Marie, also known as “Maria” according to some accounts, was born Marie La Roux in Switzerland, 1821. Her parents died sometime around the 1840s, and she emigrated to Britain to work as a servant. She began her work as a maid for Lady Anna Palk of the Haldon House in Devon, which was a gigantic country estate that was mostly demolished later on in the 1920s. After some time working there, she then began working as a lady’s maid for a woman known as Lady Blantyre. Lady Blantyre was the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Sutherland, and was extremely wealthy. Queen Victoria was known to make stops at the house, and Marie was able to enjoy a life of luxury and status that was enormously higher than a majority of other woman at the time.
It was on a trip that she was taking with the Lady Blantyre that she met Patrick O’Connor-the man who would be both her lover….and her victim.