Gilles de Laval/Gilles de Rais


Baron Gilles de Rais is a French Nobleman who was accused of murdering and torturing kids around 6-18 yrs old.  His victims ranged from 80-200, some claims that the victims are believed to be up to 600 individuals.  Gilles de Rais was often associated with Bliebeard, due to her pleasures with blood, a sign of clinical vampirism.

Gilles was the son of Guy de Laval, he inherited his fortune after Guy’s death and later amassed a great fortune by marrying Catharine de Thouars.  He also fought side by side with Joan of Arc.  But they were hesitant to connect them to Joan of Arc after they found out his atrocities.  After his retirement to the military, Giles has showcased a grandiose way of life that depleted his fortune.  Giles spent most of his retired life at Castle of Machecoul where a lot of bizarre incident happened.  The accounts of murders are way beyond anyone can ever imagine.    Gilles would lower the drawbridge of his castle from time to time and a number of children would ask for alms. Reports said that some of the children who went to ask for a few help were never seen again. 

Servant said that the beggar would be dressed with the finest and most expensive cloth.  He would then be taken into the feast with Gilles other guest.  The feast consists of delicious meals and drinks.  After the meal, the kid was taken upstairs on a room that is only limited to Gilles and his social circle.  The kid who was believed to be drugged by Gilles was sodomized and tortured.  Gilles said that there was an instance where he would sit on the kid stomach and watch him die.  According to Benedetti 1971 page 113:

“[The boy] was pampered and dressed in better clothes than he had ever known. The evening began with a large meal and heavy drinking, particularly hippocras, which acted as a stimulant. The boy was then taken to an upper room to which only Gilles and his immediate circle were admitted. There he was confronted with the true nature of his situation. The shock thus produced on the boy was an initial source of pleasure for Gilles.”

Children were killed by decapitation, dismemberment, breaking their neck with a stick or slitting their throat.  The bodies were burned to minimize the scent of death.
On May 15, 1440, Gilles de Rais kidnapped an officer of the church that led to the investigation that eventually uncovered the secrets of Baron Gilles de Rais.  It led to the arrest of his servant and his former protector.  Gilles admitted to the crimes that he committed on October 21st.  One by one, the villagers started to testify about their missing child that went to the castle.  Henriet gave a precise detail on the account of crime that de Rais did:

“Sometimes he [Gilles] would seat himself on the breast ofa little one, and with a knife sever the head from the bodyat a single blow; sometimes he cut the throat half throughvery gently, that the child might languish, and he wouldwash his hands and his beard in its blood. Sometimes hehad all the limbs chopped off at once from the trunk; atother times he ordered us to hang the infants till they werenearly dead, and then take them down and cut theirthroats. I remember having brought to him three little girlswho were asking charity at the castle gates. He bade mecut their throats while he looked on. Andre Bricket [a servant]found another little girl crying on the steps of thehouse at Vannes because she had lost her mother. Hebrought the little thing—it was but a babe—in his arms tomy lord, and it was killed before him. Pontou and I had tomake away with the body. We threw it down a privy in oneof the towers, but the corpse caught on a nail in the outerwall, so that it would be visible to all who passed. Pontouwas let down by a rope, and he disengaged it with greatdifficulty.”


Because of Giles’ confession and his admission that he is associated with the demon and witchcraft, he was given to the church for a new trial which only lasted for a few hours.  Gilles even tried to bribe the court by transferring all his properties and land titles to the church in exchange for his retirement and repentance to the monastery but they refused.  The court sentenced him to die together with his accomplice.  He was executed and burned on October 26.

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