Henri Landru



Henri Landru, France’s infamous ‘Bluebeard’, family man, philanderer and murderer of ten women and a boy.

Landru was a dealer in second hand goods, such as furniture and cars.  He also dealt in fraud and was a con-artist, for which he received a few prison sentences.  During the time of the first world war he married women, took any of their assets and then killed them.

He enticed women with convincing advertisements in newspapers.  He received alot of replies, from which he recorded the prospects of the applicant in a notebook.   Between April 1915 and January 1919, he gained a vast profit from murdering ten women and taking their finances.

Landru operated in many towns but his last muders were made in the country side town of Villa Ermitage at Gambais.  At his residence he installed a stove, from which he disposed of his victims.  The smoke and smell emitted from the chimney didn't arouse any suspicions.

In 1919 a man inquired about a middle-aged widow who had disappeared after a visit to Villa Ermitage with a bearded man.  The police made inquiries when there had a similar request about another widow who had disappeared also with a bearded man in the town.  The bearded man was an owner of a house in Villa Ermitage (known locally as M.Dupont), but was no longer there, the police took the hunt further.

When Landru was apprehended by description, his notebook was found.   Among other evidence that was to convict him was a list of the ten missing women, and used train tickets to Villa Ermitage.  At Landru's house they sifted the stove which revealed human bone fragments.

Landru was tried at the court of Assize of the Seine-et-Oise in November 1921, charged with eleven murders.  He was found guilty and guillotined on 25 February 1922.

Forty-six years later a newspaper announced his alleged confession.  The words, ‘I did it. I burned their bodies in my kitchen oven’ were found scribbled on the back of a framed drawing which he said to have given to one of his lawyers before execution.



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Modus Operandi - Serial Killers