Since Nádasdy was a soldier in the Ottoman–Hungarian Wars, Elizabeth Báthory managed business affairs and the estates, which she apparently was quite good at. The Count Palatinate concluded that she had tortured and executed dozens of girls. He is the author of the History in an Afternoon textbook series. Some of the more repeatable tortures include sticking pins into the girls, tearing at their flesh with heated tongs, … History has a way of turning powerful women into folklore. A few of the testimonies claim Elizabeth ate the girls’ flesh. Although never tried, Báthory was confined to her chambers at Castle Čachtice. Thurzó's men reportedly found one girl dead, one dying, and another wounded, while others were locked up. But, like most events in history, her story is complicated. The alleged crimes were claimed to have taken place at Elizabeth’s estates across the region, and sometimes on the journey between them. The  Bathory tended to switch their allegiance to whichever power suited them best: the Hapsburgs one minute, the Hungarian Crown the next. According to the Guinness Book of Records, Hungarian Countess Elizabeth Bathory was the most murderous woman in history. A substantial debt owed by the King of Hungary to Báthory was waived in return for the family’s right to look after her while in prison. The legends also claim that she bathed in the blood of their young victims in an attempt to preserve her youth. The political landscape of Hungary at the time was one of major rivalries, and Elizabeth appears to have supported her nephew Gabor Bathory, ruler of Transylvania and rival to Hungary. Deemed the world's most prolific female murderer by Guinness World Records, Báthory reportedly killed more than 600 young girls to satisfy her need for blood. It could also be argued that Bathory’s position had become so strong thanks to her wealth and power, and a perceived threat to leaders of Hungary, that she was a problem who had to be removed. The Bathory dated their origins to around 900AD. Bathory’s death, in August 1614, came before the reluctant Count Palatine could be forced into organizing a court. A large number of potential witnesses were questioned, and a range of testimonies gathered implicating Bathory in torture and murder. The Bathory chose a design of three horizontal, white, teeth on a red background. She is reputed to have tortured and murdered young women in her charge during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. The crimes she was accused of included severe beatings, burning, mutilation of hands, biting the flesh off of faces, arms and other body parts, freezing them, and starving them to death. Elizabeth Bathory was accused, in the testimonies gathered by the Count Palatine, of killing between a couple of dozen and over six hundred young women. She was relatively well educated, and in 1575 married Count Nádasdy. Still others added that she burned the girls with hot tongs and then placed them in freezing cold water. It was a tension that remained throughout Elizabeth Bathory’s life. Elizabeth Bathory – The ‘Blood Countess’ She is one of the earliest serial killers in recorded history – the original sado-masochistic femme fatal. Also, King Matthias II owed a large sum to the Báthory family, which was canceled following the scandal, adding to the hypothesis that the accusations against her were fabricated slander that allowed relatives to appropriate her lands. Was it all made up or is there some truth to how Elizabeth Bathory got away with murdering innocent young girls for over 14 years? For her crimes, Bathory was sentenced to house arrest, while her three servant accomplices were put to death immediately after their trial. It also consolidated Bathory power and influence – and the family’s increasingly uneasy relationship with the Hungarian crown. As Elizabeth's social standing was higher than that of her husband, she refused to change her last name, and instead, Nádasdy assumed the surname Báthory. The marriage of Elizabeth’s parents Gyorgy and Anna Bathory unified two opposing branches of the Bathory family. Or was she the victim of a wide-ranging conspiracy? It wasn't until Nádasdy's death in 1604, when she was in her 40s, that evidence began to surface. Sometimes, it is portrayed surrounded by a dragon, biting its tail. In 1575, she married Count Ferenc Nádasdy, a member of a wealthy and noble family like hers, though hers was more influential. All the while, she might not have done any of this at all. Báthory's servants were accused of being her accomplices and were put on trial, while the Countess' influence and social status kept her from it. Elizabeth Bathory came from an illustrious family whose lineage, wealth and power rivaled even that of the kings they served. The Countess is perhaps most famous in popular culture for allegedly drinking the blood of her victims. I Can't Believe This Social Security Bonus Was So Easy, Americans Are Obsessed With New Blanket That Puts You To Sleep In Minutes, 23 New Gadgets That Will Sell Out Before the Holidays. It may be that Bathory was a sadistic murderer, or that she was a simply a harsh mistress whose enemies turned against her. The crimes she was accused of included severe beatings, burning, mutilation of hands, biting the flesh off of faces, arms and other body parts, freezing them, and starving them to death. It also seems that the authorities who ‘brought her to justice’ were motivated by something more than disgust for her crimes. But what we do know is truly stomach churning. She had powerful connections, as her family had dominated Transylvania and her uncle had ruled Poland. Thurzó arrested Báthory at the castle along with four alleged accomplices. This allowed Bathory’s estates to be saved from confiscation by the King of Hungary, thus not tipping the balance of power too much, and allowed the heirs—who petitioned, not for her innocence, but for their lands—to keep the wealth. She is reputed to have tortured and murdered young women in her charge during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. In 1325, the Hungarian crown granted the family their coat of arms. While historical documents seem to support the accusations against her, modern research indicates that Báthory, a powerful woman, might have been the target of politically motivated slander that allowed relatives to appropriate her lands. Báthory was born into the Hungarian nobility in 1560. Was she a cold-blooded, tortured murderer? Some of the more repeatable tortures include sticking pins into the girls, tearing at their flesh with heated tongs, dousing/submerging them in freezing water and beating them, often on the soles of their feet. Examples of the more skeptical, historical view are now filtering into common culture. Elizabeth Bathory – The Blood Countess One of the most prolific serial killers in the history of the world was a noblewoman from Hungary.

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