Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Kathi Lyukas: Black Widow Serial Killer & Husband-Killing Syndicate Matron


FULL TEXT (Article 1 of 3): A Hungarian peasant woman named Lyukas Kathi was hanged on Friday [Dec. 1] at Steinamanger. She was charged with having committed 26 murders by selling poisoned cakes to persons who wished to get rid of their relatives. She confessed to six murders, two of which were her own husbands.

[“The Wholesale Poisonings in Hungary.” Lloyd’s Weekly Newspaper (London, England), Dec. 3, 1882, p. 12] 

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FULL TEXT (Article 2 of 3): There was hanged at Steinamanger, in Hungary, recently, a peasant woman from Szerdahely, named Lyukas Kathi, for a series of crimes which had excited universal horror. The criminal was 52 years of age, short in stature, and of a placid aspect. She procured a large quantity of arsenic on the pretence that her house was overrun with rats, and mixed the poison in little cakes, which she disposed of at a high price to persons who desired to get rid of their relatives. Her customers were chiefly wives who had got tired of their husbands, lovers, who thought the removal of a rival would facilitate their own purposes, and even some children purchased the cakes that by offering them to elderly relatives they might the more rapidly come into the possession of their property. Lyukas killed two husbands of her own, and was accused of 26 other murders, six of which she confessed she had committed. At her trial this arch poisoner assumed an air of great piety and stood the whole day with a rosary in her hand, she being a member of a Rosary Club founded by the Dominican. The result of the trial was that she was sentenced to a long term of penal servitude, but the Crown appealed against this inadequate issue, and the Court of Appeal sentenced her to death.

[“A Wholesale Murderess.” The Camperdown Chronicle (Victoria, Australia), Feb. 7, 1883, p. 4]


FULL TEXT (Article 3 of 3):  On the 30th November, at 10 a.m., a dreadful woman, one Kate Nagy, was hanged in Stein-an-Anger, the frontier town between Styria and Hungary. In the annals of crime she will occupy one of the first places, for, although she confessed to six murders only, she was convicted of 26, and we may suppose that she committed many more. She found means of obtaining poison from chemists in small provincial towns by pretending to have a house full of rats. The small cakes which she sold in a tiny shop were so universally liked by old and young that she could sell poisoned cakes to the persons who wished to rid themselves of a superfluous relative without arousing suspicion. Her first murder probably that of her own husband, and when this remain d undiscovered, she committed a succession of other murders, for which she was paid by the parties concerned. Her victims were men, women, and children, old and young, and although her neighbours had long suspected her, still no one dated for some time to accuse her of the dreadful crime. She was believed to be very pious, and it was chiefly by her aid that the Dominican friars of Stein-an-Anger were able to found a religious society which gained great influence in the course of years. Although she confessed to six murders, the Court of Justice condemned her only to hard labour for life; but the Imperial Council, appealing to the High Court, obtained a death sentence, which was signed by the Emperor about the middle of last month. Ever since the sentence was communicated to Kate Nagy she spent her days and nights in praying and fasting with her father confessor ever by her side. On the 30th November the hangman arrived from Buda Pesth, and Kate Nagy was taken to the place of execution at the other end of the town. When she appeared in the street everyone was surprised to see a meek little woman of about 50 years of age, with a kind, motherly expression in her small face. She was escorted by a detachment of Imperial dragoons, and followed by thousands who came from all parts of the country to see her. As she entered the wooden fence which conceals the gibbet from the eyes of the public, she started, for her daughter came up to her and begged leave to enter with her mother. When she was refused, she fainted in the arms of some women who had come with her. The hangman fulfilled his terrible task in a few seconds. In the meantime the crowd outside behaved in a most shameful manner. They surrounded the murderess’s daughter and declared she must he executed also, because such a dreadful woman's entire race should be extirpated once for all. The ruffians would have lynched the girl had not a brave woman stood up in her defence, and by her undaunted courage intimidated those near her until some dragoons came to her rescue. Kate refused to name the persons for whom she prepared her poison, so that they cannot be prosecuted.

[“Hanged for Many Murders,” From London Daily News, New York Times, Dec. 21, 1882, p. ?]

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LOCATION: 

Szerdahely : located on the north shore near the eastern end of Lake Baltaton in Hungary.

Steinamanger: Szombathely (German: Steinamanger) is the 10th-largest city in Hungary. It is the administrative centre of Vas county in the west of the country, located near the border with Austria. The oldest city in Hungary, it is known as the birthplace of Saint Martin of Tours and the Duke of Armbrust. [Wikipedia]

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For more than two dozen similar cases, dating from 1658 to 2011, see the summary list with links see: The Husband-Killing Syndicates

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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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http://unknownmisandry.blogspot.com/2013/03/female-serial-killers-executed.html

More cases: Female Serial Killers Executed

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