Alternately dubbed the “Monster of Montmartre” and the “Little Old Lady Killer,” Thierry Paulin stood out as an anomaly not only within “normal” society but among serial killers. The victims of most sadistic psychopaths generally mirror the murderer’s own sexual orientation and race: whites tend to prey on whites, blacks on blacks, straight males on women, gay males on other men, etc. Paulin violated all these expectations. A bleached blond black drag queen, he savagely murdered nearly two dozen old white women in the Montmartre neighbourhood of Paris in the mid-1980’s, creating a panic among the city’s elderly female population.
Paulin’s crime wave began in 1984, when he was twenty-one. Accompanied on occasion by his nineteen-year-old lover, Jean-Thierry Mathurin, Paulin would trail old ladies home as they returned from the market, then pounce when they unlocked the front door. He and his accomplice killed with unusual ferocity. One victim, eighty-year-old Marie Choy, was bound with steel wire and forced to drink bleach before she was beaten to death. Another, seventy-five-year-old Maria Mico-Diaz, was so savagely hacked with a knife that she was nearly cut in two.
The “Monster of Montmartre” celebrate his twenty-fourth birthday in November 1987, by attacking three victims during a single weekend. One survived to describe him to the police, who had little trouble tracking down a black transvestite with platinum blond hair. In custody, Paulin confessed to the murder of twenty-one female victims between the ages of sixty and ninety-five. He died of AIDS in April 1989, while awaiting trial.