Lost Tomb of the Knights Templar by Ben Hammott

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Murder of Abbé Antoine Gélis

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Marie Dénarnaud was born on August 12th 1868 in Esperaza. Her parents were Guillaume and Alexandrine Marre.
Marie had 3 brothers :
Barthélémy, Antoine Dieudonné and Jean.
Marie also had a foster sister Julie Fons.

Marie was a hatter in Esperaza until she became Saunière’s faithful house servant in 1891. It is said marie knew all of his secrets.

The villagers called her " the priest’s Madonna."

Marie Dénarnaud

After Bérenger Saunière's death she owned the whole domain. Marie died on January 29th 1953 and she never told anyone anything about the priest’s secret.

I was emailed what the sender said was a never before seen photograph of Marie Dénarnaud aged 40 - 45 years. So I excitedly clicked on the attachment and after downloading it opened the image you see below.

New photograph of Marie Dénarnaud?

New photograph of Marie Dénarnaud?

I don't know if I being overly suspicious of such a rare photograph suddenly being emailed to me by someone I don't know, but at first glance something about the photograph didn't seem right to me. I use photoshop a lot to design my publications, so I know that it is possible to manipulate images. To try and find out I compared it to the photographs of Marie I had in my collection.

Photographs used for Comparison



Photograph Conclusions

As you can see there are similarities between the existing photographs of Marie and the new photograph. I even overlaid the Marie image seen bottom left and after making it semi-transparent and resizing it, matched up the eyes to see if it matched with her other facial features.

Old and new photographs of Marie overlaid.

Although not overly clear in the above image, the mouth, nose and ears matched.

One other detail in the photograph is the necklace.

Left Marie and right new Marie necklace

I am still not convinced that this is a new photograph of Marie Dénarnaud, but I hope I am proved wrong. I would perhaps have been more convinced if it was a full body shot photo instead of an almost identical pose as the original. But any new alleged photograph of the players involved in the mystery are of interest to those researching the Rennes-le-Chateau story, so I decided to post it here with no claim that it is authentic, so you can decide for yourselves.


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