How Did James Andanson Die? Did He Commit Suicide or Was it a Murder? – Discovery+ premieres a series on Princess Diana, ‘The Diana Investigations‘, today. Explore the details of her puzzling death case in this four-part series.
A heated dispute broke up after Princess Diana was killed in a vehicle accident in 1997. As a result, the world created several conspiracies to find an explanation for her death and reach some type of final conclusion. This new four-part Channel 4 and discovery+ event examines both related police investigations, first conducted in 1997 by the French Brigade Criminelle and later in 2004 by the UK’s Metropolitan Police.
The documentary series explains how the disappearance of an icon turned into an inquiry overtaken by a mixture of facts and speculation. It features exclusive, first-of-its-kind videos from detectives on each law enforcement squad. The reality of this case was questioned and supported by the news, the government, and the internet.
However, the French photojournalist Jean-Paul James Andanson’s suspected involvement and subsequent death have always been the most intriguing aspects of this case. To that end, here is what is known about him.
James Andanson: Who Was He?
In the late 1990s, Jean-Paul James Andanson, a prominent paparazzi, was frequently charged with moving from one location to another to gather the most recent information on the most significant international superstars. Since the Princess of Wales’ affair with movie producer Dodi Fayed was blossoming in the South of France, it should be no surprise that the billionaire Frenchman spent weeks pursuing the Princess. According to the Daily Express, his status was somewhat hazy, though, as the authorities suspected he was an informant for both French and MI6 (British Secret Intelligence Service) organizations.
It didn’t help that James drove a white Fiat Uno, the same model that struck Princess Diana’s car moments before the horrific collision; this only served to fuel speculation of an assassination plan. But in reality, even though he had sold the repainted car in October 1997, forensics conclusively determined that it was not a match when they eventually found it and examined it some months later. Additionally, according to his wife, he was present at their Lignieres residence when the terrible accident occurred in Paris on August 31. However, he left within six hours to board a flight to the island of Corsica.
How Did James Andanson Die? Did He Commit Suicide?
Despite the allegations and supporting evidence, the public’s mistrust of Jean-Paul James Andanson never fully subsided. However, the most alarming information only became public after his death in May 2000. He had been missing since leaving his Paris home earlier that month, and it was not until his charred remains were found in his burnt-out BMW at a military training area in the woods that he was finally located.
The 54-year-old man was in such bad shape that it took the authorities almost a month to identify him using DNA and dental records – his skull had actually been separated and was lying separately.
Princess Diana's death is shrouded in conspiracy, rumors, and suspicion
"The Diana Investigations" reexamine unreliable witnesses, questionable circumstances, and the relentless media that surround Princess Diana's legacy
— Investigation Discovery (@DiscoveryID) August 18, 2022
James reportedly passed away soon after bragging to friends that he possessed “explosive” photos of the terrible August 31, 1997 crash, sparking the emergence of a few more perplexing conspiracy theories. Some even believed he was the victim of a covert assassination since they believed he knew too much about the “plan” to kill Princess Diana.
This was especially true given the fact that he had a 2-inch hole in his left temple. However, his death has deemed a suicide when investigators discovered a purported “virtual suicide note,” and a pathologist determined the hole was caused by extreme heat from self-inflammation.
In addition to the lieutenant’s insistence that James had been displaying severe suicidal tendencies before his demise, a medical examination revealed that he had high blood levels of carbon monoxide. This means that if he wasn’t already dead, the most likely scenario is that he passed away from sitting inside his burning car and inhaling its undeniably poisonous gases.
In 2000, a police spokesperson stated that “[Jean-Paul James Andanson] took his own life by dousing himself and the car with petrol and then setting light to it,” It was even discovered that the French photojournalist had purchased more than 100 litres of diesel (worth approximately 600 francs) using his credit card from a store just a few miles from where he was discovered. Although it’s unclear what he did with the fuel, authorities feel it suggests a deliberate action.