Gilles de Rais, a historical Ramsay Snow?

Valens

Ad Honorem
Feb 2014
8,308
Colonia Valensiana
Gilles de Rais, [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gilles_de_Rais"]Gilles de Rais - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame] is certainly on of the most gruesome and frightening persons I've read about in all of history, and if the records are true, one of the worst serial killers in history.

He somewhat reminds me of George Martin's character, Ramsay Snow. A famous sadist in his books.

What is your opinion, do we know more about de Rais?
 
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Valens

Ad Honorem
Feb 2014
8,308
Colonia Valensiana
Gilles de Rais was perhaps the most infamous sexual criminal in history, responsible for the rape, mutilation, and murder of more than 150 children (some estimates put the figure as high as 800). A fifteenth-century French nobleman, noteworthy as a brave lieutenant to Joan of Arc during the sieges of Orléans and Paris, Gilles de Rais experienced significant renown and prestige before his eventual downfall, trial, and execution in 1440. The story of Gilles de Rais is that of the squandered life par excellence, of a life devoted to squandering and destroying everything around him. As did most nobles, he possessed large estates, but his prodigal nature would eventually lead him to debt and financial ruin. He engaged in a lifestyle of prodigious waste and dissipation, spending vast sums of money on huge entourages and senseless luxuries. Of course, his extravagance regarding wealth was echoed by his extravagance in vice…
It is likely that the murders first began as far back as 1426. Gilles had his most loyal servants procure his victims, and they usually scrounged for unaccompanied children in the countryside or nearby villages. When they brought them back to their master’s nearest castle, there would ensue a night of unimaginable debauches that would always end in murder. In his in-court confession at his trial, Gilles described how he and his lackeys “inflicted various types and manners of torment; sometimes they severed the head from the body with dirks, daggers, and knives, sometimes they struck them violently on the head with a cudgel or other blunt instruments, sometimes they suspended them with cords from a peg or small hook in his room and strangled them; and when they were languishing, he committed the sodomitic vice on them,” before or even after death. Such a sexual preference may have symbolic significance beyond Gilles’ homosexuality: it is another gesture of wasteful expenditure, compounding the already wasteful act of killing. As Pierre Klossowski, who translated the 1440 trial documents from the Latin, wrote (in his book on Sade), sodomy “strikes precisely at the law of the propagation of the species and thus bears witness to the death of the species in the individual. It evinces an attitude not only of refusal but of aggression; in being the simulacrum of the act of generation, it is a mockery of it.” When boys could not be found, girls sometimes served as victims, and during intercourse Gilles always disdained their “natural vessel” in favor of sodomy. When Klossowski said, “orgasm in the sodomist act is but a loss of forces, a useless pleasure,” he could easily have been describing one of the many forces within Gilles de Rais that drove him to acts of insane, limitless prodigality.
Blood, ****, God: The Prodigal Crimes of Gilles de Rais, an essay by Jason DeBoer
 
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Apr 2015
627
Paris
Ramsay Snow is a sadist, but I do not recall any pædophilic actions.

The (english) Wikipedia page on Gilles de Rais is not very well done : all the gruesome details on the murders are linked to Jean Benedetti 1971 book. Benedetti was an important Art Professor, but he was no historian, compiling XIXth century fiction books. In truth, we do not know great deals about Gilles de Rais' killings. No remains were ever found in his castles. The ecclesiastical court judged him for killing "140 children or more", the secular court did not give any numbers. Only 8 parents dare to depose against him.

Professor Jacques Chiffoleau had written an extensive essay about Gilles de Rais trials. He emphasizes the three-fold charges against the Marshall : treason (against his lord, the Duke of Brittany), pact with the Devil and unnatural acts. The three charges form a inter-related complex, linking every revolt to treason against the natural order of the world. In this perspective, sodomy is, as in Dante, a treason.
 
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Mar 2014
8,881
Canterbury
Gilles de Rais is probably innocent.

No physical evidence, less than five alleged victims named out of - apparently - hundreds? Witnesses-by-hearsay, forced confessions, deleted testimony, biased judges, threats of excommunication, clerical back-scratching, and profiteering politicians? No way it doesn't get a retrial.

Professor Jacques Chiffoleau had written an extensive essay about Gilles de Rais trials. He emphasizes the three-fold charges against the Marshall : treason (against his lord, the Duke of Brittany), pact with the Devil and unnatural acts. The three charges form a inter-related complex, linking every revolt to treason against the natural order of the world. In this perspective, sodomy is, as in Dante, a treason
Legally those charges were also the perfect storm allowing his land and assets to be seized by the Duke of Brittany, director of the proceedings of the prosecution.
 
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