Nordhal Lelandais dad in prison – Joseph Agostini: “In certain women, it is sadism that excites them and makes them fall in love with criminals. »

March 19, 2024 / Jerome Goulon

Psychoanalyst, Joseph Agostini studied the behavior of serial killers, which he analyzes in his book Serial killers on the couch. Following the announcement of the paternity of Nordhal Lelandais in prison, we asked him to decipher the behavior of these women who fall in love with criminals...

Jérôme Goulon: Nordhal Lelandais has just become a father in prison. It may seem surprising that women fall in love with criminals. How to explain this phenomenon ?
Joseph Agostini: In some women, there is the desire to save someone. And then generally speaking, the jailbird has erotic power over women. He's a bad boy, a fantasy... He earned his stripes as a man by defying the law. It's erotic, and women let themselves be tempted by the jailbird, who is within the masculine standards of strength.

In the case of Nordhal Lelandais, we are still talking about a little girl's killer... We cannot say that there is anything to brag about...
In the case of Nordhal Lelandais, we enter the field of child crime, so it is completely different. There is necessarily a great psychological fragility among women attracted to this type of profile, because you cannot indulge in sexual fantasies with men who have a history of child molestation without yourself having things to sort out. side of perversion... Nordhal Lelandais is a pedophile, but also a sexual pervert, because he still killed a little girl after having raped her. Making this man a child is something questionable in terms of perversion...

What can the families of the victims feel when they learn that a criminal who killed their child becomes a father in prison...
If we assume that a criminal will one day get out of prison and that he will raise his child, and that the crime will therefore remain more or less unpunished, it is total disgust. But this is absolutely not the case for Nordhal Lelandais, who will serve a 30-year prison sentence, who is being prosecuted for other crimes, and who therefore should not be released any time soon.

I'm not sure that it consoles the families or alleviates their disgust that a criminal has a child in prison...
Yes, but you can put a child in prison, and it's very good that prisoners enjoy certain rights. We live in a republican country, and then we also know that prisoners who leave prison are less repeat offenders if we have treated them well, if we have thought about their reintegration... So torturing prisoners or alienating them is the door open to all forms of fraud and radicalization.

But in the case of Nordhal Lelandais, it doesn't shock you ?
Obviously, as a human being, it shocks me that there is a woman carrying the baby of a child molester, a highly publicized child killer. But despite everything, an inmate has the right to go to the visiting room, to meet his family and to fall in love. We are also not going to make prisoners live in a damp cell with rats.

Another question: when this child grows up, what will happen in his head, knowing that he is the child of a pre-criminal?
I can give you an example. I have a child of a child molester in my office. He is the child of a pedophile, and he is someone who has done a lot of work on himself to become a father himself, to be able to love, to be able to feel safe. But for a long time, he carried that around like a stigma. Throughout his childhood and adolescence, he had the feeling of a very strong moral unworthiness, the feeling that he was not like the others. He was being heckled at school, he had internalized the fact that others had the right to see him as subhuman, subhuman, because he was the son of a pedophile. This is often what hangs over the noses of the children of pedophiles or pedophiles. When they learn who their father is, they experience a feeling of shame and tend to internalize this shame.

Is psychological monitoring necessary to have a normal life?
Yes, it really requires psychotherapy, because with words, we can really put the misdeeds of others at bay and feel worthy of ourselves, to finally access love life, fatherhood, a healthy life. , even if our parent has committed the irreparable.

The case of Nordhal Lelandais is not isolated. In the past, we have seen women in love with major criminals or serial killers. Are they necessarily fragile women in your opinion?
From the moment there is a crime, falling in love with someone, writing them letters, it always raises questions and evokes psychological fragility. These are women who inevitably look for a companion, a partner, or even a sadistic accomplice. In some women, it is sadism that excites them and makes them fall in love with criminals. There is necessarily a masochistic problem of ultra narcissistic fragility. This is a bit like the profile of women who suffer domestic violence. Women who don't come out of it elsewhere. It's an unconscious bite.

Speaking of sadism, we inevitably think of the case of Monique Olivier, the ex-wife of Michel Fourniret…
Absolutely ! Monique Olivier is typically the person who experienced her husband's perversion by proxy. There is both a fascination with the sadistic personality and at the same time a great fear of being oneself, because in Monique Olivier, it is still a great behavioral passivity, but tinged with fascination. That is to say, the strong personality fascinates her.

In your opinion, do these women who fall in love with criminals, or this woman who carries Nordhal Lelandais' child, condemn the actions of these criminals or not?
It really depends on each woman. I think that above all, they are fascinated, because you cannot go to pedophiles in prison without finding a fascination. There is also notoriety that comes into play. Nordhal Lelandais, ultra-media prisoner, it's not the same as if he were a complete stranger. Something pushes them to face the monster, and rather than feeling revulsion, they will instead find a sort of magnetic interest. To fall in love with a pedophile is to fall in love with something that escapes us, something that scares us and attracts us at the same time, but it still means having a score to settle with one's own childhood and own relationship to the suffering of others. Carrying the child of someone who himself killed a child, that refers to someone with great psychological fragility...