Jean-Claude Romand, the story of a pathological liar

90s. A quiet village in the south of France, expect moëns, i such a frightening and frightening case that even the specialists in charge of psychological assessments could not give an explanation. We are talking about Jean-Claude Romand, Better known as “The Adversary,” the name under which the book inspired by his case was published.

Jean-Claude’s life revolved around a complex and complex system of lies. No one, not even their own family, knew who they really were, what they did or how they lived their daily lives … and, their family would never know, because in order to avoid their suffering of knowing that he had lied for them, he ended up killing them all.

Brief biography of Jean-Claude Romand

Jean-Claude was born on February 11, 1954 in Lons-Le-Saunier, a small town near the Swiss border. In his childhood he was a lonely boy, with few friends and a withdrawn attitude.

An only child, he lived from an early age for the health of his mother, a sick woman, whose illness he suffered from, he was unaware of, but who was too preoccupied with the unforeseen circumstances that motivated him. hiding, their emotional states already raise the opportunity to tell the truth if in doing so they have caused grief.

Young people and admission to the Faculty of Medicine

Academically, he stands out for being a diligent student, a boy who can be considered very formal and introverted, who does not like sports and who went to school without any other inconvenience. After completing primary and secondary education, decides to enroll in the University of Medicine, A career that he had without problems until the second year, when he said that on the day of the final physiology exam he had not heard the alarm clock and, for this reason, was not went to take the exam, which was eliminatory. This fact marked a turning point in his life and was the first of his big lies.

After this episode, which also coincided with the refusal of his then-girlfriend, Florence, to continue their relationship, Jean-Claude locked himself in his room on campus, He stopped going to classes and devoted himself to reading newspapers and watching TV, he was able to gain 20 kilos due to lack of activity and junk food.

Last years of career, a scene full of lies

In the following years, between 1975 and 1986, he continued to enroll in the second year of his medical degree, presenting false medical certificates by which he justified the lack of attendance at courses and exams. He got Florence to resume her romantic relationship with him and established a daily routine in which she went to college every day without going to class.

He changed his schedules to avoid matching acquaintances he might discover he studied the subjects of the career to be able to converse with his peers without arousing suspicionShe even sometimes helped Florence study subjects that she, as a pharmacy student, found difficult.

After this period informed his family and friends that he had completed his medical degree and received a fellowship to work at WHO headquarters in Geneva, a few kilometers from the city where he lived. By this time he was already married in Florence, they were married in 1984 and they had a daughter, Caroline, born a year earlier in 1985. In 1987, the couple’s second child, Antoine, was born.

Work and love life, a real scaffolding of lies

The years following his alleged incorporation into the WHO passed in an apparent calm and normality, Jean-Claude commuted to work every day, making sure to constantly travel the world for professional reasons and to return home. . conferences, although he was always careful to give few details, alleging that the information was secret.

But what was he actually doing during the time he claimed to be working ?, The answer is that he used to walk the roads and bars, walk in the woods, To sleep in the car or to read pamphlets of the WHO or books that gathered in some scientific day and, mainly, studied the maps of the cities to which supposedly traveled, to be able to maintain its lie.

How did he earn money to support his family?

Another big question that arose after all of her lies came to light is how she managed to financially support her family, as she maintained a bourgeois lifestyle funded by scams to her family and her parents. friends. mainly developed two types of scamOne was to offer his acquaintances a high return investment plan profiting from his work at WHO, in this way he was able to swindle his relatives up to two and a half million francs and the other, was the sale of oncological medicinal products in the supposed experimental phase, worth 15,000 francs per tablet.

But no one doubted the good of Jean-Claude, who had given himself a social image of success and prestige and was worthy of his work and his family.

The beginning of the end

Florence’s father died under strange circumstances, falling down the stairs of the family barn, while having a conversation with Jean-Claude in which he demanded part of the money he had given his son-in-law to invest, but no one doubts the honesty of the supposed doctor who becomes head of the family and responsible for ensuring the well-being of all.

At the moment, Jean-Claude meets Corinne, the wife of an acquaintance, For which he begins to feel a great attraction and towards which he undertakes to conquer. She rejects him at first, to which Jean-Claude responds with a suicide attempt which is followed by another big lie to hide and a period of isolation at home, during which he manifests the same as in college leads to depression. Finally, Corinne agrees to have a relationship with him. But having this new relationship and adding a new lie becomes more and more difficult … Corinne, who was also the victim of the investment fund scam, claims benefits, his wife, Florence, begins to suspect that something strange is happening. .. and, for this reason, cornered, January 9, 1993, Jean Claude Romand decides to end his double life.

Crime and frustrated suicide

That day he went out with Corinne to make her believe they were going to have dinner with a major WHO collaborator, and halfway he tried to kill her, unsuccessfully, as she managed to convince him . Then leaving her at home, Jean Claude returned home and once there, he killed Florence first, Hitting him several times on the head with a rolling pin. The next morning, while his children were watching television, he called them to come to his room and there he shot them both, who died instantly.

After killing his wife and children, Jean-Claude went to lunch, as he did every week with his parents and once there he also killed his father, who was shot twice in the back and to his mother, with a full breast. After these new deaths, he returned home, ingested a large amount of expired barbiturates, and he set fire to the house, with the idea of ​​also dying next to his relatives. What did not happen.

Seeing the blaze, neighbors and family friends called the fire department, who managed to put out the fire and evacuate all family members from the house, but unfortunately only found one. Undead. Jean-Claude Romand, who was taken to hospital from a coma.

police investigations

The first investigations were quick to begin and the bullets were discovered in the bodies of the miners and the blows to the head of Florence. They also found the bodies of Jean-Claude’s parents, at which point they all began to suspect possible revenge against the family. romande … but soon the truth was discovered.

Investigations confirmed that Jean-Claude Romand did not work for the WHO and in his car a handwritten note was found in which he confessed to the crimes committed. In the end, all of his lies were uncovered, no one he knew could believe that Jean-Claude, attentive and familiar, could have committed such acts and been lying about all aspects of his life. But the evidence leaves no doubt. For his part, when the fake doctor woke up from the coma, he confirmed the facts and said he had done so so that those close to him would not suffer upon learning of his lies.

Psychological profile of the pathological liar

What goes through someone’s mind for committing such an act? The four specialist psychologists who evaluated Jean-Claude Romand had serious difficulty diagnosing and the result was a narcissistic personality disorder, based above all on the reasons given by himself for having committed these crimes, but by thoroughly evaluating the facts and the pattern of conduct exposed by Jean-Claude, this disorder is easily removable.

What is most striking in the behavior of Jean-Claude Romand is the fact that his life revolved around a great lie, which only he knew, which made him a lonely and withdrawn person, who was not not comfortable in social situations or being the center. attention.

It is also true that in his mythomania (pathological lie) Jean Claude had invested himself with a certain prestige and a certain authority, but it was not with the aim of exalting his person, instead he used this character as an instrumental way to avoid giving information to his relatives and friends about their work and their way of life.

After having ruled out the diagnosis made at the time by the professionals in charge of the case, it is in the hands of everyone’s curiosity to try to answer this curious case. Personally, after a fascinating in-depth study of the facts and behavior of Jean-Claude Romand, I am inclined to think that his profile could very well fit into a schizoid personality disorder concomitant with a persistent depressive disorder.

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