The Monte Carlo Trunk Murder

The killers knew that the body would decomposed and the crime would be discovered. Yet, Marie and Vere Goold had a simple, unconscious need to be caught in the Monte Carlo trunk murder.

Vere Goold was born in 1853 to a well-respected magistrate in County Waterford in Ireland. He was a tennis player moving faster in the Irish Tennis League ranks. He won in the Irish Open in 1879 and he was the first Irishman to make it to the finals of Wimbledon. However he lost to Reverend John Thorneycroft Hartley because of hangover. Since then, his career hit the lowest point and he became alcoholic, drug addict and gambler.

Monte Carlo trunk murder
Vere Goold was the first Irishman to make it to the finals of Wimbledon (

Vere met French dressmaker Marie Violet Giraudin in 1891. Marie was not beautiful but charming so it was easy for her to charm the man. She married twice and lost both husband in suspecting manners.  With her expensive taste and bad temper came her gambling addiction. When her dress shop went bankrupt, she persuaded her husband to go to Monte Carlo to make their fortune.

In Monte Carlo, they introduced themselves as Sir and Lady Goold. They were always well dressed and stayed at the fourth floor of a luxurious local villa. But, the Goolds were running out of money and unable to pay their bills and other costs.

Lady Marie befriended the rich Danish lady Emma Levin whose husband left her a fortune. Known to be wasteful of money, Madame Levin lent the Goolds 1,000 francs.

Marie had a public fight with Madame Castellazi, Madame Levin’s friend. To avoid publicity, Madame Levin decided to leave Monte Carlo. Before she leave, on August 4, 1907, she went to the Goold’s villa and nagged for the return of the money.

The Goolds left Monte Carlo and fled to Marseilles. Meanwhile, Madame Castellazi reported Madame Levin as missing.

At Marseillaise Railway station, a porter noticed a rotten stink coming from one of the trunks. He questioned Marie and Vere but the two told him that the smell came from slaughtered chicken. The porter became suspicious when Marie offered him money. The porter called the police.

Monte Carlo trunk murder
The crime was dubbed the Monte Carlo trunk murder (

When the authorities opened the Goold’s large trunks, they saw the body parts of Madame Levin.  During investigations, the police found out that Madame Levin was bludgeoned to death with a hammer and her body dismembered using a “builder’s saw.”

The couple was arrested and Vere confessed that he acted to the crime alone. The trial in Monte Carlo lasted three days. The witnesses pointed out that Marie was the principal actor of the crime.

The court sentenced Marie to death while Vere was sentenced to life and solved the Monte Carlo trunk murder. Vere committed suicide in 1909 while Marie’s sentence was reduced to life because the Monegasque government did not have an executioner. She died of typhoid fever in jail in 1914.

Source: The Journal  The Independent   Crime Magazine

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