Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Crimes of Bela Kiss

Metal Drums

Drums used to store bodies
Drums used to store bodies

Upon questioning, Mrs. Jakubec said that she had been perplexed by the big metal canisters that Bela Kiss had brought to his house before the war. People had begun to talk. He could be storing illegal liquor in them, some had speculated. The Cinkota constable had gone to have a chat with Kiss on the subject of the metal drums. Calmly Kiss had reassured the constable that he was not keeping any illicit liquor. War was on its way, he said, so he was stocking up on gasoline.

Woodshed, interior where two bodies were found
Woodshed, interior where two bodies
were found

When the detectives examined the other six metal drums, they found that each contained the body of a naked young woman. All of the victims had been strangled.

After the detectives arranged for a mortician to collect the victims found in the metal drums, they began a search of Kiss's home and the grounds around it, finding even more bodies that had been buried. Each victim, even those that had been buried, had been preserved in alcohol. The bodies were still recognizable and could be easily identified if they had some names with which to work.

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