Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Monika Halbe, Serial Baby-Killing Mom – 2007, Germany


On May 5, 2007, eighteen-year-old  Johannes Halbe, living in a small German village of Wenden-Möllmicke went to the freezer to get a frozen pizza. There he found by accident shopping bags containing terry towels inside of which were the remains of three tiny babies. One of the packages’ wrapping included a newspaper. It was dated “December 30, 1988.”

The Halbes have three living children besides Johannes: Stefanie, 23 at that time, and Sebastian. They and their father Thomas said they had been unaware of the pregnancies.

Monika explained the reason she kept the three baby corpses years at home in her freezer stating: “I wanted the kids always to be near me.”

At the time of the trial Halbe was undergoing voluntary psychiatric treatment at a guarded facility.

Judge Wolfgang Muenker when sentencing Moonika Halbe, related biographical details to demonstrate his reasoning for sentencing. She was the youngest of eight children, trained as a dental assistant but gave up work after being bullied. Her first sexual relations were “not consensual,” he noted. He said that she suffered from “an irrational fear of doctors and especially of gynaecological examinations.”

On December 1, 2008, Monika Halbe, 44, was found guilty by the Siegen state court of killing two of her babies. She was sentenced to four years and three months. The first death ineligible for prosecution due to statute of limitations.

[Robert St. Estephe]

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Home in Wenden-Möllmicke, a village with 1650 inhabitants Sauerland, Germany.

1983 – Monica marries Thomas Halbe.
1984 – Stefanie born, allowed to live (23 at time of discovery).
1985 – Sebastian born, allowed to live. (22 at time of discovery).
1986 – newborn #1, girl, murdered. Unchargable homicide due to statute of limitations.
Ca Dec. 30, 1988 – newborn #2, girl, murdered, “delivered in the family bathroom, was suffocated by being held close for several minutes.”
1990 – Johannes, allowed to live (18 at time of discovery).
2004 – newborn #3, girl, murdered, drowned.
May 5, 2007 – discovery by son Johnnes (18).
Dec. 1, 2008 – Monika Halbe, 44, found guilty by the Siegen court of killing two of her babies (due to statute of limitations) and stashing their corpses in the family’s freezer; sentenced to four years and three months. Siegen state court. Wolfgang Muenker, presiding judge.

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[Von Kristian Frigelj, “Die Mutter, die drei Neugeborene sterben ließ,” Die Welt (Germany), Nov. 11, 2008; children’s names listed]
[“German mother jailed for killing babies and keeping bodies in freezer,” The Telegraph (England), Dec. 1, 2008]
[“Tote Babys in Kühltruhe Mutter wollte Kinder “bei sich haben,” Suddeutsche Zeitung (Germany), May 17, 2010]

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For more cases of this type, see Serial Baby-Killer Moms.

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Monday, August 22, 2016

Dr. Virginia Helena Soares de Souza, Accused Serial Killer Physician – Brazil, 2013


This case is still ongoing as of July 2016.

Dr. Virginia Helena Soares de Souza, director of the Intensive Care Unit at Hospital Evangélico in Curitiba, Brazil, is charged with conspiracy in causing the deaths of as many as 320 patients by ordering them to be injected with Pancuronium, a muscle relaxant, and in other cases victims were administered lethal doses of anesthetics, sedatives and painkillers, or were asphyxiated through having their oxygen cut off.

The Evangelical is the largest private hospital in the state of Parana, is a private philanthropic institution, but many of its patients are treated under Brazil’s Unified Health System.

Though the patients were under intensive care, many were fully conscious at the time de Souza ordered them terminated, according to prosecutors. Dr. Mario Lobato, was appointed chief investigator assigned by Brazil’s Health Ministry. Lobato reported that “One was awake, being sedated but not even connected to a respirator. This patient had asked his family to bring his glasses so he could do some reading while he was in the intensive care ward.” In another case the victim had requested a cup of water. “This nurse testified that one of the things she will never forget is that she didn’t manage to give him the cup of water because by the time she returned he had already died.” Said Lobato.

Police believe de Souza selected poor patients assigned to the hospital by the Unified Health System in order to free beds for patients with private insurance or cash.

De Souza was arrested on February 19, 2013 along with seven of her staff, three physicians under her supervision, three nurses and a physiotherapist. A search warrant was served and hospital records were confiscated. The charges involved seven recent deaths.

Prosecutors describe de Souza as exercising an “all powerful” rule over the hospital’s intensive ward. Phone taps produced recordings of de Souza instructing staff to end the life of patients. An undercover officer investigated reports of suspicious deaths and recorded her communications with staff. De Souza is recorded saying: “I want to clear the intensive care unit. It’s making me itch.”

Previous to the 2013 serial murder scandal the hospital was embroiled in controversy over financial problems stemming from the charity that funds the hospital, Evangelical Beneficent Society of Curitiba. Labor strikes were common and one took place the week before the police raid that snatched up de Souza and crew.

In June 2013 de Souza was interviewed on television, stating: “I never shortened the life of anyone. I just practiced medicine exactly as it should be practiced.”

[Robert St. Estephe]

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1959 – Evangelical opened, largest private hospital of Paraná.
1988 – began practicing medicine.
2006 – 2013 – pariod of suspected murders, up to 320, at Hospital Evangélico, Curitiba, Brazil; Method: Pancuronium (trademark Pavulon), muscle relaxant.
Feb. 19, 2013 – De Souza, 56, arrested. Three other doctors, three nurses and a physiotherapist who worked under De Souza have also been charged with murder.
Mar. 24, 2013 – Dr. Mario Lobato, Globo TV interview. Dr. Mario Lobato, chief investigator assigned by Brazil’s Health Ministry
Jun. 2013 – de Souza interviewed, TV show Fantastico.
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[“Polícia prende diretora de UTI suspeita de praticar eutanásia em hospital de Curitiba,” UOL (Brazil), Feb. 19, 2013]
[Anthony Boadle, Reuters, “Brazilian doctor may be linked to 300 deaths, investigators,” Toronto Sun (Canada), Mar. 28, 2013]
[“Novo laudo aponta que dra Virgínia foi responsável por antecipar mortes em UTI do Evangélico,” Banda B (Brasil), Jul. 13, 2016]
[Fabio Buchmann, “MP questiona perícia feita em prontuários sobre mortes na UTI do Evangélico,” radiocbncuritiba, Feb. 2, 2016]
[Matt Roper, “Is this the most prolific serial killer of all time? Brazilian doctor accused of killing 20 terminally ill patients and ‘could be responsible for 300 more deaths’,” Daily Mail (England),
[“Dr. Virginia Helena Soares de Souza 2013 (Brazil), CrimesCentral.com, Aug. 26, 2014]
[‘Serial killer’ probe tarnishes Brazilian hospital,” BBC (England), Feb. 20. 2014]

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de Souza, Dr. Virginia Helena Soares

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Marinette Pezin, Serial Baby-Killing Mom – 2006, France


Few serial killer moms meet the stereotypical politically correct description (the Marxism-based “Duluth model”) of the female as manipulated victim of a powerful oppressive made who causes her to commit violence. Marinette Pezin’s case does, however, fit the stereotype and the court was justly merciful in their judgment.

In 2003 Mehmet Unlu, a retired Turkish immigrant bought a house in Contres, Loir-et-Chet, France from a couple named Edmond and Marinette Pezin, parents of four living children, a boy (22) and three girls, who were beginning divorce proceedings. Three years later he made a horrifying discovery. January 27, 2006 when digging in the garden with a spade he came across a small package, a scrap of blanket and a bit of plastic inside of which was the decomposed body of a baby girl. Police tracked down the previous owners and through a DNA test it was determined that Marinette Pezin was the mother. She expressed “confusion” at the news. She was charged with homicide and investigation continued.

Later that year, on October 12, 2006, Mehmet Unlu was planting leeks and dug up another package, this one containing a skull and some bones of another newborn. DNA testing was blocked (it is not clear from news reports seen so far what the reason was). Yet finally Marinette Pezin began telling the truth. She confessed that she had given birth in a bathtub and murdered the child by drowning. She admitted that in addition to the two babies discovered that there was another corpse of a newborn buried on the property. Investigators, using ground penetrating radar, covered the entire area with no results Finally in 2008 Marinette gave them the general location and they dug up the corpse which was buried 36mm in the ground under a pile of wood in the garden.

But Marinette had more to disclose. Back in 1989 she had given birth to child, in a toilet. In her confession she said that “someone” flushed the body down. She excused the killings asserting that her husband wanted no more children and that he was frighteningly overbearing: “authoritarian and violent.” She said her husband had no affection for any of their children. Her representations were plausible and were confirmed by her living children. Their father was a boorish tyrant. She had married Edmond at the age of 16 a man of 34. Before reaching the age of 20 years, Marinette had already given birth to four children including twins.

On February 3, 2011, the Assize Court of Blois convicted Marinette Pezin, 44, of killing three children but awarded her a suspended sentence – of only 5 years duration.

[Robert St. Estephe]

***
Oldest child Thierry, 27 (in 2011).
1989 – child born in toilet bowl and flushed. There, the husband was aware but did not want another child.
2003 – Mehmet Unlu buys house from Pezins, who were at the time beginning divorce proceedings.
Jan. 27, 2006 – body discovered by Mehmet Unlu. January 2006, Mehmet Unlu, Turkish pensioner who just bought a house in Contres (Loir-et-Cher), discovers, digging in his garden, a piece of blanket and a kind of plastic canvas. Inside, the body of a female baby.
Oct. 12, 2006 – body discovered. On October 12, while continuing the investigation, it is the woman of pensioner shows, gardening, a new piece of plastic bag. The police were alerted and exhume a piece of bone and a tiny skull belonging to a second baby.
Feb. 22?, 2008 – third body found buried 36mm in the ground under a pile of wood in the garden. ground penetrating radar.
Feb. 3, 2011 – Assize Court, Blois, MP, 44, receives a suspended sentence of five years.

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Sources:
[“Une mère jugée pour un triple infanticide à Blois,” Metro News (France), Feb. 1, 2011]
[ D. R., “L'affaire Pezin: la preuve par les ondes,” Le Figaro (France), Feb. 22, 2008]
[“Blois: Cinq ans avec sursis pour la mère qui a noyé trois nouveau-nés,” 20 Minutes (France), Feb. 3, 2011]

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For more cases of this type, see Serial Baby-Killer Moms.

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Véronique Courjault, Serial Baby-Killing Mom – France, 2006


From Wikipedia: Véronique Courjault (born Fièvre) is a French citizen who confessed to having killed three of her babies, two of whom she stored in a freezer at her home. Her case has been referred to in the media as the "affaire des bébés congelés," or "freezer babies" case.

Véronique Courjault (born in 1968 in the French department of Maine-et-Loire) is the wife of engineer Jean-Louis Courjault (born in 1966). After their marriage in 1994, they were known to have had two sons born in 1995 and 1997.

After living in France, the couple moved to Seoul (South Korea) in 2002, while maintaining a home in the French city of Tours.

• Chronology of events

On July 23, 2006, Jean-Louis Courjault, returning to Seoul after vacationing in France, found two infant corpses in the family freezer. A few days later, DNA tests performed by South Korean authorities confirmed that the infants were those of the Courjaults.

On August 22, 2006, Jean-Louis and Véronique Courjault held a press-conference during which the couple contested the DNA results and called the media "a lynch mob" that was in conspiracy with commercial rivals of Jean-Louis Courjault.

The case was transferred to France where new DNA tests were ordered. On October 12, 2006, Véronique Courjault admitted to killing both infants and freezing their remains after she gave birth to them in 2002 and 2003 in South Korea. She also confessed to killing a third infant and burning its body in a fireplace in 1999 while the couple still lived in France.

In January 2009, the case against Jean-Louis Courjault was dismissed. He stated publicly that he had never been aware of his wife's pregnancies and that she had in fact kept them secret by wearing loose clothing and through a process referred to as denial of pregnancy.

On June 18, 2009, Véronique Courjault was found guilty of having murdered her three infants by the French court and was sentenced to 8 years in prison.

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A large debate in the Francophone press emerged over the summer of 2009 concerning the basis for Courjault's denial of the three pregnancies and whether she had deliberately deceived her husband with the intention of murdering the infants. Swiss television (TSR) in Geneva aired an interview with American child psychiatrist Daniel Schechter, a specialist in the diagnosis and treatment of peripartum psychopathology. Schechter described "denial of pregnancy" as a serious symptom of a psychiatric disturbance that can have several possible etiologies.

Véronique Courjault was released from jail on May 17, 2010. She had spent almost 4 years behind bars.

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For more cases of this type, see Serial Baby-Killer Moms.

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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Susan F., Serial Baby-Killing Mom – Germany, 2007


It was time for little 5-year-old Celine to start school, but the girl never showed up. So on November 27, 2007, agents from the Youth Office visited the home of mother Susan F. in Plauen, a small town in Saxony, Germany. The household, orderly and respectable, contained two boys – Tim (7) and Luca (1) – the unmarried father Jörn G., yet there was no girl. Celine, born  February 28, 2002 was nowhere to be found. Police were notified.

They found Celine in a trunk in the house’s basement, a corpse, killed soon after her birth in the local hospital. A week later, further search of the premises turned up two more infant’s corpses, both girls. One was found in in freezer behind flower pots; the other in a suitcase in balcony closet, both packed away in plastic trash bags. The children were unknown to the school officials since they, unlike Celine, were born at home, and died without documentation or even a name.

Investigation of the history of the killings was a challenge, for Susan F. had, in a period of just a few years, relocated residence in Plauen nine times. A language teacher, Susan had been unemployed for seven years.

As with so many cases of this try the father of the murdered children asserted he was oblivious to two the pregnancies (those following the birth of Celine) and unaware of the killings. Since he was frequently away from home working in Switzerland his claims are plausible. Jörn G. was not charged with a crime. Celine, he said, he was informed was adopted out. Autopsies showed that none of the three babies had suffered from trauma or disease. Susan said they just “suddenly died.”

Susan was charged with killing the two girls born at home in 2004 and 2005. Celine’s birth was not hidden from officials thus Susan was given the benefit of the doubt and not charged in that death.

On March 4, 2009, Susan F., 29, was convicted of two cases of manslaughter; sentenced to 8 years in prison.

[Robert St. Estephe]

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2000 – Tim, son #1 born, lived.
Feb. 28, 2002 – Celine, daughter #1, died; b. in the Vogtland-Klinikum,
Jan. 13, 2004 – daughter #2, died.
Sep. 14, 2005 – daughter #3, died.
2006 – Luca, son #2 born, lived.
Nov. 27, 2007 – Employees of the Youth Office visited the mother because her daughter Celine should be enrolled.
Nov. 27?, 2007 – Celine’s body discovered in trunk in basement.
Dec. 2007 – “a week later,” 2 other bodies discovered: in freezer behind flower pots; in trash bag in suitcase in balcony closet.
Dec. 5?, 2007 – autopsy released.
Mar. 4, 2009 – Susan F., 29, convicted of 2 cases of manslaughter; sentenced to 8 years in prison.

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[“Mother gets 8 years for three infant deaths,” The Local (English) (Germany), Mar. 4, 2009]
 [“Baby-Leichen; Das dunkle Geheimnis der Susan F.” Superillu.de, Dec. 12, 2007]
[“Kindstötung Acht Jahre Haft für Mutter von toten Babys,” Der Tagsspiegel (Germany), Mar. 4, 2009]

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For more cases of this type, see Serial Baby-Killer Moms.

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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Patricia Dagorn, Lonely Hearts Serial Killer – France, 2012


Early reports gave the name as “Patricia D.”

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Patricia Dagorn lived the good life in sunny Côte d’Azur. She financed it by preying upon elderly men. She lied to, stole from and defrauded her lonely victims. She used matrimonial agencies to prospect for her prey. At least two died while associated with her, others survived – barely. Police were on her trail starting in 2011 when an elderly male companion living in a Nice hotel died under suspicious circumstances.

She came to the attention of police again in 2012. On May 26, 2012, the Haut-Savoie police caught Patricia about to abscond with several suitcases Inside of which they found “a cache of documents suggesting that this woman was a predator on the elderly – as blank checks, a will and statements from other people’s accounts” were in her possession.

The crimes which finally earned Dagorn a prison term was committed in 2013 against an 88-year-old retired economics professor living in in Annemasse, in Haute-Savoie named Robert. Ms. Dagorn was sentenced to five years for a cocktail of offenses: “violence, abuse of the disabled, kidnapping, theft from a vulnerable person, and voluntary aggravated violence.” Dagorn’s poison of preference was Valium. After the Black Widow was convicted Robert reported his ordeal in an interview with a reporter from Le Dauphiné Libéré. “She won my confidence to pave the way for her attack. I realized nothing. She gave me several rations of Valium. I was drugged gradually. Then she wanted me to sign the papers. She wanted to transfer my money to her account. Fortunately, I had already given valuable jewelry of my wife and my daughter.” It was Robert’s daughter who realize her father was being smammed. She reported Patricia Dagorn to the police and saved her aged father’s life.

Virginia Combépine, Robert’s lawyer, described Dagorn as “a very Machiavellian and manipulative person” who “weaves her web around its victim.”
 
Yet another of her surviving victims who barely escaped death at the seductress’s hands, came out and gave the press his story. The unnamed 84-year old widower from Frejus told Nice-Matin reporters of his brush with the Valium Vamp. They met in January 2012 through a through a dating agency.She’s a pathological liar, an actress, a manipulator who took advantage of my solitude. We went to dinner and she said bluntly, ‘you want to keep me?’ I fell for it. I found a youth strand. Later he discovered Valium in his luggage and went to his doctor to be examined. “I was headed for death without realizing it. The doctor told me: ‘you have been poisoned.’”

Patricia Dagorn was sentenced April 23, 2013. Police continued investigations of other victims but no other prosecutions seem to have resulted.

[Robert St. Estephe]

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Victims (patched together from various sources, possible errors)
2 known deaths; 4 survivors.

2011 – 65 year old man with whom she lived in Nice, died. Police investigated.
2011 – a different unnamed victim, alive. “Elle avait aussi fréquenté en 2011, dans la commune de Mouans-Sartoux (Alpes-Maritimes), un homme mort à 85 ans.”
Jan. 2012 – a different unnamed victim, Frejus, widower, 84, alive. Matrimonial agency.
2012 – Man, 85, Mouans-Sartoux, Alpes-Maritimes, died.
2012 – Nice, poisoned, survived.
May 26, 2012 – Police caught her absconding with documents used for financial fraud.
Nov. 2013 – Robert, former economics professor aged 88, in Annemasse, in Haute-Savoie. Patricia Dagorn is currently incarcerated for crimes against him: “violence, abuse of the vulnerable, kidnapping, theft of vulnerable person, and voluntary aggravated violence.”
Apr. 23, 2013 – Patricia Dagorn, 53, sentenced to 5 years for crimes against Robert.

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[“Une photo de l’empoisonneuse présumée révélée,” Le Figaro.fr, Nov. 11, 2013]
[“La vie dorée de Patricia l’empoisonneuse” (“The golden life of Patricia the poisoner”), Paris Match (France), Nov. 17, 2013]
[“Un appel à témoins lancé contre “l’empoisonneuse” en série,” Le JDD (France), Nov. 17, 2013]
[“Empoisonneuse en série présumée: Une victime a failli mourir «pour 3 jours d’amour»,” 20 Minutes (France), Nov. 14, 2013; online: Jan. 29, 2014]
[AFP, “Nouvelle audition de Patricia Dagorn, “l’empoisonneuse” qui avait séduit un prof d’Annemasse,” 3 Alpes, Jun. 3, 2015; Jul. 27, 2015]

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Friday, August 19, 2016

Jolanta K., Serial Murderess of 5 Newborns – 2003, Poland


On August 20, 2003 two girls, in the Polish village of Czerniejow, aged twelve and eight, having been prompted by their grandmother to remove a blue plastic pickle barrel that was the source of an unpleasant odor. The sisters took the barrel out to the garden and pried open the top, spilling the contents on the ground. What they discovered was the decaying remains of dead newborns, their own dead siblings. A subsequent search of additional barrels turned up five victims, four female and one male. They were killed between 1992 to 2002.

The girls’ parents, whose full names remain secret, called Jolanta K. and Andrjej, were arrested. On October 8, 2003 Jolanta confessed to three of the the killings but blamed her husband, claiming he pressured her to kill the children. He denied any knowledge of the murders. The trial court found that he was truthful and found that all five of the infants had been born healthy.

On March 2, 2006 the district court in Lublin sentenced Jolanta to 125 years in prison (25 years for each murder).

[Robert St. Estephe]

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[“Mother admits to killing her children,” Al Jazeera, Sep. 23, 2003]
[“Szok! Zwłoki piątki noworodków upchnęli w beczki i proszą o łaskę!” Fakt.pl (Poland),  Nov. 30, 2010]

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Jolanta K., Czerniejow, Poland.

1992-2002 – period of murders.
Aug. 20, 2003 – Bodies found.
Oct. 8, 2003 – confessed.
Mar 2, 2006 – sentenced to 125 years (25 x 5 murders), the district court in Lublin sentenced Jolanta K. to life imprisonment.
– Andrjej, 44, Husband acquitted.

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For more cases of this type, see Serial Baby-Killer Moms.

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