Sergeant Francois Bertrand-Berserkir

In the year 1848, a series of bizarre desecration of corpses happened in Paris which also includes the Père-Lachaise cemetery.  The tomb was discovered open and the corpses were found scattered in pieces.  The people first blamed it on the wild animals attack but a footprint of a man left on the scene convinced them that a human is probably responsible on this tomb vandalism.  Officers were designated at Père-Lachaise Cemetery but no culprit was arrested.

The unknown executor struck once more at the S. Parnasse Cemetery triggering a spring gun trap.  The guards who quickly rushed to the place saw a man in a military outfit that leap over the wall and escape.  The man left a noticeable trail of blood which is a clear indication that the man might have suffered a wound.  In addition to what they saw, they also discover a torn piece of cloth from the military garb.

Police went and search every military barracks to search for the perpetrator.  Finally they were able to found a man with a gunshot wound named Sergeant Francois Bertrand.  The police gave him an ample time for his wounds to heal before he was brought to trial.  On a court martial Bertrand gave a shocking confession.

Bertrand joined the camp when he was age 20. On February 1847, while Bertrand was walking with a companion they accidentally came across a cemetery.  He made an excuse to his companion and got rid of him.  He suddenly felt the intense desire to dig the corpse.  His exact words were:
 “Soon I dragged the corpse out of the earth, and I began tohash it with the spade, without well knowing what I wasabout. A laborer saw me, and I laid myself flat on theground till he was out of sight, and then I cast the bodyback into the grave. I then went away, bathed in a coldsweat, to a little grove, where I reposed for several hours,notwithstanding the cold rain that fell, in a condition ofcomplete exhaustion. When I rose, my limbs were as ifbroken, and my head weak. The same prostration andsensation followed each attack.” Two days after, I returned to the cemetery, and openedthe grave with my hands. My hands bled, but I did notfeel the pain; I tore the corpse to shreds, and I flung itback in the pit.

That madness was followed after four months, when he and his regiment were sent to Paris.  The intense desire to dig up a grave and tore the corpse into pieces came into him when he was passing Père-Lachaise cemetery.  He went back on the cemetery that night to dig up a corpse of a girl and tore it to half.  Then it was followed by a woman who died while giving birth and a 50 year old woman.  Accounts said that Sergeant Francois Bertrand used his own teeth to tore the corpse into pieces and sometimes eat them.

He told the court that during his stay in hospital, he hasn’t felt any urge to dig up the corpse, and he believed that he’s already cured.  Apparently the court believed his alibi and gave him a light sentence.  He was released after spending only a year in prison.  Experts said that his condition can be attributed to berserker a behavior well associated with clinical Lycanthropy.


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