German serial killer, Sophie Charlotte Elisabeth Ursinus was born on May 5, 1760, in Glatz, Lower Silesia, Prussia with the birth name Sophie Weingarten. One of her parents was the secretary of the Austrian legation. Sophie was 19-years-old when she married Theodore Ursinus who was a counselor of the Supreme Court and was many years older than her. They moved from Stendal to Berlin in 1792. Privy Counsellor Theodore Ursinus on September 11, 1800, which was one day after his birthday celebration. Sophie was a suspect because she did not consult a doctor and gave him medicine that made his condition worse.
Sophie had an affair with Dutch officer Rogay, but it is not sure if Theodore gave consent to her affair or not. Rogay had left Berlin for some time but return and died three years before Theodore. He was believed to die from tuberculosis, but it was discovered not too long after that Sophie had purchased a massive amount of arsenic.
Sophie"s aunt Christiane Witte died on January 24, 1801, after she was ill for a short time in Charlottenburg. Sophie inheritance from her aunt Christiane was humongous. It was once again discovered that Sophie purchases an enormous amount of arsenic before her aunt"s death.
Sophie"s servant, Benjamin Klein had a dispute with Sophie and fell ill soon after, towards the ending part of February 1803. Sophie gave Benjamin an emetic, and then soup which made his condition worse. Benjamin became suspicious of Sophie, so he secretly had the plums she gave him tested/examined by a chemist. The chemist told Benjamin that the plums contained arsenic.
Sophie Ursinus was arrested in 1803. She was suspected of poisoning her husband. Autopsy examiners, chemist Martin Heinrich Klaproth and his assistant, Valentin Rose
could not confirm that he was poisoned with arsenic after his body was exhumed and examined. His bodily organs general condition and his limbs convulsive contraction shows that he might have been poisoned with arsenic. Sophie was convicted of murdering her aunt Christiane after her body was exhumed and examiners confirmed that Christiane was poisoned with arsenic.
Sophie"s trial ended September 12, 1803, with her being convicted of murdering her aunt Christiane and attempted murder of her servant Benjamin. She was sentenced to life imprisonment but was allowed to wear beautiful clothing and have parties with guests. She was pardoned in 1833 after serving 30 years in prison and rejoined her upper-class society upon her release from jail. Sophie died at the age of 73 on April 4, 1836.
It is believed that Sophis poisoned her husband, aunt Christians, one of her lover and attempted to poison/murder her servant, Benjamin in her killing spree from September 1796 to 1803 in Prussia.
Something good that came out of her trial was that Chemist James Marsh developed the "Marsh" test in 1936 which is an extremely sensitive way of detecting arsenic in someone. The "Marsh" test will help doctors confirm if a patient was poisoned with arsenic.