The almost 400-year-old corpse of aristocrat Žofia Bosniaková which had been on display in a church in Teplička nad Váhom in Žilina region was set alight by Ľuboš R., a 31-year-old man, on April 1 and was completely consumed by fire. The police arrested the culprit at the scene of the crime as he watched the coffin burn. Although he confessed to starting the fire, his motive was for long uncertain. The man faced charges. The arsonist was at first detained but was then sent to a psychiatric institution for examination. He allegedly has schizophrenia.
Žofia Bosniaková, the wife of Hungarian palatine František Vesselényi, lived in Teplička nad Váhom and at nearby Strečno Castle, where she died in 1644 at the age of 35. Throughout her life, Bosniaková was well-known for the charity she gave to the poor and sick and for other good deeds. Her body, which was almost perfectly preserved despite the fact that it had not been embalmed, was found 45 years after her death in the castle crypt. The crypt in the Lorraine chapel with the corpse of Žofia Bosniaková was accessible for visitors after making a written advance request or after having registered in the visitors’ book. The arsonist signed the visitors’ book, got the key to the crypt from a nearby confectionery store, brought the corpse outside, set it on fire and watched it burn while allegedly laughing wildly. He said he had seen Žofia in a dream as a witch or a vampire and, as he had seen in a film that evil beings can be destroyed by fire, he tried to do so.
21. Dec 2009 at 0:00 | Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská