Joanes Haroutunian
Occupation Day Labourer
Born ca. 1886

January 31, 1930(1930-01-31) (aged 43)
Marseille, France

Cause of death Suicide
Spouse(s) Maria Haroutunian
Attack information
Date January 31, 1930
1:45 p.m. – 1:55 p.m.
Location(s) Marseille, France
Target(s) Wife's family
Killed 6
Injured 1
Weapon(s) 9mm revolver
6.3mm semi-automatic pistol

Joanes Haroutunian (also identified as Ohannes Haroutinian) was an Armenian day labourer who killed six people and wounded a seventh in Marseille, France on January 31, 1930, before committing suicide.[1] [2][3][4]


Since about 1926 Haroutunian lived in a small house in La Viste, a suburb in the north of Marseille that was inhabited mostly by Armenians at the time, and worked as a day labourer for the local sugar refineries. He was married to Maria Seredjian, and with her had a daughter, who was seven years old at the time of the murders.

In the last two years of his life Haroutunian had a feud with his neighbouring in-laws, especially with his brother-in-law Chenavan Tchakerian. It was also reported that there were frequent quarrels, because of his jealousy,[5] and that he had accused several of his friends, who had met with his wife, of having an affair with her.

A few weeks prior to the murders his wife broke her leg in an accident and required surgery, which caused a change in his behaviour from cheerful to taciturn and morose. It was also another cause for arguments in the family, since Haroutunian accused his mother-in-law, who was living in a nearby house with two of her daughters, of having forsaken his wife, because she did not visit her in hsopital, and mocked her for her injury. Maria Haroutunian was released from hospital on January 30.[6][7][8]


On January 31, at 1:45 p.m., Haroutunian took a 6.3mm semi-automatic pistol and a 9mm revolver and went to the house of Chenavan Tchakerian, but when he found the building empty he made his way to the home of his sister-in-law Marie Donikian, where the Tchakerians often stayed. On a small path near a sawmill Haroutunian discovered Tchakerian pushing a wheelbarrow full of bricks. He immediately rushed towards him, drew his revolver, and fired five shots, hitting his victim once in the right forearm.

While Tchakerian fled to a pharmacy to call the police, Haroutunian proceeded to the nearby Donikian-home, where he found his sister-in-law standing in the door to see what was happening. He killed her by shooting her in the heart, and then entered the building, where Tchakerian's wife Makrouhi, alerted by the shots, came out of the kitchen. Haroutunian killed her, too, with a shot to the head.

Finding no more potential victims in the building Haroutunian raced back towards the house of the Tchakerians, but on his way heard his wife calling for him from the balcony, whereupon he returned home and killed her with a shot to the forehead. He also fired several times at his fleeing daughter, missing her, and then returned to the house of Marie Donikian, where he encountered another of his sisters-in-law, Anna Garabidjian. He shot her in the head and chest, wounds of which she died in hospital the following day.[9][10][11]

Haroutunian also went to the home of his cousin Sarkis Krachidjian, and shot him in the head. He died on his way to hospital. On his way back to the Tchakerian-home Haroutunian chanced upon his mother-in-law in a small alley and killed her with a single shot to the heart. Subsequently he went to the house of the Tchakerians, where he stood on the terrace and washed his hands. When police arrived shortly thereafter he committed suicide by shooting himself twice in the head. The rampage had lasted less than ten minutes.[6][7][8]


  • Marie Donikian, 28, his sister-in-law
  • Maria Haroutunian, 27, his wife
  • Anna Garabidjian, 38, his sister-in-law
  • Sarkis Krachidjian, 30, his cousin
  • Mrs. Seredjian, 85, his mother-in-law
  • Makrouhi Tchakerian, 25, his sister-in-law

Wounded was Chenavan Tchakerian, 26.


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