6 November 1898
Tomorrow will commence the trial of one of the most extraordinary criminals that has ever lived, who throws the exploits of a Jack the Ripper and almost of a Nero into the shade, and whose name will certainly be identified, like that of Bluebeard, with the legendary idea of a monster for succeeding generations. This is Vacher, the so called "murderer of little shepherds," and it is with the murder, accompanied by horrible mutilations and outrages, of a shepherd lad named Victor Portaller, aged sixteen, at Benonces, in the Department of Ain, that he is now formally charged. He has confessed, however, to having committed no less than ten other murders of girls, boys and middle aged women in different parts of the country, and the investigations conducted by the police leave no doubt that this revolting declaration is true.
Vacher, who had twice been confined in a lunatic asylum, used to tramp the country with an accordion and a bagpipe, earning a few sous as a musician at village fairs. It is a proof of the inefficiency of the rural police in France that this monster should have managed for eleven years to commit his crimes and escape detection.