Detective arrests self?

Many years ago (when I was approx 12 years old) I checked out a paperback from the local public library on the subject of “strange but true” phenomena. I really don’t remember most of them but the one that still sticks out in my mind was the story of a renowned & meticulous french detective who is assigned to a homicide case. No real clues, dead body on a beach. He discovered a faint footprint nearby that others had missed and came to the conclusion (as it had some distinct trait- club foot perhaps?) that he committed the murder through a split-personality of his. The book went on to say that he was let out frequently when guards were assured that he was not in the “bad” personality mode.

I remember specifically checking to see if there was any disclaimer that these were fictional stories (I was a pretty skeptical 12 yr old) and there were none. This one ranked pretty high on the BS meter but I haven’t heard anyone bunking or debunking this one.

All “French detective” searches get me is Inspector Clouseau references. Anyone?

Okay… the story sounds vaguely familiar, and now I remember why. It was on one of those Fox specials: Believe it or Not! type stories that they run every once in a while. The guy hosting the special player Ryker on Star Trek: TNG.
They ended the special by telling what stories were “true” and what stories were false. Apparently, false meant created by the writing staff and true meant it was an urban legend. IIRC, the story about the detctive was labeled true, but the special also labeled some ghost story as true, and I wouldn’t wager that Fox is the most reliable source in these matters.
I hope this helps somewhat.

“[He] beat his fist down upon the table and hurt his hand and became so
further enraged… that he beat his fist down upon the table even harder and
hurt his hand some more.” – Joseph Heller’s Catch-22

Lordy, the things we stumble upon.

From The Book of Lists 3 by Amy Wallace, David Wallechinsky, and Irving Wallace (c 1983), which is great bathroom reading, BTW:

From the section called People Who Killed in Their Sleep on p. 54:

“Robert Ledru (France: 1888)
While recuperating from overwork at LeHavre, this brilliant Paris police detective was asked by his chief to investigate a murder at a nearby Sainte Adresse. The victim, a vacationing businessman, had been shot at night on the beach. The only clues were the murder bullet, which was from a Luger, and some blurred footprints, which indicated that the killer had been wearing socks. Ledru noticed that the murderer’s right foot lacked a toe. His own right foot also lacked a toe, and his socks – in which he slept – had been damp that morning. He checked his Luger and found that it had been fired. He test-fired it, compared the two bullets – and turned himself in.”

This sounds a bit hokey to me… Did they have bullet comparisons in 1888? I leave it to you to confirm and report back, now that you have a name and date. The Wallace/Wallechinsky Books of Lists are usually pretty accurate, but you never know.

Didn’t a guy kills his wife in his sleep recently?

“[He] beat his fist down upon the table and hurt his hand and became so
further enraged… that he beat his fist down upon the table even harder and
hurt his hand some more.” – Joseph Heller’s Catch-22

Dunno, the most recent case cited in the List book was in England in 1961. They go on to conclude that “Western legal tradition recognizes sleepwalking as a defense in murder cases but is otherwise quite inconsistent on the subject.” Apparently Ledru was acquitted of the murder charge, but ordered by the court to sleep alone in a locked room thereafter. This says nothing about dual personalities for Ledru, only that he committed the murder while sleepwalking.

This is the sleepwalking case to which I was referring. Apparently, the jury didn’t believe him.

“[He] beat his fist down upon the table and hurt his hand and became so
further enraged… that he beat his fist down upon the table even harder and
hurt his hand some more.” – Joseph Heller’s Catch-22

The first Book Of Lists relates as fact the story of two green skinned alien children coming out of a cave in Spain in the 1800’s, a version of which story has been circulating since the Middle Ages. So I would take this one with a grain of salt as well :slight_smile:

I was a little suspicious about having a Luger in 1888. I looked around and found that the luger wasn’t even designed by Georg Luger at that time The Luger pistol was designed by an American citizen Georg Luger around the turn of the century. Interestingly enough, the American government did not accept his design, but the German government did. I don’t think a French detective could have had a Luger in 1888.

More on the Luger
In 1897 George Luger, an employee of DWM, demonstrated the Loewe-Borchardt pistol to the US Army. Using constructive criticism provided by the Army’s rejection, DWM and George Luger substantially redesigned the Borchardt action and its cartridge. The result was unveiled in 1898 as the Luger pistol in 7.65x22mm (.30 Luger or 7.65 Luger). It was immediately adopted by the Swiss government.

Interesting, W.O.M. … and backing up my suspicions. But, at least we now have a name for the story that Mojo and Kris remember, perhaps someone can look up further.

Nothing on the internet (and nothing in French even), I’ll have to check the library. Thanks for the help- this was really bugging me.

In case anyone is interested, the only other story I remember from that book ranked even higher on the BS meter. It claimed that on a snowy night in Great Britain, some sort of two-legged creature left a long trail of cloven-hooved prints. The trail went on for many miles and went “easily” over tall stone walls. The book claimed that the creature must have been travelling in excess of 20 MPH and the prints did not match any known animal.

Mojo, I read the exact same book when I was a kid. I remember both of those stories. No new info, but my memory mirrors yours exactly on the details you provide.