Gilles Garnier: The Werewolf of Dole

 

Gilles Garnier: The Werewolf of Dole

Gilles Garnier was a French hermit and cannibalistic, serial murderer convicted of being a werewolf.

He was a recluse living outside the town of Dole in France. He had recently been married and moved his new wife out to his isolated home. Being unaccustomed to feeding more than just himself he found it difficult to provide for her. During this period several children went missing or were found dead and the authorities issued an edict encouraging and allowing the people to apprehend and kill the werewolf [they supposed] responsible. One evening a group of workers traveling from a neighboring town came upon what they thought in the dim light to be a wolf, but what some recognized as the hermit, with the body of a dead child. Soon after Garnier was arrested.

According to his testimony at trial, while Garnier was in the forest hunting one night trying to find food for himself and his wife, a spectre appeared to him offering to ease his troubles and gave him a magic ointment that would allow him to change into the form of a wolf, making it easier to hunt. Garnier confessed to have stalked and murdered at least four children between the ages of 9 and 12. In October 1572, his first victim was a 10-year-old girl whom he dragged into a vineyard outside of Dole. He strangled her, removed her clothes, and ate the flesh from her thighs and arms. When he had finished he removed some flesh and took it home to his wife. Weeks later Garnier savagely attacked another girl, biting and clawing her, but was interrupted by passersby and fled. The girl succumbed to her injuries a few days later. In November, Garnier killed a 10-year-old boy, again cannibalizing him by eating from his thighs and belly and tearing off a leg to save for later. Finally, he strangled another boy but was interrupted for the second time by a group of passersby. He had to abandon his prey before he could eat from it.

Garnier was found guilty of “crimes of lycanthropy and witchcraft” and burned at the stake.

[Image: is pretty much unrelated. It apparently shows a medieval werewolf hunt, so t’old Gilles is about a century out, but it looks nice if nothing else]

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