Note: The leader’s name is spelled variously in English
language news sources: Pivnicski, Pionicski, “Pionieski,” “Pivnicski,” “Rivnicski.” Accomplices: Frau Kernaez, Stoisits Kurjakow.
FULL TEXT (Article 1 of 5): Four women have been arrested at
Szent- Janos, Hungary, [usually cited as Szent-Tamas] on suspicion
of having poisoned several persons, and it has been discovered that they
belonged to a gang of poisoners who could be employed by anyone desiring to
remove an enemy. The leader of the gang is a woman named Mdme. Pionicski, who
procured the poisons and mixed them skilfully with various liquors and articles
of food. Those were purchased chiefly by women who desired to poison their
husbands, or to have them poisoned by the women belonging to the band of
professional poisoners. Three murders by means of Mdme. Pionicski’s poisons
have been already proved, and other cases are now being investigated. Several
influential ladies are compromised. The conspiracy was discovered accidentally
by the son of Mdme. Pionicski’s lover finding in her room a quantity of
arsenic, prussic acid, and laudanum, which he took to his father. The woman has
completely broken down, and has confessed her guilt.
[“Professional Poisoners.” New Zealand Herald (Auckland, N.
Z.), Oct. 17 1891, p. 2]
FULL TEXT (Article 2 of
5): VIENNA, August 26.— Four women have been arrested at Szenttamas, Hungary,
on a charge of poisoning their husbands and selling poisons to women for
similar purposes. Orders have been issued to exhume the bodies of many of the
[“A New Business. -
Husband Poisoning on a Scale of Commercial Enterprise. - Four Women Who Poisoned Their Own Husbands
and Sold Poison to Other Women.” syndicated, Oakland Daily Evening Tribune
(Ca.), Aug. 26, 1891, p. 1]
FULL TEXT (Article 3 of
5): Budapest, Feb. 5.—A sensational trial may shortly be expected in Hungary in
connection with the charges of murder brought against three old women who were
arrested at Szent Tamas last summer. These women are said to have poisoned at
least 10 peasants at the instigation of the latter's wives. It appears
that of recent years there have been numerous cases in Southern Hungary of
peasant women ridding themselves of their husbands by employing poisoners, and
it is reported to have reached such a pitch that the demand has created a class
of “professional poisoners,” to which the three accrued in the present
proceedings are said to belong. The police doctors appointed to examine the
remains of the victims have testified to the presence of arsenic in the bodies,
and the judicial tribunal at Neusatz Ujviddk, on the Danube, where the inquiry
was held, has decided to indict the three women for murder. The prisoners,
whose names are respectively Rivnicski [or, Pionieski], Kurjakow, and Kernaez,
are detained in custody pending the trial, which will come on for hearing at an
[“Husband Poisoning In
Hungary.” Lloyd’s Weekly Newspaper (London, England), Feb. 14, 1892, p. 14]
FULL TEXT (Article 4 of 5): Some sensational revelations were made during the
trial of the three peasant women named Pionieski, Kurjakow, and Kernaez, who
were charged with having committed a series of murders by moans of arsenic
poisoning at Neusatz Ujvidek. Pionieski is accused of poisoning her husband and
her father, Kurjakow of poisoning her lover, and Kernaez of murdering in the
same manner her husband. The first part of the proceedings were devoted to the
examination of the woman Kernaez. In reply to the questions the accused
declared that her late husband was suddenly seized with convulsions last year,
and died on the fifth day after being thus attacked. She admitted that she had
a lover whose name was Csirits, and that serious quarrels had occurred between
her husband and herself on account of her relations with this man. She was
unable to offer any explanation as to the presence of arsenic in the body of
her husband. The mother and daughter of the prisoner, however, and several
witnesses who were called, stated positively that the husband of the accused
had died very suddenly, and that the symptoms of his illness seemed to point to
foul play. The report drawn up by the doctors who made the post-mortem
examination of the bodies, and the analysis made by the District Sanitary
Council were then read to the court. It was stated that distinct traces of
arsenical poisoning had been found in the bodies of the husbands of the
prisoners Pionieski and Kernaez, but that on the other hand, the quantity of
arsenic discovered in the body of Stojsits’ Kurjakow’s lover was comparatively
small. During the public prosecutor’s speech, the woman Pionieski, who is
accused of two murders, those of her husband and her father, looked extremely
dejected. At one point she was overcome by faintness and commenced to weep and
moan. The other two prisoners sat with their eyes cast to the ground, and they
presented a crestfallen appearance. Sentence was pronounced on Saturday,
Pionieski was found guilty, and was sentenced to penal servitude for life.
Kurjakow and Kernaez were acquitted on the ground that there was not sufficient
evidence against them, and were immediately set at liberty.
[“Wholesale Poisoning In
Hungary.” The New Zealand Herald (Auckland, New Zealand), Jul. 16, 1892, p. 2]
TEXT (Article 5 of 5): Of recent years there has sprung up in Southern Hungary
a class of what may be called "professional poisoners"— people who,
for a pecuniary consideration, make a practice of ridding discontented peasant
wives of their husbands. In Hungary the laws are so adapted as to give to the
peasant women certain advantages on the deaths of their husbands. Owing to
these laws it has come about that of late there have been numerous instances of
the employment of these professional husband-destroyers, with the result that
there are at present awaiting their trial at Nevsalz, Ujvidek, on the Daunbe,
three women, Pivulcski, Kurjakow and Kernacz who are charged with having
practiced extensively in this profession, It is stated that the prisoners, who
were arrested at Szent Tamas, have poisoned, at the instigation of discontented
wives, no fewer than ten peasant husbands. The police surgeons have discovered
signs of arsenic In the body of each of the victims. The trial is expected to
come for hearing at an early date, and in view of the prevalence of this
gruesome practice in Hungary very startling disclosures are expected.
[“Husband-Killing. - It Is Quite a Thriving Business in
Hungary.” The Morning Call (San Francisco, Ca.), Mar. 28, 1892, p. 7]
FULL TEXT (translated from German): In the
municipality of Szent-Tamás in Hungary, a whole series of nasty crimes have
been discovered. Four women were arrested as alleged poisoners under weighty
evidence. The head of the gang is a widowed woman Pivnicski. For some time now,
the police had followed the bustle of this woman with excitement, but only in those
days did a feast bring the shameful activity of this shrew into the sunlight.
Her lover's son, Alexander Legyensski, came to the
Pivnicski's house, and since he did not meet anyone, the fellow went over to a
roast goose standing on the table.
The food aroused his appetite and he opened all the
cupboards to find something edible. Instead, he found a box with the words
The boy, who did not like Pivnicski, brought the find
to the police, and a house search revealed other poisons, including arsenic,
which the poisoner sells to women who want to get rid of their husbands. Then
they are arrested horrible woman, who confessed everything during the
interrogation, and in the process even implicated several ladies of the local
area. In Szt.-Tamás three exhumations were carried out, which showed that the
victims died of poisoning. Graves were dug up in four neighboring villages as
Poison-Mixers” (Ungarische Giftmischerinnen.) Salzburder Volksblatt. (Austria),
1. September 1891, p. 3]
FULL TEXT: Ujvidök, May 15. - In the criminal case against
the Szent-Tamáser poisoners, the local court has passed judgment. Accordingly,
Milicza Pivniczki was, within the meaning of K.278St.-G., found guilty of the
crime of murder and applying the second paragraph of § 91.St.-G. sentenced to
life imprisonment and ten years loss of rights.
The other two defendants: Ms. Kurjakov and Ms. Kernácz were
The motifs indicate that Tuturov, Pivniczki's father, died
as a result of arsenic poisoning, according to the medical reports, the
chemical institute and the forensic medical senate.
It was stated that the accused had always been on bad terms
with her father and that, when her father wanted to remarry, she had reason to
fear that her inheritance would be reduced. A large quantity of arsenic was
also found in the possession of the Pivniczki.
With regard to the other two defendants, no proof of guilt
could be produced.
Pivniczti shook her head at the hearing of this judgment and
shouted: "It is not true!"
The acquitted accused heard the verdict with obvious joy.
The state attorney appealed for the past three defendants, including the
defender of the Pivniczti.
[“The criminal trial of the Tzent-Tamäser poison mixers.”
Abendblatt Des Pester Lloyd (Budapest, Hungary), May 16, 1892, p. 3]
TEXT: In der Gemeinde Szent-Tamás in Ungarn ist man einer ganzen Reihe von
scheusslichen Berbrechen aus die Spur gekommen. Vier Weiber wurden unter dem
durch gewischtige Anseichen gerechtsertigten Berdachte, Giftmischerinnen zu
sein, verhaftet. Das Haupt der Bande ist eine verwitwete Frau Pivnicski. Die
Polizei verfolgte das Treiben dieser Frau seit längerer Zeit mit Ausmerkamkeit,
allein erst dieser Tage brachte ein Zaufall das schändliche Treiben dieser
Megäre an die Sonne.
Söhnchen ihres Geliebten, Alexander Legyensski, kam in das Haus der Pivnicski,
und da er Niemanden antraf, machte sich der Bursche über einem aus dem Tische
Essen erwachte erst recht sein Appetit und er öffnete alle Schränke, um etwas
Essbares zu finden. Statt dessen fand er eine Schachtel mit der Ausschrift
Bursche, der die Pivnicski nicht leiden mochte, trug den Fund zur Polizei, eine
Haussuchung förderte noch andere Gifte zu Tage, darunter Arsenik, welches die
Giftmischerin solchen Frauen verkaufke, die ihre Männer los sein wollten, und
darauf hin schritt man zur Verhaftung dieses entsetzlichen Weibes, welches beim
Verhör Alles gestand und dabei sogar mehrere angesehne Damen der dortigen
Gegend komprommitirte. In Szt.-Tamás selbt wurden drei Erhumirungen
vorgenommen, welche ergaben, dass die Betreffenden an Vergiftung gestorben
seten, ebenso wurden in vier Nachbarorten Ausgrabungen angeorduet.
Giftmischerinnen. Salzburder Volksblatt. (Austria), 1. September 1891, p. 3]
FULL TEXT: Ujvidök,15, Mai. – In dem Strafprozesse gegen die
Szent-Tamáser Giftmischerinen hat der hiesige Gerichtshof hente das Urtheil gefällt.
Demgemäß wurde Milicza Pivniczki im Sinne des K.278St.-G. des Verbrechens des Mordes
schuldig erkannt und unter Anwendung des zweiten Absatzes des §.91.St.-G. zu lebenslänglicher
Zuchthausstrafe und zu zehn Jahren Amtsverlust verurtheilt.
Die anderen zwei Angeklagten: Frau Kurjakov und Frau Kernácz
In den Motiven wird daraus hingewiesen, daß Tuturov, der Vater
der Pivniczki, laut den Gutachien der Aerzte, des chemischen Institutes und des
gerichtsärztlichen Senates in Folge Arsenikvergiftung gestorben ist.
Es wurde konstatirt, daß die Angeklagte mit ihrem Vater von jeher
in schlechtem Einvernehmen lebte und daß sie, als ihr Vater sich wieder verheirathen
wollte, Grund hatte zu fürchten, ihr Erbtheil werde geschmälert werden. Weiter wurd
im Besitze der Pivniczki eine größere Quantität Arsenik gefunden.
Hinsichtlich der beiden anderen Angeklagten konnte ein Schuldbeweis
nicht erbracht werden.
Die Pivniczti schlitrelte der Anhörung dieses Urtheils den Kopf
und schrie: “Es ist nicht wahr!"
Die freigesprochenen Angeklagten vernahmen mit sichtlicher Freude
das Urtheil. Der Staatsanivalt appellirte hisichtsich alter drei Angeklagten, obense
der Vertheidiger der Pivniczti.
[“Der Strafprozess der Tzent-Tamäser Giftmischerinen.”
Abendblatt Des Pester Lloyd (Budapest, Hungary), May 16, 1892, p. 3]
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