Antwerp investigators call for review of all cold cases for more victims of serial killer
Wednesday, 15 January 2020
Accused serial killer Stephaan Du Lion. Police handout photo
The prosecutor’s office in Antwerp has put out a call to all 113 police zones in Flanders and Brussels for a review of all outstanding murder cold cases, in the hope of unearthing new victims of alleged serial killer Stephaan Du Lion.
Du Lion, aged 55, has already confessed to the murders of four women. After having gone undetected for years, Du Lion was imprisoned in 2018 for a burglary at his former workplace, at which time he had to give a DNA sample. That revealed a link to the murder in 1992 of 30-year-old Ariane Mazijn.
His DNA went on to link him to the murders of three other women, which he also confessed – one in Oelegem outside Antwerp and two in the port city itself. In the case of Eva Poppe from 1997, a hair found on the victim’s body matched Du Lion’s DNA. Confronted with that evidence, he spontaneously admitted the two other killings, from 1993 and 1994.
However when it came to providing more details of how the victims were selected or the murders carried out, Du Lion could not or would not reply, claiming he had suffered blackouts following each crime.
That reluctance, added to the fact that he only admitted a crime after his guilt had been demonstrated, has now led investigators to assume he is not being entirely open despite his admissions of guilt.
The open letter to all police zones in Flanders and Brussels will, it is hoped, shake loose other possible murders from the 1990s that might be attributed to Du Lion. Now that his DNA is on file, evidence that was previously overlooked – DNA profiling was not as advanced then as now – may now become important.
“At this point he is suspected in four cases,” commented Kristof Aerts, spokesperson for the Antwerp prosecutor’s office. We’ll see what this query turns up.”