Hamida Djandoubi

Hamida Djandoubi (Arabic: حميدة جندوبي; (1949-09-22)22 September 1949 10 September 1977) was a Tunisian agricultural worker and convicted murderer. He moved to Marseille, France, in 1968 and six years later he kidnapped, tortured and murdered 22-year-old Élisabeth Bousquet, his former girlfriend. He was sentenced to death in February 1977 and executed by guillotine in September that year. He was the last person to be executed in Western Europe,[2] and he was the last person to be executed by beheading anywhere in the Western world. Marcel Chevalier served as chief executioner.[3]

Hamida Djandoubi
Born(1949-09-22)22 September 1949
Died10 September 1977(1977-09-10) (aged 27)
Cause of deathExecution by guillotine
Resting placeCimetière Saint-Pierre, Marseilles
Other names"Pimp Killer"
OccupationLandscaper, pimp
Criminal statusExecuted by guillotine on 10 September 1977
MotiveRevenge for previous criminal charges
Conviction(s)Guilty on all charges (25 February 1977)
Criminal chargeProcuring
Rape (2 counts)
Torture murder
Premeditated violence (3 counts)[1]
PenaltyCapital punishment (25 February 1977)
VictimsÉlisabeth Bousquet, 22
DateEarly 1973 (procuring) – 3 July 1974 (murder)
Date apprehended
11 August 1974

Early life

Born in Tunisia on 22 September 1949, Djandoubi started living in Marseille in 1968, working in a grocery store. He later worked as a landscaper but had a workplace accident in 1971 that resulted in the loss of two-thirds of his right leg.[4]

In 1973, a 21-year-old woman named Élisabeth 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.[4]

Murder of Élisabeth Bousquet

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.[5] On 3 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 he took her by car to the outskirts of Marseille and strangled her there.[6][7]

On his return, Djandoubi warned the two girls to say nothing of what they had seen.[6] 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.[8]

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 24 February 1977. His main defence 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 sentenced to death. An appeal against his sentence was rejected on 9 June. In the early morning of 10 September 1977, twelve days before his 28th birthday, Djandoubi was informed that he, like the child murderers Christian Ranucci (executed on 28 July 1976) and Jérôme Carrein (executed 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.[9] No more executions occurred after capital punishment was abolished in France in 1981 following the election of François Mitterrand, and those sentenced to die had their sentences commuted.[10]

See also

Further reading

  • Mercer, Jeremy (2008). When the Guillotine Fell: The Bloody Beginning and Horrifying End to France's River of Blood, 1791--1977. Macmillan. ISBN 9781429936088.
  • Jean-Yves Le Nahour, Le Dernier guillotiné, Paris, First Editions, 2011


  1. Exécution d'Hamida Djandoubi à Marseille, TF1, September 10, 1977. INA. Retrieved August 31, 2017.
  2. Franklin E. Zimring (24 September 2004). The Contradictions of American Capital Punishment. Oxford University Press. pp. 33–. ISBN 978-0-19-029237-9.
  3. Les deux derniers bourreaux français toujours vivants, La Dépêche du Midi, 10 September 2007 (French)
  4. Cédric Condom, Le Dernier Guillotiné, Planète+ Justice, 2011 (French)
  5. Beadle, Jeremy; Harrison, Ian (2007). Firsts, Lasts and Only's: Crime. Pavilion Books. p. 169. ISBN 9781905798049.
  6. Mercer 2008.
  7. "The Infamous Guillotine Falls for the Last Time | History Channel on Foxtel". History Channel. 19 June 2016. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  8. "The Guillotines Final Bite". www.pressreader.com. Ottawa Citizen. 3 August 2008. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  9. La dernière exécution capitale date de 30 ans, Radio France internationale, 10 September 2007 (French)
  10. Il y a 30 ans, avait lieu la dernière exécution, Le Nouvel Observateur, 10 September 2007 (French)
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