The return of the film awakens the memory of the assassination of Alice near Nantes, twenty years ago

The worldwide release of Scream (this Wednesday in France), eleven years after the last episode, constitutes an event for the fans of the famous horror film for teenagers. In Nantes, this cinematographic news above all awakens the memory of a terrible affair: that of the assassination of Alice Beaupère, 15, by a high school student fascinated by Scream. It was June 3, 2002 in Saint-Sébastien-sur-Loire. The young woman had been stabbed 42 times, at the end of the afternoon, in a square which now bears her name.

Twenty years later, the former mayor of this quiet town in the Nantes suburbs didn’t forget anything. “I have the impression that it happened yesterday, confides Joël Guerriau, today
senator (UDI). We cannot conceal such an abominable drama, it is so heavy. I remember exactly the moments, the places, the infinite pain of the parents whom I had accompanied to the gendarmerie. The release of this film awakens a lot of things in me. It must be the same for many people. It’s still a trauma. “

A mask, a knife and a list of victims

Before dying, Alice Beaupère had had the strength to reveal to a local resident who came to help her the name of her attacker, a 17-year-old friend from the neighborhood. Arrested at his parents’ home, this young man unknown to the police had confessed to the facts and their premeditation, explaining that he wanted to “kill someone”. To the gendarmes, he had confided his fascination for the saga of director Wes Craven, of which he had watched the first three episodes on a loop. A mask, gloves and a knife identical to those of Scream were found at his house in a bag. “He didn’t realize what he was doing. He is in a virtual world, as if he were still in his film”, was surprised an investigator
nearby Parisian.

Friends of Alice Beaupère in tears, June 8, 2002 in Saint-Sébastien-sur-Loire. – F. Perry / AFP

“The killer was just a kid. And the film was his only motive. He had compiled a list of teenage girls to attack. Alice was only to be the third. It was unimaginable,” recalls Joël Guerriau. “We don’t understand what our son did. To learn that he could have been violent towards Alice when they were friends, it is inconceivable “, had at the time entrusted the mother of the accused to France 2.

However, the psychiatric expert reports revealed neither mental illness nor the abolition of discernment at the time of the act. Judged in April 2004 by the Loire-Atlantique Assize Court, the pupil of the Bourdonnières high school was sentenced to twenty-two years’ imprisonment for murder. On appeal, in November 2004, his sentence was increased to 25 years in prison, despite the reiteration of remorse expressed belatedly. The excuse of minority was not accepted.

The senator wants the film banned

Following the affair, which had moved throughout France, several voices were raised to demand a tightening of the bans on access to violent films for minors. Especially since other attacks bearing the influence of Scream had occurred. “This film is a wave of gratuitous violence, the former mayor is indignant today. When you are young, you can be very easily influenced, you can confuse reality. We must act against this. “

He explains that he asked Mc Donald’s, a few years after the tragedy, to “withdraw an advertising campaign using the character of Scream. She had accepted”. Joël Guerriau would now like the film Scream be prohibited. “We should not allow it to come out, if only in memory of Alice Beaupère,” insists the senator.

The parents of the victim have created an association acting for the prevention of violence among young people. Solicited by 20 minutes via their lawyer, they no longer wish to speak on the case today. The former high school student, meanwhile, would no longer be incarcerated, having been released on parole with follow-up.

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