Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Crime Passionnel

The Marriage Turns

Yvonne Chevallier had none of her husbands social skills.

Gaunt and prematurely haggard, she was best be described as plain.

Yvonne Chevallier
Yvonne Chevallier
A photograph of the woman at age 40 bears a marked resemblance to the American character actress Nancy Kulp, the homely Miss Hathaway of TV's "The Beverly Hillbillies."

Actress Nancy Kulp
Actress Nancy Kulp
Mrs. Chevallier did not feel comfortable in her husbands Paris social and political circle. She was the anxious typeowing perhaps to the travails of war and the stress of child-rearing.

Biographical sketches of the woman painted her as dull, witless and rather uncouthan uneducated farm girl more at home in a barnyard than a castle. Crime author Colin Wilson described her as awkward, gauche, and conversationally clumsy in his Mammoth Book of True Crime.

Mammoth Book of True Crime
Mammoth Book of True Crime
After a dozen years with Yvonne, Chevallier had begun to treat his wife with coolness.

Sometime in 1950, son Mathieu developed an illness that lingered for several weeks. Yvonne moved the boy into the couples bedroom in case an emergency developed overnight.

Pierre began sleeping in the study during the illness, and he stayed there when Mathieu recovered.

Yvonne tried to win back her husbands affection. She read about art and literature and tried to stay abreast of politics. She made appointments at fashionable beauty salons and bought more flattering clothes.

She did her best to entice Pierre with romantic blandishments on the nights that he spent at home. But he made it resoundingly clear that he had lost all interest in intimacy with his wife.

He told her, You disgust me.

His coolness had become contempt.

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