Start of the new season of “Presumed Innocent The France Alain Affair – 7 Days”.

On October 25, 1981, France Alain, a 21-year-old electrical engineering student, was shot at close range a few steps from her apartment. The perpetrator of this heinous murder has never been identified. Marie-Claude Savard and Sébastien Trudel want to shed light on this unsolved case.

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After becoming interested in the murder of Michelle Perron – with impressive results – Marie-Claude Savard and Sébastien Trudel are back on the scene in the second season of “Presumed Innocent”. They want to solve another assassination attempt, the one on France Alain. The Laval University student, who went to the supermarket to do some shopping early in the evening, died at the corner of Chapdeleine and Belmont streets in Sainte-Foy after being shot in cold blood with a hunting rifle.


Willpower is not enough

This heinous and unique crime caused great uproar in Quebec at the time. But four decades later, it remains unsolved. “We haven’t seen many unnecessary killings like this. When we had one, everyone wanted to investigate it, everyone wanted to find the perpetrator,” recalls André Fillion, who was a police officer and paramedic in Sainte-Foy at the time. How is it that with so many means and will the matter could never be solved? The presenter duo asks themselves about this in this exciting series in four one-hour episodes.

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Marie-Claude Savard still remembers the death of France Alain. Then, at age nine, she lived two blocks from the crime scene. His family even tightened the rules for his safety, fearing that something would happen to him. Benoît Proulx, a 35-year-old news anchor and ex-boyfriend of the victim, was also near the crime scene at the CHRC station. On the evening of the murder he had broken up with France for three weeks. Due to the proximity of his workplace to the victim’s apartment and because he used information that had not yet been made public to talk about the crime on the air, the communicator became the main suspect in the case, although there was no evidence directly implicating him linked to the murder.

André Arthur enters the scene

Although Benoît Proulx was cleared of suspicion after a forensic examination in 1986, the public and the police continued to doubt him, even after a lie detector exonerated him. The man – who, had he been guilty, would have committed his crime with the precision of a clock between his 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. newscasts, found himself in the hot seat again in 1991 after his colleague André Arthur’s thinly veiled repeat Suspicions in the air every day. “Arthur is an excellent communicator, but when he goes home with an idea, he doesn’t let it go,” recalls Claude Poirier.

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The stubbornness of André Arthur and the arrival of a new witness led to a trial being opened against Proulx ten years after the murder. The defendant was found guilty before the verdict was overturned by the Court of Appeal. He subsequently received more than $2 million in compensation in a civil lawsuit.

But if Proulx isn’t the culprit, then who pulled the trigger? Marie-Claude Savard and Sébastien Trudel have their sights set on mechanic Richard Jobin. This man, now deceased, had links to organized crime and had a sister who was allegedly a regular at Benoît Proulx’s house.

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A big loss

Beyond their exhaustive research into evidence and circumstances, Marie-Claude Savard and Sébastien Trudel’s strength in Presumed Innocent: The France Alain Affair is to help viewers understand what society lost on the evening of October 25, 1981 . A rare electrical engineering student among the hundreds of boys in her cohort, France Alain would have been one of the first female engineers in the field. Former classmates praise not only his smile and energy, but also his great intelligence. “It is a great loss for society, for everything it could have achieved,” one of them said.

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