For many, collecting stamps is an interesting and creative hobby. History records however, that a passion for stamps has overcome certain individuals’ reason and self-control. One notable example is the stunning murder of Gaston Leroux in Paris, France back in 1892.Mr. Gaston Leroux was a well-off man living in an apartment in the capital of his country, France. He had built quite a valuable collection of stamps, and it proved to be too tempting for one of his friends. In 1892, police were called to his apartment where they found him dead, murdered by an intruder it seemed. The problem was they could not find anything missing. Luckily, one of the detectives was a philatelist and upon observing that the dead man had a sizable collection, he took a closer look. He realized that Leroux had owned a Two Cent Hawaiian Missionary of 1851, a very rare and valuable stamp, and that it was missing. The motive began to take shape!
Upon investigating Mr. Leroux’s friends and associates, police came in contact with Hector Giroux who also had a collection, and in whose possession was…….a Two Cent Hawaiin Missionary stamp! Giroux broke down during questioning and confessed his crime–he had just wanted the stamp so badly. He was trialed, found guilty and hanged.
Only 15 copies of this stamp are thought to exist, and a copy of an unused 2¢ Hawaiian missionary sold in 1996 for $660,000.00!