November 11, 2007. 12:30am in the affluent Parisian suburb of St-Germain-en-Laye. 28-year-old Jessica Davies wakes up when the emergency response team enters her apartment. The ex-catalog model is on the bed, naked beneath a blood soaked green and white bathrobe with her cell phone in one hand and the other on the gushing wound in the neck of the man she is cradling in her lap.
The first thing she remembers saying is, “I did it. I’m a monster.”
The last things she remembers are
- going on a drinking binge the day before and finishing up at O’Sullivans, an Irish pub 5 minutes from her apartment
- meeting Olivier ‘Funtime’ Mungier, 24, an unemployed graduate
- telling dirty jokes
- drinking until last call
- telling him that she hadn’t gotten laid in a long time
She asked if he had condoms, they went back to her place. She opened a bottle of white wine with a kitchen knife, he smoked a joint. She remembers “he was too drunk to go through with it, he went too fast and I reassured him. I told him ‘Calm down’.” The last thing she remembers is her one night stand taking off his condom.
She blacked out after that. Blacked out while she stabbed him twice with the same knife she cut herself with regularly and used to try and kill herself two months before when she sliced her wrists down to the tendons and stabbed herself repeatedly in her thighs and lower legs. Her wounds required 27 stitches. Mungier’s injuries were more serious, the fatal thrust hit his spine.
How could she not remember this?
“It’s strange to feel so guilty and yet not to know what happened. The remorse is there, the distress is there, but you cannot make sense of it. It’s terrible because I’m not the only one needing answers. I have never tried to deny it. I am sincere in my answers and lack of answers.”
Jessica described a previous black out in 2004, after her first suicide attempt. “I was at home, I’d run a bath. Then I blacked out, and afterwards I found my arms and thighs slashed.”
Seriously, how can someone not know what they’ve done from one minute to the next? How can someone wake up and not have even some vague, fuzzy memories of the night before but instead a black hole where hours of their lives disappeared?
The answer is simple. i’ll give you three guesses but you’ll only need one.
Jessica Davies, daughter of a French mother and English father (her uncle is an MP in England), started drinking at 13 years old and fell into an alcohol induced coma at 15. Her mother said her daughter “didn’t know when to stop drinking.”
By the time she was in University, she was drinking “six days out of seven”. “I was told I drank like a man. I was proud,” she said. “I felt powerful. I could be in a bubble and eliminate the outside world.”
Laurent Couturier was her boyfriend between 2005 and July 2007. About their time together he says, “When Jessica drank, she had no limits any more. She could drink very large amounts, much more than I could … in that period she knew she shouldn’t drink any more alcohol because of the medical treatment she was under. [She was on anti-depressants up until, and including, the night of the murder.] She would drink pints of Guinness and whisky chasers, or sometimes Smirnoff vodka, until she could not stand up by herself.”
After her breakup with Couturier, Jessica began binging with friends on a regular basis. The day of the murder, she went on a bender with friends in different local cafés before ending up at O’Sullivans. She closed the bar after many pints and shots, as well as four different types of anti-depressants, and admitted to being “horrifically drunk” and feeling that she was “going to do something stupid.”
After killing ‘Funtime’, she made the slurred emergency call. She clocked in at 0.22 on the BAC scale, could barely stand up and was so “paralytically drunk” (police officers’ words) that she had to be questioned the next day.
Dr Al and Mr K Hall
Booze may be the reason she killed Olivier but it isn’t the reason she doesn’t remember the act. Switching is. See, what happened was she got so drunk that she shifted from one personality into another. Asking her to remember what the other personality did while drunk is like asking her to remember what a complete stranger was doing miles away.
i know this because it happens to me.
i have woken up after a binge not knowing how i got there. Drinking buddies tell me about conversations i don’t remember having. i have been banned from bars for life and have no idea why.
Because when i get very, very drunk i become someone else. Literally. Fortunately, this person is not violent or suicidal (psychologists who analyzed Davies said her murder was a form of suicide) but he is angry. In my day-to-day i suppress any kind of angry feelings because i’m not so hot on public displays of emotion, but then these things get bottled up. Drinking is a way for me to uncork that bottle and become someone else. Someone who isn’t afraid to be emotional.
Jessica Davies did the exact same thing. She became another person. Unfortunately, it’s Jessica Davies who has to do the time.
On January 12, 2010, Jessica (now 30) was sentenced to 15 years in prison combined with 10 years of probation, including psychological support.
Let me leave you with this final thought: her comments about alcohol during her trial. “What I did terrifies me… I can guarantee that I will never again touch a drop of alcohol.”