January 9, 1993
Jean-Claude Romand, fearing his 18-year lie of claiming to be a doctor is about to be exposed, bludgeons his wife, sleeps next to her body, shoots his kids the following day, and his parents the day after
Romand’s deceit began by telling people he had passed a medical exam when, in reality, he never took it. Friends and family continued to believe he was a legitimate doctor, even an accomplished researcher at the World Health Organization (WHO). He went so far as to swindle family out of money by telling them he was investing the funds but pocketed the money instead.
On January 9, he beat his wife to death with a rolling pin, and slept next to her body that night. In the morning, he made breakfast for his children and went about a normal day. At night, he shot both children as they slept. On January 11, Romand drove to his parents’ home, ate a meal with them, and shot both his parents and their dog several times. The evening of the 11th, Romand met with his former mistress who had lent him 900,000 francs (approx. $162,000 in 1993 or $277,600 in 2017) which she wished to be repaid. While driving, Romand feigned being lost and pulled the vehicle over. Once he lured the mistress from the car, he tried to strangle her and sprayed tear gas in her face. She fought back and he apologized, promising not to kill her if she didn’t tell authorities.
After the failed murder, Romand went back to his home with the bodies of his wife and children, poured gasoline around the house, took an overdose of expired sleeping pills, and set fire to the building. It is suggested his suicide attempt was not intended to succeed as the pills were expired, he had more effective drugs at his disposal, and he allegedly was able to time the fire and the ingestion of pills to a point he knew firefighters would be able to rescue him.
He was convicted and sentenced to life in prison, though he has been eligible for parole since 2015.
Jean-Claude Romand (top right) with his wife and kids