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Jean-Claude Romand: Wikis


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Jean-Claude Romand (born 11 February 1954) is a French impostor and murderer who pretended to be a medical doctor. He killed his family when he was about to be exposed.


Early life

Jean-Claude Romand was born in Lons-le-Saunier and grew up in the village Clairvaux-les-Lacs in the département of Jura. He studied at the lycée of Lons-le-Saunier until his baccalauréat. In 1971, he registered at the classes préparatoires of Lycée du Parc in Lyon, but dropped out after one semester. Afterwards he enrolled as a medical student.

The deception

The deception began with a simple lie: Romand claimed that he had passed a second-year medical examination that he did not take. He therefore never qualified as a doctor, a fact unknown to his peers.

Romand fooled his family and friends for 18 years; they thought he was a successful medical professional and researcher in the World Health Organization. He managed to give an impression that he had researched arteriosclerosis and he had contacts with political figures.

In reality, he spent his days wandering and used free information services of the local WHO building. He lived close by in Prévessin-Moëns, France. Periodically he left for a supposed work trip but only traveled to Geneva Cointrin international airport and spent a couple of days in a hotel room there, studying medical journals and a travel guide about Switzerland, the country where everyone supposed he worked. Romand lived off the money his wife and he had made by selling an apartment, from his wife's salary and from sums of money which were given to him by various relatives, who relied on his assurances that he was investing the money in various imaginary hedge funds and foreign ventures.[1]

On 9 January 1993 Romand, fearing that his family was about to discover the truth, killed his wife, both of his children, his parents and the family dog. He also made an attempt on an ex-lover's life by strangling her with a piece of cord and spraying tear gas in her face. When she struggled, he released her and drove her home, apologizing for trying to harm her. He then set alight his house and took an overdose of sleeping pills, creating the appearance of an intended suicide. Whether this attempt was genuine is doubtful, since the pills he took were long expired, though he had access to more effective barbiturates; additionally, the manner the fire was set and the timing of his taking the pills made his rescue inevitable.[2] He was rescued by local fire fighters who were alerted by the road cleaners at 4 o'clock in the morning. After trials and many interrogations, the police found out exactly what happened.


Romand's trial began on 25 June 1996. On 6 July 1996 Romand was sentenced to life imprisonment. He will be eligible for parole in the year 2015.[2]

Romand is reputed to suffer from Narcissistic personality disorder [3].

Actions, the night of the murders

The night of the killing, he took out 2000Fr, buying a gun, silencer and gas canisters. Strangely he asked for them to be giftwrapped. That night, feeling the only thing left to do was kill, he repeatedly smashed his wife's skull in on their double bed. He left her body until the morning, sleeping as normal. The next morning, (according to the Channel 4 documentary "The Man Who Faked His Life") he woke his children, had breakfast, watched cartoons, and that night put them to bed, shooting them both in the head once they had fallen asleep. After this spree of killings, the only people who could expose him were his parents, who were both so proud of their 'successful son', and his ex-mistress who had given him thousands of francs for a favour, which she now wanted back.

The morning after murdering his family Jean Claude travelled across the border to his parents' house, where he joined them for a meal. Immediately after the meal he shot them both.

That night he picked up his ex-mistress, telling her he was treating her to a romantic meal for two. Pretending the car had broken down he made her exit the car. As she did so he attempted to strangle her with a cord, spraying tear gas into her face. She fought back. He apologised, drove her back to her home before returning to his family home, which still contained the bodies of his dead wife and children.

He sat and watched TV a while, before pouring petrol around the house and setting it alight. He survived the blaze but refused to talk to police during subsequent questioning; it was initially supposed that he was too traumatised to speak.


French author Emmanuel Carrère entered into correspondence with imprisoned Romand to write a book, published in 2000, L'Adversaire (The Adversary), based on the case. Nicole Garcia directed a movie, L'Adversaire (2002), based on the book; actor Daniel Auteuil played the part of Romand (renamed Jean-Marc Faure in the film). Two other movies were loosely based on Romand's life: the French L'Emploi du temps (2001) (English title: Time Out) and the Spanish La Vida de nadie (English title: Nobody's Life). Romand's deception also formed the basis of a 2005 episode of the BBC crime drama Waking The Dead. The episode 16 (season 1) "Phantom" of Law & Order: Criminal Intent is also constructed around this story.


  1. ^ Le Roman d'un menteur, France 2 documentary, 1999
  2. ^ a b L'Adversaire (The Adversary), Emmanuel Carrère book, 2000
  3. ^


  • The Man Who Faked His Life,Channel 4 Documentary, 2005, director and producer Liz Tucker [1]

External links



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