Hamida Djandoubi

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Hamida Djandoubi
Born 1949
French Tunisia
Died September 10, 1977(1977-09-10) (aged 28)
Baumettes prison, Marseille, France
Cause of death Executed by guillotine
Resting place Cimetière Saint-Pierre, Marseilles
Nationality Tunisian
Other names "Pimp Killer"
Occupation Landscaper, pimp
Criminal charge Procuring, rape, torture murder and premeditated violence
Criminal penalty Capital punishment
Criminal status Executed by guillotine on September 10, 1977
Motive Revenge for previous criminal charges
Conviction(s) Guilty on all charges
Victims Élisabeth Bousquet, 21
Date Early 1973 (procuring) - July 3, 1974 (murder)
State(s) Bouches-du-Rhône
Location(s) Marseilles

Hamida Djandoubi (Arabic: حميدة جندوبي‎) (c. 1949 – 10 September 1977) was the last person to be executed in Western Europe,[1] and the last person executed by beheading in the Western world. He was a Tunisian agricultural worker who had been convicted of the torture and murder of 21-year-old Elisabeth Bousquet in Marseille. Marcel Chevalier served as chief executioner.[2]

Early life[edit]

Born in Tunisia in 1949, in 1968 Djandoubi started living in Marseille and working in a grocery store. He went on to work as a landscaper but had a workplace accident in 1971 that resulted in the loss of two thirds of his right leg.[3]

In 1973, a 21-year-old woman named Elisabeth Bousquet, whom Djandoubi had met in the hospital while recovering from his amputation, filed a complaint against him, stating that he had tried to force her into prostitution.[3]

Murder of Elisabeth Bousquet[edit]

After his arrest and eventual release from custody during the spring of 1973, Djandoubi drew two other young girls into his confidence and then forced them to "work" for him. In July 1974, he kidnapped Bousquet and took her into his home where, in full view of the terrified girls, he beat the woman before stubbing a lit cigarette all over her breasts and genital area. Bousquet survived the ordeal so Djandoubi took her by car to the outskirts of Marseille and strangled her there.

On his return Djandoubi warned the two girls to say nothing of what they had seen. Bousquet's body was discovered in a shed by a boy on 7 July 1974. One month later, Djandoubi kidnapped another girl who managed to escape and report him to police.

Trial and execution[edit]

After a lengthy pre-trial process, Djandoubi eventually appeared in court in Aix-en-Provence on charges of torture-murder, rape and premeditated violence on 25 February 1977. His main defense revolved around the supposed effects of the amputation of his leg six years earlier which his lawyer claimed had driven him to a paroxysm of alcohol abuse and violence, turning him into a different man.

On 25 February he was condemned to death. An appeal against his sentence was rejected on 9 June, and in the early morning of 10 September 1977, Djandoubi was informed that he, like the child murderers Christian Ranucci (guillotined on 28 July 1976) and Jérôme Carrein (guillotined on 23 June 1977), had not received a reprieve from President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing. Shortly afterwards, at 4:40 a.m., he was executed by guillotine at Baumettes Prison in Marseille.

While Djandoubi was the last person executed in France, he was not the last condemned.[4] No more executions occurred after capital punishment was abolished in France in 1981 following the election of François Mitterrand.[5]

Further reading[edit]

  • Jeremy Mercer, When the Guillotine Fell : The Bloody Beginning and Horrifying End to France's River of Blood, 1791–1977, New York, St. Martin's Press, 2008.
  • Jean-Yves Le Nahour, Le Dernier guillotiné, Paris, First Editions, 2011.


  1. ^ Franklin E. Zimring (24 September 2004). The Contradictions of American Capital Punishment. Oxford University Press. pp. 33–. ISBN 978-0-19-029237-9. 
  2. ^ Les deux derniers bourreaux français toujours vivants, La Dépêche du Midi, 10 September 2007  (French)
  3. ^ a b Cédric Condom, Le Dernier Guillotiné, Planète+ Justice, 2011 (French)
  4. ^ La dernière exécution capitale date de 30 ans, Radio France internationale, 10 September 2007  (French)
  5. ^ Il y a 30 ans, avait lieu la dernière exécution, Le Nouvel Observateur, 10 September 2007  (French)

External links[edit]