Maria Kardos
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Maria Kardos was hanged in Budapest Central Prison on Tuesday, January
13th, 1931.
Seventy persons watched the execution. Among the watching crowd was
Maria's young peasant lover. When awakened at 6 o'clock, Stephen
Tordor, the young lover for whom she killed her husband, was allowed to
enter the cell. She was thrown into hysterics when the hangman came into
her cell to estimate her weight before they fashioned the noose.
The warders had to carry her to the scaffold. She was crying out “Have
pity on me.” As she mounted the scaffold, the executioner’s assistants
bound her arms and legs and kicked the stool from under her. Then,
Tordor, who remained till the end, ran screaming through the courtyard
into the street.
Eight minutes later she was dead after the hangman’s assistant kept tugging
her legs for several minutes.
Maria Kardos, one of the richest peasant women of Nagyrev, Hungary. She
was once a beautiful woman. Now, after marrying and divorcing two
husbands Maria found herself, at age of 40 with a 22-year-old son. As his
bad health made him a burden whose existence interfered with Maria’s
pleasures, Maria went to the local midwife and obtained arsenic.
Then, in her own words, “I gave him poison in his medicine. Suddenly I
remembered how splendidly my boy used to sing in church so I said “Sing
my boy! Sing me my favorite song!” He sang it with his lovely, clear voice,
and then suddenly he cried out, gripped his stomach, gasped and he was
dead.
Maria then remarried, but on being threatened with divorce by her husband
she obtained another dose of arsenic from the midwife, who charged her
nothing this time, as she herself was eager for revenge against the husband,
who had once been her own lover, and got rid of him by more summary
means. Maria also admitted this murder in court.
Maria appeared in court in black with silk stockings and patent leather
shoes. She was also in her finery. Marie was depicted by police accounts
as a vital, passionate figure who combined a certain longing for city
refinements with rural coarseness in the indulgence of unbridled desires.
In January, 1930 Maria Kardos, was also convicted of the arsenic murder
of her husband 11 years earlier and was sentenced to death.