Martha Lowenstein was an orphan from Vienna and was just 15 when she met and became the constant companion of a much older and very wealthy man; Moritz Fritsch. The year was 1919. Fritsch died in 1924, and to be expected, Martha inherited his legacy. Martha then went on to marry insurance agent Emil Marek, and lived the good life........ until all her money had been spent. They hatched a plan to cheat the insurance company with an injury to Emil`s leg. They had tried to sever his leg with an axe! But the ceiling came down upon them when it was discovered that Martha had bribed medical staff into giving false evidence. They were both jailed for four months. Whilst incarcerated, Martha had shared a cell with Leopoldine Lichtenstein. She had poisoned her husband with a rat poison, Zeliopaste. One of the ingredients was Thallium.
Emil died in July 1932 and soon after, their young daughter died too. Martha upped and moved in with her aging aunt, Susanne Lowenstein. But now a pattern started to emerge. Susanne died, and Martha gained a home. In order to boost income, Martha began to take in lodgers, one of was Felicitas Kittenberger, who worked as a seamstress. She too, suddenly died. Now she attempted another insurance fraud, but this was a failure. Police began to take an interest in her and decided to undertake some exhumations. Felicitas was exhumed and taken for examination. The pathologist stated that her death was due to Thallium poisoning.
Now the Police stepped up the investigation. The bodies of Susanne, Emil and two children were exhumed. All had Thallium in them. Enquiries about Martha learned that she had purchased Zeliopaste from a chemist in the city. Police arrested Martha and she was charged with five murders in 1938. She was convicted of four of them and sentenced to death. She went to the guillotine on December 6th 1938.