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Marie Andrée Leclerc is a central character in Netflix's newest true-crime show, The Serpent.
She reportedly met serial killer Charles Sobhraj in Thailand in 1975.
The actress who plays her on Netflix theorized Leclerc may have been brainwashed by Sobhraj.
Netflix's latest true-crime show, The Serpent, tells the story of serial killer Charles Sobhraj, a.k.a. the "Bikini Killer", who killed 12 backpackers and tourists in southeast Asia on the infamous "Hippie Trail" in the 1970s. But he didn't act alone. Sobhraj had a partner, Marie-Andrée Leclerc—sometimes “Monique” or just “Marie”—who helped him carry out his crimes. In the series, she is played by actress Jenna Coleman.
So how did they meet? According to The Express, Leclerc was a medical secretary from Quebec, Canada, who took her own journey on the Hippie Trail in the spring of 1975. She met Sobhraj in Thailand in July 1975, and they supposedly fell head over heels in love. She then became his accomplice in his murders and drugging, traveling together across Asia using stolen passports.
She was arrested with Sobhraj in 1976 in India. Although she later denied she took part in any of Sobhraj's crimes, one victim claimed that Leclerc “had to know about it. Anyone with eyes and ears could see what was going on in this apartment," per The Sun.
However, Jenna Coleman told RadioTimes that she was fascinated by the fact that she may or may not have been brainwashed. “I think the [question of] ‘is she a victim or is she not’, how much of her was brainwashed, how much of it was a choice to be there and a choice to live in the delusion; I think that’s what’s really interesting, to make the choices that she made in keeping this reality in a way that she could so that she could keep existing and being with Charles.”
Like Sobhraj, she was sentenced to life in prison, but it was later overturned after she was diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer and she was allowed to return to Canada in 1983, according to the Associated Press. She died on April 20, 1984. She was 38 years old.
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