Marie Delphine LaLaurie was a Louisiana-born socialite, and serial killer known for her involvement in the torture and murder of black slaves.
The LaLauries, in the style of their social class at the time, maintained several black slaves in slave quarters attached to their mansion. Their slaves were observed to be “singularly haggard and wretched”; however, in public appearances LaLaurie was seen to be generally polite to black people and solicitous of her slaves’ health. On one occasion, however, a neighbour saw a slave named Lia fall to her death from the roof of the mansion while trying to avoid a whip-wielding Delphine. Lia had been brushing Delphine’s hair when she hit a snag, causing Delphine to grab a whip and chase her.
In April 1834, a fire broke out in the LaLaurie residence. When the fire marshals got there, they found an old woman, the cook, chained to the stove by her ankle. She later confessed to them that she had set the fire as a suicide attempt for fear of her punishment, being taken to the uppermost room, because she said “Anyone who had been taken there, never came back.” After the LaLauries refused bystanders the keys to the slave quarters they broke down the doors to find “seven slaves, more or less horribly mutilated … suspended by the neck, with their limbs apparently stretched and torn from one extremity to the other”, who claimed to have been imprisoned there for some months. The bodies of a number of slaves, including a child, were found in the garden.
LaLaurie’s tale is oft embellished, with various folklorists citing findings of ”slaves, stark naked, chained to the wall, their eyes gouged out, their fingernails pulled off by the roots; others had their joints skinned and festering, great holes in their buttocks where the flesh had been sliced away, their ears hanging by shreds, their lips sewn together … Intestines were pulled out and knotted around naked waists. There were holes in skulls, where a rough stick had been inserted to stir the brains.”
When the discovery of the tortured slaves became widely known, a mob of local citizens attacked the LaLaurie residence and “demolished and destroyed everything upon which they could lay their hands”. LaLaurie’s house was subsequently sacked by an outraged mob of New Orleans citizens, and it is thought that she fled to Paris, where she died in a boar attack whilst hunting.
[Thanks to justapatsy for reminding me of this psycho bitch’s existence]