Monday, September 21, 2015

Bad Seed of the Day: Delphine Lalaurie

I'm going to start depicting certain historical figures here and there who are obviously interesting enough to write about here but a bit too obscure to follow through with in terms of, let's say, a novel. Today, I'm choosing a woman who was essentially a socialite and because of her malice and cruelty became a notorious historical figure.
Delphine Lalaurie was came from a prominent New Orleans family. She had been married three times and had three daughters. Having a fondness for social gatherings, it was at a party she threw in April 10, 1834 that a fire broke out and brought to light everything that she had well hidden under the guise of societal pretense. Delphine, it seemed was a closet sadist. Many of her slaves had been found mutilated in the worst sort of ways. As legend proposes, some had their arms and legs broken to resemble the appendages of crabs. Some were chained in sort of upstairs 'Dungeon' where, once you went to, you didn't return from. There, women supposedly had their genitals mutilated and were repeatedly beat and flogged and men had their eyes gouged out, all while being chained to a wall.
According to eye witness accounts, it was the firefighters who witnessed the thick of the horror and horrific it was: Some slaves intestines were cut from their bodies and nailed to the floor, some were required to wear a very large spiked iron collars, one even had the feces of animals stuffed into their mouth while having their lips sewn shut.
The fire itself was set deliberately by a old woman who acted as a cook as a suicide attempt because she was too afraid to go 'up there'. 
As news of her secret became apparent, Delphine and her third Husband and children all fled in disgrace, and to avoid mob violence, to Paris, France and it is highly believed that she died there of natural causes. 

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