Chantal Compagnon is a French woman and the first wife of French serial killer and fraudster Charles Sobhraj.
Wiki/Biography & Family
Compagnon & Sobhraj
She met Charles in 1969 at a party, who told her of his adventures in the Orient and Dakar and his fictitious wealthy family back in Saigon. At that time, Charles was dating Chantal Desnoyers. He broke up with Desnoyers to marry Chantal. Soon, Charles proposed to Chantal, but the same day, he was arrested on charges of car theft. Chantal’s parents were against her marriage to Charles but agreed after Charles showcased his wealth that he had accumulated by conducting a series of scams. Eight months later, Charles was released from prison and got married to her.
In 1970, Compagnon, pregnant with their child, and Sobhraj left France for Asia using fake documents. Along the way, Chantal helped Charles rob tourists. In 1970, the couple arrived in Mumbai, where they decided to start afresh by quitting the path of crime. However, Charles failed to keep his distance from crime and involved himself in car theft and smuggling enterprises. Compagnon delivered her first child there, a daughter named Usha Sobhraj, who was later sent to live with Chantal’s parents. In 1971, Chantal and Charles fled to Kabul, where Charles involved himself with weapon smugglers. Chantal fled from one place to another with Charles. In 1973, when Charles was arrested and imprisoned after an unsuccessful armed robbery at a jewelry store at Hotel Ashoka, Delhi, he was kept in Tihar Prison in Delhi. After a fortnight, Charles faked appendicitis and was taken to a hospital, where Chantal helped him escape by drugging the guards. The couple then moved to Kabul. Chantal accompanied Charles in his misdemeanors and helped him loot the travelers on the hippie trail between Europe and Eastern Asia. The couple was arrested by the Afgan police and imprisoned. Charles managed to flee somehow and went to France, kidnapping his daughter and returning to Afgan to free Chantal. In the process, he was captured again. Upon their release, Charles left for Iran, leaving Chantal and his daughter in Kabul. Following the incident, Chantal returned to France and pledged to cut ties with Charles, never to have contact with him again.
- From his relationship with Chantal Desnoyers, Charles has a daughter named Muriel Anouk and a son named Pranck. In fact, the day Charles married Compagnon, Muriel Anouk was born.
- According to GQ magazine, in Kabul, Chantal met an American and moved with him and her daughter to the US. Charles, in the interview with GQ, claimed that when Chantal heard of his return to France in 1997, she left her husband to be with him.
- In a meeting with Farrukh Dhondy, an India-born British writer who was once acquainted with Charles, Chantal claimed that Sobhraj had admitted the murders to her, describing them in detail. Dhondy, in an interview, shared his conversation with Chantal and said,
Sobhraj took her to the border of France and Switzerland when she came back for him and forced her to sell some land she had inherited. She got about £40,000. He took it, got into the car, drove to Holland and gambled it all away. Every cent. I asked her why she came back to him, and she said ‘I love him.’”
- After Charles was convicted of his murders in Nepal and sentenced to life imprisonment, Chantal appealed against his double-murder conviction and filed a case before the European Court of Human Rights against the French government for refusing to aid Charles, her husband, in 2003.
- In 2021, BBC One and Netflix produced a series titled ‘The Serpent’ on the life of Charles Sobhraj. In the series, Chantal was renamed ‘Juliette Voclain,’ and her role was played by the English-French actress Stacy Martin.