Murdered French producer wanted to have baby

MURDERED Frenchwoman Sophie Toscan du Plantier, who endured a terrifying death in west Cork six years ago, had expressed a desire to have a baby.

Her film director husband, Daniel Toscan du Plantier, who heads France's film industry board, has revealed the couple's baby plans in a new book.

He conceded the couple had a stormy relationship but said their marriage was in a happy state at the time Sophie took her fateful Christmas break to her Schull holiday home.

In a revealing interview, Mr Toscan du Plantier told the writer Micheal Sheridan that Sophie became obsessed with having a baby.

They made love regularly and Sophie was always checking to make sure she was at the optimum time to become pregnant.

Sophie's preference, her husband said, was for a girl whom she would have called Therese.

He still wonders aloud if Sophie was pregnant when her battered body and crushed skull was discovered on

December 23, 1996, at the laneway leading to her remote converted dormer cottage at Toormore.

Since Sophie's death, her husband remarried and fathered a child.

The new book, Death in December: The Story of Sophie Toscan du Plantier, claims the victim had 30 wounds to the head and body with her face crushed by a 27 lb cavity block to make it almost unrecognisable.

The full disclosure of her wounds cannot be made public by the gardaí until a criminal investigation is concluded.

Meanwhile, Sophie's immediate family and close friends in France are guilt-stricken they didn't accede to an invitation to join the murdered 39-year-old woman on her planned brief visit to Ireland.

According to the writer, Sophie begged five people to travel but, one after one, they turned her down.

"They are now wracked with guilt and believe, if someone had accompanied her, the murder may not have happened."

Sheridan said Sophie's elderly parents, Georges and Marguerite Bouniol, are about to enter talks with French and Irish legal advisers to consider a civil action against a person believed to be the prime suspect.

Due to libel constraints, the writer has not named the suspect in the book but hinted a new Irish-French documentary, at a development stage, will reveal the suspect's identity.

Death in December the Story of Sophie Toscan du Plantier by Michael Sheridan. O'Brien Press,9.95.

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