Thursday, June 25, 2015

Veuve Chartier, French Midwife Accused of Murdering 1,500 Babies – 1906

FULL TEXT: London, December 26. – The fears of the Paris police that whole sale murdering of infants had been carried on in a maternity home in the city, to which their attention had been directed, have been realised to a shocking degree. In a sudden descent on the home the police found a stove, which had evidently been used for the ghastly work of consuming the bodies of murdered infants. A closer examination of the premises has now been made, and this has revealed evidence from which it is estimated that 1500 infants have been cremated in the home.

[“Paris Horror. - 1500 Infants Cremated.” Albury Banner and Wodonga Express (Albury, NSW, Australia), Dec. 28, 1906, p. 28]


FULL TEXT (Article 2 of 3): 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]


FULL TEXT (Article 3 of 3): The Paris newspapers report a horrible discovery in a maternity house kept by a midwife near the National library. According to the Journal, the police commissary of the Vivienne quarter found a stove built into one of the walls of the establishment in which newly-born infants were cremated.

The Paris correspondent of the London “Times” of December 28 says:—

The particulars of the horrible crime which has just been discovered here recall. The old-time histories of the ogres who devoured little children. It is affirmed, indeed, that more than a thousand bodies of infants have been burned in a “salamandre” stove by one of those criminal midwives known here as les faisseuses d’angès [angel-makers]. The alleged facts are as follows :—

A bank clerk, Léon de Re, was suspected a short time ago of having embezzled a sum of 16,000 francs {£610}. But before being arrested he was watched by detectives. They discovered that he went almost daily to a house in the Rue Trqaetonne [sp. ?] to see a young girl whom he bad placed there with a midwife, Mme. Veuve Chartier. When, a few days later, the girl returned to De Re’s rooms and remained for sometime ill in bed, the police commissionary suspected that there had been some malpractice. On being questioned she confessed that see had undergone an operation for producing abortion. De Re and Mme. Chartier were arrested. They denied all collusion in criminal practices, bat the girl insisted, and her assertions were corroborated by those of Mme. Chartier’s maidservant. The latter told an extraordinary story. The product of the abortion was burned, according to her, in the salamandre” stove. It had had more than 150 predecessors during the past year. The “salamandre” was immediately placed under seals, together with the obstetric appurtenances discovered in the apartment. While the case of De Re’s mistress was being investigated, various other affairs of the same kind were discovered. The police got on the track of a woman agent for the midwife, and it is rumored that several doctors are implicated. This is the point reached thus far by the authorities in their investigation of the affair.

[“Alleged Murders of Newborn Infants.” The Western Star (Roma, Australia), Feb. 16, 1907, p. 4]


[New revised title of this UHoM post replaces: “Vivienne Midwife,” Serial Killer of 120 Children – 1906]




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


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