At ABCIPI we deal with a lot of blackmail cases. Blackmail itself is invariably very disturbing and frightening for anyone to go through. That is because very often the blackmailer will know the victim and the realisation of this can be very painful indeed. That was certainly the case for Pierre.
The Mark Pierre had been a troubled youth. He had a drug problem as a teenager and almost bankrupted his parents who moved heaven and earth to free their son of his addiction. But Pierre had another secret from his past that nobody knew. Now though, his wild days were far behind him and he was about to qualify as a lawyer. It was an exciting time, and the young man had even been offered a job with a local law firm when he qualified. Pierre was engaged to the head of the law firm’s daughter, Angelique and things were looking very bright for the young couple.
It was while Pierre was waiting for his exam results, that he received the email. He almost deleted it, because he didn’t recognise this sender and he thought it was spam. However something in the title – Remember the good old days? – caught his attention. The email told him that the sender had known him when he was in drug rehab. Pierre needed no prompting to remember that time and a girl that he had been involved with and although their love affair was conducted in a drug-fuelled haze, they had married. But then the girl had got pregnant, and a very disabled child was born a victim of his mother’s drug abuse. The child was taken into care. Not only would the fact that Pierre had been in a drug rehab be revealed but also the fact that he had been married and had had a child, years earlier. Pierre was very upset. He was desperate. Here he was on the cusp of a new life, with a woman that he loved, and it was all about to be blown out of the water. Pierre’s parents knew nothing of his earlier marriage and child, but Pierre knew our name because his father had used us on many occasions to screen staff he appointed to his company.
When Pierre first called at us it was hard to make as anything he was saying, he was so distraught.
When we managed to calm Pierre down, we discovered that his blackmailer, unusually, had not asked for the money to be sent by Western Union but asked Pierre to meet up in their hometown of Provins to hand over there money that had been requested. The blackmailer had warned very strongly against police involvement, but hadn’t said anything about private investigators! We told Pierre that he should tell his parents and the police what was going on but he adamantly refused.
Our cyber crime team started work to trace the email address from which the blackmail demand had been sent. Pierre was very anxious to get the matter dealt with and when his blackmailer suggested a meeting, two days later, he agreed. We were there too, in the background. It was not long before the blackmailer turned up. We were surprised. It was a woman. Pierre was also clearly surprised and we could see him arguing with his blackmailer. Eventually he returned to us, and his blackmailer collapsed in tears on a bench. When our team approached the woman and told her that her email address had been traced and that she would be reported to the police it was clear that she was in a bad way, and tracks on her arm indicated that she was a drug user. It turned out that she had been married to Pierre and had heard of his engagement and decided to take her revenge. She told us that Pierre had promised that they would be together once they left rehab and find their baby, but he left her, and she’d fallen back into her old ways. We left it there because we were convinced that she would not bother Pierre again. It was a sad case.
As we say, blackmail is often committed by someone who knows the victim. This was a case of a young woman and a young man who met during the darkest days of their lives. Neither came out of the story well, but the difference was that Pierre had gone on to success in his life, while his ex-partner had continued taking drugs and was on a downward spiral.
We heard from Pierre again about six months later. He had started work at his father-in-law’s firm and his new wife was expecting their first child. He had also heard that his blackmailer had taken an overdose, and died.
If you are being blackmailed, don’t keep it to yourself. Get in touch with us now for a free and confidential initial chat.
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