The story of the fatal beauty Maria Tarnovskaya, nicknamed "The Bloody Countess"
Categories: HistoryBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/en/article/the-story-of-the-fatal-beauty-maria-tarnovskaya-nicknamed-the-bloody-countess
In 1910 in Venice tried a Russian noblewoman Maria Tarnovskaya, whom journalists nicknamed the "Bloody Countess". On account of this woman there were many broken destinies and mysterious deaths. Despite this, the sentence turned out to be surprisingly mild, and at the exit from the courtroom, the criminal was showered with flowers.
The most famous femme fatale of the Russian Empire was not Russian. Maria was born in 1877 in the family of the Irish Count Nikolai Moritsovich O'Rourke, an officer of the Russian Navy. Her father came from an old family and was a relative of the British royal dynasty of the Stuarts. Maria's mother, Ekaterina Petrovna Seletskaya, came from the Don Cossacks and had Ukrainian roots.
As befits an aristocrat, the girl graduated from the Institute of Noble Maidens. Immediately after receiving her diploma, Maria met Vasily Tarnovsky, the son of a major industrialist. The Tarnovsky family owned sugar factories and was very rich. They also became famous for patronage and collecting antiquities.
Maria and Vasily's parents were against this novel. The O'Rourkes wanted a noble husband for their daughter, and The Tarnovskys had their own plans for the marriage of the heir. But the lovers secretly got married and the families had no choice but to accept. In marriage, Maria took the surname of her spouse and became Tarnovskaya.
In 1897, Maria gave birth to her son Vasily. The birth was difficult and brought serious complications. Tarnovskaya believed that the Mediterranean climate and European doctors would help solve her problems, so the family spent most of their time in Italy. But joint trips did not unite the young family. Vasily Tarnovsky gradually moved away from his wife, preferring the company of friends and the company of young ballerinas to her.
Even the birth of a second child in 1899, daughter Tatiana, did not save the relationship. The birth was difficult, but Tarnovsky was not at all interested in his wife's condition. While Maria was in the clinic, he partied and relaxed in the arms of his mistresses. Soon he left his wife and left for an unknown destination with a visiting artist.
Perhaps Maria Tarnovskaya was influenced by an unhappy marriage, which was supplemented by health problems, but her behavior was strange and even unpredictable. Without receiving attention from her husband, she started numerous affairs on the side. The first victim of the "Bloody Countess" can be called the landowner Stefan Borzhevsky. Maria got together with him while she was bored in the family estate without her husband. The Tarnovsky case was obliged to be in In Kiev and at home, he was hit and run.
During one of these visits , the intrigue was revealed between Vasily and Stefan had a duel. Vasily fatally wounded his wife's lover in the neck with a pistol, but the court acquitted him. The next lover of the fatal beauty was a relative of her husband, Count Pavel Golenishchev-Kutuzov-Tolstoy. And again a duel took place, only this time with swords. By a lucky chance, it ended without bloodshed.
Soon after, Maria had an affair with Baron Vladimir Stahl. The aristocrat was crazy about his passion and fulfilled all her whims. By this time, Tarnovskaya, suffering from constant pain, was addicted to morphine and the count obediently supplied her with the drug. Soon he left his wife and children and went to Yalta with his mistress.
In the city by the sea, the couple planned to live happily ever after, but they did not succeed. Baron Stahl first insured his life for a large sum, and two days later he shot himself near the anatomical theater. Tarnovskaya received insurance after his death, so unpleasant rumors immediately spread in society.
As soon as the coffin lid closed over the body of the unfortunate baron, Maria Tarnovskaya found a new love for herself. The "Black Widow" seduced the famous Moscow lawyer Donat Prilukov. He, possessing a cold mind, resisted the charms of Tarnovskaya for a long time, but still could not resist. The lawyer brought his mistress to the capital and rented her a luxurious mansion on Sadovaya-Kudrinskaya.
Countess Tarnovskaya, who was not used to denying herself anything, cost Prilukov 4 thousand rubles a month. It was a huge sum and gradually the lawyer began to need. It all ended with the fact that he abandoned his family, stole 80 thousand rubles from clients and fled with Maria from Of Russia.
The couple settled in French Algeria, where it was easy to hide from Russian justice. The money stolen by the lawyer soon ran out and the criminal couple began to think about how to replenish the family budget. They were lucky — a rich man, Count Pavel Yevgrafovich Komarovsky, came to Algeria. The aristocrat did not arrive alone, but with a sick wife, to whom the doctors prescribed a dry desert climate.
It was not difficult to charm the visiting Count Tarnovskaya. Soon she became his mistress. After the death of his wife, Komarovsky proposed to Tarnovskaya, but she was in no hurry to get married. Firstly, she was officially married to Tarnovsky, whom I haven't seen for several years. And secondly, Maria specifically teased the count, for whose capital she and Prilukov had big plans.
With Komarovsky Tarnovskaya came from Algeria to Russia and settled in Orel. The count introduced Maria to relatives as a future spouse and after her divorce from Tarnovsky they got married. The count looked absolutely happy and soon left for Italy to buy a new mansion. Komarovsky planned to purchase an old palazzo in Venice and live in it with a new wife.
While the count was choosing the real estate remaining in Russia Tarnovskaya wasted no time in vain. She seduced the nobleman Nikolai Naumov, the son of the Perm governor. He was much younger than Maria and an experienced and passionate lady easily turned his head. Naumov even wrote a poem to his chosen one, in which he swore love to the grave. But the young man did not know that he had become only a tool in the hands of calculating criminals of Tarnovskaya and Prilukova.
By this time Komarovsky had made his wife the sole heiress, gave her 80 thousand rubles and insured his life for 500 thousand francs in her favor. At Tarnowska's request, the count indicated that the money should be paid to the widow even in the event of a violent death. Maria did not insist on this point in vain.
Count Pavel Yevgrafovich Komarovsky was fatally wounded on September 4, 1907 in the reception room of his house in Venice by Nikolai Naumov. Tarnovskaya's lover fired four shots and the count died the next day in the hospital. The murderer managed to escape to Verona, but he was soon detained. This case gave the police a reason to pay attention to the "Bloody Countess" and her accomplice. Donat Prilukov was arrested in a Vienna hotel, and Tarnovskaya was arrested right on the train when she was traveling to A vein to a lover.
Maria was placed in La Giudecca prison in Venice, where she spent more than two years while the investigation was underway. The case was striking in its scale. A total of 250 witnesses were questioned, and the Countess was examined by 25 experts and 9 psychiatrists. 33 volumes of materials were collected in Russian, French and Italian.
A total of 48 meetings were held, to each of which Tarnovskaya was brought in a black gondola. She was always exquisitely dressed in all black, and her face was covered with a veil. The guards of the "Bloody Countess" were constantly being changed, as they were afraid that she would seduce them and be able to escape. During the trial, the courtroom was full of men who shouted declarations of love and blew kisses to Maria. Italian journalists noted that it was the strangest trial in their practice.
Maria Tarnovskaya received 8 years in prison, which turned out to be a surprise for many. Komarovsky's killer Nikolai Naumov was sentenced to 3 years and 4 months, recognizing an experienced criminal as a victim. Donat Prilukov was the most unlucky of all. He was given 10 years, recalling the 80 thousand rubles once appropriated. When Tarnovskaya left the courtroom, she was pelted with bouquets and love notes.
The charming villain was placed in the prison of Trani in southern Italy. There she served only 5 years, after which she was released early for good behavior. After her release, Tarnovskaya took up her own. She destroyed the family of an American diplomat and fled with him to South America, to Argentina.
Less than a year later, she abandoned the American and became the mistress of the French aristocrat Alfred de Wilmer. Despite the fact that the couple was not married, Maria preferred to call herself "Madame de Vilmer". It was Tarnovskaya's last and only happy novel.
She died in 1949, having outlived her common-law husband by 9 years. The children of the rebellious Countess were able to achieve the incredible. The body of Maria Tarnovskaya was transported from Buenos Aires to Soviet Ukraine and placed in the family crypt.