The Agonist Journal

Marc Dutroux is a monster. In 2004, the Belgian criminal was sentenced to life in prison for the abduction, rape, and torture of six teenage girls. Two of Dutroux’s victims were murdered by the killer himself (he buried them alive), while two others starved to death in a makeshift dungeon located at Dutroux’s home. The two other girls, Sabine Dardenne and Laetitia Delhez, were ultimately rescued on August 15, 1996 by Belgian police officers 1. Many believe that Dutroux kidnapped and killed more than six.

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Dutroux’s name, which most people in Belgium would prefer to forget, returned to news headlines back in May when it was reported that the coronavirus pandemic had delayed his pre-parole hearing. In Belgium, such mental evaluations are required after a convict requests a new parole hearing 2. It is possible that Dutroux could be released as early as 2021. Belgian citizens are not happy about this prospect. Last October, approximately 400 people conducted what they called the Black March through the streets of Brussels to protest Dutroux’s possible parole 3. The Black March meant to echo the earlier White March of 1996. Then, 275,000 Belgians clogged the streets of Brussels to protest the sacking of chief magistrate Jean-Marc Connerotte, the heroic judge who had alleged that there was much more to the Dutroux case than what was publicly known 4. The White March came dangerously close to dissolving the center-right government of Prime Minister Jean-Luc Dehaene.

As awful as the official Dutroux story is, the common perception is worse. Since 1996, a large portion of the Belgian population has believed that Dutroux was only a courier—a collector of young flesh for a protected elite. Connerotte, who was sacked from trying the case because he attended a dinner that featured the families of Dutroux’s victims, was, in the popular mind, the first major victim of a cover-up 5. Connerotte made it clear in the Francophone media that he was the subject of a “kill list” designed to guarantee his silence and keep him from uncovering powerful names.

Several facts about the Dutroux case do raise more than a few eyebrows. Dutroux was not unknown to the police in 1996. In fact, he was a convicted pedophile who was first sent to jail in 1989 for torturing and raping several young girls. For some inexplicable reason, Dutroux was released ten years early from a 13-year sentence 6. More disturbing still was the sheer ineptness of the investigation of Dutroux. By 1995, Dutroux’s wife, primary school teacher Michele Martin, knew that her husband kept young girls in the basement of their home in Charleroi. Dutroux’s mother was so suspicious of her son’s activities that she contacted the police in December 1995. Officers, including high-ranking official René Michaux, heard female cries while they toured the Dutroux residence, and yet they did nothing about it. Michaux later told investigators that the cries sounded like they came from outside rather than Dutroux’s suburban dungeon 7. Michaux’s team also found films and tapes at Dutroux’s house, neither of which they watched or developed. The Belgian police also failed to take DNA swabs from the bodies of the dead and living victims, and hair samples were never taken from any of the crime scenes despite existing in abundance.

What really sent the Belgian public over the edge in 1996 were the revelations of Dutroux’s connections to various shady parties, including his accomplice, the drug addict Michel Lelievre. Through Lelievre, Dutroux was connected to a Brussels businessman named Jean Michel Nihoul, a loudmouth pub owner and a notorious host of sex parties. Nihoul, according to Connerotte, was the “brains” who planned Dutroux’s kidnapping scheme in order to provide wealthy sexual perverts with underaged girls 8. Then, when Connerotte began investigating the possibility that Dutroux was part of a larger pedophile network, he was approached by several self-professed sex trafficking victims, including Regina Louf. Louf told Connerotte that she had been trafficked as part of a wealthy pedophile and pornography ring starting at the age of 12 9.

American readers in 2020 cannot help but see echoes of the Jeffrey Epstein/Ghislaine Maxwell case here. Recently, because of the release of court documents associated with Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre’s charges against Maxwell and others for sex trafficking, rape, and other abuses, the public has gotten a first-hand look at some of the possible inner workings of elite pedophilia. According to Giuffre and her legal team, the well-connected Epstein and Maxwell forced underaged females (whom Maxwell groomed with money and constant sex) to sleep with powerful men like Prince Andrew of Great Britain, former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson (D), lawyer and legal scholar Alan Dershowitz, and even MIT scientist Marvin Minsky. The released documents also indicate that the FBI was aware of Giuffre’s allegations and even some evidence as early as 2014, but did nothing to follow up. This particular item mirrors the Dutroux case, where seven police officers were arrested for various criminal associations with Dutroux, thus calling into question the effectiveness of the 1996 investigation 10.

The similarities don’t stop there. Epstein, whose suicide on August 10, 2019 occurred despite previously being on suicide watch at Manhattan’s Metropolitan Correctional Center, somehow managed to become a millionaire despite only working as a mathematics teacher at New York’s Dalton School before joining Bear Stearns in 1976 as a junior-level assistant. The common consensus is that Epstein made his fortune as an intelligence agent. He certainly had connections early on. While he taught at Dalton, the school’s headmaster was former OSS (Office of Strategic Services, the precursor of the CIA) officer Donald Barr, the father of current Attorney General William Barr. Robert Maxwell, the father of Epstein’s longtime girlfriend Ghislaine, was reportedly an agent for both the Soviet KGB and Israel’s Mossad 11. It is possible that Epstein’s pedophilia was tied to a large blackmailing network, whereby powerful men, including former US president Bill Clinton, were videotaped or otherwise compromised in the company of underaged girls in order to squeeze out information, favors, or cash. Epstein was more than likely a secret agent, and author and former spy Ari Ben-Menashe believes that Epstein’s employer was the Israeli government 12.

Like Epstein, the ex-con Dutroux was inexplicably wealthy. Prior to his arrest, Dutroux owned ten homes, and on top of receiving monthly government assistance, had an estimated net worth of 6 million francs 13. Couple this fact with the disturbing truth that some 20 witnesses associated with the case died between 1995 and 2001 14, then one cannot help but see a conspiracy working behind the scenes to protect the lowly Dutroux.

Possibly the most maddening thing about both the Dutroux and Epstein/Maxwell cases is the fact that we will likely never know the full truth. Despite being arrested in 1996, none of Dutroux’s suspected elite protectors has faced justice. In a similar way, despite being named in court documents in both the charges against Epstein and Maxwell, it is unlikely that Clinton, Prince Andrew, or the other men named in connection with Epstein’s pedophile ring will ever face the full weight of the American legal system. Worst of all, although Epstein’s convenient suicide in 2019 woke up a large swath of the American masses, so much so that “Jeffrey Epstein Didn’t Kill Himself” became a popular Internet meme, the smart set and chattering classes continue to downplay everything as a big, unfounded “conspiracy theory.” Many in the elite media want the general public to believe that pedophile rings do not exist, or at least do not involve the upper echelons of political power. This is despite evidence to the contrary, such as the 2004 revelation of a massive pedophile ring in Portugal that included a former ambassador and famous television celebrity 15. Or one can mention the case of Jimmy Savile, the iconic BBC personality and friend of British politicians who was unmasked as a prolific abuser of children following his death in October 2011 16. Finally, despite “dunking” on the dumb rubes who believed in #Pizzagate, the elite media cannot deny that satanic pedophile rings have been caught over the years, including one uncovered in Belgium right after Dutroux’s arrest 17.

Sadly, there has yet to be anything approaching either the White March or the Black March in the U.S. following the revelations of the Epstein/Maxwell case. Thousands of Americans have taken to the streets since 2019, but an overwhelming majority have protested and rioted in the name of Black Lives Matter and Antifa, two far-left organizations that do not challenge the power of liberal technocracy, but rather seek to earn a slice of the diminishing pie. Even the shocking horror of the “grooming gangs” of the United Kingdom, where mostly South Asian men preyed on white British girls for sexual abuse and sex trafficking, could not inspire widespread civil unrest, even after proof of an official cover-up by the police was unearthed.

Much of this cynicism should be blamed on feckless politicians, especially those who prioritize “diversity” over the common good. However, thanks to the wide availability of pornography and the further legitimation of obscure sexual practices and identities, the Western masses have grown somewhat aloof to massive sexual exploitation. Many have even come to believe in the media-backed lie that pedophilia is just another form of “alternative” sexual expression. Some unwittingly partake in it by watching pornographic clips featuring abused and trafficked minors, thus making outrage over Epstein and his ilk hard to square.

In 1996, the White March seriously challenged the status quo in Belgium. If the administration of President Donald Trump is serious about national populism (and there are plenty of indications that it is), then America’s status quo should be challenged by a state apparatus undergirded by popular anger. It appears that a large swath of our elites are involved in reprehensible activities. It is long past time to take them down. All that is needed now is a body politick that bypasses memes and jokes and strives for real power.


  1. Sabine Dardenne, “Don’t pity me,” The Guardian, 17 Apr. 2005,

  2. Gabriela Galindo, “Coronavirus delays infamous paedophile Marc Dutroux’s pre-parole exam,” The Brussels Times, 6 May 2020.

  3. Lindsey Johnstone, “Explainer: Paedophile Marc Dutroux and the horror case that united a divided Belgium,” Euro News, 29 Oct. 2019,

  4. “275,000 in Belgium Protest Handling of Child Sex Scandal,” New York Times, 21 Oct. 1996,

  5. “Removal of judge from paedophilia case greeted with uproar in Belgium,” The Irish Times, 15 Oct. 1996,

  6. Charles Trueheart, “Sordid Times in Dear Belgium,” Washington Post, 24 Sep. 1996,

  7. Olenka Frenkiel, “Belgium’s silent heart of darkness,” The Guardian, 5 May 2002,

  8. Ibid.

  9. Ibid.

  10. Matthew Brace, “Detective held in Belgian abuse case,” Independent, 25 Aug. 1996,

  11. John R. Schindler, “It Sure Looks Like Jeffrey Epstein Was a Spy—But Whose?” The Observer, 10 July 2019,

  12. “Jeffrey Epstein was blackmailing politicians for Israel’s Mossad, new book claims,” Middle East Monitor, 6 Jan. 2020,

  13. Barry James, “Belgium Pedophilia Scandal/ Did Authorities Cover Up Its Scope?: Book Revives Fear of Grand Conspiracy,” New York Times, 16 Dec. 1996,

  14. Dutroux accomplice Bernard Weinstein was poisoned by Dutroux in November 1995; Jean Paul Taminiau, a man who claimed to have information about Dutroux, died under mysterious circumstances before his foot, but not complete corpse was found in 1995; police officer Simon Poncelet was shot and killed while investigating Dutroux; Joseph Toussaint, the friend who heard Michele Dutroux’s confession, died of a heart attack in 1997; Jose Steppe died of a Rohypnol overdose two days before testifying to police; dentist and friend of Michel Nihoul, Brigitte Genard, committed suicide in 1998; before she could tell police about Dutroux’s connection to illegal pornography in Eastern Europe, Anna Konjevoda was beaten to death in 1998; social worker Gina Pardaens died in a car crash in 1998 after telling police that she had seen a snuff film involving Nihoul; Sandra Claeys, the former girlfriend of Lelievre, committed suicide in 1999; Dutroux acquaintance Nadege Renard died in a car accident in 2001; Nihoul friends Pierre-Paul “Pepe” De Rycke and Philippe Deleuze died of suicide and unknown causes respectively in 2001; investigative journalist Christoph Vanhexe died in a car crash while covering the case; pornographer with links to Dutroux, Bernard Routmond, died in a car crash in 2001; Gregory Antipine, a police officer investigating the case, committed suicide in 1999; another police officer, Guy Goebels, committed suicide in 1995; the elderly metal worker who sold Dutroux the house where he murdered two of his victims, Alexandre Gosselin, died of unknown natural causes in 1995; scrap dealer and suspected conman Bruno Tagliaferro was murdered via poison in 1995; Tagliaferro’s wife, Fabienne Jaupart, committed suicide by lighting her bedroom on fire in 1998; drug dealer Francois Reyskens died in a train accident before he could testify against Dutroux; public prosecutor Huber Massa committed suicide in 1999; and self-proclaimed “pedophile hunter” Jean-Jacques Feront died of a heart attack in 2001.

  15. Jerome Taylor, “Guilty after six-year trial, Portugal’s high-society paedophile ring,” Independent, 4 Sep. 2010,

  16. Josh Halliday, “Jimmy Savile: timeline of his sexual abuse and its uncovering,” The Guardian, 26 Jun 2014,

  17. Jeremy Lovell, “Police raid centre of satanic sect,” The Irish Times, 24 Dec. 1996,