Blanche Monnier was a French woman noted for her beauty, she wished to marry an old lawyer that her mother disapproved of, so she locked her in a small dark room in her attic for 25 years. The left one’s taken in the 1870s, the right in 1901 after she was discovered.
History might not have recorded Blanche Monnier’s existence if she hadn’t made the wrong choice for a future husband.
She chose someone who was disliked by her mother. Madam Monnier despised Blanche’s love interest so much that she imprisoned her in a tiny room until she changed her mind.
Blanche stuck to her decision despite having had 25 years to consider it while living in the same cramped room.
If Blanche hadn’t been released from her prison cell by the attorney general in Paris, she might have been willing to hold out even longer.
Blanche used to be a stunning French socialite from a well-known family. Monnier, then 25, fell in love with an older lawyer who lived nearby and wanted to marry him in 1876 when she was 25 years old.
Her mother, on the other hand, was dissatisfied with her daughter’s decision and opposed it. Madam Monnier insisted that her daughter could not marry a “penniless lawyer” and went to great lengths to prevent it.
She tried unsuccessfully to persuade Blanche to change her mind, to forbid her decision, and to plot against her. She had no intention of carrying out her mother’s wishes.
Blanche appeared to have vanished from the face of the Earth, or at least from the face of Paris. Her friends had no idea where she was.
Her mother and brother grieved for her but went about their daily lives. Blanche was quickly forgotten. Blanche’s fate remained a mystery for many years after the lawyer she adored died.
Until one day in 1901, when the Paris prosecutor received a strange anonymous note that read:
“Monsieur Attorney General: I have the honour to inform you of an exceptionally serious occurrence. I speak of a spinster who is locked up in Madame Monnier’s house, half-starved and living on a putrid litter for the past twenty-five years – in a word, in her own filth.”
The police were taken aback by such claims. It was a terrifying scenario, and no one could believe Madam Monnier could pull it off.
She was a well-liked Parisian from an aristocratic family who had been honoured by the Committee of Good Works for her generous contributions to the city.
Officers were dispatched to the house to inspect it, and despite being denied entry at first, they forced the door open and entered.
They went through the house and found a small, dark, and foul-smelling room on the second floor. Blanche Monnier was waiting for them when they pried open the windows.
Or, at the very least, what remained of her. Blanche, 50, weighed barely 50 pounds and was covered in food and faeces, with bugs all over the bed and floor.
She didn’t look like a human. Blanche appeared to be a scared animal when the officers took her out, malnourished, without sunlight, and cut off from any social contact for 25 years.
Her mother was arrested right away, but she died in prison only 15 days later. She confessed to her daughter’s inhumane treatment before her death.