Much of the initial evidence against the Countess was unsound
In 1610, Matthias II ordered Gyorgy Thurzo, to investigate the allegations. Thurzo was Palatine of Hungary- and ironically had been charged by the dying Ferenc Nadasdy with his wife’s protection. Between March and July 1610, Thurzo’s men interviewed 52 witnesses. 34 were servants of the Countess’s neighbors. These witnesses told lurid tales of bruised and beaten young women, stripped and left to die of exposure. But aside from a clerk, Andreas Somogy, who had seen a girl with badly burnt hands, they were repeating hearsay.
Things were little better amongst the Countess’s servants at Sarvar. The castle warden, Benedict Bicserdy, claimed to know of the secret torture rooms. However, although he had heard cries of pain and the sounds of a whip, he too had seen no evidence of torture. Anyone who was allowed into these secret rooms also reported there were no signs of anything untoward. Doctor’s called to the castle to tend to sick girls said they too had not seen any marks on their patients- although admittedly they were only allowed to see their faces.
When Thurzo arrested the Countess at Csejthe Castle on December 30, 1610, he claimed to have ‘caught her in the act.’ But there is little evidence to substantiate this. What was discovered was the body of one dead girl and another who was severely injured, but alive. The injured girl, named Anna stated at the scene that the Countess did indeed beat and hit her- but that Beneczky ripped her flesh. But once in Ujhely, Anna changed her account. Now she claimed that it was the Countess herself who had destroyed her right hand and arm. Anna was later awarded 50 guilders, 15 pounds of wheat and a small farm in Csejthe as free property- all courtesy of Thurzo.
Now she claimed that it was the Countess herself who had destroyed her right hand and arm. Anna was later awarded 50 guilders, 15 pounds of wheat and a small farm in Csejthe as free property- all courtesy of Thurzo.