Saturday, July 11, 2015

Madame Roger, French Serial Child-Killing Mom – New Caledonia, 1883


FULL TEXT: A crime has been brought to light in New Caledonia which furnishes a ghastly illustration of the class of malefactors sent out to that island by the French Government. The perpetrator of it, we learn from the Neo-Caledonien of the 23rd of January, was what we should call a ticket-of-leave-holder a woman named Roger. She and her husband had received a grant of land on the banks of the Foa, and one day in August last, while the head of the household was out at work, she took her little daughter, who was only two years old, into a neighbouring wood, and, as it is believed, seized the child by one of her legs, and shattered her skull by dashing it either against a stone or the trunk of a tree. Some months elapsed the corpse was discovered; and the skull, from which the flesh had disappeared, was found to be fractured in front and still to exhibit a red stain on the spot where the poor little creature’s life-blood had oozed out. It was ascertained at the trial that this was the third crime of the kind the murderess had committed; the first having been perpetrated in 1869, and the second in 1878. For the latter she was sentenced to imprisonment for life with hard labour, but obtained her liberation on being sent out to New Caledonia. No other motive was assigned for her unnatural atrocities than that she disliked the expense and trouble entailed upon her by having a child to look after.

[“A French Murderess in New Caledonia,” The Singleton Argus (NSW, Australia), Feb. 9, 1884, p. 4]

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

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