She was the most effective serial killer whose name you've never ever heard of. Giulia Tofana killed thousands of males in 17th-century Italy when she turned her make-up service right into a poisonous substance manufacturing facility, offering a deadly concoction called Aqua Tofana. It was believed to have been tied with arsenic, belladonna, and lead.
Tofana made it her goal-- and also her company-- to assist aspiring widows murder their hubbies. During the Renaissance, in a period of prepared marriages that left no opportunity of divorce, the only escape of a miserable union was death. Women were commonly forced into marital relationships by their family members without having a say in the issue.
Once married, husbands had complete control over their wives, as women were typically completely helpless. Spouses might beat their wives without facing any punishment or subject them to all kinds of cruel treatments.
It wouldn't be surprising to find that some women wanted to be widows. Aqua Tofana supplied a fast, discrete service. She was able to murder numerous guys throughout almost 50 years without being captured-- till, in a stunning twist, a bowl of soup caused her downfall.
Who was Giulia Tofana outside of being the prolific developer of a widow-maker poison?
In lots of ways, one of history's most respected serial killers remains a mystery. There are no portraits of Giulia.
During the mid-1600s, Giulia sold cosmetics in southern Italy-- as well as her special recipes for Aqua Tofana which included sufficient arsenic to kill without leaving a trace. Giulia was eventually caught because of a dish of soup.
In the 1650s, one of Giulia Tofana's customers got cool feet. She'd bought the Aqua Tofana from Giulia and taken it home. She later felt guilty and stopped her husband from eating the poisoned food. Furthermore, she confessed that Giulia as the person who sold her the poison.
When Giula got news about the confession, she fled to the nearby church to ask for sanctuary. It was granted but rumors had spread all over Rome that Giula had poisoned the water. The churched was stormed and Giula was handed over to Papal authorities, who turtored her until she confessed to have poisoned over 600 men between 1633 and 1651. In July 1659, Giulia Tofana was executed along with her daughter and also 3 employees.
Giulia Tofana had not been the only poisoner in her household. She was the daughter of Thofania d'Adamo, who was performed in Palermo, Sicily, in 1633 after being accused of killing her husband. It's possible that Thofania also utilized a poisonous substance.
Several of Giulia's clients were also punished. After her confession, a variety of clients attempted to feign lack of knowledge and declare their Aqua Tofana was simply for cosmetic purposes. Others were executed or tossed into prison. Yet the story of Aqua Tofana continued long after Giulia's crime.
What was this Acqua Tofana?
Aqua Tofana could eliminate a male with as few as four drops of poison, meted out over a few weeks or days to avoid suspicion. It was entirely tasteless, odor-free, and also colorless-- making it the perfect toxin to blend into a glass of wine or any type of various other beverage. The poison was a blend of belladonna, lead, as well as arsenic, all fatal toxins.
Tofana's actual wizard, however, was in its disguise: as a normal woman's cosmetic or also a religious recovery oil that no husband would care to think of. She disguised Aqua Tofana as powdered make-up. And she even offered Aqua Tofana hidden in small vials with the photo of Saint Nicholas of Bari.
Aqua Tofana came to be so popular that in 1791, that on his deathbed, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart claimed he had been poisoned with Tofana's poison.
“I feel definitely that I will not last much longer; I am sure that I have been poisoned.” He went on to claim, “Someone had given me acqua tofana and calculated the precise time of my death.”
While poisoning probably really did not kill Mozart, the reality that Giulia Tofana's secret recipe was still being discussed more than 100 years after her death is clear proof that her toxin was popular.