The Real Madame LaLaurie

Marie Delphine Macarty or MacCarthy (March 19, 1787 - December 7, 1849), more commonly known as Madame Blanque, until his third marriage, when she became known as Madame LaLaurie, was a New Orleans Creole socialite and serial killer noted for torturing and murdering slaves in her household.

Born during the Spanish colonial period, Delphine Macarty married three times in Louisiana and was twice widowed. She maintained her position in New Orleans society until April 10, 1834, when rescuers responded to a fire at her Royal Street mansion. They discovered bound slaves in her attic who showed evidence of cruel, violent abuse over a long period. LaLaurie's house was subsequently sacked by an outraged mob of New Orleans citizens. She escaped to France with her family. 

After 1945, accounts of the LaLaurie slaves became more explicit. Jeanne de Lavigne, writing in Ghost Stories of Old New Orleans (1946), alleged that LaLaurie had a "sadistic appetite [that] seemed never appeased until she had inflicted on one or more of her black servitors some hideous form of torture" and claimed that those who responded to the 1834 fire had found "male slaves, stark naked, chained to the wall, their eyes gouged out, their fingernails pulled off by the roots; others had their joints skinned and festering, great holes in their buttocks where the flesh had been sliced away, their ears hanging by threads, their lips sewn together... Intestines were pulled out and knotted around naked waists. There were holes in skulls, where a rough stick had been inserted to stir the brains."