Thursday, September 22, 2011

Euphemia Mondich, Detroit Black Widow Serial Killer - 1924


FULL TEXT (Article 1 of 4): Detroit, Sept.. 9. — Having confessed, according to the police, that he killed a sweetheart four years ago, after she had helped him hide the body of her eighth husband whom he had slain, Mrs. Euphemia Mondich was being questioned by the authorities today in an effort to determine where her other husbands are.

Information furnished by the woman’s ninth husband three days ago led to her arrest. Mrs. Mondich told the authorities she did not know the name of the man she killed, except that he was known as “John” were unearthed yesterday under a house formerly occupied by Mrs. Mondich. According to the police, Mrs. Mondich under grilling, confessed she had killed “John” with his own revolver, a week after she had seen him club her eighth husband, John Sokoloski, to death in an automobile.

“John” then came to live with her, she told the police and remained in her home about a week One day, she said, he came to the house and threatened to kill her. “I made him put the revolver on the fable,” she informed the police. “I though he would kill me, so I picked up the gun and shot him.”

She then described how she went under the house, dug a hole and dragged John’s body from the house and buried it.

She married Steve Mondich, she said, shortly afterward. Mondich, according to the police, became incensed when she left him and took their automobile which they owned jointly, and furnished information which led to the discovery of the bones of a man under the house.

[“Woman Tells Police That She Murdered Eighth .Husband and Then Sweetheart,” Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nv.), Sep. 10, 1924, p. 1]

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FULL TEXT (Article 2 of 4): Detroit, Mich., Sept. 14. – Mrs. Euphemia Mondich, nine times married, and held for the murder of John Udorouich, was confronted Sunday with her second and fourth husbands at police headquarters, while the skull of Udorouich grinned at them from the table.

George Woropchurk, Mrs. Mondich’s second husband, for whom the police have been seeking, learned this morning that he was wanted at police headquarters when he read an account of the mystery in the newspapers. George declared that he hurried to headquarters and hastened to contradict the statement of his former wife who had $500 of her money.

~ Married in Toronto, He Says. ~

According to George they were married in Toronto in 1914, later moving to Stratford. He said that in 1917 Euphemia was in Detroit and decided

~ Fourth Husband’s Story. ~

The woman’s fourth husband, Steve Mondich, who told the police that she had murdered Udorouich and Sokolsky, who was her third husband, declared that she had been married nine times. He said that she had two husbands alive in Austria at the present time.

When she was taken into the small room in which detectives and her two husbands were seated with the skull of Udorouich on the table, she beeged George to bail her out. George and Steve Mondich ignored her plea for bonds.

[“Former Husbands Confront Woman At Police Rooms – Skull of Man She Is Accused of Murdering Is Present Also – Sordid Story In Detroit,” The Globe (Totonto, Canada), Sep. 15, 1924, p. 2]

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FULL TEXT (Article 3 of 4): Detroit – A 77-year-old Detroit woman, convicted in 1924 of the murders of a lover and one of her four husbands, died Monday night in the Detroit House of Correction.

She was Euphemia Mondich, whose second and fourth husbands once met to congratulate each other on being alive. The woman was serving a life term.

Mrs. Mondich’s first husband died mysteriously. The skeleton of her lover, John Urdovich, was dug up by police under a house she once owned. She admitted shooting Urdovich.

The body of her third husband, Joe Sokolsky, never was found. She said she and Urdovich had buried it where a building now stands.

[“Woman Convicted Of Murders Dies,” syndicated (AP), Aug. 29, 1961, p. 4-A]

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Aricle 4 of 4:
EXCERPT (Court records):

Supreme Court of Michigan; 234 Mich. 590 (Mich. 1926); PEOPLE v. MONDICH. Docket No. 137. Supreme Court of Michigan. Submitted April 15, 1926. Decided April 30, 1926.  Error to recorder’s court of Detroit; Stein (Christopher E.), J. Submitted April 15, 1926. (Docket No. 137.) Decided April 30, 1926.  Euphemia Mondich was convicted of murder in the first degree, and sentenced to imprisonment for life in the Detroit house of correction. Affirmed.

Defendant’s so-called confessions are not claimed to have been obtained by any threats, promises, or other improper inducement. She admittedly told her story to the officers voluntarily, before and after her arrest, and repeated it at her trial as a witness in her own behalf. She did not admit or confess that she was guilty of any crime. Her attitude and claim in court and out was that she killed Udurovich in self-defense and was therefore justified in doing what she did. That issue was carefully submitted to the jury under full and correct instructions on the law of self-defense.

Defendant was a woman of mature years and varied experiences, and not a stranger to court proceedings. She was born, raised and first married in Austria, was divorced from her first two husbands, claimed her third was killed by Udurovich, with whom she afterwards lived in meretricious relations, and was married to a fourth husband some time before her trial. She first came to America in 1916, going to Winnipeg and from there drifted into Duluth, from where she was furnished free transportation to the land of her nativity [Austria] under the Federal deportation act. She soon returned to America, going first to Toronto and from there to Detroit which has since been her abiding place. Her sordid story on the witness stand of her life with Udurovich and his claimed abuses of her, terminating in threats and assaults which compelled her to shoot him in self-defense, was for the jury. She testified that he had assaulted her, got his revolver and threatened to kill her unless she promised to marry him, get some more furniture and continue living with him. In fear he would carry out his threat in case of refusal she so promised. He then put his revolver under a pillow in the bed room, returned and sat down in the kitchen smoking cigarettes, *596596 when she went and took the revolver from under the pillow and shot him in the eye before he could get to her. Of what followed she said:

“Then after that he wants to run away. Yes, he would open the window and get out. He started for the window and then I shot him the second time in the back. He fall down. I shot him again over here (indicating) under the chin. . . .  He fall down, he don’t do me nothing, he can’t do me nothing. I put the gun under his chin and shoot. After he was dead it was night.” * * *

Supreme Court of Michigan; 234 Mich. 590 (Mich. 1926); PEOPLE v. MONDICH. Docket No. 137. Supreme Court of Michigan. Submitted April 15, 1926. Decided April 30, 1926.  Error to recorder’s court of Detroit; Stein (Christopher E.), J. Submitted April 15, 1926. (Docket No. 137.) Decided April 30, 1926.  Euphemia Mondich was convicted of murder in the first degree, and sentenced to imprisonment for life in the Detroit house of correction. Affirmed.

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For links to other cases of woman who murdered 2 or more husbands (or paramours), see Black Widow Serial Killers.

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