Serial Killers . . . Mass
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Name of Killer : Gilles de Rais
Category: Serial Killing
Date: 1432 - 1440
Crime: A commander in the Royal Army, convicted of killing 80 children by decapitation, dismemberment or broken necks. Uncorroborated accounts from the trial claim that there may have been more than 600 victims at the hands of Rais and several accomplices.
Biography: Once the companion-in-arms of Joan of Arc, but better known as a vicious killer of children, Rais was born late in the year 1404. After his parents died in 1415, he grew up with his maternal grandparents. He married into a very wealthy family in 1420 and from there his military career took flight. After retiring from military life in 1434, Rais began to experiment in the occult and black magic. During this period in his life, it is believed that he may have killed hundreds of children. In 1440, a clergyman with the church conducted an investigation which exposed Rais as a malicious killer. During the trial, both parents of his victims as well as his own accomplices testified against him with the result being his condemnation to executed by hanging on October 26, 1440.