Friday, 27 March 2009

Murder in Lourdes

'TOULOUSE, France (AFP) — A woman who thought she was the devil killed her elderly mother with a crucifix and other objects in the French Catholic pilgrimage town Lourdes, officials and press reports said Wednesday.

The 34-year-old beat her 81-year-old mother with "objects that were within her reach, a bedside lamp, slats from her bed," the local prosecutor told AFP, adding that she had now been interned in a psychiatric hospital.

The Depeche du Midi newspaper said she had grabbed one of the many crucifixes adorning their apartment in the southwestern town and used it along with other objects to beat her mother to death overnight Monday.

The paper said she had told police: "I had visions in a dream. I saw that I was the devil, that I was evil."

After the murder, the woman called the emergency medical services and was found by them covered in blood and lying at the foot of the bed in which her dead mother lay, officials said.

Lourdes, where Catholics believe the Virgin Mary appeared to a French peasant girl in 1858, received a record nine million pilgrims last year due in large part to Pope Benedict XVI's visit in September.

With thanks to Therese for this story...


Therese said...

The full names of those involved in this tragic case have not been released. They are mentioned only as Elizabeth (the daughter)and Therese (the mother who was killed.) They had lived in Lourdes for the past two years, and were known to local charities, who sometimes assisted them as they were on a low income. Elizabeth is said to have a history of mental health problems, but not of violent behaviour, and her mother, Therese was estranged from her father and her other 7 children.

The crime took place at the time of a holy Marian feast - 25 March is the Feast of the Annunciation.

And now, this weekend, another sombre event - the woman who killed her mother has in turn been found dead. Elizabeth had been taken to the secure ward of the psychiatric hospital at Lannemazan (another very old and legendary Pyrenean town). She was found lying on the floor beside her bed.
According to the local media:

...No mark on the body and nothing which tends to give any explanation: 'We know nothing as to the cause of that death, explained Gérard Aldigé [local official]. We are not making any assumptions. For this reason I have requested an autopsy ..."

StrangEye said...

US siege gunman kills at least 13

"A spokeswoman for Our Lady of Lourdes hospital told the BBC several people had been admitted with serious injuries."