Blanche Monnier - The Sequestered Woman

Discussion in 'Photos' started by adv3rsely, Jun 7, 2017.

  1. adv3rsely

    adv3rsely Drawing Blood

    Jun 5, 2017
    Ontario, Canada
    Blanche Monnier was a French socialite living in Poitiers, France. At age 25, Blanche had started a relationship with an older man, a poor lawyer, whom she intended on marrying. Her mother, Madame Louise Monnier Demarconnay, forbade the relationship. Madame Monnier Demarconnay did what any sane mother would do -- she locked her daughter in a tiny room for a quarter of a century! I have read some accounts that say that Madame Monnier Demarconnay was willing to let Blanche go free if she gave in to her mother's demands, but Blanche never gave in. Blanche never saw sunlight for 25 years...

    A June 9, 1901 New York Times article explained what happened:

    “Time passed and Blanche was no longer young. The attorney she so loved died in 1885. During all that time the girl was confined in the lonely room, fed with scraps from the mother’s table – when she received any food at all. Her only companions were the rats that gathered to eat the hard crusts that she threw upon the floor. Not a ray of light penetrated her dungeon, and what she suffered can only be surmised.”

    (Please forgive me if this is not a photograph of Blanche Monnier, it was the only "before" picture of her that I found. According to a reverse Google image search it is her...).

    On May 23, 1901 the Parisian Attorney General received an anonymous letter that revealed the secret incarceration of Blanche Monnier's. The letter read in part:

    "I have the honor to inform you of an exceptionally serious occurrence. I speak of a spinster who is locked up in Madame Monnier’s house, half starved, and living on a putrid litter for the past twenty-five years – in a word, in her own filth."


    The letter surprised the police as they knew Madame Louise Monnier Demarconnay and her son Marcel Monnier, a law-school graduate lived at the address mentioned in the letter. The Monnier family were an well-to-do family. Madame Louise’s husband, Monsieur Émile Monnier, who had been the head of a local arts faculty, died in 1879. That being said, the police recalled that 25 years prior, without drawing any suspicion, the Monnier's daughter, Blanche, disappeared.

    Police decided that they should investigate the anonymous letter. When they arrived at the home, they forced the door open to the small room and found an emaciated Blanche Monnier lying in her own feces. Her head was hidden under her bed covers. The 49-year-old woman, who now weighed only 55 pounds, was naked, scared, and deranged. A witness to the event described how Blanche was discovered:

    “We immediately gave the order to open the casement window. This was done with great difficulty, for the old dark-colored curtains fell down in a heavy shower of dust. To open the shutters, it was necessary to remove them from their right hinges. As soon as light entered the room, we noticed, in the back, lying on a bed, her head and body covered by a repulsively filthy blanket, a woman identified as Mademoiselle Blanche Monnier. The unfortunate woman was lying completely naked on a rotten straw mattress. All around her was formed a sort of crust made from excrement, fragments of meat, vegetables, fish, and rotten bread. We also saw oyster shells and bugs running across Mademoiselle Monnier’s bed. The air was so unbreathable, the odor given off by the room was so rank, that it was impossible for us to stay any longer to proceed with our investigation.”


    (Blanche Monnier 1901)

    The terrified woman was wrapped in a blanket and brought to the Hôpital Hôtel-Dieu in Paris, where doctors thought that she would die soon. At the hospital, it is said that Blanche took great pleasure in being bathed and being able to enjoy fresh air. She is quoted as saying: “How lovely it is!”

    Police searched the home and questioned both her mother and brother. Her brother, Marcel, told doctors that Blanche was “foul, angry, overly excited, and full of rage”. Doctors noted that Blanche wasn't anything like her brother described, in fact, doctors said that she was quite calm. Blanche’s brother would also claim that Blanche was insane and that she never attempted to escape. However, according to court testimony, several witnesses claimed that they often heard Blanche screaming and pleading, including clear mentions of words such as “police”, “pity”, and “freedom”. On August 16, 1892, one witness heard Blanche scream:

    “What have I done to be locked up? I don’t deserve this horrible torture. God must not exist then, to let His creatures suffer in this way? And no one to come to my rescue!”

    Madame Louise Monnier Demarconnay, was arrested the next day. She immediately placed in the infirmary where she died 15 days later. It was said that her last words were:
    “Ah, my poor Blanche!”
    Marcel, stood trial alone, accused of being his mother’s accomplice. The trial began on October 7, 1901. Four days later, Marcel was found guilty and sentenced to 15 months in prison. The judgment on October 11 raised applause in the courtroom and outside on the Palace Square, the crowd showed their approval, screaming and shouting hostile threats at the convicted man. Marcel immediately appealed the verdict and in a judgment announced on November 20, 1901, the court of appeal found that he had exercised no violence on the woman and hence, he was acquitted and released from jail.

    Although Blanche Monnier did eventually put on some weight, she never regained her sanity. Blanche Monnier died in a psychiatric hospital in 1913, 12 years after she was discovered captive in her room.


    (Blanche in a psychiatric hospital)

    (Sources: Wikipedia and AlteredDimensions)
  2. Squid Jones

    Squid Jones El Guapo

    Feb 2, 2017
    A glass house
    Good post. I'd known about this story before and had seen these pics before but these are the best quality pics of her I've seen. Other ones are too dark and hard to make out.

    It's so crazy what happened to this woman. They should make a movie about this incident.
  3. Hehe me too I read or looked at something about it when I was young and still frightened by the horror stories inspired by real fact and also this is the first time I see such quality pictures of Blanche ..
    i am also for a movie about this, it could be in the same genre has *misery* but with much more darker scene and gore !
  4. Levingstone

    Levingstone Deathling

    Feb 26, 2017
    Security Officer
    Orange, Texas
    Bing Images with the SafeSearch off, has more images of Blanche Monnier. A sad case that broke her spirit, and her mind, I hope she's in a better place, but who am I to judge either way?

    SARUUHH Deathling

    Apr 11, 2017
    More info I've ever seen on this family. Thank you!!
    kayLaLuna, Salt and adv3rsely like this.
  6. Vael

    Vael Death Addict

    Apr 18, 2017
    Interesting post! There is a great book called The Prisoner of Poitiers based on Blanche Monnier. It's highly recommended
    kayLaLuna, Salt, deviant2 and 3 others like this.

    AMANHASNONAME One of the "I'd hit it" guys

    Jul 16, 2016
    I have a real problem with there being a God who allows this kind of suffering of the innocents. A BIG problem!
  8. Shadow of the Void

    Shadow of the Void Drawing Blood

    Feb 6, 2017
    I heard about her story before, it's an sad example how cruel humans can be, she suffered a long time in darkness, isolated, hungry and thirsty the only company she had were Rats and her thoughs, but was not lucky enough to die, just because of her mothers egoism.

    May she find her peace now.
    ~absque dolore et tristitia.
    kayLaLuna, Out of order, Vael and 2 others like this.
  9. OP

    adv3rsely Drawing Blood

    Jun 5, 2017
    Ontario, Canada
    Yes! I have been trying to find a copy! I saw that there is a French novel called "La Sequestrée de Poitiers" by André Gide but I have been unable to find an English translation. I can read and understand French but it's my second language, so I am more comfortable with English.

    Thanks everyone who took the time to read and respond to this thread! :)

    TAURUS MASTERS Deathling

    May 30, 2017
    Independent Contractor
    New Jersey
    So sad, I guess the woman was so peaceful, as to succumb to her family's evilness. I'm sorry, it sounds like she really didn't attempt to escape, or that the few times she tried were futile.
    Maybe she was a little "off" from the beginning, I just can't understand that kind of mindset, especially when it's a life or death situation. Obviously, she lived but did she really…
  11. Out of order

    Out of order Death Addict VIP

    May 2, 2017
    I never heard of that. Thank you for the great story and pics :)

    That she survived this long is unbelievable. What makes me sad, is, that nobody how heard her screams did anything :( And 15 month for letting ones own sister suffer 25 years? It's a joke.
  12. DeathPornFan

    DeathPornFan Drawing Blood

    Apr 28, 2017

    Except he didnt serve 15 months he was acquitted since they couldnt prove he did any physical violence to here. Glad to know the justice system hasnt changed much from 1880 to 2017
  13. Out of order

    Out of order Death Addict VIP

    May 2, 2017
    Sadly true!
    More punishment for not paying taxes then for sexually assault a child :(
    kayLaLuna, adv3rsely and Squid Jones like this.
  14. deviant2

    deviant2 Drawing Blood

    May 2, 2017
    ...the long road
    Those eyes, my goodness.
    She was a beautiful, vibrant young lady.
    Amazing that she lived, truly.
    Though for what? An asylum?

    Same kind of thing still happens to this day, I'm afraid.
    We now call it, underground sex trafficing...
    kayLaLuna and adv3rsely like this.
  15. rupert

    rupert Deathling

    Jun 10, 2017
    Shame she wasn't a porn star. I bet she had a tighten.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 10, 2017
  16. Dream Catcher

    Dream Catcher Life is but a dream.

    Oct 25, 2016
    Rocky Mountain High
    I saw more pictures of her a while back, and naturally can't find them now. She was standing and being helped to walk. She looked even worse when she was facing the camera. She seemed to have the same faint smile on her face. I'd like to think there was some form of her young self in there, happy to be alive and free from hell.
    kayLaLuna and Salt like this.
  17. kriskross

    kriskross New Member

    Jun 24, 2017
  18. kriskross

    kriskross New Member

    Jun 24, 2017
    I have read this story before. I have also heard similar stories like this near where I am from. This is so cruel.
    adv3rsely likes this.
  19. Aglaeca

    Aglaeca Death Addict

    Jul 18, 2017
    Music producer, Sound engineer
    Well, it reminded me a bit of the movie Martyrs (2008). Not all of it but there's some resemblense. If you can watch it fully you'll understand. Or maybe you've seen it already?
    One of the best French movies IMO.
  20. Mega Death

    Mega Death Death Addict

    Feb 16, 2017
    I don't love you no more.
    Somewhere in Texas

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