'Black Widow of the Riviera' Handed 22-Year Sentence

Patricia Dagorn was accused of killing 2 men, poisoning more
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 20, 2018 6:39 AM CST
A stock photo of pills.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – She's referred to as "the Black Widow of the Riviera" (not to be confused with the Black Widow of Japan), and now she has a prison sentence to go with that title. Patricia Dagorn was sentenced this week to 22 years for murdering two men and poisoning two more. The victims ranged in age from 60s to 91, and were said to be some of the at least 20 elderly men the 57-year-old met between 2011 and 2012 through a dating agency, online ads, and even on the street, reports the Guardian. The BBC explains that Dagorn had previously been handed a five-year sentence for fraud and theft, and in the wake of that trial, French authorities decided to take a second look at Michel Kneffel's July 2011 death; Dagorn had lived with him in Nice, and police reportedly discovered Valium and the financial and medical info of a number of men among her things.

What they uncovered led them to look at Francesco Filippone, an 85-year-old whose decomposed body was found in his tub in February 2011. Ange Pisciotta, 82, and Robert Vaux, 91, had dalliances with Dagorn but survived, with Vaux describing the much younger woman as "like a ray of sunshine in winter." Though after she began to live with him in 2012, his health took a major turn; Dagorn had allegedly drugged him with Valium. Prosecutors painted her as a serial poisoner who covertly used drugs to weaken her marks and then, per the AFP, get the men to give her money (she cashed a $25,000 check from Filippone) or put her in their wills. Dagorn denied the charges against her, and said at trial, "I won't say that [what she felt toward the men] was love, but it was deep friendship." (Japan's black widow received a much more severe sentence.)

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