Stefan Kiss-Kovacs
Stefan Kiss-Kovacs
Title page of the Illustrierte Kronen Zeitung depicting the crime.
Background information
Occupation Gendarme

August 13, 1906
Királyhalom, Austria-Hungary

Cause of death Shot by police
Attack information
Date August 13, 1906
12 a.m. – 4 a.m.
Location(s) Ludaspuszta, Austria-Hungary
Killed 4+
Injured 11+
Weapon(s) Rifle

Stefan Kiss-Kovacs (also identified as Stefan Kovacs-Kiss; Hungarian: Kis Kovács István) was a Hungarian gendarme who killed at least four people and wounded at least eleven others in an area known as Ludaspuszta, near Szabadka, Austria-Hungary on August 13, 1906, before being shot by police.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7]

Kiss-Kovacs, who was the deputy commander of the police post in Ludas, came from a family with a history of mental illness – his father and brother reportedly died in derangement. He was described as a quiet and respectable person, and was well liked by his superiors and the people.[8][9]

During the afternoon of August 12, from 3 p.m. onwards, Kiss-Kovacs drank together with three shepherds and eventually was so intoxicated that he had to be taken home by the inkeeper. On the evening he was assigned to night duty at the station, but around midnight he took his service rifle and 120 rounds of ammunition and left his post. According to witnesses he was staggering and appeared drunk. Outside he encountered teacher Desider Jecs, and estate owners Jenai and Szlit, who were on their way home from the local inn. Kiss-Kovacs approached and shot them at close range, leaving Jecs dead on the spot, and the other two fatally wounded. They died shortly thereafter. He next entered the home of a woman, who was living alone in a house at the end of the village, and asked her for a glass of water. After drinking he told her that she would now receive her reward and shot her down, causing life threatening injuries.[8][9][10][11]

Kiss-Kovacs then made his way towards Horgoš and on the country road shot several people, thus fatally hitting 14-year-old Anton Hallasz, who died the following afternoon, seriously injuring economist Michael Varjas with a shot in the jaw, and probably fatally injuring farmer Blasius Kovacs, and a woman surnamed Halma. He also randomly shot cats and dogs and fired through doors.[8][9][10]

Police in Szabadka was not informed about the shooting until 3 a.m. and when the patrol lead by gendarme Anton Molnar arrived in Ludas the gunman was already gone. After leaving an unknown number of victims in Horgoš, Kiss-Kovacs went to Királyhalom, where he also wounded several people. At around 4 a.m. the police patrol eventually caught up with him and found him behind a stack of straw at the farm of Michael Czerna. When he was ordered to surrender he fired four shots at Molnar, barely missing him. Kiss-Kovacs, who still had 40 rounds of ammunition at the time, was killed when the patrol opened fire in return. His body was taken to Királyhalom, where it was kept to perform an autopsy.[8][9][10]

One of the victims, a man named Michael Balasj-Kobacz, reportedly later succumbed to a chest injury at the hospital in Királyhalom.[11][12]


  • Anton Hallasz, 14
  • Desider Jecs
  • Mr. Jenai
  • Mr. Szlit

Among those wounded were:

  • Mrs. Michael Halma
  • Blasius Kovacs
  • Mr. Salman
  • Christine Szalman
  • Michael Varjas

Several of them were said to be in hopeless condition.


Further readingEdit

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.