“This man is a beast to be locked up forever”


There is not a day without Michel and Cécile Brel thinking of their daughter Véronique. His portrait sits in the middle of the dining room surrounded by dozens of family photos that exude happiness. “She is in a way still with us, even if physically she left”, emphasizes Cécile, her mother.

The young woman, who was 40 years old in 2006, was brutally murdered by Roger Maertens, who had been renamed “Le Cogneur”. The man collects the facts of violence and had already made a victim when he was only 23 years old in 1985. With a hammer, he killed Emma Servaege, 80 years old because she had refused to give him money . He will be interned for the first time before leaving definitively in 1998.

Released under conditions, he will again use his fists in the early 2000s, but will benefit from a probationary suspension. Finally 6 years later, in a fit of extreme violence, he will attack Véronique Brel whom he will hit with his fists before finishing her off with a foot-de- doe in a cellar in the city of Gosseries in Mouscron.

➜ Michel, 85, and Cécile, 83, thought that Roger Maertens would never come out … They tell us about their distress.

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➜ “If I had crossed paths with him, I would have killed him even if it meant going to prison… I cannot understand how they could have let him out. “

Jordan Kasier

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