Friday, April 17, 2015

Marie Emilie Raymond, the French Serial Killer Nurse Who Was Thrilled by Death - 1952

FULL TEXT: Marie Emilie Raymond, 63, spends her days reading the Bible and her 12 prayer books, but police think she poisoned two women and may have committed several other murders.

In a guarded hospital ward at Tarbes, high among the Pryenees mountains, the dumpy spinster continues her devotions from dawn far into the night.

Yet a couple of weeks ago she told Dr. John Ueberschlag, director of a nearby psychiatric hospital: “I love looking at dying people. The last smile on a dying face gives me a great thrill.”

Marie, who even in warm weather wears four pullovers and six petticoats under her woollen skirt, was a night orderly in an old folks’ home at the village of Galan.

Police say that when Marie was arrested she had £100 in Francs pinned inside her bodice and bottles of mole and moose poison in her room.

She also had a rake because, “I love raking freshly filled graves.”


Witnesses from the old folks’ home have testified that Marie would stop passing nurses and murmur: “The dying, they’re so inspiring.”

Sister Therese, head of the home, first reported Marie to the police, after noting that the old spinster was uncannily accurate in forecasting death.

“He will die to-night,” she would say, pointing to a patient. He usually did.

Particularly, Sister Therese told of Mme. Anna Galy, who had appeared to be in normal health until one day she became very sick while in Marie’s charge.

That night Marie ran to Sister Therese’s room, crying:

“Mme. Galy is dying. We need the priest.”

Mme. Galy was in agony and died two days later.

Marie raised a similar alarm within a few days, but this time the patient recovered.

But Sister Therese was perturbed and transferred Marie to another part of the home.

Ten days later another of Marie’s charges, Mme. Berthe Peyronnec, who had been in good health, asked for a glass of wine.

Almost at once Marie raised the alarm again. “Mme. Peyronnec is dying.” In two hours she was dead.

Sister Therese went to Dr. Ueberschlag, who drew from Marie a confession of her fascination with death.

Marie was charged with the murder of Mme. Galy and Peyronnec, then transferred from jail to hospital for fear of pneumonia.

Now police are investigating the sudden violent sicknesses that struck other patients in Marie’s care and also the deaths of several priests in whose homes Marie worked.

[“Marie Pointed Finger Of Death At Patients,” Charleville Times (Australia), May 29, 1952, p. 5]


FULL TEXT (Translated from French): TARBES (High Pyrenees), 12. - AFP. - Employed since March 1 at the old people's home of Galan, in the High Pyrenees, Marie Raymond, 67, who was governess of several priests, has just been arrested and imprisoned in theTarbes prison under indictment for multiple poisonings.

When caretaker Raymond had went into service, one of the old women entrusted to her care, Mrs. Galy, was the first night vomiting and she died on March 3rd. Another, Mrs. Payronnenc, followed her on the 15th of March, after terrible suffering.

At the time of the first death, the superior of the hospital had the caretaker examined by the head physician of the psychiatric hospital of Lannemezan, which had been struck by a reflection made by Marie Raymond: "I like to treat the old men who are the gates of death, "she said," I can take away the memory of their grimaces of suffering. "

But the investigators, who are extremely discreet, established that in 1938 the canon Abadie, former parish priest of Maubourguet, in whose service was Marie Raymond, died suddenly in its strange conditions that were never explained. He had suddenly collapsed in the middle of the church, conducting choral rehearsals. Several other priests, who had employed Marie Raymond, had also succumbed in inexplicable conditions.

~ She defends herself indignantly ~

The accused, who seems very withdrawn, very vindictive and threatening, denies the charges which accumulate against her and indignantly defends herself for having committed the crimes of which she is accused. But a new bundle of overwhelming presumptions was gathered by the investigating judge. Thus a search carried out in one of the buildings of the hospice where she worked, allowed to discover several bottles of taupicine sum of 100,000 fr. Marie Raymond, who, as a night-housekeeper, has but a modest salary, could not furnish any valid explanation as to the provenance of such a sum.

Asked about the discovery of a gardening rake in her room Marie Raymond could only answer the inspectors: "I love raking the freshly dug [graves]. "

Investigators have, on the other hand, collected various testimonies that singularly shed light on the morbid side of Marie Raymond's psychology: "She has the ‘gift’ of power, according to her own confidences, to designate ‘the sick who were to die in the night’ and ‘her predictions would never be wrong.’"

Lastly, it has been established that for several years Marie Raymond has regularly published advertisements in a Paris newspaper, offering her services as a rectory governess. The instructing magistrates are endeavoring to establish a list of clergy who might have employed Marie Raymond as a servant, since the time when suspicious deaths were reported among the numerous priests who had been served by her.

It is pointed out, however, to the prosecutor's office of Tarbes, that the investigation will not make sense of events until the results of the toxicological analysis of the viscera of the last two alleged victims of the cleaning lady are known.

["Another case of multiple poisoning in France; Did Marie Raymond poison priests and old men with rat poison? "L'Impartial (Le Chaux-De-Fonds, Switzerland), Apr. 12, 1952, p. 1]


FULL TEXT: TARBES (Hautes Pyrénées), 12. – AFP. – Employée depuis le 1er mars dernier à l’hospice des vieillards de Galan, dans les Hautes Pyrénées, Marie Raymond, 67 ans, qui fut gouvernante dès plusieurs prêtres, vient d’être arêtée et écrouée à la prison de Tarbes sous l’inculpation d’empoisonnements multiples.

Lorsque la garde Raymond avait pris son service, une des vielles femmes confiées à ses soins, Mme Galy, fut des la première nuit prise de vomissements et elle mourut le 3 mars. Une autre, Mme Payronnenc, la suivit le 15 mars, après d’atroces souffrances.

Dès le premier décès, supérieure de l’hospice avait fait examiner la garde par le médicin chef de l’hôpital pschiatrique de Lannemezan, qui avait été trés frappé par une réflexion de Marie Raymond: « J’aime bien soigner les viellards qui sont aux portes de la mort, avait-elle dit, je peux ainsi emporter le souvenir de leur rictus de souffrance ».

Or les enquêteurs, qui sont d’ailleurs d’une extrème discrétion, ont établi qu’en 1938 le chanoine Abadie, ancien curé doyen de Maubourguet, au service duquel se trouvait Marie Raymond, était mort brusquement dans ses conditions étranges qui ne furent jamais elucidées. Il s’était écroulé brusquement en pleine église en dirigeant des répétitions de chant. Plusiers autres prêtres, qui avaient employé Marie Raymond, avaient également succombé dans des conditions inexplicables.

~ Elle se défend avec indignation ~

L’inculpèe, qui parait très renfermée, très vindicative et menaçante, nie les charges qui s’accumulent contre elle et se défend avec indignation d’avoir commis les crimes don’t on l’accuse. Mais un nouveau faisceau de présomptions accablantes a été recueilli par le juge chargé de l’enquête. C’est ainsi qu-une perquisition opérée dans un des bâtiments de l’hospice où elle tavaillait, a permis de découvrir plusieurs flacons de taupicine somme de 100,000 fr. Marie Raymond, qui ne touvhait en tant que femme de ménage de nuit qu'un salaire des plus modestes, n’a pu fournir aucun éclaircissement valable quant à la provenance d’une pareille somme.

Interrogée sur la découverte d’un rateau jardinier dans sa chambre Marie Raymond n’a pu que répondre aux inspecteurs: « J’adore aller gratter sur les toutes fraichement creusées. »

Les enquéteurs ont d’autre part recueilli divers témoignages qui éclairent singuliérement le côté morbide de la psychologie de Marie Raymond: « Elle aurait eu le « don » de pouvoir, selon ses propres confidences, désigner « les malades qui devaient mourir dans la nuit »et « ses prédictions n’auraient jamais été démentes ».

Il a pu être établi enfin que, depuis plusiers années, Marie Raymond faisait paraître régulièrement des annonces dans un journal de Paris, proposant ses services comme gouvernante de presbytère. Les magistrats instructeurs s’efforcent d’ établir une liste des ecclésiastiques qui ont pu employer Marie Raymond comme domestique, depuis l’époque où des décès suspects ont étè signalés panni les nombreaux prêtres qui ont eue à leur service.

On indique, toutefois, au parquet de Tarbes, que l’enquête ne purra pas progresser sensibilement, tant que ne sera pas connu le résultat de l’analyse toxicologique des viscères des deux dernières victimes présumées de la femme de ménage.

[“Encore une affaire d’empoisonnements multiples en France; Marie Raymond a-t-elle empoisonné des curés et des vielliards avec de la mort aux rats?” L’Impartial (Le Chaux-De-Fonds, Switzerland), Apr. 12, 1952, p. 1]




For more cases, see Sicko Nurses

[704-11/20/18; 931-3/1/21]

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