When two men enjoying a summer dinner of roasted beef and canned beans dropped dead in Authon-du-Perche, the French village found itself at the centre of what seemed to be a sinister mystery that gripped the country.
Neither the body of Olivier Boudin, 38, found lying on his back on the ground, or that of Lucien Perot, 69, sitting at the terrace table before a half-finished plate, some camembert, a partly eaten baguette and a glass of wine, showed signs of an attack or a fight and there was no indication of a break-in or robbery.
A neighbour who spotted them at 6am last Thursday at Perot’s home assumed they were sleeping off the effects of the boozy evening before and left them be.
“At first, I told myself they must have been pretty drunk to still be sleeping, then when I saw Lucien still sitting at the table a bit later … I thought it must have been an extremely drunken evening,” the unnamed woman told the local newspaper L’Echo Républicain.
At midday, the same woman realised the two men had not moved a muscle and tried without success to rouse them only to discover they had both died.
The local mayor, Patrice Leriget, told journalists the dinner scene looked as if “as if time had suddenly stopped”.
On Wednesday, after days of speculation across France, the cause of the twin deaths was revealed
Wednesday, August 9, 2017
"Speculation about what caused two men to die suddenly in Authon-du-Perche had gripped France"