Thicker Than Water (The Papin Sisters)

On Thursday February 2, 1933, retired solicitor René Lancelin returned home from a dinner party to find his house had locked from the inside. He had been waiting for his wife Léonie and daughter Genevieve to join him at the party, and became concerned when they never arrived. The house, it seemed, had also been plunged into complete darkness. The only glimmer of light visible was the flicker of a candle glowing from the window of the maid’s quarters. After calling the police and fighting their way inside the house, René and the officers discovered the bodies of both Lancelin women on the home’s first floor landing. The women had been brutally murdered and horrifically mutilated. Now, fearing for the safety of the household maids, sisters named Christine and Léa Papin, whose candle he had observed upon arrival, René had the police break into their room. When they did, they were met with a sight that French criminologists are still struggling to explain today. The two sisters were sitting in silence on their shared bed, completely naked, with a blood soaked hammer on the bed side table. What drove these two mild mannered house maids to commit an act so violent and vile? This week we dig into the complicated conundrum of the Papin Sisters to see if we can find out!


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