Henri Desire Landru the Bluebeard Part 2

About Henri Desire Landru aka Bluebeard who murdered at least 9 French women for their money, history of the crime.


The Accused: Henri Landru had been a sunny child who grew up to be a mercurial, intelligent adult. A sensualist, he loved roses, so much so that when the police were spading up his yard to try to find bodies, his main concern was for the flowers.

Landru was not particularly handsome. Short and frail, he had a thick red beard, a pleasing voice, excellent manners, and magnetic black eyes with long silky lashes.

At 22, he had impregnated his cousin and later married her, becoming a loving family man, a role he played until he died.

He began his life of crime as a swindler, dealing in cars, toys, bad debts, 2nd-hand furniture. In 1900, at the age of 31, he was given a jail sentence of 3 years for cheating an aged widow over a marriage settlement. From then until his arrest for the murder of at least 9 women, he was sentenced 5 times for swindling.

When he began his career cheating women, he had no intention, it seems, of murdering them. Ladies who answered his ads were treated to a cheap dinner or 2, a little sex, lots of romance, which lasted until he got to their money--and ran. It was a time-consuming, complicated way to make a living. Often, Landru operated under several names with several appointments a day. No wonder he needed a notebook to keep it all straight. Ironically, it didn't pay much--about $250 a victim--as was later estimated.

Mme. Cuchet had been the 1st to go. Dark, curly-haired, she was a serious person with a steady job in a Paris shop. To her, Landru was M. Diard. Soon they were "in love," and he set up house with her in the summer of 1914. A few months later, she gave him 5,000 francs, probably most of her life's savings, and then he skipped. She ran into him again by chance--and it was to be the death of her. In spite of what he had done, in spite of the fact he was married, she wanted him. So he took her, and her 18-year-old son, wanting neither, to his new villa at Vernouillet. At last, sick of them, not knowing what else to do, he murdered them. After that, murder became part of his modus operandi.

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