Michel Werlé
Occupation Factory worker
Born ca. 1940

July 22, 1981(1981-07-22) (aged 41)

Cause of death Suicide
Attack information
Date July 22, 1981
Location(s) Pont-de-Roide, France
Killed 6
Weapon(s) .22-caliber rifle

Michel Werlé was a French factory worker who shot dead six people in Pont-de-Roide, France on July 22, 1981, before committing suicide. [1][2]

Werlé, who was described as paranoid and blind with jealousy,[3] had been in a psychiatric hospital in 1978, and again in 1981,[4] where he was treated for depression.[5] He worked as a technical agent for the local Peugeot automobile factory,[6] and had been married to Pierrette Prudman, with whom he had two children, but at the time of the shooting they were separated for a year.[5]

On the afternoon of July 22 Werlé first showed up at the apartment of his 33-year-old ex-wife, demanding that she handed over their children, but when he found that they were away in a summer camp[7] he killed the woman, as well as her boyfriend, Bernard Mougel, by shooting them with a .22-caliber rifle. Out in the street he killed Yvette Cretin and Pierre Legendre, two friends of his wife, who had hosted her, after she had left him.[4][5]

Afterwards Werlé drove to his workplace, where he killed personnel director René Wouters and his secretary Odile Prenez. Werlé had asked to be transferred to day shift, since working during the night upset him, but Wouters had declined his request. The 41-year-old gunman then fled in a Peugeot 104 towards Montbéliard.[8] Searched by police and a helicopter he eventually committed suicide later that afternoon by shooting himself in the head.[4][5]


  • Pierrette Prudman, 33, Werlé's ex-wife
  • Bernard Mougel, 37, Prudman's boyfriend
  • Yvette Cretin, 49
  • Pierre Legendre
  • René Wouters, 61, personnel director of Peugeot automobile factory
  • Odile Prenez, Wouters's secretary


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