Neuilly-sur-Seine, Paris - Claude Dray, 76 year-old owner of the renowned National Hotel in South Beach, Miami, was found slumped on the floor at his magnificent Neuilly home the Villa Madrid on Tuesday with a reported 'three slugs' to his neck.
Police sources said 'it could have been a professional hit' because the property mogul wasn't depressed, facing bankruptcy or terminal illness.
Or maybe some 'very old bad business' because the bullets appear to have been fired from an unregistered 15 year-old pistol.
Dray's career had seen some very dodgy former partners, including associates from the same business loop as top Brunei fraudster Prince Jefri Archer whose ten year $18 billion commercial property heist during the 1990s had included some of the most magnificent hotels in America.
This morning Miami hospitality industry sources commented that French lines of inquiry were 'curious' and drew comparisons to the January 2002 'suicide' J Clifford Baxter in Sugar Lad, Texas.
The ex-Enron executive was found with bullet wounds to his head in the driver's seat of his brand new $250,000 Merc.
Enron's own foreign property portfolio had included the freehold of a Neuilly building leased by a major French-Arab bank that went belly up during the dotcom debacle.
A spokesperson for the Dray residence said today a coroner's report is expected shortly.