The Woman Rasputin: The Truth About The Killer Nun

Mother Superior Mariam Soulakiotis, who became one of the world's most notorious serial killers, was born in Greece sometime between the early 1880s and 1900. As reported by Emadion, much of Soulakiotis' childhood remains a mystery. However, it is believed that her family was impoverished, and Soulakiotis worked on a farm and in a factory until she was around 23 years old.

When she was in her mid 20s, Soulakiotis met Father Matthew, a Greek monk. At the time he met Soulakiotis, Father Matthew was questioning the tenets of the Old Calendarist faith. Emadion reports Father Matthew ultimately formed a new sect, which eventually became known as the "New Calendarists." As reported by Unknown Misandry, Father Matthew also built a monastery and convent under the tenets of his newly-formed sect.

Soulakiotis developed a keen interest in Father Matthew's New Calendarists, and subsequently left home to become part of the sect and help him run the convent. Emadion reports Soulakiotis was known for her "strong character." Shortly after joining the convent, she began taking control and managing a number of aspects of the monastery and convent's management and the recruitment of new members to the sect.

Unknown Misandry reports Soulakiotis became even more involved in the running of the convent, monastery, and the sect as Father Matthew became elderly and was no longer able to manage his own affairs. Unfortunately, her behavior and methods of controlling the members became increasingly brutal.

Soulakiotis specifically targeted wealthy families

As reported by Unknown Misandry, newly recruited members of the New Calendarists were not only required to relinquish their property and money to the church, Mother Superior Mariam Soulakiotis also forced them to confess their sins, fast, and maintain silence to prove their commitment to the church. They were also deprived of sleep and forced to spend a majority of their time praying. Those who refused to comply were subjected to harsh punishment, including beatings.

Emadion reports Soulakiotis specifically targeted wealthy families, whose estates would provide the sect with a steady, and lucrative income. Once they joined the sect, members were essentially cut off from the family, friends, and the rest of the world.

Following Father Matthew's death in 1939, Soulakiotis took complete control over the sect. By all accounts, her rules and punishments were severe, if not torturous. In addition to actual beatings, many members were subjected to debilitating hard labor and were often denied food. As reported by Emadion, a startling number of members of the New Calendarists "died of malnutrition, the hard manual labor ... and the tortures."

By 1949, local villagers started realizing something was going terribly wrong at the monastery and convent. Unknown Misandry reports the villagers often heard screaming coming from the property and rumors of torture began to spread throughout the region. However, authorities were not alerted to the concerns until 1950, when the daughter of a recent convert alerted authorities to report some of the sect's misdeeds.

Authorities believe she was responsible for at least 177 deaths

The woman told a prosecutor that her mother was forced to relinquish her entire estate to the New Calendarists. As reported by Unknown Misandry, the complaint prompted authorities to investigate the New Calendarists and what had been happening at the monastery and convent. The investigation revealed an estimated 500 people who had joined the sect signed their estates over to the church. Many of those recruits had also died under unusual circumstances shortly after joining.

Mother Superior Mariam Soulakiotis (above) was arrested in December 1950. Once the details of her crimes were exposed, including physical abuse, torture, and withholding food and medical care, she gained the nicknames "Woman Rasputin" and "Mother Rasputin."

Unknown Misandry reports Soulakiotis' trial began in September 1951. She was convicted on multiple charges and initially sentenced to 26 months in prison. On February 6, 1953, she was tried again on additional charges, including causing the deaths of at least one monk and three nuns. She was also convicted on those charges and sentenced to another 10 years in prison. During her final trial, which concluded on November 18, 1953, Soulakiotis was convicted of abuse, embezzlement, fraud, and illegal detention. She was ultimately sentenced to four more years in prison, which were to be served concurrently with her prior sentences.

Emadion reports that although Soulakiotis was convicted in a handful of murders, authorities believe she was responsible for at least 177 deaths.

Some people still believe Soulakiotis was a saint

As reported by Unknown Misandry, Soulakiotis made the equivalent of more than $750,000 in cash, property, and other assets she gained from her victims. At the time of her arrest, she personally held title to at least 300 farms and homes.

People Pill relates that Mother Superior Mariam Soulakiotis died in Averoff Prison in 1954 at the age of 71. Until the day she died, she professed her innocence and said the accusations against her were "Satanic fictions."

However, her followers reportedly continued her efforts to recruit new members, although authorities forbade them from doing so. Unknown Misandry reports a number of teenage girls who had previously expressed interest in joining the New Calendarists vanished from the region in the years following the Woman Rasputin's death. It is unknown who, if anyone, actually continued the recruiting, and what happened to the missing teens.

As reported by Everything Explained Today, the monastery remained open as recently as 2019, and some members maintain Soulakiotis was innocent of the crimes she was accused and convicted of. Many of the members continue to view her as a saint.