A discreet pavilion, set back from a small road winding along the fields, in this quiet countryside which stretches between the Somme and the Aisne.
This is where Amélie chose to rebuild her life, settling with the one who became her companion in 2013, when justice made him her number one suspect in the Elodie Kulik case.
There that there is still a month, Willy Bardon counted the days until his appeal trial, which starts this Monday and for three weeks in Douai (North).
A crucial audience that will seal their fate.
"Whatever happens, I will not let go", nevertheless repeats Amélie to those who are surprised at her choice: to share the life of a man suspected of the worst, sentenced to thirty years in prison for rape and sequestration followed of death on December 6, 2019, in Amiens (Somme) and who faces life imprisonment.
She, she said simply, followed his heart.
Lovers for years, they became a couple as their respective marriages were shattered.
“Willy didn't do anything.
He is neither a leader nor a violent man.
It is an injustice ”, insists the young woman of 36 years.
Acquittal at hand, and then ...
A biased investigation, without any material evidence, a sterile and catastrophic hearing for the prosecution, by the admission of the Advocate General: in Amiens, the acquittal seemed within reach. The ace. When the verdict was announced, Willy Bardon had attempted to commit suicide by swallowing a pesticide in the middle of the assize court. A form of confession, for his detractors. Despair and altruism, for his companion. "He explained to me that he did not want to impose that on me, that I was young and that I could still rebuild my life", explains the one who then sank psychologically.
Almost twenty years now that Elodie Kulik, 22, was found dead, raped, strangled and burned just a few kilometers away, one morning in January 2002. And almost a decade that Willy Bardon has been implicated in this heinous murder, for his links with Grégory Wiart.
A man identified very late thanks to his DNA but died in the meantime ... Bardon, he has always denied.
"To be named as the author of such a crime, that is unbearable to him, insists Amélie.
When he entered prison the first time, it destroyed him.
Read also Murder of Elodie Kulik: at trial, a third man in everyone's mind
It was January 18, 2013. A date that he had tattooed on his shoulder, the starting point of a “life in parentheses”, summarizes his historical lawyer, Me Stéphane Daquo.
Since then, Willy Bardon has accumulated more than two years of detention in three different prisons, has been placed under electronic bracelet, under strict judicial supervision.
A recent deviation from this regime - he repaired the car of a friend of his, a witness at the trial - resulted in him being sent back to prison in mid-May, awaiting trial.
“It was a mistake on his part, recognize Mes Marc Bailly and Gabriel Duménil, his other defenders.
But what has been imposed on him for ten years, for a man who cries out his innocence, is inhuman!
Prohibition to leave the region, to talk to friends or family
Prohibited from leaving the region, meeting or talking to most of his friends, family, and even his ex-wife. "When he has to pick up his son, he has to wait for him at the corner of the street, so as not to cross her", decrypts Amélie. To work ? "Who's going to hire you when your name is Willy Bardon, and you have to clock in three times a week?" She asks, her hands sweeping the oilcloth in her dining room, completely renovated, like the rest of the house, by Willy Bardon. “He did everything alone, for a year. It is his pride ”.
A cocoon from which he dared not leave, for fear of being recognized. “We even criticized him for shopping at the supermarket. But we have to eat! », Protested Amélie, also the target of insults and death threats, for which she ended up filing a complaint. "I read everything, that I was a murderer, that I had only to die with him, that I had to be thrown on a desert island. The name of our village has been leaked… There have even been hints about Willy and my daughter, ”she sighs.
It is to preserve it that Amélie is keen to remain discreet as much as possible.
She herself has already paid a heavy price for her situation, her employer having discovered after four years the identity of her companion.
“Fortunately, he was great”.
But his family, some friends have turned their backs on him.
Others, over 70, joined the support committee she formed for the trial.
A test beyond which she hardly dares to project herself.
"If he does…" she often said lacically.
Murder of Elodie Kulik: a recording, a verdict, and still gray areas
The only certainty is that they will not leave the region. "No question of hiding, we have nothing to be ashamed of", says Amélie who, for the time being, is worried that Willy's friends cannot come in large numbers to Douai to support him, for lack of vacations and resources. . She also thinks about the aftermath. “I'm afraid of the backlash no matter what. Willy is combative, but he is a tender ... I will have to bring him back up, him and the children. »In the event of a conviction, she knows she is engaged in an emotional fundraising race, almost a priesthood. "I made my choice," she assumes. Answer on July 2.