Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Andrina-Eglantine Fortin Couturier, Sadistic French Serial Killer Mom - 1912


FULL TEXT: Paris, May 1. – A sensational affair is reported from the town of Evre. A woman named Couturier, who had apparently lost all sense of motherly feeling towards her offspring, fastened her two year-old daughter to a post, and then having laid a fire set the child’s clothes ablaze. The helpless infant was burnt to death after having suffered terrible agony. The unnatural mother watched the whole affair. The woman, however, was prevented from concealing her terrible crime. The agonising cries of the little one were heard, and neighbours entered the house. The woman was forthwith arrested. Her trial took place this week. She was found guilty of murder and sentenced to imprisonment for a term of 10 years. Two other children of the prisoner died last year in suspicious circumstances.

[“A Fiendish Mother. - Burnt Child to Death.” The Register (Adelaide, NSW, Australia), May 2, 1912, p. 8]

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FULL TEXT (translated from French): Then came the summons Andrina-Eglantine Fortin, wife Coutrier, aged four-year-old, born in Lyons-la-Foret, daily in Saint-Aubin-sur-Gallion. She was accused of having her daughter died in the following circumstances:

On the 22nd of November, 1911, at a quarter past nine in the morning, Mr. Bellard, a cultivator at Champenard, and his brother, Mr. Pichon, were driving through the commune of Saint-Auban-sur-Gaillou, when they arrived at the exit of the village, they smelled smoke. Looking around, they saw in a path, about 25 meters from the road, where something that was burning. They approached and realized that they were in the presence of the body of a young child, whose clothes were being consumed by fire, and who showed no sign of life. The right arm of this child was fastened by a piece of cloth to one of the posts of the fence bordering the path, and the neck was still surrounded by a rope so tightly closed that it had been able to burn. M. Pichon broke the rope with his arm, then ran for help, while his sister gave the mahourous child care which was to be useless.

Chance led Mr. Pichon to Mr. Cormier, a grocer, in whose shop was, at that moment, the accused, woman Couturier, mother of the victim. M. Pichon having told M. Cormier that he had just found a child was burning, the woman Couturier made no comment, but left the shop behind the two men. When they arrived at the entrance of the path in which the body of the child was, and when it could not yet be seen, the accused exclaimed: "Georgette, my little Georgette, what will your father say!” The witnesses were trapped by the indifference of this woman in the presence of what should have appeared as a terrible misfortune, and at once came to suspect her role in the drama which had just taken place.

The autopsy of the corpse of the little Georgette Couturier, who was two and a half years old, showed that the death was due to burns and that the child had not been previously strangled. The damask she wore had been close enough to the throat to prevent her from screaming, because the neck was unscathed from any attack of the fire and remains entirely white, while the rest of the body, only the feet, protected by the shoes, was burned and black.

During the first explanations made by her, the woman Couturier claimed that, leaving her house around eight o'clock in the morning, she had let her daughter occupy herself playing with the cat in her kitchen, that she had been absent only a quarter of an hour and did not know more. She then indicated the hypothesis on which, according to her primitive plan, she counted no doubt to rely heavily, according to which the child, having had her clothes accidentally ignited while she was playing near the fire, would have been forced out to seek help, and would have fallen, exhausted, to the place where the remains were found. But this hypothesis could no longer be considered for a moment, because of the fact that the little corpse was attached to a stake.

During her transfer to Louviers, the woman Couturier came up with a new version she told the gendarmes that by the time she was out of her house: her daughter had followed her, but that, not needing her and expecting to return soon, she had torn a piece of the garment of the child and had attached it to the stake with this shred of cloth. Then she came to say that before her departure, the child's dress had already begun to ignite accidently, that thought she had extinguished the fire, but that it must have been rekindled on its own afterwards.

The information gathered about the accused added to the appearance she was a bad mother: not only did she treat her children badly, but she was heard threatening her daughter with breaking her head; or saw her hit her and throw her against a wall.

The Couturier woman, who was pregnant at the time, wanted to get rid, by simulating an accident, of the child who was dependent on her. It should be pointed out that previously, in the year 1911, two other young children of the Coutrier couple had died for reasons that were poorly explained and in circumstances that could reasonably be seen as suspicious.

The Coutrier woman has no criminal history. She was brought up by Public Assistance, who had to place her in a Welfare Workshop, because of her bad behavior. She was drunkard, along with her husband.

It was to Mr. Loiziel that the ungrateful task of defending this odious stepmother, to whom the court had inflicted the penalty of ten years of hard labor, had fallen.

Public Ministry: Mr. Flabert, public prosecutor.

["The martyrdom of a little girl," Journal De Rouen (France), Mar. 30, 1912, p. 5]

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FULL TEXT: Ensuite a comparu la sommée Andrina-Églantine Fortin, femme Coutrier, âgée de vignt-quatre ans, née à Lyons-la-Forèt, journaliere à Saint-Aubin-sur-Gallion. Elle etait accusée d’avoir fait mourir sa petite fille dans le circonstance que voici:

Le 22 novembre 1911, vers neuf heures un quart du matin, M. Bellard, cultavatrice à Champenard, et son frere, M. Pichon, traversaient en voiture la commune de Saint-Auban-sur-Gaillou, léorsque, arrivés à la sortie du village, ils sentirent une odeur de roussi. Ayant regardé autour d’eux ils aperçurent dans un sentier, à 25 metres environ de la route, quelque chose qui brûlait. Ils s’approcherent et purent contater qu’ils étaient en presence du corps d’une jeune enfant don’t les vêtements achevaient de se consumer, et qui avait cassé de donner signe de vie. Le bras droit de cette enfant était attache par un loien d’etoffe a l’un des poteaux de la cloture bordant le sentier, et le cou était encore entouré d’un lien si fortement serré q’il avait pu brûler. M. Pichon coups le lien du bras, puis courut chercher du secours, tandis que sa soeur donnait à la mahleureuse enfant des soins qui devaient rester inutiles.

Le hasard conduisit M. Pichon chez M. Cormier, epicier, dans la boutique duquel se trouvait, à ce moment, l’accuse, femme Couturier, mère de la victime. M. Pichon ayant dit à M. Cormier qu’il venait de trouver un enfant brûle, la femme Couturier ne fit aucune rèflection, mais sortit du magasin derrière les deux hommes. Quand ceux-ci arrivèrent à l’entrée du sentier dans lequel se trouvait le cadavre de l’enfant, et alors qu’on ne pouvait encore l’apercevoir, l’accuse s’ecria: « Georgette, ma petit Georgette, qu’est-ce que ton père va me dire! » Les témoins furent trappés de l’indiffèrence de cette femme en présence de ce qui aurait dû tui apparaître comme un affreux malheur et en vinrent aussitôt a suspecter sou rôle dans le drame qui venait de se dérouler.

L’autopsie du cadavre de la petite Georgette Couturier, qui était âgée de deux ans et demi, a fait constatèr que la mort était due aux brûlures at que l’enfant n’avait pas été préalablement etranglée. Le fichu qu’elle portait avait été néaumoins assez serré à la gorge pour pouvoir l’empêcher de crier, car le cou était indemne de toute atteinte du feu et demeure entièrement blanc, alors que tout le reste du corps, seul les pieds, protégés par les chaussuras, était brûlé et noiret.

Au cours de premières explications tourniees par elle, la femme Couturier prètendit que, sortie de chez elle vers huit heures du matin, elle avait laissé sa fille occupée à jouer avec le chat dans sa cuisine, qu’elle n’avait été absente qu’un quart d’heure et ne savait rieu de plus. Elle indiquait alors l’hypothèse sur laquelle, d’apres son plan primitif, elle comptait sans doute s’appuyer fortement, hypothèse d’après laquelle l’enfant, ayant eu ses vètements enflammés accidentellement alors qu’elle jouait auprès du feu, se serait enfule au dehors pour chercher du secours, et serait tombee, a bout de forces, à l’endroit où elle a été trouvée. Mais cette hypothèse ne pouvait plus ètre envisagèe un seul instant, à raison de ce fait que le petit cadavre était attache a un piquet.

Au cours de son transferement à Louviers. La femme Couturier trouva une nouvelle version elle déclara aux gendarmes qu’au moment ou elle était sortie de chez elle, sa fille l’avait suivie, mais que, n’ayant pas besoin d’elle et comptant revenir bientôt, elle avait dechire un morceau de la capelice de l’enfant et avait attaché celle-ci au piquet avec ce lambeau d’etoffe. Puis, elle en vint à dire qu’avant sa sortie la robe de l’enfant avait commence déja à s’enflammer acchientellement, qu’elle avait cru éteindre le feu, mais qu’il avait dû sans doute se rallumer seul par la suite.

Les renseignements recueillis sur l’accusée la font appaître, par ailieurs, comme une mauvaise mère: non seulement elle soignait mal ses enfants, mais on l’a entendue menacer sa fille de lui casser la tête; ou l’a vue la frapper et la lancer contre un mur.

La femme Couturier, qui était alors enceinte, a vouin se debarrasser, en simulant un accident, d’une enfant qui lui était à charge. Il convient de signaler qu’au cours de seite même année 1911, deux autres jeunes enfants des époux Coutrier étaient morts déja pour des causes mal expliquées et dans des circontances qui peuvent à bon droit sembler suspectes.

La femme Coutrier n’a pas d’antecédents judiciares. Elle a été élevée par l’Assistance publique, qui avait dû la placer dans un Atelier Refuge, a cause de sa mauvaise conduite. Elle se livrait a la boisson eu compagnie de son mari.

C’est à Me Loiziel qu’était échue la tâche ingrate de défendre cette odieuse marâtre, à qui la cour a infligé la peine de dix ans de travaux forcés.

Ministére public: M. Flabert, procureur de la République.

[“La martyre d’une petite fille,” Journal De Rouen (France), Mar. 30, 1912, p. 5]

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For more cases, see: Women Who Like to Torture

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For more cases of this type, see Serial Baby-Killer Moms.

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http://unknownmisandry.blogspot.com/2014/07/sadism-female-serial-killers.html

 
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