CHRONOLOGY (Hungarian orthography: Jáger Mari)
Feb. 1894 – Judit Szappanos, Lídia Csordás and Lidia Varga
discuss how money could be obtained easily.
Oct. 28(?), 1895 – Jager arrested. [news report, Oct. 29,
Mar. 16, 1897 – trial begins.
Jul. 24, 1897 – trial ends.
Apr. 15, 1898 – Sentencing: Lidia Nagy-Sordos and Lidia
Varga to be hanged to death; Judith Szapponos and Johann Horwath jun. to life
imprisonment; Marie Jäger and Lidia Toth to 15 years; Samuel Kisz to 6 years.
Apr. 1902 – Lidia Csordas, accomplice, dies.
1909 – Marie Jager released from prison.
Apr. 15, 1909 – the wife of the farmer Paul Szanto died on
the Puszta Gorja near the town of Hodmezövasarely.
Jun. 20, 1909 – police visit Marie Jager to investigate 2
Nov. 1917 – Marie Jager (88) dies in Hodmezövasarhely. [news
report Nov. 16, 1917]
TEXT (Article 1 of 5): Budapest, Hungary. – The greatest woman criminal
the world has ever known is a midwife. She was convicted a fortnight
ago at Budapest and will be sent to prison for life. She is known as the
“poison witch” of Hungary.
look as well as in trade this woman strangely resembles Mrs. Nack. The
New York midwife does not compare in fiendishness with the Hungarian
woman, for the latter has no powerful motive for crime.
“poison witch” is a peasant. It has been proven that she killed more
than one hundred people. Her own confession shows that she has sent a
greater number to their graves.
disclosures have attracted the attention of the scientific men of
Europe. They have considered the influence of the practice of midwifery
upon women, and they have, found that it blunts the sensibilities and
has a tendency to make them indifferent to the value of human life.
Nothing but profound piety and innate goodness can counteract this
have been forced also to the conclusion that there exists a “poison
mania” that makes itself apparent sporadically in different ages.
is a matter of common knowledge that whenever women have sought to kill
they have turned to poisons. The majority of women who have committed
murder by means of women who have committed murder by means of poisons
have been driven to the crime by revenge, as were the Borgias.
those like the Hungarian “poison witch” have been influenced by a
different motive – an abnormal and horrible pleasure, in sending victims
to a slow and certain death.
name is Alazai Jager Mari. She is sixty-two years old. For twelve years
she has made a business of dealing in death. She has made murder her
profession. Now that she is where she can do no harm her only lament is
that she can no longer deal in poisons – that she cannot kill.
is little more than five feet tall, and is fat. Her face is strong, but
not repulsive. Her face expresses remarkable determination. The small
eyes are hard and cruel. If you will place her portrait beside that of
Mrs. Nack you will see many points of resemblance. The nose and mouth
are very similar.
Jager Mari is a woman of remarkable intelligence, though uneducated.
She can neither read nor write. Yet she brewed her own poisons.
lived all her life in Vasarhely, in Northern Hungary. It has about
9,000 inhabitants. She lived nearly all her days in a house in the
Cziganysor, or Gypsy Row.
was married when she was a young girl. Her husband died, and she
remained a widow. Early in her life she took up the practice of
midwifery. It was not long before she was sought after.
was what is known in Hungary as a “German midwife”— that is, one who
holds no government license, who has not taken the hospital course
necessary to gain a degree. So great is national hatred in Hungary that
to say anything is “German” is the deepest reproach.
~ FIRST DESTROYED CHILDREN. ~
has transpired that the woman was much sought after, because when
children were unwelcome they lived but a little while when Azalai Jager
Mari was called in attendance.
many infants she destroyed it is impossible to guess. She has not the
slightest idea. It was while studying methods to kill children that she
turned her attention to poisons. For twenty years she practiced
midwifery, experimenting the while with poisons.
she prepared her own deadly doses. The materials were to be found
almost on the roadside. Gradually the mania for murder took possession
of her. She tired of midwifery, and gave it up altogether for the
profession of murder.
laboratory was in the cellar. It is like all the other peasant houses —
a one-story, thatched building about fifty feet long and twenty feet
wide, a glaring white from the coat of whitewash that is given it each
It was not difficult to draw customers. She had so long been known as a midwife who would put children out of the way that it is not strange that she was sought by those who wanted to get rid of older people.
who wanted to be rid of their husbands and husbands who were tired of
their wives sought the “poison witch.” It was quicker and easier and
cheaper than the divorce court. And the victims usually did not give
cause for divorce.
For years these were the takers of the woman’s poisons. Her fame spread to other villages, and she was much sought after.
was a skilful poisoner. None of her victims died suddenly. She realized
that many sudden deaths would attract attention. She preferred the
She used only three poisons—belladonna, arsenic and chloride of mercury.
deadly night-shade, from which belladonna is distilled, grew all about
her. She could in an hour collect a sufficient quantity of the root to
last for months.
nickel ores of Germany and the Hartz Mountains produce great quantities
of arsenic. The metal can almost be picked up on the roadside. It is a
byproduct within the reach of any one. And the making of arsenious acid,
which, is the active poison, is simple enough. Mercury, too, was in
cost of preparing the poisons for use was a mere trifle. The prices
ranged from 40 to 80 cents for a bottle containing sufficient poison to
The first thought of this woman was not
to make money but to kill. A few pennies a day sufficed for her
necessities. The income from her business as a midwife was all she
~ FIENDISH JOY IN MURDER. ~
one who is rich finds the greatest pleasure in a yacht or fine dinners
or pictures or travel, so this woman found joy in murder. For ten years
she so fashioned her life that its single end was to destroy as many
other lives as possible.
She protected herself not so much because she wanted to live, but because she wanted to destroy?
All this was made clear in the trial which has just ended.
is receiving the greatest punishment that could be meted out to her.
She lives and is helpless. She cannot even menace life, much less do
away with it. In the threescore years she had lived in the town she had
come to know nearly every person in it. When murder was in hand she was
the arbiter of the fate of the person selected as a victim.
short, fat, peasant woman could take life or prolong it as she chose.
It is not known that she ever refused to furnish the drug that killed.
No compassion or pity moved her heart with the feeblest flutter. There
can be no doubt that she knew each person for whom a dose was prepared.
This was necessary so that she could regulate it. A sickly woman
required a smaller quantity than a healthy, muscular man. Once a victim
was determined upon, this woman could measure his days. She prolonged or
cut short his sufferings as she saw fit.
great difficulty was in guarding against undue haste upon the part of
her customers. In their anxiety to kill they often were inclined to
administer too much of the poison at once. The “poison witch” never
administered the poison herself. She merely supplied it to others who
wished to use it.
almost every case the stuff was placed in coffee. The woman gave exact
directions as to the quantity. She could tell almost to the hour when
death would come. Gradually the unfortunates wasted away, having no
thought themselves of the cause of their trouble. Nor did their health
arouse suspicion in others.
after year this ghoulish woman lived in her house alone, distilling the
poisons and selling them. When she went abroad it was to look upon
those whom she had sentenced to death and whom she was executing.
sight of the pain-racked creatures staggering to their end filled her
with horrible pleasure. Their sufferings were music to her soul. She
watched them all, from the time that the poison was first administered
until death was bearing them away. She looked upon them with outward
calm, with no expression of interest. But inwardly she was in a tumult
of awful ecstasy.
was her chiefest joy—to see the poison gripping at the vitals of the
condemned. She watched their fight for life, and a fierce and horrible
jubilation possessed her. She knew what the end must be.
whom she poisoned were peasant folk like herself. This partly explains
why the many deaths made so little stir. And she might have gone on
sending forth death until she herself died had not she become more
jealous of human life, more anxious to kill.
organized a band of poisoners. It was made up of three men and two
women. But these were not moved by the motives that dominated the
“poison witch.” They wanted to make money only.
long as the gang interfered with human life only they pursued their
ways unmolested. But at last they interfered with business—a business
that deals in life and death—and then the discovery came.
peasants who had successfully murdered because of their passions
discovered that they could make money by killing. There are insurance
companies in Hungary as there are everywhere else. It came about that
lives were insured and death followed. It became a business.
“poison witch” found her business much increased, and her uncanny joy
was the greater. But those many mysterious deaths, which meant so many
losses, made the insurance companies suspicious.
~ KILLED FOR INSURANCE MONEY. ~
investigation was finally set on foot. Members of the gang which Jager
Mari had organized became so greedy and inhuman that they began killing
members of their own family for insurance. One woman poisoned her father
and mother. Every member of the gang killed some member of his own
were sent among the people. Still the deaths continued. Arsenical
poison is discovered with the greatest ease. Nor is mercurial poison
much more difficult to detect. The insurance companies could prove that
the victims were poisoned, but they could not discover from whom the
deadly stuff was secured. The “poison witch” went her way, concocting,
selling and rejoicing, while the detectives searched for her. Months and
months passed, and Jager Mari was still secure, still dealing out
disclosure came a month ago. Gulyas Kis-Samuel sold poison to the
servants of Juliana Kotl, and this was used upon another servant who was
insured. The poison was traced directly to Jager Mari. Many deadly
bottles were found in her cellar. The crude crucibles, the charcoal and
the material from which the doses were prepared, were all captured. It
was called the “witch kitchen.”
Jager Mari was placed in prison and made to understand that her career
of murder was ended, she old of her crimes, gloating over them, showing
horrible joy in recalling them. She could remember more than a hundred
murders she had committed.
had killed many more, but these stood out in her memory because they
were of especial importance, it has been proved that her murders
exceeded his number.
“poison witch” has only one regret—that she was not bolder and that she
had not taken more lives. She mourns over this fact in prison, and begs
for liberty that she may resume her trade.
five members of her gang were also captured, and they are now in prison
at Budapest. A correspondent of The World sends a photograph of the
extraordinary woman, taken during her trial in June.
the red history of crime there are parallels to the Hungarian monster.
One was as high born as Jager Mari is plebeian. She was as beautiful as
the “poison witch” is hideous. But the overpowering desire to murder was
common to them both. You shall read of the Marquise Brinvilliers in her
proper place. It is significant that one of the earliest wholesale
poisoners was a midwife. She was Jeroma Spara, and she flourished in
Rome in the seventeenth century until her existence was ended by a rope.
Spara’s customers were young wives who wanted to become widows. So many
husbands were poisoned that there was an investigation. One of the
widows confessed that she secured her mourning veil through poison
purchased from the midwife. After the midwife was hanged some of the
widows were whipped in the public streets, and those of the aristocracy
poison mania was more fully developed in the woman Tofana, who was also
a midwife, and who travelled through Italy, leaving a trail of dead
behind her. She was a Sicilian. She began poisoning in Naples. She had
skill in chemistry. She concocted a poison, the secret of which is not
known to this day which she called “Manna of St. Nicholas of Beri” She
said it was a panacea—which was true enough, for it ended all human
suffering. It was one of the deadliest of poisons.
~ TOFANA’S POISON MANIA. ~
poisoned, not for money but because it gave her pleasure to kill. When
suspicion was directed towards her in Naples she travelled through the
country, changing her disguises constantly.
age fastened its clutches upon her Tofana took refuge in a convent. It
was there that she was discovered and dragged forth. After severe
inquisitions she confessed her many murders. To this day there is a
solution of arsenic called Aqua Tofana, so that the name of this woman
will be perpetuated through all time.
were other midwives who gained infamous distinction through poisoning
people. It is a significant fact that Mme. Brinvilliers is the only
woman who poisoned in a wholesale manner who was not a midwife.
The Marquise Margarette de Brinvilliers was one of the most beautiful women in the court of Louis XIV. It was said that her face was the image of Correggio’s Magdalene. She fell in love with St. Croix Gaudin.
avoid scandal M. d’Aubrey, the father of the Marquise, had Gaudin
imprisoned in the Bastile. There the officer became the friend of a
famous poisoner, Exili, from whom he learned many dark secrets. When
Gaudin was set free he told the Marquise of his poison discoveries. They
concocted a compound which they called “inheritance,” because it so
easily removed those who stood in the way,
Marquise de Brinvilliers and Gaudin experimented upon dogs and then
upon patients in hospitals, whom she sought under the guise of charity.
became the great passion of the woman’s life. She gave it to her
guests. She made tests on herself until she was sure of its workings.
When she was satisfied that she know its power she gave a dose to her
father, placing it in his chocolate. It sent him to his bed. The
daughter took her place by his side. She never left him. Apparently she
was the most devoted of daughters, and all the time she was giving him
the poison. He died in her arms, blessing her.
The two brothers of the woman came from Normandy to attend the funeral. Within a month they were dead.
the Marquise determined to destroy her husband. They had separated. She
drew him to her side. He grew thinner and thinner, but he did not die.
Gaudin was making the poisons. He saw to it that the Marquis did not
have fatal doses.
matter of the compound was the next to succumb. Gaudin had a secluded
laboratory where he worked. The preparation of the venom was dangerous
business. He worked always with a glass mask because of the gases. One
day the mask dropped from his face.
dropped to the floor unconscious, and died in a few seconds. The fumes
were no less deadly than the poison itself. The authorities found a
trunk upon which was a letter directing that it be sent to the Marquise
de Brinvilliers. In this trunk were found letters from the woman telling
of her murders.
Marquise fled to London, where she remained three years. Then she
returned to France and entered a convent. She was enticed from it and
her cell was found a diary. It showed that had not only poisoned her
father and two brothers, and many hospital patients, but her own child
and two servants as well.
Marquise de Brinvilliers was tried and convicted. She thought her
beauty and influence would save her, but she was made to pay the
penalty. She was sentenced to walk through the streets of Paris
bare-footed, clad in a shirt and carrying a lighted torch in her hand,
to Notre Dame tower, where she was forced to beg the people of France to
forgive her. Then she was beheaded.
[“A Woman Who Has Poisoned More Than 100 People,” The World (New York, N.Y.), Jul. 11, 1897, p. 29]
FULL TEXT (Article 2 of 5): The trial of seven women and one
man on a charge of having poisoned more than a dozen persons at Hofanezoe
Vasarhaly, in order to obtain possession of sums foe which they had been
insured, has now lasted ten days. The evidence tends to show that there are
more guilty persons than was at first supposed. Fresh arrests have been made,
and more dead bodies have been disinterred. The village was a nest of
conspirators, the doctor and the midwife lending their aid to the vampires who
actually administered the poison. The insurance societies, it seems, are in
such close competition that they kept secret their lists of members, and it was
possible for these men and women to ensure their relations in as many as
seventeen societies at once. In some cases it was an aged mother who was
insured by a son and daughter, or an ailing sister, a crippled brother.
Sometimes it was a poor person who had nobody to care for him or her, and was
thankful to be received into a house on any terms. All these were insured for
moderate sums. One man, who lived in extreme poverty, got £120 when his mother
died, having insured her in five societies, The midwife Jager, it is stated,
always supplied the arsenic, which was ready at hand when the insured person
ailed, and could be given with the medicine without arousing suspicion. When
death took place the doctor examined the body and declared everything in order,
and the midwife was handsomely paid when the insurance money had been received.
In some cases persons previously insured were asked to dinner, and were given
poisoned food. The midwife denies her guilt, saying she gave the women poison
to put with soap which they made.
[“The Wholesale Murders in Hungary. - Sensational Evidence,”
The Auckland Star (New Zealand), May 22, 1897, p. 3]
FULL TEXT (Article 3 of 5): The New York Sun special from
London, March 27, says the poisoning trial which is still continuing in
Hodmoazoe, Hungary, has developed into the greatest criminal revelation of
modern times. It is beginning to appear that murder by poison is a family
custom in that part of Hungary. The victims are numbered almost by the
hundreds. Most of the accused persons denied everything at first, but when the
woman Czordus, driven into a corner and seeing that she could not get away,
began to reveal fresh facts and to inculpate the accused midwife, Jager, the
latter not only made a full confession, but also referred to cases which had
not been suspected. She gave names and facts in such detail that the Court was
bound to order fresh arrests and the exhumation of twelve more bodies. The
number has increased still further, as all the accused are now with each other
in making startling revelations. A pork-butcher, Horvath, nicknamed the
“Evangelist,” because of his habit of quoting Scripture, now stands accused of
having poisoned his mother, father, parents-in-law, and, finally, his wife. The
woman Czordus owns to have poisoned her sister and niece, in addition to the
crimes of which she was originally accused [presumably, making the total four].
She also informed the Court that the midwife, Jager, procured the poison from a
chemist's. assistant, whose arrest has been ordered. It has been thought that
the cases under trial would prove only a small portion of the crimes actually
committed in this one town, but the new disclosures are so far inconsistent
that they will probably necessitate an adjournment of the trial. A
correspondent says that there is not a home in Hodmozoe in which suspicion does
not exist that deaths dating back several years are the result of foul play,
and family ties in the town are being broken right and left. Insurance for the
amount of the ordinary burial expenses furnished the motive in nearly all the
cases. Midwife Jager, it is said, always supplied the arsenic, which was ready
when the insured person became ill and it could be given without arousing suspicion.
When death took place the doctor examined the body and declared that everything
was in order, and the midwife was handsomely paid for when the insurance money
was received. In some cases persons previously insured were asked to dinner and
received poisoned food.
[“The Poisonings in Hungary. – Horrible Disclosures.” From
The New York Sun, The Mataura Ensign (Gore Otago, New Zealand), May 6, 1897, p.
TEXT (Article 4 of 5): Budapest, July 24.—The trial of 12 women and two men
charged with wholesale poisoning was concluded here and sentences were
pronounced upon six of the prisoners.
of them were condemned to death, one to penal servitude for life and one to a
term of six years imprisonment. Of those under sentence of death one [presumably
Frau Czorduz] was found guilty of having caused the death of four persons by
administering poison, another was convicted of having poisoned two persons, the
third of having poisoned one, and the charge of murder was proven against the
sentence of penal servitude for life was imposed upon a man convicted of having
killed his mother and that of six years imprisonment on a prisoner against whom
a verdict of murder was returned.
victims were in most cases married men who were killed by their wives, the
motive for the crimes being generally a desire to obtain insurance money. The
insurance companies, the testimony at the trial showed, had called the
attention of the authorities to the suspiciously low rate of mortality in the
district hitherto and proceedings were begun. An alleged midwife named .Marie
Jager supplied the other female prisoners with the poison used by them.
hundred witnesses were examined in the course of the trial.
Convictions. - End of Sensational Poisoning Cases at Budapest. – Four Are Condemned
To Death. - For Some Years Past Women
Have Been Defrauding Insurance Companies by Administering Fatal Poisons to
Their Husband – Marie Jager was the Chief Dispenser of the Deadly Drug.” Newark
Daily Advocate (Oh.), Jul. 24, 1897, p. 1]
FULL TEXT (Article 5 of 5): One of the most sensational
trials of the century has just been held in Hungary. Seven persons were accused
of a monstrous crime, that of poisoning! their neighbours and kindred, their,
object being to obtain the money, for which their victims’ lives were insured.
Since the trial began, four more persons have been implicated making the total
number of accused eleven. Homedzo-Vasarhaly is the scene of this horrible
crime, or rather, series of crimes. It is a quaint old town not far from
Budapest, and contains about 55,000 inhabitants, almost all of whom are in some
way engaged in the farming industry.
Furthermore, it is the headquarters of the “peasant
socialists” and it became notorious some time ago in consequence of the bitter
quarrels that arose in regard to the arable lands surrounding the town. The
inhabitants, it seems, claimed the right to work these lands, and the municipal
authorities hotly contested this claim.
A stranger passing through Homedzo-Vasarhly is at once
struck by the number of funereal inscriptions which, meet his eye. On every
side he sees stores bearing the words: “Coffins Sold Here” “Depot for
Tombstones” and “Undertaker’s Establishment.” The reason is that every one is
particularly anxious to have a fine funeral. This wish can be readily
gratified, thanks to the existence of many temetkesezi-tarsulatok, or so-called
These are societies of mutual help the members of which pay
from one to five florins as dues, being guaranteed there for a sum ranging from
100 to 500 florins during illness, as well as medical aid in case of sickness
and indemnity in case of accident. When a member dies his heirs or
representatives receive the amount for which he is insured, and which is
intended to be spent on his funeral.
Now, the president of one of these societies noticed in the
autumn of 1895 that a very large number of insured persons were dying suddenly.
It also struck him as odd that all these persons were in the best of health
before they were struck down, and that they all died under the same conditions
and manifesting, the same symptoms. He suspected foul play and told his
suspicions to the Prefect of Police. The Prefect investigated and quickly,
discovered that several persons had been wilfully poisoned.
Without delay he arrested five women and two men changing;
them with having- poisoned then immediate relatives and other persons The women
accused were the wife of Paul Hodi, the wife of Michel Muczi, the widow of
Michel Turi, the widow of Francois Bau and Maria Szalai Jager, a midwife. The
two men were Samuel Gulyas and Jean Horvath.
The prisoners’ procedure was simple. First they took care to
get their victims’ lives insured; then, at the first sign of indisposition on
the part of their victims, or sooner if the whim seized them, they gave them,
instead of the medicine prescribed by the physicians, a poisonous drug prepared
and furnished by the midwife, Maria Szalai Jager. Of course, the poisoned
persons died, and the harpies collected all the insurance money.
The excitement during the trial has been tremendous. The
proceedings opened quietly enough, but when the widows and the midwife were
arraigned strange scenes disturbed the decorum of the court. One of the accused
women, in a mad burst of passion reviled her colleagues bitterly, and wound up
by making a confession which the court had certainly not expected.
In a word, she spoke of several other persons in such a
suspicious manner that warrants were at once issued for their arrest. In this
way the number of accused was increased to eleven. After this amazing outburst
the trial went on for another day, but when the evening session was about to
begin word was brought that the president of the court was dangerously ill. The
next the court opened as usual, but the president did not appear, and very
soon it became known that he had died during the night.
Like, a flash the rumour spread that Maria Jager had
crowned her diabolical work by poisoning him and though his physicians maintained
that he had died of anthrax, few were willing to believe that he had died a
But, of all the incidents of the trial not one excited as
much astonishment as the conduct of Lidia Muczi. Instead of showing fear when
the crowd hurled reproaches at her she faced her accusers boldly, and actually
maintained that she was a much wronged woman. What did people expect? If she
had poisoned anyone no one could say that she had not given the dead a fine
funeral. And, after all, what is better than a fine funeral? So she went on,
apparently entirely unconscious of the gravity of the charge against her. —
”New York Herald.”
[“Poisoned for Insurance Money –Awful Crimes In Hungary.
– Eleven People Implicated In The
Monstrous Work. – The Trial Productive Of Sensational Disclosures. – Sudden
Death Of The Judge,” (from the New York Tribune), The Auckland Start (New
Zealand), Aug. 21, 1897, Supplement, p. 1]
FULL TEXT (Translated from German): Budapest, June 21. - It
is hardly a year since the well-known poisoner Marie Jager has left in
Maria-Rostra penitentiary. The "Aunt Marie", as she was called by the
population, spent twelve full years in the penitentiary. The remaining three
years were given to her because of her good conduct. But the poisoner had
hardly regained her freedom, when she took up her trade back on.
She is 74 years old today, a sick, helpless old woman who is
wobbling on crutches, but who still works as a quack and poisoner for the suffering
and who offers her services to mankind and comes to the aid with a little
powder or drink so that the sick usually get relieved by their pain faster and
more thoroughly than they would like.
She is currently charged with two poisonings. In early June,
the police in Hodmezövasarhely received an anonymous letter directing their
attention to two suspected deaths. After an accurate examination, the following
cases have now been identified:
On April 15, the wife of the farmer Paul Szanto died on the
Puszta Gorja near the town of Hodmezövasarely.
The woman was seriously ill and one day before her death the
man asked Jager to come and told her that the woman had been suffering from
lung trouble for a year and was a burden.
He asked Jager if she couldn't help him. Marie Jager was not
long in asking. She limped home and then brought a milk-like liquid in a
bottle, from which she gave the patient two spoons in the presence of the man.
In the afternoon, the effects began to appear. Ms. Szanto
died. The cause of death is pulmonary consumption.
After five weeks, the old quack was asked to intervene
again. This time it happened in the family of the farmer Michael Rath, who had
been sick for some time. Jager was approached by the woman for help with the
remark that the doctors were unable to advise. Frau Jager immediately pulled
out a sack containing a greenish powder. She gave it to the patient with the
statement that it was a pain reliever. The patient took the powder. Half an
hour later he got out of bed, but had barely taken a few steps when he
collapsed. Jager was still present and was able to see the effect of her powder
for herself. In this case, the coroner noted a heart failure.
Yesterday the police appeared in the apartment of the
poisoner, who lives with her daughter. As soon as the old woman looked at the
policemen, she shouted in horror at her face, "Oh woe, they are coming after
me!" She sank to the ground and lost consciousness and only shrugged when
asked questions. So far, it has not been possible to determine whether these
two deaths are still the subject of the judicial investigation.
[“Quack and poisoner. Arrested on Suspicion of Two Poison Murders.”
New Wiener Journal (Vienna, Austria), June 22, 1909, p. 4]
FULL TEXT: Budapest, 21. Juni. – Es ist kaum ein Jahr, daß aus
dem Zuchthausein Maria-Rostra die bekannte Giftmörderin Marie Jager entlassen wurde.
Zwölfvolle Jahre hat die “Tante Marie", wie sie von der Bevölkerung genannt
wurde, im Zuchthause zu gebracht. Die restlichen drei Jahre wurden ihr wegen ihres
guten Betragens erlassen. Aber kaum hatte die Giftmischerin die Freiheit wieder
erlangt, so nahm sie ihr früheres Gewerbe wieder auf.
Sie ist heute 74Jahre alt, eine kranke, hilflose Greisin, die
auf Krücken geftützt einherwankt, die aber noch immer als Kurpsuscherin und Giftmischerin
der leiden den Menschheit ihre Dienste anbietet und mit einem Pülverchen oder einem
Tränklein zu Hilfe kommt, das die Kranken meist rascher und gründlicher als ihnen
lieb ist, von ihren Schmerzen befreit.
Gegenwärtig warden ihr zwei Giftmorde zur Last gelegt. Anfang
Juni erhielt die Polizei in Hodmezövasarhely einen anonymen Brief, in welchem ihre
Aufmerksamkeit auf zwei verdächtige Todesfälle gelenkt wurde. Nach einer genauen
Untersuchung wurden nun die folgenen Fälle festgestellt:
Am 15. April starb auf der Puszta Gorja in der Nähe der Stadt
Hodmezövasarely die Frau des Landwirtes Paul Szanto.
Die Frau war schwer krank und einen Tag vor ihrem Tode ließ
der Mann die Jäger zu sich bitten und sagte ihr, seit einmem Jahre liege die Frau
lungenkrank danieder und falle zur Last.
Er fragte die Jager, ob sie ihm nicht helfen könne. Marie
Jager ließ sich nicht lange bitten. Sie humpelte nach Hause und brachte dann in
einer Flasche eine milchähnliche Flüssigkeit, von der sie der Kranken in Gegenwart
des Mannes zwei Löffel eingab.
Nachmittags schon stellte sich die Wirkung ein. Frau Szanto starb.
Der Totensursache Lungenschwindsucht fest.
Nach fünf Wochen wurde die alte Kurpsuscherin wieder um ihre
Intervention gebeten. Diesmal geschah es in der Familie des Landwirtes Michael Rath,
der seit geraumer Zeit kränkelte. Die Jager wurde von der Frau um Hilfe angegangen
mit der Bemerkung, die Aerzte wüßten nicht mehr zu raten. Frau Jager holte so gleich
ein Säckchen hervor, in welchem sich ein grünliches Pulver befand. Sie gab es dem
Kranken mit der Ausgabe, es sei ein schmerzstille des Mittel. Der Kranke nahm von
dem Pulver. Eine halbe Stunde danach erhob er sich aus dem Bette, doch kaum hatte
er wenige Schritte zurückgelegt, als er zusammenfiel. Die Jager war noch anwesend
und konnte sich von der Wirkung ihres Pulvers überzeugen. Der Totenbeschauer konstatierte
in diesem Falle Herzschlag.
Gestern erschien die Polizei in der Wohnung der Giftmischerin,
die bei ihrer Tochter lebt. Kaum erblickte die alte Frau die Polizisten, rief sie
mit vor Schreck verzerrtem Gesichte: “O weh, die kommen um mich!" Sie sank
zu Boden und verlor das Bewußtsein. Später kehrte sie zu ihrem früheren Verteidigungsmittel
zurück. Sie stellt sich taubstumm und zuckt nur mit den Achseln, wenn man an sie
Fragen stellt. Es ließ sich bisher nicht feststellen, ob es bei diesen zwei Todesfällen
geblieben ist, die jetzt Gegenstand der gerichtlichen Untersuchung sind.
[“Kurpsuscherin und Giftmischerin. Verhaftung unter dem Verdachte
des Zweifachen Giftmordes.” Neues Wiener Journal (Vienna, Austria), 22. Juni
1909, p. 4]
other cases involving poisonous flowers:
1909 – Frau Szari – Grosskanizsalich, Vorhahre,
Somogy Cty, Hungary – black henbane
There are some huge mistakes in this article.ReplyDelete
First of all her name is not Alazai but Szalai. And it is just a misunderstanding because of the Hungarian language.
I have read so many articles from that time about the trial and a summary. In this summary there were citations from the trial report. And I have not red these ridiculous "facts".
I had to laugh during I read.
Sensationalist, inaccurate, full of factual errors.
To spend just a little time reading real articles in this subject anyone can write a better one.
(Sorry for my weak English.)
I will be very pleased to make use of your assistance. The articles reprinted here and which you refer to were written in 1897. Please give bibliography and any other references, plus the most important corrections and I will post them here. It is common for newspapers to make errors in stories about complex cases in foreign countries, but by posting what is available to me is a way to attract the attention of those who can assist with getting the best factual account.ReplyDelete