While the distinction of ‘most prolific murderess of all time’ is not one that people tend to strive for, it is one that exists. And it belongs to a certain woman named Elizabeth Bathory. This woman allegedly committed crimes so heinous, it hurts to even talk about. Of course, talk about it we shall.
Elizabeth Bathory is thought to have killed, tortured, and been a general douche to a staggering 650 people.
In the time that she was alive, which was between 1560 and 1614, this figure of Hungarian nobility apparently did a lot of fucked up shit. Ain’t no other way to say it. She was born into a high position of social standing, and when her husband was away, used to handle general affairs of state. This afforded her a certain amount of leeway regarding her more visceral delights, which involved a plethora of grisly murders, if reports are to be believed.
She beat, burnt, mutilated, bit, froze and starved the adolescent daughters of local peasants.
Girls hired as maidservants in Elizabeth’s castle bore the brunt of her sadistic brutality. They were lured into working in the castle with offers of good pay and to learn courtly etiquette. Elizabeth, along with four servant accomplices, are believed to have committed a host of atrocities on them, including severe beatings, burning or mutilation of hands, biting the flesh off the faces, arms and other body parts, freezing or starving to death and even forcing them to cook and eat parts of themselves.
Her cruelty only came to light after an investigation in 1610 that included testimonies from more than 300 witnesses.
While there has been consistent doubt over the actual number of victims, the long overdue investigation into her crimes did involve statements from a massive number of witnesses that confirmed a large chunk of the killings. Numerous bodies were recovered, most horribly mutilated in some form or other. Despite all the compelling evidence, her family’s social standing ensured that she didn’t face trial or any severe form of punishment, instead being placed in solitary confinement for the rest of her days. In comparison, her accomplices were punished to the full extent. Their fingers were ripped off with hot pincers and they were burned at the stake.
Elizabeth Bathory died in her sleep in 1614, 4 years after her arrest. Her legacy of violence, sadism and brutality has lived on however, affording her nicknames like The Blood Countess and Countess Dracula. Fitting names, considering she was thought to have literally bathed in the blood of virgins to retain her youth. Crazy times, man.