Gilles De Rais
Rais was a Breton who fought against the English, often serving alongside Joan of Arc. A year after Joan was burned at the stake, Rais retired from military service and returned to his family’s castle, at Machecoul. From there, Rais began a campaign of sadistic sex murders, killing between 60 and 200 children. He preferred boys between the ages of 6 and 18. His victims were generally blue-eyed and blond-haired, and were usually kidnapped from the village of Machecoul and the surrounding areas, or lured to his castle. His first victim was a 12-year-old messenger who was hanged by his neck on a metal hook, and raped before being put out of his misery.
More and more children started to disappear and suspicion arose. Unfortunately, the locals were too terrified to go up against one of the most powerful men in France. Rais had a specially built chamber where he would restrain his victims while he proceeded with his grotesque sexual acts. He would kill them with a variety of methods which included dismemberment, decapitation and disembowelment. He enjoyed watching them die, sometimes even laughing. After some difficulty, a case was finally brought up against him. Rais stated at his trial that he admired the heads and body parts of his more beautiful victims. He was arrested in September of 1440, and indicted on 34 counts of murder. He would eventually confess to the murders under the threat of torture. Rais was found guilty of murder, sodomy and heresy. He was hanged and then burned on October 16, 1440, along with two of his servants.