Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed (Báthory Erzsébet in Hungarian, Alžbeta Bátoriová in Slovak; 7 August 1560 – 21 August 1614) was a countess from the renownedBáthory family of Hungarian nobility. She is considered the most prolific female serial killer in history and possibly the most prolific of any gender.
She and four collaborators were accused oftorturing and killing hundreds of girls, with one witness attributing to them over 650 victims, though the number for which they were convicted was 80. Elizabeth herself was neither tried nor convicted. In1610, however, she was imprisoned in the Csejte Castle, now in Slovakia and known as Čachtice, where she remained bricked in a set of rooms[clarification needed] until her death four years later.
In1610 and 1611, the notaries collected testimony from more than 300 witnesses. The trial records include the testimony of the four defendants, as well as thirteen witnesses. Priests, noblemen andcommoners were questioned. Witnesses included the castellan and other personnel of Sárvár castle.
According to all this testimony, her initial victims were the adolescent daughters of local peasants,many of whom were lured to Csejte by offers of well-paid work as maidservants in the castle. Later, she is said to have begun to kill daughters of the lesser gentry, who were sent to her gynaeceum by...