Wikipedia describes Vera Renczi (a.k.a. Black Widow or Chatelaine of Berkerekul) as

a Romanian serial killer who allegedly confessed to poisoning 35 individuals including her two husbands, multiple lovers, and her son with arsenic during the 1920s.

The page acknowledges that the verifiability of the sources is disputed, and the corresponding talk page has people claiming her existence is fictional.

I am writing an article about her and I am confused as to whether she ever existed.

Did a woman matching her description (e.g. killed over 30 men in the Balkans, and kept them in coffins in her basement) exist?

I am thinking that perhaps her last name or town got lost in translation since this allegedly took place in or around Bucharest.

  • Location doesn't fit, but there was en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belle_Gunness in a similar time frame, similar targets, mass grave at home, using strychnine instead of arsenic.. so.. plausible? Maybe somehow connected?
    – npst
    Commented Oct 1, 2020 at 9:13
  • Other than the location and the burials they look similar however, their motive don't match: Belle's was financial, Vera's was emotional. It was very common for women to kill with poison in those times.
    – Alex
    Commented Oct 1, 2020 at 10:20
  • 1
    Indeed. Vera Renczi is apparently on page 149 of "Lexikon der Serienmörder" (ISBN 9783548359359)
    – npst
    Commented Oct 1, 2020 at 10:38
  • Thank you, I got the book on eBay, glad I speak German. I'm hoping to find death certificates, maybe a mugshot, or even foreign articles relating to the trial if there was any.
    – Alex
    Commented Oct 1, 2020 at 11:25


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