A slender figure, Isabelle steps forward at the helm. In a voice that struggles to conceal her emotion, this fifties evokes the chaotic affair she had in the summer of 1986 with the accused, whose relationship to women, imbued with great violence, is at the heart of this second day of hearing.
“I was a mail carrier” in Strasbourg, a summer job for this geology student, she recalls. Reiser, who works in the same Post, quickly becomes insistent, she ends up going out with him “out of weakness and to have peace”.
– “Mistake” –
“A mistake, because I still don’t have peace,” says Isabelle, very moved. She is going to live an ordeal with the one she describes as “very skilful for manipulation”, “without sweetness, without tenderness”.
One day when she let him down, preferring to go to the swimming pool with a friend, Reiser, “furious”, ended up finding her, threw her in his car and drove for miles insulting her: “I feel that the situation is very serious (…) I am terrified”.
Arriving in a forest, he “throws her to the ground”, “kicks her in the stomach (…) I was afraid that he would strangle me”, confides Isabelle, while a few meters from there, Reiser, impassive, stares at her from the dock.
The violence and insults will continue until nightfall, before Reiser decides to return home with her. Isabelle tries to escape through the window but he notices: “he squeezed my neck (…) I wanted to leave without being killed”.
She will end up fleeing with the help of her brother and will go to Brest, where Reiser will go to harass her “for a long time”. Before giving up, not without having sent her bouquets, clothes or fiery letters every day for a year…
“He did not kill me, I was lucky”, breathes the one who says “to have been afraid for ten years”.
“He was going into a spin” and “farted cables”, sometimes for futile reasons, abounds Joëlle, who had a daughter in 1992 with Jean-Marc Reiser.
“There was verbal abuse, he went into a spin a few times, blamed me for certain things, I didn’t understand why sometimes,” she recalls.
She also recounts episodes of violence, including one where, on vacation, Reiser had thrown her on a bed and then outside, “armed with a knife”. “He fled when witnesses called the gendarmes,” recalls Joëlle.
Despite her wish “that he leave” in 1995, their relationship did not end until 1997, when the father of her daughter was placed in detention for the first time. “Mr Reiser you can’t leave him, it has to come from him.”
– “Freak” –
Earlier, Jean-Marc Reiser, very voluble, had complained of having been presented in the media “like a monster” since the start of the affair, in September 2018.
Multiplying the digressions to try to make people forget the portrait of a man described as “alone” and “violent”, the one who ended up recognizing after two and a half years having killed and dismembered Sophie Le Tan also complained of to have been “designated as guilty” upon his arrest, triggering indignant reactions in the room.
Known to be very procedural, the accused, glasses on his nose, reviewed files and notes before the hearing, devoted Tuesday morning to his personality.
The three long interviews carried out during the investigation with him in prison and those with his relatives revealed a “lonely childhood” in a family damaged by the alcoholism of the father, a “social isolation” with few friends but also a “high self-esteem”.
“A tendency to minimize” the violence committed on his former companions was also noted.
Strasbourg student Sophie Le Tan disappeared on her 20th birthday after visiting an apartment north of Strasbourg. Author of the rental announcement, the accused was confused by the telephone, significant traces of blood erased in his apartment and the DNA of the victim found on the handle of a hacksaw which was used to cut up the body of the young woman, found in the forest more than a year later.
Jean-Marc Reiser ended up confessing at the start of 2021 but denies having premeditated his act and having set a trap for him with the fictitious real estate ad.
Relatives of Sophie Le Tan are due to testify on Wednesday.