|Name: Bela Kiss
Born – 1877 / Died – unknown
Number of victims: Between 19 and 24
Bela worked in Cinkota [a town near Budapest] and he had a relatively normal life until his wife, who was 15 years younger than him, cheated on him with a neighbor.
When they vanished, everyone assumed that they fled together to start a new life, but in fact Bela Kiss had already been subdued by his killer instinct.
Since he was considered attractive by women he put ads in newspapers and began corresponding with women. But the correspondence ceased in 1914, when Bela was called on the war front.
Not being married, he left his home in the care of an old maid [Mrs. Jakubec] and also left a number of barrels on another property he had rented for a long time, paying in advance.
When it was rumored that Bella was taken as a prisoner or dead, the landowner wanted to rent out the house and he went to check if it needed any repairs. Then he noticed that there was a horrible smell coming from the barrels and called the police.
In July of 1916, both locations were searched -although Jakubec initially protested- and the policemen found between 19 and 24 metal barrels containing the bodies of as many victims [including Bela`s wife and her lover].
The victims had been strangled, but not only that! On their necks they discovered tiny incisions and it was determined that the corpses had been drained of blood.
Orders were immediately sent to the front for the arrest of Bella Kiss, if he was still alive.
When they investigated further, it has showed that he had a locked room, which the maid described as “Mr. Kiss secret room” in which she was not allowed to enter. When they entered the room they found a large number of books about poisons and methods of strangulation. In the office they found letters from the period when young Bella corresponded with ladies in the area and a photo album containing over 100 people.
Police later revealed that he had received 174 responses to the ads he had sent to the news and that he began to correspond with 74 women.
After taking about it with some of the women in the surroundings and realized that Bella killed only those who had no relatives in the area [to be sure that as much time would pass before their disappearance would be discovered] and he was interested only in those with a very good financial situation.
The police discovered that two of the victims opened cases in court accusing Kiss because he had promised to marry them and asked them for money to prepare the ceremonies. But the cases were closed because young disappeared.
In October 1916, the detective in charge of the investigation received a letter from a hospital in Serbia, which informed him that a soldier named Bella Kiss died in 1915. The next message received claimed the opposite: the killer was alive and was still hospitalized.
But Kiss was able to flee before police arrive.
On several later occasions, speculation arose that Kiss had perhaps faked his death by exchanging identities with a dead soldier during the war. He was supposedly sighted numerous times in following years and there were various rumors about his fate, including that he had been imprisoned for burglary in Romania or he had died of yellow fever in Turkey.
Although over the years were many witnesses claimed to have identified him in various parts of the world, he has never captured and no other crime was assigned to him.
In 1932, homicide detective Henry Oswald was certain he had seen Kiss coming out of Times Square Subway in New York City. There were also rumors that Kiss was living in the city and working as a janitor but they could not be verified. When the police went to interview the janitor, the janitor had already gone.
Nobody knows exactly when he died or whether he made new victims … we may have simply not discovered the bodies.
Kiss’ eventual fate remains unknown.
๑۞๑ Related: ๑۞๑
† Vampiric Murderers