Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Maria Tressa, Jealousy-Inspired Serial Killer – Trieste, 1898

EXCERPT: At Trieste a schoolmistress named Mary Tressa fell in love with a married man with a wife and three children. She contrived to poison his wife and  the children, in the hope that she would then be able to marry the man herself.

Without attracting suspicion to herself, Mary Tressa poisoned her own mother, who had remonstrated with her regarding her relations with the married man. Finally she poisoned her lover, who, when he became a widower, refused to marry her. Tressa is also awaiting her trial.

[“Two Female Fiends. Sensational Murder Cases In Austria-Hungary.” Daily Mail (London, England), Oct. 31, 1898, p. 5]

NOTE: The full article discusses two different cases. This is the complete description of the Tressa case.


FULL TEXT: London. Monday Night. – An extraordinary, sensational and horrible tale of tragedy conies from Trieste, the chief Austro-Hungarian seaport on the Adriatic.

The central figure is a young school mistress, named Fraulein Tressa.

Unrequited love and revenge were the motives which impelled her to the terrible series of crimes which have just been brought to light by the exertions of the police.

It appears that Fraulein Tressa had contracted an overpowering passion for a married man.

Failing to induce him to respond to her proffers of attention, she determined at all costs to destroy every impediment which stood in the way of her desires.

Her first step was the murder of the man's wife.

This was accomplished by gradual slow poisoning, and so effectively did the assassin carry out her deadly work that apparently the death of the unfortunate victim aroused no suspicion.

The murderess then proceeded to compass the destruction of the children, which she effected by the same means as in the case of the earlier crime.

This series of deaths occurring with in so short a time in the one household, seems to have excited the suspicions of the mother of the guilty woman.

Fraulein Tressa, realising this, without the slightest compunction accomplished the deliberate murder of her mother, the deadly, agent again being poison.

The way being thus cleared, the murderess renewed her overtures to the object of her guilty passion, but only to but rejected, this seems to have refused to marry her.

Frantic with rage and jealousy, the desperate woman completed the catalogue of her unavailing crimes by poisoning.the man to win whose affection she had been committed.

Fraulein Tressa has been arrested and stands charged with the series of shocking murders.

[“Women Who Did! - Fearful Tales Of Tragedy - Series Of Shocking Chimes, - A Passion-Possessed Woman - Loves A Married Man. - She Kills His Wife, - Then His Children. - Next Her Own Mother. - The Woman. Is Scorned, - And The Man Also Dies. -The Murderess Arrested.” The Herald Standard (Melbourne, Australia), Nov. 1, 1898, p. 2]


FULL TEXT (translated from German): Trieste, October 29, reports: In Salerno yesterday, a young teacher was arrested on terrible suspicion. Maria Tressa has a love affair with a married man, a stonesetter. She tried to poison her lover's wife and three children with atropine. The mother of Tressa, who disapproved of her daughter's love, died of poisoning 14 days ago. The teacher is accused of poisoning her mother.

[“A Schoolmistress as Poisoner.” Voralberger Volksblatt (Bregenz, Austria), 1. November 1898, p. 4]


FULL TEXT: Aus Triest, 29. Oktober, wird gemeldet: In Salerno wurde gestern eine junge Lehrerin unter furchtbarem Verdachte verhaftet. Maria Tressa unterhält mit einem verheirateten Manne, einem Setzer, ein Liebesverhältnis. Sie versuchte die Gattin und die drei Kinder ihres Liebhabers mit Atropin zu vergiften. Die Mutter der Tressa, welche die Liebschaft ihrer Tochter misbilligte, starb vor 14 Tagen unter Vergiftungserscheinungen. Die Lehrerin wird be schuldigt, ihre Mutter vergiftet zu haben.

[“Eine Lehrerin als Giftmischerin.” Voralberger Volksblatt (Bregenz, Austria), 1. November 1898, p. 4]
[Wife in the Way]

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