vendredi 30 décembre 2011

THE HANS PETERSON AFFAIR

Has Guadeloupe missed the trial of the century?
From the 21st to the 25th of November 2011, the richly panelled walls of the criminal court of Basse-Terre resonated the names and words well known to fans of American TV crime dramas but much less well known in the interior of the Guadelopian honorable court : Cleveland, FBI, Chicago, escape to Mexico, New York, Barack Obama, etc. The case judged within the walls was exceptional for many reasons but most of all because it concerned a murder, committed October 2006 in Chicago, whose outburst of violence would have made Al Capone shudder.



The Peterson's file (pic ©FG)


An extraordinary poker player

The author of the crime, born in the United States to a father from Oregon and a mother from Normandy, took refuge, after a brief escape to Mexico, in the French region of the little Carribean island of St Martin. During seven months, he comfortably spent his days earning up to 20,000 euros per month while playing internet poker, as revealed by the reporting of the journalist dedicated to this story, Mathieu Jégo1. Hans Peterson, according to the testimony of Advocate-General, Camille Tardo-Dino, who demanded a life sentence, has a "superior intelligence" : "certainly much more intelligent than me", he conceded. For Jabiru, my illustrious fellow blogger of Saint Martin who has led a long and detailled examination of this story, the young American presents all of the symptoms of Asperger's syndrome. He unearthed as well a text written by Hans, left on a forum devoted to this pathology where he described his symptoms2. Among those mentioned were a pronounced form of autism that gave him an exceptional intelligence and certain skills. The choice of the young American, who had opted for a French territory, was everything except accidental. Being able to justify having one of his two parents as a French citizen, he did not hesitate to demand the same for himself and also obtain it.

International Pressure
French citizenship in his pocket, he escaped the probable capital punishment with which his native country would have condemned him : France had abolished the death penalty in 1981 and later ruled never to extridite its citizens. The case was thereafter the subject of many bitter diplomatic discussions between France and the United States. A young and up-and-coming senator from Illinois, the state where resides the city of Chicago, took up the cause for the family of Doctor Cornbleet, the victim of Hans Peterson, and did not spare any means necessary to obtain his extradition, taking pains to write several letters to Condolezza Rice, then secretary of state under the Bush administration, as well as to Bernard Kouchner, the French minister of foreign affairs3. He would not let the matter rest there, once invested as president of the United States, since as you will well comprehend, the young senator was none other than Barack Obama; he would mention this affair that was dear to him to Nicolas Sarkozy from the very first meeting between the two leaders, as specified to me by the lawyer of Hans Peterson, Gabriel Danchet-Gordien. If Sarkozy has not ceded, it is more than likely that he had wanted to reassure his powerful counterpart on the fact that the murderer would be heavily punished. It is therefore an extraordinary case that was judged in Guadeloupe, under the far-off but attentive watch of the president of the most powerful country of the world, and with the international pressures that I have just mentioned.


 Letter addressed to Bernard Kouchner (source : http://www.jabiru-blog.com/)

Hans Peterson
The young man who appeared in the dock is 33 years old today. Chestnut hair cut short, blue eyes, absent and far-off stare, pallid, long and delicate hands reminscent of a pianist's. One can hardly believe that a young man so calm, with an appearance so peaceful and detached could be the author of such a crime. He was born in Oregon the 21st of July 1978. His father was a doctor, just like his victim, but with the exception of being an acupunture specialist. His mother came from Saint Lô in Normandy, France. She had made the voyage in order to attend the trial in company of Stéphanie, Hans's little sister



Hans Peterson (pic ©FG) 


Stéphanie told at the bar that they were very close despite a difference in age of four years, sharing the same shyness and the same difficulty to make friends at school. At best, the ambiance at home was deleterious and later Hans took the divorce of his parents very badly. He sank into depression and was prescribed intermittently Zoloft, an antidepressant, between 1996 and 1999. His psychological problems seemed to recede in the following three years, even though he always remained introverted. That did not stop him to succeed brillantly in law school and land an attractive job in the world of finance. On April 23, 2002, he had an appointment with a dermatologist in order to treat his persistent but relatively minor case of acne.

A frightening discovery
Four years later, October 24th 2006, Jocelyn, the daughter of Doctor Cornbleet, a respected dermatologist of Chicago, made a frightening discovery while going to her father's office. The doctor was bathing in a pool of blood. He had been stabbed 71 times with a knife of which forty of them were potentially fatal. The murderer had displayed an unheard of ferocious barbarity, the wrists were slashed to the bone with a hacksaw, traces of welding torch were found on the face. The murderer had at several times stabbed through the throat, and the head of the unfortunate doctor was hanging, piteously and nearly slashed off. The Chicago police detective who recorded the event declared that in his 21 year career, he had never seen such brutality. Even if Americans are numb to their soaring level of crime and staggering amount of violence, the degree of hatred and barbarity of this murder shocks them in Chicago and beyond! The doctor David Cornbleet was a general practitioner respected by all, and money does not seem to have been a motive for the crime.


 David and Jonathan Cornbleet (source : http://www.jabiru-blog.com)

Jabiru has published on his blog an interview with Jonathan Cornbleet, son of the victim, who held a special bond with his father, 64 years old at the time of his death:


« I spent a great deal of my life in his office. I worked for him almost every single Saturday for the past 10 years and also dating back at least 5-10 more was helping out on school breaks. I watched how much his patients loved him. He always thought of his patients as extended family members, talking about them all of the time and caring about them as people and not just customers. 


 Jonathan Cornbleet in the courtroom (pic ©FG)



I was always so proud of how he ran his practice, as he was very ethical, honest, and always put his patients first. He did whatever he could for them often giving away medicine and helping patients in different financial situations out. He cared more about their well being than even his own. »

Reward
It took some time to identify the man who had skinned the dermatologist. The police had discovered that Peterson had an appointment with the Doctor using a fake name. In spite of his precautions to hide from the video-surveillance cameras, his face hidden under a large-visored hat, the authorites managed to determine that a white male, aged 20 or 25 years old who had hurt himself during the event (video from the surveillance cameras : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXGNH_RVHe0&feature=bf_next&list=UL4fP0uObpsLI&lf=mfu_in_order). A reward of 25,000 dollars was offered to anyone who could provide any information leading to the arrest of the author of the crime.

Wanted (source : http://www.jabiru-blog.com/)

One of the two roommates of Hans in New York identified him to the FBI. During this time, after a brief stay in Mexico, Hans Peterson lived then at Saint Martin, at the village of Marigot without taking any precautions to hide himself.



  (source : http://www.jabiru-blog.com/)
Learning that the FBI was hot on his trail, he gave himself up to incredulous French policemen on August 6th 2007. He calmly confessed to them the Chicago murder and then proceded to give them a detailed confession. He was transfered to the penetenciary center of Baie-Mahault in Guadeloupe where he stayed four long years until his trial.
What happened between the first visit to the doctor Cornbleet in 2002 and the last fatal one in 2006 in order that a nice "boy, intelligent, non-violent, calm adolescent, brillant student, diploma in hand, having started his professional life as a stock broker" such as the Advocate-General describes him, transforms into a sadistic and bloody killer ?

To be continued.

FRédéric Gircour (chien.creole@gmail.com) / translation from french : Joel Smith

1 http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3ij1u_hans-peterson-vengeance-et-meutre_news#from=embediframe Hans Peterson : vengeance et meurtre, Mathieu Jego, 66 minutes (M6 chanel))

1 commentaires:

Anonymous the visitor a dit...

Chavez, he at least, he of humor about cancer !

31 décembre 2011 à 09:34  

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