Sunday, September 18, 2011

H. B. Zarin, Latvian Female Serial Killer - 1956

FULL TEXT (Article 1 of 2): Moscow – Passion and potassium cyanide have combined to make a ‘Soviet Borgia’ worthy of the famous Italian prisoners of the Middle Ages — worthy, that is, until she was caught by the police.

A gruesome murder story based on these three ingredients unfolds over the past ten years in Riga, capital of the Soviet Baltic Republic of Latvia.

Reported in a few bare, toneless lines on the hack page of the local newspaper, ‘Soviet Latvia,’ the story centres round an apparently respectable 50-year-old woman named H. B. Zarin well-educated, and the mother of three grown-up children.

More than 10 years ago she developed an insatiable passion far a young man. T. F. Kreizberg, a jeweller by trade, with whom, according to ‘Soviet Latvia’ she ‘entered into co-habitation.’

Moreover, consumed by jealousy for her young rival, Margotta Grinblat, Kreizberg’s finacee, she slipped some potassium cyanide into a glass of lemonade and gave it to Margotta to drink.

The newspaper does not say whether Kreizberg found out about the crime but in any case he continued to live with Zarin.

Six years later, however, in 1952, he himself fell victim to her jealousy. She killed him, too, with cyanide.

On his death, ‘Soviet Latvia’ comments: ‘Only skilful dissimulation saved the murderess at that time from punishment.’ Many people at the Housing Committee where she worked, it reports, suspected the truth.

Last April, this ‘Soviet Borgia’ decided that A. Klavin, the woman who looked after the committee’s accounts, knew too much, and she struck again.

But this time her attempt to poison A. Klavin failed. She was arrested, tried and sentenced to death.

[‘Passion and Potassium Cyanide,’ syndicated (Reuter), The Sunday Gleaner (Kingston, Jamaica), Jan. 13, 1957]


FULL TEXT (Article 2 of 2): Moscow, Dec. 17 – A murder made the news here today.

The newspaper Soviet Latvia reported a woman named Zarin, 50-year-old mother of three, was sentenced to death for killing a former lover and his intended bride six years ago. She dispatched them with lemonade spiked with poison.

This passed undetected until recently, when she tried the same recipe on a fellow employe on a construction project and somehow bobbled it.

Crime usually gets little attention in Russian newspapers. Soviet Latvia gave the Zarin case two paragraphs on its back page.

[‘Murder Now Soviet ‘News,’ syndicated (AP), Dec. 17, 1956, p., 4B]




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