5 French Serial Killers You May Not Have Heard Of

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It’s not all cheese and croissants, France has seen many serial killers tarnish its land throughout the years, here are 5 French serial killers you may not have heard of.

Check out the Monstrous Serial Killers Encyclopedia (affiliate link) for more details and hundreds more serial killers.

Thierry Paulin: The Monster of Montmartre

French Serial Killer Thierry Paulin
CREDIT: Public Domain

French serial killer Thierry Paulin brutally murdered at least 21 people, based on his confession, from 1984 to 1987. His final victim came on 27th Nov 1987, when he killed Genevieve Germont.

Two days earlier, he attacked 87-year-old Berthe Finalteri but she would go on to survive and give a description that would result in his capture.

Thierry Paulin had contracted HIV in the years prior to his arrest, and then AIDS. His killings sped up as he realised he was under a biological death sentence and set out to cause as much carnage and chaos as possible.

He organised large and expensive parties that were all paid for with stolen credit cards along with the financial gains from his murders. He was arrested in late 1987 and charged with 18 murders but confessed to 21. He was subsequently hospitalised and died from AIDS related complications on 16th Apr 1989 before his trial.

Denis Waxin

French Serial Killer Denis Waxin
CREDIT: Public Domain

Waxin is among the worst French serial killers, who murdered three young girls between 1985 and 1992. During that time, he also raped another girl and two small boys. He was neglected as a child which led to emotional problems.

In 1985 when he was 17, Waxin lured seven-year-old Nathalie Hoareau to an area of wasteland, where he raped and strangled her before stabbing her twice in the heart. Her partially nude body was discovered the same evening by police.

A few years later in 1990, he killed nine-year-old Cathy Monchaux in Wazemmes after luring her away from her home. He raped and stabbed her 14 times, only for her body to be found the next morning.

His last victim was four-year-old Nadjia Thebib in 1992, who suffered the same horrific fate. Waxin was caught in 1999 after he let a victim walk away, which resulted in her giving a description of him to police. He was sentenced to life for the murders of the three girls but was linked to an additional two murders.

Pierre Chanal

French Serial Killer Pierre Chanal
CREDIT: Lemonde.fr CC BY

French serial killing soldier Pierre Chanal murdered at least eight people between 1980 and 1988, although it is suspected he could have killed 17. The area where he murdered his victims became known as the Triangle of Death and he mostly killed travellers and hitchhikers.

In 1988, Chanal was stopped by police, and when they opened his van doors, they discovered a Hungarian hitchhiker who had been tied and gagged. The van was full of sex toys and a camera where he had been taking various images of men he had picked up.

Chanal was convicted of the kidnapping and rape of the Hungarian hitchhiker and sentenced to 10 years in prison in 1990, with police unable to link him to the other murders at the time. He was released in 1995 but police kept a close eye on him.

By 2003, they had positively linked him to eight of the 17 unsolved murders, and arrested him pending charges. Chanal ended the investigation by taking his own life in 2003 while awaiting trial.

Francis Heaulme: The Criminal Backpacker

French Serial Killer Francis Heaulme
CREDIT: Public Domain

From 1984 to 1992, French serial killer Francis Heaulme, AKA: The Criminal Backpacker, was known to have killed at least nine people. He would kill his victims with different methods and on random dates making his capture even more difficult.

At the age of 28, he left home to backpack around France, either by hitchhiking or cycling. Whatever money he earned was spent on drink and drugs.

In a bold murder, he took the life of 44-year-old Aline Peres on a busy public beach in broad daylight, surrounded by people, which would lead to his arrest in 1992. He described each murder scene in detail.

He was sentenced to 22 years in May 1997, then subsequently sentenced to another 30 years in 2004 for three more murders, and life imprisonment in 2017 for the murder of two boys. There were allegedly 87 different cold cases that French police departments had linked to him.

Emile Louis

French Serial Killer Emile Louis
CREDIT: Auxerre court files CC BY

A French bus driver turned serial killer who murdered at least seven young girls from 1975 to 1979, but over 30 women were said to have gone missing in the same area at around the same time.

The seven confirmed victims were known to have had mental deficiencies and lived in homes for the handicapped and orphaned, and their initial disappearances were not taken seriously. Louis was arrested in 2000 and led police to the remains of two of the seven girls. He was sentenced to life in 2004.

There were suspicions that he did not act alone but no accomplice has ever been caught. Louis later retracted his initial confession and remained silent until his death of natural causes in 2013.

Later efforts by a military investigator Christian Jambert were blocked, and the investigator subsequently took his own life. But when his case was reopened it was confirmed that Jambert had been shot twice in the head, leading to conspiracies of a secret criminal network of paedophiles.

Check out the Monstrous Serial Killers Encyclopedia (affiliate link) for more details and hundreds more serial killers.

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