When Hélène Pastor left her home on the morning of May 21, 2014, she had no idea that this would be her last day on earth, but as things turned out, being one of the wealthiest women in the worlds doesn’t impress the grim ripper when it comes to gunpowder and lead.
The story began – or rather, ended – on a cloudy Wednesday afternoon, when the billionaire heiress of the Monegasque family, one of the most powerful families in Monaco, was ambushed by an assassin that shot her and her chauffeur to death. When it comes to the murder of a women of such power, many immediate suspects come to mind, but who held the true responsibility for the heinous act? For years the answer to this question was a mystery, but recent events pour some light on the shades. Join us as we dig into the details and uncover the full story or love, hate and greed.
Hélène Pastor’s life began as far from the way it ended as possible. As the daughter of one of the richest and most powerful men in Monaco, her early years were more of a fairytale than an espionage. Growing in a family that many refer to as Monaco’s second dynasty, after the royal family, her road to success was guaranteed.
Hélène Pastor. Drawing Caroline Andrieu. Source: grazia.fr
Next – Who are you Hélène Pastor
It All Begins with an Heiress – Who Was Hélène Pastor?
Port Hercule, in Monaco, where Hélène Pastor owned thousands of luxury apartments. (Photo by John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Hélène Pastor was the granddaughter of Jean-Baptiste Pastor, an Italian stonemason who arrived in Monaco in 1880. The entrepreneur managed several large real-estate projects and public worksites in Monaco that made him rich quickly. His son, Gildo Pastor, continued his path and developed the family’s real-estate after World War II. In fact, throughout the years the family’s real estate business grew so much that they currently own 15 percent of the total housing stock in Monaco.
She grew up in Monaco and went on to become the owner of real estate company Hélène Pastor Pallanca SAM. Some of the buildings she owned in Monaco included the Emilie Palace, Le Bahia, the Trocadero, Le Schuylkill, and Continental apartment building, as well as the Gildo Pastor Center. Her worth at the time of her death was US$ 3.7 billion, making her the wealthiest woman in Monaco, where she was known as “La Vice Princesse” – The Vice Princess. She had two children from her two marriages Sylvia Pastor, born in 1961, and Gildo Pallanca Pastor, born in 1967.
Where all that wealth came from?
A Family Wealthier than the Royals
Hélène Pastor (L), her son Gildo, her daughter Sylvia Her son-in-law Wojciech Janowski. Photo Credit: Berto Martinez for “Le Parisien Week-End“
In four generations, the Pastor family built a fabulous real estate empire on the tiny 2-square kilometer country of Monaco. Closely linked to the history of Monaco, the family owns approximately 4,000 apartments in Monaco, having ruled over a huge real estate empire with the blessing of the Grimaldi royal family. The overall fortune of Pastor, owners of some 500,000 square meters of housing and commercial premises including skyscrapers on the seafront, is estimated at 30 billion euros.
The Pastor Wealth
Monaco, MONACO: AS Monaco’s football club president Michel Pastor gives a press conference, 19 September 2005 in Monaco. He announced he had accepted the resignation of coach Didier Deschamps. AFP PHOTO PASCAL GUYOT (Photo credit PASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images)
When Prince Rainier approved his real estate development project for the construction of residential buildings overlooking the sea, his fortune increased considerably. Even after his withdrawal from business, he decided to retain ownership of the apartments he owned, which provided him with significant rental income.
Hélène Pastor was not the only heiress of the incredible Pastor wealth. She had two brothers, Michel Pastor and Victor Pastor. Michel was the Chief Executive Officer of the Michel Pastor Group and the Chairman of the AS Monaco FC between 2004 and 2008. He was also the recipient of the French Legion of Honor in 2011. Michel Pastor died of cancer in 2014. His brother, Victor, was responsible for building the Salle des Etoiles at Sporting Monte-Carlo, a famous concert venue in Monte-Carlo, also known as the Summer Sporting Club. Victor Pastor died in 2002.
Reigning Supreme in a Country like No Other
Victor Pastor. Source: YouTube
Some biographers of the Monegasque Royal family called the Pastors the Masons of Monaco, and this was due to the way they rode on the post-war housing boom to reign supreme over a city like no other in the world. The price of the square meter in Monaco is currently somewhere close to 50,000 euro, and rents go for 3,000 euro per month for a studio. The small principality of Monaco is a place where Russians, Italians, and other foreigners are willing to pay a lot for residence because they don’t have to pay taxes. This explains why rents in Monaco are the most expensive in the world.
The small principality of Monaco, located in the idyllic French Riviera, is one of the words few high-profile tax havens because of its business and personal taxation laws that are very friendly in comparison to most other nations. Monaco has not levied a personal income tax on all its residents is 1870. To be considered a resident, an individual needs to live in the principality for six months and one day a year. This means it is effortless for residents to work and live in other countries in Europe, as the location of the country is easily accessible by train, plane, or boat. This is the main reason the tiny principality has become very attractive for some of the world’s wealthiest individuals.
So where is Monaco and What Makes It so Special?
Aerial view over the city and port of Monte Carlo, Monaco along the French Riviera at night. (Photo by: Arterra/UIG via Getty Images)
The Principality of Monaco is a state enclosed within the territory of France. It is located on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, along the famous Côte d’Azur, about 20 kilometers east of Nice. The Principality enjoys an unusually mild Mediterranean climate coveted by wealthy people from around the world and has numerous luxury hotel facilities. The Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix takes place every year. The Monte-Carlo Casino, the Oceanographic Museum and the Prince’s Palace attract many tourists throughout the year.
The Convoluted Life of a Billionaire
Hélène Pastor and Her Son Gildo. Source: france3-regions.francetvinfo.fr
At 18, Hélène Pastor fell in love with a man who was very far from the wealth and glamour she grew up in. Alfred Ratkowski had Polish origins and was a man without a fortune, a bartender she married without the consent of her father. They had a daughter, Sylvia, born in 1961, but their love story would not last for long, as Ratkowski was forced to leave for Germany after he was accused of petty theft. After this episode, Hélène went to live in London for a couple of years, eager to escape the attention of the press and private detectives who wanted to know her every move.
On her return to Monaco, she married Claude Pallanca, a future dentist for whom she paid his studies in Boston. Their son, Gildo, was born in 1967. She divorced her second husband after two years and never remarried. According to sources close to her, Hélène was never a happy woman and dedicated her life to working. In 1990, at the death of her father, she inherited part of the Pastor family’s fortune, comprising of billions of euro and thousands of square meters in Monaco. She learned how to manage the empire she inherited, collect the rents, invest, renovate, and never sell. She even embarked on the project of the Gildo Pastor Center, a tower with a restaurant, offices, and homes for which she borrowed heavily.
Hélène Pastor also took care of her adult children, even though she wasn’t in excellent relations with them. She paid them every month a sum of 500,000 euros while they were busy with their hobbies, Formula 1 for Gildo and finding marital happiness for Sylvia.
Hélène Pastor’s Relationship with Her Children
Hélène Pastor and her son Gildo Pallanca Pastor. Source: Telegraph.co.uk
The last survivor of the third generation of a dynasty of Monegasque builders, sister of Victor (deceased in 2002) and Michel (died in 2014, just months before her), Hélène Pastor was unknown to the general public. Authoritarian, firm, even harsh, this brown-haired woman was the owner of half a dozen prestigious buildings. She often comes out of her luxury residence in Monaco. When it comes to her son, Hélène holds tight the cords of her purse. When he was younger, Gildo sold some of her mother’s gifts for cash. From then on, she gave him a salary, just like she does with her daughter. This did not deter him from taking on big projects, including the takeover in 2000 of the French car manufacturer Venturi.
The Last Years of the Richest Woman in Monaco
Hélène Pastor. Source: france3-regions.francetvinfo.fr
With her family disunited, Hélène Pastor spent her last years dining alone and meeting with her very few friends. She was formerly invited to parties by Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco, but that didn’t happen anymore. Her schedule in the last years was a somewhat monastic one. She rarely left the apartment in the Trocadero building she owned, only to be seen having lunch at some of the restaurants nearby. Hélène only received her relatives for Christmas, and some sources close to her mentioned to magazines such as Paris Match that she embraced her solitude knowing that with great wealth comes isolation and disturbed relationships. Other sources, including private investigator Patrick Boffa, mentioned that she never trusted her son-in-law and had a very thorny relationship with him.
Group Pastor Today
Monaco: overview of the casino with a cruise ship alongside the quay, in the background, at the far end of Port Hercules (Photo by: Andia/UIG via Getty Images)
Today, the Pastor family business is gathered into the Pastor Group, which comprises an impressive portfolio of residential and commercial companies in Monaco. Some of the constructions in Monaco they contributed to building include the Monaco Yacht Club, the Sporting d’Ete, and the Louis II Stadium, together with a large number of public and private business across the tiny Mediterranean state.
The current chairman of the company is Patrice Pastor, the son of Victor Pastor, and Hélène Pastor’s nephew. His brother is Phillipe Pastor, an abstract expressionist artist whose works have been exhibited in Europe, the United States, Asia, and Africa. His works also hang at Monaco’s Modern Art Museum.
“It’s almost impossible to try and do anything in Monaco without coming into some contact with the family,” according to Max Ryerson, an entrepreneur whose home was in Monaco for over a decade. “If you’re looking for a very nice apartment, you will need to rent from the Pastors. They’re part of life.”
May 6, 2014 – A Day That Shocked Monaco
A police officer investigates near a car at the site where a shooting injured Helene Pastor, and her driver earlier in the evening on May 6, 2014, outside The Archet hospital in Nice, southeastern France. AFP PHOTO / VALERY HACHE (Photo credit VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
On the evening of May 6, 2014, Hélène Pastor was getting out of the car park of the Archet hospital in Nice, where she was visiting her son, Gildo, who was recovering from a stroke. Her chauffeur and butler, Mohamed Darwich, was driving the car, a black Lancia Voyager. A gunman ran up to her car as it waited to join traffic, and opened fire, targeting the front passenger side where Hélène Pastor was sitting. The tinted windows were shattered, and some of the bullets hit her in the jaw. The attacker took a look inside the car and then released another shot of bullets that hit the chauffeur in the abdomen and chest.
The driver, touched by more than fifty bullets, collapsed on the steering wheel. The car stopped, blocked by a low wall. The shooter fled on foot, his gun in his hand, joined by his accomplice in another car. A nurse who witnessed the scene said that she had the scare of her life when she saw the rifle. “I saw the gunman turn back towards me with his big gun and a bag,” she told Le Parisien newspaper. “I thought he was coming for me. I was terrified for my life.”
Frederic Laurent, a Monaco historian, said about that day: “There was real astonishment. She was an extremely discreet individual, and the Pastor family aspired to be completely normal business people. They’re the richest family in the principality, but their business affairs were perfectly normal.”
The Surgeons Are Horrified by the Savagery of the Attack
A medical staff enters the St Roch hospital on May 7, 2014, in Nice, where Helene Pastor and her driver were treated after being shot the day before. AFP PHOTO / JEAN CHRISTOPHE MAGNENET (Photo credit JEAN-CHRISTOPHE MAGNENET/AFP/Getty Images)
The emergency services rushed to transport the victims to the emergency rooms of the Saint-Roch hospital. There, the surgeons were horrified by the “savagery” of the attack. One of the surgeons on the medical team, Patrick Baqué, told the press that seeing them come out alive from the operating room was “a miracle.” Both of them had emergency operations, as they had multiple wounds from dozens of buckshot pellets.
The driver was shot in the heart, liver, and pancreas, in what would later prove to be fatal lesions, despite the efforts of the medical team. Meanwhile, his boss struggled against death and was placed under judicial protection. Gildo, Hélène’s son, left the hospital on the evening of the ambush, and returned to the Principality for “security reasons.” He has already been questioned by the criminal brigade, as has his half-sister Sylvia, who was married to the Polish consul in Monaco. Neither of them mentioned any threats.
The Victims Lose Their Fight for Life
AFP PHOTO / VALERY HACHE (Photo credit VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
The damage made by the storm of bullets proved to be too much for both Hélène Pastor and her driver. They both died in Hospital Saint-Roch in Nice. The driver died just four days after the attack, and Hélène Pastor died on May 21, 2014, at the age of 77. The driver had been working for the Pastor family for 15 years.
Hélène Pastor’s funeral was a private family business as the little Principality of Monaco was still recovering from the shock. Only 50 people attended the funeral in the cemetery of Monaco where the Pastor family crypt is located. Journalists were obviously denied access. The initial suspects were the Mafia, namely The ‘ndrangheta, and the Police initially ruled nothing out, believing that the motive could have been anything from revenge to attempted abduction. They would soon turn their attention to the immediate family of the heiress.
The Press Starts to Speculate
French policemen secure the road during the reconstruction of the murder of Helene Pastor, in front the Archet Hospital, on April 22, 2015, in Nice, southeastern France. (Photo credit JEAN CHRISTOPHE MAGNENET/AFP/Getty Images)
As with any high-profile murder, the newspapers started to speculate on the motives behind Hélène Pastor’s assassination. The day after the crime took place, Prince Albert of Monaco stated support, in which he expressed his “deep support” for the Pastor family at that tragic time. The Prince also attended the funeral of Hélène Pastor. British and French newspapers promptly reported that the assassination looked like the work of professional killers from the Russian or Italian Mafia. Others believed that the incident was a warning shot from Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, to Barack Obama for the sanctions and frozen bank accounts of multiple Russian oligarchs, many of whom had bank accounts in Monaco. Finally, another opinion was that some of the powerful tenants of the buildings owned by the Pastor family ordered the professional hit to get back at her after they clashed with the heiress over various real estate projects.
The Investigation Begins
(Photo credit VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
The police, who examined the images of surveillance cameras and a dozen testimonials, had some leads. All indicate an attempted execution by amateurs. “A complicated investigation, but one that is progressing well,” summed up one of the investigators on May 11. The police did not doubt that Hélène Pastor was the target and not her driver. The investigation into the double assassination was entrusted to the Interregional Criminal Investigation Department of Marseille.
A month after the attack, the police had made 23 arrests as part of the investigation into the killing that killed Hélène Pastor and her driver Mohamed Darwich. Brice Robin, the prosecutor of Marseille, remained cautious the day after the arrest. Those in custody included Silvia Pastor, the daughter of the septuagenarian heiress, and her husband, Wojciech Janowski.
“Suspicious cash flows have been spotted on Janowski’s bank accounts, which requires explanation. But also, links have appeared with two intermediaries who have been in direct contact with the two suspects,” said the prosecutor at a press conference. The magistrate quickly mentioned that Silvia Pastor placed was in custody solely for the necessity of the investigation. She was released after two days without any charges, while her husband remained in custody.
The police managed to identify the alleged gunman and his accomplice because one of them left DNA traces on a shower gel used in a hotel room in Nice, where they arrived on May 6 from Marseille. A sawed-off shotgun was found in their travel bag. They returned by taxi after the murder, and were filmed throughout their journey, said the prosecutor.
CCTV Footage Reveals the Steps of the Attackers
(Photo credit BERTRAND LANGLOIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Thanks to the surveillance cameras from Nice, the jurors were able to follow the course of the two alleged murderers of Monaco’s billionaire Hélène Pastor. The CCTV cameras installed at the train station and those at the hotel located right in front of the hospital where the tragedy occurred allowed the police and the jurors at the trial to follow the journey of the two killers, since their onset at the station of Nice until they depart again to return to Marseilles.
At 15:39 on May 6, 2014, the images show two individuals heading towards the exit of an underground passage of the station of Nice where they arrived from Marseilles. One was dressed in black and wearing sunglasses, and carried a bag slung over his shoulder and a motorcycle helmet in his right hand. The second, dressed in gray trousers, appeared shortly after, with a small bag slung over his shoulder and a plastic bag in his hand.
An Afternoon of Horror Begins
(Photo credit JEAN CHRISTOPHE MAGNENET/AFP/Getty Images)
At 15:40, they walked side by side, seems to talk, towards the station hall. The cameras find them at 18:17, in front of a hotel in the city center. The first one, wearing a red cap on his head, approached a taxi, while his accomplice remained nearby in the street. At 18:20, the taxi is filmed in a tunnel to the hospital L’Archet where Gildo Pallanca-Pastor, the son of the billionaire heiress is hospitalized. His mother came to see him every day between 17:30 and 19:00.
The last pictures from the security cameras show the killers in front of the hospital. Shortly before 19:00, one of them, wearing a cap, gets out of the taxi. The second arrives a few moments later, also by taxi. About 10 minutes later, while Hélène Pastor’s vehicle moves towards the exit, the watchman leaves his hideout. After two gunshots heard by the witnesses, we see the shooter get out and run away while his collaborator calmly leaves the hospital, going to a bus stop before going in the same direction as the killer.
Four Years after the Murder, the Trial Begins
MONACO – DECEMBER 2003: (FRANCE OUT, ONLINE OUT) Honorary Consul of Poland in Monaco Wojciech Janowski and his wife Sylvia Pastor attend Christmas Drinks at the State Ministry Of Monaco in December 2003 in Monaco. (Photo by Centauro/French Select/Getty Images)
Four years after the assassination of the Monaco real estate queen, Hélène Pastor, the trial of her alleged sponsor opened in September 2018. The trial is scheduled to run until October 19, and the son-in-law of the murdered heiress is the principal suspect, together with nine other people going on trial for being accomplices. The police identified the two men who carried out what is now believed to have been an orchestrated hit ordered by Wojciech Janowski to kill his mother-in-law.
The suspected killers are Samine Said Ahmed, 28, who is on trial for carrying out the murder and Al Hair Hamadi, 35, who was acting as the lookout. According to the prosecutors, the two are both originally from the Comores islands, and they have been living in the northern districts of Marseille, an area known for its high crime rate, before committing the murder. Besides the CCTV footage showing them going from the train station in Nice to the murder site, the police also found DNA traces on a bottle they left in a hotel room.
The Alleged Hitmen State That They’re (Almost) Innocent
Pascal Dauriac, the physical trainer of the former honorary consul of Poland to Monaco, hides his face as he arrives in a car at the Marseille courthouse. (Photo credit BORIS HORVAT/AFP/Getty Images)
Samine Said Ahmed denies having taken part in the assassination of Hélène Pastor, even though the evidence in the case states otherwise. The shooter denied any involvement, while the lookout, Al Hair Hamadi, told the prosecutors he thought he was taking part in a robbery, not an assassination. Little is known about the background of the two alleged hitmen, but the police found out they tried to get a scooter to carry out the mission, but failed to do so. This is the reason they arrived at what would become the crime scene by taxi, in a move the police stated was highly unusual.
CCTV footage shows the two suspects being together for the better part of the day on May 6, 2014, but Samine Said Ahmed stated they were not together and he was only in Nice for an appointment on the day. He says that he did not know Al Hair Hamadi, but CCTV footage shows the two men going to a hotel in Nice together. The pair is believed to have returned to Marseille by taxi after the shooting.
On the other hand, Al Hair Hamadi, the alleged lookout, admitted to having recruited Samine Said Ahmed in custody, but later changed his version of events, arguing that he did not know who shot Hélène Pastor when he left the L’Archet hospital on May 6, 2014, in Nice. The prosecution believes that Pascal Dauriac, Wojciech Janowski’s protégé, recruited the two hitmen.
“You Have to Rob a Rich Person”
Journalists take images of the files during the trial of the son-in-law of a murdered Monaco billionaire with nine other people suspected in the killing of the heiress, in the courtroom of the assizes of Bouches-du-Rhone, in Aix-en-Provence, southern France on September 17, 2018. (Photo by Boris HORVAT / AFP) (Photo credit BORIS HORVAT/AFP/Getty Images)
Hamadi initially told the prosecution that Dauriac said to him that his job would be to rob a wealthy person. However, when in custody, he changed his statement and claimed that he refused to play the role of the shooter because he wasn’t willing to kill somebody, not even in exchange of 120,000 euro promised by Dauriac. He didn’t hesitate to contradict himself, though, by saying that robbing doesn’t necessarily mean you have to kill someone, and that’s why he agreed to carry out the plan.
According to Hamadi’s statement, he denied having bought the murder weapon, but one of his friends, Anthony Colomb, contradicts him by stating that two or three weeks before the killings, Hamadi approached him for a gun and helped to retrieve it after the murder. In the end, Colomb ended up driving Hamadi to Martigues to recover the weapon used for the killings in Nice.
Who Is Pascal Dauriac?
Pascal Dauriac. Drawing Caroline Andrieu. Source: grazia.fr
Athletic trainer Pascal Dauriac is a protégé of Wojciech Janowski, a former trainer himself. Sources close to the family state that Janowski thought of Dauriac as a son, and the police link that there was a high degree of trust between them, one that made it possible for Janowski to order the murder of his wealthy mother-in-law. Anne Duriac, one of Pascal’s three sisters, who was cited as a witness by the prosecution during the trial, claimed that the Polish businessman offered to be Dauriac’s godfather if he ever had children.
His sister also claimed that Dauriac was a kind man who had close relationships with many of the wealthy people in Monaco due to his job as an athletic trainer. His mother believes that Dauriac became a little destabilized because he was hanging out with wealthy people all the time. Dauriac himself admitted to having organized the double murder of Hélène Pastor and her driver, even though Janowski denies being the instigator of the operation.
A Close Relationship between Janowski and Dauriac
One of the two alleged suspects (C) into the murder of 77-year-old heiress Helene Pastor arrives at the Courthouse in Marseille, southeastern France, on June 27, 2014. (Photo credit BERTRAND LANGLOIS/AFP/Getty Images)
When Dauriac first met Janowski, he was a rather poor athletic trainer who was earning up to $3,000 a month, and soon most of his earnings started to come from working for Janowski and Sylvia. At the time his path crossed with that of the wealthy family, Dauriac was living in a very modest apartment with a painter roommate, and he had an almost empty bank account.
According to Dauriac’s attorney, his client was fascinated with the lifestyle of the wealthy, and Janowski did an excellent job at seducing him by dangling all that glamour and wealth in front of him. Dauriac saw Janowski as the ticket to enter the life of the Monaco superrich, and his new mentor promised him to finance a personal-fitness training center for him and give him access to the contact details of potential clients from his address book, which was well-stocked with names of fabulously wealthy people. Moreover, he bought his protégé expensive gifts from the costly designer boutiques in Monte Carlo, together with tickets for the opera, a car, and vacations abroad. Dauriac’s attorney declared that Janowski told his client that his future was secure and that he was part of the family.
Janowski Needs Help with a Difficult Problem
A view taken on June 25, 2014 shows the ‘Schuylkill’ residence in Monaco where Sylvia Ratkowski-Pastor, daughter of Helene Pastor and her husband Wojciech Janowski, Poland’s honorary consul in Monaco, live. (Photo credit VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
All the gifts and warm treatment did not come without strings. Like a chess player, Janowski prepared his moves ahead, and when he was sure Dauriac had fallen into his trap, he started to reveal his real intentions. Dauriac’s lawyer claims that one day when Janowski was exasperated by the pressure his relationship with his mother in law put on him, he asked Duriac to find him a gun because he was going to kill her.
At first, Dauriac believed that his boss was joking, and his lawyer stated that his client never actually thought that Janowski was serious about killing someone. But Janowski was serious, indeed, and gave his protégé the silent treatment for three weeks. When he finally decided to speak to Dauriac again, he asked him to find him a person who could procure him a gun, if he wasn’t able to do it himself. The personal trainer said that he didn’t know anyone like that, but his benefactor wouldn’t let it go.
The Planning of a Thriller-Like Murder
Wojciech Janowski, the son-in-law of the 77-year-old heiress Helene Pastor, leaves a police station in Nice, southeastern France, on June 27, 2014. (Photo credit VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
On Christmas Eve 2013, Janowski went for his training session, the last one before the holidays, and told Dauriac that he still needed help with his mother-in-law problem. Janowski himself initially admitted to the police that “I suggested to Pascal Dauriac that he help me ‘solve’ the problem, which was my mother-in-law.” He would later withdraw his statement to claim his innocence. He also added that he knew that Dauriac would understand what he meant and that his protégé agreed to handle it.
Later that day, the two drove off in Janowski’s Jaguar to the building where Hélène Pastor lived, and Janowski showed the trainer the route his mother-in-law took every day to go to her office. He tried to convince his protégé that getting rid of his mother-in-law was an easy job because of her very predictable schedule. There was only one major issue with the plan: the omnipresent video surveillance cameras in Monaco. However, as fate would have it, the stroke suffered by Guildo Pastor would solve their problem. Hélène pastor started to visit her son in the hospital in Nice every day, which meant the level of security around her was diminished.
Finding a Murderer Is Not an Easy Task
Wojciech Janowski (R) with Abdelkader Belkhatir. Drawing Rémi Kerfridin. Source: varmatin.com
Dauriac faced another problem once he went back to his apartment – he wasn’t sure how to go about finding a person willing to take out the wealthiest woman in Monaco. His girlfriend, Sabrina Belkhatir, came to the rescue without actually knowing what she was doing. She was never informed about the murder Dauriac, and his boss were planning to commit, but she put her partner in contact with her brother, Abdelkader Belkhatir, who had connections to the criminal community of Marseille. The police questioned Sabrina after the assassination took place, but she was released shortly because she wasn’t, in fact, aware of the plan.
Even though Dauriac did not know his girlfriend’s brother too well, he asked for his help at a family reunion. According to the prosecution, Janowski paid $260, 000 to Dauriac to organize the assassination, of which he was only meant to keep $65,000. Abdelkader Belkhatir received $97,000 to find recruits to do the killing by using his connections in Marseille, and $77,000 went to the hitmen. However, Belkhatir’s lawyer argued that his client had nothing to do with the murder and had no knowledge of it. He thought that Dauriac and his sister were being threatened and he wanted to punish the persons responsible for this.
Recruiting the Hitmen for a High-Profile Murder
Samine Said Ahmed, the alleged gunman, Al Haïr Hamadi, the alleged spotter, and Hélène Pastor. Source: varmatin.com
The prosecution stated that Belkhatir recruited Samine Saïd Ahmed, a 24-year-old drug trafficker as the gunmen and Alhaire Hamadi, a 31-year-old thief, to act as the lookout. Besides the two hitmen, multiple individuals became accomplices as they acted as intermediaries in a tangled web of crimes. Hamadi traveled to Nice with Dauriac to prepare the murder and rehearse the steps.
He allegedly requested a deposit of $19,000. Then on May 6, 2014, he set out with Ahmed by train, making it rather easy for the police to recreate their steps. The prosecution believes the pair had little knowledge of cell phone tracking and video surveillance, which is why they weren’t careful to cover their traces. They both communicated by cell phone before the assassination, which gave the police traceable and incriminating evidence.
Preparing for the Hit
Al Haïr Hamadi and Samine Saïd Ahmed were recruited in Marseille by Pascal Dauriac, the sports coach of the Pastor family. (Berto Martinez for the Parisian Week-End). Source: leparisien.fr
The two alleged hitmen bought new clothes and attended to purchase a scooter, but they lacked identification, so they decided to take separate taxis the murder site. Ahmed took a shower at the cheap hotel near the train station in Nice the day of the murder and left behind a shower gel bottle that the police was able to retrieve at a later date and led them to identify the hitman’s DNA. Because they didn’t wear any masks but only baseball caps, their faces were easily recognizable, so they weren’t difficult to identify in CCTV footage or by witnesses. According to Dauriac, they had instructions to shoot the driver so that the police would believe that he was the actual intended victim. They were also to steal Hélène Pastor’s purse, to send the police off the tracks regarding motive.
The Police Trace Phone Calls
The car of Helene Pastor. (Photo credit JEAN CHRISTOPHE MAGNENET/AFP/Getty Images)
Because none of the perpetrators or accomplices to the murder were professionals, they weren’t aware that it was very easy for the police to trace the phone calls and discover everyone involved. Both the alleged hitman and their accomplices chatted by cell phone between them, which means that the police could trace back all their calls to Abdelkader Belkhatir. It was then easy to discover that he was the brother of Dauriac’s girlfriend, so the latter became a suspect as well. When the police traced Dauriac’s phone calls, they discovered multiple calls to a company belonging to Wojciech Janowski.
Investigating the Alleged Killers and Accomplices
Wojciech Janowski, the son-in-law of the 77-year-old heiress Helene Pastor, arrives at the Courthouse in Marseille, southeastern France, on June 27, 2014. (Photo credit BERTRAND LANGLOIS/AFP/Getty Images)
In the aftermath of the murder, 23 people were detained in total, and seven of them were arrested. A couple of weeks after the funeral of the wealthiest woman in Monaco, her daughter and son-in-law had to go to the police headquarters in Nice for questioning. The interrogation was intense, and the couple was videotaped while responding to the investigators’ questions.
Sylvia was released from custody very quickly because she conveys the investigators that her relationship with her mother was a very good one and there was no motive there to wish her dead. However, she broke down into tears when she realized that, according to the investigators, her partner of 28 years would have something to do with the murder of her mother.
On the other hand, Janowski initially confirmed that she had ordered to kill his mother-in-law but only with the purpose of ending Sylvia suffering at the hands of her tyrannical mother. He insisted that it not be money that he wanted, but to see his partner happy, which made him not a betrayer but a savior instead.
Janowski Retracts His Confession
An alleged suspect into the murder of 77-year-old heiress Helene Pastor leaves a police station in Nice, southeastern France, on June 27, 2014. (Photo credit VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
Even though he initially confessed to orchestrating the assassination of his mother-in-law, Janowski decided to retract everything when he appeared in front of a bail judge in Marseille on July 1, 2014. When the investigators asked why he changed his mind, he claims that the nuances of French legal terminology were difficult for him to understand and that he didn’t realize what he was saying at the time of his confession. Janowski failed to convince the judge that he was innocent and remained in custody. He was never released from jail and was left there awaiting trial.
When confronted with the accusations made by Dauriac, Janowski’s lawyer said: “Mr. Janowski says the contrary. That he had nothing to do with the killing of the mother-in-law or the driver. And he says he has no motive. When you have such a generous mother-in-law, you don’t try to get rid of her.”
His lawyer also stated publicly that “Interpol advised the French authorities that [Janowski] has no connection to organized crime and has no criminal record. There is no relation between the hit men and Janowski. He is unable to inherit since he was not married to Sylvia. And since his mother-in-law was killed in criminal circumstances, everything she owned is going to be frozen for a number of years. Someone who was involved in charity, especially with autistic children, doesn’t have a criminal mind. He’s a perfectionist. It’s impossible to imagine that he could be involved in such an amateurish act, considering his wealth, his social status, and his intelligence.”
Who Was Wojciech Janowski Before Being Accused of Murder?
French prosecutor of Marseille Brice Robin (R) and interregional director of the judicial police in Marseille Christian Sainte (L) answer journalists’ questions during a press conference on June 24, 2014, in Marseille, southern France, regarding the case of the murder of wealthy businesswoman Helene Pastor. (Photo credit BORIS HORVAT/AFP/Getty Images)
Before being jailed as the principal suspect in the murder of his mother-in-law, Janowski was admired in Monaco as a charitable person who founded multiple organizations such as Monaco against Autism, which had Princess Charlene of Monaco as an honorary president. He was the recipient of the National Order of Merit of the French Republic, bestowed upon him by French president Nicholas Sarkozy for his charitable work. He was also the honorary consul of Poland in Monaco between 2007 and 2014.
Reports of his story being fabricated emerged quickly though after the events on May 6, 2014. Janowski claimed on his CV that he had earned a degree in economics from Cambridge University in the UK, but it has since emerged that he never went to university, and a representative from the English institution confirmed he never attended courses there. And even though the high-class society in Monaco received him warmly, there was one person who never warmed up to him, his mother-in-law, Hélène Pastor. Even though he and Sylvia weren’t married, Hélène Pastor was his de facto mother-in-law, and their relationship was a thorny one.
Wojciech Janowski’s Early Life
Sylvia Ratkowski, daughter of Helene Pastor, arrives at the assizes of Bouches-du-Rhone, in Aix-en-Provence, southern France on September 17, 2018, for the trial of the son-in-law of the Monaco billionaire with nine other people suspected of her murder. (Photo by Boris HORVAT / AFP) (Photo credit BORIS HORVAT/AFP/Getty Images)
Janowski has not always known the sweet life of the Riviera. He was born on August 15, 1949, in Warsaw, Poland, a country that was under Soviet domination at the time. His parents saw the factories where they were working destroyed during the war. Janowski went to school in the Polish capital. In 1971, some friends of the family invited him to study in England. He disembarked with $ 00 in his pocket and had to do odd jobs to pay for his studies. Janowski claimed to have a degree in economics from Cambridge University, but could not provide proof. One thing is sure – the Polish immigrant worked as a croupier in London.
In 1984, he left England for Monaco, where he landed a job at a state company that was managing luxury hotels and casinos. In the principality, the newcomer soon met Sylvia Ratkowski. The new couple moved to a luxurious apartment on the penultimate floor of Schuylkill, one of the buildings belonging to the family. In 1990, following the death of the patriarch of the Pastor clan, Hélène inherited an enormous fortune, and life changed for Janowski forever.
Janowski Makes a Life for Himself in Monaco
(Photo credit BORIS HORVAT/AFP/Getty Images)
In 1996, Wojciech and Sylvia had a daughter, Lara. On several occasions, Janowski asked his partner to marry him. She refused every time, citing money as a reason, as she wanted to leave all her inheritance to her daughters. Janowski started his own business by creating several import-export companies, which all failed. In 2007, he was appointed Honorary Consul of Poland, which was a purely honorary title.
He created several investment companies in Luxembourg and Dubai. In 2011, he founded Hudson Oil Corporation Ltd., a Canadian company that was intended to buy an oil refinery in Poland. After investing about 250,000 euros in the company, he issued 50 million shares and had Hudson listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Between September 2011 and December 2012, he sent his bank orders to buy 100 to 500 Hudson shares a day, with the purpose of increasing the price of the shares artificially.
In 2012, Sylvia Ratkowski was diagnosed with cancer, from which she later recovered. It is from this moment that the house of cards built by Janowski begins to waver. Janowski panicked: “If something happens to you, I have nothing,” he let out in front of his girlfriend. He was convinced that in case his girlfriend died, his mother-in-law would immediately put him out. It was then that the idea of having Helene Pastor assassinated came to his mind.
The Smile of an Alleged Murderer
Gildo Pallanca, son of late Helene Pastor, reacts as he speaks to journalists at the assizes of Bouches-du-Rhone, in Aix-en-Provence, southern France on October 17, 2018. (Photo credit GERARD JULIEN/AFP/Getty Images)
In a statement to the press, Gildo Pallanca-Pastor, the son of Monaco’s billionaire Hélène Pastor, said that the main defendant, Wojciech Janowski, was smiling on the day of his mother’s death. Before the opening of the high-profile trial, Hélène’s son argued that the principal defendant has a smile on the day his mother died.
Gildo Pallanca-Pastor recalls than on the day his mother died; her son-in-law was standing near her death chamber with a smile on his face. “He was calling someone,” Pallanca-Pastor remembered. He thought, “This guy’s got something wrong. Then I knew he had called Dauriac, I suggested this to investigators,” he continued. Pascal Dauriac, Janowski’s trainer, is now one of his co-defendants and told the investigators that he organized the murder after being “manipulated” by Wojciech Janowski.
“I did not think he was capable of murder,” Gildo Pallanca-Pastor told AFP, noting that he did not know the motive of the crime: “He had not mentioned financial problems at all.” According to him, Hélène Pastor mistrusted her son-in-law: “My mother had found strange things in September 2013, she was very stressed during this period.”
Hélène Pastor’s Last Conversation
Claude Pallanca (L) first husband of late Helene Pastor, arrives with his lawyer Franck de Vita at the assizes of Bouches-du-Rhone, in Aix-en-Provence, southern France on September 17, 2018, for the trial of the son-in-law of the Monaco billionaire with nine other people suspected of her murder. (Photo credit BORIS HORVAT/AFP/Getty Images)
The French newspaper Le Figaro tried to reconstitute the last moments of the Monegasque billionaire and her driver by discussing with witnesses who were in the hospital at the time of the assassination. The journalists spoke with Philippe L, a former patient of the hospital who was 49 at the time. He remembers that Hélène Pastor approached him and asked him about what happened and reassured him that he needed to keep his hope up because medicine had made much progress. Philippe was recovering from a stroke just like Gildo Pastor, and he wasn’t aware of whom he was talking to.
When the heiress left, Philippe saw her getting into a car that rolled just for a couple of meters until a man came out and opened the door. Philippe thought that he was coming to steal a purse, just like Janowski intended. Then the shooting happened, and Hélène Pastor and her driver were left fighting for their lives. The attacker never took the purse – he left it inside the car, on the dashboard.
After the shooting, Hélène Pastor was in a coma, and she only woke up for a very brief period. She managed to tell the police that she was frightened and wanted them to come by lately so she could talk to them. Unfortunately, she never had the time to do that because she passed away from septicemia as a result of her gunshot wounds.
The Aftermath of the Murder
Saint-Roch hospital’s chief surgeon Patrick Baque (L) and resuscitation chief Carole Ichai give a press conference, on May 7, 2014, in Nice, on the case of Helene Pastor, and her driver who were shot the day before and remain in critical condition. AFP PHOTO / JEAN CHRISTOPHE MAGNENET (Photo credit JEAN-CHRISTOPHE MAGNENET/AFP/Getty Images)
The Polish consulate announced almost immediately that it would withdraw its title from Janowski. “I only knew the good side of him,” said the Polish ambassador to France, Tomasz Orlowski, to the local newspaper “Nice Matin.” The situation was “embarrassing.” Janowski had already earned his place in the world of the wealthy by unorthodox means. The University of Cambridge has stated that Janowski had completed no business studies at the prestigious college, even though he listed them on his resume.
It is difficult to understand why Janowski would have ordered the assassination of the woman who ensured his partner a pharaonic lifestyle: each month, Hélène Pastor gave her daughter, as well as her son Gildo, a check for 500,000 euros, nicknamed “chouquette.” It is also difficult to understand why the brains of the operation would have let his personal trainer recruit a team of petty thugs from Marseilles for a hit that had significant financial stakes for him.
Private Detective Patrick Boffa Speaks Out
Patrick Boffa. Photo Jean-François Ottonello. Source: nicematin.com
Patrick Boffa has been a private investigator for Hélène Pastor for over 24 years. On her behalf, he investigated her son in law. Thanks to having him followed by a private investigator, Hélène Pastor concluded that her son-in-law was mythomaniac and potentially dangerous. According to an interview published by French newspaper Nice Matin, Patrick Boffa revealed shocking details about the relationship between the heiress and her son-in-law.
The private investigator claimed that from the first day after the shooting he told authorities that he had his doubts regarding Janowski. He also claimed that his boss told him to speak to the police and show them the reports if something ever happened to her. He worked for Hélène Pastor since 1989 on a range of different subjects, and he created a climate of friendship and sensitivity between them. The investigator argued that his boss never trusted her son-in-law and wanted to find out more about his true nature.
More Details Emerge
Pascal Dauriac. (Photo credit BORIS HORVAT/AFP/Getty Images)
Patrick Boffa offered the police all his reports and correspondence with Hélène Pastor. His research concluded that he never had a degree from Cambridge University and that his daily activities had nothing to do with business. It appeared from the reports that Janowski spent his time with various projects that could be classed as mythomaniac. He also lied about owning property in England, with the investigator finding out that he only had a simple studio with not much value.
Boffa also recalled conversations he had with Hélène Pastor about Janowski. She told him that when she was organizing family meals, he did not speak to her, he did not look at her in the face and never engaged in any conversation with her. He was also very controlling of Sylvia. According to Boffa, the heiress was convinced that her son-in-law’s attitude was more and more aggressive towards her and she felt that she was going to do something sooner or later. She was afraid of being poisoned, and even though she tried to make her daughters see the truth about her partner, she had little success.
The Private Detective Testifies at the Trial
French prosecutor of Marseille Brice Robin gestures as he answers journalists’ questions during a press conference with the interregional director of the judicial police in Marseille on June 24, 2014, in Marseille, southern France, regarding the case of the murder of wealthy businesswoman Helene Pastor, and her driver, who were attacked in a shooting on May 6, 2014 in the southern French city of Nice (Photo credit BORIS HORVAT/AFP/Getty Images)
On Friday, September 27, 2018, Patrick Boffa testified before the Assize Court of Bouches-du-Rhone. Several times, Hélène Pastor discussed with him the possibility of continuing his investigations on Wojciech Janowski, to investigate his travels in Poland or England. “She thought that Mr. Janowski was going to Poland very often, wondering what he was doing there, afraid that he would squander Sylvia’s fortune, that she was leaving his daughter behind,” Boffa said. However, in the end, she stopped the investigation. “She did not want to betray her daughter,” says Patrick Boffa.
On May 6, 2014, the private investigator was contacted by the Monegasque security one hour after the shooting. He was questioned, but the police preferred not to mention the fears the billionaire had about her son-in-law because they did not want the investigator to have any problems if it turned out that Janowski had nothing to do with the murder. Boffa was surprised not to be summoned again by investigators.
What Is Sylvia Pastor’s Position?
Sylvia Ratkowski, daughter of Helene Pastor, arrives at the assizes of Bouches-du-Rhone, in Aix-en-Provence, southern France on September 17, 2018, for the trial of the son-in-law of the Monaco billionaire with nine other people suspected of her murder. (Photo credit BORIS HORVAT/AFP/Getty Images)
Sylvia Pastor, who has never spoken to the press, will be present at the trial, together with her brother Gildo, who has put his life in New York on hold to be in France for the duration of the trial. Like her mother, Hélène’s daughter is a worker, not a socialite, in contrast with the wealthy people of Monaco. She was married to an industrialist in Turin, Italy when she first met Janowski and decided to divorce her husband in a week. She then moved to Monte Carlo to live with her new partner. According to other sources, she was already divorced when she met Janowski. She had a daughter with her first husband, which Janowski decided to raise as his own.
Sylvia Pastor lived with Wojciech Janowski for 28 years, and together they had a daughter but never married. The decision not to wed was Sylvia’s, as she wanted her daughters to inherit her fortune after her death, and not Janowski. Nevertheless, according to inside sources, she gave everything to Janowski, from her heart to her checkbook, including the generous checks she received from her mother, which went into a joint account.
Many people believed that the allowance Hélène Pastor paid her daughter was a pittance at $650,000 per month, as this was the kind of money many people in Monaco spent in a day partying on their yachts. However, the couple lived comfortably, buying a yacht, leasing private jets, going on luxury vacations, and purchasing multiple residences in Switzerland and London. According to insider sources, Sylvia trusted her partner completely, but his mother-in-law despised him.
Sylvia Pastor Feels Betrayed
Hélène Pastor. Source: YouTube
Even though she hasn’t spoken to the press, inside sources claim that Sylvia Pastor felt utterly betrayed by her partner, in whom she put all her trust. While the mobile of the crime hasn’t been established for sure, suspicious cash flows have been identified in Janowski’s bank accounts. He has received 7.5 million euro from Sylvia, but his accounts still showed a negative balance of 900,000 euro, according to Brice Robin, the prosecutor of Marseille.
Interviewed by investigators about the motive of the crime, Pascal Dauriac explained that Wojciech Janowski had long considered removing the heiress “because he felt rejected by the family in general and Hélène Pastor in particular,” reported Reuters. The number one suspect said he wanted to “stop the suffering of Sylvia Pastor,” says Brice Robin. The assumptions were rejected by Sylvia, who was arrested during the large-scale crackdown that followed the death of her mother but was quickly released, with no charges against her.
“I’ll never forgive him,” Sylvia said to the investigators in 2014. “I hope he’ll get a heavy conviction for what he did to my mother and Mohamed and for all the years where he lied to me and where he stole my money. I had a blind trust in him, and he was the man of my life—at least that’s what I thought.”
Wojciech Janowski Claims He’s Innocent
Wojciech Janowski. (Photo credit VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
In September 2018, on the first day of the trial of the murder of Hélène Pastor, the accused, Wojciech Janowski, 69, claimed his innocence. Accused of having ordered the murder of his mother-in-law, Hélène Pastor, he declared before the jury at the Assizes of Bouches-du-Rhône Court that he was “innocent” and “has committed no crime.” However, his former trainer, Pascal Dauriac renewed his accusations, designating Wojciech Janowski as the mastermind of the double crime.
According to the accusation, Janowski has been diverting a large part of the 500, 000 euro that Hélène Pastor paid to her daughter each month for many years to his benefit or for his companies. In 2012, Sylvia was diagnosed with cancer, and the prosecutors believe he wanted to get his hands on as much money as possible, feeling that the flow of cash would dry up in the event of Sylvia’s death.
The businessman, who is also on trial for witness tampering, is accused of having paid, through his lawyer, an inmate to give false testimony clearing him and accusing Pascal Dauriac.
An Out of the Ordinary Trial
One of the two alleged suspects (C) into the murder of 77-year-old heiress Helene Pastor arrives at the Courthouse in Marseille. (Photo credit BERTRAND LANGLOIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Philippe Frizon, the prosecutor who directs the investigation into the murder stated at the beginning of the trial that this was an ordinary case. It is rare to see this kind of murder and tensed family relationships outside of the thriller novel. She mentioned that the two hired assassins were not professionals because they came in separate taxis at the scene of the event and they reserved them with firms they bought under false names the same morning. According to the prosecution, the amateurism of the team was reinforced by the wish of the mastermind and sponsor of the hit who wanted his mother-in-law that before she stopped visiting her son in the hospital every day. The prosecution also mentioned the disturbing text messages Janowski sent just after the death of the billionaire and driver to several of his accomplices.
Wojciech Janowski claims to have paid 200,000 euro in cash to his personal trainer to execute his mother-in-law, said the prosecutor of Marseille at a press conference after the trial began. Just before the assassination, he cashed out 250,000 euros on an offshore account in Dubai.
Eric Dupond-Moretti Defends Janowski
French lawyer Eric Dupond-Moretti speaks to journalists as he leaves the assizes court of Bouches-du-Rhone in Aix-en-Provence, southern France, on October 17, 2018 after the trial of his client, a Poland’s former honorary consul and son-in-law of a late Monaco billionaire, along with nine other people suspected of her murder. (Photo credit GERARD JULIEN/AFP/Getty Images)
A high-profile French lawyer, Eric Dupond-Moretti is one of Janowski’s attorneys in the trial. According to him, the initial confession of their client was provoked by the condition of his detention. The lawyer argued that any confession without a lawyer present has no value, which means that the former consul and businessman made an admission that the court should not take into account. He claims that his client had asked to be assisted by a lawyer but was refused until after his fifth hearing. It was then impossible to find him a defender because just after the murder, the lawyers in France were on a national strike.
Pascal Dauriac’s Version of Events
Saint-Roch hospital’s chief surgeon Patrick Baque (L) and resuscitation chief Carole Ichai give a press conference, on May 7, 2014, in Nice, on the case of Helene Pastor, sister of the late Monegasque businessman Michel Pastor, and her driver who were shot the day before and remain in critical condition. (Photo credit JEAN-CHRISTOPHE MAGNENET/AFP/Getty Images)
Four years ago, Pascal Dauriac was a personal trainer. He offered his services on the Côte d’Azur. As he was gentle and polite and respectful and undoubtedly competent, he got multiple recommendations, and most of his clients came by word of mouth. In the early 2000’s, he met Sylvia Ratkowski and Wojciech Janowski and remained their personal trainer and masseur for over a decade. He claims that during this period, he witnessed numerous verbal encounters between the two, many of them related to her mother. Dauriac stated that the words were often harsh and that Sylvia often left the room angry. The couple’s heated exchanges made Dauriac feel compassion for them, but he claims that he never thought the entire story would reach a tragic end.
Questioned on several occasions in 2014, Dauriac acknowledged his participation in the preparation of the double murder. But he gave another explanation for the sequence of events. “His mother-in-law did not love Janowski: about two or three years ago, Sylvia [Ratkowski] developed cancer,” he told investigators on June 24, 2014. He then said that he was worried if Sylvia died: how could he do materially, knowing that they were not married and that he was going to be kicked out by his in-laws?
Sylvia Pastor in Tears in the Assize Court
Gildo Pallanca Pastor. (Photo credit BORIS HORVAT/AFP/Getty Images)
On September 21, 2018, Sylvia Pastor appeared in court to testify, and she burst into tears when she mentioned that she lost her mother and the man of her life. Hélène Pastor’s daughter, deeply moved throughout her testimony that lasted more than an hour, revisited the confession her partner made immediately after his detention, more than a month after the facts. “He told me he was the sponsor,” said the fifty-year-old. “I do not understand, we’ve lived together for 28 years, I really do not understand, I am terribly angry”.
Sylvia also mentioned that she felt like the world around her collapsed when she was left without her mother and her partner of almost three decades in the span of a month. She was also worried about the explanations she would have to give her granddaughter. When the plaintiff’s attorney asked her about her opinion about the guilt of her former partner, Sylvia Pastor replied that she didn’t know what to think and that she was waiting for the truth.
Hélène Pastor’s daughter also went back a long way on the management of her finances, and the donations she regularly made to her partner. She confessed that she did not take good care of her finances, buying a boat, buying a house in London, but merely “writing checks.”
What will Happen with Hélène Pastor’s Fortune?
Hélène Pastor. Source: vanityfair.com
Because Monaco has forced heirship rules, the heirs of Hélène Pastor’s wealth and her two children, Sylvia and Gildo. They are entitled to at least two-thirds of their mother’s fortune, which comes up to at least 1.2 billion. There is no inheritance tax due to be paid between parents and their children in Monaco. Hélène Pastor was the last surviving member of the third generation of the Pastor family, and the buildings she personally owned are currently valued at $3.7 billion.
The property is owned by the children of Hélène’s two late brothers are valued at $5.4 billion, which means that combined, the fourth generation of the Pastor family is one of the wealthiest families in the world.
The End of a Suspenseful Murder Trial
Lawyer of Poland’s former honorary consul in Monaco Wojciech Janowski, Luc Febbraro speaks to journalists at the assizes of Bouches-du-Rhone, in Aix-en-Provence, southern France on October 17, 2018. (Photo credit GERARD JULIEN/AFP/Getty Images)
The brutal assassination of Hélène Pastor and her driver shocked the world, and the trial at the Assize Court of Aix-en-Provence lasted until October 19, 2018. At 69 years old and having languished in a cell for the past four years, Wojciech Janowski appeared in court alongside nine other accomplices, including the two alleged hitmen. Having denied any involvement since retracting his initial confession, Janowski cried while his last-minute confession was delivered by his lawyer to the court, which consequently found him guilty of the murder of his mother-in-law. The court sentenced him, the gunman, and the lookout to life in prison, with Dauriac receiving a sentence of 30 years. Four other defendants were given sentences of up to 15 years each and two were acquitted. Now justice has been served, this high-profile, almost incredible case can be put to rest, and the Pastor family can begin rebuilding their lives.
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