Psychiatrists have given the go-ahead for the prosecution of a Polish cleaning lady accused of poisoning her employers shortly after they agreed to leave her all their possessions.
The woman was named only as Bogumila W., 51, because of data protection laws that prevent police from revealing her full name.
The woman was arrested after Austrian police dug up two bodies at cemeteries in Vienna and in lower Austria.
One of the men was found to have arsenic in his body which was 50 times over the normal limits that one might expect. The second man was then also found to have died as a result of poisoning from a plant-based chemical. Initially police had failed to find traces of the poison in the man’s body reportedly because he had had a blood transfusion near the end of his life. But arson was then found in a fingernail sample.
The woman was unable to explain how the substance had ended up in the men’s body but denied that she had poisoned them. She was remanded in custody while the investigation was ongoing.
The case is reminiscent to that of Austrian serial killer Elfriede Blauensteiner – dubbed the Black Widow, who murdered at least three victims by poison and then inherited their wealth which she then spent on gambling.
The prosecution case is now likely to be finalised allowing charges to take place at the end of October.
Krems prosecution spokesman Franz Hütter said: “It was necessary to prove that she was mentally aware of everything that was going on but it was really just a formality – we never had any doubt that the prosecution case could go ahead.”
The woman’s lawyer said that she continued to reject the allegations and was depresses, suicidal and currently receiving medical help to get through the stress of the allegations.
The woman’s son is also facing charges over allegations that he helped her to fraudulently obtain her alleged victims’ properties.
The two men died in October 2010 and February 2011 in hospitals in Vienna and Krems.
The woman who was arrested at the end of March is accused of their murder in order to inherit their property – the bodies were exhumed in April.