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Elderly Frenchman stabs wife to death to stop her suffering from Alzheimer’s

A woman suffering from Alzheimer's disease, in a retirement home in France.
A woman suffering from Alzheimer's disease, in a retirement home in France. AFP/Sébastien Bozon

Prosecutors in north-western France have opened a murder investigation after an elderly man killed his wife, who had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. He then tried to commit suicide, the prosecutor’s office said on Friday.


"An 80-year-old man killed his 76-year-old wife with several stab wounds on Thursday in the family home in the village of Les Barrils. He then used a handgun on himself in an attempt to commit suicide," Etienne de Survilliers, Deputy Prosecutor of Evreux told the French news agency, AFP.

De Survilliers said that the murder and attempted suicide had been premeditated.

“The man left a letter in which he explained that he wanted to end this situation, namely his wife’s pain. She was suffering from Alzeimer's disease," said de Survilliers.

The man alerted the gendarmes to what he had done, according to de Survilliers. Police found the body of the woman and the seriously injured husband.

The suspect “was hospitalized in Rouen… his condition has apparently stabilised since then," the prosecutor added, saying that the suspect has not been interrogated yet due to his poor health.

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