FULL TEXT: An extrordinary trial for poisoning has just taken place before the Court of Assizes of the Sarthe, France, The accused were the mistress of the Trois-Rois, at Bouloire, named Mizard, and her servant, Anne Dupin; the victims being the first husband and the mother of the former, and the son and stepfather of the latter. This series of crimes dated as far back as 1865, and one of the most singular facts in the affair is that, notwithstanding the almost undisguised manner in which these four persons were successively removed, four years should have elapsed before the guilty parties were brought to justice.
The woman Mizard, now aged thirty-nine years, had been married, when young, to Stanislas Janvier, a man whom she disliked; the result was that she deceived him, and he, who was aware of the misconduct, frequently ill-treated her. She at length grew to hate him, and Anne Dupin, a woman of a most profligate character, having been taken into her service, became her confidante in all her intrigues, and at length persuaded her to get rid of her husband, offering to procure the poison. This was obtained from the wife of a veterinary surgeon in the neighbourhood, and was effectually administered in a bowl of soup.
The wife was, before her husband’s death, on terms of intimacy with the man whom she subsequently married, and her own mother having come uninvited to reside with her, became an obstacle to their intercourse, and a week after her arrival was despatched with a similar dose of arsenic. Louis Dabonneau, stepfather of Anne Dupin, was also taken ill, and died suddenly one day when he had been working with her, and on his body being recently exhumed, traces of poison were found in his remains; finally, the servant’s own son, a lad of fifteen, had become acquainted with the practices of his mother, and having one day threatened to denounce her, shortly after expired under similar suspicious circumstances.
The woman Dupin, being in possession of her mistress’s secret, reigned for nearly three years supreme at the inn, continually working on the fears of the other to extort money, until the widow Janvier married Mizard, who at once got rid of the servant whose presence he disliked. Anne Dupin then wrote to him a letter threatening to accuse his wife of poisoning Janvier, but Mizard, not believing the story, gave the letter to the police. The several bodies were, however, exhumed, and traces of arsenic having been found, the two women were arrested, and then accused each other.
The trial lasted four days, and the verdict was given on Sunday evening. The woman Dupin was condemned to hard labour for life, and Madame Mizard to twenty years of the same punishment.
[“Four Murders By Two Women.” The Star (Christchurch, New Zealand), Dec. 7, 1869, p. 3]