 16 days after the first murder, Rezala was thought to have strangled the 20 year-old French student Emilie Bazin. Her decomposed body was only discovered by police two months after her death, buried beneath a heap of coal in a cellar in Amiens, north of Paris.
The third murder occurred on a train between Calais and Vientille on December 14. The body of 32 year-old Corinne Caillaux was only discovered once the train had come to a halt in the northern French town of Dijon. She had died as a result of multiple stab wounds to her chest, neck and face. Traces of Rezala's DNA was found on her body.
Rezala was freed from a Marseilles prison last year in June, after he had served time for having committed "violent acts with a knife".
At the time of going press, the final formalities had as yet not been finalised by Portuguese authorities regarding Rezala's extradition to France. Once extradited, Rezala is expected to be formally charged with murders in France.


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