Landru's Secret: The Deadly Seductions of France's Lonely Hearts Serial Killer

Landru's Secret: The Deadly Seductions of France's Lonely Hearts Serial Killer

by Richard Tomlinson

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On 12 April 1919, the Paris police arrested a bald, short, 50-year-old swindler at his apartment near the Gare du Nord, acting on a lead from a humble housemaid. A century later, Henri Désiré Landru remains the most notorious and enigmatic serial killer in French criminal history, a riddle at the heart of an unsolved murder puzzle. The official version of Landrus lethal rampage was so shocking that it almost defied belief. According to the authorities, Landru had made “romantic contact” with 283 women during the First World War, luring ten of them to his country houses outside Paris where he killed them for their money. Yet no bodies were ever found, while Landru obdurately protested his innocence. “It is for you to prove the deeds of which I am accused,” he sneered at the investigating magistrate. The true story of laffaire Landru, buried in the Paris police archives for the past century, was altogether more disturbing. In Landrus Secret, Richard Tomlinson draws on more than 5,000 pages of original case documents, including witness statements, police reports and private correspondence, to reveal for the first time that: Landru killed more women than the 10 victims on the charge sheet. The police failed to trace at least 72 of the women he contacted. The authorities ignored the key victim who explained why the killings began. Landru did not kill for money, but to revel in his power over what he called the “feeble sex”. Lavishly illustrated with previous unpublished photographs, Landrus Secret is a story for our times: a female revengers tragedy starring the mothers and sisters of the missing fiancées, a lethal misogynist and Frances greatest defense lawyer, intent on saving his repulsive client from the guillotine.

Editorial Reviews

Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine - Dean Jobb

A shocking story of deception and murder…This is true-crime writing at its best.

Daily Mail - Amie Gordon

The untold story of a serial killer who preyed on ten lonely war widows in World War One France… lifts the lid on the life of Henri Désiré Landru, the most notorious serial killer in French criminal history.

The Spectator - Zoë Apostolides

The human drama plays out alongside portraits of Paris during and after Landru’s spree: the bombed streets, heartfelt notes sent via the underground whoosh of the pneumatique mail system, the ‘curtain raiser’ headlines of a national press wringing its hands in barely suppressed glee.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781526715319
Publisher: Pen & Sword Books Limited
Publication date: 10/30/2018
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 312
Sales rank: 369,897
File size: 4 MB

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