Quebecer Marie-Andrée Leclerc was found guilty of murder and theft tourists in Asia with fellow traveler Charles Sobhraj.
The recent miniseries The Serpenttells the story of French serial killer Charles Sobhraj and his partner, Quebecer Marie-Andrée Leclerc. Was she victim or murderer? Back to the archives on a case that is as scabrous as it is enigmatic.
At the end of the 1970s, the Marie-Andrée Leclerc affair caused a lot of ink to flow. How did a Lévis medical secretary become Asia's most wanted woman?
During a one-year journey, from 1975 to 1976, the Quebecer allegedly participated in the murders of several European and North American tourists in Asia.
In August 1976, she was arrested and imprisoned in Tihar prison, India. She will have to stay there for several years awaiting her trial. Her conditions of detention attract a certain sympathy for her.
Marie-Andrée Leclerc denies being a murderer and claims instead to have been under the influence of Charles Sobhraj, an Indo-Vietnamese criminal with whom she was traveling.
Six years later, she would be charged and sentenced to life in prison with her accomplice.
She would have helped Charles Sobhraj to drug naive travelers to steal money and passports, then s& #x27;get rid of it.
Report by Yves Désautels on the return of Marie-Andrée Leclerc to Quebec for treatment.
This report by journalist Yves Désautels on Téléjournal du 24 July 1983 is featured on his return home.
“Leaving for a trip to India that was only to last a few months, Here she is eight years later, exhausted, having to move around in a wheelchair, physically and mentally bruised, but visibly happy to be back home. »
— Yves Désautels
As the young woman had cancer, the Indian Supreme Court authorized her to return temporarily to Canada for treatment.
< p class="e-p">His return gives him the opportunity to publish a book on his story which however has several gray areas.
Less than a year more later, on April 20, 1984, Marie-Andrée Leclerc died in Quebec City of uterine cancer.
Report by Jacques Plante following the death of Marie-Andrée Leclerc in Quebec. The news bulletin is presented by Jean Ducharme.
The report by journalist Jacques Plante on Téléjournalshows some excerpts from an interview she gave to Radio-Canada when her book was published.
We discover a charming, delicate and seemingly serene woman. This could explain why many Quebecers believed her innocent until the last moment.
The Lévisienne will claim until her death that she knew nothing of the murderous activities of Charles Sobhraj, saying instead that she had been his victim. He allegedly stole all of her money and made her passport unusable. She was at his mercy, she writes in her book.
She will also claim not to have been in love with her companion, who said he was a dealer in precious stones.
< p class="e-p">However, she will join him in Asia just a few months after meeting him in 1975 during a first trip to India. His diary, obtained by the Thai authorities, also expresses the opposite.
Besides the book Je reviens…, published by Éditions Stanké in 1983, The Marie-Andrée Leclerc Affair by Huguette Laprise sheds some light on this story.
Special correspondent for the daily La Presse, the journalist traveled to Asia three times to cover the Marie-Andrée Leclerc case. She questions the complete innocence of the Quebecer.
Interview of Madeleine Poulin with La Presse journalist Huguette Laprise who covered the Marie-Andrée Leclerc affair.
On the Le Point Médias program of November 5, 1993, journalist Madeleine Poulin spoke at length with Huguette Laprise.
She explains that she went to meet Marie-André Leclerc in India following the international arrest warrant from Interpol.
“I really left with this idea of going help a Quebec woman who is in a bad way, ”she says.
But during her investigation, the journalist discovers a very loaded and documented file. The facts and testimonies she collects in Nepal, Hong Kong and Thailand are overwhelming.
“We can't be in an apartment and have people chained up in our apartment without seeing them!” »
— Journalist Huguette Laprise
When the journalist visits her in prison, Marie-Andrée Leclerc speaks like a naive little girl, saying she is in a very bad position and calling for help.
Huguette Laprise also meets Charles Sobhraj at the courthouse. A character she describes as unsympathetic who has everything of a psychopath and to whom Marie-Andrée Leclerc still seems very attached.
Marie-Andrée Leclerc was most certainly under the spell of Charles Sobhraj, but under his sway, not seeing all he was up to? All the information collected by journalist Huguette Laprise goes in the opposite direction.
“After all these years, what I can say is that this girl had a very, very sad, abominable fate,” concludes the La Presse journalist.
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