Note: Various different spellings are used in English language sources: “Josefa,” or “Josephine,” in various combination with “Tzany,” “Szany,” “Szanyi.”
FULL TEXT (Article 1 of 5): Budapest – Charged with inciting six different young men to commit suicide, a young Budapest widow has been taken into custody by the local police.
A seventh, instead of yielding to her persuasive argument that “it would be beautiful to take poison and die in the arms of beautiful woman,” broke away from her embraces and rushed to the nearest police station.
The woman's mentality in wishing to have the young men die m her presence promises several weeks of interesting study to local psycho-analysis. The method which she employed was to induce her victims to commit suicide with her. To each she gave real poison while she drank a harmless potion of the same color.
[“Widow Induces Suicides – Persuades Men to Take Poison and Die in Arms of Beautiful Woman,” syndicated (U.P.), Lawrence Daily Journal-World (Ka.), Aug. 11, 1926, p. 2]
FULL TEXT (Article 2 of 5): Budapest, Aug. 9. – Not even the most lurid film drama of modern days can equal in horror and fascination the story of Josephine Szany, ballet dancer at the Budapest Opera, a bewitchingly beautiful girl who has sworn vengeance upon the entire masculine sex.
Eight men, every one of them a nobleman or At least belonging la the social elite of the Hungarian capital, have died in her arms.
Morally the little black-eyed dancer is their murderess, but so far the authorities here are at a loss as to what charge can be laid against her.
Three years ago when Mlle. Szany was brought to the Budapest Opera she attracted wide attention by her dancing, her gayety at supper parties and her sensational affair d’amour with a young Husar officer of Admiral Horthy's bodyguard.
There were rumors that the dashing young cavalryman would wed the dancer, but at the last moment he accepted the advice and bowed to the threats of his parents and was transferred to a far-away garrison on the Rumanian frontier.
~ Wears Stoic’s Mask. ~
For a time Mlle. Szany, who is of Gypsy extraction, seemed inconsolable over the loss of her lover. For three months she did not appear at the theatre and when she finally returned it was noticed that she had assumed a mask of stoicism. She did accent invitations from her many admirers, but her laugh was forced and unnatural and she became gay and vivacious only after a great deal of champagne.
The death of the eight men is her vengeance for the blighted love affair.
Her latest victim is a member of one of the oldest and most aristocratic Hungarian families. The man leaves a wife and three children.
Josephine litany dressed in the height or Parisian elegance, entered one of the most fashionable grills in the Hungarian capital on the arm of the aristocrat, whose presence there In her company attracted the attention of the diners and caused considerable surprise and comment. For the aristocrat was married and Josephine was not his wife.
The couple were shown a secluded corner table where they conversed in low tones, apparently oblivious to the stares and whispers in the dining room. Suddenly, the woman rose from her chair, shrieked and staggered to the middle of the floor. Her companion also jumped into her in his arms, but sank to his knees, the woman clasped in his arms.
Walters and diners rushed to the man and woman on the floor, lifted them and discovered that the man was dead.
Josephine was still breathing and with the aid of a doctor who happened to be among the guests, she was soon revived. She left the room a moment later on the pretext of going to adjust her disordered gown and has not been heard from since.
When a post-mortem examination was held the examining physicians discovered that the man had died of poison. The day after the incident in the grill room his wife received a letter in which he stated that he intended to put an end to his life in company with Josephine Szany, because he “loved her to desperation.”
The tragic affair has become the gossip of all society, and the Budapest papers now make open allusions to a whole series of mysterious deaths and disappearance of man who were last seen in the company of the voluptuous Josephine.
~ Pay for Love With Death. ~
Eight lovers who succumbed to her irresistible charms ands who have paid for their infatuation with the dreadful fats that the siren metes out to those who come under her spell.
The coroner’s inquest into the circumstances of the death of the last victim of the human vampire caused the presiding magistrate to come to a conclusion that Josephine used her fateful and diabolical beauty to persuade each of her lovers to enter into a somemn suicide pact with her.
Her greatest thrill was to gratify her morbid vengeance and to see the men die in her arms or before her eyes.
Ever since the unfortunate affair of the officer who left her, this young woman seems to be possessed with an insatiable hatred for the masculine sex. Her eight victims represented some of the finest and most athletic types of the Hungarian smart world.
The legal authorities are now considering whether she was really responsible for her actions, and, if so, what charges can be brought against her on the ground of effectively suggesting suicide.
The men, it is pointed out, took their lives on their lives on their own free accord, they were not murdered.
While the legalists try to solve this point the Hungarian police are searching the country for Josephine, who, it is feared, has managed to cross the Bessarabian border to Russia.
[Pierre Van Paassen, “Bewitching Dancer of Budapest Opera, Jilted, Makes Eight Lovers Die in Her Arms; Probe Ordered Hungarian Noblemen Who Pay Penalty - Officers Faked Her Parts in Suicide Pacts,” Springfield Republican (Mo.), Copyright. 1926. (New York World), Press Publishing, Aug. 10, 1926, p. 1]
FULL TEXT (Article 3 of 5): In one sense the kisses of a vampire are poison for her victims, but in actual fact those of Josephine Tzany, a beautiful woman of the Budapest underworld, were morally and physically poisoned, for after poisoning the soul of the victim they brought death as well.
The woman is known as the world’s worst real life vamp with justice, if only half the charges made against her are true. It is stated that for some years now her love affairs have been notorious, and always ended with violent death for the male victims.
At least a dozen lovers have died in her arms in as many years, but she has always come out of the death pact ordeals unharmed.
It is now suggested against her by the prosecution that she has deliberately brought her victims to the point of mad passion for her in which they readily assented to her suggestion of a death pact, out of which she backed after her victim had taken poison. It is declared that in at least one instance she passed the poison from her own lips to the mouth of her victim in the act of passionately kissing him.
~ “I Am Dying.” ~
The drama was enacted in public in one of the restaurants of the city. She entered the building with her latest lover, a well-known military officer, whom she had taken from his young wife. When she had talked to him for some time she .rose to her feet with a cry and swayed as though about to faint.
Her companion rushed to her aid.
“Kiss me, darling, I am dying,” she said in tragic tones. When the lover made to obey she flung her arms about him and kissed him passionately. Locked in a passionate embrace, the two fell on the floor, and when the startled onlookers went to them the woman was sobbing hysterically and the man was dead. He had absorbed the poison the woman had carried on her lips.
The woman herself suffered no ill effects on this or any of the other occasions when she was supposed to have taken poison or administered it in this way to victims.
The accused woman defies the authorities to bring home to her the charge of murder
“I am an enemy of the male sex,” she declares. “Years ago a man wronged me deeply and broke my girl’s heart. I vowed to be revenged on him and his sex. I have kept my word, for I have made men suffer something of what I have suffered. They may say I am responsible for the death of these men, and they may even take my life for what they call my crime. If they do I shall be glad to die with the knowledge that I have paid my debt in full.
“I do not deny that I have derived pleasure from the sufferings of the men they call my victims. I have enjoyed every pang they suffered, every agony they endured. Pangs and agony have been balm to my wounded and bruised heart. My one regret is that I was not able to strike directly at the man who wronged me.”
~ A Home-Breaker. ~
Something of the hatred Josephine Tzany had for men she manifested towards her own sex, for in every case she chose as her lovers men who were happily married to young and beautiful wives.
“When my heart was breaking they had no sympathy, no word of comfort for me,” she declares. I will show them that I have the power to master the souls and bodies of men, that the strongest are weaker than children in my hands.”
“I glory in the fact that I have broken up homes that should have been happy. The fact that the man who blighted my life was married happily did not weigh with him. The wife from whom he came laughed at me when my misery was greatest. I have paid her back in full, and have made others suffer, too. My debt against Society is paid, and I have no further interest in the world.”
~ Gloating Words. ~
She might have added that she had struck at the wife of the man who had wronged her a greater blow than he had dealt, greatly as she may have been wronged. Learning that this wife had a lover she made it her business to find the man out, and once she had him in the toils she did not release her bold until the infatuated man had provided the first victim In the series of strange deaths that have been associated with her love affairs.
After that she waited patiently until the idolised son of the wife had reached the threshold of manhood, when she cast her spell over him, and the boy figured in yet another of the dramas of passion and death. When he lay dead in her arms she caused the mother to be admitted to see the havoc she had wrought, and when she came the vampire spoke gloating words that stung. The mother was subsequently taken away hopelessly insane. The accused woman discusses frankly the different affairs with which she has been associated. She has preserved diaries in which she records with amazing details the facts of each case, describing the sufferings of the victims as each in turn lay writhing in her arms in his death throes.
“I had no compunction about it at all,” she says, “for was I not merely viewing the death throes of the viper that had stung me and killed my soul just when it was at its best?”
Since the facts came out she has been the object of one of the most amazing demonstrations of hostility that any woman could be subjected to. Wives and children of some of the victims have turned up at the courts and in public places to denounce her as murderess and home-wrecker, but so far from being moved by their anger, she has laughed at them and taunted them with the fact that she made the man they mourned her abject slave before he passed out of the world.
The latest sensation is that the daughter of one of her victims has challenged the woman to a duel with pistols or swords, and declares that if the challenge is not accepted and the vampire escapes legal punishment she will shoot her dead on sight.
[“Vampire’s Poisoned Kisses. - Men As Victims. - Her Thirst For Vengeance.” The Auckland Star (New Zealand), Sep. 25, 1926, p. 23]
FULL TEXT (Article 4 of 5): Fatally lovely, and as wicked as she is beautiful, Josephine Szany has seen eight lovers die in her arms. Years ago, Josephine was cruelly wronged in a love of her own, and ever since she has used her compelling beauty for the destruction of men.
The amazing story of her latest vengeance and the strange dilemma of the Budapest authorities is told below. No vampire of a film melodrama has had such an astounding career as Josephine Szany, a bewitchingly beautiful women who has sworn vengeance upon the entire masculine sex.
~ Morally a Murderess ~
Morally Josephine a murderess, but the legal authorities of Budapest are baffled to know what charges, if any, can be brought against her.
Amazing revelation have follows the death of her latest victim, member of a Hungarian aristocratic family.
Josephine Szany, dressed in the best Parisian style, entered one of the most fashionable grills in the Hungarian capital on the arm of the aristocrat whose presence there in her company attracted the attention of the diners and caused consider able surprise and comment. For the aristocrat was married, and Josephine was not his wife.
~ Dramatic Methods ~
Seated at table, the couple conversed in low tones during their repast. Suddenly the woman rose from her chair and staggered as though about to faint. Her companion also got up and hurried to help her, but instead he fell to the floor with the woman clasped in his arms.
The guests and waiters ran to their assistance. They lifted the man, only to find that he was dead.
His companion was breathing and with the aid of smelling salts quickly revived. Under the pretext of adjusting her disordered dress, slipped away and never came back,
~ Died of Poison ~
When a post-mortem examination was held. It was discovered that the man had been poisoned.
Soon afterwards the news came out that the man had left a letter for his wife informing her that he intended to put an end to his life in company with Josephine Szany.
The tragic affair became the topic of all society gossip, and whispered allusions were made to a whole series of mysterious death or disappearances of men who from time to time had been known to associated with the alluring beauty.
From lip to lip passed the names of eight lovers who had succumbed to the irresistible charms of the siren within the last few years and who had died in circumstances similar to those which marked the tragic fate of the young Hungarian aristocrat.
~ Morbid Vengeance ~
In view of all the evidence, the magistrate conducting the inquiry arrived at the conclusion that Josephine Szany had used her diabolical beauty to persuade each of her lovers to enter into a suicide pact with her solely to gratify her morbid vengeance and to feel them die in her arms.
This beautiful Hungarian is said to have been possessed with an in satiable hatred of the masculine sex ever since an unfortunate love affair had poisoned her existence.
The legal authorities are now considering whether she was really responsible for her actions and, if so, what charges, if any can be brought against her on the ground of effectively suggesting suicide to others while not trying to take her own life.
[Author listed in other appearances of this text is O. D. Tolischus, Universal Service Staff Correspondent, “Vampire, Wronged in Youth, Lures Lovers to Death – Suicide Compacts Made With Dupes Amazes Budapest – Distorted Brain of Beautiful Girl Works Out Unique Means of Revenge on Men – Records Show Eight Victims Coaxed Into Self-Destruction.” The Winnipeg Evening Tribune (Canada), Sep. 4, 1926, Magazine section, p. 1]
FULL TEXT (Article 5 of 5): Berlin, Germany, Oct. 23. — A neglected wallflower who became a vampire, a man-hating old maid who turned into a siren and who, to wreak her vengeance upon the haughty male, lured seven men to their deaths in fake suicide pacts, triumphantly watched them drink the poisoned cup for love of her while she emptied the harmless one and, in the death agonies of her victims, laughed at their folly.
This story, too fantastic for a movie, now is being written in the criminal annals of Hungary.
The name of this modern Circe is Josefa Szanyi, and the police are holding her on charges of sevenfold murder. The scene is a small town near Budapest.
~ Police Begin Probe. ~
Her deadly work was revealed by the wife of the last of her victims, Hans Hansmann. Hans had written a farewell letter to his wife saying life wasn’t worth living any more and that, together with Josefa Szanyi, he would seek relief in death.
Yet up to a few days before his death, Hansmann had been noted for his jollity and for his devotion to his wife. The latter immediately urged upon the police that things were not as they seemed and that Hansmann could have known the woman only a few days.
“Because,” she said, “I would have been the first to feel if he had learned to know and love another woman.”
When the police began to investigate, they soon stumbled upon clews that are making the case one of the most remarkable in criminal history.
~ Genuine Pact. ~
It was found that Josefa Szanyi’s transformation came after her first belated love affair. Discouraged by previous experience and fearing to lose “her man,” she persuaded him to a suicide pact which was genuine. Both were found dying, but only the man did die. Josefa Szanyi recovered.
This experience, police believe, gave her the idea, just as its discovery put the police itself on the track.
A man was soon discovered who testified that Josefa Szanyi tried to persuade him to enter into a suicide pact with her, hut that he had refused.
Then, investigating recent suicides in the town, of which there had been almost an epidemic, police found that Josefa Szanyi had played a role in most of the victim’s lives — just before their death.
Josefa, however, denies everything and is defending herself with great skill.
[“Man-Hating Old Maid Causes Seven To Die In Fake Death Pacts,” El Paso Herald (Tx.), Oct. 23, 1926, p. 1]
More: Champion Black Widow Serial Killers
More: Champion Black Widow Serial Killers
For more cases like this one, see: Vamps – Femmes Fatales – Predatory Women
For more cases of misandric fixation see: What Is Misandric Fixation?