Delphine Lalaurie la torutradora de esclavos

Como bien dijo un sabio parisino (1), la mente no tiene sexo. Pero, ¿y la maldad? ¿Es diferente en hombres y en mujeres? Existen múltiples respuestas. Hubo un caso en Nueva Orleans, varios años antes de la abolición de la esclavitud, en el que se incendió la mansión de una de las mujeres más ricas y respetadas del momento, Marie Delphine Lalaurie. Una vez apagado el fuego, la policía y los bomberos descubrieron en el sótano, horrorizados, multitud de esclavos en un estado lamentable. Algunos, incluso muertos. Pero, ¿qué ocurrió en ese sótano de los horrores? ¿Qué se le pasó por la cabeza a esta esclavista para convertirse en una torturadora de esclavos? ¿Fue juzgada por sus actos? Ésta es su escalofriante y sádica historia.

Una mujer riquísima gracias a sus maridos

Retrato de Marie Delphine Lalaurie, la torturadora de esclavos.
Retrato de Marie Delphine Lalaurie. Fuente

De ascendencia irlandesa, Delphine (2), se movía en círculos de la alta sociedad. Esto fue una gran ventaja, sobre todo matrimonial. Se casó no una ni dos, sino tres veces, y no con cualquiera. Su primer marido fue un diplomático español (3), el segundo fue un magnate estadounidense (4) y el tercero, un prestigioso médico (5). ¡Menudo currículo amoroso! Los dos primeros maridos fallecieron y el último, con el que fue una mujer muy infeliz, vivió lo suficiente para ser testigo de la aterradora historia que se contará más adelante. Estos tres matrimonios convirtieron a  Delphine Lalaurie en una de las mujeres más ricas de Nueva Orleans.

Pero fue su tercer marido el que marcó su vida.  No solo le dio el apellido por el que ha pasado a la historia, sino que, además, mandó  construir la famosa mansión de tres pisos (6), en  la que ocurrieron las atrocidades más sanguinarias que podamos imaginar. Entre tanto matrimonio y sadismo, Delphine Lalaurie, tuvo tiempo hasta para ser madre de cinco hijos (7). Su vida parecía perfecta, hasta que hubo un incendio en la mansión (8) y se descubrió que la prestigiosa y respetada mujer era, en realidad, el mismísimo diablo.

Welcome to the Hell!

mansión de Delphine Lalaurie la torturadora de esclavos
Incendio de la mansión «de los horrores». Fuente

Una noche, la residencia de los Lalaurie salió ardiendo y los policías y bomberos fueron corriendo a apagar el fuego. Aunque este no fue un incendio muy grave y no llegó a calcinar la casa. Sin embargo, cuando entraron para ver si había algún herido en este hogar ejemplar, observaron que las víctimas afectadas fueron principalmente sus esclavos. Aunque, no exactamente  por culpa del fuego… ¡Se quedaron a cuadros al descubrir el tinglado!

Primero fueron a la cocina, donde se originó el incendio. Allí encontraron a una esclava negra y anciana con el tobillo atado y asfixiada por el humo (9). Su estado físico era lamentable. Después, bajaron al sótano y encontraron a numerosos esclavos (10) en un estado desolador (11).

El sótano de la torturadora de esclavos

esclavo en AHS
Fotograma de AHS: Coven. Fuente

La mayoría de los esclavos estaban heridos, esqueléticos y con la espalda llena de cicatrices por los latigazos que habían recibido de la torturadora. En medio de este circo de los horrores, encontraron amputaciones cosidas, hombres con collares de púas para tener la cabeza rígida y mutilados. Otros esclavos tenían las extremidades rajadas. Otros estaban suspendidos colgados por el cuello. Algunos presentaban heridas profundas en la cabeza, otros estaban encerrados en jaulas, otros estaban atados en diferentes posturas. Había mujeres a las que les había arrancado las uñas. A otros les había arrancado los ojos y cosido los párpados. A otros los había descuartizados vivos… ¡Una auténtica carnicería, vaya!

Los testimonios de los esclavos fueron muy escabrosos. Por ejemplo, a una esclava le abrió el estómago, le sacó los intestinos y ató sus muñecas con ellos. La torturadora de esclavos les hacía comer  arañas, hormigas y gusanos. Además, en varias ocasiones, les llenaba la boca de excrementos y les cosía los labios. También se hacía trajes con sus pieles y se bañaba con su sangre (12).

Cuando se descubrió el pastel, la población quedó escandalizada. Algunos esclavos fallecieron a los pocos días, pero la cosa no acabó ahí. Tras una ardua investigación se descubrieron numerosos cadáveres de hombres, mujeres y niños enterrados en el jardín.

¿Un final feliz?

La torturadora de esclavos, Delphine Lalaurie, y el resto de su familia iban a ser detenidos, pero ¡sorpresa! La familia Lalaurie, casi al completo, huyó aprovechando el tumulto. Solamente encontraron a una de sus hijas, que casi muere linchada por la muchedumbre. No obstante, se sabe que el mismo día del incendio, poco antes de huir, pudieron hablar con su tercer marido y básicamente los mandó a “freír espárragos”.

¿Cómo una mujer respetable, y que públicamente trataba con amabilidad y dulzura a sus numerosos esclavos, podía ser  en realidad una sádica? Una de la posibles respuestas es que, tras ser abandonada por su segundo marido por pegar a varios de esclavos, quedó completamente trastornada.

Se sabe que la torturadora Delphine Lalaurie huyó a Alabama, donde se separó del prestigioso médico. Después viajó a París donde, seguramente, falleció.

Lápida de Delphine Lalaurie
Su lápida fue descubierta por un sacerdote parisino en 1924. Fuente

Delphine Lalaurie en el siglo XXI 

Delphine Lalaurie nunca fue juzgada por la justicia, pero sí por el pueblo, durante un tiempo. La mansión fue parcialmente destruida y abandonada hasta que, a mediados del siglo pasado, fue restaurada casi a la perfección (13). Paralelamente, Delphine ha sido protagonista de poemas, canciones, series de televisión (14) y museos.

Ya forma parte de la cultura popular norteamericana y, si por algo destacan los EE.UU., es por saber sacarle partido a cualquier acontecimiento, ya sea amoroso o macabro, como es este caso.


¿Te has quedado con más ganas de artículos interesantes?


Referencias

(1) François Poullain de la Barre (1647-1725). Fue un filósofo, escritor y feminista francés.

(2) Su apellido de soltera fue Maccarthy. Nació en 1780.

(3) Su nombre fue Ramón de López y Angulo, caballero de la Real y Distinguida Orden Española de Carlos III, cónsul y posteriormente diplomático español. Llegaron a conocer al rey Fernando VII y a su primera esposa María Antonia de Nápoles. Se casaron en 1800.

(4) Su nombre fue Jean Blanque, magnate estadounidense. Se casaron en 1808.

(5) Su nombre fue Leonard Louis Nicolas Lalaurie, médico originario de Nueva Orleans. Se casaron en 1825.

(6) Mansión situada en el número 1140 de Royal Street.

(7) Su primera hija, fruto de su primer matrimonio, se llamó llamada Marie Borgia Delphine López y Angulo de la Candelaria. Los cuatro hijos restantes: Louise Pauline, Louise Marie Laurie, Marie Louise Jeanne y Jeanne Pierre Paulin Blanque, los tuvo con su segundo marido.

(8) El incendio ocurrió el 10 de abril de 1834.

(9) Posiblemente la causante del incendio. Según un testimonio de la época, quería suicidarse.

(10) Tener esclavos era signo de prestigio en los EE.UU., especialmente en el sur. Era la mano de obra dominante en las plantaciones.

(11) Los testimonios han ido ampliándose a lo largo de los siglos XIX y XX.

(12) La sangre ha sido, a lo largo de Historia, uno de los elementos clave para rejuvenecer a las mujeres de “avanzada edad”. Véase La sangre es la vida.

(13) Fue vendida en 2009 por unos 3.500.000 de dólares al actor Nicolas Cage. Sigue siendo el actual propietario y puedes alquilar una habitación desde 20,95 dólares.

(14) La serie American Horror Story: Coven emitió en 2013 un capítulo dedicado a la historia de Delphine Lalaurie, protagonizado magistralmente por la actriz Kathy Bates. Además, Delphine Lalaurie es un personaje principal de la temporada Coven. Aparece, de hecho, en diez de los episodios de la misma.

*Fuente de la imagen de portada.


Bibliografía

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