The Golden Helmet, the news item that shook the 1900s: the real story

Bloody fights between two gangs fighting over a prostitute, against a backdrop of disadvantaged Parisian neighborhoods. The story of Amélie Elie inspired the film 'Casque d'Or' worn by Simone Signoret. (Re)discover the news item that shook the beginning of the 20th century...

  helmet'Or, le fait divers qui a secoué les années 1900 : la véritable histoire

She was a victim of excessiveness of men , their pride, their insatiable desire for power and money. Amelie Elie , better known by the nickname ' Golden Helmet ', inspired the film of the same name, in which Simone Signoret had portrayed it masterfully. And for good reason, the story of this prostitute so desired by men is worthy of a film script. (Re)dive into the dramatic past of Amelie Elie .

How she became a prostitute

It is five o'clock, the Paris of the underprivileged neighborhoods of the end of the 19th century is waking up. After having lost his mother at 14 , Amélie Elie finds herself on the street, an orphan and penniless. She then meets the prostitute Hélène de Courtille , with whom she maintains a passion tinged with love and friendship. Above all, the prostitute involves him in his daily life and teaches him to do the tapin on the pavement.

Over the years, Amélie Elie becomes a prostitute known to Apaches , these thugs who hang around gang in the capital , and learns to survive in the ruthless world of Parisian nightlife. She then meets the gaze of Joseph Pleigneur , says 'Manda', a pimp and gang leader who takes her under his wing... and in her bed.

Love, Honor and Revenge

More Send, obsessed with his business and his other lovers, abandons Amélie Elie. Distraught, the one nicknamed Golden Helmet for her Venetian blond hair, retaliates taking refuge in the arms of one of his rivals, Dominique Leca , chef of the bande des Corses.

Wounded in his honor, Send engages in a merciless battle. One evening in December 1901, he gave a stabbing at Leca , and both are arrested by the police . Neither of them speaks. The code of silence is tacit but essential between rival gangs. They are released.

But the cockfighting doesn't stop there. The band of Manda and that of Leca clash again, but the consequences are far more violent. Leca receives two revolver bullets in the arm and thigh, is taken to hospital, but continues to conceal the name of his attacker.

Other fights take place...until Leca's father, tired of these brawls which endanger his son, does not reports Manda to the authorities . He is arrested. Despite Manda's arrest, the battle between the two rival bands continues. Leca is now also wanted by the police.

The 'Golden Helmet' madness

As for Amélie Elie, her name is on everyone's lips. The story of this prostitute which triggered the ardor of Parisian Apaches fascinates all of Paris. This is The news item from the beginning of the 20th century. Dare-dare, writers write novels and plays about him. And the process of Manda , in 1902, widely covered by the press, only further aroused the curiosity of Parisians about the character of Gold Helmet.

Manda and Leca are sentenced to prison and exiled to Guyana...until the end of their days. Helmet of Gold finds herself alone, without the man she loved and who fought for her (but especially for her own honor), Leca.

Long after these tribulations, Amélie Elie remarried in 1917 to the cobbler André Alexandre Nardin, and became a hosier.

She died in April 1933 , at age 55, from tuberculosis and rests at Pastor Cemetery in Bagnolet.