Death was waiting in the children's room

Jeanne Weber who lived in Paris, was poor but nevertheless friendlier and more reassuring than most. Friends and family did not hesitate to leave their children in her care. One…

Jeanne Weber who lived in Paris, was poor but nevertheless friendlier and more reassuring than most. Friends and family did not hesitate to leave their children in her care. One day in 1906, however, one of the mothers found out the truth.

On March 2, 1905, Madame Pierre, who lived in Paris, experienced a tragedy more terrible than any mother can imagine. When the lady returned home from running some errands in town, she found her 18-month-old daughter Georgette lying in bed, blue in the face and foaming at the mouth.

The nanny Jeanne Weber managed to save the child’s life with a heartbeat. However, the happiness was short-lived.

The mother left home again, and when she returned from the second trip, little Georgette was dead. The cause of death was devastating convulsions, the nanny said.

At a time when infant mortality was extremely common, the death of a child was considered a particularly sad event, but by no means abnormal. However, no one could have predicted that this was the first of many deaths that would cause panic throughout France.

“I am innocent. It’s all lies and gossip”.

Jean Weber, 1906

The bad boy chased the nanny

Jeanne Weber knew the grief herself, because she had already lost two of her sons when the story started, but the double loss of a son and a marriage to an alcoholic husband in the slums of Goutte d’Or in Paris were not enough to knock Jeanne off track.

She took care of her seven-year-old son Marcel as well as she could, and this friendly and reassuring woman was always ready when a family or friend needed a nanny.

But after the death of little Georgette, Weber was under a curse. In just one month, two little nieces, two-year-old Suzanne and her seven-year-old cousin Germaine, died in her care.

People speculated that these deaths could not have been accidental. The evil tongues were silenced, however, when Jeanne’s own son died, probably from diphtheria, a highly contagious respiratory disease.

1. Jeanne Weber strangled in a fit of insanity

Witnesses have reported that Jeanne appeared to be walking in a conduit when she committed the murder. She took on an insane expression and it proved difficult to get in touch with her.

2. A murderer secretly stalked his victim

The tavern owner’s son, Marcel, often stayed in Jeanne Weber’s bed. The boy’s mother knew about the arrangement, and the purpose was probably to protect Jeanne from an obsessive roommate.

3. The murdered man had been mutilated

Police found three bloody handkerchiefs at the crime scene. The blood turned out to be from the boy’s mouth. Jeanne Weber had bitten the boy’s tongue out and knocked out several of his teeth.

On April 5, things took an unexpected turn when the mother of a ten-month-old boy stood up to Jeanne as she had grabbed the boy by the neck. The mother, who was Jeanne Weber’s sister-in-law, immediately reported the nanny, and on January 29, 1906, Jeanne was charged with murder and attempted murder.

The case received a lot of attention, and one of the most skilled lawyers in the city of Paris, Henri-Robert, offered to take on the case in the hope that it might bring him fame and fortune. He managed to turn the case in such a way that the jury got a lot of sympathy for the poor woman.

“I am innocent. These are all lies and rumours”, said Weber in an interview with the newspaper “La Patrie” which zealously made her a martyr. On February 6, 1906, she was released.

The woman went into hiding

After this, Jeanne completely disappeared from view. However, the mysterious deaths continued to occur. In April 1907, a nine-year-old boy died suddenly in the city of Villedieu.

The cause of death was said to be a convulsion, according to the boy’s nanny, Mrs. Moulinet. Soon after, another child died at the children’s hospital in Fontgombault. There, an assistant named Marie Lemoine was fired without the matter coming to a head. 

“The little boy was lying dead in bed. His head had been bent back and his eyes were protruding from their sockets”

Mrs. Guirlet, 1908

In the spring of 1908, Jeanne Weber moved to a tavern in the city of Commerce. She was then divorced and engaged in prostitution to make ends meet. Because she was uncomfortable sleeping alone, she let the ten-year-old son of the pub owner sleep upstairs with her.

One evening in May, a guest alone at the pub, Madame Guirlet, heard a scream coming from Jeanne’s room. When the visitor put on his coat and let himself into the room, he was met with a terrible sight.

“The little boy was lying dead in bed. His head had been bent back and his eyes were sticking out of their sockets”, she explained to reporters from the Daily Mail.

The public closely followed this terrible murder case. Photographs taken of Jeanne Weber’s arrest in 1908 were even sold as postcards.

This little boy became Jeanne’s last victim, for this time justice was served.

The nanny was found guilty of ten murders, including murders committed under the names Moulinet and Lemoine, in addition to the murders of her own sons, and she was sentenced to stay in an insane asylum.

She stayed there until ten years later, on July 5, 1918, she was found dead in her cell.

The newspapers said that she had strangled herself with her bare hands.

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