Devils and Demons … this was not Halloween … it was for real …

It was five o’clock this Saturday (October 23) morning.

It was five o’clock this Saturday (October 23) morning. Most of the inhabitants in the commune of La Verrière in the département (region) of Yvelines south-west of Paris, therefore in greater Paris, were still asleep.

So was the tenant of a first-floor apartment in an HLM – government housing for the less privileged – when his doorbell rang frantically.

On the landing stood his neighbor from the second floor. (Seeing the police have not revealed the names of those involved, I will call him Fred.)

Fred was naked. He was also bleeding profusely from both hands, but he was more concerned about his nakedness than the blood.

Quickly, the first-floor tenant gave Fred a pair of pants and a shirt to put on. Then, he summoned the police.

A few minutes later, the police on the premises, Fred escorted the cops upstairs to the apartment where he lived with his companion and their four children. (I will call her Pansy.) From the passage, he began to beg Pansy to open the door.  “In the name of Jesus, please do not believe them!” he sobbed. By then he had told the cops that Pansy’s three sisters and brother, and their children, were also in the apartment. There were therefore five adults and seven children in the apartment. The youngest of the children (Fred’s son) was four months old, and the eldest child was nine years old. The adults were aged between 21 and 30.

The police had no problem forcing the door, and in the moment that followed, they burst into the apartment. However, as they did so, they were met with cries of “Jesus!” and saw arms and legs disappear through the apartment’s living room window. One after the other Fred’s stay-over guests and their children hit the asphalted sidewalk down below. Fred’s four-month-old did not survive the fall.

While the sirens of the ambulances tore up the silence of dawn, Fred pointed out that his wife’s brother and one of the children were missing. The police found the man and the child hiding in bushes near the apartment building. The man was fearfully whimpering about having to defend himself against the devil.

All are now in hospital being treated for numerous fractures.

Both Fred and Pansy’s mother have given testimony to the police about what had been going on in the family.

The mother said that her daughters and son had become involved with a church. No, they had not become devil worshippers. On the contrary, they had embraced Jesus as their savior. Pansy had become so devout that she had even started to believe that she was Jesus. She had told her mother that she had to ‘purify’ her “in the name of Jesus of Nazareth”.

Fred said that he had gone to bed normally on Friday night while his companion’s siblings and the children were singing religious songs in the living room. He was then awakened by his companion who told him to heat a bottle for the baby. When he walked into the kitchen, one of Pansy’s sisters was there and when she saw him, she started to scream that he was the devil. He tried to calm her down, but the scene inside the apartment had swiftly turned violent with all running around and screaming that the devil was amongst them. They had torn Fred’s clothes off him and had pushed him out into the corridor. When he had tried to hold open the door to get back into the apartment, they had run to the kitchen for knives to cut his hands off.

Police psychiatrists say that such religious frenzy is usually provoked by drugs, but no drugs were found in the apartment or detected in the blood and urine of the siblings and their children.

The family hails from the Central African Republic, once a French colony. Sylvain Demangho, President of the Franco-Centre-Afrique friendship organization (Collectif des Centreafricains de France) told the Paris daily Le Parisien, that many of his compatriots resident in France are becoming involved with magico-religious sects. They meet secretly for worship in private apartments.  He said that the devil plays as important a role in their worship and Christian belief as Jesus.

The police must now find the leader – guru – who has twisted the minds of this family. And someone will be charged with involuntary (perhaps voluntary) homicide because of the death of Fred’s four-month-old baby.

Almost nine percent of La Verrière’s 6165 inhabitants are immigrants from Africa.


The police have today (Tuesday, October 26) issued further details about what had gone in the apartment. They do say however that they still have to get the whole story from the family.

Fred’s real name is Francisco. He is under arrest. Also under arrest is the companion of one of the sister’s of Francisco’s companion. She is named Eurydice; he is named Benjamin.  Eurydice was also arrested, but she has been freed under control order. The three face the charge of ‘voluntary violence  which had resulted in death’.

The police said that from what they had heard from Francisco was that he and his companion and their children (two and not four as initially reported) were asleep in their bedroom when the four-month-old baby had begun to cry. Francisco, naked, had thrown a nightgown over his shoulders, and had gone to the kitchen to heat a bottle for the baby. Into the kitchen had walked Benjamin and Eurydice from the apartment’s second bedroom where all the overnight guests (adults and children) had been sleeping.

Both Benjamin and Eurydice had begun to scream that Francisco was the devil. They attacked him, pulled the nightgown off him and, brandishing knives, had thrown him out of the apartment.  When he had tried to force his way back into the apartment, the two had cut his hands. He, hiding ‘his shame’ behind a doormat, had then fled downstairs to a neighbor.

The other adults however told the police a different story. They said that Francisco, known for violence, and carrying a knife, had walked into the bedroom where they were sleeping.  Threatening them with the knife, he had ordered them to jump from the window. In the fight which had followed, the three had received cuts. The other overnight guests having been awakened,  had collectively decided that it was best to get out of Francisco’s way. The window being their only means of escape, they had jumped. The man who the police had found hiding behind bushes had grabbed a child and had fled down the stairs while the fighting was going on. His name is Benoit and he is the brother of Francisco’s companion.

The police said that they had found several knives in the apartment; not dinner knives, but the kind of knife one would carry if one had bad intentions.  Two of the knives were covered in blood. There were, they said, religious objects and books in the apartment, but although the family were members of a Christian sect, they were not devil worshipers and neither the devil nor any demon had  had anything to do with the night’s violence. The apartment was in a state of disarray with furniture having been overturned which indicated that there had been some degree of violence before the family had jumped.

The police remain puzzled about how one man (Francisco) could have attacked and overcome five adults. Benoit alone is a big man; the police described him as being of an imposing build.

Marilyn Z. Tomlins

2 Responses to “Devils and Demons … this was not Halloween … it was for real …”

  1. 2
    Louise Says:

    Your Comments Marilyn this is terrible. Did this really happen? Are people really still this primitive?

  2. 1
    Jo Wake Says:

    Horrific story, especially taking place in Paris. Glenda talks about similar religious beliefs occuring in Malaysia. Plus a belief in witches and demons. It is incredible in this day and age that people’s minds can be so affected.

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