Babes-in-freezer trial grips France
BBC: A verdict is due this week in “the babes in the freezer” case, in which a French mother is accused of murdering three of her children. BBC Paris correspondent Emma Jane Kirby reports on the mixture of horror and sympathy that the story has aroused.
When 41-year-old Veronique Courjault took the stand last week in the courtroom in Tours, she was described by all the newspapers here as looking “fragile”, “sad” and “pale”.
In almost every report there was a tone of pity – a far cry from the initial reactions of disgust and horror that met the original unveiling of her shocking story in the summer of 2006.
Veronique Courjault, who already has two teenage sons, initially denied any connection to the bodies found in her freezer, but after DNA tests proved she and her husband were the natural parents, she admitted suffocating the two infants in Koreas in 2002 and 2003.
She also admitted killing and burning the body of a third baby she bore in France in 1999.
In statements to the police,Â she claimed: “I decided straight away not to keep the baby I was carrying.”
In the run-up to her trial, it seems that every leading pregnancy expert in France has been interviewed by the media – and suddenly people here are no longer talking about premeditated murder, they are talking about an intriguing psychological condition called pregnancy denial.