Thursday, September 22, 2011

Marianne Skoublinska, Polish Midwife & Serial Killer - 1890

NOTE: The name appears with a variety of spellings in English-language news reports: “Skoublinska,” Skoblinska,” “Skonblinska,” “Skublinski,” “Stysinski.” The following articles contain the spellings used in the original print edition, but the same “Marianne Skoublinska” has been chosen for use in The Unknown History of MISANDRY as the standard name, since the report using that spelling includes a first name.”

New information: A Polish visitor has been kind enough to provide the correct spelling: Marianna Skublińska.

Some brief reports on this case did not mention any name such as this one: “A woman concerned in baby farming at Warsaw has been charged with murdering seventy-five infants. She was sentenced to three years' imprisonment.” [“Extensive Baby Farming - 76 Infants Murdered.” The Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal (NSW, Australia), Apr. 2, 1890, p. 3]


FULL TEXT (Article 1 of 5): A horrible series of crimes has been discovered at Warsaw. A fire at an old house in Sienna-street had been extinguished by the brigade, when some firemen who had been left to prevent any mischief from stray sparks discovered a child’s corpse beneath the floor; two other similar discoveries were made soon after, and finally eight bodies were found beneath the floor of one room. The Chronicle correspondent at Vienna says that on some partitions and a cupboard being pulled down, six more bodies of children were brought to light [1+2+8+6=17]. An inmate of the house, a midwife named Skoblinska, has been arrested on suspicion of having killed and buried the infants. As she had been living in the house only four months the police are engaged in making investigations into her antecedents. Skoblinska shared her apartment with her sister. Each of the women had a grown-up daughter. The other three women were also arrested on suspicion of being implicated with Skoblinska. It is stated that in all fifty bodies have been found.

[“Horrible Crimes At Warsaw – Fifty Murdered Babies Found.” The Echo (London, England), Feb. 24, 1890, p. 3]


FULL TEXT (Article 2 of 5): According to advices from Warsaw some details have now come to light about the dreadful child murders committed there by the midwife Skublinski and some other women who have already been arrested. Skublinski resided in an attic, that she secretly received young illegitimate children “to nurse,” as she said. In reality, she, with several other women, carried on a regular trade in murdering infants. The attention of the police had already been drawn to this woman, and an unexpected examination of the house revealed several cradles with two and three babies in each.

Now, as Skublinski had no right to receive mothers and new-born children, she had to promise that from thenceforth she would take no more young infants into her house. Notwithstanding this, the police on a subsequent occasion found three little babies, and she was, in consequence, summoned, and the hearing was fixed for the 19th inst. [in February, apparently, rather than May as stated here] before the justice of the peace. During the night of the 17th she set fire to her lodging, after having first murdered the children committed to her charge.

Then this inhuman woman went and stood in the yard of the house among the excited crowd and quietly waited to see what would happen. As the house was only built of wood, she evidently hoped it would be completely destroyed. But one of the inmates of the house suddenly remembered the woman in the garret and her charges, and called out to the firemen to save the children.

Then Skubliuski was for the first time soon standing in the yard, and when she was asked if the children were already saved, she answered that they were no longer with her. In the meanwhile, the firemen had so far succeeded in subduing the fire that one of them penetrated into Skublinski’s lodging, and, not knowing what she had said, immediately began to search for the children. He soon found one little corpse, and then two more.

They wore taken down to the yard, and a doctor who happened to be present declared that the children were not choked by smoke, but a crime had been perpetrated. Then the police came forward and four more corpses were discovered, on one of which were distinct traces of the skull having been battered in. Consequently Skublinski and the other women were arrested.

[“A Diabolical Crime.” Supplement to Evening Post (Wellington, New Zealand), May 17, 1890, p. 1]


FULL TEXT (Article 3 of 5): The woman baby-farmer, Stysinski, who is believed to have disposed of seventy-five babies during the last few years, has just been sentenced to three years’ imprisonment. Her baby farm, or rather graveyard, became known to the police a month ago through her setting fire to her cottage, containing five little children, in order to obtain the amount of the insurance on her property. At the trial it was proved that not a single child which was entrusted to her care and entered her den ever left her house alive. It was also shown that she made two charges for taking care of children, fifteen roubles for allowing the baby to die in a few weeks, and twenty for procuring its death within a day or two. She frequently threw the bodies of the children to her pigs, and boasted of the fattest pigs in the district on account of the exceptionally good feed she provided for them, in spite of all the evidence, she could not be convicted of murder.

[“The Polish Baby Murderer Sentenced,” The Nelson Evening Mail (New Zealand), May 27, 1890, p. 4]

FULL TEXT (Article 4 of 5): In our last number we mentioned the case of  Skonblinska, a baby farmer in Warsaw, who was tried lately for causing the deaths of about seventy children. speaking of the death sentence lately pronounced upon Sophie Günzbourg, the New York Volks-Zeitung remarks: “For a young girl who is supposed to have had the intention of attempting the life of the Tzar – the gallows; for the murderess of so many children – three years penal servitude. After that, who can reproach the Nihilists for what the do?”

[Untitled, Free Russia, (The Organ of the English Society of Friends of Russian Freedom, American Edition), (New York, N.Y.), Apr. 1891, p. 6]


FULL TEXT (Article 5 of 5) : Le journal russe de Varsovie, donne les détails suivants sur le crime dont nous avons parlé dans le Stéphanois d’avant-hier:

Dans la nuit du 20 an 21 février, un incendie éclatait au numéro 56 de la rue Sennaia. Uu pompier avait trouvé à tâtons, dans une toute petite chambrette complètement obscure, le cadavre d’un enfant, quand on apporta des lanternes on découvrit encore sept cadavres d’enfants, dont quatre intacts et les trois autres en décomposision complète.

Tous portaient des traces de violence, la tête d’un de ces petits cadavres était fracassée.
On a fait immédiatement arrêter Ja sage-femme Marianne Skoublinska, propriétaire du logement dans lequel les cadavres ont été trouvés, ainsi que deux voisines, les femmes Zianowska et Winnicka.

On a constaté jusqu’ici 76 victimes de la Skoublinska.

A la suite des perquisitions faites, quatre arrestations ont été opérées dans différents quartiers. Un jeune homme de dix-huit ans, qu’ demeurait chez la Skoublinska, a avoué, après son arrestation, avoir pendant quelques mois emporté du logement de la Skoublinska une cinquantaine de cadavres d’enfants. Le menuisier Milenski a confectionné pour la Skoublinska des bières pour dix ou quinze cadavres.


For more cases of “Baby Farmers,” professional child care providers who murdered children see The Forgotten Serial Killers.



  1. Her name was Marianna Skublińska

    Source: I'am Polish

  2. Marianna Skublińska. "Tygodnik Ilustrowany" 1890, nr 8.