France: L'Affaire Peugeot

It was the crime that had everything. The cast of characters, including beautiful, amoral women and recklessly brutal men, seemed right out of the nouvelle vague French films. One of the nation's greatest fortunes was involved. Best of all, the crime itself was inspired by what Frenchmen believe to be the fountainhead of criminal violence, the U.S.

Smuggled Pinballs. It began last year when a small-time Parisian hoodlum named Pierre Larcher, 38, got in trouble. Stocky, heavy-featured Pierre, known to the police derisively as "Pretty Boy," specialized in stealing cars and smuggling...

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