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Old 11-19-2011, 11:01 AM
14,481 posts, read 17,351,968 times
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I recently finished reading Death In The City of Light, by David King, and I can strongly recommend it. This is the story of Dr. Marcel Petiot, a French physician who murdered...nobody knows how many...people during the 1940s. He was convicted of killing 26 people, but estimates of the total body count run from 50 up to possibly 200.

Under the guise of helping Jews and others to escape from Paris during the Nazi occupation, he managed to steal the jewelry, money, other valuables, and--yes--even the furniture, of people who were duped into believing that they were being transported to safety in a neutral country.

I am not giving away the gist of the book, because the author essentially outlines all of this general info in the early pages of the book. What is absorbing and fascinating--albeit in a very gruesome way--is the painfully slow progress of the police in solving the mysteries, and the belated capture and conviction of the evil MD.

The house of horrors where he killed and disposed of his victims is reminiscent of the building used by H.H. Holmes in Chicago in an earlier era. Whether he knew of Dr. Holmes and was inspired by him is not discussed in the book, but the similarities are striking, IMHO.

This is a well-told story of how a sociopathic doctor's crimes were discovered, how many of the mysteries were figured out, and why all of the details and the actual total of his victims will probably never be known. Highly recommended!
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