Sunday, September 25, 2011

Makrena Stankovic, Husband-Killing Syndicate Matron - Serbia, 1890

FULL TEXT (Article 1 of 2):– Marriage must be deemed a failure, at all events in the District of Mitrovitz, at which town ten women are now taking their trial on the charge of poisoning their husbands by means of arsenic, procured, as suggested in the Maybrick case, from flypapers. The accused are Makrena Stankovic, residing at Bingula, aged forty-eight, with one child, and charged with administering arsenic to her husband, niece, father-in-law and a neighbor, and also with having supplied arsenic which caused the death of five other persons poisoned by their wives; Nata Nestoroy, aged forty-eight, mother of four children, living at Bingula, charged with poisoning her husband with arsenic; Milica Plavsic, aged fifty-three, mother of one child, living at Divuscha, and charged with having aided and abetted the two last named prisoners in poisoning their husbands by buying fly-papers for them at Neasatz; Stephanie Illoie Bailie, aged forty-nine, mother of one child, living at Bingula, and charged with poisoning her husband with arsenic; Mara Danilovic Savkaric, aged thirty-six, married, living at Erdevic, and charged with having by the same means poisoned her husband and another man, Jela Radojeic Ostojic, aged thirty-nine, mother of four children, residing at Erdevic; Stevka Jagmasevic, aged fifty-four, with three children, residing at Erdevic; Ljuha Djakovic Illinaeki, fifty years old, mother of one child, living at Erdevic; Ljuba Gavrilovic, aged thirty-eight, with three children, all charged with poisoning their husbands by administering arsenic; Sremcic, thirty-five years old, charged with providing the poison which caused his brother’s death, and, finally, Milda Maralic, aged sixty, living at Nestin, charged with poisoning a woman.

All the prisoners are peasants and belong to the Greek orthodox religion. They are all accused of murder, excepting Simon Sremcic and Milieu Placsio. The judicial expert, a chemist from Agram, declared that the traces of arsenic in the human body would be perceptible in the hair and beard long after complete decomposition of the intestines, his testimony was borne out by the condition of several bodies exhumed in connection with the Mitrovitz trial. The deaths occurred in 1880, 1883, 1884, 1884, 1885, 1886 and 1888, yet distinct traces of arsenic were found. In each case it had been obtained from fly papers. Each sheet contained forty-five centigrammes of the poisonous drug, whereas ten to fifteen centigrammes are enough to cause the death of a strong man—therefore one paper would suffice to kill three to four people. According to partial confessions made by some of the accused, their victims did not all suffer the same length of time.

In certain instances death followed rapidly, while in others it came on gradually. Eva Sarac, who died in prison last October, was the instigator of these various crimes. She was a kind of village witch, who prepared love draughts for the girls of the locality as well as poison for the men. Fly-papers were often fetched for her from Neusatz by the woman Plavszic, and before her death she confessed to having supplied Stankovic and Nestorov with arsenic to poison their husbands. Makrena Stankovic, the leading personage in this terrible drama, was undoubtedly a pupil of Sarac. She lived with her niece, whom she robbed of 100 florins. The latter threatened to prosecute her, but was taken suddenly ill and died.

[“Ten Husband Poisoners. - Wives Who Sent Their Partners to Death With Fly Paper.” Syndicated (Vienna Cor. London Telegraph), St. Paul Sunday Globe (Mn.), Nov. 9, 1890, p. 1]


EXCERPT (from article on multiple murder cases):

~ A Wholesale Murder Plot. ~

A wholesale example will now be placed upon record, a peculiarly atrocious one, the scene being a village in Austro- Hungary, near Mitrowitz.

Here, in the year 1890, a number of women of the peasant class – some twelve or thirteen in all – conspired together to poison their husbands. The plan they adopted was as follows: – At christening parties in their part of the country it is customary for little cakes, made of flour and honey, flavoured with various strong essences, and coloured yellow with saffron, to be eaten. These nativity cakes, as they are called, are not prepared by the person who is giving the party, but are sent as presents by all the friends and relatives of the family for miles around.

Taking advantage of these two circumstances, the plotters arranged that whenever a christening was about to take place at any one of their respective homes one of the others was to post them from some neighbouring town a parcel of poisoned nativity cokes. Yellow orpiment, a preparation of arsenic, was the poison decided upon for the purpose, it being argued that its colour harmonised well with the saffron which, as has already been explained, was one of the usual ingredients, while its bitter taste would be effectually disguised by the strong flavouring essences.

It would be difficult to find, in the annals of human crime and wickedness, a more horrible plot than was this one. Think of it! An occasion sacred to the celebration of the advent into the world, or, rather, reception into the Church of its forefathers, of a new-born babe, was to be utilised in order to hurry out of the world one of the authors of its being; and this, too, in a most cruel and callous manner, since death from poisoning by arsenic is one of the most agonising it is possible to conceive of. Further, as a crowning touch of horror, the hideous crime was to be perpetrated with the connivance, if not the active participation, of the baby’s mother, the victim, of course, being her own husband, and the father of her innocent child.

~ Murder Cakes. ~

The diabolical plan worked smoothly enough in four instances. The doomed man in each case ate of the poisoned cakes, and died soon afterwards in torment. In the confusion that ensued upon his sudden illness the plotters made away with the of the doctored cakes, so that when the others come to be analysed nothing deleterious was found in them. It seemed, indeed, as if the number of deaths amongst the remaining husbands was only to he limited, as to time and so forth, by the number of babies born to their respective wives.

Fortunately, however, the fifth husband had his suspicions aroused when his him came, and refused the proffered cakes. This upset, of course, the plans of the coterie of murderesses. Not only that! They became alarmed and one of them tried to regain possession by force of two of the poisoned cakes, which the man had pocketed with a view to having them analysed. Something like a free fight ensued. The police were called in, and, by and by, inquiries revealed the whole hideous plot. Two or three of the women implicated committed suicide, but ten were arrested and put upon their trial. Of these four were sentenced to death, four to penal servitude for life, while the remaining two were, for some not very apparent reason, acquitted.

[“Murder By Post,” Lloyd’s Weekly News (London, England, Feb. 7, 1915, p. 5]


FULL TEXT (translated from German): In Mitrovic in Croatia began on the 25th of this month in front of the local king’s tribunal the trial of the poisoners of Symien has ended.

Ten wives disposed of their husbands in order to be able to lead an unrestrained life, either by by poisoning them or by seeking assistance from the local poisoner.

Accused are: Makrena Stankovics, 48 ​​years old, widow, mother of a child, from Bilunga: that she directly poisoned her Katharina Kovacs, her father-in-law Ljobomir Stankoviks, her husband Redjelko Stankoviks; before the Damjan Brankovics intimidated with the intention of killing them, poisoned by arsenic in their drink, and that she indirectly participated in the poisoning of Jaso Danilovic, Simon Masovic, Stefan Oftoic, Lazar Djakovic, and Gjolo Jugmacski, by administering arsenic to the husbands of these men for the criminal deed; Nata Restorov, 48 years old, widow, mother of four children, from Bingula: that she poisoned her husband Kuzman Nesterov with arsenic; Milica Plavsics, 53 years old, widow, mother of a child, from Divusa, that she has provided the first two workers with active labor for the execution of the poison murders, by buying them fly paper in Reusass; Stafanie Ilcsics-Bailics, 49, widow, mother of a child, from Bingula, that she poisoned her husband Georg Bailics by means of Arsenik; Mara Danilovics-Saukarics, 36 years old, married, from Erdevik, that she poisoned her first husband Jaso Danilovics, as well as the Simon Masovics mean Arsenik; Jela Radojcsics-Ostojics, 39, widow, mother of four, from Erdevik; Stavka Jagmasevics, 54 years old, widow, mother of three, from Erdevik; Ljuba Djakovics-Ilinacsti, 50 years old Gavrilovics, 38 years old, widow, mother of three, from Erdevik, that they poisoned their husbands Stefan Ostoics, Gjoko Jagmasevics, Lazar Djakovics, Paul Sremcsics; Simon Simon, 35, widow, childless, from Erdevik, that he poisoned his brother Bajo Sremcsics; Finally, Milka Maralics, 60 years old, widow, mother of a child, from Restin, whom she, together with Lluba Gavrilovics, poisoned Paul Sremcsics and also, on her own, poisoned Marcia Bujatovics

All the defendants are of Greek Orthodox religion and belong to the peasantry. The charge for all is the crime of assassination, all punishable under § 136 with death, with Simon Sremcsis and Milicia Plavsics with hard prison time of 10 - 20 years. The poisoning, which was diagnosed in the corpses of deceased victims, was accomplished with commercially available flypaper.

With a sheet of flypaper 3 to 4 adults could be killed. By some confessions of the defendants it may be proved that the poisoned husbands were before their death ill for some time, sometimes longer times, and that the symptoms of the disease were the same as those that physicians Dr. Josef Schulz and Dr. Stefan Paics have presented as symptoms of arsenic intoxication.

The opinion of the Chemical Institute in Agrem and the aforementioned physicians agree that all the victims of the crime have been poisoned by arsenic.

Sarac can be described As the original author of all these poison murders and possibly many unknown others. She died on 24 October 1889 during the course of the investigation.

Eva Sarac was known as a sort of village doctor, which knew to prepare love potions and always proved to be a helpful friend when it came to hush the consequences of a misstep in the beautiful village.

The Sarac was undoubtedly the teacher of Makrena Stankovics, the protagonist in the social drama that will take place before the Tribunal.

With her husband Makrena Stankovics lived in constant strife and it was well known that she led a lascivious life and maintained an intimate relationship with Stefan Kolarovics.

One neighbors who dislikes her say she boasted that she possessed a paper with which one could blow out the light of life for every human being.

[Poison-mixer (“Giftmischereien.”) Bukowinaer Nachrichten. Czernowiyz, 20. Juni 1890, p. 3]


FULL TEXT: In Mitrovic in Croatien begann am 25. d. M. vor dem dortigen kön.

Gerichtshofe die Verhandlung gegen die Giftmischerinnen von Symien, zehn Weiber, die sich theils ihrer Männer durch Gift zu entledigen gewusst, um eine zügellose Lebensweife führen zu können, theils ihre hilfsreiche Hand dazu geboten haben.

Angeklagt sind: Makrena Stankovics, 48 Jahre alt, Witwe, Mutter eines Kindes, aus Bilunga: dass sie ihre Richte Katharina Kovacs, ihren Schweiegervater Ljobomir Stankoviks, ihren Gatten Redjelko Stankoviks, ferner den Damjan Brankovics unmittlebar in der Absicht, sie zu tödten, Arsenik zu trinken gab un dieselben vergiftete und dass sie an der Vergiftung des Jaso Danilovics, Simon Masovics, Stefan Oftoics, Lazar Djakovics und Gjolo Jugmacski mittelbar theilnahm, indem sie den Gattinen dieser Männer Arsenik zur verbrechersichen That verabreichte; Nata Restorov, 48Jahre alt, Witwe, Mutter von vier Kindern, aus Bingula: dass sie ihren Gatten Kuzman Nesterov mittelst Arsenik vergiftete; Milica Plavsics, 53 Jahre alt, Witwe, Mutter enes Kindes, aus Divusa, dass sie den beiden Erstgenannten werkthätige Hilfe zur Ausführung der Giftmorde geleistet hat, indem sie ihnen Fliegen papier in Reusass kaufte; Stafanie Ilcsics-Bailics, 49 Jahre alt, Witwe, Mutter eines Kindes, aus Bingula, dass sie ihren Mann Georg Bailics mittelt Arsenik vergiftet hat; Mara Danilovics-Saukarics, 36 Jahre alt, verheiratet, aus Erdevik, dass sie ihren ersten Gatten Jaso Danilovics, sowie den Simon Masovics mittelt Arsenik vergiftet hat; Jela Radojcsics-Ostojics, 39 Jahre alt, Witwe, Mutter von vier Kindern, aus Erdevik; Stavka Jagmasevics, 54 Jahre alt, Witwe, Mutter von drei Kindern, aus Erdevik; Ljuba Djakovics-Ilinacsti, 50 Jahre alt Gavrilovics, 38 Jahre alt,Witwe, Mutter von drei Kindern, aus Erdevik, dass sie ihre Männer Stefan Ostoics, Gjoko Jagmasevics, Lazar Djakovics, Paul Sremcsics vergiftet haben; serner Simon Sremestics, 35 Jahre alt, Witwe, kinderlos, aus Erdevik, dass er behufs Vergiftung seines Bruders Bajo Sremcsics das Gift verschaffte; schliesslich Milka Maralics, 60 Jahre alt, Witwe, Mutter eines Kindes, aus Restin, dass sie gemeinschaftlich mit Lluba Gavrilovics den Paul Sremcsics und ausserdem aus eigene Faust die Marcia Bujatovics vergiftete.

Sämmtliche Angeklagten sind greichisch-orientalcher Religion und gehören dem Bauernstande an. Die Anklage lautet bei Allen aus das Verbrechen des Meuchelmordes, strafbar bei Allen nach § 136 mit dem Tode, bei Simon Sremcsis und Milicia Plavsics mit schwerem Kerker von 10 – 20 Jahren. Die bei der Erhumirung der Verstorbenen constatirte Vergiftung wurde durch das im Handel vorkommende Fliegenpapier bewerkstelligt.

Mit einem Blatt Fliegenpapier konnten 3 – 4 erwachsene Personen getödtet werden. Durch theilweise Geständnisse vder Angeklagten ist erweisen, dass die vergifteten Ehemänner vor ihrem Tode theils kürzere, theils längere Zeit krank waren und die Symptome der Krankheit dieselben waren, wie sie von den Aerzten Dr. Josef Schulz und Dr. Stefan Paics als Symptome der Arsenik-Vergiftung dargestellt werden.

Das Gutachten des chemischen Institutes in Agrem und der genannten Aerzten stimmt darin überein, dass sämmtliche Opfer des Verbrechens mittelst Arsenik vergiftet worden sind.

Als ursprüngliche Urheberin aller dieser Giftmorde und velleicht auch zahlreicher anderer, die bisher nicht bekannt wurden, kann Sarac bezeichnet werden, die am 24. October 1889 in der Untersuchungshast starb.

Eva Sarac war als eine Art Dorfhere bekannt, welche Lieberstränke zu bereiten wusste und sich stets als hilfreiche Freundin erwies, wenn es galt, bei einer Dorfschönen die Folgen eines Fehltrittes zu vertuschen.

Die Sarac war unzweifelhast die Lehrmeisterin der Makrena Stankovics, der Hauptperson in dem socialen Drama, das sich vor dem Gerichtshof, abspielen wird.

Mit ihrem Gatten lebte Makrena Stankovics in stetem Unfrieden und es war allgemein bekannt, dass sie ein lascives Leben führte und mit Stefan Kolarovics ein intimes Verhältnis unterhielt.

Einegen Nachbarinen gegenüber rühmte sie sich, ein Papier zu besitzen, mit welchem man jedem Menschen das Lebenslicht ausblasen könne.

[Giftmischereien. Bukowinaer Nachrichten. Czernowiyz, 20. Juni 1890, p. 3]



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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