On Saturday, 4th April, 1903, Mdlle. Ida Fridauer boarded a train with the intention of travelling home to St. Cloud.
However, as the following article in The Belfast Newsletter, of Tuesday, 7th April, 1903, reveals things didn’t go quite as she expected:-
ATTEMPTED MURDER IN A TRAIN
On Saturday, a determined attempt to murder a lady was made in a first-class carriage of a train running between Paris and St. Cloud. Mdlle. Ida Fridauer, stated to be thirty-four years old, entered the train at the Gare Saint-Lazare, in the afternoon, to return home to St. Cloud, where she resides in the Rue du Mont Valerien.
She had taken her seat in a first-class carriage a few moments before the train started from the terminus.
THE WILD-EYED YOUNG MAN
Immediately afterwards a wild-eyed, haggard-looking young man entered the same compartment and took his seat opposite Mdllc. Fridauer.
He tried to induce her to join in a conversation, but, as she refused to say anything, he opened a newspaper and began to read.
HE ATTACKED HER
When the train had passed Asnieres, just outside the fortifications, the young man jumped up and made a dash at Mdlle. Fridauer. He had in his hands two kerchiefs or scarves knotted together, and with these he tried to strangle the lady.
Mdlle. Fridauer retained all her presence of mind, struggled with her assailant, gave him a violent kick in the stomach and then pressed the alarm.
SEIZED BY THE PORTERS
The train stopped near Courbevoie Station, just as the man was making another attempt to overpower Mdlle. Fridauer.
He was seized by the railway porters, who carried him to the office of the station police superintendent.
Mdlle. Fridauer was able to continue her journey to St. Cloud by another train after she had made a statement as to the assault.
HE WAS AN ANARCHIST
Her assailant is named Le Bissonnais, and was formerly employed at the Gare St. Lazare.
He is classed as a dangerous Anarchist, with a strong taint of lunacy, at the Prefecture of Police, where he is well known.
He has been in the habit of giving himself up for murders, which he never committed. On one occasion he stated to the police that he was the Jack the Ripper who murdered an unfortunate named Louise Lasnier, found with her throat cut in her flat in the Rue Saint-Lazare. It was ascertained that Le Bissionnais could not have perpetrated the crime, and he was discharged from custody.
FISHING AT THE ELYSEE PALACE
Last year, he was caught on the railings at the back of tho Elysee Palace, where President Loubet lives.
He had a fishing-rod in his hand, and when asked what he was doing, he said that he was trying to catch some of the carp in the pond of the Elysee Gardens. After this, his intention was to try to harpoon the President of the Republic.
HIS MOTIVE WAS ROBBERY
Questioned as to the attack on Mdlle. Fridauer, Le Bissonnais stated that he only meant to stun her, and then to steal her purse and her jewels, as he was utterly hard up, and wanted money badly.
At the same time, he cynically declared that, as the lady was strongly objecting to being robbed, he would have strangled her outright, but for the intervention of the railway men.”