The area around Caude, France was wild and lonely. Few made the trip there unless they had to. One day, some villagers were passing through when they spied what looked like a body in the distance. On closer inspection, it turned out to be the corpse of a fifteen year old boy, which had been badly mutilated and was covered in blood. Two wolves were in the act of devouring the body and these were chased by the countrymen. Their bloody tracks led the men to a thicket of bushes where, to their surprise, they came upon a cowering, half naked man. His beard was overgrown and his long nails housed blood and what seemed to be pieces of flesh. His name was Jacques Roulet.
Jacques Roulet was a local man who lived in a condition of abject poverty, along with his brother John and cousin Julien. His lodgings were typically provided as charity, but he had been missing from his last home for roughly eight days before the murder. He confessed to killing the boy, claiming to have received a salve from his parents which allowed him to transform into a wolf. This was taken with a grain of salt since said parents were known to be respectable people. He further claimed that the two wolves seen were none other than John and Julien, although his parents were able to furnish them with an alibi.
He was initially sentenced to death, but his strange behavior once imprisoned convinced authorities that he was insane. At one point he drank an entire pail of water and then refused to eat or drink anything for days. His punishment was therefore commuted to two years imprisonment at an asylum and instruction in the knowledge of God. It was thought that his poverty had essentially destroyed his mind.