In 1851 Hippolyte Visart de Bocarmé lost his father, Julien Visart de Bocarmé, a descendant of the noble Belgian family Visart de Bocarmé, and expected some money to be coming his way. Hippolyte was married with four kids and was constantly in need of cash. He soon learned that his father’s estate was actually inherited by his brother in law, Gustave Fougnies. Gustave was a weak man with no children so Hippolyte figured he wouldn’t have long to wait for that inheritance to come his way. Much to his dismay, Gustav announced he was going to be getting married. On November 20th, 1850, he invited Gustave for dinner and sometime during that dinner Gustave Fougnies died. Both Hippolyte and his wife were there and both said that he passed from a stroke. Upon further examination of the body though it was discovered Gustave had been murdered, forced to swallow a corrosive and poisonous substance. Jean Servais Stas, a famous Belgian chemist, was able to prove with a toxicological examination that Hippolyte Visart de Bocarmé had used tobacco extract to poison his own brother in law. His method was the first proof of alkaloids (a group of naturally occurring chemical compounds) in forensic science and is, fundamentally, still the same method used today. Hippolyte’s trial lasted three weeks until the verdict came in, the court pronounced him guilty and gave him the death sentence. His wife was acquitted of the murder charge. On July 19th, 1851, Hippolyte was taken to the guillotine at Grand-Place in Mons and executed. Pictured above: a depiction of Hippolyte and his wife, a depiction of the crime, a depiction of Hippolyte, a map of Belgium from the same era, a book written about the crime by Pierre Bouchardon, the chemist Jean Stas and lastly where Hippolyte lived and where the crime occurred Chateau de Bitremont then and as it is now.
a case you say? well have i got a case for you! A very famous chemist was found murdered in his kitchen today. The police have narrowed it down to six suspects. They know it was a two man job. Their names: Felice, Maxwell, Archibald, Nicolas, Jordan, and Xavier. A note was also found with the body: ’26-3-58/28-27-57-16′. Who are the killers? good luck Mr Holmes