Cruel treatment of serfs was not uncommon on Russian estates. But this precedent went down in history as one of the most egregious cases of sadism. Landowner Daria Saltykovanicknamed Saltychikha, killed 138 of her serfs from the world. And a long time of crime sophisticated sadist and serial killer went unpunished.
Daria Nikolaevna Saltykova, nee Ivanova, was the daughter of a Duma dyak close to Peter I. She was related to the Musin-Pushkin, Davydov, Stroganov and Tolstoy. Born in 1730 in the village of Troitskoye near Moscow, after marriage she became the owner of several estates. Saltykova was widowed early and at the age of 26 she became the owner of estates in the Moscow, Vologda and Kostroma provinces, in which there were about 600 serfs. Until the death of her husband, she did not show any sadistic inclinations. And soon after she was widowed, rumors of her cruel atrocities spread around the vicinity of the Troitsky estate.
Regular beatings of the servants began for any offense - poorly washed floor, poorly washed linen, etc. The reasons were found more and more often. First, she beat the peasant women herself with everything that came to hand - with a stick, a log, a whip, then the guilty grooms flogged, sometimes to death.
With hot curling irons, Saltychikha grabbed the victims by the ears, poured boiling water over them, burned their hairs and pulled them out with their hands, beat their heads against the wall, starved them to death, tied them naked to trees in the cold. Especially girls and women got it.
Her lover, the nobleman Nikolai Tyutchev, the grandfather of the poet Fyodor Tyutchev, also suffered at the hands of a sadist. When he left Saltykova and was about to marry, the landowner sent him a groom with a homemade bomb with the order to lay it under the house in which the traitor lived with the bride. The groom was afraid to carry out such an order and the murder did not take place.
The police did not start a case - the landowner paid generously for the fact that the disappeared peasants were called escaped and missing. According to official records, 50 people were considered "dead from disease", 72 people "were missing", 16 "went to their husbands" and "went on the run." So it would have continued further, if two serfs had not fled one day and went to the Empress herself with a complaint about the bloodthirsty mistress. One of the fugitives - Ermolai Ivanov - Saltychikha tortured three wives.
Serfs rarely complained about the landlords - in the 18th century. the nobles got away with a lot, and the serfs could be exiled to Siberia for any offense. But Catherine II, who recently ascended the throne, took this matter under her personal control - she was amazed at the number of people killed, and in the new "enlightened society" that she undertook to build, there was no place for such atrocities. First, Saltychikha was taken under house arrest, in 1764 a criminal case was opened against her. For about a year, they collected evidence and interviewed witnesses, of which there were more than 400 people. The killer denied her guilt, justifying herself by saying that "she was putting things in order in her estate." But her guilt was proven.
Saltychikha was deprived of her noble rank and all property, and a civil execution was carried out over her: she was chained to a pillory in the square and hung on her chest a sign "The torturer and murderer." The criminal spent the remaining 33 years of her life in captivity. And the most cruel female killer in history, on whose account there were 650 deaths, is considered a Hungarian aristocrat: truth and fiction about the bloody Countess Bathory