Teacher Flushes Toilet to Murder Her Four Children: A Shocking Crime in Miskolc
In a haunting confession, a Hungarian teacher from the 1970s admitted to the chilling murders of four newborn babies, storing their nylon-wrapped bodies in a toolbox within her home's cluttered pantry.
The 42-year-old was arrested after a series of water-related killings that remained undiscovered for five years, constituting an unprecedented case in the annals of Hungarian criminology, as reported by Észak-Magyarország, a contemporary newspaper.
In June 1975, the lifeless body of an infant was discovered by the Szinva creek, prompting a rigorous police investigation to identify the mother and potential murderer. Law enforcement appealed to the public via a county newspaper announcement, requesting information on any pregnancies that suddenly became inconspicuous without the sight of a newborn.
Recollections of this unusual case surfaced at a roundtable of renowned police officers, as Dr. Ferenc Répási, a lieutenant colonel, fulfilled a request by László Szabó a prominent journalist during the Kádár era to recount the investigation for Szabó's book, "13 Detectives, 33 Cases."
A key tip came from an individual claiming that Aranka P., a teacher at a primary school in Miskolc, was pregnant and had gone to great lengths to conceal it. The teacher's abrupt change in appearance raised suspicions, but when questioned, she denied any connection to the infant found by the creek. Initial genetic tests seemed to corroborate her story, potentially leading the investigators to a dead end.
However, in a statement that almost made the lieutenant colonel "fall off his chair," Aranka admitted to a dreadful act, casually suggesting that she had also killed her own offspring and was willing to lead investigators to the baby's remains.
The investigative party, comprising detectives, witnesses, a scribe, and a forensic expert, followed the teacher to her residence. As described in the December 17, 1975, issue of Észak-Magyarország, they witnessed Aranka retrieve a "hefty" package from a shelf in the cluttered pantry, unveiling a large nylon bag with a tied neck that contained the tiny corpse of an infant - an appalling visual, as recalled by one of the detectives.
Upon examining the baby in the bag, Aranka was questioned about her motives and methods but asked the officers for patience. She also refused to implicate the child's father to avoid causing him trouble.
The full extent of the horror unfolded as investigators learned that there were three more deceased newborns within the home of this educated woman, who held a college degree. From 1970 to 1975, Aranka P. murdered four of her babies, encasing them in nylon, and remained tight-lipped about the fathers, though it was deduced that two shared the same father. She spoke candidly about the killings and the circumstances of her pregnancy to her interrogators.
She disclosed that in each instance, she discovered her pregnancy late, around the sixth month. The detectives harbored doubts but accepted her statements. She outlined her inability to keep the babies due to financial debt and a deteriorating marriage, having already birthed a child with her husband, who by the time of her arrest, had grown up. It was not clear if her eldest child was aware of the existence of the doomed infants.
Aranka's narrative revealed that she was 37 when she realized she was pregnant for the second time in November 1969, and she felt ashamed. The shame stemmed from not only her age but also from conceiving from an extramarital affair with a married man. This child was born in 1970.
She recalled the labor occurring on a Friday the 13th a date not easily forgotten. Despite teaching both in the morning and afternoon on that day, she gave birth in the morning, directly into the toilet. With no one to assist, she removed the newborn, placed it in a nylon bag, and sealed it, as recounted by Szabó in his book.
The first baby, a boy, ended up in the pantry along with his siblings. The second, a girl born in March 1971, perished instantly upon seeing daylight, unlike her brother. When Aranka stood after giving birth and flushed the toilet, it was the second child who cried out before succumbing to the flush.
The third, a boy born on June 28, 1974, had his life cruelly snatched shortly after birth. Aranka, who had grown more composed with each pregnancy, admitted to perishingly flushing the newborn. She refuted the idea of strangulation, citing she couldn't commit such an act. Her method intended to minimize suffering as she found it painful to witness the tragic scenes.
On June 24, 1975, a Tuesday, the fourth child, another boy, met the same fate. Aranka justified the flushing method, claiming her belief that it alleviated suffering post-birth, despite experts deeming drowning one of the most agonizing deaths.
Despite awareness of the option to give up newborns for state care, where they would be swiftly adopted without the mother's identity revealed, and vice versa, Aranka chose secrecy over facing the societal shame of giving birth to yet another unwanted child.
Ultimately, her acts led to her arrest and confession of her deeds. On April 6, 1976, the Supreme Court of the Hungarian People's Republic upheld the Miskolc County Court's judgment of murder, sentencing Aranka P. to 15 years in prison and a 10-year ban from public service. The tragic tale of the primary school teacher who systematically concealed the murders of four innocent lives within the confines of her home sent shockwaves through not only the local community but the entire country, working as a stark reminder of the dark potential within human nature.