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  • The woman known as Madame LaLaurie walks amongthrong of socialites at the party she's put on at  

  • her New Orleans mansion. Dressed in an exquisite  puffed-gown, its skirt intricately embroidered  

  • with blood-red roses, she sips from a crystal  flute containing imported champagne. Oh what  

  • joie de vivreis on show, she remarksas her drunken guests chortle in agreement

  • Not a few feet below them is a torture chamberThere, African slaves are chained to the walls.  

  • Some of their necks are fitted with spiked  collars. Their limbs have been stretched and  

  • broken. As they moan in pain, occasionally  a slither of light exposes their horribly  

  • mutilated faces. One man sits in silence  as maggots fester in the hole in his head.  

  • It's only a matter of time before they  are dead, and so with their last vestige  

  • of strength, they plot their escape. Welcome to a real American horror story

  • Born on March 19, 1787, as Marie Delphine Macartyshe took her first breaths in New Orleans, which  

  • was then part of Spanish Louisiana. With a silver  spoon firmly planted in her mouth, she understood  

  • from a young age that her well-connected  family was almost like royalty in those parts

  • She also understood the contempt some her extended  family had for their slaves, a contempt that would  

  • result in an uprising and the death of her uncleAs she moved among the finely dressed adults in  

  • her house, she would listen as people talked about  brutes and how they should not be spared the whip

  • Delphine was just 13 when she married Ramon  López y Ángulo de la Candelaria, an officer to  

  • the Spanish crown. At 17, pregnant with his childshe became a widow after his ship hit a sandbar

  • On her 20th birthday, she married a rich, some say  ruthless, businessman named Jean-Paul Blanque. Her  

  • mother had just died, and she inherited among  other things, a plantation and 52 slaves. As  

  • a marriage gift, the couple also received another  plantation that came with an additional 26 slaves.  

  • In the eight years they were married they  had four kids, and then Blanque also died

  • Delphine was now known as a woman of great wealth,  a socialite with properties and plantations,  

  • and a woman who seemed to curse her husbands. She  was 38 when she met her last one, a physician by  

  • the name of Leonard Louis Nicolas LaLaurie. It was  with him she built her mansion on Royal Street,  

  • a palatial house replete with slave quarters. It  was in those quarters that inhumanity breathed  

  • its rancid breath over innocent people forced  to work for those wicked white imperialists

  • Delphine was not a happy woman, her marriage  described in letters as an acrimonious affair.  

  • In those missives, she said she was beaten by  the doctor, but she also mentioned from time to  

  • time how sometimes she was cruel to her slaves. This was an understatement of the highest degree.  

  • She was not only fond of torture, but  she killed, serially. Rumors spread  

  • around town that this woman had a penchant for  cruelty. Some people took a dim view of this,  

  • even though in those days maltreating  slaves was normal in some people's eyes.  

  • Nonetheless, some of those socialites stopped  frequenting the parties she held at her mansion

  • She was also prone to acting out in publictalking to her friends about how she was so  

  • very concerned about the well-being of her  slaves. This was a lie. One woman who later  

  • wrote about Delphine and her slaves said what  she saw were haggard and wretched people not  

  • showed a modicum of human kindness. Harriet Martineau, who once attended  

  • one of Delphine's parties, wrote that the host  “would hand the remains of her glass of wine to  

  • the emaciated negro behind her chair,” and  say, “with a smooth audible whisper, 'Here,  

  • my friend, take this; it will do you good.'” It was all show, a canard to hide what she was  

  • really up to. Down below in the slave quartersthere were locks on the doors seven inches in  

  • diameter. The widows of that hellhole were  covered with iron shutters. There was no way out

  • And then slaves kept dying. Funeral records  showed that in just four years from the period  

  • of 1830 to 1834, 12 slaves were taken out of that  mansion dead. One of the deaths was the cook,  

  • a position in that house as you'll  see was one to be mortally feared

  • What's more, four children of the cook also diedThe cause of death was unknown, given that slaves  

  • dying in those days wasn't exactly a cause for  investigation. How they died we'll never know,  

  • it could have been from infections, but given  what you're about to hear, maltreatment could  

  • have easily been their downfall. Stories of Delphine's wickedness  

  • towards her slaves became so widely circulated  that it was agreed by the authorities that her  

  • mansion should be searched, and her slaves  looked at. The lawyer appointed to do this  

  • said he found no wrongdoing, but you have  to ask where he was looking and if he was  

  • star-struck by the fabulously wealthy socialite. It seems that Delphine wasn't only a master of  

  • deception but also a grand manipulator. She  did such a job on that lawyer that he wrote  

  • in a report that he wasfull of indignation  against all who could suspect this amiable  

  • woman of doing anything wrong. . .She could not  harm a fly or give pain to any human being.” 

  • He was wrong, so very wrong. Just after his visit, a neighbor said she  

  • saw Delphine chasing a young girl while holdingwhip in her hand. The girl was so petrified about  

  • what might happen to her, she ran along a part of  the roof. The shocked neighbor watched the scene,  

  • as the girl lost her footing and fell to the  floor. That same neighbor said she watched that  

  • night as the slave girl was secretly buried  in the courtyard. What had actually happened  

  • before that no one knows, although rumors later  surfaced that the girl, aged 12 and named Lia,  

  • had been brushing Delphine's hair when  she tugged on a knot. This was enough  

  • to provoke the satanic ire of her owner. It was after this that another legal inquiry  

  • took place and this one did find that Delphine was  mistreating her slaves. She was told that she must  

  • sell those slaves at the market, to people who  might not have such a proclivity for violence,  

  • although Delphine secretly arranged that  they were bought by members of her family

  • The slaves were soon given back to herwhere their treatment became even worse.  

  • Soon people would see what happened to  them, and it would become American history

  • The historic day was April 10, 1834, when  a fire engulfed part of the house. Delphine  

  • became hysterical, shouting to her neighbors to  come and help. What she didn't know was that the  

  • fire had been started on purpose, by a 70-year  old slave cook she had chained to the stove.  

  • This cook had been beaten on many occasions. She'd  had enough, and so she set the fire, perhaps in  

  • the hope that someone might discover Delphine's  secret. It was either that or die in the flames

  • Delphine, still screaming, demanded people  in the street come to help, except she didn't  

  • mention all the trapped slaves, and instead  asked them to gather her precious valuables.  

  • News reports at the time stated that the  crowd of people ignored her, knowing slaves  

  • were in the house. They told Delphine to  hand them the keys to the slave quarter,  

  • but she refused in what was called a “gross and  insulting manner”. After that, they kicked down  

  • the door. What greeted them was sheer horror. This is some text from The New Orleans Bee  

  • newspaper, published a day after the fire: “The conflagration at the house occupied by  

  • the woman Lalaurie... is like discovering one of  those atrocities the details of which seem to be  

  • too incredible for human beliefSeven slaves more  or less horribly mutilated were seen suspended by  

  • the neck, with their limbs apparently stretched  and torn from one extremity to the other.” 

  • The newspaper wrote that the slaves were the  property of a demon masquerading as a woman,  

  • that some of them had been down there for  months, that most of them were in the most  

  • dreadful condition. The New Orleans Advertiser  followed with another highly disturbing report

  • Delphine's mask was finally removed. People  demanded justice. A giant mob formed

  • But she wasn't immediately arrested, for a reason  we can only say was likely due to her wealth

  • The next day she left her partly burnt  mansion, having said she was going to  

  • take a drive around the lake. Her carriage it  was said was driven by a male mulatto slave.  

  • She crossed the lake and from there she tooksailboat to Alabama. From Alabama, she sailed to  

  • France. This was not the end of the story, though. Mobs formed in the streets outside her house. They  

  • didn't know where Delphine had gone, but it  was written thatall classes and colorscame  

  • out and according to one reportdemolished and  destroyed everything upon which they could lay  

  • their hands.” There was little left of the house  once they were done. “The rage of the crowd,  

  • especially of the French creoleswas excessive,” wrote one observer

  • As for the injured slaves, some people didn't  believe a woman could have done such things.  

  • The New Orleans Bee reported that they were taken  to a place so they could be publicly viewed,  

  • so the audience could see the extent  of the injuries they had suffered.  

  • 4,000 were said to have turned up. It was later  agreed, Delphine was demented and sadistic

  • Several weeks after the gruesome discovery the  Pittsfield Sun newspaper wrote that two of the  

  • rescued slaves had died from their injuries. It  also wrote: “We understand ... that in digging  

  • the yard, bodies have been disinterredand the condemned well in the grounds of  

  • the mansion having been uncovered, othersparticularly that of a child, were found.” 

  • But was it even worse than  those initial reports suggested

  • Books written later claimed that what those  first people on the scene saw was worse than  

  • had previously been reported. One of them  was calledJourney Into Darkness: Ghosts  

  • and Vampires of New Orleansand inside those  pages, there are stories of the utmost terror

  • While there's no doubt those slaves  were treated in a disgusting manner,  

  • some people think these more modern stories may  have contained some amount of embellishment.  

  • The author of the last book is after all the  owner of a New Orleans ghost tour business

  • Delphine stayed in France until her ashes  were sent back to New Orleans after her death.  

  • It's thought she might have died in  a boar-hunting accident, aged 62.  

  • No attempt was ever made by the  authorities to bring her to justice

  • Scholars have since said locals talked  so much about the crimes of Delphine  

  • so they could paint themselves as benevolent  slaveholders compared to her, but it doesn't  

  • change the fact the woman was a sadistic brute. As for that house, it is still there today. Well,  

  • it isn't quite the original, but an  1838 version based on the original.

  • Over the years it was a school, a block of  apartments, a refuge for teenage delinquents, a  

  • furniture store, a bar, and it was later purchased  by the actor Nicolas Cage. It's now owned by a  

  • bank, a fitting tribute to a woman who lavished  herself with luxuries bought with blood money

  • Now you need to watch, “The Countess that  Bathed in the Blood of her Victims!”. Or,  

  • have a look at this gruesome tale, “Why  Did The King Of England Execute His Wives?”

The woman known as Madame LaLaurie walks amongthrong of socialites at the party she's put on at  

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From Socialite to Serial Killer - Mad Madame LaLaurie

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    Summer posted on 2021/06/11
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