|This article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2007)|
May 31, 1901|
|Died||January 26, 2007
|Occupation||Soldier / Criminal|
Charles Brunier (31 May 1901 – 26 January 2007) was a convicted murderer and French veteran of both the First and Second World Wars who claimed, in 2005, to have been the inspiration for Papillon. Circumstantial evidence, including his butterfly tattoo and his having been on Devil's Island at the time, supports the claim.
Brunier served in Syria in 1918 and was wounded in action, also receiving the Croix de Guerre for saving a lieutenant's life. However, in 1923, he was accused of murder and armed robbery, and later convicted; as a result his military medals were revoked, and he was not on the official list of French World War I veterans, although he did serve. He was sent to the penal colony off the coast of French Guiana, but was recalled to serve in World War II and released from prison in 1948.
- The real Papillon; Le Parisien, 17 December 2005
- Papillon alive and well in a Paris retirement home; Mail & Guardian Online, 26 June 2005
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