We have the mentally ill and then we have the serial killers. We recognized notorious names from our modern-day from Jack the Ripper to BTK killer (Bound-Torture-Killer).
In Dole, France in 1560s/ 70s children started going missing. Eye witness accounts say that someone saw a werewolf near a village. A man was arrested, Gilllies Garnier, who later became known as The Werewolf of Dole.
Garnier admitted to killing four children between the ages of 9 and 12 years old. He said, in fact, he had eaten the children and brought home some fresh flesh for his wife. Garnier was convicted of being a werewolf and involved in witchcraft, and burned at the stake in 1573.
In 1598, a fifteen year-old boy was said to be eaten by the werewolf of Caude. The werewolf of Caude was also known as Jacques Rollet. The story is that Rollet was found lying in the forest, naked with long-matted body hair, and he was holding a lump of raw flesh. In Rollet’s trial he described how he slaughtered various people including lawyers and bailiffs. Rollet was fortunate in that he was not killed but sentenced to an insane asylum where he only remained for two years.
EYEWITNESS OF BEAST
In America we no longer hear stories of beasts killing people. Sure, there’s the occasional story about some Yahoo at the zoo jumping into the lion’s enclosure to pet the nice kitty only to find himself mauled. It was not uncommon that once upon a time that villages would find themselves preyed on by some stray, wild beast.
The in central France was such a predator. It was said to roam the Gevaudan province between a period between 1764 and 1767. We have only eyewitness testimony, no iPhone snaps to get a picture of this beast. But it is said the creature looked similar to a wolf with reddish fur, dreadful teeth, and thick, long tail. The beast is said to have killed 98 people whose mutilated and partially eaten bodies were found.
Eyewitnesses testimony gives us some description. A woman tending her cattle in 1764 said she saw a beast that looked like a wolf and was the size of a cow. The cattle used their horns to drive the beast away allowing her to tell her tale.
Two hunters claimed to have shot it from thirty feet, but it escaped into the forest. A few days later the attacks continued. King Louis XV sent in a troop of his cavalry and Captain Duhamel claims his men wounded the beast but they never found the body. Presuming they had killed the beast the cavalry left the area but only to find the beast return.
In 1767, another expedition was put together comprising of several hundred hunters that divided into small bands that set off over countryside. One small group located the beast. Jean Chastel was the guy credited for shooting the animal. The wounded animal laid on the ground dead.
When they examined the creature they found its stomach contained the collarbone of a young girl.
The beast’s body was displayed in the local village and later sent to Versailles where it was buried in the countryside. Modern day analysis suggests it was a mere beast, and the decade of being terrorized and superstition in the air, lead to the legend of the werewolf. Interesting point, it was later discovered that the heroic Jean Chastel shot and killed the beast with silver bullets.
In very recent times, like as in 1989, a woman who was driving along Bray Road near Dalavan, Wisconsin reported seeing a figure hunched by the side of the road. When she passed the creature she late recalled, it had grayish-brown hair and big fangs, its face was “…long and snoutly, like a wolf.”
That wasn’t the end to reports. In 1991 a driver going down Bray Road hit something. When she stopped the car to look back she saw a dark, hairy form running toward her. She raced off in her car, but the creature leapt onto the back trunk. Fortunately the car was slippery and it fell off.
In this same area a driver reported seeing a creature five to eight feet tall that was feeding off road kill. One man gave testimony that a creature tried to pull a deer carcass from the bed of his truck.
Oversized wolf, mutant-wolf or werewolf?
Whatever you decide, the Legend of the Werewolf will remain alive and well for years to come.