By John Lichfield, The Independent
To his followers in a large suburban Oxford house, Thierry Tilly is a "super-man" - a secret agent for a centuries-old, Da Vinci Code-style, secret society, sworn to protect the world from evil.
French investigators, though, take a different view. To them, he is a vulgar - and violent - con-artist, who has used brain-washing techniques and even torture to rob three generations of a wealthy French family.
Mr Tilly, 45, is now in custody in south-western France. He is accused of using "acts of torture and barbarism" to persuade 11 members of the aristocratic Védrines clan to hand over furniture, jewellery, paintings and property worth €3m (£2.7m) over the last eight years.
Read more at The Independent.
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements.Learn more