French killer Simone Weber, known as the 'devil from Nancy' dies ages 93

Simone Weber died at the age of 94, her lawyer announced on April 11, 2024. Nicknamed 'The Nancy devil' (from the city of Nancy, France), she was convicted of murdering her lover in 1991.

killer Simone Weber known Nancy devil death
© Frederic REGLAIN / Getty Images
killer Simone Weber known Nancy devil death

The affair caused quite a stir. Flashback to June 22, 1985, in Nancy, France. It was on this day that Bernard Hettier was last seen alive. A major investigation was launched, and the focus turned to Simone Weber, the former mistress of this foreman, who had just divorced his wife.

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A look back at the Simone Weber affair

All the evidence soon pointed to her having killed Bernard Hettier. Neighbours saw her take down seventeen garbage bags in the middle of the night, a grinder full of blood was found in the trunk of her car and later, the missing man's car was found in a garage rented by Simone Weber under a false name. On September 15, 1985, a body with no arms, legs or head was fished out of the river Marne.

After analysis, it turned out to be the body of Bernard Hettier. Simone Weber was arrested along with her sister Madeleine, who is said to have helped remove the victim's personal belongings. The details of this atrocious crime then began to emerge: Simone Weber is said to have shot Bernard Hettier in the head in his Nancy apartment before cutting up his body with a concrete grinder she had rented earlier. She then disposed of the body in a river.

Sentenced to 20 years in prison

It wasn't until 1991 that this high-profile case went to trial. Once again, it was a well-attended affair. It has to be to noted that the accused did not go down easy, she challenged the jurors and twenty-five of her lawyers. While on the stand, she insulted witnesses and stood up to the examining magistrate. In the end, the woman nicknamed 'the Nancy devil', 'Grandma Nova' and 'the grinder killer' was sentenced to twenty years' imprisonment for the murder of Bernard Hettier. The notion of premeditation was not retained.

She was released from prison in 1999 and took refuge in the southeastern French region of Côte d'Azur. Her lawyer, Liliane Glock, announced her death on Thursday 11 April at the age of 94. Simone Weber had also been at the heart of another investigation into the death of her second husband, Marcel Fixard, who died suddenly of a heart attack in 1980. Some accused her of poisoning him. She was acquitted.

A story that still has people fascinated

The trial and Simone in general are two things that, years later continue to fascinate French people. Indeed, the news of her death was announced by several, if not all, media outlets, regardless of editorial lines.

In all these articles, journalists delve into the story and one thing emerges: though her guilt isn't challenged, her atypical personality is at the core of every piece. In Paris Match, one of the Simone's former lawyers remembers:

[she was] a particularly engaging client, who had no shortage of verve when it came to expressing her ardent and tireless defence.

Her personality and presence didn't just make an impression on her own defence team. A lawyer representing the family of her victim, Bernard Hettier spoke about her in the following terms:

a character from a crime thriller

As well as:

criminologically exceptional

The lawyer continues and explains that the woman had the outstanding ability to 'deny the obvious' as well as her composure even though she was the accused.

A film about her

In 2016, French television channel France 3 produced and broadcasted a film inspired by her life called, La Bonne Dame de Nancy (The Good Woman from Nancy). At the time the film gathered three million of viewers and Simone Weber had even spoken about it.

She explained that she felt 'crushed' and 'disgusted' by the film. Talking to AFP she complained that the channel hadn't asked for her permission to make it in the first place. She continued to explain that since she was found guilty, she had been the victim of a 'continual murder'. She also explained:

This TV film is a horror, an unthinkable ignominy
I'm the opposite of that foul-mouthed woman you see on screen


When I see her kissing the actor full on the lips and jumping on him, I feel like I'm being made to look like a streetwalker.

At the time, she also kept on denying that she killed Bernard and that the two were lovers.

This article has been adapted from Oh!MyMag FR.

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Source used:

Le Monde: Mort de Simone Weber : la « Diabolique de Nancy », une figure marquante de l’histoire criminelle

Paris Match: Simone Weber est furieuse contre le téléfilm sur son affaire

Paris Match: Simone Weber, « la diabolique de Nancy », est morte

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