Friday, September 23, 2011

Eva Sarac, Serbian Serial Husband-Killing Maven - 1889

Eva Sarac died in custody on October 24, 1889. (Some English language sources give the name “Esther Sarac.)


FULL TEXT (Article 1 of 3): At Mitrowitz, in Hungary, the trial is about to commence of ten women and a man who are accused of (and have confessed to) poisoning not only their husbands, but other persons who were in their way. There was literally a society of poisoners, advising and helping each other, so that some of the women are implicated in all the murders. The poison used was arsenic, obtained from fly papers, and was administered in the victims’ food and drink. One of the accused, Eva Sarac, who taught all the others their terrible trade, died in prison some time ago. The victims are supposed to number over fifty.

[“Fifty Women Prisoners.” The New York Times (N.Y.), Jul. 13, 1890, p. 4]


FULL TEXT (Article 2 of 3):  Modern historians distrust the stories of the Roman poisoner Locusta, and of the women who in Italy sold aqua tofana as the best means of satisfying jealousy or hate or greed; but the Hungarian tribunals are trying a case which makes all those legends possible. No less than ten women in the town of Mitrovitz are charged with poisoning their husbands with arsenic obtained from fly papers, and they are only a section of the women originally arrested or suspected. They were all apparently taught by a single woman, Esther Sarac, a local witch or herbalist, who deliberately instructed at least once disciple, and probably many more. The poisonings, some sixty in number, were done with little precaution, and cover a space of more than ten years, during all which time a vague suspicion has been floating about. The evidence against the women under trial is said to be overwhelming, and most of them have saved trouble by pleading guilty. They are all peasants, and probably a low order of intelligence; but the revelation throws a strange light on the true value of much of modern “progress.” In Hungary, at all events, it does not prevent epidemics of crime, though no doubt the improvement of chemical analysis helps the authorities in detecting and punishing the guilty.

[“Women Poisoners.” (from The Spectator (London, England, Jul. 5, 1890, p. 3); New York Times (N.Y.), Aug 3, 1890, p. 18]


FULL TEXT (Article 3 of 3): The Assize Court of Mitrowitz, in Hungary, has concluded the trial of 10 peasant women arraigned for poisoning their husbands. Four of the prisoners were sentenced to death, one to penal servitude for life, three to 15 years’ penal servitude, and two were acquitted. The evidence (the Times correspondent says) would have been enough to hang eight out of the 10 in England, for it disclosed that the murderesses acted with the most cold-blooded premeditation; nor were their crimes extenuated it any way by ill treatment received at their husbands’ hands. On the contrary, the husbands seem to have been good fellows, and it does not appear that their wires cherished any strong animosity against them. One of the women said that she killed her husband because she had a neighbor who had poisoned hers. Another confessed that her only object in committing murder had been that she might have a little less work to do. As the Emperor of Austria never signs a death warrant against a woman, those who have been sentenced to the gallows will not be executed.

[Untitled, The Northern Argus (Clare, New Zealand), Aug. 15, 1890, p. 3]


FULL TEXT (Translated from German): In Mitrovic before the Royal Court there began the trial of the poisoners of Syrmia, ten wives, who both knew how to dispose of their husbands by poison in order to be able to lead an unrestrained way of life and also were ready to offer their handin marriage. All defendants are peasants.

The accusation against all is the crime of assassination, all punishable, according to § 136, with death, and in two cases with a heavy dungeon of 19 - 20 years. The poisoning observed in the exhumation of the deceased was accomplished by commercially available flypaper. With one sheet of flypaper, 3 to 4 adults could be killed.

By some confessions of the defendants it has been proved that the poisoned husbands before their death were sick for a short while, sometimes longer, and that the symptoms of the disease were the same as the effects of arsenic intoxication noted by physicians. The opinion of the Agram Chemical Institute and the physicians agree that all the victims of the crime have been poisoned by arsenic.

Eva Sarac, who died in custody on October 24, 1889, can be described as the original author of all these poisoning murders and many others which have not yet been uncovered. Eva Sarac was known as a sort of village witch, who knew how to prepare love potions. She was undoubtedly the teacher of Makrena Stankovics, the protagonist in the social drama that will take place before the court.

With her husband Makrena Strankovics lived in constant discord, and it was well known that she led a lascivious life. She boasted to some neighbors that she possessed a paper with which one could blow out the light of life for all men.

After a six-day trial, the verdict was publicized on July 5: Makrena Styankovic, Nata Nestrov, Ljuba Gavrilovics, Savka Railics were sentenced to death; Mara Danilovics  to life in prison; three other wives sentenced to five years' imprisonment. Two defendants were acquitted.

[“Poisoner.” Freie Stimmen aus Kärnten (Klagensfurt, Austria), 16. Juli 1890, p. 5]


FULL TEXT: In Mitrovic hat  vor dem dortigen königl..Gerichtshose die Verhandlung gegen die Giftmischerinnen von Syrmien, zehn Weiber, begonnen, die sich theils ihrer Männer durch Gift zu entledigen gewusst, umeine zügellose Lebensweise führen zu können, theils ihre Hand dazu geboten haben. Sämmtliche Angeklagten gehören dem Bauernstände an.

Die Anklage lautet bei Allen auf das Verbrechen des Meuchelmordes, strafbar bei Allen nach § 136 mit dem Tode, bei zweien mit schwerem Kerker von 19 - 20 Jahren. Die bei der Exhumirung 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 der Angeklagten ist erwiesen 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 als Symptome der Arsenik-Vergiftung dar gestellt werden. Das Gutachten des chemischen Instituts in Agram und der Aerzte stimmt darin überein, dass sämmtliche Opfer Des Verbrechens mittelst Arseniks ver giftet worden sind.

Als ursprüngliche Urheberin aller dieser Giftmorde und vielsach auch zahlreicher anderer, die bisher nicht bekannt wurden, kann Eva Sarac be zeichnet werden, die am 24. October 1889 in der Untersuchungshaft starb. Eva Sarac war als eine Art Dorshexe bekannt, welche Liebestränke zu bereiten wusste, sie war unzweiselhaft die Lehrmsisterin der Makrena Stankovics, der Hauptperson in dem socialen Drama, das sich vor dem Gerichtshofe abspielen wird.

Mit ihrem Gatten lebte Makrena Strankovics in stetem Unsrieden, und es war allgemein bekannt, dals sie ein lascives Leben führte. Einigen Nachbarinnen gegenüber rühmte sie sich, ein Papier zu besitzen, mit welchem man edem Menschen das Lebenslicht ausblasen könne.

Nach sechstägiger Verhandlung wurde am 5. Juli das Urtheil publicirt: Makrena Styankovics Nata Nestrov, Ljuba Gavrilovics, Savka Railics wurden zum Tode, Mara Danilovics zu lebenlänglichem, drei andere Weiber zu fünfsehn Jahren Kerker verurtheilt. Zwei Angeklagte wurden freigesprochen.

[“Giftmischerinnen.” Freie Stimmen aus Kärnten (Klagensfurt, Austria), 16. Juli 1890, p. 5]


LOCATION: Mitrovitz – Sremska Mitrovica is a city and municipality located in the Vojvodina province, Serbia, on the left bank of the Sava river. As of 2011 the town had a total population of 37,751, while Sremska Mitrovica administrative area had a population of 79,940. It is the administrative centre of the Srem District of Serbia.

Once a capital of the Roman Empire during the Tetrarchy, the city was referred to as the glorious mother of cities. Likewise, ten Roman Emperors were born in or near this city, Emperors Herennius Etruscus (251), Hostilian (251), Decius Traian (249-251), Claudius II (268-270), Quintillus (270), Aurelian (270-275), Probus (276-282), Maximianus Herculius (285-310), Constantius II (337-361) and Gratian (367-383). [Wikipedia]




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

[525-4/1/19; 746-1/11/21]

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