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Denise LABBÉ





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Parricide - To prove her love
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: November 8, 1954
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: March 17, 1926
Victim profile: Her 2 year old daughter Catherine
Method of murder: Drowning in a wash basin
Location: Rennes, Ille-et-Vilaine, Brittany, France
Status: Sentenced to life in prison in 1956

photo gallery


May 30, 1955 - The trial of Denise Labbe and her lover Jaques Algarron began for the murder of Denise's 2 year old daughter Catherine.

Labbe met Algarron in 1954 at Rennes, in France. He was a keen reader of the works of Friedrich Nietzsche, and considered himself to be an example of Nietzsche's Superman. He told Labbe to have sex with other men, so that she could beg forgiveness from him.

Eventually he asked her for the supreme sacrifice; to murder her daughter. She tried 3 times but found herself unable to do it. Finally she succeeded. On 8 November 1954 she drowned Catherine in a wash basin.

The police were alerted. Denise told them the whole story and she was charged with murder and Algarron with provoking it. She was sentenced to life penal servitude - he was given 20 years hard labour.

Nick Buckle -


Crime of Passion - Where emotions are deadly!

By Janina Davison-Forder

The culprits – Denise Labbe and Jacques Algarron

Now in most cases of domestic abuse we see a partner made to believe what they are doing is wrong, the abused will take certain steps to fix this. However, when children are concerned the situation tends to get very volatile. In this case it resulted in the death of a toddler – Catherine.

Denise Labbe was orphaned at the age of 13, she worked hard to make a life for herself. She had relationships in the past and Catherine was a result of one of these. She had a good life for herself, she was happy, until the day she met Jacques Algarron.

Jacques was a philosophy student, three years younger than Denise. She found herself smitten with the man who later turned out to be slightly less than sane. As a philosophy student he came across the theory of super humans. Jacques decided that himself and Denise were a super couple. Not so super as it turns out….

Jacques decided in his insanity that Denise had to prove herself to him. He wanted her to prove that she was superior to all other women. He also wanted her to prove that she was worthy of their partnership, of his love.

Now i have always believed that acceptance should be given with little or no effort, i would never try to prove myself to a partner, i would much rather find a partner who accepted me for who i am. After all if someone does not like you for who you are then they simply are not worth the hassle.

However, when it comes to crimes of passion, people are blinded from logical thought. Now normally, proving yourself involves (in a relationship) that you are faithful, that you will remain monogamous. It can also mean that you are proving that you will make your partner happy. However, when you have a partner with an obsession, proving yourself can be something far more deadly.

Jacques was a very sick man. I mean sick in terms of sanity not health. Jacques had come across a story in which a mother had decided to kill her child as she was in a relationship and the child was the result of a past relationship. Jacques had drummed this idea into Denise’s head. He wanted her to kill Catherine!

Now to anyone in their right mind this would sound sick! That someone would ask you to kill your own child for approval is disgusting. In my mind, a Childs welfare should always, no matter what, come above that of a partner. If a partner causes problems or hurts your child, either emotionally or physically that is it! You must get rid of them. For partners in life will come and go, a child is your child forever. If i was asked or told to kill my child for approval, i would either call the police and have the man locked up or land up killing them myself to protect my child. However, sadly, this is not something logical of which we speak, this my friend is a crime of passion!

Denise was planning to go through with Jacques’s request. She had actually attempted to take her own daughters life! However, call it motherly instinct or the neighbour that disturbed her, her first attempt did not go to plan. She had tried to drop Catherine out of a window to find approval from her insane partner Jacques. She was so terrified that she would lose Jacques if she did not abide by his wishes that she tried again.

The next time Denise threw catherine into a canal! However, Denise’s love for the child and her instinct as a mother came into play. She went for help, catherine survive after a stranger was able to pull the small girl from the water. This was obviously breaking her up inside./ She was not only craving approval from her partner but she loved her child and did not want to see her come to harm, let alone die!

However by November 1954 Jacques had become more and more demanding. He wanted Denise to kill Catherine as she was not his daughter! Now the relationship had gotten to a stage where Jacques had threatened to leave Denise if she did not kill her own daughter! I simply would have walked away, let him leave, after all your daughter is your own flesh and blood. Tragically this was not to be…

Her third attempt to kill Catherine was to also be her final one. This time she would sadly see success. However, i feel success is not exactly how she would of felt after the act. Could you imagine killing your own child? I wouldn’t even want to think about it!

On the 8th of November Catherine was dead! Denise had murdered her child by drowning her in a wash tub. A telegram was sent to Jacques to inform him that she had killed Catherine, perhaps she thought he would finally approve of her and she would be worthy of his love? I don’t know about you but i definitely  wouldn’t want the love that Jacques had offered. For it was not love it was simply control. To be able to make a partner kill their own child shows that you have complete and utter control over them, not that you love them!

If you loved a partner you would not under any circumstance make them kill something they loved. You would not even force them into something insignificant that they did not want to do. How could this man really think that he loved this woman. More to the point – How could she actually believe he loved her!

Denise was found guilty of murder by a court and sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Catherine. Jacques was sentenced to 20 years behind bars. I feel perhaps they should have sent him to a mental institute indefinitely.

There were two victims in this case, Catherine, the poor child killed by her mother under the influence of an insane man. Then Denise herself, For she not only had to suffer the emotional abuse handed to her by Jacques but she also had to live her life knowing she had killed her own child, what could be more terrible than that?

So crimes of passion are very deadly indeed especially when other people get hurt. The case of Denise and Jacques of course was an especially sick one.

So if you are having problems in your relationship please try to talk about it, do not let it eat you up inside until you implode with emotions that have evolved into hatred. Or you or your partner (even your child) may one day become a victim of a…

Crime of passion!



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