Darya Nikolayevna Saltykova Biography
(Russian Noblewoman, Sadist and Serial Killer)
Birthday: March 22, 1730 (Aries)
Born In: Russia
Darya Nikolayevna Saltykova, otherwise known as Saltichikha, was a Russian noblewoman, landowner, sadist, and serial killer who was successfully convicted and imprisoned for murdering 38 people, mostly girls and women. She has come to be regarded as the epitome of boyar abuse of serfs in pre-reformation Russia. Raised in an affluent and noble family, she was married young to Gleb Alexeyevich Saltykov and had two children with him. After her husband’s death when she was 26 years old, she inherited his large estate and became the richest widow in Moscow. Soon enough, she gained considerable power and influence in the imperial administration. She was a pious woman and regularly donated considerable amounts of money to churches and monasteries. Sometime during the early years of her widowhood, she began an affair with a young man named Nikolay Tyutchev. However, it ended abruptly, leaving her angry and bitter. She took out all that anger and bitterness on her serfs, especially on women and girls. She tortured them by progressively cruel means. While her crimes were often reported by the families of her victims, they were either ignored or the complainants themselves punished by the authorities. Eventually, her serfs went directly to Empress Catherine II, who ordered her arrest and subsequent investigation and trial. She was found guilty of murdering 38 serfs when actually she had killed about a 100 more. She was sentenced to life in prison and ultimately died in 1801.