Eugen Weidmann Mugshot

By Unknown, SRIJ de Paris. Uploaded and restored by Jebulon - Courtesy of Head of Service Regional d'Identité Judiciaire de Paris, Public Domain,

Eugen Weidmann

(February 5th 1908 - June 7th 1939)

Known most famously for being the last public execution by guillotine in France.

German born Weidmann met his two criminal accomplices whilst serving a five-year term in Saarbrücken jail.  They moved to Paris together with the sole intent on kidnapping rich tourists to make money.

The three men successfully kidnapped and robbed six people during 1937.  Weidmann murdered all 6 and most were never actually held captive for any length of time, their first murder victim’s family was sent a ransom note after she had already been killed.  She was strangled and buried.

He developed his preferred method for the other victims; shooting them in the nape of the neck or the back of the head, execution style.

Weidmann was apprehended by police December the same year, and fully cooperated with investigations, admitting guilt for all his crimes.

His execution on June 17th 1939 drew a hysterical crowd and with the increasing availability of personal photography and video equipment, the event was caught on camera and is easily found to view online today.  (Though I will not be linking to it here).
This forced the then French President Albert Lebrun to ban all future public executions.

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