28 July 1976 – Christian Ranucci
Many have said the convicted killer may not have been guilty, but there was no denying Ranucci’s last words: ‘rehabilitate me’.
Maybe they were an admission of remorse, or perhaps a plea to live, but the then president of France, Valery Giscard D’Estaing flatly refused to reprieve him.
For the crime was cold-hearted. A young girl was abducted and murdered in the south of France.
Ranucci was found guilty and lost his head in Marseille, courtesy of Madame Guillotine, when he was aged just 22.
Since then, speculators have suggested that a serial killer may have been responsible for the death – Michel Fourninet has been touted as the real culprit by the likes of Robert Badinter. But as yet, the sentence still stands.