Child killer Dutroux, Belgium's most reviled criminal
BRUSSELS (AFP) - He was dubbed the "monster of Charleroi" by the Belgian press but psychiatrists say Marc Dutroux is less a paedophile than an icy-hearted predator with a murderous desire to control his victims.
Dutroux, 56, asked a special court for early release on Monday after serving almost 16 years of a life sentence for the kidnap, rape and gruesome murder of several young girls, crimes that shocked Belgium and the world in 1996.
Four of the girls, including two eight-year-olds, were found dead. Two others were rescued from the cellar of a property belonging to the former electrician near the southern Belgian town of Charleroi.
The public shock turned to fury when it emerged not only that police had missed a string of clues that could have led to Dutroux being apprehended earlier but that he had been released from jail in 1992 after serving just three years of a 13-year sentence for the abduction and rape of five girls.