This guy was something else. I tried to fit in as much as possible about Marcel Petiot, but there is still a lot more messed up things he did. He took advantage of an already horrible situation. He took advantage of those who needed help the most. He is his own special kind of evil.
Marcel Petiot was born on January 17, 1897, in Auxerre, France. He was a brilliant child but had significant behavior problems throughout school. His behavior led to him being expelled from school before he finished. Marcel was arrested at the age of 17 for theft but was released after it was determined he was mentally unfit to stand trial.
He then joined the French army during World War I. He was again caught stealing and again found mentally unfit to stand trial. Even so, he was sent right back to the front line and suffered a complete mental breakdown. He shot himself in the foot. Marcel was discharged from the army for “abnormal behavior.”
Psychiatrists recommended Marcel be committed to a mental institution. However, he had other plans. He went to medical school and became a doctor. Neat.
Villeneuve and Mayorship
After a short eight months, he was given a medical degree. Marcel Petiot went to Villeneuve in 1921 and soon became a popular figure. He also quickly became addicted to narcotics. However, he was so loved by the community that he was elected as mayor in 1926. This election was right after a woman named Louise Delaveau went missing. She was Marcel’s lover. He was suspected, but the police found nothing to support this. To this day, no one knows what happened to her. Despite this, he was still elected as mayor. He must have been one charming narcissist.
In 1927, Marcel married Georgette Lablais, and they had their son Gerhardt the next year.
In the early 1930s, word got around that he was oversupplying narcotics along with performing illegal abortions. He was also convicted of embezzling money from the city. Marcel Petiot moved to Paris in 1933 with his wife and son.
World War II
While in Paris, Marcel Petiot maintained a good reputation as a good doctor. But he could only keep the act up for so long. He kept stealing, performing illegal medical procedures, and overprescribing medications. Marcel ended up being fined for prescribing narcotics.
During World War II, he was known to be part of the French Resistance. He created false death certificates and claimed fake illnesses so people wouldn’t have to serve for the Germans. He also promised to treat those who couldn’t get medical treatment otherwise. Marcel Petiot opened up his home to help those in need. He was even arrested by the Germans for his acts, but released after a few months. Sounds like a great guy, right?
It turns out he wasn’t treating all these people. When he claimed he was treating them, he was injecting them with cyanide (a horrible way to die). He would then take all their money and put their bodies in his basement. He had promised safe passage out for anyone who needed it, so people just assumed he had gotten them out.
The Gestapo, the official secret police of Nazi Germany, found out who Marcel Petiot was by torturing his accomplices. They didn’t know he wasn’t helping the people like he said he was, though. They arrested him in 1943 but released him after just a few months.
A Gruesome Discovery
In March of 1944, Marcel Petiot left town for reasons unknown. Soon after, the neighbors began smelling something funny coming from his chimney. They called the police, who went to check it out. Upon finding a note on his door saying Marcel would be out of town for a few days, they contacted him to let him know what was going on. He stated to wait until they got there to enter.
The police waited for about an hour. But not knowing if there was a fire inside, they went in along with firefighters. They found a scene that was beyond disturbing. Body parts were everywhere. They estimated to have found the combined body parts of 10 people.
Marcel Petiot arrived soon after the discovery and explained to the French police that the bodies were Germans who he had killed. They believed him and left. If that doesn’t show how desperate France was at the time, I don’t know what does.
However, he failed to convince Commissaire Georges-Victor Massu. He was in charge of the official investigation. He got together with Marcel Petiot’s wife and brother. The commissaire finally understood the severity of what he was dealing with upon speaking with them.
His wife and brother were arrested as accomplices. However, when they went to get Marcel, he had vanished. Of course.
On the Run
Due to the Invasion of Normandy, the search for him was temporarily put on hold. Marcel Petiot went into hiding with friends explaining he was being searched for by the Germans. During this time, he changed his appearance many times and used fake names.
After a month, he was unable to stay out of the limelight. He joined up with the Resistance again. He gained so much positive attention that the French ran a story on him in the papers. Many recognized who he was and called the police.
He was arrested at a train station and put on trial on March 19, 1946. He was facing 135 criminal charges. During the trial, he kept his story that he only wanted to kill those that were enemies of France.
The investigation revealed that the people were also robbed before they were killed. Because of this, he was charged with murder for profit. It is estimated that he stole 200,000 francs, which is equivalent to about $2 million.
He admitted to killing some of the people found in his home, but not all of them. It is estimated that he killed over 60 people but was only convicted of 26 murders.
On May 25, 1946, he was beheaded by the guillotine. Marcel Petiot’s last words were, “Gentleman. I have one last piece of advice. Look away.”
Blanco, J. I. (n.d.). Marcel Petiot | Murderpedia, the encyclopedia of murderers. Retrieved February 28, 2020, from https://murderpedia.org/male.P/p/petiot-marcel.htm
Jenkins, J. P. (2020, January 13). Marcel Petiot | French serial killer. Retrieved February 28, 2020, from https://www.britannica.com/biography/Marcel-Petiot
Norman, A. (2016, September 28). Marcel Petiot May Be The Most Despicable Serial Killer Ever. Retrieved February 28, 2020, from https://allthatsinteresting.com/marcel-petiot