When I wrote “Exciting careers in serial widowhood” for AVfM back in September 2012 my research had turned up a count of 108 cases of black widow serial killers: women who murdered two or more husbands or paramours (dozens of men in some cases). Currently the count is 165 – and growing – as I sift through databases of old newspapers.
Eastern Europe figures prominently in the history of husbandicide by virtue of the long-standing tradition of organized murder rings – led usually by midwives, herbalists or known more crudely under the label “witches.” From the mid 19th century to the 1930s newspapers were constantly sporting headlines about murders in Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Russia such as “Husband Poisoning by Wholesale” (1882), “Ten Husband Poisoners” (1890), “A New Business; Husband Poisoning on the Scale of a Commercial Enterprise” (1891), “Killing Off Husbands” (1895), “Epidemic of Poisoning in Hungary; Eighteen Men Killed” (1901), “Women Formed Club to Murder Husbands” (1903), “Woman Kills 300 At Wives’ Behest” (1909), “Exterminating Husbands” (1911), “Wanted to Be Widows So They Hanged Their Husbands” (1933), “Used Fly Paper to Kill Husbands” (1935), “How Wives Gained Power by Mass Murder of Husbands” (1937). (Husband-Killing Syndicates provides a checklist and links to the articles).
Mass slaughter of in-the-way husbands, by means of arsenic usually, were a dime a dozen in those days. Yet one story stands apart from all others in the sheer audacity of its “having it all” “girl-power” capriciousness.
This is the story of Yugoslavia’s “Club St. Lucretia,” a formally registered women’s charity in Nagy Kikinda, Yugoslavia which operated in the mid-1920s. Not all the details of the case have been dug out of the English language archives I use as my sources yet. But a new newspaper report has just come to my attention which fills out the scant narrative disclosed in the reports I had first comer across.
I reproduce here two stories in full. You will see they need no comments from me to show why such old news is new news in the present age, with its piped-in sewage of fake history, cherry-picked censored documentation and cooked statistics. We recognize in this musty old account a localized mid-1920s example of a phenomenon which is now international, namely MGTOW (Men Going Their Own Way).
Be assured, the husband-killing syndicates, of which Club St. Lucretia is but one example among dozens, are unknown to 99.99% of all criminologists and to 100% of all gender studies experts. Documentation of the “disposable male” in philosophy and practice is very much regarded by today’s professional historians as nothing but disposable history.
But I remain optimistic. A new generation of criminologists, predominantly women (Joni Johnson, Katherine Ramsland and Deborah Schurman-Kauflin and others), are rejecting the old practice of naïve reliance on social theories and chivalrous stereotypes and are now focusing on facts – including the fact that female serial killers are far, far more common than what the experts have hitherto supposed.
Oct. 20, 1926.
Headline: Club Of Women Poisoners Is Unearthed In Belgrade
(from AP, The Galveston Daily News (Tx.), p. 1)
FULL TEXT (Article 1 of 2): Belgrade, Jugoslavia — A club of women poisoners under the guise of a charitable organization with the significant name of “Lucretia” has been raided by the police.
Police asserted that at secret meetings the club members were taught the medieval art of mixing and administering poisons. Six women who were unhappily married were declared thus to have found means of ridding themselves of their husbands. The remains of these were exhumed and in two cases toxicologists have found traces of poison.
Five women of the club were charged with being the ringleaders of the organization and arrested.
Oct. 17, 1926.
Headline: Woman’s Murder Society Forces Husbands From Town in Terror – Police in Jugoslavian Village Hold Modern Borgias on Charge of poisoning Rich Mates; News Causes Men to Break Engagements and Leave Families
(from New York Herald-Tribune, part III, p. 2)
FULL TEXT (Article 2 of 2): Everybody in the little Jugoslavian town of Nagy Kikinda thought the women’s club of Saint Lucretia was a very respectable society and above suspicion, until the number of deaths among the male population showed a striking increase which nobody could explain. Rumors arose. It was found that many of the men who died had been married to or were friends of women who were members of the Saint Lucretia club, that their deaths had been more or less unexpected and that there was a striking resemblance of the circumstances under which they took place.
Every one of the dead men had been wealthy and respected in the little community. Some of the widows spent more money than they had ever done before, purchased costly clothes, automobiles, and led the lives of grandes dames. When things had developed so far, somebody remembered that Saint Lucretia had a namesake who was one of the worst poisoners in history, namely Lucretia Borgia, the daughter of Pope Alexander VI [note: the name “Lucretia Borgia” had been synonymous with “female serial killer” until research in the mid-20th century showed that her homicidal reputation was based on legend, not fact] This stirred the suspicion that the women’s club was not named after the saint, but after Lucretia Borgia, and that it really was a league of poisoners.
At first there was no absolute proof of these dreadful suspicions, but the police considered them sufficiently grave to arrest several of the members of the club, among them the ringleader, who disappeared when she smelled danger, but was so imprudent as to return to Nagy Kikinda because she believed her social position and that of her friends would be sufficient protection. Her husband was among the persons who died recently from a sudden illness.
The police had meanwhile found out that one of the women made frequent excursions abroad and supplied the necessary poison, which she obtained from chemists under some pretext or other. Naturally, the little town is in seething excitement and the scandal is great.
The unprecedented criminal affair had a tragic-comical result. The men of Nagy Kalinda have been caught by a general panic. None of them had ever thought of the faint possibility of an organization for the purpose of their removal by poison. Certainly not in their social circles. Who could still trust his wife or fiancée in such a depraved milieu? Thus it happened that numerous men left their families because they were not certain whether their wives were secret members of the Lucretia club. Engagements were dissolved, and new arrests are hourly expected. It will take women in Nagy Kikinda a long time to win back the confidence of the male part of the population.
Photo: Actress Clara Bow in film “No Limit,” 1931, public domain.