Gilles de Rais was a French lord and knight who served as a leader in the French army. Rais' achievements as a military man are often overshadowed by the fact that he was convicted of killing several children. A confessed serial killer, Gilles de Rais was sentenced to death and hanged on 26 October 1440.
While he was diagnosed with mental illness as a child, French physician Marcel Petiot or Doctor Satan, allegedly killed almost 60 people later. He targeted Jews fleeing Nazi-occupied France, injected them with poison, stole their belongings, and hid their bodies in his basement. He was guillotined for his crimes.
Patrice Alègre is a French serial killer who raped and killed his victims. In 2002, he was convicted of six rapes, five murders, and an attempted murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment. Patrice Alègre's abusive childhood is said to be one of the reasons behind his sex-related crimes later in his life.
Jacques Plumain is a French serial killer who murdered at least two women in France and Germany between 1999 and 2001. He was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in 2005. He served 15 years of his sentence before his release in January 2021. The murders inspired a couple of TV documentaries.
Eugen Weidmann was a German serial killer best remembered as the last person to be executed publicly in France; he was executed by guillotine in June 1939. Many people, including the then 17-year-old actor Christopher Lee, witnessed the execution. The spectators' hysterical behavior after watching the execution was so scandalous that all future public executions were banned in France.
Michel Fourniret was a French serial killer who killed at least 12 people between 1987 and 2003. He was sentenced to life imprisonment and his wife Monique Pierrette Olivier, who assisted him in his killings, was sentenced to 48 years of imprisonment. Michel Fourniret died on 10 May 2021 at the age of 79.
Henri Désiré Landru was a French serial killer who killed at least seven women between 1915 and 1919. Nicknamed the Bluebeard of Gambais, Landru also murdered at least three women and a man between 1914 and 1915 at a house he rented in the town of Vernouillet. Landru was arrested in 1919 and was executed by guillotine in 1922.
Known as the Beast of the Bastille, French serial killer and rapist Guy Georges grew up in the social care system and was a troubled youth. He was later convicted of raping and killing 7 women, while he also assaulted at least 13 more women. He was eventually sentenced to life imprisonment.
Thierry Paulin was a French serial killer who murdered 21 elderly women during the 1980s. The motive behind these murders was robbery. Paulin died before his trial due to complications related to AIDS. His life and killings inspired a 1994 movie titled I Can't Sleep.
Volker Eckert was a German serial killer who murdered at least six women in Spain, France, and East Germany between 1974 and 2006. Although he confessed to only six murders, Eckert is believed to have murdered many other women in countries like the Czech Republic and Italy. He committed suicide on July 2, 2007, during his criminal proceedings.
Veronique Courjault is a French woman and murderer who killed three of her newborn babies. As it turned out, her husband didn't know about her pregnancies as she kept them a secret through a process called denial of pregnancy. In 2009, Veronique Courjault was found guilty of all three murders and was sentenced to eight years of imprisonment.