Mariam Soulakiotis a Killer Nun from Greece
Mariam Soulakiotis was a Greek nun who, between 1931 and 1951, killed at least 27 people and was responsible for the deaths of 150 children due to negligence. Mariam Soulakiotis a killer nun attract wealthy women into her convent (abbey) before torturing them to extort money from them, sometimes killing them.
Thus, she accumulated nearly 300 properties, as well as a large amount of money and jewelry. At the same time, she advocated frugality for the children of the monastery, victims of persecution: starved, beaten and sometimes locked up. Due to her negligence, 150 children died of tuberculosis (TBC).
The Crime of Mariam Soulakiotis a Killer Nun
Mariám Soulakiótis’ alleged modus operandi was to encourage wealthy women to join monasteries and then torture them until they donated their wealth to the monastery; once the money was given, she embezzled (financial fraud) it and, in some cases, killed the donor. Reuters reported that at the time of her arrest, she had amassed three hundred properties across Greece, as well as “thousands of pounds worth of gold and jewellery”.
It also demands strict adherence to ascetic practices by members of the monastery, which police say resulted in the unnecessary deaths of 150 children due to tuberculosis. Victims of the convent administration by Mariám Soulakiótis also accused him, on several occasions, of torturing them, starving them, wrongfully imprisoning them and beating them. She denied all charges against him until her death, calling it “κατασκευάσματα “, in English: fiction of the devil.
The number of victims of Mariám Solakiótis is a matter of debate; the figures for 27 homicides and 150 negligent homicides that are most often cited are from medical testimony at her trial.
The investigation into Mariam’s alleged crimes was complicated by the fact that she was a nun, and enjoyed a certain level of protection from the church. However, the police were determined to uncover the truth, and they conducted a thorough investigation. They interviewed witnesses, gathered evidence, and searched the abbey for any signs of foul play. They eventually found a hidden room in the abbey, where they discovered a stash of poison and other suspicious items.
More than eighty-five police officers raided the monastery grounds for the first time on the night of December 4, 1950, accompanied by a deputy prosecutor, a judge and a forensic doctor, in an operation that lasted throughout the night. On entering, they found thirty-six children, had to wrench them from the hands of the nuns, and “several half-naked old women, malnourished and sick, tied up in the cellar”.
Described as a “cult leader”, Solakiotis had more than 400 followers living in the monastery at the time of her arrest. In addition, state records show that five hundred people bequeathed all their property to the convent and later died in it, which, prosecutors say, is an unusually high number for a convent of its size that is legally operated.
In 1951, following her arrest, her followers marched against her arrest, demanding that they be returned to their “leader”. This led the police to protect the home of Archbishop Spyridon, whom they said would be kidnapped by the Matteites in retaliation, with the aim of holding him hostage until the authorities released Solakiotis.
At trial, Solakiotis’ lawyer, Panos Panayotakos, said in her defense that the people surrendered all their possessions to the monasteries when they united as an oath of poverty, and that the property was put in Solakiotis’ personal name simply because there was no legal entity in the area. behind the monastery.
To support her defense, Panayotakos also shows a letter from Field Marshal Harold Alexander, in which, she says, she thanks the convent priest for heroically taking the risk to help some British soldiers escape during the Axis Occupation of Greece.
Solakiotis died in Averoff prison on November 23, 1954. There is no consensus on her actual age at the time of his death, but, according to some sources, the age listed in her obituary was 71.
She was buried in the monastery grounds, near the body of her predecessor, Bishop Matthew Karpathakis.
Since then, a minority of historians have claimed that Solakiotis was innocent and that she was unfairly tried. Her sect continued underground despite being banned, and they were currently glorifying him as both a saint and a martyr, defending his innocence.
The story of Mariam Soulakiotis is a chilling reminder of the dark side of human nature. While she was initially seen as a kind and caring nun, her alleged crimes suggest a much darker reality. Despite the accusations and the investigation, the true extent of her guilt remains a mystery. However, the story of the Killer Nun from Greece will continue to intrigue and captivate people for generations to come.
Photo credit: A.P. Photo published 26 Jan 1951, author not identified., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons