She was a Chinese prostitute who married a pirate and took over his fleet when he died. She ran her ships with an iron fist and took no shit and was super successful, to the point that the Chinese government sent out an armada to stop her. She kicked their asses and captured 63 of their ships. They fought for two years and even brought in Dutch and British ships before they gave up and offered amnesty to her and her 17,000 crewmen. She got to keep ALL of her loot, spent her later years running a brothel/casino and lived to be 69.
He was a WW2 Commando who served with distinction in a number of theaters, his exploits earned him the Military Cross. He was known as ‘Mad Jack’ by his men and his fellow officers for his ferociousness in combat. Unlike his more conventional peers his weapons of choice were not the traditional British fire arms of the period, instead he chose to rush in to combat with a fucking long bow, a fucking sword and his trusty bag pipes. In 1943 him and a corporal infiltrated a German held town in Sicily capturing 42 men and a mortar position. With only his bagpipes, sword and bow. When the war ended in 1945 after the dropping of the bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, he was extremely disappointed and was quoted as saying “If it wasn’t for those damn Yanks, we could have kept the war going another 10 years.”
This Mongolian Princess insisted that any man who wished to marry her must defeat her in wrestling, forfeiting horses to her if they lost. She gained 10,000 horses defeating prospective suitors.
“I am the punishment of God. If you had not committed great sins, God would not have sent a punishment like me to you.” Only someone badass enough to know they are badass enough to say that can be considered the baddest ass in history.
Tank Man, of Tiananmen Square fame. We tend to think that you need an army at your back to be a badass, but when you’re a true badass you face the army in front of you even when there’s no one behind you.
Trusted advisor to the Romanov family and was nearly impossible to kill (poisoned, shot, drowned).
*worked in military intelligence during WW2, the character of James Bond is supposed to be part based on him (Ian Fleming was his cousin.) About his war service (from wikipedia): Lee spent time with the Gurkhas of the 8th Indian Infantry Division during the Battle of Monte Cassino. -While spending some time on leave in Naples, Lee climbed Mount Vesuvius, which erupted three days later. – During the final assault on Monte Cassino, the squadron was based in San Angelo and Lee was nearly killed when one of the planes crashed on takeoff and he tripped over one of its live bombs. *played Count Dracula in a string of popular Hammer Horror films; a James Bond villain in The Man with the Golden Gun; Lord Summerisle in The Wicker Man; Saruman in The Lord of the Rings films and The Hobbit films; and Count Dooku in the final two films of the Star Wars prequel trilogy. *released a Heavy metal album at the age of 88; has won awards for his metal music; the single he released in his 90th birthday made him the genre’s oldest performer; he had a song in the Billboard Hot 100 in December 2013 making him — at 91 — the living oldest performer to ever chart; released an EP earlier this year, at 92. If he’s not the world’s baddest ass, he might still be the worlds most interesting man.
Subutai, Ghengis Khan’s primary military strategist. Tore through Eastern Europe like tearing toilet paper, with only a scouting force. Check out the wiki link, because he was unbelievable.
“Sergeant Benavidez’ gallant choice to join voluntarily his comrades who were in critical straits, to expose himself constantly to withering enemy fire, and his refusal to be stopped despite numerous severe wounds, saved the lives of at least eight men. His fearless personal leadership, tenacious devotion to duty, and extremely valorous actions in the face of overwhelming odds were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service, and reflect the utmost credit on him and the United States Army.” – Medal of Honor citation
I’ll always stand by Anne Boleyn – she manipulated an infamous king into turning away from his beloved religion, kill his supporters who objected (Cardinal Wolsey), and broke with the church to marry her. She’s usually seen as conniving, a witch and evil, but in a male dominated world she cut out her own path and went from low born to the queen of England. She’s such an interesting person in my opinion
Frederick the Great is one of the most underrated badasses in history. The guy took on Austria, France, Russia, Poland, Sweden, and a bunch of smaller German and Italian states and won with his tiny kingdom-Prussia. He turned a small obscure German state into the nation that would end up uniting Germany and guide it on its path to evoking the most powerful country on Earth…until WW1. He was also a very wise monarch. He was friends with Voltaire and passed reforms that helped out the serfs and Jews.
The Queen of the Iceni tribe of ancient celts, she led a ragtag army of Celtic tribes against the invading and highly organized roman army. She burnt Londonium (modern day London) to the ground and wiped out a decent portion of Roman forces. And, oh yeah, this is after the Romans came and ignored her rule, beat her up, and raped her two daughters. Boudicca didn’t mess around.
“On the morning of 7 August 1916, after a night of heavy shelling, the Germans began to overrun a portion of the line which included Jacka’s dug-out. Jacka had just completed a reconnaissance, and had gone to his dug-out when two Germans appeared at its entrance and rolled a bomb down the doorway, killing two of his men. Emerging from the dug-out, Jacka came upon a large number of Germans rounding up some forty Australians as prisoners. Only seven men from his platoon had recovered from the blast; rallying these few, he charged at the enemy. Heavy hand-to-hand fighting ensued, as the Australian prisoners turned on their captors. Every member of the platoon was wounded, including Jacka who was wounded seven times; including a bullet that passed through his body under his right shoulder, and two head wounds. Fifty Germans were captured and the line was retaken; Jacka was personally credited with killing between twelve and twenty Germans during the engagement.” And that was the second time he had done something like that. I suspect he was a terminator sent back to save some historically important grandfathers.
Second longest serving Senators in US History (representing Hawaii since it gained statehood in 1959) and a WWII vet with this remarkable story to tell: “On April 21, 1945, Inouye was grievously wounded while leading an assault on a heavily-defended ridge near San Terenzo in Tuscany, Italy, called Colle Musatello. The ridge served as a strongpoint along the strip of German fortifications known as the Gothic Line, which represented the last and most unyielding line of German defensive works in Italy. As he led his platoon in a flanking maneuver, three German machine guns opened fire from covered positions just 40 yards away, pinning his men to the ground. Inouye stood up to attack and was shot in the stomach; ignoring his wound, he proceeded to attack and destroy the first machine gun nest with hand grenades and fire from his Thompson submachine gun. After being informed of the severity of his wound by his platoon sergeant, he refused treatment and rallied his men for an attack on the second machine gun position, which he also successfully destroyed before collapsing from blood loss. As his squad distracted the third machine gunner, Inouye crawled toward the final bunker, eventually drawing within 10 yards. As he raised himself up and cocked his arm to throw his last grenade into the fighting position, a German inside the bunker fired a rifle grenade that struck him on the right elbow, severing most of his arm and leaving his own primed grenade reflexively “clenched in a fist that suddenly didn’t belong to me anymore.” Inouye’s horrified soldiers moved to his aid, but he shouted for them to keep back out of fear his severed fist would involuntarily relax and drop the grenade. While the German inside the bunker reloaded his rifle, Inouye pried the live grenade from his useless right hand and transferred it to his left. As the German aimed his rifle to finish him off, Inouye tossed the grenade into the bunker and destroyed it. He stumbled to his feet and continued forward, silencing the last German resistance with a one-handed burst from his Thompson before being wounded in the leg and tumbling unconscious to the bottom of the ridge. When he awoke to see the concerned men of his platoon hovering over him, his only comment before being carried away was to gruffly order them to return to their positions, since, as he pointed out, “nobody called off the war!”
He was an American pilot during WWII. At the Battle of the Coral Sea, he shot down two Japanese Zeroes in an SBD Dauntless – a dive bomber – and rammed a third. Upon learning of this, the Navy transferred him to a fighter wing flying F4F Wildcats. Later, at the Battle of Santa Cruz, he became an “ace in a day”, shooting down seven Japanese planes in a single sortie. At least one of these kills was accomplished after running out of ammunition; he charged an enemy plane (which was also out of ammunition) head-on at low altitude and forced it to crash. He survived the war, as well.
16th Irish noblewoman, when she was a child her father (the chieftain of the Uí Mháille clan) refused to take her to sea and she cut off all her hair to embarrass him into taking her (her nickname means Bald Grainne). She was born at a time when the Tudor conquest of Ireland was picking up the pace. Throughout her life she was a pirate, she was leader of fighters, under her leadership castles and forts were taken and withstood sieges, she was a revolutionary and war-leader and when Elizabeth I captured her sons and brother, she came to the royal court and negotiated their release in Latin, as she spoke no English and Elizabeth spoke no Irish. Her life would seriously fill about ten books.
Audie Murphy, aka real life Captain America. He was 16 in 1942, weighing 110 pounds and standing 5’5″. He applied to both the Marines and Air Force, but was turned down by both, and eventually managed to get into the Army, where he passed out halfway through training but insisted on going to fight. He contracted malaria in Italy, but was still sent into France in 1944, where he found a German machine gun crew who pretended to surrender, then shot his best friend. Murphy flipped shit, killed everyone in the gun nest, then used their weaponry to kill every Nazi in a 100-yard radius. 6 months later, his company (down to 19 men out of the original 128) was tasked with defending a critical region in France. The Nazis showed up with a ton of guys, so Murphy and his men sent out their M-10’s, which didn’t do much. They were about to be overrun when the skinny short kid with malaria ran to one of the burning M-10’s, grabbed the machine gun, and started mowing down every enemy he could see. He kept going for an hour, until he ran out of bullets, then walked back to his men as the tank exploded behind him.
For starters, he was part of the D-Day invasion. That very day, he killed a squad of German soldiers and captured a half-track that was loaded with intelligence information. Quite a while later, he ran into 4 SS soldiers and killed all of them. However, one hit him with a phosphorous grenade, blinding him in one eye. He refused discharge, saying that as long as he could see through the scope, he had enough eyes. During the Battle of the Scheldt, Major single-handedly captured 93 German soldiers and was offered a Distinguished Conduct Medal. He refused, saying that the man awarding it, General Bernard Montgomery, was an incompetent, so any award from him was worthless. In the beginning of 1945, he was in a vehicle that struck a landmine. He broke both ankles, 4 ribs, and fractured 3 vertebrae. He still continued, refusing evacuation. In April of that year, his unit came upon the Dutch city of Zwolle. His commander asked for two volunteers for a reconnaissance mission. Major and his friend Willie volunteered. They were expected to go see how many German soldiers were in the town. Shortly into their mission, Willie was killed, and the plan changed. Major was out for blood. He went down the street guns blazing and throwing grenades while yelling in French to convince the Germans that the Canadians had sent their whole force into the town. He captured nearly one hundred German troops who went fleeing from their cover. Later that night, he came upon the Gestapo HQ and burned it to the ground. He barged into the SS HQ later that same night, killed 4, and ran the other 4 out of town. At 4:30 a. m. He discovered that the city belonged to the Dutch again, and the Germans had been run out. He received a Distinguished Conduct Medal for single-handedly liberating the town of Zwolle. But he still wasn’t done. In the Korean War, he was asked to lead a strike team of elite snipers to support an American division. He and his twenty men took the hill single-handedly and held it while nearly 20,000 Chinese soldiers attacked their position. He was ordered to retreat. Instead, he held the hill for three days until reinforcements arrived. For this action, he received a bar to his DCM.
While the story is probably embellished some, it’s still amazing. While on a fur trapping expedition, he was mauled by a grizzly bear, which he killed with some help, then passed out. Later, he woke up to find his party abandoned him and he had no equipment. So he cleaned his multiple wounds, used the bear’s skin as a bandage, and spent the next six weeks making it back to civilization. Along the way he fought off wolves, made his own raft to travel down a river, and with the help of natives sewed the bear skin in place to replace his own.
Witold Pilecki was a Polish soldier and resistance member who volunteered to get imprisoned in the Auschwitz concentration camp in order to gather intelligence and escape. While in the camp, Pilecki organized a resistance movement and as early as 1941, informed the Western Allies of Nazi Germany’s Auschwitz atrocities. He escaped from the camp in 1943 after nearly 3 years of imprisonment.
To elaborate, he was a tiny guy that ran track for the US Olympic team in Germany. He got cleated up so bad by the other runners he was bleeding all over the place and he busted it down the final stretch, didn’t win but the crowd was going nuts for the guy so much so that hitler asked to shake his hand after the race. Plane gets shot down in ww2, survives longer a drift than anyone has ever survived while fighting off sharks. Washes ashore a Japanese prison camp, much badassery ensues here. Gets tortured for a couple years and after he’s released, this cat returns to japan to tell his torturer that he forgives him, the coward won’t meet him. This guy even died on the Fourth of July. Oh and some say he was actually the first to run a mile in under four minutes, in the sand.
If Commanding General of the American Expeditionary Forces in WWI, John J. Pershing was alive today, he would probably say the following on how to deal with suicide bombers and deter Islamic terrorists: further action can be taken once they blow themselves up; there is an effective substance that can deter these bombers. Its pork, and it will deny any Muslim extremist what they seek after death. During the Philippine Wars 1899-1913, we fought another Islamic terrorist group called the Moro’s, which were decisively quelled by John J. Pershing. One tactic he employed is said to have happened in 1911, when Pershing was serving as commander of a garrison. Following numerous Islamic terrorist attacks, Pershing captured fifty of the Moro’s, and used their religion against them. Forced to dig their own graves, the terrorists were all tied to posts, for execution by firing squad. American soldiers then brought in pigs, slaughtered them, and then coated their bullets with the blood and fat from the pigs. Pershing turned the tables, and terrorized these terrorists; he ensured they saw that once struck by the firing squad’s bullets, they would be contaminated with the pig’s blood. Even worse, their bodies would be dumped in a grave with a pig carcass, meaning that they could not enter Heaven, even if they were engaged in a Jihad. Pershing followed through with the operation. Forty-nine Moro’s were shot, their bodies dumped into the graves, and the dead pig carcasses and entrails poured all over them. The Fiftieth Moro was spared, and allowed to return to his camp, to spread the word to his fellow Jihadists what happened to the others. He must have made it clear what fate awaits any Jihadists caught by the Americans from that point forward, as it brought an end to terrorism in the Philippines for the next 50 years.
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Highways and dead endsThe hunt for Xavier Ligonnès is enough to drive you crazy. It’s like looking for a lost object, a bank card for example, of which we can determine the exact moment of disappearance: we used it to pay, it was there, and the next moment it is not there anymore. Logic dictates that we look for it where we usually store it (a wallet, a handbag), then where it could be (a back pocket of pants, a hall cabinet), and the less we find it , the more we seem to see it everywhere. Faced with absence, the brain constructs images (the credit card in an office drawer, as a bookmark in a book, forgotten on the counter of the last store) but these are fictions or mirages; they encourage further research but they do not provide a solution. Xavier Ligonnès’s apparent volatilization follows the same logic and produces the same effects on the investigation. The more weeks and months go by, the more places to look get smaller. Emmanuel Teneur ends up leading the investigators to the Société Générale agency on Place Royale in Nantes, but the safe he holds there is simply empty. A request for information on Joven Soliman is sent to the security attaché for the French Embassy in the Philippines. He is a sedevacantist priest, a fringe of traditionalist Catholicism who considers the Pope to be an imposter. The attaché transmits the hours of mass where he officiates. A trip to the Philippines is being considered, but that would mean going to the other side of the world to look for a needle in the thousands of islands of the archipelago. If this track has never been closed, nothing has supported it to date.
Since we must push logic to the end, the investigators even contact the American authorities to corroborate or contradict the story of protected witnesses told by Ligonnès in his famous letter. The DEA has never heard of the individual, and the liaison officer based at the Miami consulate assures us that his last trip to the United States was in 2003: Ligonnès arrived in Florida on July 18 and left on August 22. The study of his entourage also did not highlight anyone capable of providing false papers to the fugitive, and if he had gone through a criminal network, the police believed that an informant would undoubtedly have warned them to protect himself.
Then there are the news reports: the portrait of Ligonnès goes around France, and even if he has undoubtedly changed his physical appearance, his hairstyle, perhaps had even resorted to cosmetic surgery, someone, somewhere, might recognize him one day. After all, that’s how John List, a New Jersey insurance salesman who killed his wife and mother in 1971, was arrested. He waited for two of his children to return from school to coldly shoot them, then attended his youngest son’s football game before shooting bullets through him at home. He evaded justice for 18 years until a co-worker recognized him from a report on America’s Most Wanted.
Rarely has a criminal case given rise to as many appeals as that of Ligonnès, because his stalking not only bewitches the police, it torments an entire country. More than 1000 reports, thousands of pages of depositions, letters, verifications. You have to imagine the miles of printed paper that this represents when they are stacked on a desk. The most recent: in July, after the broadcast of a Netflix documentary on the subject in the United States, the producers of the film claimed to have received an interesting lead in Chicago; but it’s just one more drop in the bucket. Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès has been seen in Annecy, Nancy, Cholet, Corsica (several times); on the side of a road, thumbs up, by a French tourist in Las Vegas; disguised as a chimney sweep in Nîmes; in a hotel in Cantal and in a pizzeria where he paid cash in a hurry; seen again in Germany, in Italy, and heard on the telephone by the reception of the psychiatric hospital of Troyes. Since he disappeared looking like the ordinary neighbor, since he was a representative and his profession has taken him to all corners of France, there is no less reason to see him in Mulhouse than in Roche-sur-Yon, and you can simply see him everywhere.
Aire de Lançon-Provence in July 2020
Extracts: “It was the same look, except that he looked very sad, in the west, but he had the same glasses as in the photo you are showing me”; “He looked like a man like everyone else, but there was something odd in his eyes;” “Yesterday, around 1:00 pm, I was watching the news on television on the TFI channel. I saw a report where an individual killed his children and his wife before disappearing into the wild. (...) Seeing the gentleman in the photo, I made the connection with the person whom I had crossed Sunday afternoon because he had the same smile.” At the Vauvert tourist office: “I hardly look at the news, but Thursday evening I saw the photo of Mr. Ligonnès, I had the impression of having already seen him, my heart was racing.” Between Carpentras and Avignon, when he comes back from the bakery, the manager of one of Nicolas Sarkozy’s brothers crosses paths with a man with a beige bob, which he is certain is the fugitive. “I flashed,” he says. “For me, there is no doubt. This is him.” Still more letters are sent to the police to offer them help. An amateur astrologer requests a copy of the suspect’s birth certificate to establish a birth chart, a woman in child-like writing recommended a great medium who had helped her find her daughter who had become a junkie in Marseille. A prisoner asked in writing to be sent to Guinea to go hunt him down in the jungle, attaching to his letter a list of the necessary equipment, including infrared glasses and a “samurai sword.”
With each letter, with each phone call to report a suspicious individual, investigators attempt to cross-reference the information. They patiently collect the testimonies of the depositors to know where Xavier Ligonnès was seen, if he was accompanied or not, what was his size and his outfit. Inconsistent testimonies or those referring to individuals who are too young (Ligonnès would be 59 years old today) and too small (he measures a little over 1.80 meters) are discarded. For the others, investigators check the CCTV recordings, when they have not been erased and when the cameras have actually recorded on tape. If the person has been spotted pumping gasoline, in a Géant Casino, or in a Courtepaille, they trace the means of payment used and seize the duplicates of bank cards. They give priority to the restaurants, especially the Buffalo Grill, Ligonnès’ favorite establishment. And when the trail is still hot and the dishes haven’t been done yet, they collect DNA from the plates and cutlery. A few months after the start of the investigation, the investigating judge in charge of the case will even be forced to ask them to slow down, the seals starting to take on the appearance of a china cabinet in a large restaurant.
The Total service station in Lançon-Provence, July 2020
The PJ of Nantes believed on several occasions to finally have in hand the winning ticket and to be on the point of intercepting Ligonnès. This was the case in Borgo, where a photo taken from the video surveillance of a supermarket in this small Corsican town was very similar. Upon verification, it was only a local. They believed in it even more in January 2018 when they were told that an individual with a strong resemblance to Xavier Ligonnès was at the Saint-Désert Notre-Dame de Pitié monastery near Roquebrune-sur-Argens. About twenty police officers raided and searched the premises until they came across Brother Jean-Marie Joseph, who certainly looked disturbingly like Ligonnès, but who was not him. In still other cases, the police were never able to “close the track,” and it is perhaps Ligonnès who was seen.
For example, in Lançon-Provence, April 26, 2011. That day, at 2:44 am, Mahjoub B., a handler by profession, parks his vehicle at the Total service station after the Lançon-Provence toll. He fills up, then goes to the store to pay. On his way, he passes a 45- to 50-year-old man, about six feet tall, who hangs out there between the gas pumps and the store. When he returns to his vehicle, his colleague asks him if he has seen the man, whom he is convinced is the one everyone is looking for, the one who killed his family in Nantes. Mahjoub then takes a new look at the individual, notices that he is wearing glasses, light jeans, that he has brown hair a little graying and a beard of a day. At his feet, four rigid shopping bags, one red, one white, one brown and one whose color he cannot distinguish. Inside the store, employees also noticed the individual. He’s been out for almost three hours. At one point, he walks in to ask for free coffee, as part of a promotion. Behind her cash register, Jocelyne H. notes a detail: he is missing a tooth. “The second on the left, I believe,” she says when heard by investigators. This is information that has never filtered out and yet, it’s true – a little detail, Xavier Ligonnès was missing a tooth. Little by little, the space has filled in, but you can always see it when he smiles. The images from the station’s surveillance cameras are confusing: if this man is not the one we are looking for, it must be his twin brother. At 3 a.m., the cameras show him hitchhiking by a Volkswagen Combi, which investigators quickly find. The driver’s name is Christophe B. He has not heard of the case, and he must be one of the only ones in the country; but Christophe is no longer listening to the news because, he says, “the news is bad all the time.” From the hitchhiker on the night of the 25th to the 26th, he remembers that he “did not smell very good” and that he had a growing beard. They didn’t discuss much. The man simply told him that he was coming from Paris where he had gone to see “his sick old father,” and that he wanted to take the train to Aix-en-Provence. Christophe dropped him off at a motorway exit, the 30 or the 31, between 4 a.m. and 4.15 a.m. The surveillance cameras at Aix train station allow you to get back on track. He is filmed on the forecourt at 6 am, he wears light pants, a dark jacket. He buys a ticket at 1.20 euro, free destination. Then we lose track.
Despite all the checks, despite all the cameras, it will be impossible to track this man perfectly resembling Dupont de Ligonnès, who could nevertheless have confirmed that he was, at least on this date, still alive.
How can one suddenly evaporate in plain sight, and how could a man who has collected chess all his life accomplish this feat? The XDDL mystery makes it possible to scaffold all the theories. These flourish in books, in docudramas and, of course, on the Internet. We imagine Ligonnès protected by the secrecy of a monastery, flown to the United States, where he can go unnoticed thanks to his English without an accent, or even on the escape alongside a woman he would have manipulated. The police officers in charge of the case do not work on theories or psychological profiles, but according to a scientific approach: they always start from a fact, which opens a track, which they then explore until the end, close, and move on to another. This method is also a way to protect yourself from endless guesswork, or insanity, but it doesn’t always work. Several times, the track looks like a highway towards the fugitive, and the police are convinced that they will finally close this investigation. But they end up stumbling upon the worst thing ever, as was the case with the allusion to Emmanuel Teneur’s sailboat: coincidences.
Coincidence number 1. When the Ligonnès C5 was discovered in the Formula 1 car park in Roquebrune, the night watchman informed them that two reservations had been made in the name of Dupont Xavier, one on April 5 and the another on April 14. The hotel manager then specifies that the first reservation was actually made for April 6. That day, however, XDDL was in Nantes, probably digging the grave of Thomas, murdered the day before. Had he thought of accomplishing his crimes earlier or had he reserved a room for an accomplice, who might have been hiding something for him? The videos of April 5 and 6 are no longer available, but payment for the room was made with a Crédit Agricole credit card. The number gives a name, Faiçal E., and an address. Could it be an accomplice? The checks are launched immediately lead to a man who simply used “Dupont Xavier” as an assumed name - like Ligonnès - to book a night in the same hotel, the same year, the same month, within ten days.
Coincidence number 2. The liaison officer in Miami launches research around the various aliases used by XDDL, for operations of “mystery shopper” or to stay in hotels. In the FBI file, he finds a certain Xavier Laurent, one of Ligonnès’s favorite nicknames, installed in Jacksonville, north of Florida. Jacksonville is not just any city. This is where Hugues, the cousin of XDDL lived, and it is also this locality that Ligonnès and his friend Michel Rétif declared to customs in 1990 during their trip to the United States. At the very end of the personalized letter sent to Michel on April 8, Xavier Ligonnès seemed to allude to it: “I will think about you there. (Not the right to tell you where, but you went there with me...in November 90…a clue to dig. LOL).” But this Xavier Laurent is another twist of fate: the police come across a certain Evan Shaffer, a petty criminal who has chosen this alias to commit crimes.
Coincidence number 3. Ten days before the crimes, XDDL reconnects with a childhood sweetheart, Catherine K., whom he met in Versailles in the 1980s. Between March 22 and 24, they exchange text messages and try to find a date to meet the week of April 12, in Chamonix. These messages intrigue the investigators, some answers seem surprising, almost illogical, and they suspect Ligonnès of having wanted to ensure a logistical relay in his escape. A little later, a certain Patrick O. reports having seen XDDL in the queue of a Sixt car rental agency at Nice airport on April 17, 2011. By peeling the names of dozens of people having rented a car that day, the police officers miss the infarction: in capital letters, white on black, appears the surname of Catherine, who would have rented a vehicle at 1:30 am. A few hours later, their heart rate drops again: it was only a perfect disambiguation.
Each coincidence causes the same chain of reactions. First a eureka!, the certainty of having finally found the tiny detail from which to trace everything. The police then cast their nets like fishermen on the high seas, telephone or banking requisitions, requests for listings, identity checks. Then they wait. It can last from a few hours to several weeks, and inevitably it is a burning, nagging wait, tense by the fear that the track will fly away. Finally, there is the immense disappointment and the obligation to face reality again: Xavier Ligonnès is still nowhere to be found, a track has flown again, and we have to hoist the rock up the mountain again. Those who have worked or are still working on the affair strive to maintain a cold, rational, police facade. But little by little, by dint of chasing a shadow - not even a shadow, a ghost - obsession lurks. One of them, a police officer with a professional Protestant pastor, now out of the investigation, still returned until recently to consult the investigation file every week, saying he simply wanted to put the 12,000 pages of documents in order. For a year, a criminal analyst has also been mobilized. He enters all the elements of the file in a software which digests them and spits out, perhaps, new threads to draw. In the meantime, the two police officers who are still following the investigation - one at the PJ in Nantes, one at the OCRVP, in Paris - “live” the case, as their colleagues say. Among these thousands of pages there is no doubt a clue that has gone unnoticed or, better, a lead that has not yet been explored.
Track number 1. Who typed “fraternité saint-thomas becket” on Google on April 3 at 11:34 pm, before clicking on a link in the Cité-Catholique forum? Is it the same person who, the same night at 2:01 am, from an iPhone, did the search for “communion state mortal sin,” bringing it to the same forum? On April 8, the user of this phone will in any case send the search engine the request “hello Chacou”, which will lead him (her) again to the Cité-Catholique forum. Chacou was one of the pseudonyms of Xavier Ligonnès. Investigators saw crazier coincidences, but still: can it really be someone other than Xavier Ligonnès, who himself connected to Cité-Catholique almost every day of his escape? The last article published on the site about Saint-Thomas Becket, an ultra-traditionalist fraternity which practices mass in Latin, dates from January 2009. It indicates the name of its founder, Father Jean-Pierre Gac, and specifies this: “Born in the diocese of Blois where there are two communities (…), the fraternity has also extended in the diocese of Toulon - a parish is also entrusted to them in Ollioules.” Ollioules is located six kilometers from La Seyne-on-Mer, where XDDL spent its penultimate known night, and 94 kilometers from Roquebrune. Jean-Pierre Gac was questioned by the police but claimed to have never been in contact with the fugitive. Investigators have always believed in the possibility that Ligonnès took refuge in a monastery in the Var. They considered to search them one by one, before understanding that there are dozens and dozens of brotherhoods and fraternities, that they are not always castles of the Purple Rivers but sometimes simple farms, lost in the hinterland. To mount a search, it would be necessary to ensure that they do not communicate with each other, and therefore to visit them all at the same time. The examining magistrate quickly tempered the fervor of the police and declared the operation impossible.
Track number 2. Xavier Ligonnès had two secret Facebook accounts. The first is named after his favorite country singer, Waylon Jennings. One of his nieces had also found him a month before the crimes, sending him a message, “but who is behind this nickname?,” to which XDDL had immediately replied “How did you manage to arrive on the Waylon Jennings Facebook profile? Too clever! Microsoft Advantage??? Kiss.” The second account concerns a certain “George Town” residing in Nantes and is linked to one of Ligonnès’ many email addresses, [email protected]. The police send a requisition to the management of Facebook in Palo Alto to obtain the creation and connection logs of the two profiles. The answer comes in days: the first was created in February 2010, the second in December 2007, when France had barely discovered the social network. Above all, the response indicates that Ligonnès connected to the two accounts on the night of April 4 to 5, between the first assassinations and that of Thomas. The profiles have since been deleted but suggest he could have used them to communicate with a third party. Catherine K., the youthful lover that XDDL contacted a few days before the tragedy, also reported to the police that she had been approached by a certain Philippe Steiner, whom she did not know, around May 20. He sent her a strange message, suggesting that they might have had a relationship in the past. When she went to respond, the profile had already been deleted. Today there are almost 100 Facebook accounts on behalf of Waylon Jennings, some are created and deleted every day.
Track number 3. When the Ligonnès family is having their last meal on April 3, 2011, around 9 pm, a young woman walks through the glass doors of the police station on Place Waldeck-Rousseau in Nantes. Originally from a small village near Vannes, Julie is a BTS student and comes to file a complaint: the Twingo that her father lets her drive has been broken into, probably during the night. There was not much inside, but Julie reported the theft of her car radio as well as the vehicle’s logbook, which she normally stored in a small Renault gray faux leather pouch. This same pouch was found on April 22 in the dresser of the Ligonnès living room where Xavier used to store his papers, during the investigation the day after the discovery of the bodies. The police did not follow this track: they put the break-in of Julie’s car on the account of one of the Ligonnès sons, Arthur, who had already been arrested for theft of a bicycle and driving under the influence of cannabis. But why would Arthur have taken the vehicle papers with the car stereo, and why would he put them in the middle of his father’s papers? And if the theft was committed by Xavier Ligonnès a few hours before killing his family, how can this be explained? Was he able to steal other identity papers to facilitate his escape?
In this case, it is always about cars. Those imported by XDDL from the United States, the Citroën C5 from the escape, the vehicles he claimed had been stolen over the years: the first at the Brest police station in 1998, while living in Pornic, a second at the same time at the Saint-Nazaire police station, and then again, in Nantes, on May 17, 2006, a Golf convertible finally found then sold a few months later to a mechanic, a friend of Cédric M.
Cédric M. is never far away when it comes to cars. He is also a mechanic, that’s how Ligonnès met him in Vannes a few years earlier. He is one of the recipients of the departure letter, therefore a close friend. He was even the first employee of the RDC. Ligonnès regularly went to visit him in Locmalo in the heart of Morbihan, a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Nantes. With Cédric and his partner, Renaud, they went to the local creperie. They had lunch there together on March 31, 2011, four days before the crimes. In the village, it is said that Ligonnès took care of the dark accounts of the “guys,” who have quite a reputation. Could he have built up a slush fund there that no one would have found until now? Cédric and Renaud’s garage is not indicated by any sign. It is at the end of a road. In the yard, wrecks of American cars and a goat on a leash. Inside, Renaud is working on a shiny yellow Cadillac. His attitude is confusing. He is angry with the police who have never come to question him when he is, according to him, “the last to have seen [Xavier] alive. But I will not tell you when, because that the date is important,” he adds before returning to his Cadillac, wrench in hand.
To date, Renaud has still not been heard by investigators.
At the same time, reports continue to flow.
Ligonnès seen in Mulhouse, on the four lanes between Saint-Brieuc and Rennes in a Peugeot 308 and overtaking on the right, Ligonnès seen again in Tunis and Toulouse.
Ligonnès seen, but never caught.
Next Section-Part 2D
- U.S. stock futures turned strongly positive Monday morning after the Federal Reserve pledged asset purchases with no limit to support markets. Dow futures hit their 5% “limit down” overnight, and were off 600-points at one stage Monday morning, as a massive coronavirus funding package failed a key Senate procedural vote Sunday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average tanked another 900 points or 4.5% on Friday, bringing the weekly decline to over 17% for the worst week since the 2008 financial crisis. Ahead of Monday’s session, the Dow was off more than 35% from last month’s record highs. The New York Stock Exchange’s trading floor will be close starting Monday. The NYSE will go to fully electronic trading. The 10-year Treasury yield, which popped back above 1% last week, was below that level early Monday.
- Top-level White House and congressional negotiators burned the midnight oil over the now-nearly $2 trillion coronavirus rescue package. Democrats blocked the bill in Sunday’s vote, saying it did too much to bail out companies and not enough to help workers. Several GOP senators, including Rand Paul, who tested positive for the coronavirus, were not present to vote. Others, such as Mitt Romney, were in quarantine as a precaution. The Federal Reserve and Treasury are working on financing programs that could be worth $4 trillion. Goldman Sachs upgraded shares of Boeing, which is hoping for a bailout. Boeing stock has dropped 80% from recent highs on the dual crises of the outbreak and the grounding of its 737 Max.
- The United States has the third most coronavirus cases in the world, with over 35,000 and 471 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. More than half the U.S. cases are in New York, where the death toll increased to 153. Washington state has the second-most cases, with nearly 2,000 confirmed and 95 deaths. New Jersey, California and Illinois round out the top five states. President Donald Trump on Sunday activated the National Guard in New York, Washington state and California in order to combat the spread of the coronavirus. New York plans to run a clinical trial, beginning Tuesday, of a treatment regimen of antimalarial hydroxychloroquine and antibiotic azithromycin, a drug cocktail that has shown promise in fighting the coronavirus.
- Global coronavirus cases topped 343,000, with 14,789 deaths and over 98,800 recoveries. China, where the outbreak started in December, still has the most cases at over 81,400. China’s 3,274 deaths are second to Italy’s 5,476 deaths. Italy is second in total cases at over 59,100. The U.S., Spain and Germany round out the top five countries. German Chancellor Angela Merkel went into quarantine over the weekend after contact with a doctor who tested positive for the virus. The German government is set to unveil major stimulus measures. Pressure mounts to cancel the Tokyo summer Olympics, set to begin at the end of July. Canada said it won’t send teams to compete. Local media reports indicate that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is considering a delay.
- Cisco Systems is committing $225 million to assist in efforts aimed at combating the coronavirus while the rest of Silicon Valley also initiates an investment blitz. 3M said it will supply New York and Seattle with a half-million N95 respirator masks to address the ongoing shortage of health-care equipment. Merck said it will supply New York City with a half-million masks. Chinese billionaire and Alibaba founder Jack Ma sent to Africa 5.4 million face masks, over 1 million testing kits, 40,000 sets of protective clothing and 60,000 protective face shields. BlackRock is committing $50 million in outbreak relief.
Boeing (BA) – Boeing was upgraded to “buy” from “neutral” at Goldman Sachs, which said Boeing will remain a going concern and that flight travel will be as popular as ever once COVID-19 is resolved.
STOCK SYMBOL: BA
Coca-Cola (KO) – Coca-Cola was upgraded to “overweight” from “neutral” at JPMorgan Chase, which points to rebound prospects post-COVID-19 and the idea that consensus estimates for revenue and profit are conservative.
STOCK SYMBOL: KO
Deere (DE) – The heavy equipment maker withdrew its financial outlook for 2020 due to the virus outbreak, and is temporarily shutting down some operations. It is continuing to operate in the U.S. and globally to the extent possible.
STOCK SYMBOL: DE
Amazon.com (AMZN) – Amazon is raising overtime pay for warehouse workers amid a surge in online shopping. Amazon’s move follows similar action from rival Walmart (WMT), which raised the minimum wage for e-commerce warehouse workers.
STOCK SYMBOL: AMZN
Danaher (DHR) – Danaher’s Cepheid unit received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for its rapid coronavirus diagnostic test, the first of its kind. The test can deliver results in about 45 minutes, compared to lab results which can take days.
STOCK SYMBOL: DHR
Netflix (NFLX) – Netflix was upgraded to “outperform” from “neutral” at Baird, which thinks the video streaming service will benefit from at least 2 factors: more people at home due to the coronavirus outbreak, and acceleration of cord-cutting due to the lack of live sports on TV.
STOCK SYMBOL: NFLX
Apple (AAPL) – Apple dropped a two-device limit on online iPhone purchases, just days after instituting that limit. Apple brick-and-mortar stores outside China remain closed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
STOCK SYMBOL: AAPL
Newmont (NEM) – Newmont withdrew its 2020 outlook, with the mining company planning to defer some of its production to 2021.
STOCK SYMBOL: NEM
Occidental Petroleum (OXY) – Occidental is near a settlement with activist investor Carl Icahn, according to The Wall Street Journal. Under the proposed deal, two Icahn allies would receive seats on the Occidental board, and a third independent director would be mutually agreed upon by Icahn and Occidental.
STOCK SYMBOL: OXY
MGM Resorts (MGM) – The casino operator named Bill Hornbuckle – the president of its international division – as acting chief executive officer. Jim Murren stepped down as chairman and CEO over the weekend, following last month’s announcement that Murren would vacate that position.
STOCK SYMBOL: MGM
Gilead Sciences (GILD) – The drugmaker put emergency access to its experimental coronavirus drug remdesivir on hold due to overwhelming demand.
STOCK SYMBOL: GILD
Best Buy (BBY) – The electronics retailer withdrew its financial guidance for the current quarter and the fiscal year, due to uncertainty related to the virus outbreak. It is also suspending all share buybacks and is shifting to curbside service only for its stores.
STOCK SYMBOL: BBY
Starbucks (SBUX) – The coffee chain is closing most of its company cafes across North America for two weeks, limiting service to drive-through.
STOCK SYMBOL: SBUX
Tiffany (TIF) – French luxury goods maker LVMH denied last week’s reports that it is mulling buying shares of Tiffany on the open market, saying it is sticking with the takeover agreement signed in late 2019. Reports last week had said LVMH was considering open market purchases of Tiffany shares, since they are now selling for less than the agreed-upon takeover price.
STOCK SYMBOL: TIF
Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) – The housewares retailer is closing its flagship-branded stores until April 3, to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
STOCK SYMBOL: BBBY
Marriott (MAR), (HLT) – These and other hotel companies are placing tens of thousands of workers on furlough, as travel dries up in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak.
STOCK SYMBOL: MAR
Chiudi Menu. Home; SHOP; Schedule a guide tour; Mass Hours and general opening hours; Visit Montecassino; Worship. Monastic Life; The Rule of Saint Benedict; Lectio Divina Um Rom einzunehmen, hatten die US-Strategen im Januar 1944 einen komplizierten Plan entworfen. Doch die verschiedenen Angriffe scheiterten an den Befestigungen der deutschen Gustav-Linie. Um Rom zu decken, hatte die Wehrmacht die Gustav-Linie besetzt. Im Januar 1944 begannen alliierte Truppen mit dem Angriff auf die Schlüsselstellung Monte Cassino. Die Schlacht dauerte fünf Monate. Background . Landing in Italy in September 1943, Allied forces under General Sir Harold Alexander began pushing up the peninsula. Due to the Apennine Mountains, which run the length of Italy, Alexander's forces advanced on two fronts with the Lieutenant General Mark Clark's US Fifth Army on the east and Lieutenant-General Sir Bernard Montgomery's British Eighth Army on the west. Allied strategy in Italy during World War II centered on keeping the Wehrmacht fully committed so that its veteran divisions could not be shifted to help repel the cross-Channel invasion. However ... Enjoy your vacation in Italy. Read more. CharlieL wrote a review Aug 2020. London, United Kingdom 3 contributions 1 helpful vote. Visiting Monte Cassino. Danila met us on the way and we were able to hear a thorough explanation of the context for Monte Cassino and the Italian campaign. We had two teenagers wth us who have lowish attention spans, but they were fascinated by the tour and came ... Overall command of ground forces in Italy fell to British General Sir Harold Alexander, commander of the 15th Army Group, composed of Clark’s Fifth Army, which pushed up the western flank of the peninsula, and the British Eighth Army, by that time under the command of Lt. Gen. Sir Oliver Leese, which pressed north along Italy’s east coast. Due to the barrier of the Apennines, each army was ...
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