Al-Hilli Alps massacre: Murdered wife had 'secret' ex-husband living in the US who died on same day as shooting

French investigators said that they had uncovered some 'surprising' facts about Iqbal al-Hilli

Paris

A “secret” former husband of one of the victims of the al-Hilli massacre in the French Alps died in the United States on exactly the same day, it emerged today.

French investigators said that they had uncovered some “surprising” facts about Iqbal al-Hilli, 47, who was murdered with her husband and mother and a French cyclist in a forest lay-by almost two years ago.

Media gather at the site of the killings in Chevaline Media gather at the site of the killings in Chevaline

Ms al-Hilli, a dentist, had briefly been married to an American dentist in 1999 when she lived in the United States, investigators have discovered. Ms al-Hilli is believed to have concealed her American marriage and divorce from her second husband, Saad al-Hilli.

Her former husband, identified only as James T from Natchez, Mississippi, died of a heart attack on 5 September 2012: the same day that an unidentified gunman attacked the al-Hilli family and a passing French cyclist on a mountain road near the village of Chevaline above Lake Annecy.

French investigators are intrigued by the coincidence but at this stage have no reason to connect the massacre with the apparently natural death of James T, 4,000 miles away.

Video: 2012 interview with witness

Lieutenant-colonel Benoit Vinnemann, head of the gendarmerie team investigating the Chevaline massacre, said: “We have found out some surprising things about Iqbal al-Hilli and we still have received no explanation on certain questions. Was there a secret in the family which we have not uncovered? Did it concern Saad or his wife Iqbal?”

French police block the road to the murder scene near Lake Annecy in eastern France French police block the road to the murder scene near Lake Annecy in eastern France In a completely separate development, French investigators revealed that they had arrested a 35-year-old Iraqi man in northern France in June after receiving information that he might have carried out the attack. He was cleared of all suspicion and released after he proved that he was not in France at the time.

Saad al-Hilli from Claygate, Surrey, his wife Iqbal and and her mother Suhaila al-Allaf, 74, who lived in Sweden, were shot dead along with a French cyclist,Sylvain Mollier, in a remote forest lay-by near the village of Chevaline on 5 September last year. The al-Hilli’s two small daughters survived the attack.

A number of suspects have been questioned, including Saad’s older brother, Zaid al-Hilli. All have been cleared of suspicion and released.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
football This was Kane’s night, even if he played just a small part of it
Travel
travel Dreamland Margate, Britain’s oldest amusement park, is set to reopen
News
news
News
Founders James Brown and Tim Southwell with a mock-up of the first ever ‘Loaded’ magazine in 1994
media
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Threlfall says: 'I am a guardian of the reality keys. I think I drive directors nuts'
people
Voices
voices The group has just unveiled a billion dollar plan to help nurse the British countryside back to health
News
The Westgate, a gay pub in the centre of Gloucester which played host to drag queens, has closed
news
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...

Recruitment Genius: SEO Executive

£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: New Lift Sales Executive - Lift and Elevators

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A challenging opportunity for a...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss