Episode 6: The Papin Sisters

This week we are discussing Christine and Léa Papin. The Papins were two sisters who worked together as live- in maids in the 1930’s. The Papin sisters came from a broken home with their mothers alleged affair and their fathers heavy drinking it was not the idea home to start a family.

Christine was born in 1905 and given to an aunt and uncle until she was sent to a catholic orphanage when she was around seven years old. Christine was described as a hard worker and also a very insubordinate person who would argue with her employers

Léa was born in 1911 and was also given to another uncle to live until he died. She was then sent to a catholic orphanage. Léa was described as introverted, not very bright and obedient.

In 1926 both sisters found employment as live-in maids for the Lancelin family René, Léonie and Genevieve. While working for the Lancelin family it is said that the Papin sisters would be subjected to daily mental abuse which one day would turn physical when she slammed one of the sisters heads into the wall.

In February of 1933 Léonie and Genevieve were out shopping that day and returned home to get ready for a dinner party they were to attend that night with René. When they got home they saw that the lights were out and the Papin sisters explained that it was due to a faulty iron being plugged in. Léonie became upset and aggressive when she found this out and started to attack both sisters. Christine broke away and started to attack Genevieve by gouging her eyes and instructed Léa to do the same before running downstairs to get a knife.

Ultimately, one of the sisters grabbed a heavy pitcher and hit both the mother and daughter in the head.

René returned home finding the house dark, he left to the dinner party. When he got there he discovered neither his wife or daughter were present and getting an uneasy feeling he returned home, but was not able to get inside because it was locked from the inside. He then went to get police which helped him get the door open and search the house. That is when they found Léonie and Genevieve dead and unrecognizable with their eyes gouged out and in various places. René thought the Papin sisters would also be dead, but when they went up to their room it was locked. Eventually, the lock was picked and the Papin sisters were found naked in bed together with the murder weapons on a nearby chair. They immediately confessed to the crime!

Listen to find out what happened to them!