World’s oldest serial killer: The Witch of Vladimirovac
Baba Anujka, often known as the Banat Witch or the Witch of Vladimirovac, was a Yugoslav serial killer who was finally arrested in 1928. She is thought to have poisoned at least 50 people, with the number likely to rise to at least 100. She was 90 years old at the time of her arrest, and the most of her murders appear to have occurred during that time.
World’s oldest serial killer
Ana di Pitonja is thought to have been born in Romania in 1838, though details about her early life are scarce. Her family relocated to Vladimirovac, a village in modern-day Serbia, when she was in her teens. Her family was well-off, and she received a prestigious private education. Her life, however, was turned upside down when, at the age of 20, she had a brief romance with an Austrian army commander, who promptly abandoned her (although not before infecting her with syphilis). Despite the fact that she later married a much older man and had 11 children, all of whom died as children except one, the tragedy imprinted in her a deep resentment of males.
Anujka converted part of their home into a laboratory after her husband died after 20 years of marriage, and became a herbalist who provided a variety of services to local ladies. Her specialty was love potions, which she offered to ladies who were having marital issues in order to rekindle their husband’s interest for them. The males, however, would become sick and die within a week of being given the drug in secret. The love potions, in truth, were loaded with arsenic and poisons extracted from local flora. By the time she was captured, she had killed at least 50 and maybe as many as 150 men with her concoctions.
Her demise was brought about by one of her regular clients, Stana Momirov, who had previously killed her husband with one of Anujka’s love potions and was a frequent purchaser of herbal treatments from her. Momirov was detained and questioned after remarrying and a wealthy relative of her new husband died in similar circumstances, implicating Anujka in both murders.
Anujka sold a woman a potion with which to assassinate her husband’s father, and she died over a year later. The man became unwell and died after his 16-year-old granddaughter was deceived into giving the poison. Anujka, along with six other people implicated in the two deaths, was apprehended over 18 months later. Her co-defendants blamed her, alleging that they had no idea the potions were poisonous and that the deaths were caused by Anujka’s supernatural abilities. Anujka responded by denying ever offering them any form of potion, claiming the whole thing was a ruse to put the blame on her.
Anujka was eventually sentenced to 15 years in jail for her involvement in the two killings. She was freed on humanitarian grounds after serving eight years and died two years later at the age of 100.