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Marcel Petiot, The French doctor turned serial killer in World War II

 The crime was very much of its time, said David King, who chronicled the hunt for Petiot in “Death in the City of Light.”
“Paris was not a good place to be. A lot of people were trying to leave Paris, a lot of people just disappearing. He had it plotted out, a very devious plan,” said King, in a telephone interview.
“Respect for the law was tarnished under the Nazis. Even if you suspected something, a lot of people were very, very reluctant to go forward, especially if they were Jewish.”
Petiot, as it turned out, was a respected physician who turned serial killer by night, preying largely on Jews desperate to leave Paris by luring them in with promises of escape. He was accused of murdering “only” some 27, but authorities suspected his real toll was far higher.
King, a former history professor, first stumbled across reference to the killings while browsing in a bookstore and picking up a World War Two memoir by a spy. At first, he couldn’t believe what he read.
But the grisly details stuck with him, and after he confirmed the story was true, he finished his other projects and came back to it.
“Here’s a guy — Marcel Petiot, who was accused of all the murders. Obviously very intelligent, charismatic, has a respected position, is into collecting antiques, interested in the arts,” he said.
“And yet, you get to the other side, when he’s accused of some of the most disturbing things you can think of: savagely dismembering bodies.”
Entering the house through a window on the second floor, firefighters searched the upper floors first, before descending to ypogeio.Syntoma thrown out, one by vomiting, while their leader, told police: “there is work for you.” Three Police went to the basement, where a karvounosompa burning ablaze, while a human arm sticking out from the open porta.Dipla she was a heap of embers, among which there were human bones and members of several dismembered ptomata.Itan not be counted victims forming this tableau of horror.
Shocked police officers, came from the basement at the time reached by Dr. Petiot on his bike. “The situation is serious,” observed Petiot, «may be in danger of my head.” Then, after police asked separately to each sure it was French, the Petiot said the dead in the cellar was only “Germans and traitors of the country.” He claimed he was “the leader of a group of Resistance,” with 300 records at home Rue Caumartin, “who had to destroyed before falling into enemy hands. “The French officers, embittered by years of Nazi occupation, allowed the Petiot to leave.
We spent seven months before him again.
Meanwhile, the investigation at the scene of death prochorouse.Sto garage Petiot was a big pile of lime, in which there were human remains, including a skull and recognizable siagona.Ena pit was opened in the stable, and filled it with lime and corpses in various stages aposynthesis.Sti staircase leading from the courtyard in the basement, police found a large canvas bag, which contained the headless body of a victim, complete except for the legs and vital organs.
The Inspector Georges - Victor Massu , a 33 year old police officer with more than 3,200 arrests under his belt, took ypothesi.Exetazontas the house of death, he noticed several tanks in the basement, large enough to drain blood from the corpses, a soundproof octagonal chamber chains on the walls and a hole up to his door.translated from Greek to English

Through years of research, including perusal of Parisian police archives closed since the crimes took place, King pieced together the story of how Petiot claimed to be a member of the resistance and lured many of his victims in by promising them safe passage to South America in return for payment.
Once in Petiot’s hands, the victims were told to write letters to their relatives, telling them that they were fine and would return once times had settled down. Then they were killed, most likely by lethal gas, and dismembered or burned.
“It’s a microcosm of the whole Nazi terror and Paris being a bad place to be. There’s got to be more than just exploiting peoples’ hopes and dreams and desperation, but that’s what he does,” King said.
Though Petiot eluded police on at least one occasion, after appearing amid the crowd that gathered after the initial grisly discovery and speaking with a patrolman before riding off on his bicycle, he was eventually captured, tried and executed.more

Marcel Petiot was a respected physician who turned serial killer by night, preying largely on Jews desperate to leave Paris during WWII by luring them in with promises of escape. He was accused of murdering some 27 people, but authorities suspected his real toll was far higher.

thank you battleskin88
Paris, 1942.
On the run from the Gestapo — as a Jew or a Gypsy, a common criminal or a Resistance fighter whose cover is blown — you get wind of a man who can help.
“Dr. Eugène” will (for a fee) spirit you over the Pyrenees and thence to South America. In his house at rue le Sueur, you make the arrangements. One small matter: the tropics requires an inoculation, which le bon docteur will readily provide. One small prick of the needle and then …
The needle contained cyanide and the destinationturned out  to be a lime pit,
His opportunistic exploitation of the dangerous Vichy years is what he’s famous for, but Petiot had decades of crime behind him by the time he got his phony “underground railroad” up and running.
From youthful compulsive thieving, Petiot graduated into a shady medical practice in Villeneuve-sur-Yonne where he was the resident black market abortionist.
He’s thought to have killed a mistress there, and maybe a couple of others, but was able to segue into a political career by winning the mayoralty of Villaneuve when he sabotaged his opponent’s campaign appearances. The sticky-fingered Petiot naturally plundered the town treasury and was forced out of office in 1931.
By the time the war years had rolled around, Petiot had judiciously relocated to Paris where he retained his capacity for professional advancement in the face of profoundly disturbed behavior: he was institutionalized for kleptomania the same year he was appointed an official médecin d’état-civil.
So he had the requisite two-faced background for his whackadoodle wartime “escape route”, which he creepily code-named “Fly-Tox.”
Twists and turns elided — trutv.com  and crimemagazine.com  both have detailed biographies/case histories — Petiot’s enterprise was quasi-exposed early in 1944 when the stink of incinerating bodies prompted neighbors to summon the police and uncover his charnel house.
Amazingly, Petiot was able to beg off with the claim that he was a Resistance activist — these were French police — and that the victims were Nazis or collaborators who had been eliminated by his network on orders. The Gestapo had sniffed him out too late in the war to do anything about him, but its judgment that Petiot was a “dangerous lunatic” actually turned out to bolster the deranged doctor’s case that he was an anti-fascist.more

Comments

Neha said…
Hmmm, why would any doctor kill so many people for nothing?? She should be in a mental asylum as everyone thinks so!!!
@Neha,

There are all kinds of people world wide you would least expect to be killers Doctors, Leaders, your average Joe/Jane, etc. Who should be in a mental asylum?

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