Thursday, September 22, 2011

Belgian Serial Killer Marie Therese Joniaux - 1895

FULL TEXT: Brussels – Mme. Marie Therese Joniaux, accused of the murder of three of her relatives for the purpose of obtaining the insurance on their lives, was this (Sunday) morning sentenced to death.

The jury was out only three-quarters of an hour. So were the arguments of the lawyers in the famous case that the closing speech of the defense was not finished until 1 o’clock this morning.

There was a period of anxious waiting until the members of the jury filed into the courtroom, where their leader solemnly announced:


“We find the prisoner, Mme. Henri Joniaux, guilty on all counts of murdering and administering poison with intent to cause the death of Alfred Ablay, the brother of the prisoner; Leonie A. May, the sister of the prisoner, and Jacques Yanden Kerehoe, the uncle of the prisoner.”

Then the judge of the assize court pronounced sentence of death upon Mme. Joniaux.

There were no scenes of undue excitement upon the part of friends of the prisoner to break the stillness of the early morning.

The prisoner, who is a daughter of Gen. Ablay, married first the well-known bibliophile and historian, M. Frederick Faber, by whom she had a daughter; secondly, a widower named M. Joniaux, chief engineer to the department of roads and bridges in Antwerp.

Although involved in debt she undertook to pay the premiums on insurance policies for 50,000 francs and 40,000 francs, respectively, effected on the life of Mlle. Faber, daughter of Leonie Ablay with two Swiss and Dutch companies.

These policies, which were in favor or Mlle. Faber, daughter of Mme. Joniaux, were signed at the end of December, 1891.


On February 23 Mlle. Ablay died somewhat suddenly at Mme. Joniaux’s house in Antwerp. In March, 1893, M. Yanden Kernhove, a rich manufacturer of Ghent and an died suddenly from what was described as an attack of apoplexy immediately after a dinner to which he had been invited by M. and Mme. Joniaux.

In February, 1894, M. Alfred Ablay, who had come to Belgium from Paris to sue one of his sons for means of support, died suddenly at Mme. Joniaux’s house.

[“Found Guilty of Poisoning Her Brother, Sister and Uncle. -  End Of A Famous Trial -  For Months It Has Consumed the Time of the Belgian Assize Courts - Mme. Joniaux Killed Her Relatives to Obtain Life Insurance - No Excitement at the Verdict - Jury Out less than An Hour.” The Washington Times (D.C.), Feb. 3, 1895, p. 1]



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