Murder case

German serial killer charged with murdering French boy after bragging to cellmate

Jonathan Coulom, at age 10 in 2004. He disappeared from a holiday camp in western France. Screen grab of France Televisions report, 23 January 2021.
Jonathan Coulom, at age 10 in 2004. He disappeared from a holiday camp in western France. Screen grab of France Televisions report, 23 January 2021. © France Televisions
2 min

A German man serving jail time for murdering three children has been charged in France for the 2004 killing of a little boy, a case that gripped the nation when the child’s body was found. Authorities are preparing to bring the suspect to France to be tried.

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Martin Ney, 50, has been charged with kidnapping and murdering Jonathan Coulom, who disappeared from a school holiday camp in Brevin-les-Pins, western France, in 2004 according to prosecutors.

He bragged to a fellow prisoner at his high-security jail in Germany that he had killed Coulom, prompting prosecutors to slap him with the murder change and order his transfer to Nantes, in France, to be tried, according to lawyer Catherine Salsac. His case accelerated after the alleged confession.

"Investigators found similarities between the methods used," said Salsac, referring to Ney’s German child murders. She represents Coulom's family.

Coulom's body was found at the bottom of a pond, tied up and weighed down by a concrete block, one month after he was kidnapped.

Called “the Masked Man” by the German press, Ney usually wore balaclavas during attacks. Jailed for life in Germany, he confessed in 2012 to killing three German boys ranging in ages between eight and 12.

He has been named by the British press in the Madeline McCann case, the toddler who was grabbed from her parents’ apartment in Portugal while they were vacationing in 2007.

However, German prosecutors are pursuing another suspect in the McCann case-- Christian Brueckner, a 43-year-old paedophile.

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