FULL TEXT: Berlin – Josefa Idler, Polish-born 58-year old female Bluebeard, who had been condemned to death for poisoning: her third and fourth husbands, was found dead in her cell yesterday.
Detectives said that she kept a “perfect household,” but got rid of her husbands because they had failed to support her in comfort.
It was said that she had killed her second husband and had put the body in a sack on the wall of a Berlin cemetery.
This charge was dropped 12 years ago because the case could not be proved.
In the court on Tuesday, however, Josefa, small, stout, and thin-lipped, her greying hair drawn tightly back from her broad, heavy-featured Slav face, impassively heard witnesses tell how her first marriage had embittered her for life against men.
She was arrested after the step- daughters of the last marriage had asked for an autopsy of their father’s body.
Arsenic was found in the bodies of the third and fourth husbands. Police said yesterday that a post-mortem would be necessary to ascertain the cause of her death.
[“Female Bluebeard cheats the gallows,” The Argus (Melbourne, Australia), Aug. 26, 1948, p. 4]
For links to other cases of woman who murdered 2 or more husbands (or paramours), see Black Widow Serial Killers.