“Leticia”: The assassination that shocked France became a series of HBO

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Leticia Pere was a beautiful 18-year-old waitress who just ten years ago, in the first days of 2011, disappeared just 50 meters from her foster family home in Nantes. Two weeks later, on the night of January 18, Leticia was found in a field stabbed, strangled, dismembered and beheaded.

THE killer her, one already convicted of most offenses, was caught, tried and sentenced in October 2015 to life in prison. But at the exact same time as the trial, the worst aspects of the unfortunate girl’s life came to light: her foster father, a Nantes Prefecture official, was charged and jailed for sexual abuse minors, including her twin sister.

The case, of course, shocked her France, among them the Polish-Jewish professor of Modern History at the University of Paris XIII, Ivan Zamplonka, who wrote a book in her memory. The book “Laetitia ou la fin des hommes” (Leticia or the end of people) became a bestseller and the American subscription network HBO recently bought its rights and turned it into a TV series which began airing on August 30th.

«There are three injustices in Leticia’s life“, Writes Zamblonka at some point in the book. “Her childhood between a violent father and a foster father who abused his power, her horrible death at the age of eighteen and her transformation into a news bulletin – a macabre spectacle. In the face of the first two injustices I grieve and feel helpless. In the face of the third, all that is mine is revolting “.

The author (and consequently) herself the series obviously stylizes the Third and Fourth World of the French suburbs, where the “oppressed of capitalism” live and toil every day, Dostoevsky figures between decay and incorruption and life and death.

A number of criminologists and investigators worked alongside Zamblonkas trying to recreate this unprecedented tragedy in the best possible way.

The researchers, led by him Yannick Soira, tried to reconstruct her last hours, revealing very bad details about the upbringing of both Leticia and her twin sister, Jessica.

“Behind the tragic murder of Leticia, there was an unknown world, an abusive and dangerous social environment with shattered individual destinies.” said Jean-Javier de Lestrand, director of the series. “This is a true story and it starts with the classic police work: an investigation into the disappearance of an eighteen-year-old girl. Leticia’s life is much more exciting than her death, for which I feel great responsibility and humility. We must remember Leticia, not for the way she died, but for the way she lived “, he adds meaningfully.

“The social sciences constitute literature”

For his part, Zamblonka notes emphatically in an interview with The world, in 2019: “Today the story is solid enough and strong enough to open up to new experiences. To narrate, from various angles, to reconstruct atmospheres, to invent new forms, I do not see why all this contradicts the requirements of the method. The social sciences, as embodied in a text, constitute not only literature but also a new literary form. I mobilize the social sciences in the context of a text: history, sociology, geography, political science, anthropology of the everyday. The most important point for me is that the sciences can lead to a literature. An ability to write is offered to the researcher and an opportunity to understand to the author. I take advantage of both opportunities “and then hands over the baton to the actors of the series.

In six episodes of the series, the director reconstructs the last hours of the young woman and gives a series of convincing answers.

The documentary starts from the birth of the twins of girls and then transfers the center of gravity of history to the family and social environment in which they grew up and was raised, an environment of violence and sexual abuse.

Leticia and Jessica were poorly educated having learning difficulties from elementary school, while growing up without even feeling like a child, simply learning to work hard to provide a living for their foster family.

Leticia lived a “lost life”, a short, short life, never received love from her, affection or tenderness and her horrible end was perhaps less tragic than the 18 years she spent in family horror and gloom.

“The tens of millions of people who had never heard of her have learned that she existed at the time she disappeared,” the series concludes meaningfully, turning a blind eye to everything that, just as shockingly, is about to unfold on the small screen.

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