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Historically documented Incidents

Rés Jaques Roulet

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Fig. 1: footprint of a werewolf?

In the year 1598 in Angers the process of a Lykanthropen was negotiated. One can see how contagious these ideas were.

Near Caudean, a wild and remote place, they had found the mauled corpse of a fifteen-year-old boy. When they arrived, two wolves who had eaten from the body fled. They were pursued, and the trail was abandoned, but a strangely feral boy with long hair and beard and bloody hands, with long nails, like claws, was found nearby.
This man's name was Roulet.

According to some testimonies, he also should have escaped from the corpse only when people approached him. He was anaemic and begged with his cousin Julien and his brother Jean for his living in the neighbouring villages. When the crime happened, he was already eight days away from home.

During the interrogation, he stated that on his journey he and his companions had turned into wolves with the help of an ointment that he had received from his parents. He confessed that he had attacked the child and had first killed him by suffocation; the other two wolves had been his relatives; he recognized the clothes he wore every day, the child's corpse, indicated the place where the deed took place, recognized the child's father as the one who hurried to the child's cry for help first.

Roulet showed himself to be an idiot in prison.
When he was captured, his stomach was very taut, worn out and hard, and in prison he drank a whole bucket of water that evening, and he didn't want to eat anything since then. His parents were good people, and it turned out that his brother and his cousin were not in the same place on the same day. It is likely that real wolves have torn that boy apart; if Roulet had killed him, one does not understand how wolves could have fallen on the body so suddenly. Roulet may have been nearby, and to satisfy his hunger, since he had been wandering in the woods for eight days, he may have jumped on the body while the wolves were being chased, staining himself with blood.

Lieutenant Criminell sentenced Roulet to death. However, he appealed to Parliament to Paris, which recognised that there was more madness in the poor idiot than malice and sorcery, and ordered him to spend two years in a madhouse so that he could be educated and led back to the knowledge of God which he had ignored in his bitter poverty.

From Pierre de Lancre "L'incrédulité et méscréance du sortilège." Paris 1622, quoted after Leubuscher

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