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Simone WEBER





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Poisoner? - Dismemberment
Number of victims: 1 - 2
Date of murders: May 14, 1980 / June 22, 1985
Date of arrest: November 8, 1985
Date of birth: October 28, 1930
Victims profile: Marcel Fixard, 81 (her husband) / Bernard Hettier, 55 (her lover)
Method of murder: Poisoning (digitalis) / Shooting
Location: Nancy, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Lorraine, France
Status: Sentenced to 20 years in prison on February 28, 1991
photo gallery
Simone Weber (spanish)

Simone Weber, age 60, is sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment. She is found guilty of murdering her lover Bernard Hettier whom she allegedly cut up to dispose of the body. On the other hand she was cleared of poisoning her 81 year old husband. She could almost pass as a respectable grandmother but the inquiry and trial paint a different picture of her.


Woman sentenced in grisly French murder trial

The News

March 1, 1991

Paris - A 60-year-old woman was sentenced Thursday to 20 years in prison for poisoning her elderly husband and dismembering her lover with a power saw and electric knife.

The 12-member jury took only a few hours to decide the fate of heavyset, matronly Simone Weber, whose trial had riveted France. Weber was charged was poisoning her 81-year-old husband a month after marriage, and of cutting up her lover five years later.


French jury convicts woman of killing husband, carving up lover

By Terril Jones - Associated Press


March 1, 1991

Paris - A 60-year-old woman was sentenced yesterday to 20 years in prison for poisoning her elderly husband and dismembering her lover.

The 12-member jury took only a few hours to decide the fate of Simone Weber, who had fainted yesterday after declaring to jurors: "I'm not the demon they've made me out to be."

The 6-week-old trial of Weber in the eastern city of Nancy had riveted France with grisly, gossipy details that transformed the defendant into a household word and made her trial the most talked about topic after the Persian Gulf War.

Weber was charged with poisoning her 81-year-old second husband, Marcel Fixard, one month after they were married in 1980 and soon after he bequeathed his pension to her.

She also was accused of drugging and shooting her lover, Bernard Hettier, then curring up his body with an electric knife and power saw. Prosecutors alleged Weber committed the second murder in 1985 because she believed Hettier was having an affair.

The prosecution has sought life imprisonment with a minimum 18 years in jail before parole.

The trial's closing arguments ended dramatically yesterday when Weber told the jury she was "not the demon they've made me out to be," and then fainted.

She was rushed to a hospital, where doctors said she was not in danger.

Defense attorneys argued the evidence against Weber was circumstantial.

"Proof, proof, absolute proof," attorney Henry-Rene Garaud sternly told the jury yesterday. "Do not condemn based on hypotheses."

Prosecution evidence included the heart drug digitalis found by police in a pot in Weber's home. It was not prescribed for her, and prosecutors maintain she used it to induce Fixard's hearth attack.

But pathologists found no traces of the drug in Fixard's remains, which were exhumed six years after he died, following Hettier's disappearance in June 1985.

The prosecution produced witnesses who said Weber threatened to kill Hettier because she believed he was unfaithful. Others testified they saw Hettier enter a building where Weber's sister owns an apartment the night he disappeared.

A neighbor, who said she showed Weber how to use an electric carvinh knife, said she heard a loud thud and machinery noises coming from the sister's apartment. Weber was later send loading plastic garbage bags into her car.

A power saw that Weber rented the day before Hettier's disapperance was discovered in the trunk of his car. Police said they found traces of a human protein on it.

Police also believe a human torso found in a suitcase in the Marne River is Hettier's. But they have been unable to prove it, because the head and limbs were cutt off. Hettier is officially listed as missing.


Exciting Double-Murder Trial Takes French Minds Off War

Woman Is Accused Of Poisoning Husband, Dismembering Unfaithful Lover

By Patrick Mcdowell - The Seattle Times

February 13, 1991

PARIS - The trial of a middle-aged woman accused of poisoning her elderly husband and dismembering her unfaithful lover is riveting France with one of its most sensational murder cases in years.

A nosy neighbor, a thud at midnight, an electric carving knife, plastic garbage bags stuffed into a car trunk - it has all the elements of any good detective story.

The defendant, Simone Weber, went on trial Jan. 17 in the eastern city of Nancy and faces two charges of murder.

Philippe Rochette, a director of the newspaper Liberation, described the trial as perhaps the biggest since World War II.

His daily has joined many other serious newspapers in giving the case top coverage. Only news from the Persian Gulf War ranks higher.

''Maybe people have had enough of the Gulf and they want a diversion, no matter how grotesque,'' Rochette said. ''It's a passionate trial, because there's no proof. Then, there's the personality of the defendant.''

At 60, Weber is round and dowdy, an ordinary woman from a rural family. She has married twice and had five children, two of whom are dead.

But her first husband, a retired fireman, told the court she tried to commit him to an insane asylum as their brief marriage soured. Her siblings testified that she stole their meager inheritance.

A psychiatrist who examined Weber testified that she is a habitual liar.

From the defendant's box, Weber proclaims her innocence and lets no criticism go unanswered.

''He only thought about loafing and going dancing until 7 o'clock in the morning,'' she said of her first husband, Jacques Thuot. ''The doctors told me I couldn't live with a hood like that any more.''

Presiding Judge Nicholas Pacaud has specifically warned the hundreds of spectators not to ''ooh'' and ''aah'' at her ripostes.

Prosecutors accuse Weber of killing her 80-year-old second husband, Marcel Fixard, by lacing his food with the drug digitalis. He died a month after their marriage in 1980, leaving Weber his military pension in a will that prosecutors have called a fake.

Five years later, prosecutors allege, Weber drugged, shot, then chopped up her lover, Bernard Hettier, who she believed was having an affair with another woman.

Evidence in both alleged slayings is circumstantial.

Police turned up digitalis and other heart medications at Weber's home, although no doctor prescribed them for her. Pathologists, however, were unable to find traces of digitalis in Fixard's body when he was exhumed after it appeared Hettier was missing.

With regard to Hettier, the case against Weber rests on witnesses, many of whom say that she begged Hettier to leave his other lover, then threatened to kill him.

One key witness is Marie Haag, 78, a widow who lives above an empty apartment in Nancy belonging to Weber's sister.

Weber frequently visited the apartment but never stayed overnight until June 22, 1985, the day Hettier disappeared, Haag testified.

She said Simone Weber came up that afternoon and asked her how to use an electric carving knife. Later, Haag's late husband saw a man they thought to be Hettier enter the building.

As midnight approached, Haag was unable to sleep.

''We heard a big noise. Poof! . . . At first, I thought she (Weber) had fallen,'' Mrs. Haag testified. ''Then right after, we heard the sound of a motor. Like a vacuum cleaner gone crazy, like a chain saw. It shook the ground. It lasted about three minutes.''

About dawn, she said she saw Weber load at least seven blue garbage bags into the trunk of her car.

Haag said she came across a similar garbage sack half full of sand on the staircase two days later. ''It smelled of blood,'' she testified.

Weber says the sacks were filled with canned food.

''As you've been able to see, Mrs. Haag spies on people,'' she told the jury.



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