Mass-poisoner executed

February 26, 1852* Rennes, France Hélène Jégado is executed for murder * Note: the exact date of Jégado’s execution seems to be up for debate, with sources claiming either February 26 or 27, 1852, March 1852, or December 1851. For this entry, I chose to use the date listed in Fatal Violence: Case Studies and…

Woman drowns toddler to “prove” love

November 8, 1954 Vendôme, Centre-Val de Loire Denise Labbé (20) drowns her 2-year-old daughter Catherine to “prove” her love to her lover Labbé was a single mother when she began a relationship with 24-year-old Jacques Algarron. The relationship reportedly had strong and unhealthy Dominant/submissive overtones, including Algarron allegedly coercing Labbé into sleeping with other men…

The assassination of Good King Henri

May 14, 1610 Paris, Kingdom of France King Henri IV, also known as “Henri the Good,” is assassinated François Ravaillac was a Catholic zealot and is suspected by some modern historians to have been schizophrenic. He had previously attempted to petition Henri, who had converted to Catholicism in 1593, on several occasions to exile or…

The guillotine declared France’s official means of execution

March 20, 1792 France The guillotine is declared the official means of execution in France Though beheading machines existed before the guillotine, with documentation existing as far back as 1307 in Ireland, the French refined the design and were the first to implement it as an official means of execution. Originally, the machine was dubbed…

French gangster and Public Enemy No. 1 executed

February 28, 1956 Paris, France Émile Buisson (54, pictured at 33 years old) is executed for murder Buisson made his first court appearance at the age of 9 and first served time in jail at the age of 16. From 1947 to 1951, Buisson formed a gang and perpetrated enough crimes to earn himself the…