Stepfather from Hell!

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A Brief History

On May 3, 2020, we take a look at another incredible, jaw dropping case of domestic sexual abuse that strains the limits of believability, a stepfather worthy of every fairy tale or horror movie depiction of the worst type of stepparent possible.  This case concerns Lydia Gouardo of Meaux and Coulommes in Seine et Marne, France, who was kept imprisoned by her evil stepfather for 28 years, raped and tortured throughout her ordeal.

Digging Deeper

A plot worthy of horror film mavens such as Wes Craven, Guillermo del Toro or even Uwe Boll, the saga of Lydia Gouardo seems like a work of fiction.  Starting in 1971, at the age of 8, her stepfather began raping the little Lydia.  The imprisonment and rapes continued until the man finally died in 1999, after having fathered 6 children by Lydia through the rapes.  Lydia had escaped at least once before, and had called “legal aid,” but her wicked stepfather found her at a family residence and took her back into his own private hell.

Other escapes early in her nightmare imprisonment meant a prompt return to the stepfather when authorities thought they were merely returning a wayward minor girl to her lawful parent.  Aside from general hitting, the forms of torture inflicted by her stepfather included scalding with boiling water and burning with acid.  Both forms of burning have left permanent scars.

Defying any sense of what we would think of as normal desire to change a residence after 28 years of imprisonment, torture, and rape, Lydia remained in the same family house she had been kept prisoner in after her father died!  Presumably, she does not still live in the attic which had been her makeshift jail cell.

In 2008, Lydia co-wrote a book about her experiences, Le silence des autres (The Silence of Others) in which she decries the lack of attention she got during her ordeal.  Lydia said the worldwide publicity about the Fritzl case of Austria spurred her desire to tell her story in a book. Her stepmother was tried and convicted of failing to report the abuse by her husband on their stepdaughter.  The trial was held closed to the public and media, and no wonder, for her sentence was only a 4 year suspended jail sentence!  Police have expressed belief that the evil stepfather, Raymond Gouardo, was involved in the murder of 4 girls in the area of Paris during 1987, but without strong evidence to back up that supposition.

Cases of parents or stepparents or foster parents keeping children locked up, with or without sexual abuse are sadly not that rare.  We have told about some such cases, notably the case of Blanche Monnier, another French case, in which her mother kept her captive for 25 years to keep her from marrying a lawyer!  (See our article dated May 2, 2020 for another sordid case of mistreatment of minor children, “No Fathers’ Day Present for This Creep!”) We do not know how people can be so depraved.  Do you?

Question for students (and subscribers): What kind of sentence do you believe the stepmother in the Gouardo case should have receiver? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.

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Historical Evidence

For more information, please see…

Cawthorne, Nigel. House of Horrors: The Horrific True Story of Josef Fritzl, The Father From Hell. John Blake, 2008.

Gouardo, Lydia. Le silence des autres.  MICHEL LAFON, 2008.

The featured image in this article, a map by Marmelad, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license.

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About Author

Major Dan

Major Dan is a retired veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He served during the Cold War and has traveled to many countries around the world. Prior to his military service, he graduated from Cleveland State University, having majored in sociology. Following his military service, he worked as a police officer eventually earning the rank of captain prior to his retirement.