FRANCE: The Notary and the Miner's Daughter

For many years, the only noteworthy fact about the town of Bruay-en-Artois in northern France was the amount of coal extracted from its numerous mines. Most of the coal has long since disappeared, but Bruay is a name that gets instant recognition throughout France these days. The town is the scene of a bizarre murder case that has aroused bitter class hatred and brought under scrutiny the creaky machinery of French jurisprudence.

L'affaire Bruay began one early afternoon in April 1972 when a group of teen-agers kicking a soccer ball around an empty lot discovered the nude, mutilated body of Brigitte...

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