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Another Serial Killer “Expert” Exposed Over Falsehoods

From Le Monde, 2018:

Il va de plateaux de télévision en colloques, de sessions de formation dispensées à l’Ecole nationale de la magistrature à des interventions auprès de psychiatres ou de commissaires de police, ce qui ne l’empêche pas de continuer à interroger des criminels récidivistes un peu partout dans le monde. Dès qu’il s’agit de crimes et de faits divers sanglants, Stéphane Bourgoin est appelé à témoigner de son savoir acquis auprès de plus de soixante-dix « serials killers » (surtout américains) qu’il a interrogés et filmés depuis presque quarante ans. Auteur d’une cinquantaine de livres et de documentaires sur le sujet,

Alas – from the Guardian, yesterday:

An online investigation has exposed French author Stéphane Bourgoin, whose books about serial killers have sold millions of copies in France, as a serial liar…. But in January, anonymous collective the 4ème Oeil Corporation accused him of lying about his past…. He… acknowledged that he never trained with the FBI, never interviewed Charles Manson, met far fewer killers than he has previously claimed, and never worked as a professional footballer – another claim he had made.

Shades of Paul Harrison, whom I discussed here. The 4ème Oeil (“Fourth Eye”) Corporation website can be seen here; the story hit French media on 6 May, when Bourgoin came clean in an interview with Paris Match.

Bourgoin has also admitted making up the existence of a former wife who was supposedly murdered by a serial killer in the US. It appears he appropriated material from two South African police officers, Micki Pistorius and Derick Norsworthy, and an FBI agent named John E. Douglas.

Bourgoin’s Wikipedia entry provides a useful overview of his career – as ever, the site must be used with caution, but there are links to sources. Of particular interest is the extent of his work with police:

En conséquence de son intérêt particulier pour les tueurs en série, Bourgoin est conférencier pendant près de 10 ans — jusqu’en 2007 — au Centre national de formation de police judiciaire de l’école de la Gendarmerie nationale française et à l’École nationale de la magistrature en 2015 et 2018. Il a donné 5 cours à l’École nationale de l’administration pénitentiaire.

It should be noted, though, that that some professionals he advised maintain that he has exceptional insight into the subject.

Bourgoin’s fascination with serial killers appears to have developed out of an interest in horror and fantastic fiction. In the 1980s he translated some works of Robert Bloch, including Bloch’s 1962 novelisation of his own film The Couch, cannily retitled by the French publisher as Psychopathe (although in 2011 Bourgoin also provided the preface for a French edition of Bloch’s classic Psycho). He also translated a study of H.P. Lovecraft by Frank Belknap Long, and wrote books profiling the cinema of Roger Corman and Terence Fisher.

Bourgoin did live in the US in the 1970s, but rather than being trained by the FBI he was writing screenplays for films starring the pornographic actor John Holmes.