The 1927 Exhumations at Pont Brieux
Thierry and Pascale Bouzereaux were identical twins whose striking resemblance fooled and confused their family and friends throughout their lives.
Both twins perished tragically in a mysteriously violent fire at a hay barn in which they were both working. Rumour and hearsay circulated and lingering doubts about the circumstances of the case became increasingly prevalent.
On the 31st October, 1927 a full ninety years after the fire, the remains of the twins were exhumed. Instead of a straightforward conclusion to the original investigation, the exhumation revealed a distinct and haunting disparity in the facial bones of the brothers’ respective skulls. Naturally, this added to the premonition, rumour and belief that there was foul play and that the original investigation into the fire covered up some misdeed. Strangely, the best forensic science at the time concluded that the remains were indeed those of the two twins. The national media was by now transfixed with the case!
However locals who knew of the Bouzereaux brothers dismissed these suspicions simply by telling investigators what they knew about the brothers. They told how Thierry ( Fig. 2) was a pious, religious man, who never in his life drank wine, while Pascale, (Fig. 1) on the other hand was a man known for his passion for the local Cabernet Sauvignon and was a frequent and welcome visitor to the local hostelries.
On conclusion of his report into the incident the Coroner General wrote to the Health Ministry in Paris; the following extract based on his observation of the skulls of the Bouzereaux twins;
“This bizarre incident gives solid credence to the theory that regular and moderate consumption of red wine can promote happiness, stimulate good humour and benefit underlying well-being,”