Monday, September 19, 2011

“Vivienne Midwive,” Serial Killer of 120 Children - 1906



NOTE: Many news reports give the estimated number of victims “more than 120.”

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FULL TEXT: Paris Jan 12 – A Paris maternity nurse and her servant have been arrested on a charge of having murdered more thirst 100 infants within the last twelve months. A second charge is that a score of women have died in her house as the result at illicit operations.

The bodies of the infants are believed to have been burned in a large stove and it is stated that medical man who was the woman’s accomplice will shortly be arrested.

The accused worsen lived in the neighborhood of the National Library and received
into her home women on the eve of maternity. This had gone on for considerable time and the midwife had acquired a large clientele.

~ Discovered by Accident. ~

A short time ago M. Labat, the commissary of the Vivienne quarter a visit from a banker who complained of the loss of a jewel of great value and brought direct charge of stealing it against a woman who had suddenly broken off relations with him. The commissary ordered a search to be for the woman, and finally she was found in the house of the midwife. She was questioned and protested her innocence. What struck the police however absence of the infant to which she had just given birth and they remarked that, although there were in the house four woman lodgers in a state of convalescence, there was not a trace of a single child.

On the circumstances being reported to the commissary, he summoned the midwife to his office and interrogated her but to all his questions she opposed a obstinate silence. The commissary consequently sent inspectors to question people in the house, and it was ascertained that within a year more than 100 pensionnaires had been received, besides occasional visitors but that a child had never been seen in the house.

~ The Mystery Solved. ~

A search warrant was obtained tad in house were found instrument at drugs which corroborated the inferences drawn from the earlier inquiries. The mystery of the disappearance of the newborn infants remained unsolved until the commissary turned his attention to a large stove in the dining-room.  Examination of this led to the belief that the woman had been in the habit of cutting up the bodies and burning them. It would appear that more than 100 little bodies had thus been reduced to in this stove.

The midwife and her servant was taken into custody in spite of their obstinate dentals. Further developments are certain and numerous other arrests are likely to be the consequence. Several women who availed themselves of services of the midwife are known will be followed up

[“Ogress Chops Infants Into Bits and Puts Them Into Stove - Discovered Accidentally - Paris Police on Track of a Missing Jewel Stumble Across Sensational Crime - Over One Hundred Children Said to Have Been Cremated in the Last Twelve Months.” The Washington Herald (D.C.), Jan. 13, 1907, p. 3]

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For more cases of “Baby Farmers,” professional child care providers who murdered children see The Forgotten Serial Killers.

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