Just where is Xavier DuPont De Ligonnes? Although it’s a question that’s been asked for over nine years, Netflix true-crime hit Unsolved Mysteries has brought the puzzle fresh attention. And while internet sleuths have offered theories to where Dupont – a French failed businessman suspected of killing his family – has disappeared to, he still remains at large.
In fact, with an international arrest warrant to his name for nearly a decade, many now doubt if DuPont will ever be found. But not journalist Anne-Sophie Martin, a key voice in the House of Terror episode.
As she explains in newly-released footage from the show, those looking for hope need only to remember the case of John List, a mystery that bared astounding similarities to DuPont’s.
“In the United States there is a much-cited case that resembles the Ligonnes case in a fascinating and disturbing way,” she says, explaining how List, a struggling accountant living in a well-off neighbourhood, killed his family over the course of a day in November 1971 before disappearing completely.
Like Dupont, List also told his children’s school they were moving to another neighbourhood and would not return. This deception meant the alarm wasn’t raised for a month, at which point the bodies of List’s family were discovered.
“All this precise and exhaustive preparation from beginning to the end, they’re madly similar,” says Martin.
However, on 1st June 1989, List was finally caught by law enforcement. “They found list because of a TV show,” explains Martin. “On this show [America’s Most Wanted] they used age-enhancing software to age John List’s face, so as to show what this fugitive might look like who had been on the run for 18 years.
“There was a woman who saw it who said: ‘That’s my neighbour!” And it was her neighbour.”
After being apprehended by police, List was eventually convicted of murder and received five life sentences. He died in prison in 2008 at the age of 82.
Martin adds: “The case of John List is an indication that it is possible. Even after so many years. And maybe one reporting – someone sees something and calls – does it. You can have an ocean of false alarms, but one good one.”
Interesting, Terry Dunn Meurer, executive of Unsolved Mysteries, recently revealed that producers had received a potential positive sighting of Dupont.
“Somebody was actually in Chicago, I think they were on Lake Shore Drive, and they heard this guy talking French and they looked at him and they had just seen the episode. They sent us a photo, and it really did look like Xavier. It was striking. So we sent that tip on [to the police],” Meurer said.
“With Netflix’s global reach, if Xavier is going to be found, we’re really hoping that the Netflix audience will find him,” he added.
Since the revived version of Unsolved Mysteries launched on Netflix, investigators have received 20 credible tips connected to cases presented on the show, The Chicago Sun Times reports.
Six further episodes of Unsolved Mysteries are slated to drop later this year.