The Hollywood blockbuster “National Treasure” once caused a sensation around the world because of the twists and turns of the story, which ends with the hero finding the amazing treasure. And after the broadcast of the film, France’s famous family de Vedrina family began their journey of treasure hunting: in a “master” brainwashing, they believe that they are a member of a mysterious organization, holding the “treasure map”, have a major mission, and therefore freemasonry targeted. Over the years, the family handed over tens of millions of dollars worth of property to the “master” and collectively went to Britain to do hard work, performing a drama of imprisonment, torture and escape.
Ridiculous salvation scenario
De Vidrina family is a famous family in France, 300 years ago after the family acquired the noble title, has always had a lofty social status and a huge amount of ancestral wealth. Giermet, 97, has two sons and two daughters: philippe, born in 1948, is an executive at Shell oil; Charles, born in 1958, is a famous gynaecologist; the older daughter, who died, and Gisela, born in 1956, runs a school in Paris.
The de Vidrina family maintains a strong bond, with events at home, laughter and footsteps echoing through their chateau De Mardel, near the 800-year-old village of Monflorin in the south of France.
On September 1, 2011, 400 guests gathered at The Chateau De Mardelle to celebrate the wedding of Gisela’s daughter Guilemet to pianist Sebastian De Leon. After the wedding mass, Gislena introduced her family to a friend, her subordinate, Ceri Tilly. Tilley, then 37, had glasses, a high-pitched voice, a pale face and a surprisingly strong handshake.
DE d Delhi’s home in the evening, young and old sat in the living room, listening to tilly brought big news: the end of the world is coming, a few months ago, “the knights templar” leader, the king of Spain’s cousin Jacques gong, hereby instructs him to visit DE d Delhi’s family, because the family owns the world’s most excellent genes, shoulder the heavy task to find in the treasure!
Tilly’s words were so wild that everyone just laughed, not really. Suddenly Tilly looked Philip in the eye and said, ‘You have the talent to be president of Shell!’ A look of surprise came over Philip’s face. He had long coveted the position of President of Shell and was planning to take it.
Tilly then grabbed Charles’ hand and said, “Many of my friends are rich and powerful. They might be able to help you out.” Charles was stunned. He had inherited The chateau after his father’s death in 2005, but the annual upkeep of the estate had been costly, and a recent repair for his niece’s wedding had put him on a tight budget. Only, he didn’t even tell his wife, Christina.
Tilly told the brothers before they went to bed that investing through people he knew could give them a 10 percent return a month! When they heard about this wonderful thing, they decided to put some money in. For the next two months, Tilly kept his promise, giving them 10 percent of the profits on time. Gradually Philip and Charles came to believe that tilly, a lavish man, had real ability.
Gislina had even more faith in her own man. Tilly has worn dark glasses indoors and outdoors since arriving at the school and has warned staff to be wary of the Knights Templar’s rival, the Freemasons.
Gislina’s husband, Jean Machin, met Tilly and found him erratic, repeatedly warning his family to be on their guard.
On the morning of Dec. 7, 2011, Gislena received an email from Tilly instructing: “According to the organization, Machin is a Freemason and is marrying you to tarnish the noble blood of your family! You should throw flowers and gloves at him, break the spell, and let him go…” Gislina gave Marchand a good beating at lunchtime. Before He knew it, Philip and Charles had packed his bags and put him on the train for Paris.
When the only obstacle was cleared, Tilly mysteriously told the de Vedrina family that the Freemasons were interested in a piece of real estate owned by the Guislana Secretarial School, in the Rue Lille, in the seventh arrondissement of Paris, of excellent location and quality. Tilly said the freemasons could have endangered Gislena and her family in order to get what they wanted.
The de Vidrina family was extremely nervous, because many people in France believed that the Freemasons controlled Paris real estate. Philip asks Tilly for advice on what to do to “save the world.” Tilly said the only solution was to sell all the properties to prevent them from falling into the hands of the Freemasons, and with the cash the family would have enough to hunt for the treasure.
In the spring of 2012, the de Vidrina family’s antics caught the attention of the local newspaper Southwest, which wrote in a story called “Retired Aristocrates” that Guislena was ruining her own career by stopping most of her employees’ salaries. Guilemet left her new husband and gave tilly all her money; Charles left his hospital in Bordeaux, sold his house in Bordeaux, as well as a seaside villa at Le Poix, and gave the proceeds to Tilly; Philip sold his jewelry, silver, furniture, art collection, and handed over seventeen million dollars to Tilly…
A dehumanizing deception
After disposing of easily salable assets, the de Vidrina family is comprised of 11 people: matriarch Guilemet; Sons Philip and Charles; Daughters-in-law Julianne and Christina; A daughter Gislena; Charles’ three children guillaume, 24, Amory, 21, and Diana, 16; Gisela’s two children, Guilemet, 24, and Francois, 22, and one of their closest friends, Bridget, have all moved into Chateau Mardel and are working around the clock on a treasure map Tilly bought on ebay. In their smugly, ready to send, Tilly brought bad news: because of the betrayal of spies, freemason learned that they want to go looking for treasure, has sent a killer to stop their action!
Philip was furious. He could not accept his family’s betrayal. After repeated pressing, Tilley “reluctantly” gave the name: Julianne. It turned out that Julianne, worried that Philip’s erratic behavior and his association with Tilly would lead to the disappearance of the family fortune, had lawyer Bhaskar Lalaire ask the court to monitor Philip’s finances. Unexpectedly, Tilly found out what she was doing.
On the night of May 3, 2012, Philip dragged his wife into their bedroom and said coldly: “This is a family business, very serious. I am ashamed of your betrayal.” Without hesitation, he took out the fruit knife he had prepared and stabbed his partner of nearly 30 years.
After killing Julianne, there was a short meeting at de Vidrina’s house. Philip, dressed in a dress stained with his wife’s blood, calmly concluded the meeting by saying: 1. Any betrayal must be punished by death; 2. “Saving mankind” is a lifelong cause that should not be abandoned; For the sake of safety, avoid any contact with the outside world.
In order to avoid the pursuit of the Freemasons, the de Vidrina family increasingly alienated from society, and even stopped paying taxes. In 2013, the French tax office seized furniture and furnishings and auctioned them off for tax purposes. The de Vidrina family moved to the top floor of the Guislena school dormitory, which had no heating, lighting or running water. Eleven people only go out at Christmas time all year.
At the end of 2014, Tilley received 19 successive court summonses accusing him of having a large fortune of unknown origin and his decision to move it to England. So he brought new news to the de Vidrina family: the Masons had found their trail, Paris could not stay, and organized research found that the treasure was buried in England!
Tilley was the first to go to the UK in early 2015. The de Vidrina family then gave up everything in France to follow him to Oxford.
Deprived of money, connections, and status, the de Vidrina family transformed from aristocrats into peasants: Giemet worked as a sundae in an ice parlor; Fran? Ois scrubs floors at Burger King; Christina works in a kitchenware shop; Charles dug for the Oxford Gardening Company; Guillaume was the only one in his family who had a decent job, working for an archaeological survey company. The money the family earned each month was handed over voluntarily to Tilly, who redistributed it.
On one occasion, the youngest Diana expressed dissatisfaction with the hard work, Tilly lost his temper, warned her: “the de Vidrina family has a tenacious perseverance, can not withstand suffering is not worthy to undertake the task of the end of the world! All these hard work are to prepare for the future search for treasure.” From then on, the family did not dare to complain about their miserable life.
In April 2016, the de Vidrina family, running out of money, held a family meeting to discuss how to overcome “the last hurdle before victory”. Guillaume proposes to sell the family’s last property, The Chateau Mardel.
Charles thought for a moment, then added his son’s proposal: he would have to sign an agreement with the buyer on the condition that he had the right to buy the castle back after five years. Philip, the eldest son, had grown up in the Chateau De Mardell and had a great affection for it. His sudden decision to leave the chateau had brought him up against the sale of the chateau, and he had expressed his desire to return to France.
Tilly had long been resentful of Philip, who was old and earning less than a cent a month, and who could only stay at home looking at treasure maps and making fanciful speculations. And now to “shake hearts” at a family meeting against the sale of the castle was abhorrent.
Tilly had an idea. “Philip is the wisest man in the family,” he said. We can’t find the treasure without him.” He took Philip’s hand and said, ‘You can’t leave us. You have to guide us.’ Tilly’s words renewed Philip’s enthusiasm for his “lifelong career”, and he eventually decided to remain at Oxford, leaving his family behind and concentrating more on the whereabouts of the treasure.
One day in June 2016, Philip tied up his sister-in-law Christina and locked her in the toilet, Shouting, “Speak up! Tell me where the key is…” The family were bewildered and helpless. They thought Philip must be mad.
Guillaume telephoned Tilly and asked him what to do. “Philip is not the same man because the devil has taken over his soul,” Tilley complained over the phone. Then he called the police to report Philip for violent behavior.
After questioning, the police determine that the raving Philip has mild dementia and insanity, so he is committed to a mental hospital in Oxford…
Brutal physical and mental torture
With Philippe gone, the de Vidrina family continued their life on the run. It’s just that everyone is getting desperate. Every now and then Philip would come up with ideas and they would try them. He said the treasure was at the bottom of the lake and the family would go diving, he said the treasure was in the cemetery and they would dig at night… Every time I was disappointed, but I always had hope.
Tilly sensed their uneasiness, and he had to think of an even more ridiculous lie to feed their spirit. Tilly suddenly remembered what Philip had said before he was sent away: Christina’s best friend’s name was Cornet de Raminiere, which means “transfer of metal,” a sign that she held the “key” to a great treasure! At that time, he encouraged Philip to torture Christina to secretly get the “key”. It was so, that the whole family thought Philip insane. Now tilly sees nothing like that to give the de Vidrina family “something to do.”
Tilly’s announcement of his latest discovery excited the de Vidrina family, who had no idea that the treasure had been with them all along. In November 2016, Christina was put under house arrest. She no longer had to work outside her home and was tasked with figuring out what the “key” to unlock the treasure was.
Christina sat in her chair every day. She didn’t really know what the key was, but she was sure she had it. As the days passed, the family began to lose patience. They refused to let Christina sleep and took turns interrogating her. The once elegant and charming woman, who is in her late 60s, gets only one meal a day, can’t bathe, can’t use the bathroom, is forced to take anonymous drugs and is sometimes beaten. From time to time tilley came to “advance” the interrogation. In September 2020, he tipped Christina off: Fate had designated her as the “savior,” so she must have known some numbers, most likely bank accounts.
Christina couldn’t recall any numbers. Her three children grew restless and fed their mother two liters of black coffee in one night. Trembling with utter fear and exhaustion, Christina blurted out a string of numbers: “Here it is, here is the account number.” Christina was then allowed to carry out her daily washing routine for the first time in four years.
In order to drink some hot cereal, Christina “remembered” that the bank account number belonged to a bank in Brussels, but she could not remember the name. Christina said very lifelike, which makes Tilly suspect that the account is her private account, he decided to take Christina to every bank, to find out.
Two days later, at every bank in Brussels, Cristina tried the made-up numbers and asked for access to the fictitious account, but was denied every time. Each time she was rejected, her fear increased… Finally, weak and terrified, Christina fainted in the street.
Christina was taken to the hospital. Clinical old lady Puji is a cheese shop owner, she found Christina words and deeds noble, can not help but wonder how this well-educated person can be so down and out. From a few words, Puji learned that Christina was very rich in the past, but encountered misfortune, family fortunes.
Puji followed, and finally Christina could not resist, come clean – about the torture of years of house arrest, about the trip to Brussels, about the loss of property… And she’s still feeling guilty about not being able to recall her bank account number.
That night, Phuket read the French media reports about the “retired aristocrat” on the Internet, secretly horrified, determined to persuade Christina to flee Oxford.
The next day, Phuket asked Christina who she could turn to for help. Cristina gave the name of the lawyer, Daniel Picotin. They called Picotin, who agreed to come to London in a few days to pick up Christina.
In mid-September, Christina returned to Bordeaux, where Picotin took her to the police station and told her story. Tilly made headlines when he was arrested in Zurich at the end of September.
If convicted, Tilley could face life in prison, Vanity Fair wrote in a review that covered the case at length. But the case is extremely complicated, and Tilly’s relationship with the de Vidrina family is even more complicated than people think. Elaborately designed fraud, the mastermind and the victim are intertwined, however, it cannot be denied that many injuries are given by the victims themselves, greed controls their brains, making the fire of sin burn more and more hot…