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ELS VAN DOREN - MURDER IN THE SKY - ELS "BABS" CLOTTEMANS ON TRIAL - VERDICT GUILTY

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#21 [url]

Oct 11 10 8:47 PM

Tueday psychiatric experts will testify.
 
"For the supposedly fragile young woman who begs for attention, according to
them is a psychopath with narcissistic traits and theatrical, which plays on the
emotions of her surroundings, pathological lying and manipulating others."

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#22 [url]

Oct 19 10 8:40 PM

Els Clottemans is full of "I don't know" when it comes to certain facts.


Els "Babs" Clottemans
"I don't remember if I wrote the farewell address for the funeral of Els Van Doren.
I typed the valedictory address. Marcel provided anecdotes that I do not know."

 Anecdotes which I do not remember."

 
Tessa New Lands (23) (friend)
 
"I love Els (Clottemans) She says what she thinks straight. She wears her heart
on her sleeve. Either you like her or not. She makes me zumba. She is always
excited and calls them too loud. The others will not like, but it bothers me not,"
 
The anonymous letter,  was sent with "good intentions". 'Els wondered if perhaps
an anonymous letter we would send. The anonymous letter was a worthy goal: forcing
Els Van Doren to choose between her husband and Marcel Somers.
The intention was to get Els Van Doren to make  a 'choice.
 
I jokingly suggested gloves to see that no saliva adhered to her.
 
Prosecutor Boyen "Do you find that funny?"
 
Tessa New Lands "We were eighteen and watched CSI,"  "
 
Van Doren was Clottemans very good friend. I did not think Clottemans
was jealous of the position of Els Van Doren. There was no resentment.
She (Els "Babs")  said that Van Doren is her mother figure. Marcel Somers

she described as a gentleman"
 
"I advised her to read her statements. She thus was put on guard against the
bias of the investigator Eugeen Crabbe."

Koen Clottemans (Els Clottemans's brother)
"I believe in the innocence of my sister. "She is very sociable, she loves being the
center of interest.

"My sister had never had real friends. "During her youth she had many friends who
came and went but Els was struggling to keep them. I think this was due to her
mental problems."

Martine De Kegel (mother of Els Clottemans)
"Els is innocent. Els Van Doren committed suicide.
"Els is innocent. She stayed one year in prison. When she got home, it was hell.
Every door was closed to the sounds reminded her of prison. I beg you, think
She is innocent."

The daughter of Els Van Doren, left abruptly, upset, at Martine De Kegel's
claim that her mother committed suicide.

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#23 [url]

Oct 19 10 8:49 PM

Ann De Wilde
"I saw the couple formed by my brother Jan and Els as ideal.
Jan said Els always came back happy and relaxed after a weekend of skydiving.
After her death, Jan was no longer the brother he was before. Losing his
wife in such a way is the worst thing that you can happen."
 
Ingrid Borre (Stepmother of Els Van Doren)
"They were a fantastic couple. "They formed a tandem.  
 When Els went skydiving, it was the weekend everything is arranged for the
children. I have never seen fights with Jan and Els. Jan still loves Els. Neither
he nor we were aware of the extramarital affairs of Els."


Ann Van Doren (Els's sister)
 "We want a fair verdict. The goal is to identify a culprit.
Els was a lovely girl. I have great difficulty accepting that she was murdered, "
 
Jan Van Doren (Els' father)
 "The world and life will never be like before."
 
 
 Mies Wild (The father of Jan De Wilde) ( died in February last year.)

His statement was read.
 "Jan still loves Els (...) Neither Jan nor we had known of the affair Els."
 
 
DAUGHTER OF ELS VAN DOREN
Karol
"I had a mom that I could be proud, and I still am, She was an incredible person.
She always listened. The worst thing you can hear is that your mother was murdered.
There are so many horrible people on earth and they have attacked my mother. I do not understand. I was proud that she parachutes, it makes her unique, "she said in tears.
Karol completely rejects the idea that her mother might have committed suicide.
I do not see that someone still dares to say that this is the case."
 
SON OF ELS VAN DOREN
Vincent (sobbing)
"Mom was a certainty in life, when you lose your whole world collapses.
She was always there when I came home from school. I saw no problem
with the parachuting, since she was always there for us during the week.
We try as best we can overcome death Mom, it all comes with the trial.
Dad always does his best. " "I regret one thing. That day, (November 18,
2006, ed), I did not give a farewell kiss to mom, what I always do,"

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#24 [url]

Oct 19 10 8:52 PM

Maria Pijls (Marcel Somers' mother)
"My son came home completely distraught the day of death of Els Van Doren.
I almost fell over, Marcel shouted twice "Els died." I was sick, it was horrible.
 It was as if a family member had died."
 
"My son has "suffered terribly" the death of Els. "He felt guilty for having cheated
on her with his relationship with Babs (Clottemans). The parachute jump was his
pride and joy, but it's over."
 
Marcel Somers' mother and brothers testified that they learned about his
relationship with Els "Babs" Clottemans only after the death of Els Van Doren.
 
 

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#25 [url]

Oct 19 10 9:08 PM

Els Clottemans played dirty manipulation games with her 'best friend' Els Van Doren.
 
Clottemans invited a Spanish paratrooper to Marcel Somers' home in hopes
that he would "lure her into bed." Then she tells the woman that Els Van Doren
is "jealous" of her. 
 
The woman asked "why?" Because Els herself had asked the woman to join her in the
group with Marcel jumping."
 
Clottemans explained that Els Van Doren was jealous of her because of Marcel
Somers. She then told Marcel Somers that "Els Van Doren was jealous because
of the Spanish woman." 
 
Marcel Somers "If Els Van Doren is jealous, then it must be because she loves me."
 
Neither Somers or the Spanish woman thought anything more of the incident.
 
But Els Clottemans wasn't finished.
 
She told the Spanish woman  'Els Van Doren is now mad at me because I've told you
the about jealousy."
 
The Spanish woman was thinking of having Marcel Somers coach her on freefall.
 
Clottemans advised her  "I would not do. Els Van Doren will not accept. "

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#26 [url]

Oct 19 10 9:17 PM

Four very experienced Atmonauti-jumpers did two reconstructions of the jump
that happened on the date of Els Van Doren's death.
 
Pieter Wittevrongel  was the stand-in Tom Bolsius

Steve Braff was the stand in for Els Van Doren
Mark Blockhuys played Marcel Somers
Mike Vogeler was the stand-in for Clottemans, who also had to follow a
separate pilot chute.
 
 
Wittevrongel 

"A pilot chute is easy to follow and can be found quickly."
 
Steve Braff
"If you pay attention, you can find the pilot chute. I found every pilot chute."
A jump-Atmonauti is an easy discipline to learn.
 
The experienced jumpers  were very surprised to hear that Clottemans had a bad exit
from the dismount at the aircraft and that she had assumed a sitting position, making
herself go very fast vertically downhill. It's a dangerous position and not done.
 

Vic Van Aelst, Clottemans's lawyer 
"The jump was filmed with helmet cameras and the images of the reconstruction
 is no second to see the pilot chute. How can that be?"

Wittevrongel
"With the naked eye you can look better than the camera with a wide angle
lens in the helmet," 
 


                                       ELS VAN DOREN'S MISSING MAKEUP CASE

Prosecutors claimed that Els Clottemans had stolen the small makeup case,
one which Karol, Els Van Doren's daughter wanted as a memento of her mother.
However, during jury deliberations, the jurors found the missing make up case
in Van Doren's handbag which was in evidence.

Clottemans has denied that she stole the makeup case.
The discovery of the jury confirmed that she was not lying in that regard.



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#27 [url]

Oct 20 10 6:07 PM

                                    VERDICT - GUILTY
 

2010 - October 20 -  Jurors render verdict

Els Clottemans
"I am really innocent. I can only repeat it. From the beginning, I was
found guilty for something horrible which I really did not commit."
 
In a televised verdict Judge Michel Jordans asked the jurors
as to the question of her guilt  - the jurors replied "Yes."
Judge Jordans asked the jurors whether the crime was premeditated.
The jurors answered "Yes." 
 
 
2010 - October 21 - SENTENCING - penalty can range from 3 years to life
                                                      in prison.
 

"The attorney general will speak first, followed by defense lawyers, My Vic Van Aelst
and Katrien Van der Straeten, who will seek the most lenient sentence for their client.
Subsequently, the jury retires to determine the penalty to be imposed on Els Clottemans."

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#28 [url]

Oct 21 10 11:08 AM

2010 - October 21 - SENTENCING - 30 years.
 
The judge stated that the only mitigating circumstance
is the Clottemans' unstable mental condition

Belgian court psychiatrists have declared Clottemans to be
 "a danger to society" and to be a "psychopath with dramatic
features.

Prosecutors had demanded a life sentence.

Clottemans will be allowed to seek a conditional release from prison for good
conduct after serving one-third of her sentence, or around 10 years.

Prosecutor Patrick Boyen
"Els Van Doren saw her death coming 4,000 metres (13,000 feet) from
the ground, as if you had pushed her from the top of the Mont Blanc."

Clottemans was shown to have sent poison pen letters about Els Van Doren
to mutual friends.

Clottermans was acting jumpy on the day of the murder. The three were regular
skydiving partners and, normally, they would leap at the same time and make
a star formation in the air. But on the day of the murder, Clottermans hung back
in the airplane while the other two jumped.

She was an accomplished skydiver who knew how to disable a parachute and
had both the motive and opportunity to carry out the deadly sabotage.

 Vic Van Aelst (Attorney for Clottemans)
Van Aelst urged the jury to give her a "last chance," saying "Although she had a
unstable personality, she was a young woman without a criminal record.
"She did not ask to be a psychopath."

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#29 [url]

Oct 22 10 5:23 PM

2010 - October 22 - AFTER THE SENTENCING
 
 
Five jurors spoke about twenty minutes with the children of the victim and a 6th
juror was with them for one hour. They discussed the verdict and the reasons
why the jury found Els Clottemans guilty.
 


Families De Wilde and Van Doren
 
Jan De Wilde, his son Vincent and daughter Karol, have remained silent in the
media for four years, even throughout the trial. But after the sentencing, they've
spoken out. 

Jan De Wilde thanked the jury, the President of the Assize Court, the Attorney General
and their lawyers.

De Wilde noted that the family had refused for four years to give statements or
interviews, taking care to allow Els Clottemans to have a fair trial. He condemned
Clottemans for not doing the same.

Jan De Wilde
"Clottemans played the media. We were angry about what's in the press over the
past four years, but we did not respond. We are now not concerned with what is
being said after the trial. I understand the media interest continues."

 
Jan De Wilde
"Investigators have made a very decent job. I would also like to thank the president
of the court for the human way with which he has led the debate on this difficult
issue, particularly during the hearing of my children."
 
 "I thank the jurors for the attention they have paid in this case, and for daring to take
responsibility in the deliberations on both on guilt and the sentence."
 
I believe that the rights of the defense have been equally respected by Councillor
Jordens and that the accused was entitled to, and received, an honest trial.

"The attorney general has invested in the search for truth and the law prevails.

Speaking of the mother of Els Clottemans, Martine De Kegel -
"I would defend my children to the end. I understand her situation, except the totally
false statement that Els (Van Doren) would have committed suicide."

"Masters Van Aelst and Van der Straeten have done their jobs properly as lawyers."

Speaking of the double life of his wife, Els Van Doren -
"I do not approve of the adultery of my wife, but she did not earn to be murdered."

Speaking of Marcel Somers -
"You should not touch a married woman. It's totally wrong what he did. I have
had no contact with that man."
 
"Finally, I wanted to say I was extremely pleased with Els, to the last day. We
miss her terribly. As my children have said during their testimony, Els is not
a victim, but the most wonderful mother that they could imagine, and for me,
for 20 years she has been a lovely woman."
 
 
Jan De Wilde then asked the press to leave their family alone now, to grieve in peace.

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#30 [url]

Oct 22 10 5:40 PM

Vic Van Aelst (Attorney for Clottemans)
"I will discuss with my client the possibility of an appeal. She has 14 days to appeal
 against her sentence of thirty years in prison. It is likely there will be an appeal since
she maintains her innocence."
 
"I am positive that the court and jury took inito account the disturbed personality of
my client. I am glad she is sentenced to 30 years and not forever. Psychologically,
it is important to put a number behind a sentence.
 
I think it's any consolation for her not to be locked up for life. After the completiion
of a third of her sentence, Els Clottemans can apply for parole to the court enforcement
of sentences.
 
Els Clottemans maintains her innocence. She will now have to learn to accept her
sentence. I particularly appreciate that the jury took into account her personality. It is
indeed a problem that she will have to address.
 
I will encourage Els Clottemans to continue treatment of her mental problems.
 
I will also ask my client if she is willing to reconsider her views on her guilt."

"I've never been so tired after a trial of Assizes. I'm going to rest, take care of
my pheasants and not think about the matter Clottemans."

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#31 [url]

Oct 22 10 5:45 PM

Katrien Van Der Straeten (Attorney for Els Clottemans)
"After being found guilty, Els Clottemans was taken to the prison of Hasselt
and did not sleep a wink all night. She has not stopped crying. She believed in
an acquittal until the last moment. She will remain incarcerated in the women's
wing of the prison of Hasselt, at least until the situation regarding her appeal to
the Supreme Court becomes clearer."
 

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#32 [url]

May 4 11 8:54 PM

2011 - May 4 - Court of Cessation dismisses appeal against conviction.
 
Clottemans claimed that there were procedural errors in her trial.
 
The Court of Cessation (Brussels) ruled that claim was unfounded.
 
Clottemans attorneys state they will appeal to the Supreme Court.
 



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