Born: Not Available
AKA(s): The Original Bluebeard
Born 1404 Died 1440
Gilles de Rais was born 1404 and hanged with his servants 1440 (October, 26). After his father died when he was eleven years old, he did grow up with his grandfather. He was known for his "endless ambitions." Gilles was one of the richest men in France and also served as "personal guard" (bodyguard) for Jeanne Dâ€™Arc. 1429, Gilles became "Marshall of France" but only four years later, he resigned and started his perverted masses. About 140 children died, sacrificed to demons and Satan or to satisfy his sexual lust. By 1440 he was hanged, his (false) tears under the gallows couldnâ€™t save him.
Gilles de Rais (also spelled Retz) was born on September 10, 1404 and had his life extinguished on October 26, 1440. He was a French noble man, soldier and even fought beside Joan of Arc. He was convicted of torturing, raping and murdering hundreds of children which were mainly boys. According to most historians, this aristocrat along with Erzsebet Bathory, who later commits her crimes a century later, are the true pioneers in to the dark realm of the serial killer.
The Early Years of Gilles de Rais
Rais was born in 1404 at Machecoul which is near the border of Brittany. His father, Guy de Montmorency-Laval, inherited from his adopted father the fortunes of Jeanne de Rais and Marie de Craon.
In 1420, Jean de Craon tried to marry Rais to the heiress Jeanne de Paynol but that plan fell short. Next on the list to marry Gilles was Beatrice de Rohan, the niece of the then Duke of Brittany but also ended in another failure. The third try was the charm and Rais was married to Catherine de Thouars of Brittany, the then heiress of La Vendee and Poitou. He first had to kidnap her but I guess that is the little one must pay to increase their fortune. Stories connecting Gilles de Rais to the legendary wife-murderer Bluebeard was then raised due to the fact that two out of the first several marriage attempts ended in the deaths/murders of the intended brides.
An Officer but no Gentleman
In the following years from 1427 to 1435 Rais served as a commander in the Royal Army. During these years, in 1429 Rais had honor to fight alongside Joan of Arc against the English and the Burgundian allies. Gilles later became one part of a trio of commanders that held a quasi-ceremonial title of Marechal which is a subordinate position directly under the Royal Connetable. He held this title on the crornation of Charles VII on July 17, 1429.
In 1435 Gilles de Rais retired from the life of war and military servitude to promote theatrical performances and thus squandering the riches that took him so long to acquire. It was at this point that Gilles met Francesco Prelati. Prelati promised Rais that he could regain his lost riches by joining the occult practices and sacrificing children to the demon named â€œBarronâ€?.
Investigation and Execution
On May 15, 1440, during a dispute with a clergyman named Jean le Ferron at the Church of Saint Etienne de Mer Morte, the clergyman was kidnapped with Rais being the prime suspect and Bishop Nantes led the investigation into the world of Gilles de Rais. The findings were released on July 29, 1440 and the Bishop was able to persuade the Duke of Brittany to drop personal immunity for Rais. On August 24 Jean le Ferron was released and Gilles along with his accomplices were arrested on September 15. Gilles de Rais was brought up on charges including murder, sodomy and heresy.
On October 21, Rais confessed to the charges in which the courts then cancelled their plans to torture him into confessing. The transcripts from the missing childrenâ€™s parents and the graphic detailed descriptions on the murders by Raisâ€™s accomplices were too grotesque and vulgar that they were ordered by the judge to be stricken from the record.
It is written that Gilles lured his children victims who were mostly profiled as blond haired with blue eyes, just as Rais was as a young boy, to his house. He then preceded raping, torturing and mutilating the victims. He would often ejaculate, probably by masturbation, over the dying victim. After Gilles de Rais and his accomplices decapitated the victims, he would then line them up to see which victims looked the most fair. There is no definite proven amount of murders due to the fact that most were burned or buried. Noted guesses range from 80 to 200 with some numbers even reaching 600. The victims were between the ages of six to eighteen and were comprised of males and females. He favored boys but girls often worked out the same when need arose.
On October 23 Henriet and Poitou, Gillesâ€™ accomplices were condemned. On October 25 Gilles de Rais was sentenced with excommunication and condemned on the same day. After pleading remorse for his crimes, Rais obtained was allowed confession in the Church. Gilles de Rais, Henriet and Poitou were hanged on October 26 1440.
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Gilles de Rais was born 1404 and hanged with his servants 1440 (October, 26). After his father died when he was eleven years old, he did grow up with his grandfather. He was known for his "endless ambitions." Gilles was one of the richest men in France and also served as "personal guard" (bodyguard) for Jeanne D"Arc. 1429, Gilles became "Marshall of France" but only four years later, he resigned and started his perverted masses. About 140 children died, sacrificed to demons and Satan or to satisfie his sexual lust. By 1440 he was hanged, his (false) tears under the gallow couldn"t save him. User Submitted
Famous Killers: Gilles de Rais
Serial Killers: Famous Serial Killers List.