MADAM LA LAURIE: MYSTERIOUS MURDEROUS BEAUTY
Little did anyone know that a beautiful but crazed serial killer would be born in the French Quarters of New Orleans on March 19, 1787. Her parents, Louis and Marie McCarty were very affluent immigrants. Louis from France and Marie hailed from Ireland. They easily fit in and rubbed elbows amongst the finest elites and socialites of New Orleans. They were from a long lineage of inherited wealth and quickly became a well known name within the elite social circles of Louisiana's Euro-Creole community. The McCarty’s had five children, one of which was named Delphine and her looks were unparalleled. As early as age 13 Delphine had suitors looking to claim the hand of the dark-haired beauty.
Delphine wed a suitor named Don Ramon de Lopez y Angulo in 1800, a highly ranked officer in the Spanish army. He and Delphine, being well off we able to travel all over Spain and it’s territories. Sadly, Don Ramon became deathly ill and passed away in Havana only a short four years after marriage and left his sweet Delphine with child. Delphine being a young, beautiful socialite had no problems finding a new beau named Jean Blanque, a statesman and slave trader with secret associations linked to piracy and smuggling. Madam Delphine and Jean wed and later she bore 4 children. Jean succumbed to illness and died a pauper in 1815. Delphine was tenacious and battled the banks and settled her husbands estates. During this time she inherited her parent’s slaves and land and turned it into a lucrative farming venture. Not long after this she met her 3rd husband, Dr. Louis Lalaurie who was 15 years younger than Delphine. They had a son out of wedlock and conceded to becoming married in 1828. Delphine and Louis were very indifferent to one another and fought often. They separated but never divorced. It was during these years that Delphine and her husband were apart that something changed deep within Delphine. She was acting aggressive towards friends and family and hardened her heart toward anyone that tried to get close.
Madam Lalaurie sunk into a deep dark depression in her mansion on Royal street. People were starting to cite Delphine as a crazed and sadistic socialite. She started lashing out at her help. On one occurrence in particular another slave purported that Lalaurie was chasing a young slave girl angrily throughout the mansion with a whip. The girl jumped off the roof and died in the street below. Lalaurie drug the girls body out back and hid the body in a well. Upon this discovery the police issued Lalaurie a couple fines and forced the sale of all her slaves. Delphine was able to covertly procure her slaves by secretly having friends and extended family buy them back for her and they were then brought back to the mansion under the cover of darkness. Another male slave allegedly took his own life by jumping out a third floor window to avoid his demise at her hands. It was covered up as an accident. Today that window in the mansion remains sealed in concrete.
In 1834 a fire broke out in the Lalaurie mansion and neighbors rushed to help extinguish the flames. However, in the chaos the entire family quickly fled in the dark of night by boat and headed to Boston and then on to France. After the fire was extinguished the public found a 70 year old slave dead and chained in the kitchen. But that was the least of the horrors that occurred in the mansion. Madam Delphine had been experimenting on, killing and torturing slaves in her attic. Stories stated she had placed slaves in cages and would starve them. She would then fill their mouths with excrement and sew their lips closed. Bodies were missing limbs and heads. Slaves were barely alive chained up and beaten to a pulp. Others had no eyes, and were naked in their own feces. Their were heads found with holes in the skull with spoons inside to scramble the brains. There were corpses mutilated, branded and scarred beyond recognition. Some had their organs outside their bodies. Other organs and bodies strewn about were clearly crudely operated or experimented upon.
Upon this discovery the locals formed a mob and waited outside the mansion. The southern elites didn’t take lightly to torturing slaves but the Lalauries were long gone.
Local stories grew and changed over time. Some claimed that there were several bodies while others claimed seeing dozens. One thing is for certain. On that day forward Madam Delphine's reputation was forever changed.
Rumors have swirled about Delphine’s death. Some claim she died in France during a hunting accident. Others say she returned back to New Orleans in her latter years. There’s also the story of a one, Eugene Backes a sexton who was gravekeeper at St. Louis cemetery # 1. He claims discovering a copper plate placed in the ground at the cemetery in alley 4. It Allegedly had her date of death as Dec 7, 1842 and her married names throughout her life. According to French archives she passed away December 7, 1849.
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