Elfriede Blauensteiner

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Elfriede Blauensteiner
Elfriede Blauensteiner.jpg
Born (1931-01-22)22 January 1931
Vienna, Austria
Died 18 November 2003(2003-11-18) (aged 72)
Cause of death Brain tumor
Other names The Black Widow
Victims 3
Country Austria

Elfriede Blauensteiner (22 January 1931 – 18 November 2003), dubbed the "Black Widow",[1] was an Austrian serial killer who murdered at least three victims by poison. In each case, she inherited the victim's possessions.


On 7 March 1997, Blauensteiner was found guilty of murdering 77-year-old Alois Pichler and sentenced to life imprisonment. Her former lawyer Harald Schmidt was jailed for seven years for being an accomplice to grievous bodily harm and for forging the will of Alois Pichler. She was a gambling addict and it is believed that she would deliberately date rich elderly men and poison them before gambling away the money which had been left to her in their fabricated wills.[2] Four years later, she was found guilty of murdering her 64-year-old husband Friedrick Doecker and 84-year-old female neighbour Franziska Koeberl. Although she was only convicted of a total of three murders, Austrian police believe that she may have murdered at least 10 people. Keoberl is believed to have been her only female victim.[3]

After serving less than seven years of her life sentence, Blauensteiner died from a brain tumor on 18 November 2003 in a Vienna hospital.[4]


  • Peter Vronsky: «Female Serial Killers: How and Why Women Become Monsters”, Berkley Books, New York (2007), p. 439
  1. ^ "Austrian 'Black Widow' may face another trial for murder". BBC News. 1998-01-24. Retrieved 2008-09-17. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ "Elfriede Blauensteiner, la 'viuda negra' austriaca". Elmundo (in Spanish). 2003-11-20. Retrieved 2008-09-17. 

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