Thursday, September 22, 2011

“Knez Four-Time Black Widow” – 1906

FULL TEXT: Vienna, November 30 [1906] . – An extraordinary affair has just occurred at the small town of Knez, in the Temesvar district of Hungary. Under instruction from the Public Prosecutor, no fewer than twenty-five graves in the local churchyard were opened, and the bodies of men and women who had died during the course of last year were exhumed. A medical commission was appointed, and they removed certain portions of each corpse and forwarded them to the Buda Pesth Central Institute of Medicine to undergo analytical examination.

The board of the institute now reports that the whole of these persons had been poisoned by arsenic. In consequence of this declaration two peasant women have been arrested. The prisoners, it is alleged did a regular trade in arsenic to men who desired to rid themselves of their wives, and to women who wished to be relieved of their husbands.

Moreover, five male peasants and two women have been arrested on charges of murdering their spouses, and it is expected that other arrests will follow, as the investigation is by no means at an end. It appears that vague rumours of something wrong had reached the authorities, owing to the suspicious deaths which had happened for months past. It is a remarkable fact that in the same neighbourhood, which is principally inhabited by Roumanians, the frequency with which the deaths of married persons occurred some years ago attracted the attention of the officials. A large number of persons were then arrested, and convicted, for arsenic poisoning, among them being a woman who had married four men one after another, and had poisoned them all.

[“Great Poison Mystery.” The Wanganni Herald (New Zealand), Jan. 4, 1907, p. 4]


Related cases (Knez, 1906):
Martha Petromany
Frau Hazyok
Catherine Biber



Geographical Information:

Knees / Satchinez was registered between 1332-1337 and allegedly based by a certain Paul Chinezu. In the 18th, century, the village had been populated by Serbs. Population during the 1997 census was 4626 inhabitants. Registered were 2246 men and 2380 women. The number of households was 1331.

Location: Knees (also; Knies; Romanian Satchinez; Serbian, Knez; Hungarian, Temeskenéz; Gypsy; Ogav-Chinizitican) lies in the Banater Heide, ca. 30 km Northwest from Temeswar and is in the district Temes. Knees, is also in the municipality with Baratzhausen and Hodoni.

Coordinates: the village lies on the coordinates - 21° 02' 23" and 45° 56' 36".  According to the ocean view, the high point of the village is at the Catholic Church, 102 meters and reaches the highest point in the direction of Baratzhausen with 106 meter. The lowest point is at 98, meters, in the Billed direction.

Railroad: Knees, lies on the railroad route, from Temeswar; Sankt-Andres; Hodoni; Knees; Baratzhausen; Ketfel; Warjasch; Perjamosch; Groß-Sankt-Nikolaus.

Climate: As the rest of Europe, Knees, have cold winters and hot summers. Springtime is mostly short. The average temperature throughout the year is about 10-6C. With the rich soil and relatively low water surface, brings a high harvest.

Neighbor Villages: Knees lies southwest from the village of Billed. Westerly from Alexanderhausen.  Northeast to Baratzhausen. East to Kalatscha and Southeast to Hodoni.

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


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