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The BBC's James Coomarasamy in Paris
"People here are going to be waiting anxiously to hear his motives"
 real 56k

Tuesday, 27 March, 2001, 14:58 GMT 15:58 UK
Paris serial killer finally admits guilt
Guy Georges with police officer at the start of his trial
Georges (left) is accused of a seven-year reign of fear
A Frenchman accused of being the serial killer known as the Beast of Bastille has finally confessed to the crimes in court.

Guy Georges, 38, broke down in tears after asking the victims' families to forgive him.

He had pleaded not guilty to raping and murdering seven young women in Paris's Bastille district in the 1990s.

But more than week into his trial he admitted his guilt, after his lawyer told him it was time to talk.

I ask forgiveness from my family, from my little sister, from my father, and from God, if there is one

Guy Georges
Georges spoke in a barely audible voice to answer "Yes" as each of the seven murder charges were put to him.

"I ask forgiveness from my family, from my little sister, from my father, and from God, if there is one. I ask forgiveness from myself," said Georges.

Georges now faces a life sentence without becoming eligible for parole for more than 20 years.

Fifty witnesses had been lined up to give evidence against him and the court heard that DNA evidence linked him several of the murders.

The moment has come to talk about things

Georges' lawyer Alex Ursulet
Georges was arrested in March 1998, and admitted his guilt to police, but later retracted his confession, claiming the police had beaten it out of him.

His seven victims had their throats cut after being raped. All were single, aged between 19 and 27.

Some were attacked in car parks; others were followed to their homes and killed there.

Georges continues to deny four other sex attacks with which he is charged.

Bungling claims

The trial followed one of France's biggest manhunts, which was beset by claims of police bungling.

Officers failed to match up DNA results for several months, and at least one murder was committed while George was on day release from prison.

Georges, whose father was an American cook working at Nato bases, was raised by a foster family after being abandoned by his parents.

He has previously been jailed for a number of offences, including knifepoint attacks on women committed when he was a teenager.

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