Monday, September 24, 2018

The Austrian Strangler: Serial Killer Leopoldine Kasparek - 1916


FULL TEXT (Article 1 of 2): Vienna — One of the most sensational murder trials in the history of the Austrian capital occupied the criminal court of the Fifth District four days last week and ended with the conviction of the defendant, Mrs. Leopoldine Kasparek, who will have to die on the gallows if Emperor Charles does not save her by an act of grace.

Altho [sic] only 23 years old, the convicted woman to one of the most desperate and heartless criminals in the annals of the police. She comes from a respectable family and is the wife of a soldier who has been fighting on the Russian front since the first months of the war. After her husband was called to the court she started on her criminal career by committing numerous thefts, robberies and extortions. In 1915 and 1916 she was arrested repeatedly, but always escaped with short terms of imprisonment, because she pleaded that she had been driven to her crimes by want.

Since she left the workhouse the last time the woman attempted at least 14 murders and robberies, and in four or five cases she was successful. All of her victims were wealthy elderly women whose confidence she won in some way. Her method was simple enough. After gaining admittance to the apartments of the old ladies she strangled them into insensibility and then ransacked the houses. Ten of her victims recovered, but three were found dead and one died in a hospital.

In every case the murderess managed to escape unnoticed and her crimes remained mysteries for many months, until she was finally caught in the act when she strangled Mrs. Marie Wurish, a 70-year-old [error, 56] widow, and applied the torch to the house of the old woman to cover up the murder.

After her arrest the murderess made a daring attempt to escape from prison. To get herself transferred from the jail to a hospital, she swallowed a large darning needle, which had to be removed from her body by an operation. As soon as she had strength enough she attacked one of her nurses, an elderly Sister of Mercy, whose garb she donned after strangling her almost to death. She succeeded in getting out of the hospital, but was recaptured within half an hour.

At her trial the murderess manifested a cynicism almost unbelievable in a woman. She did not show the slightest trace of remorse, bragged of her deeds and cursed the judges and the jurors. After death sentence had been pronounced upon her it took the combined efforts of six policemen to drag her put of the courtroom, and on the way back to her prison cell she fought like a tigress.

[“Sensational  Murder Trial Held In Vienna - Wife of Soldier on German Front Convicted of the Crime - One of Most Hardened Criminals In Country, Altho Only 23 Years Old.” Syndicated, Lima Sunday News (Oh.), Aug. 12, 1917, p. 13(?)]

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FULL TEXT (Article 2 of 2): To-day’s German crime story, though it is related by the Munich post, comes from Vienna. It concerns the doings of a “pleasant-spoken and rather good-looking young woman,” Frau Leopoldine Kasparek, who had a hobby for strangling people: –

Leopoldine Kasparek, aged twenty-three, was convicted before the Vienna Penal Court on the charges of murdering her husband [sic; error] and two other persons, as well as on those of incendiarism, robbery, fraud, theft, and libel.

“Kasparek had for some time made it a practice to gain entrance to houses inhabited by women living alone, whom she proceeded to strangle, subsequently appropriating their money.

One of her victims, a woman named Marie Wurisch, who was half-blind, was not only half-strangled, but was burned to death by Kasparek, who saturated her clothing with paraffin and set fire to it, the house in which the woman dwelt being burned to the ground.

Kasparek, who pleaded guilty, declared that she needed money, and saw no way of making it in these hard times except by procuring it from persona who only spent it on luxuries. She further confessed that she had also murdered her husband, a waiter, because he was too niggardly in his allowances.

She admitted, too, that she had forged the signature of the chief of police to a bill of acceptance on which she had obtained the sum of £35, and that she had libelled and blackmailed Superintendent Klein, of the Criminal Investigation Department, against whom she had levelled accusations of assault. Sentence was postponed in order that the girl’s mental condition might be investigated.

[“Through German Spectacles  - Young Woman With A Hobby For Murder. - A Nice Young Thing.” The Oamaru Mail (New Zealand), Jul. 24, 1917, p. 6]

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Leopoldine Kasparek, A Woman as Murderer of Women

FULL TEXT (translated): In the midst of the annoying excitement and horrors of the war, a sensational criminal appears on the scene, a young woman of 22 years, that for a time drove on with ghastly calmness and regularity, and that it aimed at lonely old women as their victims. Now the young criminal, Leopoldine Kasparek, has finally been arrested and the public breathes with relief that such a dangerous character will be repaid in kind.

She is the daughter of a coffee house owner. Her husband was employed by her parents. The parents were against the marriage and had withdrawn their hand from the daughter. In April [1916], the Kasparek had committed a theft on a friend; she was sentenced to two months in jail. She was granted a sentence and she should have served the sentence on October 1. In the course of the investigation, she was found to have committed no less than eighteen crimes, including one she committed on an old woman living with her in the same house.

In the house at Erdbergstraße No. 14 in which the Kasparek lives, also lived the 56-year-old Mrs. Marie Wurisch. She had severe heart disease and did not see with her right eye. On October 17, a fire broke out in her apartment and the woman was found to be a charred corpse.

It was thought that the woman had died from an accident, but it was noticeable that a strangulation groove was found on the larynx. Now Kasparek has admitted this murder and ended her series of crimes by this terrible act.

She was taken to the state courts and seeks to avoid her conviction.

 [“Leopoldine Kasparek, ein Weib als Frauenmörderin.” Wiener Bilder (Austria), 24 Sep. 1916, p. 7; reproduced in: Roland Stadler, “Der Fall Leopoldine Kasparek 24. September 1916,” 1030wien

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Leopoldine Kasparek, ein Weib als Frauenmörderin.

FULL TEXT: Mitten in den nervenzerrüttenden Aufregungen und Greueln des Krieges tritt eine sensationelle Verbrecherin auf den Plan, ein junges Weib von 22 Jahren. das mit grauenvoller Ruhe und Planmäßigkeit eine Zeitlang sein Unwesen trieb und das es auf alleinstehende alte Frauen als ihre Opfer abgesehen hatte. Nun wurde die junge Verbrecherin, Leopoldine Kasparek, endlich verhaftet und die Oeffentlichkeit atmet befreit auf, daß ein so gefährlicher Würgengel gefährliche gefälschte Sparkassenbuch zurückzubekommen.

Sie ist die Tochter eines Kaffeehausbesitzers. Ihr Mann war bei ihren Eltern angestellt. Die Eltern waren gegen die Ehe und hatten ihre Hand von der Tochter abgezogen. Im April hatte die Kasparek an einer Freundin einen Diebstahl verübt; sie wurde zu zwei Monaten Kerker verurteilt. Es wurde ihr ein Strafausschub gewährt und sie hätte die Strafe am 1. Oktober antreten sollen Im Laufe der Untersuchung wurden ihr nicht weniger als achtzehn Delikte, darunter auch ein Mord nachgewiesen, den sie an einer Greisin begangen, die im selben Hause mit ihr wohnte.

In dem Hause Erdbergstraße Nr. 14, in dem die Kasparek wohnt, hat auch die 56jährige Frau Marie Wurisch gewohnt. Sie war schwer herzleidend und sah auf dem rechten Auge nichts. Am 17. Oktober ist in ihrer Wohnung ein Brand ausgebrochen und die Frau wurde als verkohlte Leiche gefunden.

Man dachte, die Frau sei durch einen Unfall zugrunde gegangen, aber es fiel auf, daß man am Kehlkopf eine Strangulierungsfurche fand. Nun hat die Kasparek diesen Mord eingestanden und die Reihe ihrer Verbrechen durch diese schreckliche Tat vollendet.

Sie wurde dem Landesgerichte eingeliefert und sieht dort ihrer Verurteilung entgegen.

[“Leopoldine Kasparek, ein Weib als Frauenmörderin.” Wiener Bilder (Austria), 24 Sep. 1916, p. 7; reproduced in: Roland Stadler, “Der Fall Leopoldine Kasparek 24. September 1916,” 1030wien]

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Leopoldine Kasparek died in May 1921 at Neudorf penitentiary. [translation: Some time ago, at the Neudorf penitentiary, the murderess Leopoldine Kasparek died during the expiation of the criminal detention imposed on her. original: Vor einiger Zeit ist in der Strafanstalt Neudorf die Frauelimörderin Leopoldine Kasparek während der Abbüßung der über sie verhängten Strashaft gestorben. – Source: Untitled notice, Der Bezirksbote für den politischen Bezirk Bruck an der Leitha, (Schwechat, Austria),  8. Mai 1921 p. 1]

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Leopoldine Kasparek – Born Nov. 12, 1883, Vienna; Died 1921, Neudorf penitentiary.

VICTIMS

Frau Cäcilie Höstschul (80) – Strangled to death.
Frau Stefanie von Mack (72) – Strangled to death.
Frau Arenstorff – (?strangled, died in hospital?)
Oct. 17, 1916 – Frau Marie Wurisch (56), non-fatally strangled, burned to death.
(Ten of her victims recovered, but three were found dead and one died in a hospital.)

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For similar cases, see: Female Serial Killer Bandits

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http://unknownmisandry.blogspot.com/2011/12/female-serial-killers-who-liked-to.html

Links to more cases: Female Serial Killers Who Like to Murder Women

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[1254-9/23/18 (9/22/11)]
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