Gouffé was a bailiff who was lured into a trap with a young woman, Gabrielle Bompard, as bait. He was then strangled by her accomplice, Michel Eyraud. Here, the two accused are in the dock. Eyraud, on the right, was condemned to death and executed. Gabrielle Bompard, who is being questioned by the presiding judge of the Assize court, managed to save herself from the guillotine. Among the items of incriminating evidence, behind the box, the trunk in which they had hidden Gouffé’s body. .
By the 1820s morphine was a popular anodyne, or soother. Morphine was also, however, a prime method of Victorian suicide. Morphine was six times as potent as opium. It was commercially available, and many upper and middle class patients purchased morphine from doctors and injected themselves daily with newly developed needles. This 'morphinism' was unbounded by legal or social guidelines, and many morphine addicts were unaware of their addiction.