Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Anna Nagy (AKA Kathi Lyukas): Black Widow Serial Killer & Husband-Killing Syndicate Matron – Hungary 1880

“Anna Nagy,” AKA: “Kathi Lyukas”; “Lyukas Kathi,” “Lyukas Kati” (proper Hungarian name order); “Kate Nagy” (English language source, an error). The first trial ended in September 1880, but related trials continued for years.


FULL TEXT (Article 1 of 5) (Translated from German): From Güns is written: The poison murder case discovered on December 10, discovered at Szerdahely has assumed ever larger dimensions in its ramifications, extending further to Dorossio, Czak and other areas. The number of women involved is already a dozen. Up to now, 8 poisonings plus abortions involving about 15 girls have been recorded. The poisonings were carried out with arsenic, which was baked safely in Bogacs [cakes?] and partly mixed with wine or coffee.

The imprisonment of the governor of Günsel, ordered by the county, who embezzled 8000 florins orphan money, could not yet be accomplished because the prisons are filled with the poisonous women!

["Poisonous women." (“Giftmischende Weiber.”), Neuigkeits Welt-Blatt (Vienna, Austria), Dec. 14, 1879, p. 3]


FULL TEXT (Article 2 of 5): A Hungarian peasant woman named Lyukas Kathi was hanged on Friday [Dec. 1] at Steinamanger. She was charged with having committed 26 murders by selling poisoned cakes to persons who wished to get rid of their relatives. She confessed to six murders, two of which were her own husbands.

[“The Wholesale Poisonings in Hungary.” Lloyd’s Weekly Newspaper (London, England), Dec. 3, 1882, p. 12] 


FULL TEXT (Article 3 of 5): There was hanged at Steinamanger, in Hungary, recently, a peasant woman from Szerdahely, named Lyukas Kathi, for a series of crimes which had excited universal horror. The criminal was 52 years of age, short in stature, and of a placid aspect. She procured a large quantity of arsenic on the pretence that her house was overrun with rats, and mixed the poison in little cakes, which she disposed of at a high price to persons who desired to get rid of their relatives. Her customers were chiefly wives who had got tired of their husbands, lovers, who thought the removal of a rival would facilitate their own purposes, and even some children purchased the cakes that by offering them to elderly relatives they might the more rapidly come into the possession of their property. Lyukas killed two husbands of her own, and was accused of 26 other murders, six of which she confessed she had committed. At her trial this arch poisoner assumed an air of great piety and stood the whole day with a rosary in her hand, she being a member of a Rosary Club founded by the Dominican. The result of the trial was that she was sentenced to a long term of penal servitude, but the Crown appealed against this inadequate issue, and the Court of Appeal sentenced her to death.

[“A Wholesale Murderess.” The Camperdown Chronicle (Victoria, Australia), Feb. 7, 1883, p. 4]

FULL TEXT (Article 4 of 5):  On the 30th November, at 10 a.m., a dreadful woman, one Kate Nagy, was hanged in Stein-an-Anger, the frontier town between Styria and Hungary. In the annals of crime she will occupy one of the first places, for, although she confessed to six murders only, she was convicted of 26, and we may suppose that she committed many more. She found means of obtaining poison from chemists in small provincial towns by pretending to have a house full of rats. The small cakes which she sold in a tiny shop were so universally liked by old and young that she could sell poisoned cakes to the persons who wished to rid themselves of a superfluous relative without arousing suspicion. Her first murder probably that of her own husband, and when this remain d undiscovered, she committed a succession of other murders, for which she was paid by the parties concerned. Her victims were men, women, and children, old and young, and although her neighbours had long suspected her, still no one dated for some time to accuse her of the dreadful crime. She was believed to be very pious, and it was chiefly by her aid that the Dominican friars of Stein-an-Anger were able to found a religious society which gained great influence in the course of years. Although she confessed to six murders, the Court of Justice condemned her only to hard labour for life; but the Imperial Council, appealing to the High Court, obtained a death sentence, which was signed by the Emperor about the middle of last month. Ever since the sentence was communicated to Kate Nagy she spent her days and nights in praying and fasting with her father confessor ever by her side. On the 30th November the hangman arrived from Buda Pesth, and Kate Nagy was taken to the place of execution at the other end of the town. When she appeared in the street everyone was surprised to see a meek little woman of about 50 years of age, with a kind, motherly expression in her small face. She was escorted by a detachment of Imperial dragoons, and followed by thousands who came from all parts of the country to see her. As she entered the wooden fence which conceals the gibbet from the eyes of the public, she started, for her daughter came up to her and begged leave to enter with her mother. When she was refused, she fainted in the arms of some women who had come with her. The hangman fulfilled his terrible task in a few seconds. In the meantime the crowd outside behaved in a most shameful manner. They surrounded the murderess’s daughter and declared she must he executed also, because such a dreadful woman's entire race should be extirpated once for all. The ruffians would have lynched the girl had not a brave woman stood up in her defence, and by her undaunted courage intimidated those near her until some dragoons came to her rescue. Kate refused to name the persons for whom she prepared her poison, so that they cannot be prosecuted.

[“Hanged for Many Murders,” From London Daily News, New York Times, Dec. 21, 1882, p. ?]


FULL TEXT (Article 5 of 5) (Translated from German, 1880): From a telegraphic source we reported yesterday on the monstrous poisoning trial which was brought to an end a few days before the criminal court in Steinamanger. Today we have the following fuller account of this trial, revealing a series of atrocities partly so that the details of them in a newspaper can not be described in any detail. Here is the report: At the Steinamangerer criminal courts was on September 23rd and 24th the trial of the poisoners Anna Nagy, the widow Horvath, who was popularly known as "Lyukas Kati" and negotiates with her accomplices. Six different criminal cases formed the subject of the indictment.

They include the following: The wife of the Szerdahel landlord Joseph Horvath maintained an adulterous relationship with a certain Joseph Pepics, and her friend, the 45-year-old Lyukas, procured her 60 kr. Arsenic, of which she strewed half of her husband from a poppy-seed pastry, so that the same died, whereupon the adulteress married Joseph Pepics. This happened in 1879. Lyucas had obtained the prescription for the arsenic from the Rohonczer physician Max Berger, to whom she had given as a present pears, gave him a florin, and told him she needed the poison against the many rats in her house. From this arsenic Lyukas also sprinkled the sick Martin Horvath, so that he died.

Horvath's daughter-in-law, Katharina Bonya, had asked Lyukas, who was sought-after in Szerdahely, to heal her father-in-law for her curiosity: however, as she suffered more and more, Lyukas poisoned him, as she said, out of pity. Soon afterwards Elisabeth Horvath called her to the sickbed of her seven-year-old son, Johann, in association with the grandmother of the sick child, Frau Johanna Horvath, to put an end to the suffering of the child by poison. After the mother had given her consent, a poisoned egg was given to the child, whereupon she died the next day.

Lyukas was then persuaded by another adulteress named Katharina Beucze, married name Farkas, who had a love affair with a fellow named Stephan Blaskovics, in agreement with the latter, to put the husband Stephan Farkas out of the way. Lyukas, who was promised everlasting dwelling and food, received a room in the Farkas house, and to get closer to her chosen victim, she maintained a love affair with the unsuspecting man who was persecuted by his wife. As in the first case, Lyukas prepared poison and mixed it, giving Farkas a cup of poison in the coffee.

Since neither this poisoned drink nor a second poisoning with arsenic-mixed wines, nor even a third time a poisoned egg was fatal to Farkas, the poisoners tested; five pieces of "pogatsch" [a round salty pastry] with arsenic of such quantity that, as the later report of the chemist declares, this quantity suffices for the poisoning of 60 people, and after having eaten one of the five poisoned pogatsches, Stephan Farkas died in less hours.

Lyukas also had a sick, helpless old man, named Stephan Legetich, who served as a caretaker, and, because he was unclean and suffered many ailments, she poisoned out of "pity." Even Eva Moluar, who nursed her during her illness, was released from her sufferings by poisoned black coffee. Apart from these accusations the poisoners had to answer for two cases of unspeakable crimes.

The accused, a small, well-fed female figure with by no means unappealing facial features, confessed to the final plea bargain terms: In the cases cited here, arsenic has been used, but it would have been used only as a remedy, without knowing its lethal effect. Avoiding the word "poison", she always referred to it as "goods" (portéka). During the final trial, the defendant fainted once, otherwise she sat always praying with folded hands with arms on the table. A sensation among those present excited the statement of the poisoner that she was a member of the Szent-Martoner Rosenkranzvereins (a religious cooperative). Anna Nagy, aka Lyukas Kati, was sentenced to life imprisonment for several years with co-defendants Ms. Pepics, widow Joseph Horvath, Elisabeth Horvath, Ms. J. Horvath, Katharina Vonya, Katharina Bencze, widow Fekete and Stephan Blaskovics. The prosecutor, who applied for capital punishment for the main accusation, appealed.

[“A Poisoner.” Wiener Algemeine Zeitung (Austria) 28. September 1880, p. 2]



FULL TEXT: Aus Güns wird geschrieben: Der am 10. v. M. entdeckte GiftmordinSzer-dahely nimmt in seinen Verzweigungen immer größere Dimensionenan, die sich auch nach Doroßio, Czak und andere Orlschaften erstrecken. Die Zahl der gravirten Weiber beläuft sich schon auf ein Dutzend. Bis jetzt sind 8 Giftmorde und bei etwa 15 Mädchen die Abtreibung der Leibes fruch tkonstatirt.Die Vergiftungen wurden mit Arsenik verübt, dast heils in Bogacsen ein gebacken ,theils dem Wein oder Kaffee bei gemischt wurde. Die vom Komitat befohlene Einsperrung des Günsel Stadthauptmannes, weicher 8000 fl. Waisengelder unterschlagen, konnte noch nicht bewerkstelligt werden, weil die Gefängnisse gefüllt find mit den giftmischenden Weibern!

[“Giftmischende Weiber.” Neuigkeits Welt-Blatt (Vienna, Austria), Dec. 14, 1879, p. 3]

FULL TEXT: Telegraphisch haben wir gestern über den Monstre-Giftmord-Proceß berichtet, der vor einigen Tagen vor dem Strafgerichte in Steinamanger zu Ende geführt wurde.Heute liegt uns der folgende ausführlichere Bericht über diesen Proceß vor, der eine Reihe von Schandthaten enthüllt, dis zum Theile so beschaffen sind, daß ans die Details derselben in einer Zeitung gar nicht näher eingegangen werden kann. Hier der Bericht: Vor dem Steinamangerer Strafgerichte wurde am 23.und 24. d. M der Proceß der Giftmischern Anna Nagy, verwitwete Horvath, welche im Volksmnnde den Namen “Lyukas Kati” trug und deren Mitschuldigen verhandelt. Sechs verschiedene Strafsälle bildeten den Gegenstand der Anklage.

Dieselben bestehen in Folgendem: Die Frau des Szerdahelyer Landmannes Joseph Horvath unterhielt mit einem gewissen Joseph Pepics ein ehebrecherisches Verhältniß und ihre Freundin, die 45jährige Lyukas, verschaffte ihr um 60 kr. Arsenik, wovon sie die Hälfte ihrem Manne aus eine Mohnmehlspeise streute, so daß derselbe starb, worauf die Ehebrecherin den Joseph Pepics heiratete. Dies geschah im Jahre 1879. Das Recept für den Arsenik hatte die Lyukas sich vom Rohonczer Ärzte Max Berger verschafft, welchem sie als Geschenk Birnen um 1 fl. Gebracht und ihm angegeben hatte, sie bedürst des Giftesgegen die vielen Ratten in ihrem Hause. Von diesem Arsenik streute die Lyukas auch dem kranken Martin Horvath in die Suppe, sa daß dieser starb.

Horvath's Schwiegertochter, Katharina Bonya, hatte die ihrer Curpfuscherei wegen in Szerdahely vielgesuchte Lyukas gebeten, ihren Schwiegervater zu heilen: alsdessen Leiden jedoch immer mehr Zunahmen, vergift etc die Lyukas ihn, wie sie sagte ans Mitleid. Bald darauf von der Elisabeth Horvath an das Kranken bett ihres sieben Jahre alten Sohnes Johann gerufen, beschloß die Lyukas im Vereine mit der Großmutter des kranken Kindes, der Frau Johanna Horvath, den Leiden des Kindes eben falls durch Gift ein Ende zu machen. Nachdem auch die Mutter hiezu ihre Einwilligung crthcilt hatte, wurde dem Kinde ein vergiftetes Ei eingegeben, worauf dasselbe am nächsten Tage starb.

Die Lyukas wurde sodann von einer anderen Ehebrecherin Namens Katharina Beucze, verehelichten Farkas, welche mit einem Burschen Namens Stephan Blaskovics ein Liebesver hältniß unterhielt, im Einvernehmen mit dem Letzteren dazu beredet, den Gatten Stephan Farkas aus dem Wege zu räumen. Die Lyukas, welcher hiefür immerwährende Wohnung und Kost versprochen wurde, erhielt ein Zimmer im Hause der Farkas, und um ihrem ausersehenen Opfer näher zu kommen, unterhielt sie mit dem nichts Ahnenden und von seiner Frau verfolgten Farkas ein Liebesverhältnis; Wie im ersten Falle verschaffte sich die Lyukas wieder Gift und mengte den; Farkas bei einem Gelage Gift in den Kaffee.

Da auf Farkas weder dieser Gifttrank, noch eine zweitmalige Vergiftung mit arsenikgemengtem Weine, noch auch zum drittenmalc ein vergiftetes Ei tödtlich wirkten, prüparirte die Giftmischern; fünf Stück “Pogatschen" mit Arsenik von solcher Menge, daß, wie das spätere Gutachten des Chemikers erklärt, dieses Quantum zur Vergiftung von 60 Menschen genügt Hütte. Stephan Farkas starb, nachdem er eine der fünf Giftpogatschen gegessen hatte, in; Verlaufe weniger Stunden.

Die Lyukas hat auch einen kranken, hilflosen Greis, Namens Stephan Legetich, bei dem sic als Wärterin bedienstet war, weil derselbe unreinlich war und Vieles litt, abermals aus “Mitleid" vergiftet. Auch die Frau Eva Moluar, welche sie wäh rend ihrer Krankheit pflegen sollte, befreite sic durch vergifteten schwarzen Kaffee von ihren Leiden. Außer diesen Anklagepunkten hatte sich die Giftmischern; auch wegen zweier Fälle eines unnennbaren Verbrechens zu verantworten.

Die Angeklagte, eine kleine, wohlgenährte Fraucngestalt mit keineswegs unsympathischen Gesichtszügen, gestand bei der Schlußverhandluug ein, das; sic in den hier angeführten Fällen Arsenik gebrauchte, doch will sie dasselbe nur als Heilmittel angewendet haben, ohne die tödtliche Wirkung desselben zu kennen. Das Wort “Gift" vermeidend, bezeichnete sie dasselbe auch stets als “Waare" (portéka). Während der Schlußverhandlung fiel die Angeklagte ein mal in Ohnmacht, sonst saß sie stets betend mit gefalteten Händen auf der Armenfünderbank. Sensation unter den Anwesenden erregte die Angabe der Giftmischerin, daß sie Mitglied des Szent-Martoner Rosenkranzvereins (einer religiösen Genossenschaft) sei. Anna Nagy, vulgo Lyukas Kati, wurde zu lebenslänglicher Zuchthausstrafe, die Mitangeklagten Frau Pepics, Witwe Joseph Horvath, Elisabeth Horvath, Frau J. Horvath, Katharina Vonya, Katharina Bencze, Witwe Fekete und Stephan Blaskovics zu Zuchthausstrafen in der Tauer mehrerer Jahre verurtheilt. Der Staatsanwalt, welcher gegen die Hauptangeklagke die Todesstrafe beantragt halte, appellirte.

[“Eine Giftmischerin.” Wiener Algemeine Zeitung (Austria) 28. September 1880, p. 2]




Szerdahely : located on the north shore near the eastern end of Lake Baltaton in Hungary.

Steinamanger: Szombathely (German: Steinamanger) is the 10th-largest city in Hungary. It is the administrative centre of Vas county in the west of the country, located near the border with Austria. The oldest city in Hungary, it is known as the birthplace of Saint Martin of Tours and the Duke of Armbrust. [Wikipedia]



For more than two dozen similar cases, dating from 1658 to 2011, see the summary list with links see: The Husband-Killing Syndicates


For links to other cases of woman who murdered 2 or more husbands (or paramours), see Black Widow Serial Killers.


More cases: Female Serial Killers Executed


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