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Wrongful Death Series: Gilles de Rais

Gilles de Rais is one of France’s most famous and notorious historical figures. Shadows of murder and child abduction taint his reputation as a good soldier. Gilles de Rais perpetrated the murder of hundreds of children, which earned him the top position among the first serial killers in French history. His murdering spree peaked between 1431 and 1433 when he used his victims’ bodies in demonic rituals. Rais would murder children and dismember their bodies before placing them in glass vessels for his cult practices. In 1438 Rais’s confession during his trial shocked the many wrongful death lawyers and civilians present. Don’t be caught off guard by a wrongful death court preceding; use Robert J. DeBry & Associates.

Documented Case

His first documented case of child murder involved a young boy named Jeudon. Rais’ cousin Roger de Briqueville had sent the boy a message to Machecoul, only for the boy to fail to return. During his trial, Rais confessed to having killed the boy. In his biography of Rais in 1971, Jean Benedetti detailed how children who fell into Rais’ hands got executed. In detail regarding Jeudon’s murder, Benedetti illustrated the following: Rais dressed Jeudon in the most comfortable clothes he had ever worn. After a party with his immediate circle, which involved heavy drinking and eating, Rais took him to an upper room. To the boy’s amazement, a brutal death awaited him, and his tense situation instilled a particular pleasure in Rais’ heart. The biography details the brutal murders and torture Rais inflicted on his victims. It paints a picture of how dreadful a murderer Rais was.


During the trial, Étienne Corrillaut, Rais’ bodyguard, confessed to the amazement of wrongful death lawyers and judges about the brutal acts of his master. He said that Rais would strip a child naked and hang them with ropes to stop them from crying. He would then sexually tease them and kill them or have his servants help him. Rais loved decapitating, cutting throats, and dismembering the victims’ bodies. In 1440 the Bishop of Nantes found 40 bodies of Rais’ victims leading to his arrest and confession. Rais confessed to numerous murders and got sentenced to death by hanging in October 1440. Rais’ story is spine-chilling and still baffles experienced homicide detectives and wrongful death lawyers to date. Contact Robert J. Debry & Associates for a consultation on wrongful death.

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