It is generally accepted that a manic passion for murder is peculiar exclusively to men. Indeed, according to statistics, there are fewer female serial killers. However, they are more cruel and sophisticated in their crimes than men. What makes the weaker sex take up arms? More often than not ... love. It was she who turned the French noblewoman Genevieve de Sez into a cold-blooded murderer.
Young Frenchwoman Genevieve could be envied - a young beautiful girl, moreover, not bad for her time, educated, attracted the attention of a wealthy and noble nobleman Francois de Sez. He, not at all a boy in love affairs, just lost his head. And Genevieve was crazy about the socialite. She prayed that he would propose to her and her prayers were answered. This marriage was a rarity for France in the middle of the 18th century, then more and more often they married of convenience, but Genevieve and Francois were in love with each other and were happy.
From love to hate
However, the happiness of the young did not last long. Windy Francois quickly got fed up with the joys of family life and began to look for entertainment on the side. Genevieve accidentally found out about his affair with a baroness. For a woman who grew up at a monastery, it was a blow. She even got sick from the disorder. And, lying in bed, she probably wondered - what should she do now? To fall into fornication herself, to spite her husband? This did not allow her upbringing. Arrange a scandal for her husband and ask, demand, beg him not to cheat on her? It is unlikely that it would help, rather after that he will completely grow cold towards her. This Genevieve could not bear, because she still loved her François!
The unhappy lady decided to attract the unfaithful spouse with new outfits and jewelry, affection, smiles, coquetry. But no matter how hard she tried, for her husband she was already a plucked rose, and he was attracted by fresh, untouched flowers. In secular society there were not so many of them, and the young girls were well watched. But it was not so difficult to charm a simple girl, and it is easier to keep such a connection in secret. Therefore, de Sez once announced that he was fed up with Paris and intended to go to his castle in the south of France. His wife, of course, followed him.
At the estate, François suddenly became interested in hunting. But Genevieve did not breathe a sigh of relief, did not believe that his irrepressible energy had found a new outlet. She immediately suspected that the hunt was just a cover for romantic meetings with villagers. She followed her husband and soon discovered that he was secretly dating a pretty seamstress. The heart wound has already healed, so the woman survived this new betrayal easier. But her soul was seized by blind jealousy and hatred for the young mistress François.
Soon the young seamstress was found dead. It looks like she drowned while swimming in the river. There were no eyewitnesses to this tragedy, and everything was written off as an accident. The girl was buried, sighed about her fate and slowly began to forget this story, when suddenly another happened: a young woman was strangled by her own husband! A greengrocer neighbor found him over the still warm corpse. The unfortunate was hauled up without much trial. And no one found out that the poor fellow was innocent - he himself went into the house a minute earlier and found his wife already dead. And literally in front of him, a woman dressed in a dark cloak slipped out of the house. It was Genevieve de Sez, who tracked down her loving husband, waited for him to leave his mistress, and quietly made her way into her house. At first, she simply killed the passions of her unfaithful spouse, satisfying the pangs of jealousy. But then this was not enough.
The next death of the young girl did not go unnoticed. It could no longer be attributed to an accident or domestic murder. A dead young peasant woman was found in the forest, crucified on a thick pine tree. The girl's dress was torn, and a body with traces of burns was visible in the gaps. There was a bonfire nearby, apparently, the killer took burning brands from it in order to mock his victim. In the neighborhood, they started talking about the fact that somewhere a sorcerer or a vampire, or maybe even a werewolf, had wound up. One could give up - they say, why don't the dark people talk! But similar cases began to occur regularly. Young women and girls went missing or died painful deaths, and all, as if on selection, beauties.
When the number of victims exceeded thirty, panic began. The authorities were even forced to send a detachment of dragoons to the province. An experienced detective named Aubertin came with them. As soon as he began the investigation, another misfortune happened - the body of young Julie was found in the well. Asking about the deceased, Aubertin quickly found out that she had met with François de Sez. The detective became interested and began to find out if this nobleman was familiar with other victims. It turned out - it was! Moreover, one of the peasants remembered that the count gave a cross to the girl who was later found crucified in the forest.
Aubertin immediately went to the Château de Sesa with the dragoons. François did not offer resistance, but categorically denied his involvement in the killings. Aubertin himself doubted his guilt, so he decided to conduct a small experiment. He found out that the last, with whom the count met, was a certain girl Marie, and offered to arrange a meeting with her. As he said, it will be something like the last request before the execution. The count was somewhat surprised, but agreed. The date took place in prison - not the most romantic place, but there was no choice.
Obertin's true purpose was not to please the condemned man. He set up an ambush near Marie's house. And the trap set up worked! The next night, he saw a carriage approaching the house, from which a figure slipped out, wrapped from head to toe in a dark cloak. Soon Marie left the house and got into a carriage with an unknown person in a raincoat. Obertin, with several dragoons, secretly followed them. The carriage stopped at the edge of the forest. The door opened, and a stranger in a raincoat came out. With difficulty he pulled the insensible Marie and dragged her to the nearest tree. When he put the noose around the girl's neck, Obertin intervened. Together with the dragoons, he pounced on the stranger and twisted him. When the hood of the cloak fell, it turned out that in front of them ... Genevieve de Sez.
Scaffold and pedestal
Even at that moment, Obertin did not fully understand what kind of case he was able to reveal. He decided that the woman decided to kill in order to divert all suspicions from her beloved husband. However, in the fortress in front of the judges, Genevieve confessed: she killed all the unfortunate women out of revenge and terrible jealousy. She also confessed that she took pleasure in hurting her victims.
Genevieve de Sez was transported to the suburbs of Paris Saint-Antoine and placed in the Bastille. The court ordered her to be executed in the square in front of a huge crowd of people through beheading. The public at that time was very fond of executions. To the joy of the crowd, they brought to the square in a barred carriage a once beautiful noble woman - now barefoot, with her hair loose. The guards led her through the hooting and screaming crowd to the wooden scaffold. She did not beg for mercy. When the herald read the verdict, people were horrified by the atrocities that she committed. But Genevieve herself was pale and silent. It is impossible to imagine what was going on in her soul. Did she repent or justify herself by killing out of love? We will not find out about this. She left no diary or letters.
Genevieve de Sez's story is often told as an example of what passion can take. They even say that somewhere in Paris a monument was erected to her - as a symbol of loyalty and jealousy. But it is unlikely that even one tourist will be able to find this monument. And the very legend of the "French she-wolf", as Genevieve is sometimes called, contains too many ambiguities and questions. Most of all, it looks like a terrible fairy tale, written especially for unfaithful husbands. In the traditional version of this story, François de Séz is called a count, but the de Séz family (quite famous in France) received the title of count only at the beginning of the 19th century. There is no information about Genevieve in the studies on serial killers. But year after year, this story continues to be retold and chills the hearts of overly impressionable listeners.