Friday, September 23, 2011

Ghelente (Josefa) Bednarek, Polish Serial Killer Child Care Provider - 1892



This post was formerly titled: Berlin Baby Farmer Found with 15 Baby Corpses. English language sources name the woman as Bednarek and give the location as Lodz, rather than nearby Balut.

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It is certain that the following article has taken a Berlin paper’s story and mistakenly identified Berlin as the scene of the crime, rather than Balut, near Lodz in Poland.

FULL TEXT: LONDON, Jan. 26. – A series of shocking child murders has been brought to light in Berlin by the arrest of a woman engaged in “baby farming.” The dead bodies of 15 infants were found in the house in which the prisoner carried on her calling.

[“Wholesale Infanticide In Berlin. - Arrest Of A Baby Farmer. - Fifteen Bodies Found.” The Argus (Melbourne, Australia), Jan. 28, 1892, p. 5]

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FULL TEXT (Article 1 of 2): St. Petersburg, Dec, 14.— The midwife Bedwarska, in Lodz [Poland, Russian Empire], tried for murdering more than one hundred babies, was sentenced to one year’s imprisonment. Great indignation was caused in Lodz by the light sentence. The woman was shown to be guilty of suffocating 117 babies whose bodies wore found buried in her cellar. As she had been at such work for twenty years there is little doubt but that her victims have been hundreds.

[“Russian Justice,” Sandusky Daily Register (Oh.), Dec. 15, 1892, p.1]

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FULL TEXT: St. Petesburg, Dec. 16. — The midwife Bedwarska, in Lodz, tried for having murdered more than a hundred babies, has been sentenced to one year imprisonment, Great indignation has been caused by the lightness of the sentence. The woman was shown to be guilty of suffocating 111 children whose bodies were found buried in her cellar. As she had been at such work for nearly twenty years there is little doubt but that her victims numbered in the hundreds. She was saved from the full penalty of her crime by the powerful influence of some of her former patrons.

[“Saved by Powerful Influence.” Dec. 16, 1882, p. 1]

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FULL TEXT (Translated from German): In Balut near Lodz, 8 child corpses were found during a house search at a midwife named Bednarski, who also took care of children. How many children were killed in the whole, can not be determined. The angel-maker was arrested. The number of dead corpses is estimated at 15.

[“A horrible discovery.” (Eine grässliche Entdeckung.), Bukowiner Nachrichten (Szernowitz, Austria), 28 Jänner, 1892., pp. 2, 3.]

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FULL TEXT: Eine grässliche Entdeckung. In Balut bei Lodz wurden bei einer Hebamme namens Bednarski, welche auch Kinder in Pflege nahm, während einer Hausdurchsuchung 8 Kinderleichen vorgefunden. Wie viele Kinder im Ganzen umgebracht wurden, lässt sich nicht festellen. Die Engelmacherin wurde verhaftet. Von anderer Seite wird die Zahl der ausgefunen Leichen auf 15 bezissert.

[“Eine grässliche Entdeckung.” Bukowiner Nachrichten (Szernowitz, Austria), 28 Jänner, 1892., pp. 2, 3.]

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

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