Landru’s carnet: the strange case of the list in his notebook

Note de la rédaction : cet article sur Landru de Richard Tomlinson s’appuie sur son ouvrage paru en avril 2019.

By Richard Tomlinson

Author of: Landru’s Secret: The Deadly Seductions of France’s Lonely Hearts Serial Killer (Pen & Sword, UK, April 2019, paperback edition)

 

(Starts)

In the spring of 1915 a convicted Parisian swindler on the run from the law acquired a little black moleskin diary to keep track of his increasingly busy life. Over the next four years, he filled up his carnet with records of his transactions, from the gifts he bought for his many women friends to the one-way train tickets he purchased when they travelled with him to the country.

Sometime between mid-January and mid-April 1919, the swindler turned to a clean page in the carnet and wrote out a list of 11 names and codenames in careful, clearly legible handwriting, quite unlike the rest of his jottings. The list read:  “Cuchet, J., Idem, Brésil, Crozatier, Havre, Collomb, Babelay, Buisson, Jaume, Pascal, Marchadier”.  On 12 April 1919 the swindler was finally arrested on suspicion of involvement in the disappearance of two middle-aged widows. When the police ordered him to empty the pockets of his grubby yellow tunic, out came the notebook.[1]

Henri Désiré Landru’s carnet is arguably the most famous item of evidence in French criminal history. It is also a far more ambiguous document than the authorities ever acknowledged. In the official version of the case, the 10 women and one youth on Landru’s list were his only murder victims. Yet a close examination of thousands of pre-trial documents held by the Paris police archives and the departmental archives for Yvelines suggests that Landru killed more women – possibly many more – than the 10 “disparues”.

The same material also indicates that the official explanation for the carnet’s own disappearance from the police archives is almost certainly untrue. After the Second World War, the story arose that carnet had been removed by the Nazis during the German occupation of Paris and probably transported to Berlin. It is far more likely that the carnet was stolen a decade earlier by one of the leading detectives in the case.

To understand how the list came to define the case, and how the carnet could subsequently disappear, one has to go back to the start of an investigation that was dogged from the outset by confusion and incompetence. Firstly, however, one has to establish why the historiography of the case is so unreliable and riddled with errors and gaps.

***

The problems begin with the three detectives who led the investigation of Landru:

Inspector Jules Belin and Commissioner Amédée Dautel of the Paris ‘brigade mobile’ and Brigadier Louis Riboulet of the Paris ‘police judiciaire’. None of their accounts of the case was entirely trustworthy. Belin, for example, claimed at Landru’s trial that he had attended the official search of Landru’s apartment near the Gare du Nord. This was untrue, as Landru’s defence attorney Vincent de Moro Giafferri immediately pointed out. On the day in question, 10 May 1919, Belin and Dautel had been supervising the drainage of a pond near Gambais where Landru was thought to have dumped human remains.[2]

Dautel was also exposed by Moro for revising the record of the case. On 13 April 1919, Dautel and Belin conducted a hasty inspection of Landru’s house near the village of Gambais. The same day, Dautel wrote a report in which he said the inspection was a “search” (“fouille”). [3]  At Landru’s trial, Dautel insisted to Moro that the “search” had in reality been a preliminary “survey” (“sondage”), explaining its ad hoc and incomplete nature. Moro immediately referred Dautel back to his original report.[4]

Riboulet, the last member of the trio, was recruited to the enquiry on 24 April 1919 because the investigating magistrate Gabriel Bonin was dissatisfied with Dautel and Belin. In particular, Bonin was dismayed to discover that Dautel had failed to attach official police seals to Landru’s house after his inspection on 13 April.[5] Yet Riboulet’s account of his role in the case also needs to be treated with caution, because of his possible role in the disappearance of the carnet.

During the trial, Riboulet was clearly the custodian of Landru’s infamous notebook. On one occasion, the judge invited Riboulet to approach the defence bench with the carnet so that Moro could check an entry by Landru.[6] What happened to the carnet after the trial is an altogether murkier story.

It is possible that Riboulet returned the carnet to the Paris police archives, to be housed with the rest of the case material. Yet there is no record in the archives’ catalogues that he ever did so.  In 1926 Riboulet retired from the police judiciaire at the age of 50 to set up a private detective agency and in 1933 he published ‘La Véritable Affaire Landru’, his inside account of the investigation, co-written with Sam Cohen, a journalist on Le Matin newspaper.

Riboulet’s book, serialised in Le Matin, relied heavily on extensive reproduction of Landru’s notes in his carnet. In addition, Riboulet used a substantial volume of other original case material which is also now missing from the police archives and the departmental archives for Yvelines; notably, correspondence between Landru and several of his known victims. Following publication, Riboulet may have returned the carnet to the archives; again, no such record exists. What is certain is that Riboulet’s memoir is the only occasion since Landru’s trial when the carnet has ever surfaced in public.

The disappearance of the carnet means that anyone researching the case is obliged to rely on Riboulet’s edited extracts. A different challenge for the historian is presented by the “réquisitoire définitif” which was submitted to the judiciary in December 1920 and formed the basis of the prosecution case.[7] The réquisitoire was an enormous document, stretching to 364 pages, and it is easy to assume that it therefore represented a comprehensive record of the investigation. In fact, the réquisitoire was a highly selective submission, crafted to provide the strongest evidence of the case that the investigating magistrate Gabriel Bonin had assembled: that Landru, acting alone, had pursued all 10 women solely to steal their financial and material assets and then killed them to prevent them reporting him to the police. “We are in the presence of facts which are reproduced identically,” Bonin informed Landru during one of his many interrogations.[8]

Bonin’s hypothesis created obvious difficulties for a magistrate called Gazier who drafted the réquisitoire, acting as Bonin’s “substitute”. Only three of Landru’s known victims had possessed significant savings: Marie-Angélique Guillin, Anna Collomb and Célestine Buisson. The other seven women had all been poor, and when Gazier came to the disappearance of Andrée Babelay, an almost destitute 19 year-old nanny, he could not disguise his disbelief that Landru had been after her non-existent money. The reason Landru killed her “escapes us”, Gazier wrote tersely.[9]

However, Gazier confronted a far greater difficulty with Jeanne Cuchet, the first of the women to disappear, and therefore the template for all the supposedly identical murders which had followed. In early 1914, when Jeanne first met Landru at the age of 38, she was a widowed, working-class seamstress who scraped a living making ‘lingerie fines’ for a dress shop in Paris. Jeanne’s only other source of income was her 16 year-old son André, who had just started work in a shirt factory.

Five years later, and three days after Landru’s arrest, Jeanne’s brother-in-law Georges Friedman told the police that she had in fact been “worth” about 100,000 francs, or more than €300,000 in today’s money.  Friedman immediately repeated this claim in an interview with Le Journal.[10] His reasons for making this estimate are a matter of conjecture. I decided that Friedman was trying to cover up a far more complicated tale, in which Jeanne had discovered Landru’s true identity but had then resumed their relationship. What is certain is that Friedman’s figure of 100,000 francs was too high even for his wife Philomène, who nonetheless insisted that had enjoyed a comfortable financial position (“une aisance”), a vague benchmark that was repeated in the réquisitoire and by the judge at Landru’s trial. [11]

It is not clear whether Gazier was aware that Jeanne’s bank records (now housed in the Paris police archives) showed that she was almost broke when she met Landru, with only a few hundred francs in savings. All that remained was a small portfolio of municipal bonds with a market value of barely 300 francs.[12] Inconveniently, the police had also obtained a copy of the will of her late husband, a crockery salesman, which showed that he had left Jeanne no money.[13] The réquisitoire made no mention of these documents, while attaching no importance to another awkward fact for the prosecution case.

In April 1914, when Landru moved with Jeanne to a village near the town of Chantilly, he had just pulled off easily the most lucrative swindle of his career, reaping 35,600 francs.[14] Indeed, this was the reason he was on the run, having also taken most of a legacy of 12,000 francs which his father had bequeathed to his wife.[15] In sum, he was loaded with cash and Jeanne was dependent on him, after handing in her notice with the dress shop that employed her. Financially, their relationship was the exact reverse of the one described in the réquisitoire.

Two other obstacles confront the historian who tries to make sense of the Landru case. One is the absence of the official court transcript of Landru’s trial in November 1921. The transcript was either misfiled somewhere in the judicial archives of the case, or more likely, it was stolen by a souvenir hunter shortly after the trial ended.  The other is the consequent need to rely on newspaper reports of the trial.

Clearly, the French newspapers were not objective observers of the extraordinary spectacle which unfolded over three and a half weeks in a bleak, dimly lit courtroom at Versailles. The extracts of the hearing which ran every day in Le Petit Parisien, Le Journal, Le Matin and other leading dailies were selected for their drama and in crude terms, their ability to sell newspapers. There are unavoidable gaps in the record, even though it is now possible to consult with ease a total of 27 national and regional titles which covered the trial, via the Bibliothèque Nationale’s magnificent online collection, here: https://gallica.bnf.fr/html/presse-et-revues/les-principaux-quotidiens

For my book, I relied on the press coverage to the extent that reports in rival newspapers broadly corresponded with each other. In fact, these reports had a striking uniformity. Without exception, all the newspapers took it for granted that Landru was guilty of the 11 murders on the charge sheet – the same individuals whose names or codenames he had carefully written in his carnet. Most of the press also grew increasingly impatient with the prosecution’s failure to produce certain proof that Landru was guilty.

One journalist in particular was openly contemptuous of the prosecution. Among many sceptical comments, the chief sketch writer for Le Journal, Lucien Coulond, thought that the prosecution had “revealed nothing” about the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of Jeanne Cuchet and her son André, the first two victims on the charge sheet. In Coulond’s view, if the case against Landru depended on l’affaire Cuchet, then it would be difficult to make the murder counts stick.[16]

Coulond was not alone in holding this opinion. Three of the jurors did not believe that the prosecution had proved to a high enough standard that Landru had killed the missing women and dissented from the majority verdict of guilt. In the decades that followed Landru’s execution in February 1922, the literature on the case tended to create a false picture of clarity, where none had existed. This impression was reinforced by Riboulet’s 1933 memoir, which treated Landru’s guilt as a matter of fact which had been overwhelmingly demonstrated by the police and the judiciary.

Since the 1990s, a series of books have viewed the case with a more analytical eye: notably ‘Landru’ (1994) by Pierre Darmon; ‘L’Affaire Landru’ (1999), by Christine Sagnier; ‘Landru: bourreau des coeurs (2005), by Gérard Jaeger; and ‘Le cas Landru à la lumière de la psychoanalyse (2007), by Francesca Biagi-Chai. Yet the challenge of penetrating the fog of ambiguity and confusion that enveloped the investigation and trial still exists.

A prime illustration is the crucial issue of Landru’s state of mind and whether he was mentally fit to stand trial. It is debatable whether one can reach a firm conclusion today since the “patient” cannot be examined in pers`on. But the more important point is that the trio of eminent psychiatrists who diagnosed Landru on two separate occasions produced reports which seemed to contradict each other.

In 1904, when Landru faked a suicide attempt while awaiting trial for a series of frauds, Dr Charles Vallon concluded that while Landru was “on the frontiers of madness” he was not yet clinically insane. Vallon’s opinion was endorsed by Dr Jacques Roubinovitch and Dr Joseph Rogues de Fursac.[17] In 1919 the same three psychiatrists were summoned back to the Santé prison to examine Landru, now in custody as the suspected killer of 10 women and one young man. The doctors now deemed that Landru was mentally “in all points normal” and therefore fit to stand trial.[18]

The doctors may have retreated from their 1904 diagnosis because they felt under immense pressure to ensure that Landru faced justice. If they had diagnosed him as criminally insane, he would have been committed to an asylum, thereby escaping the guillotine. Similarly, the list of 11 names and codenames in Landru’s carnet offered the police a seemingly straightforward route to his conviction and execution, because Landru appeared to have written his own charge sheet.

Yet what this presumption created was a perverse investigative logic. All the police’s energies were directed towards finding proof that Landru had indeed killed the 11 individuals on his list. By contrast, any evidence that suggested he might have murdered more than the 11 known victims was discounted or ignored.

***

Following Landru’s arrest in April 1919, Riboulet spent months poring over the carnet’s jumble of notes, figures and hieroglyphics, until he had extracted a mass of incriminating information.[19] Here were Landru’s purchases of one-way train tickets for his “fiancées” on their last journey to the Villa Tric; here were his notes recording the hour when he had killed the women (or so Riboulet believed). Above all, here was Landru’s ominous list of 11 names, carefully written on a blank page. In Riboulet’s mind, the list was a complete accounting of Landru’s murders. Yet it did not occur to Riboulet to test these assumptions against other evidence, notably witness statements to the police.

The importance of the carnet to the case increased as the investigation ran into trouble on two other fronts. On 29 April 1919, during a full-scale forensic search of the Villa Tric, police discovered a scattering of burnt bone fragments and women’s apparel beneath a pile of leaves in the open hangar at the end of the garden. It seemed like a critical breakthrough, and minutes later, a newspaper reporter overheard Bonin remarking gleefully to the forensic pathologist Dr Charles Paul that he would “wrap up” the case in less than three days.[20] Bonin soon had cause to regret his boast. The bone debris clearly indicated foul play, yet Paul could not tie these tiny charred fragments directly to the seven women on Landru’s list who had disappeared at Gambais. Paul could not even be sure that the fragments came from female skeletons, because Landru had disposed of the pelvic bone matter.[21]

The gaps and flaws in the case against Landru meant the carnet acquired a totemic significance at his trial in November 1921. For the prosecution, Landru’s notes provided a detailed record of his murders.  Riboulet, who in his own view had deciphered the carnet, insisted on the witness stand that there was a “rapport” between Landru’s logging of the time and the moment when he had killed his latest victim. Both Moro and Landru ridiculed this theory. “One finds the number 4 and that’s it: Landru killed at 4 o’clock,” Landru objected to the judge. “Well, permit me to tell you, monsieur le président, it’s a singular interpretation.”[22]

During several appearances as an expert witness, Riboulet gave the false impression that the carnet represented a complete record of Landru’s movements during the period when he had committed the 11 murders. The presiding judge, Maurice Gilbert, certainly shared this assumption. At one point, referring to Landru’s deposit of 5,609 francs in June 1914 in a bank in Chantilly, Gilbert expressed surprise that Landru had not recorded the sum in his carnet.[23] The reason was simple. Landru did not acquire the notebook until the spring of 1915, after the disappearance of Jeanne and André Cuchet, the first two victims on the charge sheet.

Riboulet did not correct the record until he published his book in 1933, when he disclosed an interesting fact about Landru’s use of the carnet. According to Riboulet, Landru did not start to keep detailed notes in the carnet until the summer of 1916, by which time five of the 11 individuals on his “fatal list” had already disappeared.[24] In other words, the carnet could not be treated as a comprehensive log of Landru’s movements and transactions for more than a year after he obtained it.

Riboulet still assumed that all Landru’s movements between Paris and Gambais from the summer of 1916 until his arrest in April 1919 could be reconstructed from his notes in the carnet. Yet one episode in particular suggests that Riboulet was wrong.

On the afternoon of Tuesday, 26 March 1917, 37-year-old Anne-Marie Pascal caught a train with Landru to the town of Houdan, the nearest station. “Annette”, as she was called by her friends and family, was in fear for her life; not from her fiancé, whom she knew as “Lucien Forest”, but from the German bombardment of Paris. This was why Landru, alias Forest, had invited Annette to come and live with him at his country house near Gambais. First, though, he wanted Annette to inspect the Villa Tric, to check that it was suitable for her.

On the evening of Wednesday, 27 March, Annette returned from Gambais to her tiny sixth-floor apartment on a quiet street near Paris’s Père Lachaise cemetery, where she worked as a dressmaker. Annette was alone, as was later confirmed by her concierge, who saw her arrive.[25] Nonetheless, Riboulet took it for granted that Landru had also returned to Paris with Annette.

In fact, Landru had almost certainly stayed on at the Villa Tric, based on a lengthy statement given to the detective Dautel by a local woman, shortly after Landru’s arrest. On Friday 29 March, at about midday, Mme Marie Bizeau, 47, encountered Landru by L’Étang des Bruyères, a pond set deep in a vast forest about two kilometres east of Gambais.[26] Mme Bizeau had good reason to remember the incident. Her husband, a gamekeeper at the nearby chateau, had been chest-high in the water, helping other men restock the pond with fish. She had been watching from the bank when Landru had appeared by her side.  “What numbskulls,” he had sneered, pointing in particular at her husband. “Infuriated”, she had grabbed Landru by the sleeve and suggested that he might like to get in the water and give the men a hand. Landru had shaken her off and wandered away into the forest.

About two hours later, Mme Bizeau was handing her husband some dry clothes when she saw Landru emerging from the trees with a “rather fat” woman in a fur coat who looked about 30 and two small girls, aged about eight and ten. The woman complained to “Monsieur Dupont” about the cold and told him firmly that it was time to go home.

There seems little doubt that Mme Bizeau really had seen Landru. Like other villagers, she knew him as Dupont and was aware that he rented the Villa Tric. It is possible, of course, that she had mistaken the date, but it does not appear likely, given the emphatic confidence of her statement. If she was right, then Landru could not have spent the whole of the last week of Annette’s life with her, as the prosecution case maintained. He either returned with Annette to Paris on 27 March, spent the night apart from her, and then went back to Gambais on 28 March or early on 29 March; or more plausibly, he did not return to Paris until the weekend of 30-31 March, when Annette reported in a letter to her elder sister that he had given her a present of jewellery.[27]

Finally on 4 April, Landru noted in his carnet the purchase of two train tickets to Houdan, the station closest to Gambais: an aller-retour for him and an aller-simple for Annette.[28] The following day she disappeared.

Mme Bizeau’s testimony exposed the methodical flaw in assuming that Landru’s “fatal list” of 11 names represented the sum total of his murders. Yet she was not mentioned in the réquisitoire and she was not called to testify at Landru’s trial by either the prosecution or the defence. Meanwhile, several witnesses whose evidence opened the possibility that Landru might have killed other women were either ignored or publicly ridiculed.

A young army doctor called Jean Monteilhet had passed the Villa Tric on his bicycle one evening in late May or early June 1916 and noticed foul-smelling smoke churning out of Landru’s chimney. A tradesman’s van was parked outside the house. Shortly afterwards, Monteilhet had been fixing a puncture by the pond in the forest when he saw the van pull up and a man resembling Landru get out with a heavy package. The man walked to the far side of the pond, without seeing Monteilhet, and dropped the package in the water.

After Landru’s arrest, Monteilhet gave a detailed witness statement about the incident, even drawing a sketch map to illustrate where the man had dropped the package.[29] Yet his evidence was discounted by both the prosecution and the defence because of the date, which fell halfway between the disappearances of the fifth victim on the list (December 1915) and the sixth (December 1916). One newspaper, Le Petit Parisien, suggested Monteilhet was a publicity seeker, for the press – without exception – took it for granted that the 11 individuals on Landru’s list represented the sum total of his murders.[30]

Two elderly peasant women were also mocked by the press when they insisted at Landru’s trial that they had seen and smelt nauseating smoke churning out of the Villa Tric in the autumn of 1917. It was a recurring theme in the case, suggesting that Landru might have been burning human remains in his notorious oven. Yet as with Monteilhet’s evidence, the women’s testimony did not correspond with the prosecution’s timeline of the murders, based on Landru’s list. The sinister incident they recalled was too late to match the disappearance of the eighth victim on the list and too early for the ninth.

“The jurors are people of good sense,” Le Journal commented, “and will know how to identify the large part inevitably played in such depositions by gossiping in the village, scandal-mongering and imaginative hindsight.”[31]

The press, like the prosecution and the judge, also accepted as a matter of fact that the police had traced all the women Landru had contacted during his terrifying wartime rampage, apart from the 10 women on the list in his carnet. It was not true. The plump, fur-coated lady was never located and nor, it seems, were dozens of other women who had entered Landru’s orbit.

In a report sent to Bonin, the police acknowledged that of the 283 women who were known to have written to Landru or met him, “the identity of 72 individuals had not been established”.[32] The report is undated, leaving open the possibility that some of these women were eventually traced and eliminated from the enquiry. As for the others, the fact that they had not been found did not mean that Landru had killed them, a point he made ad nauseam in relation to the 10 women on his list.

Yet nor was it correct that the police had come close to gauging the full extent of Landru’s harvesting of women, even taking the anonymous 72 women into account. The police arrived at the grand total of 283 “romantic” contacts from three written sources: the carnet, the files Landru kept on women who answered his lonely hearts adverts, and the records of matrimonial agencies where he had registered under various false names. What these sources failed to log was Landru’s voracious, opportunistic pursuit of women on the spur of the moment, whenever he wanted sex. There is plenty of circumstantial evidence in the case archives that Landru regularly picked up women while riding on buses or the metro, or by hanging around outside factory gates and in public parks.

The last such encounter occurred at about 10.15 am on Saturday, 12 April 1919, when Landru accosted a 35-year-old woman called Adrienne Deschamps while travelling on the metro between the Réamur and Opéra stations. Adrienne, who may have been a prostitute, arranged a rendezvous for the following week with Landru.[33] Less than two hours later, Landru was arrested along with his mistress (who was soon released) at his apartment near the Gare du Nord.

This frenzied, random sexual activity, mostly unrecorded, has a bearing on why Landru might have written his “fatal list” and what the list signified. In the réquisitoire and at his trial, Landru was regularly described as “methodical”, “logical” and “orderly”. Superficially, his neat, careful list fitted this portrayal. Yet there is an alternative interpretation, which sees the list as an attempt to impose order on chaos. From this perspective, the list could have been a despairing attempt by Landru to record the murders he could still remember, as distinct from the total number he had committed, before he lost his grip on reality.

One piece of written evidence arguably supports this theory. In the autumn of 1919, during his psychiatric examination, Landru wrote a personal memoir at the request of the doctors. The memoir was largely a record of Landru’s various ailments and injuries during his life, and towards the end, he complained about his “rebellious” memory:

“I have reached a point,” Landru observed, “where I am obliged to write down everything that I need to recall, even the smallest things. At certain moments, my life flows before me like a dream without it being possible for me to say if it really happened to me or another person. At other times the details come back to me with a clarity and precision which make me suppose that the facts have just happened or, having lived another existence at another time in other places, I had died, and, coming back to life as another person, I had kept the memory.”[34]

Landru could of course have been faking amnesia, a common defensive strategy for arrested criminals. Yet the image of a man detached from his previous life, as if it had been lived by someone else, accords with Landru’s dogged insistence on his absolute innocence. His apparent certainty was unshakeable, right up to the night before his execution, when he wrote a furious, accusatory letter to the chief prosecuting attorney insisting that the charges against him were false.  From this perspective, it is quite possible that Landru could not remember the full record of his crimes, even at the time when he wrote his list, and as he drifted further into insanity, he forgot them altogether.

***

I accept this is merely a hypothesis and that it is possible Landru only killed the 10 women and one young man he noted on his list – another hypothesis. The test is which theory stands up better against the available evidence. I find it far more likely that Landru murdered more women, based on the surviving evidence now housed in the Paris police archives at Pantin and the departmental archives for Yvelines; for what is most striking after consulting all this material, amounting to thousands of pages of documents, is the gaps in the authorities’ knowledge of Landru’s activities during the period covered by the charge sheet.

Regardless of which hypothesis one regards as most plausible, the founding premise of the case against Landru was undeniably false. Landru could not have pursued Jeanne Cuchet, his first known victim, for her money and material assets, because she possessed nothing that was worth stealing. The evidence is there in her paltry bank savings and her tatty possessions recovered from a garage in Neuilly. A different explanation has to be found for why Landru went after Jeanne and then, a full year later, decided that she and her son André had to die. I think I discovered the answer in the Yvelines archives, as I explain in my book. But that is another story.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

PRIMARY SOURCES

 

Archives de la Préfecture de Police, Pantin, Paris

Affaire Landru: Cartons JA 28 – JA 33.

Archives départementales des Yvelines, Montigny-le-Bretonneux

Affaire Landru: Cartons 1373W2, 2U767, 2U768, 2U769, 2U770, 2U771, 2U772.

Personal Collection of Dominique de Moro Giafferri, Paris

Auguste Navières du Treuil, “L’affaire Landru”, Private Memoir, undated.

Sam Cohen, Louis Riboulet, La Véritable Affaire Landru (Paris, 1933, serialised in Le Matin)

Landru’s notebook (carnet).

Miscellaneous correspondence to and from Landru.

Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris

Newspaper Collection, available online at:

http://gallica.bnf.fr/html/und/presse-et-revues/presse-et-revues

Main newspapers consulted:

L’Action Française

Comœdia

L’Echo d’Alger

L’Echo d’Oran

L’Echo de Paris

L’Excelsior

Le Figaro

Le Gaulois

L’Homme Libre

L’Humanité

L’Intransigeant

Le Journal

Le Journal des Débats Politiques et Littéraires

La Justice

La Lanterne

Le Matin

L’Ouest-Éclair

L’Oeuvre

Paris-Soir

Le Petit Journal

Le Petit Parisien

Le Populaire

La Presse

Le Radical

Le Rappel

Le Siècle

Le Temps

SECONDARY SOURCES

Books in French

Belin, J., Commissaire Belin. Trente Ans de Sûreté Nationale, Bibliothèque France-Soir, Paris, 1950.

Béraud, Henri, Bourcier, Emmanuel & Salmon, André, L’Affaire Landru, Albin Michel, Paris, 1924.

Bernède, Arthur, Landru, Jules Tallandier, Paris, 1931.

Biagi-Chai, Francesca, Le cas Landru à la lumière de la psychoanalyse, Imago, Paris, 2007.

Darmon, Pierre, Landru, Plon, Paris, 1994.

González, Christian, Monsieur Landru, Scènes de Crimes, Paris, 2007.

Jaeger, Gérard, Landru: bourreau des coeurs, L’Archipel, Paris, 2005.

Lanzalavi, Dominique, Vincent de Moro Giafferri: Défendre l’homme, toujours, Ajaccio, Albiana, 2011.

Masson, René, Landru, le Barbe-Bleue de Gambais, N’Avouez Jamais, Paris, 1974.

Michal, Bernard, Les Monstres, Bibliomnibus, Paris, 2014.

Sagnier, Christine, L’Affaire Landru, Editions de Vecchi, Paris, 1999.

Yung, Eric, Landru: 6h 10 Temps Clair, Editions Télémaque, Paris, 2013.

Books in English

Bardens, Dennis, The Ladykiller: The Crimes of Landru, the French Bluebeard, P. Davies, London, 1972.

Le Queux, William, Landru: His Secret Love Affairs, Stanley Paul & Co., London, 1922.

Mackenzie, F.A. (editor), Landru, Geoffrey Bles, London, 1928.

Wakefield, Herbert Russell, Landru, The French Bluebeard, Duckworth, London, 1936.


[1] ‘Renseignements sur Landru’, 12 April 1919, Yvelines Archives, Carton 2U771/3855

[2] Le Petit Parisien, 9 Nov 1921, p.2

[3] Dautel report on search of Villa Tric, 13 April 1919, Yvelines Archives, Carton 2U771/3690

[4] Le Journal, 24 Nov 1921, p.2

[5] Le Matin, 24 Nov 1921, p.2

[6] L’Ouest-Éclair, 20 Nov 1921, p.1.

[7] ‘Réquisitoire Définitif’, Affaire Landru, Yvelines Archives, Carton 2U772

[8] ‘Interrogatoire Général’, 3 Aug 1920, Paris Police Archives, Carton JA 28, Dossier Cuchet.

[9] ‘Réquisitoire Définitif’, p.162.

[10] ‘Disparition de Mme Cuchet et de son fils’, Georges Friedman interview, 16 April 1919, Paris Police Archives, Carton JA 28, Dossier Cuchet. Le Journal, 16 April 1919, p.1

[11] ‘Audition de Mme Friedman’, 16 April 1919, Paris Police Archives, Carton JA 28, Dossier Cuchet.

[12]  ‘Au sujet des titres que la disparue possédait en dépôt à l’agence du Crédit Lyonnais. Négociation de ces titres.’ Paris Police Archives, Carton JA 28, Dossier Cuchet. In a 1912 letter to her probable lover, a shirtmaker called Pierre Capdevieille, Jeanne complained bitterly about having to sell her savings bonds because she could not afford the rent on her apartment. Jeanne Cuchet to Pierre Capdevieille, undated letter, 1912, Paris Police Archives, Carton JA 28, Dossier Cuchet. Landru eventually sold her remaining bonds in the spring of 1915, realising about 330 francs. Capdevieille gave a detailed statement to the police about Jeanne’s difficult financial situation, but he was not called to testify at Landru’s trial.

[13] ‘Renseignements fournit par l’Enregistrement au sujet de la succession de M. Cuchet’, 12 July 1919, Paris Police Archives, Carton JA 32.

[14] ‘Liste d’escroquéries 1913– 1914’, Yvelines Archives, Carton 2U771/4839.

[15] ‘Affaire Cuchet. Instruction’, 13 Aug 1919, Paris Police Archives, Carton JA 28, Dossier Cuchet.

[16] Le Journal, 10 Nov 1921, p.1.

[17] Le Gaulois, 22 Aug 1919, p. 3.

[18] ‘Examen de Landru au point de vue mental’, 25 June 1920, p.14, Paris Police Archives, reproduced in Landru: 6h 10 Temps Clair, Les Pièces du Dossier (Paris, 2013)

[19] Louis Riboulet, Sam Cohen, La Véritable Affaire Landru (1933), serialised in Le Matin, 30 April – 13 June 1933.

[20] Le Gaulois, 30 April 1919, p.2.

[21] ‘Gambais, Examen des Os: Rapport Médico-Légal’, 19 July 1920, Yvelines Archives, Carton 2U771/4898. p.118

[22] Le Journal, 15 Nov 1921, p.1..

[23] L’Homme Libre, 10 Nov 1921, 3.

[24] Riboulet, La Véritable Affaire Landru, in Le Matin, 16 May 1933,p.2.

[25]  ‘Audition de Mme Joséphine Koestler’, 21 April 1919, Yvelines Archives, Carton 2U770/3475, Dossier Pascal.

[26] ‘Audition de Marie Bizeau’, 16 May 1919, Yvelines Archives, Carton 2U771/3716.

[27] Annette Pascal letter to Louise Fauchet, 2 April 1918, Yvelines Archives, Carton 1373W2/566.

[28] Riboulet, La Véritable Affaire Landru in Le Matin, 31 May 1933.

[29] Jean Monteilhet, witness statement, 6 May 1919, Paris Police Archives, reproduced in Landru: 6h 10 Temps Clair, Les Pièces du Dossier (Paris, 2013).

[30] Le Petit Parisien, 26 Nov 1921, p.2.

[31] Le Journal, 24 Nov 1921.p.2.

[32]  ‘Liste des femmes ayant été en correspondance ou en relations avec Landru’, Paris Police Archives, Carton JA 30, Dossier Général

[33] ‘Rapport de l’Inspecteur Deslogères’, 4 June 1919, Yvelines Archives, Carton 2U771/5125. Landru gave Adrienne a false name-card with his current alias, ‘Lucien Guillet’ and an address on Rue de Maubeuge, near the Gare du Nord. When Landru, alias Guillet, failed to make their agreed rendezvous the following week outside Denfert Rochereau metro station, Adrienne went to Rue de Maubeuge where she learned of Landru’s arrest.

[34] Landru personal memoir, 30 September 1919, in ‘Examen de Landru au point de vue mental’, June 1920, pp 8-10, Paris Police Archives, reproduced in Landru: 6h 10 Temps Clair, Les Pièces du Dossier (Paris, 2013).


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