One fateful day in May of 1901, Paris’ attorney general received a strange letter that shook him to the core. The letter stated that there was a prominent family living in the city that had been involved in something vile. It was an unsigned and handwritten note.

The contents of this note were so disturbing for the attorney general that he immediately decided to conduct an investigation to uncover what had happened.

The family mentioned in this note was the Monnier family. It was not only Paris’ but one of France’s most prominent families. They were a prominent family because of their unparalleled wealth.

The Monnier Family

After receiving orders from the attorney general, the police reached the Monnier estate. The police officers were still baffled why the attorney general tasked them to investigate the Monnier family.

The reason for their bafflement was that this family was quite reputable for their generosity and acts of kindness.

Madam Monnier, in particular, was a notable member of the Parisian high society because of her charitable acts; she even got a community award from renowned Parisians for her contributions.

In fact, the Madam was not the only one who was a well-recognized figure in her community. Her son, a respectable lawyer, known for his excellent academic record, was a part of an affluent society as well.

Madam Monnier also had a young and beautiful daughter named Blanche. Surprisingly for a lot of people, no one had seen her in over two decades.

Most acquaintances described Blanche as a good-natured and gentle person. They said that she used to be a young socialite and mysteriously disappeared during her youth.

However, no one raised any questions after her disappearance as they believed if there was something foul at play in the Monnier family, they would have received some news.

That being said, after some time, some people from the high society started wondering where Blanche was and came calling for her.

After not being able to find her, they dismissed their curiosity and went about with their lives, thinking that Blanche secluded herself due to a newfound need for privacy.

Blanche Monnier Was Finally Discovered

As time went by, people started to raise questions. Some were even direct when asking about where Blanche was. The members of the Monnier family, however, did not provide any clear answer. This raised even more eyebrows, tempting someone to write a letter to the attorney general.

Once the attorney general ordered the police to conduct an investigation, they immediately reached the Monnier estate and started their search.

They were quite thorough with their search and looked for any small detail that would lead them to Blanche. However, they were unlucky and started to believe that the accusations that people were making were not true.

Luckily, however, one of the investigators came across something that seemed out of the ordinary.

He noticed a rotten smell coming from a room upstairs. The policemen went to the suspicious room and tried to open it, only to realize that it was padlocked shut.

This only made them more suspicious as to what was in the room. At this point, the police were sure that something was amiss and decided to smash the door open with force. What they saw after entering the room was something they could not have prepared for even in advance.

There was no light inside the room. The only window present in it was shut close and concealed behind curtains. The smell inside this dark chamber was so pungent that the officers demanded their subordinates to open the windows immediately.

As some sunlight made its way into the room, the policemen realized that the bad odor was coming because of rotten food scraps littered all around the floor. The food surrounded a broken bed.

Upon taking a closer look, the police officers saw an emaciated woman chained to one of its corners. This woman was Blanche Monnier.

The sunlight that entered this room was the first time Blanche experienced it in more than two decades. The captors kept her totally naked and chained Blanche to this bed since her “disappearance.”

Blanche Monnier’s Sad State

The state of this poor woman was such that she was not even able to relieve herself. Now in her late forties, Blanche was completely surrounded by her filth and vermin that it attracted. The predicament was too much to take for most of the policemen.

In addition, the decay and smell were so overwhelming that they were not able to stay inside the room for longer than a couple of minutes.

The policemen wasted no time in covering her up and taking her to a hospital. They arrested her brother and mother on the spot.

Upon examining Blanche’s helpless body, the doctors noted that Blanche’s body was terribly malnourished. She only weighed 55 pounds at the time of her rescue.

However, she was surprisingly lucid and even said how great it was to inhale fresh air once again. After this, her whole story started to become clearer.

She Was Punished for Falling in Love

It was found out that Blanche fell in love with someone before her disappearance. Unfortunately, her family members wanted Blanche to marry someone rich and young.

This person, however, was poor and old by the Monnier family’s standards.

Madam Monnier did not want other members of the high society to find out that her daughter was planning to marry someone poor, which is why she locked up her daughter inside a padlocked room in retaliation.

The only condition where Blanche’s mother would let her out as if she gave in to her family’s demands.

However, Blanche remained adamant about her love and paid a hefty price for it. Blanche remained imprisoned even after her suitors’ death.

Her brother never tried to help her during the 25 years she was imprisoned, saying that he was too terrified of the Madam. Blanche suffered from irreparable psychological damage and lived the rest of her life in a sanitarium, where she died in 1913.

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