20070714

The Mystery of the Devil's Castle, a murder game

Geert Vilain is a young teacher who works in Ghent, in Flanders (the Dutch speaking part of Belgium). In his spare time, he is a singer-songwriter. His songs are a mix of old Flemish folk music, blues, and the French chanson. He sings his very poetic, melancholic and sometimes "dark" lyrics in Dutch, French and English, and is soon labeled as a "po├Ęte maudit", a doomed poet, who always writes about love and death.
Geert is fascinated by old ballads about medieval serial killers, like the Flemish folk song The Ballad of Lord Halewyn or the English May Colven. He chooses Gerard the Devil as his stage name, because of an old gruesome folktale about the medieval Devil’s Castle where once lived, loved and died… a Lord of Ghent by the name of Gerard the Devil.




Geert Vilain gets involved with one of his students, the seventeen year old Melinda Meursault. After a gig, she is found nearby the pub, decapitated. The police suspects the singer-songwriter for a while, but has to set him free because of a lack of evidence. Nevertheless, the career of Geert Vilain as a teacher is broken, and he ends up in the gutter. At the beginning of the nineties he roams homeless in Brussels.




In 1995, Gerard is literally "picked up from the gutter" by Isabel Pontarlier, who works as a talent scout for the record company of Gilbert Leduc, ‘Duck Music’. Isabel says she was "crushed by the scorching intensity of his music, his lyrics and his performance". Gerard moves in with Isabel and they start a relationship. He makes his first recordings with Isabel as his producer and a couple of street musicians or "buskers", as Gerard the Devil & The Diabolics. He has a lot of succes with a song he wrote for Isabel: Isabelle danses… Isabel also organises a concert-tour through Belgium.




Halloween 1995... After a wonderful concert in the Devil’s Castle where for the first time appeared some "horror soundscapes" on his playlist, Gerard runs away with the sixteen year old Lisa Vanmaele. After a fight with Yves Bonduelle, one of his musicians, both he and Lisa seem to have disappeared. The girl, later on, will be found in a condition of total insanity. Until today, there are no traces of Gerard the Devil. Yves Bonduelle was suspected of the (double?) murder for a while, but the police had to release him because of a lack of evidence. The recordings made for the first CD of Gerard the Devil & The Diabolics were lost and became the object of a lawsuit. The record was never officially released.





Here are some quotes of an interview (1995) that prove Gerard the Devil had the heart of a true poet:

Managers? A real artist only needs a manager to ruin his business-plans. A true artist should be the louse in the fur of the managers, the stick in the wheels of the commercial machine. The natural habitat of a true artist is the gutter, not some expensive penthouse. We should be living opposite of all things that tend to commerce and materialism.

The poet is body & soul & passion. His art may not become an “object”, a “product” that is bought or sold.




Did Gerard the Devil commit suicide? If so, why? And why do you think that?

Is Gerard the Devil still alive? If so, why do you think this? And why is he hiding, then?

Was Gerard the Devil killed? If so, why and by whom? Gilbert Leduc? Isabel Pontarlier? Yves Bonduelle? Lisa Vanmaele? Or some other lunatic?

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