the popular poisoner of Marseilles

Things are looking up for the convict in France (1933)

image found here

“At any rate, they’re taken to where they’re going in cell-equipped autobuses now instead of in the old salad-basket cars which figured like extra cabooses on freight trains. The new penitentiary buses have just carried some two hundred lifers to La Rochelle, where they embarked for the island prison of St Martin-de-Re.

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The stars of this year’s embarkation were the prisoner who poisoned two wives, Dr Laget, “freshly shaven, attired in tortoiseshell glasses, golf suit, cap of pearl grey, and yellow polka dot tie“; a strangler named Morveau, whose accomplice was a motorcycle acrobat named the Death-Defier, since dead of tuberculosis; young Davin, a rich moron who murdered an American playboy pal for fun and pocket money;¬†a hot-tempered Frenchman who killed a motorcyclist for passing too close to him and a multitude of arch-crooks, killers and underworld rabble.

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Fortune’s fool was there too, a murderer named Boyer who was to have been executed the morning after an assassin killed France’s President Paul Doumer. On the technicality that Boyer thus lost his last-minute chance of pardon, his sentence was automatically commuted to life imprisonment.

assassination of Paul Doumer found here

Convicts from the Devil’s Island bagne have been known to escape not singly but in groups on ten or fifteen, rather like tropical walking clubs. Dr Bougrat, one of the most popular poisoners of Marseilles, recently fled from his cell to Caracas, where he now enjoys a flourishing general practice, though nose and throat were his original¬†specialty.

Dr Bougrat found here