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Monday, January 30, 2023

Twelve Murders, Eleven Years of Trial and a Controversial Verdict: Marie Besnard, Loudum’s Poisoning

Marie Josephine Philippine Devilaud His hair was very wavy, unbalanced. Sometimes, he would push it back and always keep a clean head, which was a passion. Others, he was looking for solutions with a small line on the right side of his head. He had become used to wearing relatively short clothes. His eyes were piercing, almost aggressive, despite his usually round-rimmed glasses. She was never seen without her glasses, which gave her eyes a sinister depth. He had a stern face, high cheekbones, full lips and a smile that did not hide his piercing gaze. He was born on August 15, 1896, in Loudon, France, a city made famous, for example, by English author Aldous Huxley’s historical essay “The Demons of Loudum”, about alleged cases of demonic possession in the town’s convent. Happened in the seventeenth century.

Mary was an only child and studied in a convent school. Some of his childhood friends described him as a bad girl, In 1919 she married her cousin, Auguste Antigay. The man had tuberculosis and died on July 21, 1927. Two years later, the 33-year-old widow married Leon Besnard, the owner of the cords.

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Strange deaths in the Besnards’ inner circle

The Besnards lived comfortably until the 1940s. Leon’s two great-uncles died of old age, much to the delight of the rope-seller’s parents. So Leon invited his parents to live with him and his daughter-in-law, Marie. he admitted.

Leon’s father He died a few weeks later. He died soon after eating poisonous mushrooms. Leon’s mother Three months later, according to a doctor’s opinion, she died with her husband due to pneumonia; The inheritance was to be divided between Leon and his sister, Lucie, who was older than him, but when Leon received everything lucy committed suicide A few months after the death of his mother. The Besnards’ bank account grew further but this time with wealth that came from Mary’s family. This happened his father died, According to the doctor, from brain hemorrhage. It was the day of May 14, 1940.

Marie Besnard and Marido, Leon.

Following this series of family deaths, the Besnards welcome a wealthy, childless couple into their home. Toussaint and Blanche Rivet He was so grateful for the Besnards’ hospitality that he made them beneficiaries of his will. Toissaint died of pneumonia on July 14, 1940; Blanche died of heart disease on December 27, 1941.

Marie’s cousin Pauline Lalouedron de Bodineau and her sister Virginie Lalouron also named her as her sole beneficiary in the event of her death. Pauline, according to Marie and Leon, died on July 1, 1945, at the age of 88, after having a cup of bleach with her dessert. Virginie made the same mistake a week later and died on July 9, 1945, at the age of 83. Mary turned out to be the sole heir of her cousins, On January 16, 1946, Marie’s mother, Marie-Louise Devilaud, died apparently of old age, meaning that her daughter inherited Another legacy.

Although the Besnards had to suffer an extraordinary number of deaths Within a short time, some in Loudon suspected that the cause was more than bad luck. However, the beginning of the end came with the discovery of a hoax. Marie learns that Leon was having an affair with a neighbor, Louise Pintou. Leone died on October 25, 1947, His doctor indicated that the cause of death was related to a kidney condition, a condition he only became aware of at the time of his death, as he had not had symptoms throughout his life.

Lovers, Neighbors and Suspects of a Sinister Conspiracy

Mademoiselle Louise Pintau suspected a sinister and deadly plot whose author would be Marie, who had found out about her husband’s secret affair. He then sent letters to the gendarmerie and the city prosecutor in which he said that Leon had expressed his concern because Mary was poisoning him. The authorities initially rejected Pintu’s letter, but she persisted with more notes and missives. I was not alone. Other neighbors also raised doubts. against Mary. In the end he achieved his mission, i.e. to investigate the cause of Leon’s death.

Marie Besnard Sued Him After The Court'S Decision.
Marie Besnard sued him after the court’s decision.

The body was exhumed on May 11, 1949, and an autopsy found that it had swallowed a large hartal Not for very long. This discovery led to other bodies being exhumed and, when the investigation was complete, arsenic was also found in the bodies of Lyon’s parents and sister, in the bodies of Rivets, the first husband of Mary’s cousins. , also of the mother, and also of the father of the sharp-sighted woman. all of them died due to acute arsenic poisoningWhich causes cardiovascular collapse and hypovolemic shock from internal bleeding.

In February 1952, Marie Besnard went on trial. She was 56 years old. During the process, Besnard’s lawyers, René Huyot and Albert Gautrat, Questioned the methods used by the doctor Georges Béraud accused the laboratory that conducted the test of losing and tampering with evidence for finding arsenic in the bodies, and concluded his presentation with the argument: The source of the arsenic found in the bodies could easily have come from the soil. The crematorium in which the dead bodies were buried.

court of doubt

The court was suspicious. Unable to reach a verdict, they ruled that they needed more time to review the scientific evidence and adjourned until further notice. The court met again in October, heard some witnesses, and adjourned again. Besnard’s trial was stalled and she remained in prison until March 1954.

Marie Besnard During The Hearing Of The Case Against Him.
Marie Besnard during the hearing of the case against him.

After the prosecution and defense argued wildly different interpretations of the scientific evidence, the judges again announced they needed more time to reach a decision, but this time they allowed Marie Besnard post a bond of 1,200,000 francs And wait for the next court appearance outside the prison.

Besnard was summoned to court seven years later, on November 20, 1961. As they had done before, both the prosecution and the defense took opposing positions regarding the presence of arsenic in the corpses. But unlike before, This trial actually ended with a verdict.

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On 12 December that year, at 07:15, Judge Nussy Saint-Saëns read the verdict before a courtroom in complete silence. There were twelve charges and on twelve occasions the president of the court uttered the word “no”. The decision was not unanimous but by a majority: Seven judges voted for acquittal on all charges and five for guillotine., Marie Besnard listened on the bench, without looking up or smiling. More than eleven years after he was arrested, he was declared Innocent of all charges.

Maria continued to live in the family home. He died on February 15, 1980 at the age of 83 buried next to leon in Loudun Cemetery.

World Nation News Desk
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