In Czinkota, Hungary, Bela Kiss married a woman 15 years his junior. Kiss’s wife bedded the neighbor, and in 1912, they both disappeared.
Then, around the Budapest area, women started going missing.
Kiss was drafted into the army in 1914, and he, too, went missing.
The army officers confiscated seven of the metal drums that Kiss purchased and found an alcohol-preserved corpse in each of the drums. The victims had been strangled; each had wounds on their necks and had been drained of blood.
Seventeen (or 19 to 24, depending on the story) more barrels were found. Kiss’s wife and boyfriend were found in two of the barrels. But, since it was thought that Kiss was missing, the case was closed.
At one point, a nurse who had supposedly tended to Kiss’s wounds at a Serbian hospital described the dying solder, but her description did not match the man thought to have committed the murders.
Kiss was seen by various people in Budapest, but each time the police checked out the siting, he had disappeared.