Gilles de Rais: guilty or not?

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,710
Sydney
#11
Gilles de Ray on the day of his execution made a full and sincere apologize for his crimes
he particularly begged for the merciful intercession of his comrade in arms , the maid of Lorraine , Joanne of Arc
he thanked the magistrate for saving his soul ,
all witnesses were moved by his speech ,
they concurred with him that he deserved both his punishment as atonement and his way to heaven , by way of purgatory ,for his soul
 
Likes: Futurist

Shtajerc

Ad Honorem
Jul 2014
6,698
Lower Styria, Slovenia
#12
Gilles de Ray on the day of his execution made a full and sincere apologize for his crimes
he particularly begged for the merciful intercession of his comrade in arms , the maid of Lorraine , Joanne of Arc
he thanked the magistrate for saving his soul ,
all witnesses were moved by his speech ,
they concurred with him that he deserved both his punishment as atonement and his way to heaven , by way of purgatory ,for his soul
They say he never denied the crimes because he knew the case was lost and confessed to avoid torture. If you look at the trial of Jeanne D'Arc and her behaviour compared to his, it doesn't quite add up. I think he was severely messed up in his head and deeply Christian at the same time. Perhaps a shizophrenic, bipolar or worse. The numerous details the cort, the whitnesses and he himself reveal disturb me the most. I could see them accuse him of sodomy and murder, but not cutting them up in such ways and getting pleasure from those acts. It would be a sin for someone to even think about it; just say he whorshipped the devil, performed blood sorcery or whatever, dressed as a woman. I don't buy into the story of the Duke setting him up either. Wasn't he his biggest protector before the whole thing became known? He could also do it differently. What wonders me is that it took so long for Gilles to kill the wrong boy. I understand that the peasents had a hard time to surpass his authority although even then they could probably find a way to complain to someone of high enough rank to look into it a bit more. People must have been talking ...

I have also read that no bodies were found in his castle (he often burned their remains and clothes) but supposedly some bodies were found outside the castle? Burning flesh stinks very badly, could he even do it with just a regular fireplace? Burning bodies demands a lot of firewood, think of how much was used for burning someone at a stake, if they wanted to destroy the body completely.
 
Likes: Futurist
Mar 2014
6,632
Beneath a cold sun, a grey sun, a Heretic sun...
#13
In his book "Countess Dracula" Tony Thorne makes a key point - in Europe at that time, there was a culture of cruelty. Not of violence, but of actual cruelty. So the massive serial killer numbers of these people is not outside the realm of possibility. So I remain undecided.
 
Jul 2011
5,938
Belgium
#14
Well, we will most probably never know for sure, but I think his guilt is most likely.
The sheer number of witnesses (over 70, according to some sources), makes it improbable they were all bribed.

Moreover, Gilles de Rais was, during most of his life, known for his vicious and violent temper (he apparently abducted a pries during the middle of Mass, because he was convinced the priest had cheated hum in some kind of monetary deal). He was also described as being very changing in his temper.
Even if this doesn't prove anything about it, it sure seems he wasn't mentally stable.
 
Jul 2011
5,938
Belgium
#15
In his book "Countess Dracula" Tony Thorne makes a key point - in Europe at that time, there was a culture of cruelty. Not of violence, but of actual cruelty. So the massive serial killer numbers of these people is not outside the realm of possibility. So I remain undecided.
I read that book too, in the late 90s (I read it because I got interested in countess Bathory, after hearing Cradle of Filth's concept album Cruelty and the Beast).
It was an interesting read, but I think that, much like in the case of Gilles De rais, the sheer number of witnesses (in Bathory's case, over 300) speaks strongly against her innocence.
 
Likes: Futurist
Mar 2014
6,632
Beneath a cold sun, a grey sun, a Heretic sun...
#16
I read that book too, in the late 90s (I read it because I got interested in countess Bathory, after hearing Cradle of Filth's concept album Cruelty and the Beast).
It was an interesting read, but I think that, much like in the case of Gilles De rais, the sheer number of witnesses (in Bathory's case, over 300) speaks strongly against her innocence.
Except the first thing - the very first thing - done at her arrest was to put her household to torture - the ones that weren't forthcoming, that is. Anyway, I only mentioned her as a parallel sort of case. I don't want to side-track the thread from Gilles de Rais.
 
Likes: Futurist

Shtajerc

Ad Honorem
Jul 2014
6,698
Lower Styria, Slovenia
#17
Except the first thing - the very first thing - done at her arrest was to put her household to torture - the ones that weren't forthcoming, that is. Anyway, I only mentioned her as a parallel sort of case. I don't want to side-track the thread from Gilles de Rais.
No problem. Although my primary focus was and is on de Rais, I find Elisabeth's story very interesting as well. If you guys would like to raise a point about her case, feel free to do so. Were there any other similar cases in history?
 
Likes: Futurist
Mar 2014
6,632
Beneath a cold sun, a grey sun, a Heretic sun...
#19
There always seems to be a pattern to these things. Templars, Anne Boleyn, de Rais, Bathory (I'm totally unfamiliar with the Saltykova case) - a guilty verdict is assured by making the crimes so abundant, so abhorent, that any juror would be repelled, then providing "evidence" in quantity. The quality of the evidence is unimportant. It doesn't matter if it won't stand up to cross-examination because there is no cross-examination; the accused had no rights under the law. That doesn't mean they weren't guilty of some crime, but we can really place no faith in the official verdicts.
 
Likes: Futurist
Jul 2007
1,674
Australia
#20
"Many scholars now maintain that de Rais was a victim of an ecclesiastic plot or act of revenge by the Catholic Church or French state. Evidence comes not only from the ‘show trial’, in which de Rais was forced to confess under threat of torture, and witness testimony was believed to have been given out of torture, self-interest or spite, but from the fact that the prosecutor, the Duke of Brittany, conveniently received all the titles to de Rais’ former lands after his conviction. The Duke then divided the land among his own nobles. "
source Ancient Origins

further reading:
The Trial of Gilles de Rais by Georges Bataille (I have this one myself)




See also - online:
Thornebrooke Magazine
The Raven Report
Dirty Sexy History
 

Similar History Discussions