April 12, 2009 (updated Nov. 15, 2010)
French billionaire banker Édouard Stern, wearing a latex bodysuit, was shot dead in his luxury Geneva penthouse by his mistress, Cécile Brossard, for reneging on the $1 million he gave her.
It was the last day of February 2005: Monday, 9:15 p.m.
Geneva, in Switzerland, town of Calvin and strict Calvinism, once known as the "Rome of the Protestants," was already silent for the night. The month had been extremely cold and weather forecasts promised further cold and snow for the month of March. The best place was undoubtedly indoors beside a fireplace in which coals sizzled.
Yet, the automatic doors to the underground parking bay of an elegant, modern apartment building on a street in the city's most expensive area swung open and a gray Mini, a woman behind its wheel, pulled out fast and turned north towards the lake – Lac Leman or Geneva Lake as it is known to English speakers.
The woman was on her way to Montreux, a town at the other end of the 45-mile long crescent-shaped lake (72 kilometers). A few moments earlier, she had stepped from the apartment building's basement elevator. She had hurled two bags – one of black leather and the other a white cloth bag – onto the car's rear seat. Her purse, also of black leather, she had put down on the front passenger's seat. Waiting for the parking bay's automatic doors to open, she had tapped her manicured fingernails against the steering wheel. She was obviously in a hurry to be on her way.