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A case of child murder and decapitation from France

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  • A case of child murder and decapitation from France

    I am editing a volume on Frederick Baker, the Alton murderer, for the revived Notable British Trial series. I wonder if anyone can help with a research query.
    The MP for Oxford, Charles Neate, wrote an open letter to the Star newspaper (n.d. but circa December 1867; HO 12/176/79865) about the Frederick Baker case, in which he references what he describes as a ‘very similar case’ from France a few years previously to 1867. I haven’t been able to identify the case he is talking about. He says:

    “There was in France a few years ago a very similar case. . . A young woman having enticed a very young child away from its mother, took it up to her room and killed it, and when the mother came to the door to ask for it, said, “Your child is dead,” and threw the head out of the window. This woman was found guilty of homicide without premeditation, and was condemned to perpetual imprisonment.”

    Anyone recognise this?

    Thanks in advance


  • #2
    I'm grateful to Mark Ripper for reminding me that this is the case of Henriette Cornier, a twenty-seven-year-old nursemaid and servant from Paris, who in 1825 decapitated a neighbour's infant daughter with a kitchen knife. The case attracted widespread interest among European lawyers and psychologists.



    • #3
      Thanks for sharing, David.....glad someone came up with the answer you were seeking.
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