A few days ago was the 75th anniversary of the day that Marcel Petiot was executed in France. Read on to learn about this doctor’s horrific antisemitic crimes that earned him the nickname, Doctor Satan. 

Early Life:

Marcel Petiot was born on January 17, 1897. He was known to be an incredibly intelligent boy, but one who exhibited unusual behaviors. Marcel often found himself in trouble and was even expelled from a few schools. In 1914, a psychiatrist had formally diagnosed him as being mentally ill but little came out of it in the form of treatment (“Dr. Marcel Petiot”). He was arrested at the age of seventeen for mail fraud but it was decided that he was mentally unfit to be charged (Girgis). After school he was enlisted in the army where his mental state deteriorated further after an injury. He got in trouble for stealing blankets and then, in 1918, shot himself in the foot. Marcel was discharged for mental unfitness and was given a disability pension (“Dr. Marcel Petiot). 

Becoming a Murderer:

In 1921, Marcel received his medical degree and began practicing in Villeneuve, France (Girgis). He relocated to Paris in 1933 and had developed a good reputation as a doctor despite the fact that he was accused of performing illegal abortions and distributing narcotics. During the Nazi occupation of France, Dr. Petiot would lure Jews into his home who were trying to leave the country (Girgis). He would promise them that he would oversee their safe passage from France into South America, but he would never follow through. Once his victims were behind closed doors, he would inject them with Cyanide, claiming it was preventive medicine, and then he would sit back and watch them die. Cyanide poisoning causes convulsions, confusion, vomiting, headaches, and respiratory problems and, depending on the dosage, it can take up to 30 minutes before the victim falls unconscious and dies. After killing these people, Marcel would strip them of their possessions and drag their bodies downstairs where we would incinerate them or dissolve them in quicklime (“Dr. Marcel Petiot”). 


After France was liberated, Marcel’s neighbors noticed a disturbing odor coming from the smoke emitting from his chimney. The police were contacted and upon further inspection, 30 corpses were found. He was arrested in 1944 and admitted to killing at least 60 people, but was convicted on 26 accounts of murder.

“Gentlemen, I ask you not to look. This will not be very pretty.”

 On May 25, 1946 he was executed by guillotine. Bystanders said he had a casual manner about him and smiled as the blade made contact with his neck.  

Until Next Time:



·         “Dr. Marcel Petiot.” murderpedia. Accessed 21 May, 2021. murderpedia.org/male.P/p/petiot-marcel.htm.

·         Girgis, Linda. “Top 14 Most evil Doctors of the Last Two Centuries.” Physician’s Weekly.  25 October, 2019. Accessed 21 May, 2021. physiciansweekly.com/top-14-most-evil-doctors-of-the-last-two-centuries.

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