Woman locked away in attic for 25 years and left to rot because mum didn't like lover

Blanche Monnier met a man she wanted to marry, but he did not meet her mother’s expectations or would be able to maintain the family’s high standard of living. What followed was 25 years of horror

Madame Monnier and her son Marcel locked Blanche in an upstairs room, nailed the windows shut and tied her to a bed (

Image: Wikimedia Commons)

A tragic woman was locked in her mother’s attic for 25 years after her sex life shamed her family.

Blanche Monnier would have died in a windowless room, as her own mother had planned, had it not been for an anonymous tip.

It is one of the most appalling incidents of forced incarceration in human history and has the power to cause horror and revulsion for more than a century after it began.

In 1876, when Blanche of Vienne, France was 25 years old, she met a man she wanted to marry, but he did not live up to her mother Madame Monnier’s high expectations.

Her mother was a widow, so she relied on her beautiful daughter to marry too richly to keep the family up to the high standards they were used to.

The tragic story of Blanche Monnier, a beautiful French woman who was locked in her mother’s attic for 25 years after her sex life put the family to shame



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But an older man, and certainly not one who was broke, wasn’t part of her mother’s plan.

the Day star She reportedly made it clear to her mother that she would not marry any of her “chosen” suitors and that she had always been committed to love for money … but then she just vanished into thin air.

Madame Monnier and her son Marcel had actually locked Blanche in an upstairs room, nailed the windows shut and tied her to a bed.

They told neighbors who heard her screams that she had gone mad, which was enough for her protests and sobs not to arouse suspicion.

They pretended she died and they went through a public mourning process, they just got on with their lives like they never existed.

Blanche Monnier was discovered behind a padlocked door in her family home


Wikimedia Commons)

Blanche Monnier did not agree to marry any of her mother’s proposed suitors



But it did exist, and it was only a few feet above them, slowly rotting in a padlocked room upstairs.

Blanche stayed chained to a bed in this room until she was fifty, as a clip on a video site Youtube shows.

She had to defecate where she slept, ate only leftovers that a servant had thrown on her dirty bed, and was completely ignored. Her weight dropped to just 55 pounds, under four kilos.

Left in the dark, malnourished and alone all the time, apart from the rats and insects that had come to feast on the festering rubble and blanche, she was slowly going mad and losing the ability to speak whole sentences.

But on May 23, 1901, the Paris Attorney General’s office received a mysterious letter that the Day star Says: “Attorney General, it is my honor to inform you of an exceptionally serious incident.

“I’m talking about a maid locked in Madame Monnier’s house, half starved and living on a lazy litter for 25 years – in short, in her own filth.”

The police were doubtful, the Monniers were a respected aristocratic family, but went with them anyway to investigate – and thank God they did.

Noticing a padlocked door, they opened it and were immediately caught in the stench from the unventilated locked room.

Blanche Monnier was kept in her mother’s attic for 25 years



One witness reportedly said: “We immediately gave the order to open the casement window. This went with great effort, for the old dark curtains fell from their right hinges in a heavy rain of dust.

“As soon as light entered the room, we noticed in the background, lying on a bed, head and body covered by a repulsively dirty blanket, a woman identified as Mademoiselle Blanche Monnier.

“The unhappy woman was lying completely naked on a rotten straw mattress. A kind of crust of excrement, pieces of meat, vegetables, fish and rotten bread formed around them.

“We also saw oyster shells and beetles running over Mademoiselle Monnier’s bed. The air was so breathless, the smell of the room was so strong that it was impossible for us to stay longer to continue our investigation.”

Madame Monnier and Marcel were arrested and Blanche, who was near death and afraid of sunlight after 25 years of darkness, was hospitalized.

She lived another 16 years, and Blanche, known in France as La Séquestrée de Poitiers, died in a psychiatric hospital in Blois in 1913.

Her mother died in prison 15 days after she was arrested, and her brother – a lawyer – appealed his 15-month sentence and used a loophole to avoid punishment.


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