Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Crimes of Bela Kiss

An Amiable Young Man

Dr. Nagy began with Mrs. Jakubec. He stared at her as she sat in the kitchen. Then suddenly she screamed at him. "I'm just a simple old woman! Don't send me to prison!"

When Nagy calmed her down, she told him that she had looked after Bela Kiss since 1900 when he came to Cinkota. "He was such a good-looking boy of 23. We were so fond of him. He was kind to everyone; he wouldn't hurt a living thing. Once a dog had broken its leg, he made splints and nursed the animal to recovery. I am sure it is a mistake — he did not kill those women! Someone else did it!"

She admitted seeing lots of different women who came to visit Bela Kiss over the years, but she claimed that she did not know their names. "I scarcely ever said a word to them. I was only a servant and spent the nights in my own home. What Bela Kiss did with these ladies was none of my business. They were all city ladies, not peasants like me. They would come for a day or two and then go away."

The more Nagy pressed her for details, the more hysterical she became. "I am innocent!" she screamed at him.

Nagy pulled out a document from his pocket that he had found in Bela Kiss's desk. "Do you see this?" He showed her Kiss's will. "He leaves you a very substantial sum of money."

"I knew nothing of it," she insisted and began to cry.

Nagy and his colleagues questioned all of Kiss's neighbors and everybody in the town who knew him. Everybody liked Bela Kiss and didn't think it was particularly unusual for a handsome, amiable bachelor to entertain a number of women. The married men of the town envied him.

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