The Gouffé Case  

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"Mister Henry-Robert, lawyer of Gabrielle Bompard, pleaded that his customer, subjected by Eyraud means of hypnosis – very popular practice in epoch – had been his involuntary accomplice. It is what explains probably a more merciful verdict for the young woman."

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Bloody boot in Millery, the Gouffé boot, the Gouffé Case or the Eyraud-Bompard affair are the names given to a criminal case in France on 26 July in 1889. There was an official report of the disappearance of a Parisian civil servant at Montmartre. Two weeks later the corpse of Toussaint-Augustin Gouffé was found near Millery village (suburb of Lyon). The inquiry was prosecuted during a year. It captured French press and spread through the XIXth century.

The victim, Toussaint-Augustin Gouffé, was a 42-years-old, reputed country court bailiff. A couple was admitted culprit of his assassination. They were Michel Eyraud and Gabrielle Bompard.

This case marked a milestone in forensic pathology and forensic science.


The commissioner Marie-François Goron (1847-1933) retired in 48 years and wrote his memoirs. He became a precursor for a historian François Vidocq. During sixteen years, the public was roused with twenty-one books about braggart policeman. One of those books, appeared in 1890, narrated about «The Gouffé Case».

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