Historical story

One of the worst serial killers in history. She killed over 2,500 children and used their bodies during black masses

The remains of over 2,500 newborns and fetuses on which she performed illegal abortions were found in the home of this 17th-century "angel factory". She needed the bodies of the children for satanic rituals. But she went down in history for a completely different reason - as a poisoner who wanted to kill the king.

This case shocked 17th-century France. Catherine Monvoisin, known as La Voisin, was no doubt a true devil in human skin . The officers assigned to investigate her were horrified at the sheer scale of the crime.

On her estate in Paris, they found the remains of over 2,500 fetuses and newborns. Part of the body was buried in the garden, the rest of the murderer was burnt in the furnace . As she explained during the trial, the blood of the children and the ashes from their bodies were necessary for her to celebrate Black Masses.

Renaissance woman

Perhaps La Voisin would never have engaged in a criminal practice had it not been for a failed marriage. Her husband liked a lavish life, but he was not eager to work himself. So the burden of supporting the family rested on Catherine's shoulders. As Mario Martin Merino reports:

She started offering her services as a fortune teller and a healer in order to repair the family's finances. She used various tricks to lure clients, and spent a lot of money on creating the appropriate envelope (...).

After a few years, it expanded its activities to trade in poisons. She also attended black masses and other satanic rituals alongside the occultist Adam Lesage and the poisoner Catherine Trianon.

The darkest side of La Voisin's activities was related to the latter. Well, for the purposes of the blasphemous liturgies, she provided the necessary ingredient of the ceremony - the blood of the innocent. In addition to telling the future to plebeians and bored ladies from the royal court, Catherine "on the side" also engaged in performing illegal abortions in an empty attic room - right above the room where she worked as a fortune teller.

La Voisin has killed over 2,500 newborns

When the midwife's work stopped bringing enough corpses, she started looking for new "sources" - she took in unwanted babies and even went so far as to kidnap children from the street! also for the production of aphrodisiacs and deadly drugs. In the time of the Sun King, when the French court lived with intrigues and scandals, and when aristocrats and ordinary women used midwives to get rid of the unwanted fruits of their love affairs, La Voisin's services were at a premium ...

Devout devil

Interestingly, the murderer - at least from the outside - maintained the appearance of an honest, working woman. In addition, she emphasized her ... religiosity at every step. This is how Helmut Werner described it:

She was a pious person. Before being killed, newborn babies were baptized by a priest who also belonged to this group. She advised all those who purchased pieces of corpses from her that they fasted frequently and went to Mass (...).

Despite her vulgar nature and disgusting manners, she was treated like a great lady; she was so rich that she could afford to financially support a certain alchemist who invented the new silver. (…) She had a clear weakness for him.

However, zealous Christianity was only a pose. Privately, La Voisin did not care much for the commandments. She studied the Dark Arts under Adam Lesage. Infatuated with the occult teacher, she moved to live with him at some point. Apparently, she also had an intimate relationship with the city executioner, the aforementioned alchemist - Louis de Vanens - and ... the chancellor of the University of Paris.

La Voisin was arrested on charges of witchcraft as part of a trial in the case of the so-called L’affaire des poisons

At the same time, she forced her daughter, Marguerite, born in 1658, to assist in sacrilegious liturgies, which she meekly agreed to. By the time she became pregnant herself and for fear of maternal temptations towards her unborn child, she ran away from home. Marguerite's testimony turned out to be the nail in La Voisin's coffin during her trial, which began in 1679.

Death of the "angel manufacturer"

Eventually, Catherine "fell in" - though by no means in connection with the abortion business. She was arrested on charges of witchcraft as part of a trial in the case of the so-called Laaffaire des poisons (poisoning scandal) after she was reported by one of her rivals - Marie Bosse during torture.

She was believed to be a poisoner (apart from delivering deadly preparations to such celebrities at the French court of that time as Countess Olympia Mancini, Duchess Maria Anna Mancini, Prince Franz Henry de Montmorency-Bouteville or the Marquis de Monespan, Frances-Athena de Rochechouart, she also murdered on behalf of for that hefty fees).

Her "deadly sin" was to be an attempt to kill the Sun King himself, Louis XIV. Apparently, she tried - unsuccessfully - to deliver the ruler a letter soaked in poison, for which she was promised a fee of 100,000 thalers. Or at least that's what her daughter testified in court.

Catherine did not live to see the end of the trial in 1692. She had been burned at the stake two years earlier for witchcraft, abortions, delivering poisons, and kidnapping and murdering children. The grim irony of fate is the fact that her life ended with the same executioner who previously used La Voisin's charms (and at the same time provided her with macabre ingredients for poisons and aphrodisiacs, including human guts, fat and blood of condemned people).