Gilles de Rais

Posted: December 15, 2009 in International
Tags: , ,

Today, I’ll take a look at a “serial killer”, reportedly the first recorded serial killer. By definition, a serial killer is a person that kills three or more people over a period of thirty days with a cooling off period between each murder, and whose motivation for killing is largely based on psychological gratification. There is often a sexual element involved in the killings, with the murders being attempted or carried out in similar fashion and the victims sharing something in common with regards to race, gender, social status, occupation or age group. We also have a breakdown into the types of serial killers, the organized/nonsocial and the disorganized/asocial. Organized/Nonsocial types are often quite intelligent, usually above average IQ. These types tend to stalk their victims and plan out their attacks, usually committed the crime in one area and disposing the body/evidence in another. The Disorganized/Asocial offenders tend to be of low intelligence with below average IQ. These types of offenders generally kill out of impulse and opportunity. As opposed to the Organized/Nonsocial offender, Disorganized/Asocial offenders tend to attack and leaves their victims within the same area the attacks occurred. Though not planned, Disorganized/Asocial offenders can avoid captured for an extended amount of time due to the sheer randomness of an attack.
Today, I’ll be taking a look at Gilles de Rais (1404 – 1440) born in France, was a Brenton Knight, a Marshall of France and fought alongside Joan of Arc in the Hundreds Year War. But Gilles de Rais is best known as prolific serial killer, whose victims were children ranging from the age of six to eighteen and of both sexes. Looking into his childhood, de Rais was very intelligent, fluent in both his native tongue and in Latin; and dividing his education between military discipline and his moral and intellectual development. After the death of his parents, de Rais and his younger brother were sent to live with their maternal grandfather. Their grandfather, Jean de Craon would attempt to arrange married for young de Rais for a period of five years until finally succeeding in 1420. In this case The MacDonald Triad are not present, but we do see that Gilles de Rais possessed above average intelligence and suffered from a tragic and emotional time with the death of his parent. In his life after the military, and by his own omission, starting in the year 1432 Gilles de Rais either murdered or had murdered between eighty and two hundred children. De Rais would take children from lower economic status between the ages of six and eighteen. As stated earlier, we can see that de Rais’ victims all had a common trait. The nature of the killings either by decapitation, the breaking of the neck, or dismemberment, we can draw the conclusion that Gilles de Rais was a Organized/Nonsocial offender. And as stated at his trial, de Rais enjoyed committing his vices on his victims before or after they had been murdered. In his own confession, Gilles testified that “when the said children were dead, he kissed them and those who had the most handsome limbs and heads he held up to admire them, and had their bodies cruelly cut open and took delight at the sight of their inner organs; and very often when the children were dying he sat on their stomachs and took pleasure in seeing them die and laughed…Benedetti


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