A 68-year-old French man, Nicolas Panard, has been detained by police in connection with the murder of 18 men, most of whom were gay.

The murders are thought to have been committed between 1980 and 2002. Panard, who has a criminal record for burglary, is apparently well known on the gay scene and even worked as a drag performer.

Another man, Slim Fezzani, who is already serving a prison sentence for murder, has accused of being Panard’s accomplice in the killing spree.

According to the BBC, the two men have denied being involved. Authorities are questioning both suspects in connection with the murder of 11 people in the Alsace region, four in the Franche-Comte area, and three near Paris.

The victims were repeatedly stabbed after receiving a blow to the head. While police say that they have no formal proof, other people are being sought in connection with the case.

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