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Toso Stojkov
Occupation Farmer
Died

April 9, 1888
Szerbklári, Austria-Hungary

Cause of death Lynched
Attack information
Date April 4, 1888
Location(s) Szerbklári, Austria-Hungary
Killed 1-2
Injured 2-3
Weapon(s) Revolver
Melee weapon

Toso Stojkov was a Serbian farmer who killed at least one person and wounded three others in Szerbklári, a village in Torontál County, Austria-Hungary on April 4, 1888.[1][2][3]

When Stojkov, a wealthy local farmer, was around the age of 20 he and another man murdered his old mother. He was arrested and denied any involvement in the crime, but was sentenced to 20 years in prison due to the testimony of his accomplice. He served his time at the jail in Ilava, where he learned the Hungarian language and won the favour of his guards.[4]

Around new year 1888, after 17 years in prison, Stojkov was released on probation, because of good behaviour, and he immediately returned to Szerbklári. There he soon found himself living in destitute conditions, since the expenditures for his trial and stay at the prison had considerably diminished his wealth, and whatever had remained was wasted by his wife, who had become an alcoholic. Outwardly he remained friendly, but he eventually began to plot his murders.[4]

On the morning of April 4 Stojkov strangled his wife and hid her body in a dark chamber where he covered her with straw and cloths. He then went to the home of his uncle, the municipal judge, and after being told that he was absent fired two shots with a revolver at his aunt, injuring her slightly. Greeting the people he encountered on his way he subsequently went to the parish hall, where he seriously injured the vice-notary Friedrich Stock with a shot in the stomach, when he was told that the notary himself was out.[4]

After reloading his gun Stojkov's next stop was at the home of merchant M. Wolf, where he found the man's son outside. When he was told that Wolf was not expected to return until the evening he shot and probably fatally wounded the boy with two shots and then fled. Meanwhile police began to search for him, finding in his home a written biography in which he complained about his desolate circumstances and the leaders of his community. No sign of Stojkov was found until several days after the murders, when he left a note on a bench, stating that he was still in the area and wouldn't leave before he had killed the notary, the judge, and the priest.[4]

On April 9 he was eventually spotted on a meadow near the village. The news spread quickly and soon a large crowd armed with sticks and scythes began to search the area, but to no avail, since Stojkov was already at the home of his uncle where he tried to force his entrance. A struggle between him and the occupants ensued and when he found himself pinched in the door people alerted by the screams rushed to scene and beat him to death.[4]

VictimsEdit

  • His wife
  • Son of M. Wolf

Wounded were:

  • His aunt
  • Friedrich Stock

Less detailed accounts of the crime reported six people killed, including Stojkov's wife and child, the judge's wife, the vice-notary, the notary's gardener, and a passerby.[5][6][7][8]

ReferencesEdit

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