The Trail Went Cold – Episode 37 – L’Enfant

July 1, 1974. Beirut, Lebanon. Bashir Kouchacji is kidnapped by a group of unidentified men who spend the next five days interrogating and torturing him for reasons he doesn’t understand. Nine years later, after Bashir has moved to Washington, D.C. and become a successful restaurateur, he finds himself being tormented by a non-stop series of threatening phone calls from a mysterious figure known only as “L’Enfant”. The calls continue for an entire decade and take a toll on Bashir’s mental health, but even after they come to an end, there are still no answers about why they happened. Who was “L’Enfant” and were the phone calls somehow connected to Bashir’s unexplained kidnapping ordeal in Beirut? This week’s episode of “The Trail Went Cold” might be the most bizarre story we’ve ever featured, as it covers one of the relentless harassment campaigns imaginable.

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The Trail Went Cold is produced and edited by Magill Foote.

All music is composed by Vince Nitro.

One thought on “The Trail Went Cold – Episode 37 – L’Enfant

  • Lots of posts online point to the harassment probably being done via phone phreaking, which was big in the hacking community in the 80’s & early 90’s. Some of the calls definitely sound automated, and phreaking would allow them to seem to be coming from multiple people in different locations with no pattern to them. Released state documents have since revealed that his abductors in 1974 were likely rogue members of the PLO, who probably did indeed mistake him for a CIA agent. Given that, and how even as just a restaurateur he was still somewhat high profile, becoming popular in Los Angeles and then DC & Philly (I’ve eaten many times at Marrakesh in Philly, btw, it is delicious! You have to knock on a non-descript door on a side street to be let in), it’s easy to believe someone with these phreaking talents could have zeroed in on him and started the harassment. They might not have known about the FBI looking into things until they saw the Unsolved Mysteries segment, which prompted them to cease and desist immediately.

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