September 22, 1949|
|Died||September 10, 1977
Baumettes prison, Marseille, France
|Cause of death||Executed by guillotine|
|Resting place||Cimetière Saint-Pierre, Marseilles|
|Other names||"Pimp Killer"|
|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)|
Hamida Djandoubi (Arabic: حميدة جندوبي) (September 22, 1949 – September 10, 1977) was the last person to be executed in Western Europe, and the last person executed by beheading in the Western world. He was a Tunisian agricultural worker who was sentenced to death for the torture and murder of 21-year-old Élisabeth Bousquet in Marseille, France. Marcel Chevalier served as chief executioner.
Born in Tunisia on September 22, 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.
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.
Murder of Elisabeth Bousquet
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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. On July 3, 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 July 7, 1974. One month later, Djandoubi kidnapped another girl who managed to escape and report him to police.
Trial and execution
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 February 25, 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 February 25 he was sentenced to death. An appeal against his sentence was rejected on June 9, and in the early morning of September 10, 1977, twelve days before his 28th birthday, Djandoubi was informed that he, like the child murderers Christian Ranucci (guillotined on July 28, 1976) and Jérôme Carrein (guillotined on June 23, 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. The execution was filmed, and the film was shown on an A&E program about capital punishment.
While Djandoubi was the last person executed in France, he was not the last condemned. No more executions occurred after capital punishment was abolished in France in 1981 following the election of François Mitterrand.
- 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.
- Franklin E. Zimring (24 September 2004). The Contradictions of American Capital Punishment. Oxford University Press. pp. 33–. ISBN 978-0-19-029237-9.
- Les deux derniers bourreaux français toujours vivants, La Dépêche du Midi, 10 September 2007 (French)
- Cédric Condom, Le Dernier Guillotiné, Planète+ Justice, 2011 (French)
- La dernière exécution capitale date de 30 ans, Radio France internationale, 10 September 2007 (French)
- Il y a 30 ans, avait lieu la dernière exécution, Le Nouvel Observateur, 10 September 2007 (French)
- Various photos, newspaper articles, and court documents related to the Djandoubi case. (English)
- Le Dernier Guillotiné, directed by Cédric Condom, based on the book by Jean-Yves Le Nahour, Planète+ Justice, 2011.