She lost her mother at the age of seven and was sent to work with two aunts who were servants at the rectory of Bubry.
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Little is known of her early life until she became a cook in the nearby village of Guern. Her first suspected poisoning was in when she was working for Fr.
Le Drogo, in Guern. In the three months between June 28 and October 3, seven members of the household died suddenly, including the priest, and her own visiting sister. Her apparent sorrow and pious behaviour was so convincing she was not suspected.
Audrey Marie Hilley
Coming shortly after the cholera epidemic of the deaths may have been put down to natural causes. Jegado went to replace her sister in Bubry and three people died, including her other aunt. She continued to Locmine , where she boarded with a needlewoman , Marie-Jeanne Leboucher -- both Leboucher and her daughter died and a son fell ill. It is possible that the son survived because he did not accept Jegado's ministrations. When a widow in the same town offered Jegado a room, she died after eating a soup her new boarder had prepared. In , Jegado was employed as a servant in a convent in Auray , but rapidly dismissed after several incidents of vandalism and sacrilege.
Jegado worked as a cook in many households and was employed only briefly in each one.
Often, someone fell ill or died. Because the symptoms closely resembled those of hepatitis, that was listed as Frank's cause of death and no further tests were conducted. Within a few months, Carol began experiencing trouble with nausea and was admitted to the emergency room several times. A year after filing the insurance policy on her daughter, Audrey gave Carol an injection that she claimed would alleviate the nausea. However, the symptoms only worsened, with Carol enduring numbness in her extremities.
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After medical tests found no disease, Carol's physician, fearing the symptoms were psychosomatic, had her undergo psychiatric testing at Birmingham's Carraway Methodist Hospital. There, Carol secretly received two more injections from her mother, who warned her not to tell others about the shots. A month after Carol was admitted to the hospital, her physician said she was suffering from malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies, adding that he suspected heavy metal poisoning was to blame for the symptoms.
Panicking, Audrey had Carol discharged from the hospital that afternoon.
The following day, Carol was admitted to the University of Alabama Hospital. Physicians noticed Aldrich-Mees' lines on Carol's nails.
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Forensic tests on samples of her hair were conducted by the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences on October 3, , revealing arsenic levels ranging from over times the normal level close to the scalp to zero times the normal level at the end of the hair shaft. This indicated that Carol had been given increasingly larger doses of arsenic over a period of four to eight months.
It was concluded that both Frank and Carol had suffered from chronic arsenic poisoning, with Frank's poisoning being fatal. Audrey was still incarcerated on her bad check charges when she was arrested on October 9 for the attempted murder of her daughter. The Anniston police found a vial in her purse, tests of which revealed the presence of arsenic.
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On November 9, Audrey was released on bail, after which she registered at a local motel under an assumed name and disappeared. On November 19, there was a break-in at the home of her aunt. We will burn you out if you do. Upon looking into her past the authorities managed to link 23 deaths by poisoning between and , but they laid outside the 10 year limit of prosecution, the law in France at the time.
Due to the amount of time that had passed she was only charged with 3 murders, 3 attempted murders and 11 thefts, she was also a kleptomaniac which cost her a number of jobs. During the trial she would go from quiet mumbling to loud proclamations of innocence. A few of her victims were exhumed and they showed overwhelming evidence of arsenic poisoning.