The tale of a faux-vigilante doctor who peddled drugs, performs illegal abortions, and murdered en masse, luring his victims in with tales of false freedom and safety. It feels a little like Dexter meets Creep, but its far, far worse that that.
This is the tale of Marcel Petiot a.k.a. 'Doctor Satan'
Name: Marcel Petiot or Dr. Eugène or Docteur Satan
Born: January 17, 1897
Motive: Serial Killer
Victims: 27 confirmed, potentially upwards of 63
Death: Execution by guillotine
By age 17 a psychiatrist diagnosed Petiot as mentally ill, following multiple exclusions from school and countless acts of delinquency. During World War I, he volunteered for the French Army and exhibited increasing signs of a mental breakdown, reportedly stealing 'army blankets, morphine, and other army supplies, as well as wallets, photographs, and letters', from various rest homes, which resulted in a jail sentence and time in a psychiatric hospital. He was later released with a disability pension.
Victim Number 1
After the war Petiot completed medical school and gained a reputation for theft, dodgy practice, dealing narcotics and performing illegal abortions. It's assumed that around this time (1926) he murdered his first victim: Louise Delaveau, a woman with whom he had an affair and aroused suspicion when she was reported missing and his neighbors saw him loading a big trunk into his car. The case was dismissed, and Petiot was appointed mayor of his town, Villeneuve-sur-Yonne.
In 1936 he moved to Paris and was given the authority to write death certificates.
During the Occupation in World War II Petiot made his fortune offering an escape route to Jews, resistance fighters, ordinary criminals; generally anyone wanted by the Germans. Using the code name 'Dr. Eugène' and enlisting three helpers, Petiot claimed he could transfer wanted men oversees to Argentina for the fee of 25,000 francs per person. One they paid, he he'd claim officials required all immigrants to be inoculated against disease, and would instead inject them with cyanide, steal their valuables and dump the bodies in the Seine, or submerged them in quicklime.
Discovery & Sentence
In 1944 Petiot's neighbors complained to the police of a foul stench in the area and huge amounts of smoke billowing from a chimney in the house. Worried this could be a chimney fire, firemen rushed to the house. Instead they found human remains scattered around a roaring coal fire in the basement.
After multiple attempts at lying as his way out, he was eventually charged with the death of 27 murders for profit. He admitted to killing 19 of the victims, claiming they were Germans and collaborators - part of a total of 63 'enemies' killed.
He was convicted of 26 counts of murder, and sentenced to death by guillotine.