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Elizabeth Báthory

Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed (Hungarian: Báthory Erzsébet, Slovak: Alžbeta Bátoriová ; 7 August 1560 – 21 August 1614) was a Hungarian noblewoman and serial killer from the Báthory family of nobility in the Kingdom of Hungary, who owned land in the Kingdom of Hungary (now Hungary and Slovakia) and Transylvania (now Romania), which were areas of Habsburg monarchy. She has been labelled by Guinness World Records as the most prolific female murderer, though the precise number of her victims is debated. Báthory and four collaborators were accused of torturing and killing hundreds of young women between 1585 and 1609. The highest number of victims cited during Báthory's trial was 650. However, this number comes from the claim by a serving girl named Susannah that Jakab Szilvássy, Countess Báthory's court official, had seen the figure in one of Báthory's private books. The book was never revealed, and Szilvássy never mentioned it in his testimony. Despite the evidence against Elizabeth, her family's influence kept her from facing trial. She was imprisoned in December 1609 within Čachtice Castle, in Upper Hungary (now Slovakia), and held in solitary confinement in a windowless room until her death five years later.

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