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Gilles de Rais

AKA Gilles de Laval

Born: 10-Nov-1404
Birthplace: Machecoul, Brittany
Died: 26-Oct-1440
Location of death: Biesse, France
Cause of death: Execution
Remains: Buried, Carmelite Monastery, Nantes, France

Gender: Male
Religion: Roman Catholic
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Gay
Occupation: Criminal, Royalty

Nationality: France
Executive summary: Fifteenth-century child killer

Military service: French Army (1427-35, appointed Marshal of France 1430)

Born into the ruling family of Brittany, Gilles de Rais was the companion of Joan of Arc, Marshal of France and a national hero before he turned 26. In his later years he was accused of torturing, sodomizing, and disemboweling as many as 800 children at his country estate.

"He confessed to having wallowed in the elastic warmth of their intestines. He confessed that he had ripped out their hearts through wounds enlarged and opening like ripe fruit. And with the eyes of a somnambulist he looked down at his fingers and shook them as if blood were dripping from them." -- From his court deposition

"You who are present -- you, above all, whose children I have slain -- I am your brother in Christ. By Our Lord's Passion, I implore you, pray for me. Forgive me with all your hearts the evil I have done you, as you yourselves hope for God's mercy and pardon." -- Gilles de Rais at his trial

"Perhaps Christianity is even fundamentally the pressing demand for crime, the demand for the horror that in a sense it needs in order to forgive. [...] Christianity implies a human nature which harbors this hallucinatory extremity, which it alone has allowed to flourish." -- Georges Bataille, edited the transcripts of the trial

"I think, then, it is not altogether unfair to assume that Gilles de Rais was to a large extent the victim of Catholic logic. Catholic logic: and the foul wish-phantasms generated of its repressions, and of its fear and ignorance." -- Aleister Crowley in his 1930 speech at Oxford

Father: Guy de Montmorency-Laval (d. 1413)
Mother: Marie de Craon (d. 1415)
Brother: Rene de Rais (b. 1407, d. 1474)
Wife: Catherine de Thonars (m. 30-Nov-1420)
Daughter: Marie (b. 1429)

    Kidnapping 1420 (kidnapped his future wife with his grandfather)
    Kidnapping 15-May-1440 (kidnapped a priest named Jean le Ferron)
    Rape convicted of 140 counts, 23-Oct-1440
    Child Molestation convicted of 140 counts, 23-Oct-1440
    Murder convicted of 140 counts, 23-Oct-1440
    Excommunicated 25-Oct-1440 (pardoned the next day after expressing remorse)

Rotten Library Page:
Gilles de Rais

Is the subject of books:
Bluebeard: The Life and Crimes of Gilles de Rais, 1980, BY: Leonard Wolf
The Real Bluebeard: The Life of Gilles de Rais, 1971, BY: Jean Benedetti
The Trial of Gilles de Rais, 1965, BY: Georges Bataille
Gilles de Rais: The Original Bluebeard, 1926, BY: A. L. Vincent and Clare Binns

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