WWII's French Serial Killer Doctor and Other Forgotten Monsters From History
WWII’s French Serial Killer Doctor and Other Forgotten Monsters From History

WWII’s French Serial Killer Doctor and Other Forgotten Monsters From History

Khalid Elhassan - January 27, 2020

WWII’s French Serial Killer Doctor and Other Forgotten Monsters From History
Victims of Ranavalona being dropped off cliffs to their deaths. Historic Mysteries

2. An Enslaved Island

Ranavalona sent her army on numerous punitive expeditions into those parts of Madagascar resistant to her rule or expressing anything less than enthusiasm for her overlordship. The queen’s men engaged in scorched earth policies, and devastated insufficiently obedient regions. As object lessons, Ranavalona’s soldiers routinely massacred the inhabitants of towns and settlements that were deemed disloyal.

Those spared from the mass executions were enslaved and brought back to the queen’s domain, to toil the rest of their lives away on her projects. Between 1820 to 1853, over a million slaves were seized, and the percentage of slaves rose to one third of the population of Madagascar’s central highlands, and two thirds of the population of Antananarivo, Ranavalona’s capital.

WWII’s French Serial Killer Doctor and Other Forgotten Monsters From History
Ranavalona I. Wikimedia

1. History’s Deadliest Queen

Between massacres, mistreatment, forced labor, and widespread famines resulting from Ranavalona’s scorched earth policies and heavy handed repression, Madagascar’s population crashed. During just a six year stretch from 1833 to 1839, the island’s population is estimated to have declined from 5 million to 2.5 million inhabitants. In Ranavalona’s own home district, the population took a nose dive from about 750,000 in 1829, to a mere 130,000 by 1842.

Those were genocide level figures, comparable to the toll inflicted by Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge upon the people of Cambodia a century later. Unlike Pol Pot, however, Ranavalona was not chased out of power. After a 33 year reign, she died in her sleep of natural causes, at age 83.

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Where Did We Find This Stuff? Some Sources and Further Reading

Badass of the Week – Ranavalona the Cruel

Clements, Barbara Evans – Bolshevik Women (1997)

CNN Travel – Blood Countess in Slovakia: Tourists on the Trail of Elizabeth Bathory

Encyclopedia Britannica – Elizabeth Bathory

Encyclopedia Britannica – Gilles de Rais

Encyclopedia Britannica – Marcel Petiot, French Serial Killer

Executed Today – 1581: Peter Niers

Futurist Dolmen – Rozalia Zemlyachka: An Incomplete Biography

Laidler, Keith – Female Caligula: Ranavalona, the Mad Queen of Madagascar (2005)

Listverse – 10 Historic Serial Killers You Don’t Know

Medical Bag – Pure Evil: Wartime Japanese Doctor Had No Regard For Human Suffering

Murderpedia – Marcel Petiot

PBS American Experience – Shiro Ishii

Ranker – The Untold Story of Peter Niers, the Cannibal Magician Who Killed 500 People

Sima, Qian – Records of the Grand Historian

War History Online – Japan’s Dr. Mengele: Medical Experiments on POWs at Unit 731

Wikipedia – Gilles de Rais

Wikipedia – Liu Pengli

Wikipedia – Shiro Ishii

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