“To call this monster a man”: the story of the landowner Daria Saltykova, who tortured more than a hundred of her serfs23.06.2022
Each of them described in detail the methods of torture that the landowner used on her people. It turned out that Saltychikha had her own prisons with various torture devices.
Daria obstructed justice with might and main, being sure that she would again be able to get out of the water dry thanks to money. By the way, historians say that if another investigator had come across the case of the landowner, perhaps her guilt would not have been proven. Saltykova was removed from the management of the estates. A priest was assigned to her for a month, who was supposed to persuade her to repent before the Lord and confess her crimes. The noblewoman refused to admit her guilt, claiming that she had been slandered by the servants.
After that, Volkov organized a general search on the estates of the villain and interrogated absolutely all the serfs and even neighbors. The facts of countless bullying of the servants, as well as murders, were revealed. The last victim of the mistress was the 19-year-old courtyard girl Fekla Gerasimova, who died in the summer of 1762. In addition, a ledger was discovered, which indicated all the bribes that Daria gave to officials. Two servants, a groom and a housemaid, Aksinya Stepanova, helped her mistress to commit atrocities. The last two served as undertakers.
The court ruled that Saltykova was “undoubtedly guilty” of the death of thirty-eight serfs; she was “left in suspicion” of the death of another twenty-six. The circumstances of the death of another seventy-four peasants remained unclear. By the way, Daria was also found guilty of the attempt on the life of Captain Tyutchev.
The investigation went on for about six years. That the court verdict would be guilty, no one doubted, because the evidence was convincing. However, Saltychikha still did not admit to anything. In 1768, Catherine II decided to imprison Daria for life in the dungeon of the Ivanovsky Monastery without light and human communication, as well as to deprive her of her noble title and prohibit her from being called her father’s or husband’s family, including in court.