[The boy] was pampered and dressed in better clothes than he had ever known. The evening began with a large meal and heavy drinking, particularly hippocras, which acted as a stimulant. The boy was then taken to an upper room to which only Gilles and his immediate circle were admitted. There he was confronted with the true nature of his situation. The shock thus produced on the boy was an initial source of pleasure for Gilles.
Gilles de Rais is believed to be the inspiration for the 1697 fairy tale "Bluebeard" ("Barbe bleue") by Charles Perrault.
In his 1971 biography of Gilles de Rais, Jean Benedetti tells how the children who fell into Rais's hands were put to death:
Gilles was retried during a media event in his home country of France, without any official involvement of the public authorities and the judicial body. In 1992, Freemason Jean-Yves Goëau-Brissonnière, the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of France, organized a self-proclaimed "court" consisting of former French ministers, parliament members and UNESCO experts to re-examine the source material and evidence available at the medieval trial. A team of lawyers, Writers and politicians led by Gilbert Prouteau and presided over by Judge Henri Juramy found him not guilty, although none of the initiators was a medieval Historian by profession. In addition, none of them sought professional advice from certified medievalists.
Execution by hanging and burning was set for Wednesday 26 October. At nine o‘clock, Gilles and his two accomplices made their way in procession to the place of execution on the Ile de Biesse. Gilles is said to have addressed the crowd with contrite piety and exhorted Henriet and Poitou to die bravely and think only of salvation. Gilles' request to be the first to die had been granted the day before. At eleven o'clock, the brush at the platform was set afire and Rais was hanged. His body was cut down before being consumed by the flames and claimed by "four ladies of high rank" for burial. Henriet and Poitou were executed in similar fashion but their bodies were reduced to ashes in the flames and then scattered.
Following the Siege of Orléans, Rais was granted the right to add a border of the royal arms, the fleur-de-lys on an azure ground, to his own. The letters patent authorizing the display cited Gilles’ "high and commendable services", the "great perils and dangers" he had confronted, and "many other brave feats".