METZ, France: French serial killer Francis Heaulme, serving a life sentence for nine slayings, will be judged for two brutal child killings dating back to 1986, an appeals court in eastern Metz ruled Thursday.
The case relates to two eight-year-old boys who were found with their skulls crushed in Montigny-les-Metz in France's northeastern Moselle region.
Another man, a trainee chef named Patrick Dils, was handed a life term for the double killing in 1989. He was acquitted in April 2001, only to be retried and served a 25-year sentence before being finally cleared in 2002.
A lawyer for Heaulme, aged 54 now, said she would appeal.
But the attorney for the mother of one of the victims hailed the ruling.
"We are very happy," said Dominique Boh-Petit, adding that his client Chantal Beining "is in tears, very moved and very reassured."
The two victims, Cyril Beining and Alexandre Beckrich, were found with their skulls crushed -- a trademark of Heaulme who was dubbed the "Criminal Backpacker" by the media.
Heaulme, who wandered across France -- often on bike -- was in the area at the time of the murder. A judge has described him as a "complete predator with no regret or remorse."