Gilles de Rais, Born 1404
Gilles de Rais (a French nobleman) is thought to be the precursor for the modern serial killer. Before he started his killing spree, he rode as being a military captain within the army lead by St Joan of Arc – though it’s unlikely that she knew him. He was charged and ultimately found guilty of torturing, raping and murdering dozens, if not hundreds, of young kids, mainly boys.
According to living accounts, Rais lured kids, mainly young boys who had been blond haired and also blue eyed (as he’d been as a kid), to his houses, and raped, tortured and mutilated all of them, often ejaculating, perhaps via masturbation, over the dying victim. He and his accomplices would then set up the severed heads from the children in order to judge which was essentially the most fair. The precise number of Rais’s victims isn’t known, as most of the bodies were burned or buried. The number of murders is usually placed between 70 and 200; a few have conjectured numbers up to 600. The victims ranged within age from 6 to eighteen and also included both genders. Although Rais favored boys, he would get by with young ladies if circumstances required.
At the transcript from the trial, one of Gilles servants Henriet (an accomplice to the crimes) described the actions of his master, which were basically:
Henriet soon started to collect children for his master, and was present whilst he massacred all of them. They were murdered invariably in a single room at Machecoul. The marshal accustomed to bathe in the blood; he was keen on making Gilles perform Sillé, Pontou, or Henriet torture them, and he experienced intense pleasure with seeing them in their agonies. But his great passion was to welter within their blood. His servants would stab a young child in the jugular vein, and let his blood squirt all over him. The room had been often steeped with blood. When the terrible deed was completed, and the kid was dead, the marshal would be filled with sadness for what he’d done, and would throw himself weeping and praying on the bed, or recite fervent prayers and litanies upon his knees, whilst his servants washed the ground, and burned within the huge fireplace the bodies of the murdered children. With the bodies were burned their clothes and anything that had belonged to the little victims. An insupportable odour filled the space, but the Maréchal do Retz inhaled it with delight.