Skip to main contentSkip to footer

The Serpent: real life Nadine Gires reveals truth behind Marie-Andree Leclerc

The killer's neighbour is portrayed in the BBC series by Mathilde Warnier

serpent nadine marie
Francesca Shillcock
Senior Features Writer
Share this:

The Serpent on BBC has both shocked and engrossed viewers this month. The true-crime series tells the harrowing true story behind killer and conman Charles Sobhraj, who murdered a number of backpackers in the 1970s in Nepal, India and Thailand.

MORE: Where is The Serpent character Marie-Andrée Leclerc now?

In the eight-part drama, Marie-Andree Leclerc (who uses the guise Monique), acts as his accomplice in the many heinous poisonings and murders he commits. But in real life, Nadine Gires, their neighbour who helped authorities capture the criminal, has revealed the story is slightly different.

WATCH: The Serpent on BBC - official trailer

In an interview with The Mirror, Nadine said: "I felt sorry for Marie-Andrée because she was a sad and simple person, not the movie star we see in the series. And she was Charles' prisoner. She told me, 'I have no passport, no money and if I try to leave he will kill me'."

Charles' former neighbour, now 67, added further: "Charles is a monster and I am terrified of him – I used to sleep with a baseball bat under my bed. But when Charles was arrested I celebrated with a bottle of champagne.

MORE: Viewers are saying same thing about Nadine in The Serpent episode four

MORE: Where is The Serpent's Nadine Gires now?

MORE: The Serpent's Jenna Coleman talks challenges of her role in dark BBC drama

mathilde serpent© Photo: BBC

Mathilde Warnier as Nadine in The Serpent

"I don't feel guilty because I know I did everything I could to put a stop to the murders. And I can tell you it was a good lesson. Now I am very careful with the people I meet."

Nadine, who is portrayed in the BBC series by French actress Mathilde Warnier, went on to live a very private life with her husband in Thailand shortly after Charles was reprimanded – however the couple then later divorced.

mariee andree© Photo: BBC

Marie-Andree is played by Jenna Coleman

Today, it's reported that Nadine lives on a beach resort in Thailand where she runs a business. Her ex-husband, meanwhile, works further north of the country where he grows tropical fruit to sell at local markets.

Like Charles, Marie-Andrée was captured by authorities in 1976 after an attempt to poison three young students didn't go according to their plan. Charles was given a life sentence, while Marie-Andrée was imprisoned and accused of complicity in the murders of other victims Jean-Luc Solomon and Avoni Jacob.

After her conviction for murder, she was released after an appeal, under the condition that she was not allowed to leave the country. However, a cancer diagnosis in the earlier 1980s meant Marie-Andrée could return to her home city Quebec to receive treatment. She died in 1984 from the disease aged 38.

Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.