Blanche Monnier Spent 25 Years In Captivity For Loving The “Wrong” Man

Blanche Monnier, a rich and renowned woman, fell in love with a commoner, and her mother did the unthinkable to try to stop it.

A mysterious letter claiming that a wealthy family in the city was concealing a sinister secret was delivered to the attorney general of Paris one day in May 1901. The attorney general was so alarmed by the contents of the handwritten, unsigned memo that he decided to look into it right away.

The rich Monnier family had a clean reputation, so the police must have had some reservations when they showed up at the Monnier house. Madam Monnier was well-known in high society in Paris for her charity endeavors; in fact, she had won a prize for her selfless service to the neighborhood. Marcel, her son, was a bright student who was now a reputable attorney.

Madam Monnier was well-known in high society in Paris for her charity endeavors

Blanche, a stunning young daughter of the Monniers, had also been born, but no one had seen her in nearly 25 years.

The young socialite, whom acquaintances described as “extremely sweet and good-natured,” had abruptly disappeared in her prime, just as high-society suitors had started to approach. The family continued living their lives as usual, and no one gave this bizarre incident much attention any longer.

The Discovery of Blanche Monnier

The cops conducted a routine investigation of the estate and found nothing unusual until they smelled something foul coming from one of the upstairs rooms. The door had been padlocked shut, it was discovered after more examination. Unaware of the horrors that lay inside, the cops broke into the room after noticing something was wrong and burst the key.

The lone window in the room was covered by thick drapes and shutters, leaving the space completely dark. One of the cops instantly gave the order to break open the window due to the overpowering stink in the dim chamber. The police officers noticed that the foul smell came from the decaying food remnants that covered the floor around a dilapidated bed to which an underweight woman was shackled as the sunlight entered the room.

The terrifying look of Monnier when she was discovered

Blanche Monnier had not seen the sun in more than twenty years when the policeman opened the window. Since the time of her enigmatic “disappearance” 25 years prior, she had been kept entirely naked and tied to her bed. The now middle-aged woman was covered in her own filth and surrounded by the vermin that had been drawn in by the rotting scraps, unable to even get up to relieve herself.

Blanche had been there for 25 years, but the horrified policemen could not stay in the room for more than a few minutes due to the overwhelming stench of dirt and rotting. She was taken to the hospital while her mother and brother were arrested without delay.

Though Blanche was severely underweight when she was rescued (just 55 pounds), hospital officials claimed that she was extremely aware and expressed her delight at being able to breathe fresh air once more. Her entire terrible tale slowly started to come into focus.

Held In Captivity For Love

In fact, Blanche had found a suitor all those years before; sadly, he was an older, less wealthy lawyer rather than the young, wealthy aristocrat her family had hoped she would marry. Blanche refused to choose a better man despite her mother’s advice.

Madame Monnier punished her daughter by locking her in a padlocked chamber until she submitted to her wishes.

Blanche Monnier before her incarceration

Blanche Monnier resisted giving up despite the passing of the years. She was kept confined to her cage even after her boyfriend passed away, with only rats and lice for companionship. The household staff and her brother refused to assist her for the next 25 years, claiming later that they were too afraid of the mistress of the house to take a chance.

Blanche’s rescue was never fully explained, but one myth contends that a servant accidentally exposed a family secret to her boyfriend, who was so appalled he immediately contacted the attorney general. An irate mob assembled outside the Monnier home as a result of widespread outrage, which caused Madame Monnier to have a heart attack. After her daughter was freed, she would pass away 15 days later.

The example of Elisabeth Fritzl, who also spent 25 years imprisoned in her own home, is somewhat comparable to the one in this narrative, while being much more contemporary.

After spending decades in captivity, Blanche Monnier experienced psychological trauma that persisted; she spent the remainder of her life in a French sanitarium before passing away in 1913.


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