Juan Ignacio Blanco  


  MALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

  FEMALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z




Murderpedia has thousands of hours of work behind it. To keep creating new content, we kindly appreciate any donation you can give to help the Murderpedia project stay alive. We have many
plans and enthusiasm to keep expanding and making Murderpedia a better site, but we really
need your help for this. Thank you very much in advance.




Christine MALÈVRE






A.K.A.: "Madonna of euthanasia"
Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: "Angel of Death" - Admitted helping about 30 terminally ill patients to die
Number of victims: 6 - 30 +
Date of murder: 1997 - 1998
Date of arrest: July 25, 1998
Date of birth: 1970
Victim profile: Men and women aged between 72 and 88 (terminally ill patients)
Method of murder: Poisoning (Morphine - Potassium)
Location: Paris, France
Status: Sentenced to 10 years in prison on January 30, 2003. Sentenced to 12 years in prison in appeal on October 15, 2003. Released in 2007
photo gallery

Christine Malèvre (born 1970) is a French serial killer.

A former nurse, she was arrested in 1998 on suspicion of having killed as many as 30 patients. She confessed to some of the murders, but claimed she had done so at the request of the patients, who were all terminally ill. France, however, does not recognize a "right to die", and Malèvre eventually recanted most of her confessions. The families of several of her victims strongly denied that their relatives had expressed any will to die, much less asked Malèvre to kill them.

She was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2003, for the murders of six patients, then to 12 years in appeal.


Christine Malevre (4-30)

On July 25, 1998, Christine Malèvre, after attempting to kill herself, confessed to helping about 30 patients to die at François Quesnay Hospital in Mantes-la-Jolie on the outskirts of Paris.

Since then nurse Malèvre, 29, has become a symbol for the growing civil movement in France in favour of joining The Netherlands in legalising euthanasia. However, the decision to press murder charges against her follows a psychiatric report which said the nurse had a "morbid fascination" with death and disease. Another report showed that patients were three times as likely to die when Mme Malèvre was on duty.

"The judge has realised that we are dealing with a serial killer more than with a Madonna of euthanasia," Olivier Morice, a lawyer for five patients' families told the newspaper Le Parisien. But Mme Malèvre, who recanted her first confession and now admits to only four cases, has received 5,000 letters of support.

The deaths date back to January 1997. Her alleged victims, aged between 72 and 88, were all in the terminal phase of incurable lung diseases, and had apparently been put to death at their own request or that of relatives. None of the patients' families has pressed charges. The sources said the nurse was questioned as the result of an inquiry by hospital officials surprised at the abnormal number of deaths in the pneumology department of the hospital.


French Nurse Jailed in 6 Deaths


February 1, 2003

VERSAILLES, France, Jan. 31 (Reuters) — A French nurse who said she helped the terminally ill die out of compassion was sentenced today to 10 years in prison for the deaths of six hospital patients.

The nurse, Christine Malèvre, had been charged with the murder of seven patients at a lung hospital in Mantes-la-Jolie near Paris in 1997 and 1998. She faced life in prison.

Ms. Malèvre's case sparked energetic debate on euthanasia in France, a predominantly Roman Catholic country, after she initially said she had helped about 30 terminally ill patients end their lives.

Later, however, she said she had helped only two patients die at their requests. Ms. Malèvre, 33, spoke of accidents involving two others, and she denied responsibility for the death of three patients.

"These cases shatter the legend of Christine Malèvre as an angel of mercy bringing relief to patients at the end of their life," the counsel for the prosecution, Alain Junillon said, rejecting her insistence that she acted out of compassion.

Families of her victims also denied their relatives had asked to die.

Ms. Malèvre, who has written a book about the incidents titled "My Confessions," was sentenced after a four-hour deliberation. On top of the prison sentence, she was permanently banned from working as a nurse.

"Christine Malèvre is neither the Madonna of euthanasia nor a serial killer. She is just a nurse who let her compassion rule her," her lawyer, Charles Libman, said after the verdict.

Unlike the Netherlands and Belgium, France does not allow euthanasia. However, a number of French doctors come forward told the court they had helped patients with incurable diseases die.


French 'Madonna of euthanasia' jailed

BBC News

January 31, 2003

A female nurse has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for the murder of six hospital patients, in a case which has rekindled the euthanasia debate in France.

Christine Malevre, 33, was found guilty of assisting or causing the deaths of the patients, who were terminally ill, at a lung hospital in a Paris suburb.

She was also banned for life from the nursing profession, but was acquitted of a seventh count of murder.

Malevre is originally said to have admitted helping about 30 terminally ill patients to die but later confessed to just four deaths.

She claims she acted out of compassion and was merely helping to end people's suffering.

'Morbid fascination'

Prosecutors had asked for a minimum sentence of 10 years.

"If Christine Malevre had been tried for killing seven people in good health, we'd be far from 10 years and closer to life in prison," said Olivier Morice, representing the families of three of the victims.

Defence lawyer Charles Libmann said before the verdict that other doctors and nurses had committed euthanasia without being brought to trial.

But families of several of the deceased deny that their relatives had asked to die, and some campaign groups which support voluntary euthanasia have not backed Malevre's case.

Psychiatrists who examined her concluded that she had a "morbid fascination with illness" and was aware of what she was doing.

"Christine Malevre is not the Madonna of euthanasia she makes herself out to be, but on the contrary a woman who is unbalanced and who deliberately overstepped her authority," Mr Morice told French television during the trial.

Charge upgraded

Ms Malevre worked at the Francois-Quesnay hospital in the Paris suburb of Mantes-la-Jolie from February 1997 to May 1998.

In July 1998 she was arrested after an investigation into suspicious deaths at the hospital.

She initially admitted to helping 30 patients to die, though her lawyer said that at the time she was under the influence of neuroleptic drugs.

She was charged with manslaughter and released pending her trial, but later admitted to just four deaths, of which she said one was "accidental".

On the basis of psychiatric reports, the charges against her were upgraded to murder.

In the final report, 11 suspicious deaths were recorded, but in four of these there was insufficient evidence to press charges.


Nurse sentenced for killing patients

By Elizabeth Bryant - United Press International

January 31, 2003

Paris -- A court in Versailles sentenced French nurse Christine Malevre to 10 years in prison Friday.

The sentence reflected public prosecutor Alain Junillon's recommendation against 33-year-old Malevre, indicted for having killed six seriously ill patients under her care between 1997 and 1998, at a suburban Paris hospital.

The court did not hold her responsible for the death of a seventh patient, due to lack of evidence. But Malevre was banned from practicing nursing.

The nurse sat stony-faced as the verdict was read, but later began to cry.

There was no immediate reaction from Malevre's lawyer, or from the families of victims who originally brought the charges against her.

The Malevre saga has riveted the nation, since the nurse confessed in 1998 to ending the lives of more than two dozen ill and dying people under her care. At the time, she justified her actions as mercy killings. Malevre amended the statement a few months later, saying she had killed four dying patients, but only at their request.

Despite the conflicting accounts, the Malevre case rekindled arguments to legalize euthanasia in France. In the past two years, Netherlands and Belgium have legalized euthanasia under stringent conditions. Switzerland has legalized assisted suicide and several other European countries have dealt lightly regarding one or the other procedure.

Unlike assisted suicide, in which a person is given drugs or other means to kill himself, euthanasia requires a person -- usually a medical practitioner -- to end another person's life. Both practices are banned in France and euthanasia carries a sentence of up to 30 years in prison.

The Malevre trial is one of only several recent incidents refueling the euthanasia debate in France.

In early January, a separate French court handed only a 2-year suspended prison sentence to Elie Bendayan for shooting his wife to death. Bendayan's wife suffered from Alzheimer's, and the former police officer described the killing as an act of love.

In December, the mother of former French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin -- and a pro-euthanasia activist -- committed suicide.

Also in December, a 21-year-old man, who was blinded and paralyzed from a car accident, pleaded with President Jacques Chirac to be able to end his life legally.

A December poll also found 88 percent of French supported legalizing euthanasia, under certain conditions. But French Health Minister, Dr. Jean-Francois Mattei, is adamantly opposed to euthanasia, calling it "the wrong answer to questions of suffering, solitude and abandonment."

During the 2-week trial, Malevre was variously labeled a serial killer and a nurse with a gift and compassion in dealing with the sick.

Benoit Chabert, a lawyer representing the family of one of Malevre's patients, described the nurse with a "perverted" relationship with her patients and a "morbid fascination" with death.

But one of Malevre's nursing professors described her as a talented student, who may have been faced with a situation she couldn't handle.

Despite the Malevre verdict, pro-euthanasia activists argue the trial helped highlight the problem of clandestine mercy killings, which they argue occur regularly in French hospitals.

"It's exactly this type of action we are fighting against," said Edith Deyris, secretary general of the Paris-based Association for the Right to Die in Dignity, referring to the Malevre killings. "We want transparency. We want a realization and concerted action within hospitals -- based on written demands of patients who want to die."

"In other words," Deyris added in an interview, "the complete opposite of the shadows and impreciseness we found ourselves with the trial of Christine Malevre."


French nurse kills terminally ill patients to end their suffering

BBC News

July 25, 1998

A French nurse has been arrested and questioned about the death of thirty elderly patients in her care.

The nurse, Christine Malevre, has been released on bail, awaiting a decision on whether she should stand trial for murder.

The prosecutor said she was given bail because there had been no formal complaint from the families of the patients.

Some reports say the nurse told police she killed the old people at their own requests or those of their relatives to end their sufferings.

The French legal code does not recognize the concept of euthanasia.



home last updates contact