Kevin Lapeire, a well-known Belgian clown who went by the name “Clown Tobi,” is accused of murdering his girlfriend in front of her children while dubbing himself a “crimi clown.”
The so-called armed “crimi clown” then streamed a standoff with police on Facebook Live. In Belgium, the allegedly murderous clown was famous even before the rampage, which may have involved his yodeling “sidekick,” according to Fox News.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Lapeire Is Accused of Stabbing His Ex-Girlfriend to Death & Telling Her Children He Was a ‘Crimi Clown’
The victim in the case was identified only as Caroline D. in the Belgian press. Fox News reported that Caroline had broken up with Lapeire a few days before the homicide out of concern that her children didn’t like him. The clown is 31, and his ex girlfriend was 47.
The clown then allegedly tied up the children, ages 12, 15, and 17, as he murdered their mother, telling them, “I am no longer a clinic clown but a ‘crimi-clown,’” Fox reported. He also allegedly told the children “I am a monster. I know that.” News.com.au added an extra flourish to the quote, alleging that Lapeire told the children, “I am no longer a clinic clown but a crimi-clown. That’s how I will become famous.”
Caroline was stabbed to death, and the children were tied up; the attack occurred on Mother’s Day in Belgium.
2. Lapeire Was Awarded Top Clown Prizes in Europe
Kevin Lapeire grew to fame in Belgium through that country’s version of Belgium’s Got Talent. He was “a winner of a prize for the best clown in Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg,” reported UK Telegraph, which added that, in addition to the moniker “Clown Tobi,” the clown called himself “Doctor Aspirin” to entertain “hundreds of sick children.”
On his website, Lapeire calls himself “Clown Tobi, crowned ‘best clown Benelux'” and says that he has strong references and years of experience making him the ideal guest for events. The above YouTube video is posted on his website.
3. The Clown’s Yodeling Sidekick Is Accused of Helping Him
As if the case couldn’t already be more bizarre, enter the yodeling sidekick into the story. His real name is Dietwin Haegeman, 38, and he sometimes appears at Lapeire’s side during clowning shows.
In Belgium, they know Haegeman as “Dietwin the Yodeller.” He’s “a lederhosen-clad performer, who has released apres-ski themed yodelling pop singles in Dutch and who, like Lapeire, appeared on the Belgium’s Got Talent contest,” The Guardian reports.
He’s accused of carrying out the murder with Lapeire. However, the clown says the yodeler came there only after the fact and didn’t do anything wrong.
4. Lapeire Streamed a Subsequent Standoff on Facebook Live
After the homicide, with police surrounding him, Lapeire began to stream on Facebook Live, reports allege.
He “stood on the roof of a 13-story building in Bredene as he waved and fired off a handgun while surrounded by police snipers before they finally collared him,” the New York Post reported.
The murder occurred in the town of Oudenburg in Belgium. You can see photos of the clown on the roof here. The Facebook Live video is not visible on his page.
The children’s father told Belgian media: “It is too horrible, especially for my children. All my attention and care goes to them now.”
5. The Sobbing Clown Is Accused of Confessing in Jail
According to a Belgian news site HLN, Lapeire, after spending a night in jail, began sobbing and confessed to the murder. The couple had dated three years, but he allegedly murdered her because her children couldn’t stand him, telling HLN he didn’t click with them and he avoided contact.
“I went to her house because I wanted to see her for Mother’s Day. But we got words. And then I killed her. How? I stabbed her in the garage,” he allegedly said, adding that the children actually did not observe their mother being slain because they were tied up above.
He alleged that the standoff was actually a suicide bid, saying, according to HLN, “Because I realized the havoc that I had done and had so much regret, I actually wanted to be shot by the police.”