The Papin Sisters: The Horrible Truth Behind the Murders They Committed
The murder case that haunts France to this day.
WARNING: This blog post contains content that may be troubling or may trigger some views. Proceed with caution.
There are a total of three Papin sisters, and all of them had awful lives. The oldest sister was named Emilia, followed by Christine, and then the youngest was Lea. The three sisters were subjected to awful abuse throughout their entire childhoods, and despite the girls having quite the age differences, Christine and Lea were very close. The parents of the Papin sisters were as evil as they come. The mom reportedly cared very little for her children, and the dad was abusive in every way imaginable. Emilia was sexually assaulted by her father, and left the family soon after to become a nun at a monastery.
Emilia had left her two younger sisters behind to fend off their parents. Christine and Lea witnessed their parent's fight verbally and physically, and even had to defend themselves against various forms of molestation. Eventually, the girl's parents decided to get a divorce, but the reason why might shock you. The parents didn't divorce because of the alleged rape allegations from Emilia, no. They divorced because the mom was jealous, and thought that Emilia had asked her father to do such unspeakable things to her.
Shortly after their parents divorced, both girls spent time in a mental institution. During this time, the girls were very quiet and rarely talked, but were always together. People who witnessed this reported that they believed the girls to be telepathic due to their silence, and their weird, unspoken understanding of each other. After their release from the institution, the girls managed to get jobs as maids. They got great jobs working as live-in maids at a mansion for a Mister Lancelin and his wife.
The girls were subjected to horrible working conditions, and were forced to work 14 hours a day, with less than one day off a week. The girls were at the mercy of the wife, who was very particular, and often grew upset with the girls. It is also reported that the wife would pinch the girls, and subject them to small forms of abuse when they didn't do exactly as she asked. The girls continued to keep to themselves and away from others, but were always found together.
Years passed with the girls living and working in the Lancelin home before anything happened. In the year 1933, a man came to the mansion, and found that something was not quite right. He reported that the mansion had all the lights turned off, despite it being dark outside, and all of the doors and windows were locked. The man went straight to the police, and the police returned to the mansion shortly after. What the police found would stay with all of France for decades.
The crime scene that the two maids had left behind was said to have looked like "a blood orgy" by one of the crime scene analysists. Lancelin's wife and daughter had been murdered in the most brutal way possible, and the women had been tortured for several minutes before they died. The women were found with their eyes gouged out, their faces smashed beyond recognition, their legs slashed with knives, and their bodies left naked. Christine and Lea used the blood that the women had lost and rubbed it all over their bodies. Then the sisters cleaned up the rest of the house and went to bed as if nothing had happened.
When the police arrived, the sisters confessed to everything.
The sisters were forced apart and sent to different prisons. Their separation was extremely distressing for the sisters, and Christine suffered a severe mental breakdown, and tried to gouge her own eyes out. After the trial, and the sisters were found guilty, it was determined that Christine was the mastermind behind the murders, and that Lea had no personality of her own, but that she became an extension of her older sister.
Christine was originally sentenced to death, but then her sentence changed, and she was to spend life in prison. Christine died in 1937 because she would not take care of herself or eat. Lea had a much shorter prison sentence, and was released in 1941. She reportedly found a job and had somewhat of a normal life under a fake identity. It is unclear when Lea passed with some claiming that she passed in 1981, and others claiming she died in 2001 after a documentary came in 2000 stating that Lea was still alive.