Unsolved Mysteries: What happened to the Dupont de Ligonnes family?

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Unsolved Mysteries on Netflix is a reboot of the original true-crime series which first aired in the 1990s. Each episode focuses on unsolved crimes and paranormal cases. Episode four is what everybody is talking about and viewers are curious to know about the Dupont de Ligonnès family.

What happened to the Dupont de Ligonnes family?

The Dupont de Ligonnès family were an old aristocratic family originally from Annonay in South East France.

The family members were Xavier Pierre Marie Dupont de Ligonnes, his wife Agnes Dupont de Ligonnes and there four children: Arthur, Thomas, Anne and Benoît.

The Dupont de Ligonnes were living in Nantes, France, at the time tragedy struck their family.

On April 21, the bodies of Agnes and her four children were found buried in the back garden of their family home.

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Suspicions had been raised in early April about the family after they had not been seen in the community for a few days.

Concerned neighbours alerted the police, who visited the house on five occasions and ruled the family had left voluntarily.

However, on their sixth visit, one of the police officers came across the family’s remains in the garden.

The father, Xavier, was not among the remains and he has never been seen since.

According to autopsy reports, the victims were drugged and then shot with a .22 Long Rifle as they slept.

As seen in Unsolved Mysteries, the police were able to trace his movements and he is believed to have disappeared around the same time neighbours raised concern about the family’s welfare.

According to Xavier’s relatives, he wrote a letter to his relatives, dated April 11, stating he and his family had returned to the US as he was a secret agent and to return to America to work on a drug case.

In the letter, he said the entire family were part of the Witness Protection Programme and would be un-contactable for a few years.

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He also advised his family to tell others they had moved to Australia, not the US.

The police have been able to trace Xavier’s movements before his family’s death.

According to French prosecutors and re-told in Unsolved Mysteries, In March 2011, rifle bullets were purchased and Xavier registered at the Charles Des Jamonières shooting range to the north of Nantes.

A receipt found at the home dated towards the end of March listed several purchases including a roll of large bin liners and a box of adhesive plastic paving slabs.

On Friday, April 1, Xavier purchased cement, a shovel and hoe and the following day he purchased four bags of lime, 10kg each from different shops around Nantes.


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On Monday, April 4, Xavier and his son Thomas dined at a restaurant, where Thomas began feeling unwell towards the end of the meal.

Then on Friday, April 8, Xavier sent several emails to family members from the family’s home IP address for the last time.

Prosecutors believe Xavier murdered his wife and three of his children on the night of April 3 to April 4, then murdered his son Thomas on the evening of April 4, but the exact date remains unknown.

Police were able to trace his credit card payments which show him staying at several hotels across the south of France including Vaucluse, Toulouse, La Seyne-Sur-Mer and Roquebrune-sur-Argens.

On Thursday, April 14, Xavier stayed at the Hotel Formule 1 in Roquebrune-sur-Argens, where was captured on CCTV.

April 14, 2011, was the last known sighting of Xavier.

The exact timeline of what happened has never been determined but Xavier is considered the main witness and prime suspect in the Dupont de Ligonnès murders.

He currently remains the subject of an international arrest warrant.

Unsolved Mysteries is streaming on Netflix now.

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