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Countess, sadist, murderer, and alleged vampiress.
Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed (Báthory Erzsébet in Hungarian, Alžbeta Bátoriová in Slovak; 7 August 1560 – 21 August 1614) was a countess from the renowned Báthory family of nobility in the Kingdom of Hungary. She has been labelled the most prolific female serial killer in history and is remembered as the "Blood Countess," though the precise number of victims is debated. The stories of her sadistic serial murders and brutality are verified by the testimony of more than 300 witnesses and survivors as well as physical evidence and the presence of horribly mutilated dead, dying and imprisoned girls found at the time of her arrest. Despite the evidence against her however, Elizabeth herself was never put on trial because of her family's influence, being instead placed under house arrest. The stories about her vampire like tendencies (being accused of bathing in blood to rejuvenate her skin etc.) are much less verifable than those of her sadism as unlike the easily verified deaths of servants and young girls, these were generally recorded some years after her death. It quickly became part of national folklore.