THE UNSPEAKABLE CRIMES OF DR. PETIOT

Author: Maeder (Thomas)
Year: 1980
Publisher: Atlantic/Little,Brown
First Edition
Edition Details: 1st edn.
Book Condition: Vg+/Vg
ISBN: 0316543667
Price: 10.00
IN STOCK NOW
Hardback. Was he a sadistic mass killer who lured innocent people to their deaths in his mysterious triangular room, or a hero of German-occupied Paris who liquidated members of the Gestapo and helped persecuted Jews and underground fighters escape from tormented France? This was the question in everyone's mind as one of the 20th-century's most sensational murder cases came to trial in Paris in 1946 and Dr. Marcel Petiot savagely fought for his honour and his life. The author meticulously reconstructs - from the long-secret official dossier and interviews with the few surviving participants - one of the most horrifying true stories in the annals of crime. In three parts the full details are revealed: descriptions of the vile crimes themselves (presumably Dr. Petiot dismembered his victims, then buried them in a lime pit); an incisive psychological portrait of the doctor in his progression from sadistic child to mass murderer; and a re-creation of the Daumieresque trial in which the myriad complexities, ironies, and incongruities of the case are reviewed. The gruesome story began to unfold when, in March 1944, foul-smelling chimney smoke from an elegant Paris house owned by Dr. Marcel Petiot led police to a mountain of bodies burning in the basement. While Dr. Petiot successfully eluded capture for 8-months, police investigators pieced together a highly contradictory picture of the man. The witty, intelligent physician, though seemingly adored by his patients, was later found to have dubious credentials, and further investigation revealed a long series of small crimes and convictions, a scandal-ridden career as a politician, and a bizarre psychiatric history. When captured Petiot claimed he was a loyal member of the French Resistance and that he had helped kill 63 collaborators. The prosecution charged that in fact he had lured 27 people with the promise of escape and then murdered them for plunder. Petiot was eventually convicted on 26 individual counts of murder, but judging from the 15kgs of charred bones, the large amounts of human hair and small fragments that were found in his cellar, and some 13 dissected bodies that were discovered floating in the Seine, there were presumably many more victims. An alarming chapter in the saga of sadism and wholesale murder. Illus., Selected List of Characters + Bibliog. 302pp. 8vo. h/back. From the library of true crime writer, Wilfred Gregg, with his personal b/plate. Vg+ in patchily sunned vg. dw. which has a tiny green sticker 'spot' to sp.

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