‘French Bluebeard’ on trial


Landru, the French Bluebeard, charged with the murder of 10 fiancees and the son of one of them...
Landru, the French Bluebeard, charged with the murder of 10 fiancees and the son of one of them at the assize court of Versailles. — Otago Witness, 10.1.1922 COPIES OF PICTURE AVAILABLE FROM ODT FRONT OFFICE, LOWER STUART ST, OR WWW.OTAGOIMAGES.CO.NZ
Paris, November 12: Landru’s trial is proceeding with a curious monotony. The judge is detailing the life story of each woman, what she was worth, and when and how she was lost to human ken. Then he cross-examines Landru, who repeats that he was a furniture dealer, and that his relations with each woman was purely commercial.

The evidence included the case of Madame Guillin, who announced her coming marriage with Landru, telling her friends that she was delighted with the idea of crossing the seas, as Landru had been appointed French Consul in Australia.

Nevertheless, the strain of the continual examination is telling upon the prisoner, and he is finding it increasingly difficult to keep his temper, especially as the judge continually assumes Landru guilty.

There is no assumption of the prisoner’s innocence, until he is proved guilty, as in England. Following a remark of the prosecuting counsel, Landru burst out; “I can see you want my head. I am sorry I have not two to offer you.”

This witticism was greeted with a shout of indignation all over the court. Landru saw his blunder, flushed angrily, and resumed his earlier polite manner.

Wrecked on Greymouth bar

Greymouth: The steamer Perth came to grief when crossing the Grey bar at nine yesterday morning, when she was drawing close on 19 feet. She left in the wake of the Ngakuta, Kaiapoi, and Kamona, which are of lighter draught. The Perth bumped just outside the Tip Head and grounded at once. The northward trend of the seas forced her stern around to the north, leaving the vessel lying 50 yards outside the North Tip Head, broadside on to a south-westerly sea, which began sweeping upon her. On seeing the accident, the Kaiapoi turned back, but finding that nothing could be done, resumed her voyage. The tug Westland went out, but heavy breakers forced her to return. The Perth's lifeboats were launched and the crew all reached the shore inside two hours after the stranding.

The first boat, it appears, had a perilous run through the surf. Many hundreds were anxiously looking on. It is feared the Perth may break her back.

Her hull is likely to be further embedded on the beach, and the tides are making. She seems destined to prove a total loss. She is commanded by Captain MacDonald, and has a crew of 25, who are nearly all Australians. The cargo includes a goodly proportion of white pine from the Westland mills.

Unemployment contributions

The Unemployment Relief Executive has released the full text of the appeal which was formulated at its last meeting. It reads: “It was felt that to cope successfully with the position of unemployment some systematic method of providing in regular employment to contribute the sum of 1 shilling per week from this date to January 31 next.

‘‘It was also resolved to ask employees and managers of firms and companies to subsidise the efforts of their employees in the most generous manner possible, and to co-operate with the executive and their own staffs on any matters of detail in connection with the proposal.

‘‘The scheme outlined is to be submitted to the Otago Employers’ Association and the Otago Labour Council; but it is confidently hoped it will have the hearty approval and support of both organisations.’’ — ODT, 14.11.1921.

Add a Comment