France’s most notorious serial killer - in translation project video thumbnail
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By David Philip Lyons
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About

N.B In the above montage, Dr Petiot is on the top left and Marilyn Z. Tomlins, the author of Die in Paris, is on the right.

“And this is the forbidden truth, the unspeakable taboo - that evil is not always repellent but frequently attractive; that it has the power to make of us not simply victims, as nature and accident do, but active accomplices.” Joyce Carol Oates

There is something about serial killers that appeals to our dark side. I read somewhere that serial killers fulfill a need in us to calibrate our moral compasses and put our behaviours into perspective. And there are sadly plenty of examples of such people through history.

But the story of Dr Marcel Petiot is unique, set as it was against a greater evil; that of Nazi Germany and the Final Solution. Paris in Occupied France was a strange place. People tried to get on with their lives as best they could. But to live anything like a normal life usually meant collaboration with the enemy. Even the French Police, as employees of Vichy France were effectively collaborators and were treated as such after the war. It was against this background that Petiot murdered his victims who had entrusted him with their safe passage away from France.

But there is more to the story than the Paris murders. Marilyn Z Tomlins, the author of Petiot's story - "Die in Paris" - has researched Petiot's life in great detail. From his unloving childhood through his first murder, his election as Mayor of the town of Villeneuve-sur-Yonne and the petty crimes he committed there. His imprisonment and torture by the Gestapo, the discovery of up to 200 bodies in his Paris townhouse, his trial and subsequent execution by guillotine.

Yet somehow, Marcel Petiot remains a relatively unknown figure outside France.

We aim to change this.

Die in Paris is already on sale through Amazon as a Kindle eBook and in paperback in English. We plan to open this story up to the non-English speaking world because we believe that the message behind this story is as relevant today as it was in 1944.

Because without the great evil of the Holocaust, Petiot's evil would not have occurred. And that is a message that is relevant globally.

The translation plan is to firstly translate into Latin American Spanish. And if  you are generous enough such that we over-achieve our target, we will translate as follows:

1. Hebrew

2. Latin American Portuguese

3. French

4. German

5. Japanese

6. Italian

7. Arabic

Below is a short video that we created to advertise the book:

Die in Paris was researched over seven years and the result is a detailed account of the life of Petiot but is highly readable and engaging. It is a serious work of non-fiction and a copy of it resides in the library of the Shoah Memorial Museum in Paris as a source book in their 'Contemporary Documentation Centre' (CDJC) where it can be viewed and studied. (The museum  - Mémorial de la Shoah - is at 17 rue Geoffroy L'Asnier, 75004 Paris).

Shoah Memorial Museum, Paris
Shoah Memorial Museum, Paris

The Shoah Memorial Museum is a memorial to the jews of Paris who were killed by the Nazis and a tribute to those who sheltered them. Note that the word "Holocaust" is commonly used in English speaking countries, whereas the Hebrew word "Shoah" which means "catastrophe" is used in France. http://www.memorialdelashoah.org/index.php/en/

The remarkable video linked to below shows the trial of Dr Petiot and the "murder house":http://youtu.be/4RGLd32kWkU

You will see our rewards over to the right. I'm sure that you'll agree that there's something for everyone. Here's a picture of the Paris souvenirs:

Risks and challenges

This is a relatively low risk project. The biggest risk is the choosing the best translator for the job. "Die in Paris" is a high quality work of detailed investigation and the portrayal of the serial killer's mind. It is very important to the author and myself that these qualities survive the translation and we have given very careful consideration to our choice of translator.
Of course, other than the French version, we cannot proof read the translation ourselves. So we will employ independent proof-readers in the chosen languages to undertake this for us.
We would expect that the first translated version would be available within four months of receipt of funds.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £1 or more About $1.59

    We really appreciate your support so we will tweet our gratitude to all our followers

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    Pledge £7 or more About $11

    Muchas gracias. We will email to you the eBook version of Die in Paris in English in your choice of format

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    Pledge £17 or more About $27

    Muiti obrigado!
    We will send to you the paperback edition of Die in Paris in English signed by the author. (Please add £10 for shipping outside the UK)

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    Pledge £37 or more About $59

    Merci beaucoup!
    We will send to you the paperback edition of Die in Paris in English signed by the author PLUS a unique quality souvenir from Paris (Please add £10 for shipping outside the UK)

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    Pledge £67 or more About $106

    Vielen dank!
    All in the previous reward PLUS a mention of your name or company in the translated books and the English eBook

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    Pledge £137 or more About $218

    Hartelijk dank! All in the previous reward PLUS afternoon tea or coffee with the author in Paris PLUS a visit to the cemetery where Petiot lies buried. (N.B. Transport to and within Paris is not included)

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    Pledge £297 or more About $472

    Wow! A HUGE thanks for your support! In this reward you'll receive everything from the £67 reward PLUS a UNIQUE 'Petiot Murder Walking Tour' of Paris with a drink in a typical Paris bistro. (N.B. Transport to and within Paris is not included)

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    Pledge £697 or more About $1,107

    Thanks so much for your awesome support! For this reward you'll receive everything from the £67 reward PLUS you or your company will be awarded the status of Principal Sponsor and you will receive a prominent dedication at the front of the translated paperbacks and eBooks PLUS dinner in a Paris restaurant with the author (N.B. Transport to and within Paris is not included)

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    Pledge £1,397 or more About $2,218

    This is the ultimate. Thank you so much! For this reward you'll receive everything from the £67 reward PLUS you or your company will be awarded the status of Principal Sponsor and you will receive a prominent dedication at the front of the translated paperbacks and eBooks PLUS a two night stay in a Paris hotel (carefully selected by the author) with double-room occupancy and continental breakfast (transport to and within Paris not included) PLUS dinner in a Paris restaurant with the author

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Funding period

- (30 days)