The Serial Killer of Occupied Paris
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For two days, a strange, foul odor had been emanating from the home of physician Marcel Petiot. A concerned neighbor rang the bell but no one answered. Sickened by the odor and alarmed by the smoke he saw wafting from the chimney, the neighbor called the police. Reached by phone at his office, Dr. Petiot told the officers he would meet them outside his house in 15 minutes. He asked them to remain outside the residence until he arrived.
The police officers waited for an hour. When Petiot failed to show, they contacted the fire department. Firefighters entered the home and traced the nauseating odor to a small room in the basement where a coal stove roared with fire. Inside the stove, firemen found the charred remains of a human hand. A nearby staircase was piled high with a gruesome collection of dismembered human body parts and bones. Decapitated heads and more body parts were strewn throughout the house.
It was 1944 and the grisly discovery shocked Paris. At first glance, Petiot was the most unlikely of murder suspects. Handsome and charming, he regularly provided free medical care for the poor. His many acts of kindness and generosity earned him the nickname the “People’s Doctor.” Petiot’s benevolent and attractive façade hid the fact that he was a monster. He was charged with 27 murders, although authorities suspected the doctor had dispatched with as many as 150 victims.
Death in the City of Light is the true story of the brutal serial killer who unleashed his own reign of terror in Nazi-occupied Paris. David King, acclaimed author of Finding Atlantis, draws extensively from many new sources, including the massive, classified police file on Dr. Petiot, to create a gripping, page-turning narrative of the riveting murder investigation and subsequent trial that rocked wartime France.
Petiot’s trial quickly turned into a circus. Claiming to be the leader of a French Resistance movement, the defendant insisted the bodies in his house were Germans and “traitors to the country.” In reality, his hapless victims were Jews, resistance fighters and petty criminals desperate to escape persecution or imprisonment in Nazi-occupied Paris. The prosecution stumbled in its marathon cross-examinations. Petiot, enjoying the spotlight, responded with astonishing ease. His attorney aggressively countered the charges. Despite the mountain of evidence, a win for the prosecution was not guaranteed as Petiot’s intellect and wit threatened to turn the trial in his favor.
With a fascinating cast of characters and shadowy underworld, Death in the City of Light brilliantly evokes Nazi-occupied Paris. It is a harrowing exploration of murder, betrayal and evil of staggering proportions.
Hardcover Book : 432 pages
Publisher: Crown Publishers Inc./Random House ( September 27, 2011 )
Item #: 13-439163
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 x 0.97inches
Product Weight: 16.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
It was very interesting. You learn more about the Nazis in Paris and also find out more about the Court system in this time period. It was a complicated time and is interesting how this time could have been committed amidst the regular turmoil of being an occupied city. A Good read. Fascinating!
THIS WAS ALL NEW INFORMATION TO ME. WHAT A TERRIBLE TIME THEY WENT THRU. HOW SOME PEOPLE MUST HAVE SUFFERED.
Reviewer: lucille b