Thursday, November 29, 2018

German Teen Child Care Provider Murders 8: Ida Schnell - 1907

FULL TEXT (Article 1 of 5): Six murders at the age of thirteen is the awful record claimed by Ida Schnell, whose case is at present being investigated at Munich. The girl had been in service with a number of different families as nursemaid, and no suspicion seems to have arisen against her till after the sixth infant entrusted to her care had died a sudden and mysterious, death. Even then it was only after the baby had been buried that it appears to have struck anyone that there was something sinister in the circumstance that her nursing had been associated with mortality of so remarkable a character.

It was finally decided to exhume the body of the last of her charges, the fourteen-day-old son of a peasant proprietor of Ampermoching, near Munich. The corpse was taken from the coffin, and examination showed that death had been caused by perforation of the yet soft infantile skull with some sharp instrument.

Schnell was at once arrested and closely questioned. At first she strenuously denied having caused the child’s death, and protested that she had much too gentle a nature to harm the infant in any way. Under cross-examination, however, she admitted that she had killed not only the baby whose body had been exhumed, but four others for whom she had been engaged as nurse. She confessed, further, that she had taken the lives of these infants by plunging a hairpin into the lower part of the back of their heads till they ceased to cry. Asked as to her motive, the girl said that the crying of the infants roused in her unconquerable revulsion, and excited her to such a degree that she lost all control over herself, and would do anything to make them quiet. Next morning she confessed to the sixth murder. Schnell, who will be fourteen next month, is physically well developed for her age, but rather dull-witted. Her father is dead, but she has a stepfather, who is a day labourer at Schleissheim, to the north of Munich. Her series of murders was only rendered possible by the fact which will be a revelation to many, that in Bavaria death certificates are frequently, and in the country districts always, granted by laymen. It is said that a doctor would at once have noticed the wounds caused by the hairpin.

[Bernard Fischer, “Girl of Thirteen Slays Six Babies – Remarkable Record of Murder Is Confessed by a Child in Munich.” Syndicated, The Salt Lake Tribune (Ut.), Nov. 10, 1907, p. 17]


FULL TEXT (Article 2 of 5): Further inquiries are extending the grim record of the Munich child murderess, Ida Schnell, and it is now believed that she must have taken the lives of at least eight or nine of the hapless infants confided to her charge. It has been established that she carried the coffins of two of her victims to the grave, and unconcernedly pocketed the fee usually paid for such a service. Two of the infants whom she had confessed to doing to death were exhumed a couple of days ago, but decomposition had gone so far that it was impossible to discover on the spot whether or not they had succumbed to stabs of the Schnell girl’s hair pin. The heads were accordingly removed and taken to Munich for laboratory examination.

It has been ascertained that the girl, who is the illegitimate child of a drunken laborer, was brought up in circumstances of the most squalid and sordid character. Her whole record suggests moral insanity of the most pronounced type. The wonder is that even people of the humble class who engaged her as nurse cared to entrust their babies to a girl who was obviously little better than an imbecile.

[“Grim Record of Child Murderess.” El Paso Herald (Tx.), Nov. 16, 1907, p. 18]



FULL TEXT (Article 3 of 5) (translated from French): Preliminary judicial investigation opened in Munich against Ida Schnell, the 14-year-old girl accused of murdering children in her custody, is now over and the report of Judge Bally formally concludes a six-fold murder of the children of Oppenheimer, Bichler, Huber, Schiener, Ritzeret Kirrmeier. For the children Gailer and Schorch, the autopsy revealed cause of death that are not attributable to Ida Schnell.

On the other hand, examination of the children Oppenheimer and Huber clearly revealed the cause of death. Ida had pierced the skull of little beings with a pin. These wounds brought a slow infiltration of blood into the brain and probably manifestations of meningitis with tetanus. This would explain the convulsions that distracted the suspicions.

For the children Schienér, Ritzer and Kirrmeier, the accused made spontaneous confessions which were recorded by the judge. The small corpses were in such a state of decomposition that the medical examiners could not pronounce with absolute certainty on the causes of death. For little Bichler, one had thought of a death caused by the lack of care. It took a counter-autopsy to discover at the base of the skull a small pustule under which was a tiny sting penetrating to the brain. Ida, who had admitted without difficulty the five other crimes, claimed that the wound was from a fall, and it was only when she was brought back to prison that she told the gendarmé the whole truth.

Ida Schnell will be transferred to the district lunatic asylum for a mental examination lasting about a month.

[“The crimes of an idiot” (Les crimes d’une idiote”), L’Impartial (Paris, France), October 29, 1907, p. 1]


The following two similar articles seem to confuse two cases in describing the murder that caused Ida Schnell to be caught out. More localized sources are needed in order to fill out the details of the Schnell case.


FULL TEXT (Article 4 of 5) (translated from French): Munich, 19 October. - I have just made a detailed inquiry into the series of murders that Ida Schnell is responsible for, Ida the 14-year-old who has killed seven babies in her care by into by sinking pins into their brain.

Here are the circumstances that led to the discovery of these incredible atrocities. The Oppenheimer couple, who live in the outskirts of Dachau, in the suburbs of Munich, recently hired little Schnell to look after their baby, Berta, for a few weeks.

She had been on duty for a few days, when, on the 18th of September, Mrs. Oppenheimer having heard her child cry, hurried home.

– Why did you leave Berta? she said to the young maid she met on the doorstep.

– “I left her,” replied Ida Schnell, “because I think she will die.”

Mrs. Oppenheimer did not listen any more, and rushed towards her little girl, whom she took in her arms, rocked for a few moments, covering her with kisses, and to whom she gave the breast.

The child having calmed down, Mrs. Oppenheimer went back to the fields. But in the evening, when she came back, little Berta was in bad shape and soon succumbed to convulsions, in spite of the care of Dr. Fischell, who had been summoned in haste.

Understanding absolutely nothing about this almost sudden death, the doctor carefully examined the little nurse but discovered on the neck only two brown spots, insufficient to accuse the young maid of murder. Nevertheless, he was struck by the fact that Ida Schnell had already been a servant in two other families whose children had died in almost identical conditions.

He then inquired about the young servant’s existence before arriving in the area and learned that two other children still in her care had died almost suddenly in convulsions. These five suspicious deaths decided M. Fischell to summons prosecutors.

~ Autopsy on the tiny victims ~

Ida, who, on the 21st of September, after witnessing Berta Oppenheiner’s return home, had gone back to her father’s house, was arrested, and, as I telegraphed to you the day before yesterday, soon confessed as a result of the findings of the autopsy of the small victims.

Three of them were exhumed yesterday and autopsied today. This operation was most conclusive. It allowed to establish that their death had indeed been provoked, as the young servant had confessed, by pin-pricks practiced at the top of the skull and which had caused paralysis of the brain. Two other small corpses were also autopsied in the evening, but at the time when I telegraph you I do not know the results of these exams. It is likely, however, that they will corroborate the precedents.

Finally, the last two victims of Ida Schnell have been exhumed today, but the legal autopsy will be performed tomorrow or perhaps on Monday.

It is believed, if it is established that these seven babies were killed by the young maid, that the list of her crimes will be closed, because we now know that she served only in seven families. Nevertheless, it is still unclear whether she did not engage in the same maneuvers on children not in her care.

~ The murderer ~

According to the information I have been able to obtain, Ida Schnell is the natural daughter of a Sustheim laborer and has a worrisome history of pathological.

She is, I am assured, a girl very backward physically and morally. She scarcely seems to be twelve years old and she is as unintelligent as possible.

Her teacher, whom I interviewed, told me that when she attended school, she was apathetic and indolent. She never made any progress. Nevertheless, she always seemed to him a rather gentle character.

Her old comrades, on the other hand, speak discreetly and say that she often laughed out loud and without any apparent motive, which would be a sign of cerebral disturbance.

On the other hand, from the inquiry I made with her former masters, it appears that in their presence she was engaged with genuine solicitude – a definite emotional engagement certainly solicited – for the children entrusted to her, yet as soon as the adults had their back turned, she escaped to play childish games.

She was thirteen and a half when, last spring, she left school to become a nanny. She never stayed long with her employers for a fortnight at most. Only once did she spend six weeks in the same house.

Since everywhere she worked a child had died, the rumor was not long ago spread that she had the evil eye, so that a country woman who one day wanted to engage her as a servant was dissuaded for this reason by a neighbor.

Her last masters, Mr. and Mrs. Oppenheimer, were quite satisfied with her. It is true that her uncle was a servant on the same farm, and that, consequently, they were all the more disposed to his favor.

[“A Yourteen-year-old Monster - The Crimes of Ida Schnell - How One Discovered Them. The correspondent of the “Petit Parisien” is on the spot an investigation according to which the young criminal would be an imbalanced. “Le Petit Journal (Paris, France), October 20, 1907, P. 1]


FULL TEXT (Article 5 of 5) (translated from French): Berlin, 18 October. (By dispatch from our particular correspondent.) – The little servant Ida Schnell, of Munich, whose arrest we announced to you yesterday, hardly fourteen years old, has definitely seven murders on the conscience. She has made a formal confession.

It was, moreover, not the first time that the young Ida Schnell was the subject of serious suspicion, and she had appeared before the investigating judge a few months ago, shortly after the strange death of a child she had custody of. The magistrate, for lack of evidence, released her. She was not long in renewing her crimes.

Her last crime was committed, it is accused, at Aupernoching, near Munich, in the household service Bichler. Little Peter, whose care had been entrusted to her, died suddenly fourteen days after his birth. The parents, overcome with terrible suspicions, informed the police; the little corpse was exhumed and the autopsy revealed details as precise as they were overwhelming. In order to kill little Peter, Ida Schnell, had stuck a long hairpin into the child’s neck.

When questioned she confessed that, besides this murder she committed five more: in Munich, Lustheim, Obergiashof, and Mittenheim. As a result, the police ordered the exhumation of the bodies of her five small victims.

Physically, this precocious criminal appears as a skinny girl, puny for her fourteen years,  seeming barely twelve. She is the natural daughter of a worker and seems to have been raised a little at random, in the usual habits of the poor.

At school, which she attended for a short time, she was regarded as apathetic, indolent, and an intelligence well below average, with all the characteristics of degenerates.

She spoke very little with her little comrades; but, suddenly and without cause, she would utter long bursts of laughter, the reason.for which no one could guess.

When she was placed in private homes to watch the children, she kept her jerky and childish pace, however, more carefully. Those who employed her say that she was very hard-working as long as she felt herself being watched, but that at once free she left everything to run to play on the neighbor’s swing.

In spite of these excusable puerilities, she was very much appreciated by her bosses, for in their presence she always covered the little children with caresses and seemed to overflow with affection for them. And yet, once arrested, she explained with surprising calmness that the babies annoyed her, that she could not endure their cries without an intolerable annoyance, and that to silence them, she would kill them.

To tell the truth, this child when with other children was not herself closely watched. She was mostly hired by people who worked in the fields from morning till night and, therefore, could hardly take care of their children.

The Munich papers tell at length how the crime committed by Ida Schnell was discovered by the Oppenheimer laborers who work in the hops fields at Einœde, between Dachau and Oberschleisheim.

These good people were very happy with Ida, but soon the neighbors noticed that once Mrs. Oppenheimer was out, the children cried out. On September 18, a Tuesday, Mrs. Oppenheimer noticed that her baby was very agitated but could not discover the causes of this discomfort. On Wednesday at noon, on her way back from the fields, she found Ida Schnell playing with the dog in front of the door.

- “Why are not you near the child?” She asked.

- “I think he’s dying. Perhaps he is already dead,”replied the young maid, without showing the slightest trace of emotion.

The child was still alive, and even seemed to recover, so that the mother returned to the fields in the afternoon. In the evening, when she came back, the baby was dying, this time, in atrocious convulsions. He died. A doctor examined his corpse, but could not discover anything abnormal, except two traces of almost imperceptible “stings” on the neck.

The child was buried on September 21st. Ida Schnell attended the ceremony and returned the next day to her father’s house.

What attracted and fixed the suspicions on the little maid was that she changed her place very frequently: after fifteen days, three weeks, six weeks at most. We inquired in the neighboring villages, and we learned that all the children entrusted to her care had died suddenly. It was Dr. Fischi, of Rohrmoos, who denounced Ida Schnell to justice. So, as I told you earlier, the exhumation of Bischler’s son was ordered and in the presence of the corpse the guilty one made a confession.

These crimes, scarcely credible, produce in all Bavaria a sensation of considerable horror, and a sensation all the greater, since, for the last few years, facts of this kind have become very frequent. This is why the examining magistrate, in charge of this affair, receives by the court a considerable quantity of complaints from unfortunate parents in mourning.

[An “Ogresse” Fourteen Years Old - His Past Confessions - Seven Killed Children, (Une « Ogresse « De Quatorze Ans - Son passée ses aveux - Sept Enfants Tués), Le Journal (Paris, France), 19 October 1907, p. 1]


Babies murdered by Ida Schnell:

Places: Einoeda (near Dachau), Munich, Lustheim, Obergiashof, Mittenheim.
Peter Bilcher – 14-days-old.
Sep. 18, 1907 – Berta Oppenheimer, Einoeda (near Dachau), dies.
Sep. 21, 1907 – Ida Schnell arrested at father's house.

Alfred Frank Tredgold, Mental Deficiency (amentia), 4th edition, 1922, p. 414. (Daily Telegraph, Oct. 18, 1907).
Archives de l’anthropologie criminelle et des sciences pénales, Vol. 28, 1908, A. Rey at Cie., Lyon, Masson et Cie., p. 99.



FULL TEXT: L’instruction judiciaire préliminaire ouverte à Munich contre Ida Schnell, cette fillette de quatorze ans accusée d’avoir assassiné des enfants confiés à sa garde, est maintenant terminée et le rapport du conseiller de justice Bally conclut formellement à un sextuple assassinat commis sur les enfants des époux Oppenheimer, Bichler, Huber, Schiener, Ritzeret Kirrmeier. Pour les enfants Gailer et Schorch, l’autopsie a révélé des causes dédécès qui né sont pas imputables à Ida Schnell.

En revanche, l’examen dés enfants Oppenheimer et Huber révéla clairement la causé du décès. Ida avait percé lé crâne des petits êtres avec une épingle. Ces blessures amenèrent une lente infiltration du sang dans le cerveau et probablement une méningite avec manifestations tétan’ques. Ainsi expliqueraient les convulsions qui détournèrent lés soupçons.

Pour les enfants Schienér, Ritzer et Kirrmeier, l’accusée a fait des aveux spontanés qui ont été retenus par le juge. Les petits cadavres étaient dans un tel état de décomposition que les médecins légistes n’ont puse prononcer avec une absolue certitude surles causes de la mort. Pour le petit Bichler, onavait cru à un décès provoqué par le manquede soins. Il fallut une contre autopsie pour découvrir à la base du crâne une petite cloche sous laquelle se trouvait une piqûre minuscule pénétrant jusqu’au cerveau. Ida, quiavait avoué sans difficultés les cinq autres crimes, affirma que cette blessure provenait d’une chute, et ce ne fut qu’au moment où elle était ramenée en prison qu’elle dit au gendarmé toute la vérité.

Ida Schnell va être transférée dans l’asile d’aliénés du district pour être soumise à un examen mental qui durera environ un mois.

[“Les crimes d’une idiote” L’Impartial (Paris, France), 29 Octobre 1907, p. 1]


FULL TEXT: Munich, 19 octobre. – Je viens de me livrer à une enquête minutieuse au sujet de la série de meurtries dont s’est rendue coupable Ida Schnell, cette jeune bonne de quatorze ans qui a tué successivement sept bébés confiés à sa garde en leur enfonçant des épingles dans le cerveau.

Voici à la suite de quelles circonstances on a fini par découvrir ces incroyables forfaits. Les époux Oppenheimer, qui habitent dans les environs de Dachau, dans la banlieue de Munich, engageaient récemment la petite Schnell pour garder leur bébé, Berta, de quelques semaines.

Elle avait pris son service depuis quelques jours, quand, le 18 seplembre, Mme Oppenheimer ayant entendu pleurer son enfant rentra précipitamment à la maison.

-- Pourquoi as-tu quitté Berta? dit-elle à la jeune bonne qu’elle rencontra sur te pas de la porte.

--  Je l’ai laissée, répondît Ida Schnell, parce que je crois qu’elle va mourir.

Mme Oppenheimer n’en écouta pas davantage et se précipita vers sa fillette qu’elle prit dans ses bras, berça quelques instants en la couvrant de baisers, puis à laquelle elle donna le sein.

L’enfant s’étant calmée, Mme Oppenheimer repartit aux champs. Mais dans la soirée, quand elle revint, la petite Berta était au plus mal et ne tardait pas a succomber dans des convulsions, malgré les soins du docteur Fischell, qui avait été appelé en toute hâte.

Ne comprenant absolument rien à cette mort presque subite, le médecin examina soigneusement le petit cadavre mais ne découvrit sur le cou que deux taches brunes, insuffisantes pour accuser de meurtre la jeune bonne. Il n’en fut-pas moins vivement frappé de ce fait qu’Ida Schnell avait été déjà servante dans deux autres familles dont les enfants étaient morts dans des conditions presque identiques.

Il s’enquit alors de l’existence de la jeune servante avant son arrivée dans la région et apprit que deux autres enfants encore confiés à ses soins étaient morts presque subitement au milieu de convulsions. Ces cinq décès suspects décidèrent M. Fischell à saisir le parquet.

~ On autopsie les petites victimes ~

Ida qui, le 21 septembre, après avoir assisté à rentenement de petite Berta Oppenhein»er, était rentrée chez son père, fut arrêtée et, comme je vous l’ai télégraphié avant-hier, ne tarda pas à faire des aveux à la suite desquels l’autopsie des petites victimes fut décidée.

Trois d’entre elles furent exhumées hier et autopsiées aujourd’hui. Cette opération fut des plus concluantes. Elle permit en effet d’établir que leur mort avait bien été provoquée, comme la jeune domestique l’avait avoué, par des piqûres d’épingles pratiquées au sommet du crâne et qui avaient occasionné une paralysie du cerveau. Deux autres petits cadavres ont été également autopsiés dans la soirée, mais à l’heure où je vous télégraphie on ne connaît pas les résultats de ces examens. Il est vraisemblable, toutefois, qu’ils viendront corroborer les précédents.

Enfin, les deux dernières victimes d’Ida Schnell ont été exhumées aujourd’hui, mais l’autopsie légale ne sera pratiquée que demain ou peut-être même lundi seulement.

On croit, s’il est établi que ces sept bébés ont été tués par la jeune bonne, que la liste de ses crimes sera close, car on sait maintenant qu’elle n’a servi que dans sept familles. Néanmoins on ignore encore si elle ne s’est pas livrée aux mêmes manœuvres sur des enfants non confiés à sa garde.

~ La meurtrière ~

D’après les renseignements que j’ai pu me procurer, Ida Schnell est la fille naturelle d’un journalier de Sustheim et a de fort mauvais antécédents pathologiques.

C’est, m’a-t-on assuré, une gamine très arriérée physiquement et moralement. C’est à peine si elle parait avoir douze ans et elle est aussi peu intelligente que possible.

Son instituteur, que j’ai interrogé, m’a déclaré que lorsqu’elle fréquentait l’école, c’était une apathique et une indolente. Elle n’a jamais fait le moindre progrès. Néanmoins, elle lui a toujours paru d’un caractère plutôt doux.

Ses anciennes camarades, en revanche, la disent sournoise et déclarent qu’il lui arrivait souvent de rire aux éclats toute seule et sans aucun motif apparent, ce qui serait un signe de dérangement cérébral.

D’autre part, de l’enquête que j’ai faite auprès de ses anciens maîtres, il ressort qu’en leur présence, elle s’occupait avec une vive sollicitude – sollicitude affectée certainement – des enfants qu’on lui confiait, mais que, dès qu’ils avaient le dos tourné, elle s’échappait pour aller jouer à des jeux enfantins.

Elle avait treize ans et demi quand, au printemps dernier, elle quitta l’école pour devenir bonne d’enfants. Elle ne resta jamais longtemps chez ses différents maîtres quinze jours au plus. Une seule fois, il lui arriva de rester six semaines dans la même maison.

Comme partout où elle était passée un enfant était mcrt, le bruit n’avait pas tard: à se répandre qu’elle avait le mauvais œil, si bien qu’une dame du pays ayant un jour voulu l’engager comme domestique, elle en fut dissuadée pour cette raison par une voisine.

Ses derniers maîtres, M. et Mme Oppenheimer, en étaient assez satisfaits. Il est vrai que son oncle était domestique dans la méme ferme et qu’on était, par suite, d’autant mieux disposé en sa faveur.

[“Un monstre de quaforze ans - Les Crimes d’Ida Schnell - Comment On Les Découvrit. Le correspondant du « Petit Parisien » se livre sur place à une enquête d’après laquelle la jeune criminelle serait une déséquilibrée.” Le Petit Journal (Paris, France), 20 Octobre 1907, P. 1]


FULL TEXT: Berlin, 18 octobre. (Par dépêche de notre correspondant particulier.) — La petite domestique Ida Schnell, de Munich, dont je vous annonçais hier l’arrestation, à peine âgée de quatorze ans, a décidément sept assassinats sur la conscience. Ses aveux ont été formels.

Ce n’était, d’ailleurs, pas la première fois que la jeune Ida Schnell était l’objet de soupçons graves, et elle avait comparu devant la juge d’instruction il y a quelques mois déjà, peu après la mort étrange d’un enfant dont elle avait la garde. Le magistrat, faute de preuves, la remit en liberté. Elle ne devait pas tarder à renouveler ses forfaits.

C’est en dernier lieu à Aupernoching, près de Munich, et au service du ménage Bichler, qu’elle est accusée d’avoir commis son dernier crime. Le petit Peter, dont la garde lui avait été confiée, mourut subitement quatorze jours après sa naissance. Les parents, envahis de terribles soupçons, avisèrent la police; on exhuma le petit cadavre et l’autopsie révéla des détails aussi précis qu’accablants. A fin de tuer le petit Peter, Ida Schnell, avait enfoncé dans la nuque de l’enfant une longue épingle de tête.

Pressée de questions, elle avoua qu’outre ce meurtre, elle en a commis cinq autres, à Munich, à Lustheim, à Obergiashof et à Mittenheim. En conséquence, la police a ordonné l’exhumation des corps de ses cinq petites victimes.

Au physique, cette précoce criminelle se présente comme une fillette maigre, chétive pour ses quatorze ans, car elle en parait à peine douze. Elle est la fille naturelle d’un ouvrier et semble avoir été élevée un peu au hasard, dans les promiscuités habituelles de la misera.

A l’école, qu’elle fréquenta peu de temps, elle passait pour apathique, indolente, et d’une intelligence bien au-dessous de la moyenne, avec toutes les caractéristiques des dégénérés.

Elle parlait fort peu avec ses petites camarades; mais, soudain et sans cause, elle poussait de longs éclats de rire dont personne ne devinait la raison.

Lorsqu’on la plaça chez des particuliers pour y surveiller les enfants, elle garda ses allures saccadées et puériles, en se surveillant toutefois davantage. Ceux qui l’ont employée disent qu’elle était très travailleuse tant qu’elle se sentait observée, mais qu’aussitôt libre elle abandonnait tout pour courir se balancer à l’escarpolette voisine.

Malgré ces puérilités excusables, elle était très appréciée de ses patrons, car, en leur présence, elle couvrait toujours de caresses les petits enfants et semblait déborder d’affection pour eux. Et cependant, une fois arrêtée, elle a expliqué avec un calme surprenant que les enfants l’énervaient, qu’elle ne pouvait supporter sans une intolérable surexcitation les cris, les pleurs des bébés, et que, pour les faire taire, elle les tuait.

A vrai dire, cette enfant chargée d’autres enfants n’était pas elle-même l’objet d’une bien étroite surveillance. Elle était surtout employée par des gens qui travaillaient aux champs du matin au soir et, par conséquent, ne pouvaient guère s’occuper de leurs enfants.

Les journaux de Munich racontent longuement comment fut découvert le crime commis par Ida Schnell chez les tâcherons Oppenheimer, qui travaillaient dans les houblonnières de Einœde, entre Dachau et Oberschleisheim.

On était, chez ces braves gens, fort content d’elle, mais bientôt les voisins remarquèrent que, dès que Mme Oppenheimer était sortie, les enfants criaient. Le 18 septembre, un mardi, Mme Oppenheimer s’aperçut que son bébé était très agité. Elle ne put découvrir les causes de ce malaise. Le mercredi, à midi, en rentrant, des champs, elle trouva Ida Schnell jouant avec le chien devant la porte.

— Pourquoi n’es-tu pas près de l’enfant ? demanda-t-elle.
— Je crois qu’il est en train de mourir. Peut-être même est-il déjà mort, répondit la jeune bonne, sans manifester la moindre trace d’émotion.

L’enfant vivait encore et parut même se rétablir, si bien que la mère s’en retourna aux champs dans l’après-midi. Le soir, quand elle revint, le bébé agonisait, cette fois, dans des convulsions atroces. Il mourut. Un médecin examina son cadavre, mais ne put déoouvrir rien d’anormal, si ce n’est deux traces de piqûres presque imperceptibles sur le cou.

L’enfant fut enterré le 21 septembre. Ida Schnell assista à la cérémonie et elle retourna le lendemain chez son père.

Ce qui attira et fixa les soupçons sur la petite bonne, c’est qu’elle changeait de place très fréquemment, au bout de quinze jours, trois semaines, six semaines au plus. On s’informa dans les villages voisins et on apprit ainsi que tous les enfants confiés à ses soins étaient morts subitement. Ce fut le docteur Fischi, de Rœhrmoos, qui dénonça Ida Schnell à la justice. On ordonna donc, ainsi que je vous le disais plus haut, l’exhumation du fils de l’économe Bischler, et devant son cadavre, la coupable fit des aveux.

Ces crimes, à peine’croyables, produisent dans toute la Bavière une sensation d’horreur considérable et un émoi d’autant plus grand que, depuis quelques années déjà, les faits de ce genre sont devenus très fréquents. Cest pourquoi le juge d’instruction, chargé de cette affaire reçoit par courrien une quantité considérable de plaintes émanant de malheureux parents en deuil.

[Une « Ogresse « De Quatorze Ans - Son passée ses aveux - Sept Enfants Tués, Le Journal (Paris, France), 19 Octobre 1907, p. 1]








More cases: Serial Killer Girls


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


For similar cases see: Baby-Sitter Serial Killers


More cases: Youthful Borgias: Girls Who Commit Murder

[15,457-11/30/18; 15,868-12/31/18; 17,130-10/2/21]

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Honorine Pellois, 10-Year-Old Sadistic Serial Killer Girl – France, 1834

At Bas-Val (Orne), Honorine Pellois, aged ten, threw two young girls – each not much more than two years old – in a well on June 16 and 18, 1834. On the 20th she attempted to drown an eleven year old boy but was unsuccessful in her ploy. The justice of the peace first thought that they were accidents, but the community of Bas-Val suspected the girl, known for her cruelty to other children, whom she would torture by throwing dust in their eyes and then rubbing nettles into them. She also liked to strangle animals. Honorine eventually admitted she killed the two girls because they were said to be prettier than she. [Robert St. Estephe]


FULL TEXT (Translated from French): Yet another newcomer of homicidal monomania, which adds a distressing page to the story of the human heart! Honorine Pellois had the atrocity of drowning in a well two young girls of her neighbors, one aged two years six days, the other aged two years six days, the other aged two and a half, and to try to drown in a fountain a third of eleven years. It was in the interval of four days that she committed three such crimes; the motive given is unheard of; and, incredible thing, this cruel and destructive being is herself a child of ten and a half years! Never had such a charge been registered in the judicial process; it is an anomaly in the course of the crime, that this villainous person who thus advances the age of the passions, and there is there something prodigiously monstrous which must upset every idea of the moralist. Phrenology will not fail to borrow from this precocious perversity a new argument in favor of its doctrines; and, to tell the truth, when we observed the attitude of Honorine Pellois before judges; when one has seen one’s dry eye and one’s smile amidst the most heart-rending emotions of debates; when, above all, we have heard, with a horrible naivety, candidly recount her crimes, it is difficult not to believe that, unfortunately, there is in the human species such indefinable beings, who seem instinctively to please evil, and who are as predestined to become the terror of other men.

Honorine Pellois was born in Saint-Cyr-la-Rosière, poor and poorly known parents, who raised him without care. The father was reproached for treating him with too much rigor, and for the mother to tolerate her bad habits. From her most extreme childhood, Honorine announced dispositions to cruelty; she kept striking and tormenting the other children. Her pleasure was to throw dust in their eyes and rub them with nettles. Her wickedness also turned against the animals, and more than once she was surprised while strangling a dog, sometimes a sheep, sometimes poultry she came across in the fields.

Then, when she was caught in the act, and reproached for her conduct, she listened in silence; but her eyes, according to the expression of a witness, became flamboyant and she began to cringe like a monkey. Besides, far from having a limited mind, she evidenced a great deal of intelligence.

It was about six months ago that the husband Pellois had left Saint-Cyr and that they had come to settle in the town of Bellême (Orne), where they were shoemakers, when on June 16, around eleven o’clock in the morning, petite Amelie Alexandre, aged two years ten days, the daughter of a clog-maker of Belleme, was seen drowned in a well which was in the street not far from the house where her mother and her mother lived. It was thought she had let her fall in. Two days later, on the 18th of June, the young Virginia Hersant, aged two and a half, was also found drowned in the well that was only a few yards away from her parents’ house.

They were still trying to persuade themselves that a simple accident had occasioned this new misfortune; but a closer inspection of the height of the edges of the well, the age of the two little girls, the feeble complexion of one of them soon gave the certainty that they could not have fallen into the well, and that it was necessary that a criminal hand should have put them there. Several circumstances came to signal Honorine Pellois as the perpetrator of this double attack.

It was remembered that, on the eighteenth day of the death of Virginie Hersant, this child was playing in the house with her brother; that Honorine came in, took her by the hand, saying that she was going to give him wild cherries and that she took him to the side of the well. It was learned, moreover, that a few minutes later the woman Bothereau had seen Honorine near the wells, holding in her one hand her little sister and the other Virginie Hersant; that scared up the memory of the death of Amelie Alexandre. The woman had told her to withdraw the children; but Honorine had responded with a great deal of passion. “Pass your way, it does not concern you,” and it was half an hour after the corpse of Virginie Hersant had been discovered in the well.

All these accounts gave violent suspicions to the neighbors against Honorine. To obtain her confession, two young girls pretended to have seen her, and they induced her to speak the truth. Honorine told them that she had put Virginie Hersant on the stone ledge of the well to take her on her back, but that, turning around, the child had escaped her, and that he had thus fallen into the well; then she asked them there was no risk for her, adding: “please do not betray me.”

Honorine Pellois was arrested. After a long time and deftly defended in her interrogations, she repeated this declaration before the examining magistrate; finally she went so far as to admit that Amelie Alexander had also escaped her while she was holding her on her arm, and that she had fallen back into the well.

But soon in the Mortagne prison, she made positive confessions; she told several prisoners that she was “tired of hearing that these little girls were nicer than she” and had taken them “under her arms and hocks, and had thrown them into the well.”

The investigation made it further known that on the 20th of June, two days after her second crime, Honorine Pellois had endeavored to lead the little Gaucliard, eleven years old, into a fountain about three feet deep; but the criminality of this fact did not seem sufficiently demonstrated to justify a third charge.

We hastened to call men of art to ascertain the moral condition of Honorine. The result of their investigations was that this child announced by his answers and the conformation of his skull, that it was endowed with intelligence, but had, according to the system of Dr. Gall, the organs of cunning and cruelty. Moreover, certain parts of his body, which offered something imperfect and extraordinary, indicated shameful habits.

Honorine thus appeared before the Assize Court, under the weight of two murders. The crowd pressed in the audience hall, to contemplate this little monster, everyone imagined to discover in his face some characteristic feature of his villainy. But here we are all surprised to see under the escort of the gendarmes, a little girl with a pretty sweet countenance with a smile on her lips. Honorine sits on the bench of the accused. She is poor, but strong in complexion; his features, without being beautiful, are regular; his skin is covered with freckles; and her black and very mobile eyes shine with remarkable vivacity. The apparatus of the audience seems at first to frighten her, for she is scarcely seated when great tears run down her cheeks; but her tears dry up almost immediately; we see her smile reborn and his eyes are carried with extreme curiosity about everything around her: the sword and the uniform of the gendarmes who sit at her side, particularly fix her attention.

The indictment is read. This reading excites the shuddering, and impresses in the soul the most painful sensation, by the contrast of the crimes which it points out with the carelessness of the child who committed them, and whose mind does not appear preoccupied in front of its judges, where a fresh new spectacle presents itself to her sight. As for the accusation, the child does not think about it and even she smiles when she hears it.

Honorine is interrogated, she gets up and stares at the gendarmes without answering. The President reiterates his questions, and breaks the silence; she confesses with frightful disingenuousness, without showing the slightest mark of repentance, that, out of jealousy, she drowned the little girls in the well.

The witnesses are heard. Nothing is more heartbreaking than the declaration of the unfortunate women Hersant and Alexander. There is no heart that is not broken in the speech of these two weeping mothers, whose every word is interrupted by a sob. Honorine alone resists the general emotion, and we can not repeat all the dramatic effect of this scene, when we come to notice in the animated and joyous expression of her piercing gaze, that she revels in the midst of this maternal grief, of which she is the cause.

Soon the debate reveals an atrocious circumstance which characterizes all the cruelty of Honorine. Would we believe it? the little body of the little Amelie Alexandre had been brought to her parents’ home; these unfortunates burst into tears near the cadaver of their child; all of a sudden the door opens, and what do we see? Honorine, standing on the threshold, cringing her teeth and laughing like shouts. A demon. Honorine, the author of the desolation of all this family, who thus insults his misfortune! What an incredible villainy in a child! Hardly was it possible to drive out this infernal creature; and, no less incredible, the evening at the funeral of her victim, she was seen following the convoy, asking to carry a candle.

Two days later, when they were looking for the little Hersant, whom she had just drowned, Honorine hastened to point out a path by which she said she had seen her pass; then she went to look for her and to call for her like the others; but as soon as the body of this unfortunate child was found in the well, Honorine went to stand on a hillock, whence she gazed with ease at the fright of the crowd surrounding the corpse.

One last stroke completes the character of Honorine, and the President asks her why she tried several times to hurl the little Gaucliard into the fountain, the day this child sought to drink. Honorine responds without hesitation, that she wanted to drown him. Everyone shuddered at this reply, which pointed to a new crime that the prosecution itself had rushed to dismiss. The defender of Honorine tells him that she misunderstood; but Honorine resumes coldly that she understands well, and that her intention was to kill little Gaucliard.

It is under the indescribable impression of this frightful debate that the word is granted to M. Chéradaine, the King’s Prosecutor. The emotion was deep; this magistrate has only increased it by his eloquent indictment. The facts were constant and admitted; it could only be the question of discernment, and the discernment of Honorine is shown by the eagerness she first took to disguise her crimes.

During the course of the indictment process, Honorine had ceaselessly strolled here and there with the utmost carefreeness; but in concluding, the King’s Prosecutor exclaimed that henceforth she must take her place next to infamous murderers Louis Papavuine and Antone Leger; and as he related to the little prisoner that Leger had dragged a young girl into her lair, and that after having raped her, he had torn her out and sucked her heart – it was noticed that Honorine listened attentively, her eyes sparkling, and it was evident that she is thrilled by that horrible image.

Me Verrier presents the defense, but with more talent than success. In vain he maintains that Honorine did not understand all the extent of the harm she was doing; his efforts are useless. After a few minutes of deliberation, the jury declares that Honorine acted with discernment; as a result, the court sentenced her to twenty years’ imprisonment in a correctional house and ten years under the supervision of the police. Honorine is silent; but with the contraction of her lips, the movement of her eyebrows, and the blinking of her eyelids, it is easy to see that she understands her pain.

[“Assize Court Of The Orne (Alençon). Honorine Pellois. – Frighening Homicidal Mania.” (“Cour D’Assises De L’Orne (Alençon). Honorine Pellois. – Effrayante Monomanie Pour Le Meurte.”),  Gazette Of the Courts (Paris, France), Nov. 22, 1834, p. 1]


Jun. 16, 1834 – Amélie Alexandre, 2 and 10 days, drowned.
Jun. 18, 1834 – Virginie Hersant, 2 ½, drowned.
Jun. 20, 1834 – Gaucliard, boy, eleven years old. Apparent attempt to drown.


Other Sources:
* Histoire, Procès Et Condamnation Des Criminels Célèbres, Recueil Des Événements Les Plus Tragiques, Attentats, Meurtres, Assassinats, Parricides , Infanticides, Viols, Incestes, Empoissonnements, Massacres, Faux, Vols Et Autres Forfaits Commis En France Depuis 1830 Jusqua Ce Jour. Tome Premier. Paris, B. Renault, Éditeur. 1843., pp. 107-15.
* Pamela Cox, ‎Heather Shore, Becoming Delinquent: British and European Youth, 1650–1950, Ashgate, Dartmouth, 2002.
* Michael Kirchschlager, “Die Verbrecherin von zehn Jahren (1833/4),”, 17. Dezember 2010.
* Hugh Cunningham, Children and Childhood in Western Society Since 1500, 2014, Routledge, note 74.
* Thomas Fadlallah, “Les meurtres commis par des enfants en France au XIXe siècle : une étude sociale,” Revue Hypermedia, Histoire de justice, des crimes et des peines. 2014.


Orne is a department in the northwest of France, named after the river Orne. Alençon is the chief town of the Orne department. Camembert, the village where Camembert cheese is made, is located in Orne.


FULL TEXT: Encore un nouvel eample de monomanie homicide, que vient ajouter page affligeante à l’histoire du coeur humain! Honorine Pellois a eu l’atrocité de noyer dans un puits deux petites filles de ses voisins, l’une àgée de deux ans six jours, l’autre àgée de deux ans et demi, et de tenter d’en noyer dans une fontaine une troisième de onze ans. C’est dans l’intervalle de quartre jours qu’elle a commis trois ces forfaits; le motif qu’elle en donne est inoui; et, chose incroyable, cet être cruel et destructeur est lui-même un enfant de dix ans et demi! Jamais pareille accusation ne s’était vue enregistrer dans les fastes judiciaires; c’est une anomalie dans la marche du crime, que cette scélératesse qui devance ainsi l’âge des passions, et il y a là quelque-chose de prodigieusement monstrueux qui doit bouleverser toutes les idées du moraliste. La phrénologie ne manquerapas d’emprunter à cette précoce perversité un nouvel argument en faveur de ses doctrines; et, à vrai dire, quand on a observé l’attitude d’Honorine Pellois devantises juges; quand on avu son œil sec et son sourire au milieu des plus déchirantes émotions des débats; quand, surtout, on l’a entendue, avec une horrible naïveté, raconter tout candidement ses crimes, il est difficile de ne pas croire que, malheureusement, il se rencontre dans l’espèce humaine de ces êtres indéfinissables, qui semblent par instinct se complaire au mal, et qui sont comme prédestinés à devenir l’effroi des autres hommes.

Honorine Pellois est née à Saint-Cyr-la-Rosière, de parens pauvres et mal famés, qui l’élevaient sans soin. On reprochait au père dela traiter avec trop de rigueur, et à la mère de tolérer ses mauvaises habitudes. Dès sa plus extrême enfance, Honorine annonçait des dispositions à la cruauté; elle ne cessait de frapper et de tourmenter les autres enfans. Son plaisir était de leur jeter de la poussière dans les yeux et de les frotter avec des orties. Sa méchanceté se tournait aussi contre les animaux, et plus d’une fois on la surprit faisant étrangler par un chien tantôt un mouton, tantôt des volailles qu’elle rencontrait, dans les champs.

Puis quand elle se trouvait prise sur le fait, et qu’on lui reprochait sa conduite, elle écoutait en silence; mais ses yeux, suivant l’expression d’un témoin, devenaient flamboyans, et elle se mettait à grincer des dents comme un singe. Du reste, loin d’avoir l’esprit borné, elle annonçait beaucoup d’intelligence.

Il y avait environ six mois queles époux Pellois avaient quitté Saint-Cyr et qu’ils étaient venus se fixer dans la ville de Bellême (Orne), où ils faisaient des sabots, lorsque le 16 juin dernier, vers onze heures du matin, la petite Amélie Alexandre, âgée de deux ans dix jours, fille d’un sabotier de Bellême, fut aperçue noyée dans un puits, qui se trouvait dans la rue non loin de la maison qu’habitaient son çère et sa mère. On pensa qu’elle s’y était laissée tomber. Deux jours après, le 18 juin, la jeune Virginie Hersant, âgée de deux ans et demi, fut trouvée également noyée dans ce puits qui n’était éloignéde l’habitation de ses parens que detrente et quelques mètres.

On cherchait encore à se persuader qu’un Simple accident avait occasioné ce nouveau malheur; mais une vérification plus attentive de la hauteur des bords du puits, l’âge des deux petites filles, la faible complexion de l’une d’elles donnèrent bientôt la certitude qu’elles n’avaient pu tomber d’elles-mêmes dans le puits, et qu’il fallait qu’une main criminelle les y eût précipitées. Plusieurs circonstances vinrent signaler Honorine Pellois commel’auteur de cedouble attentat.

On se rappela, en effet, que le 18, jour de la mort de Virginie Hersant, cette enfant jouait, dans la maison, avec son frère; qu’Honorine entra, la prit par la main en disant qu’elle allait lui donner des guignes et qu’elle l’emmena du côté du puits. On apprit, en outre, que peu d’instans après, la femme Bothereau avait vu, en passant, Honorine près des puits, tenant d’une main sa petite soeur et de l’autre Virginie Hersant; q’effrayèe au souvenir de la mort d’Amelie Alexandre, cette femme lui avait dit de retirer les enfans; mais qu’Honorine lui avait répondu avec beaucoup d’eportement Passes votre chemin, cela ne vous regarde pas … et qu c’était une demi-heure après que la cadavre de Virginie Hersant avait été découvert dans les puits.

Tous ces rapprochemens donnèrent de violens soupçons aux voisins contre Honorine. Pour obtenir d’elle un aveu, deux jeunes fille feignirent d’avoir tiut vu, et elles l’engagèrent à dire la vérité. Honorine leur déclara qu’elle avait posé Virginie Hersant sur la pierre du puits pour la prendre sur son dos, mais qu’en se retournant, l’enfant lui avait échappé, et qu’il était ainsi tombé dans le puits; ensuite elle leur demandas’il n’y avait pas de risque pour elle, ajoutant: surtout ne me vendez pas.

Honorine Pellois fut arrêtée. Apres s’être long-temps et adroitement défendue dans ses interrogatoires, elle renouvela cette déclaration devant le juge d’instruction; enfin elle alla jusqu’à convenir qu’Amélie Alexandre lui avait également échappé pendant qu’elle la tenait sur son bras, et qu’elle était tombée en arrière dans le puits.

Mais bientôt dans la maison d’arrêt de Mortagne, elle fit des aveux positifs; elle déclara à plusieurs prisonniers » qu’ennuyée d’entendre dire que ces petites filles étaient plus gentilles qu’elle, elle les avait prises par-dessous les bras et les jarrets, et les avait précipitées dans le puits. «

L’instruction fit de plus connaître que le 20 juin, deux jours après son second crime, Honorine Pellois s’était efforcée de faire tomber la petite Gaucliard, âgée de onze ans, dans une fontaine d’environ trois pieds de profondeur; mais la criminalité de ce fait ne parut pas assez démontrée pour motiver un troisième chef d’accusation.

On s’empressa d’appeler des hommes de l’art pour constater l’état moral d’Honorine. Le résultat de leurs investigations fut que cette enfant annonçait par ses réponses  et par la conformation de son crâne, qu’elle était douée d‘intelligence, mais avait, suivant le système du docteur Gall, les organes de la ruse et de la cruauté. Du reste, certaines parlies de son corps, qui offraient quelque chose d’imparfait et d’extraordinaire, indiquaient des habitudes honteuses.

Honorine comparaissait donc devant la Cour d’assises, sous le poids de deux assassinats. La foulese pressait dans la salle d’audience, pour contempler cepetit monstre, chacun s’imaginait découvrir dans sa figure quelque trait caractéristique de sa scélératesse. Mais voilà qu’on est tout surpris de voir entier sous l’escorte desgendarmes, une petite fille d’une physionomie assez douce, ayant le sourire sur les lèvres. Honorine s’asseoit sur le banc des accusés. Elle est petite, mais forte de complexion; ses traits, sans être beaux, sont réguliers; sa peau est couverte de taches de rousseur; et ses yeux noirs et très mobiles brillent avec une vivacité remarquable. L’appareil de l’audience semble d’abord l’effrayer, car elle està peine assise que de grosses larmes ruissèlent sur ses joues; mais ses pleurs se tarissent presque aussitôt; on voit son sourire renaître et ses regards se portent avec une curiosité extrême sur tout ce qui l’entoure: le sabre et l’uniforme des gendarmes qui sont assis à ses côtés, fixent particulièrement son attention.

On donne lecture de l’acte d’accusation. Cette lecture excite le frissonnement, et imprime dans l’âme la plus douloureuse sensation parle contraste des crimes qu’elle signale avec l’insouciance de l’enfant qui les acommis, et don’t l’esprit ne semble préoccupé devant ses juges, que du spectacle nouveau qui s’offre à sa vue; car pour l’accusation, l’enfant n’y songe pas et même elle sourit en l’entendant.

Honorine est interrogée, elle se lève et regarde fixement les gendarmes sans répondre. M. le président réitère ses questions, elle rompt alors le silence; elle confesse avec une effroyable ingénuité, sans donner la moindre marque de repentir, que, par jalousie, elle a noyé dans le puits les petites filles.

On procède à l’audition des témoins. Rien de plus déchirant que la déclaration des malheureuses femmes Hersant et Alexandre. Il n’est pas de cœur qui ne soit brisé à l’accent de ces deux mères éplorées, don’t chaque parole est entrecoupée par un sanglot. Honorine résiste seule à l’émotion générale, et l’on ne saurait redire tout l’effet dramatique de cette scène, au moment où l’on vient à remarquer dans l’expression animée et joyeuse de son regard perçant, qu’elle se complaît au milieu de cette douleur maternelle, don’t elle est la cause.

Bientôt le débat révèle une circonstance atroce qui caractérisetoute la cruauté d’Honorine. Le croirait-on? on venait de transporter le corps inanimé de la petite Alexandre chez ses parens; ces infortunés fondaient en larmes auprès du cadavrede leur enfant; tout-à-coup la porte s’ouvre, et que voit-on?... Honorine, debout sur le seuil, qui grince des dents et rit aux éclats comme. Un démon. Honorine, l’auteur de la désolation de toute celte famille, qui vient ainsi insulter à son malheur! Quelle scélératesse inouïe dans un enfant! À peine eût-on la force de chasser cette infernale créature; et, chose non moins incroyable, le soir à l’enterrement de sa victime, on la vit suivre le convoi, demandant à porter un cierge.

Le surlendemain, lors qu’on cherchait la petite Hersant, qu’elle venait de noyer, Honorine s’empressa d’indiquer un chemin par lequel elle disait l’avoir vue passer; puis elle se mil à la chercher et à l’appeler comme les autres; mais dès que le corps de cette malheureuse enfant fut  trouvé dans le puits, Honorine alla se placer sur un tertre, d’où elle contemplait tout à son aise l’effroi de la foule qui entourait le cadavre.

Un dernier trait achève de peindre le caractère d’Honorine, M. le président lui demande pourquoi elle s’est  plusieurs fois efforcée de précipiter la petite Gaucliard dans la fontaine, le jour où cette enfant cherchait à s’y désaltérer. Honorine répond sans hésiter, qu’elle voulait la noyer. Tout le monde frémit à cette réponse qui signale un nouveau crime que l’accusation elle-même s’était empressée d’écarter. Le défenseur d’Honorine lui dit qu’elle a mal compris; mais Honorine reprend froidement qu’elle comprend bien, et que son intention était de faire mourir la petite Gaucliard.

C’est sous l’impression indicible de cet épouvantable débat que la parole Est accordée à M. Chéradaine, procureur du Roi. L’émotion était profonde; ce magistrat ne fait encore que l’accroître parson éloquent réquisitoire. Les faits étaient constanset avoués; il ne pouvait s’agir que de la question dediscernement, et le discernement d’Honorine se trouve démontré par les précautions empressées qu’elle a d’abord prises pour déguiser ses crimes.

Pendant tout le réquisitoire, Honorine n’avait cessé de  promener çà et la ses regards avec la plus extrême insouciance; mais en terminant, M. le procureur du Roi s’écrie que désormais elle doit prendre place auprès des Papavoine et des Léger; et comme il rappelait que Léger avait entraîné une jeune fille dans son antre, et qu’après l’avoir violée il lui avait arraché et sucé le cœur; aussitôt Honorine écoute attentivement, ses yeux deviennent étincelans, et il est visible qu’elle se plaît à cette horrible image.

Me Verrier présente à son tour la défense, mais avec plus de talent que de succès. En vain il soutient qu’Honorine n’a pas compris toute l’étendue du mal qu’elle faisait; ses efforts sont inutiles. Après quelques minutes de délibération, le jury vient  déclarer qu’Honorine a agi avec discernement; en conséquence, la cour l’a condamnée à subir vingt années d’emprisonnement dans une maison de correction, et à rester dix ans sous la surveillance de la haute police. Honorine se tait; mais à la contraction de ses lèvres, au mouvement de ses sourcils, et au clignotement de ses paupières, il est facile de voir qu’elle comprend sa peine.

[“Cour D’Assises De L’Orne (Alençon). Honorine Pellois. -- Effrayante Monomanie Pour Le Meurte.” Gazette Des Tribunaux (Paris, France), Nov. 22, 1834, p. 1]


Honorine Pellois case discussed – Cat Nilan, ‘Crimes Inexplicables’: Murderous Children and the Discourse of Monstrosity in Roomantic-Era France,” “The Inexplicable Monster,” pp. 77 ff. in: Pamela Cox, Heather Shore in: Becoming Delinquent: British and European Youth, 1650–1950, 2002, Ashgate, Dartmouth; 2017, Routledge.


More cases: Serial Killer Girls


More cases: Youthful Borgias: Girls Who Commit Murder

[264-1-19-19; 1270-1/10/21; 1494-8/25/21]

Monday, November 12, 2018

Patricia Martinez Bernal, Half of a Serial Killer Cannibal Couple – Mexico, 2018

Wikepedia (revised): Mexican serial killer couple Juan Carlos Hernández Behar (33) and Patricia Martínez Bernal (38) of Ecatepec de Morelos, Mexico State, have been dubbed by journalists variously “The Monsters of Ecatepec” and “The Butchers of Ecatepec” who ran “The House of Horror.”

They claim to have committed between 10 and 20 murders between 2012 and 2018, and have also confessed to cannibalize the bodies of their victims. México state Attorney General Alejandro Gómez confirmed the cannibalism confessions and said that Juan Carlos had given specific details and descriptions of 10 of his victims. They lured their victims, many of whom were unwed mothers, with offers of discount clothing for their babies. They also confessed to selling body parts to practitioners of Santería and to selling the two-month-old baby of one of their victims to another couple, who were also arrested. Body parts of numerous victims were found in buckets and freezer bags at the couple’s home, a nearby vacant lot and two other addresses in the same Ecatepec neighborhood where they lived. In two separate addresses used by the couple eight 20 liter plastic buckets were found, containing human remains covered with cement Hernandez said he fed body parts to his dogs.

Patricia was in charge of luring the victims and cooking their remains. Information is not yet available on whether she directly committed murder along with Juan Carlos.


The pair were apprehended on October 4th, 2018 while transporting human remains in a baby stroller and a handtruck.

Both were born in Lázaro Cárdenas, Michoacán. Juan Carlos grew up fatherless, living with his unwed mother. He says she raised him with “gender fluidity,” often dressed him as a girl and brought men to her house, forcing him to watch her sexual exploits. In this, his case is similar to that of a serial killer girl, Mary Bell. He was also, he stated, sexually abused by his female caretaker. At the age of 10 he fell down the stairs and suffered a severe traumatic brain injury.

Martinez, in his confession, cited his childhood abuse as the reason for his hatred of women and asserted he planned to murder 100 women. Patricia Martínez, from a poor family, was a prostitute and is considered borderline retarded.

The couple met in 2008, when Patricia worked as waitress in a restaurant where Juan Carlos was a regular client. They initiated a relationship and, although she presumed him to be an “assassin”, and moved in with him. Over a ten year period they had four children. They opened a family business where they sold clothing, perfume and cellphones.

Their first victim, was lured with job promises. In their house, Hernández conducted her to their bathroom where he raped, beheaded and dismembered her. Martínez kept their children outside the house while the murder occurred. After the murder, Patricia partially cooked the body and ate it with her husband.

Their second victim, who lived next door to them, was addicted to inhalants. She was also raped, beheaded and dismembered in their bathroom. Patricia cooked the victim’s body in chili.

“I killed them because they were pretty.” /  “If I get out of jail I’m going to keep killing women.” – Juan Carlos.

The couple have been charged with murdering Nancy Noemi (40 to 70 years in prison) and baby selling (4.5 to 15 years in prison).


MURDER VICTIMS (2012-2018):
Murder charged:
Nancy Noemí Solorio Huitrón (28).
Suspected victims (in progress):
Arlet Samantha Olguín Hernandez (22), disappered Apr. 25, 2018.
 Evelyn Rojas Matus (29), disappeared Jul. 26, 2018.
Luz del Carmen Miranda (13), disappeared Apr. 12, 2012; Jun, 2017, remains found and then properly buried.


Juan Carlos Hernández Behar (33, b. 1985, Lázaro Cárdenas, Michoacán)
Patricia Martinez Bernal (38, b. 1980, Lázaro Cárdenas, Michoacán),
Oct. 4, 2018 – couple arrested.
Oct. 12, 2018 – hearing, testimony. Confession of Hernandez.


[“Serial killers of Ecatepec confess to eating the remains of their victims,” Mexican News Daily, Oct. 10, 2018]











For more cases see: Cannibal Murderesses


Links to more Serial Killer Couples