Infanticide … yet another case in France …

So far this summer there has been nothing but balls (the kind one kicks or hits), bicycles and barbecues on the front pages of our newspapers and on prime time television. Yesterday this changed, and this morning – Thursday, July 29 – two people, Dominique Cottrez (45) and her husband Pierre-Marie (47) have the front […]

So far this summer there has been nothing but balls (the kind one kicks or hits), bicycles and barbecues on the front pages of our newspapers and on prime time television.

Yesterday this changed, and this morning – Thursday, July 29 – two people, Dominique Cottrez (45) and her husband Pierre-Marie (47) have the front pages all to themselves and dominate every news bulletin on France’s numerous radio stations.

Dominique is France’s newest infanticide mother, and Pierre-Marie is the latest contender to the title of France’s Most Stupid Husband because while she was killing their newborn babies, he was not even aware that the woman he was sleeping with and having sex with was pregnant.

Dominique had killed 8 of their newborn babies. If one could speak of records, then this woman grabs the record of France’s most prolific infanticider. As it is, there are unconfirmed reports that the police are still looking for more little bodies.

Dominique and Pierre-Marie first lived in the village of Villers-sur-Tertre (700 inhabitants) in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France, 195 kms (121 miles) from Paris. Then they moved to another village – Sentier-du-Pré– in the region.

In the 1980s, while living in Villers-sur-Tertre, they had become the parents of two daughters who are today parents themselves. Dominique had then fallen pregnant again twice, but had kept the pregnancies hidden from everyone, including her husband. By her own confession to the police, she had not practiced birth-control. Why not? She did not want to go to the doctor to get a prescription. She said she had become fat and did not like a doctor to see her body.

No one knowing of the pregnancies, she, a care worker with some nursing expertise had given birth on her own, smothering the newborns and burying the little bodies in the garden.

Then, in Sentier-du-Pré, Dominique had fallen pregnant another 6 times. She had again concealed her condition from everyone, giving birth alone and smothering the babies on birth.

This woman’s shocking secret became known when the current owner of the Villers-sur-Tertre house began to dig in his garden to make a pond. When he came across the first set of bones wrapped in plastic, he summoned the gendarmes who dug further and found a second tiny body also wrapped in plastic.

The other 6 bodies were found at the couple’s Sentier-du-Pré home. They were in hermetically sealed plastic bin liners and were hidden in the garage. One bag had been pushed underneath a large and heavy water boiler.

Both the Cottrez were arrested on Monday (July 27), but Pierre-Marie was released after 24 hours; it was clear that he had no knowledge of his wife’s pregnancies or of the murdered babies. “She is fat and adding a kilo here or there was not something that anyone would have noticed,” he said.

Dominique has been charged with assassination. She risks 15 years. I can say ‘only’ 15 years.

I have been going on about this strange quirk in the characters of French women to commit infanticide. I first wrote about it here and I also collaborated on a book about mother/child relationships. I’ve also blogged about it a few times: one can be found under Thursday, December 3, 2009.

The women are all always described by relatives, friends, colleagues and neighbors as most kind and loving.

This is now the case with Dominique as well. Her neighbors are flabbergasted; she is such a nice person, they say. And there are only nice things to be said of Pierre-Marie. A handy man he works at the local town hall. He is being described as a ‘pillar of society’.

Well … well … well …

UPDATE :

It now appears that this monster had indeed killed another two of her newborns. Police are now looking for the two little corpses.

Her killing spree had begun in 1989 and had continued until 2007 when menopause made it impossible for her to conceive.

Now locked up, she is being kept in isolation because the other women in the prison are threatening to kill her. The warders should let them!

Marilyn Z. Tomlins

2 Responses

7-30-2010 at 03:18:44

When you think of all the couples who want babies and can't have them this makes it a double tragedy.

7-30-2010 at 06:27:14

So true, Jo. I've added an update to my blog entry because she's now told police that she had killed another 2 of her newborns. She's a monster! Not so long ago she would have been guillotined.

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