...a twelve year old girl named Pola somehow managed to escape from the castle. But Dorka, aided by Helena Jo, caught the frightened girl by surprise and brought her forcibly back to Cachtice Castle. Clad only in a long white robe, Countess Elizabeth greeted the girl upon her return. The countess was in another of her rages. She advanced on the twelve-year-old child and forced her into a kind of cage. This particular cage was built like a huge ball, too narrow to sit in, too low to stand in. Once the girl was inside, the cage was suddenly hauled up by a pulley and dozens of short spikes jutted into the cage. Pola tried to avoid being caught on the spikes, but Ficzko maneuvered the ropes so that the cage shifted from side to side. Pola's flesh was torn to pieces.
Elizabeth's atrocities continued:
One accomplice testified that on some days Elizabeth had stark- naked girls laid flat on the floor of her bedroom and tortured them so much that one could scoop up the blood by the pailfull afterwards, and so Elizabeth had her servants bring up cinders in order to cover the pools of blood. A young maid-servant who did not endure the tortures will and died very quickly was written out by the countess in her diary with the laconic comment "She was too small,"... At one point in her life Elizabeth Bathory was so sick that she could not move from her bed and could not find the strength to torture her miscreant servant girls.... She demanded that one of her female servants be brought before her. Dorothea Szentes, a burly, strong peasant woman, dragged one of Elizabeth's girls to her bedside and held her there. Elizabeth rose up on her bed, and, like a bulldog, the Countess opened her mouth and bit the girl first on the cheek. Then she went for the girl's shoulders where she ripped out a piece of flesh with her teeth. After that, Elizabeth proceeded to bite the girl's breasts.
Count Thurzo's plans to save the family name was thwarted when:
In the winter of 1610 Elizabeth evidently still felt that her social position made her virtually untouchable before the law, since she had her servants toss four murdered girls from the ramparts of Castle Cachtice into the path of roaming wolves. This was done in full view of the Cachtice villagers, who reported this latest atrocity to the king's officials.
There was no midnight raid on Elizabeth's castle, because there was no need for any. Over the years there had been abundant evidence built up against the countess. When the raiding party arrived at Elizabeth's manorhouse in Cachtice, they found the beaten body of...[a servant girl]... before the door. Elizabeth and her cohorts had not yet bothered to bury the body. Inside the house the nobles found two other female victims.
In a letter to his wife, Count Thurzo wrote:
"I took the Nadasdy woman into custody; she was immediately taken to her fortress... She will be well watched and held in strict imprisonment until God and the law decide about her... I await only until the accursed woman has been deposited in the fortress and a suitable room found for her.
...the most surprising testimony came from a witness identified only as "the maiden Zusanna," no last name being mentioned. After describing the tortures by Helena Jo, Dorothea, and Ficzko...and after making a plea for mercy in the case of Katarina Beneczky, Zusanna then revealed the single most shocking piece of evidence in this trial... a list or register in the Countess's chest of drawers, which put the number of girls killed at 650 and that was in her Ladyship's own handwriting.
The servants were then judged guilty and their punishments meted out as follows:
...first of all, Helena Jo and secondly Dorothea Szentes, the so- called foremost perpetrators of such great crime, were sentenced to having all their fingers on their hands, which they had used as instruments in so much torture and butcherings and which they had dipped in the blood of Christians, torn out by the public executioner with a pair of red-hot pincers; and after that their bodies should be thrown alive on the fire. Because of his youthful age and complicity in fewer crimes, Ficzko was only to be decapitated. After that his body, drained of blood, was to be reunited with his two fellow accomplices and burned... Only Katarina Beneczky escaped the death sentence. Later on January 24, 1611... Erzsi Majorova... was also found guilty and executed.
And regarding her death:
Late in August of the year 1614 one of the countess's jailers wanted to get a good look at her, since she was still reputedly one of the most beautiful women in Hungary. Peeking through the small aperture in her walled-up cell, he saw her lying face down on the floor. Countess Elizabeth Bathory was dead at the age of fifty-four.