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FEASANT WOMAN AS POISONER

FABMBB-β WIFE CHARGED WJTH CAUSING MANY DEA.TH&. If all that is alleged igalnst her be true, then Jeanne Gilbert, a French peasant woman of thirty-two, must be one of the most atrocious poisoners on record. She was brought pp at the Assize Court at Bourges on Monday, January 25, charged with having poisoned her father, her mother, ber mother-in-law, and a cousin, and with attempting to poison live other relatives.

According to the prosecution, Gilbert did away with her father and mother merely in order to get,off paying, to them a email annuity amounting to £12, while she also made up her mind to Inherit the property of her relatives, which, as they were but struggling farmers and winegrowers, was very small in extent

Her modus operandi was to send the deadly poison cunningly concealed in tarts and other appetising dainties, which process went on during a period extending over two years.

'Her cousin, Mme. Pellean, died In March, 1906, after partaking of some cheese that had been left at her house by some person unknown. All the members of the family were taken ill, but Mme. Pelleao alone died. It was found that death was due to arsenical poisoning.

About the same time a paper bag containing arsenic was found close to Mm. Pelleau's house; this bag, it was discovered, was made from a sheet from an accoantbook belonging to Jeanne Gilbert U was further proved that she had bought a large quantity of anenic two months before, saying she wanted it for killing rate.

Further inquiries showed how other relatives ot Jeanne Gilbert had died In suspicious elrcumstancee, and how at various times, under false names, she had purchased arsenlo. Her father died after eating a plum pie which Jesnne had sent htm. A month later her mother died after eating some meat, again supplied by Jeanne Gilbert.

When it was proposed to exhume the various bodies, Jeanne professed to be greatly shocked. "Xou must not disturb the dead!" she said. "Tou will bring Ulluck upon us all if you do." But tbe exhumations were made and the poison was discovered-

Jeanne, who i» a fine brunette, stoutly maintained her innocence when arrested.

"I am Innocent of everything I am accused of. I give you my word of honour I am," she said. In court she repeated tills asseveration and denounced several witnesses as liars.

Prisoner was found guilty, and sentenced to penal servitude (or life.

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FEASANT WOMAN AS POISONER Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 62, 13 March 1909

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