(born June 1, 1927, Chop, Ukraine) is a convicted
Belgian serial killer. He is currently serving life
sentence for the murder of his two wives and four
children, after he was arrested when his daughter,
partner in crime and former lover Ágnes Pándy confessed
being involved in at least five of the murders. A former
clergyman, he was dubbed "Vader blauwbaard" ("Father
Bluebeard") by the Belgian press.
Pándy met his first wife Ilona Sőrés
in 1957. In the wake of the communist era, they fled
from Hungary to Belgium. A year later, daughter Ágnes
was born; sons Dániel and Zoltán were born in 1961 and
1966 respectively. Only a year later, however, the
couple divorced when András accused Ilona of infidelity
and they separated. Ilona moved away from the house,
taking her sons, but leaving her daughter behind, who
soon started an incestuous relationship with her father.
In the beginning of the 70s, Pándy
began courting other women through dating services,
often giving them a faux name and job description, using
the motto "European Honeymoon" in the ads. By the end of
the decade, he visited Hungary again, meeting his future
second wife Edit Fintor, a married woman, and mother of
three children, Tünde, Tímea and Andrea. He seduced the
woman, who, according to her then-husband, was
effectively eloped by Pándy to Belgium.
Disappearances began in 1986: first,
wife Edit, then her 13-year-old daughter Andrea - Pándy
claimed to Edit's lover they moved to Germany. In 1988,
his ex-wife Ilona and her sons disappear - Pándy first
claimed they moved to France, later claimed South
America. Finally in 1990, after sending Ágnes to a
vacation with his children, Tünde disappears - Pándy
claims that he couldn't handle her, and threw her out of
Ágnes bottomed out in the November of
1997: after reporting her father in 1992 for sexual
abuse, she turned herself in for the police, confessing
the murders of the disappeared relatives. According to
her, she was solely responsible for the murder of her
mother Ilona, and took part in the murder of Dániel,
Zoltán and Andrea. (She refused to mention Tünde's
case.) The modus operandi presented by her was, in two
cases, murder by a handgun, and head trauma caused by a
heavy blunt object. The corpses were then dismembered,
partly dissolved in acid in the basement, and partly
taken to a local abattoir.
In 1984, Pándy began another
incestuous relationship with her daughter Tímea. Ágnes,
in a fit of jealousy, tried to bludgeon Tímea to death
like the others, but was startled. Tímea fled the house,
and soon immigrated to Canada.
trial and conviction
Pándy was arrested October 16, 1997 -
a date coinciding with a demonstration for the victims
of another Belgian serial killer, Marc Dutroux. The case
got worldwide media coverage, especially after Pándy's
deadpan reaction to his surroundings. Pándy received a
convict of a life-sentence. After becoming 80 in prison,
they are looking to put him in a retirement home.
Andras Pandy deceased in Bruges prison
December 23, 2013
Serial killer Andras Pandy in the night from Sunday to Monday deceased
in the prison of Bruges. It is a natural death, confirms Justice.
The 86-year-old Andras Pandy initially stayed in the prison of Leuven
Centraal, but for health reasons was transferred to the Bruges decor. In
the medical center of the prison, he is deceased, says Lieselot
Bleyenberg, spokeswoman for the Department of Justice.
Murder of six family members
Pandy was sentenced by the Brussels Court of Assizes in 2002 to life
imprisonment for the murder of six family members, attempted murder and
rape of three daughters. The naturalized Hungarian pastor showed the
bodies of his family dissolve in a strong acid.
His daughter Agnes Pandy was imposed 21 years in prison for complicity
in five of those six murders and attempted murder. The woman was
released three years probation.
In March of this year Pandy made an attempt to be released early. When
he was still in prison from Leuven Central and had heard the request of
Marc Dutroux to be. Released early Therefore, he expressed his hope to
live in Hasselt in a house.
November 3, 1997 - Andras
Pandy - Police in Hungary, who are searching Pandy's home near Budapest,
announced that an "old family tragedy" could explain why he
might have killed his two ex-wives and four of his children. Much to the
exasperation of the Belgian judiciary, Hungarian police declined to give
further details, preferring to wait in case the suspect decided to
confess. Questions have also been raised over the identity of the
pastor. Belgian investigators think the man in custody could be the
younger brother of the real Andras Pandy, who died in Hungary in 1956.
November 21, 1997 - Andras
Pandy - Police have arrested Agnes Pandy, the eldest daughter of the
suspected Hungarian killer-pastor Andreas Pandy, and charged her with
playing an active role in the murders of her two brothers, her step-mother
and two step-sisters.
November 25, 1997 - Andras
Pandy - The daughter of Andras Pandy confessed to helping him kill five
relatives -- her mother, two brothers, a stepmother and her daughter --
is now being investigated possible links to the disappearance of others
in the family. Authorities have also linked Agnes to the disappearance
in 1993 of a 12-year-old girl whose Hungarian mother had a relationship
with Pastor Pandy.
November 26, 1997 - Andras
Pandy - The Hungarian Nepszava newspaper reported that Andras Pandy
fostered an undetermined number of orphaned or homeless Romanian
children in his home in Brussels. The children -- who became orphaned or
homeless in Romania's 1989 revolution which toppled communist dictator
Nicolae Ceausescu -- were taken in by a charity club named YDNAP (PANDY
backwards) founded by the lethal pastor. They stayed under his care for
varying periods of time, "and nobody knows what happened to them or
if they returned home."
2002 - Then trial for Andras Pandy, a Hungarian pastor living in Belgium, began
in a Brussels court. Known as the "Family Killer", Pandy, 74,
is accused of murdering his first two wives and four of his eight
children. Police believe the number of victims may be as high as 13. His
daughter Agnes, 44, who claims that her father sexually abused her from
the age of 13, confessed to helping kill several family members and is
also being tried for some of the murders.
March 6, 2002 -
Andras Pandy - A Belgian court convicted Andras Pandy, a now-retired protestant
preacher, of killing six family members and dissolving their bodies in
chemical drain cleaner. He was sentenced to life in prison. His daughter
44-year-old Agnes Pandy, received a 21-year sentence for being an
accomplice in five murders and one attempted murder. Pandy, who is
Hungarian but moved to Belgium to escape Communism, was found guilty of
murdering two wives and four children, one of which, a daughter, he also
was convicted of raping. Not the cornerstone in family values, he was
convicted of raping two other daughters, the oldest of which, helped him
with the killings.
Hungarian clergyman, Andras Pandy fled his homeland and emigrated to
Belgium in 1956 during Hungary's abortive revolt against Russian
control. Employed as a pastor and religious education teacher for the
United Protestant Church, he made frequent visits to Hungary over the
years and met his second wife -after the first allegedly deserted
him-through "lonely-hearts" ads he placed in a Hungarian
newspaper. Sadly, his second
marriage was no more lasting than the first.
By the time Pandy resigned from his church duties in 1992, his
second spouse and four of Pandy's eight children were listed as missing.
of those who "left" Pandy were ever seen again, although he
claimed they were alive and well, living somewhere in Hungary.
Daughter Agnes Pandy notified Belgian police of the
disappearances in 1992, adding accusations that she and severas
stepsisters had been sexually abused by their father, but authorities
were slow to act. While police
dragged their feet, Rev. Pandy
was busy concocting a hoax, inducing three unrelated children to join
him on visits to kinfolk in Hungary, then asking his relativas to
furnish written statements that his children were alive.
The young stand-ins suspected nothing, trusting Pandy's
explanation that their actions constituted "a rehearsal for a part
in a movie about Pandy's life."
fact, Pandy had protested too much, prompting police in Belglum and
Hungary to launch a joint investigation of his case.
Hungarian authorities had 60 missing-person cases on their books
for the past decade, including many vanished women, and they wondered
now if some may have answered Rev. Pandys
Arrested in Belgium
on October 20, 1997, the 71year-old cleric was formally charged with
killing two wives and four of his children.
Pandy denied the charges, but Agnes was talking again while
searchers in Brussels descended on severas homes once occupied by
By October 26,
they had reported finding human bones and ashes, blood-spattered walls,
and "large pieces of unspecified flesh" retrieved from a
freezer. Five days later,
detectives identified three children who had posed as Pandy's offspring
during visits to Hungary.
authorities, meanwhile, were busy searching the slx interconnected
basements of Pandy's former home at Dunakeszi, north of Budapest.
They kept mum on their findings but suggested that an "old
family tragedy" might be responsable for Pandy's killing spree.
In fact, they suggested, the prisoner in Belgium might not be
Andras Pandy at all, but rather a sibling of the
real Andras Pandy, whose death had been officially recorded in 1956.
in Brussels weren't sure about that, but they tightened the case against
their suspect-whoever he was-when Agnes Pandy was arrested on November
21, 1997, charged with playing an active role in the murders of the five
missing Pandys. She confessed
four days later, admitting that she and her father shot and/or
sledgehammered to death her mother, two brothers, stepmother, and
stepsister. Some of the
corpses were dissolved in acid, Agnes said; others were hacked to bits
and dumped with other meat, outside a Brussels slaughterhouse.
Police also linked Agnes to the 1993 disappearance of a
12-year-old girl whose mother was romantically involved with Rev. Pandy.
case took another bizarre turn on November 26, when the Hungarian
newspaper Nepsava reported that Pandy had fostered an unknown number of
Romanian children-orphan refugees from the 1989 revolution that toppled
dictator Nicolae Ceaucescu-at his home in Brussels. The children were recrulted by a charity called YDNAP (Pandy
spelled backwards), and Nepsava
reported that "nobody knows what happened to them or if they
returned home" to Romania. There
was more grim news on April 24, 1998, when Belgian police announced that
teeth belonging to eight different people had been found in one of
Pandy's former homes. Forensic
tests indicated that the teeth carne from seven women between the ages
of 35 and 55, plus one man between 18 and 23, none of whom were related
to Pandy. With 13 victims and
counting, authorities refuse to speculate on the lethal pastors final
Michael Newton - An Encyclopedia
of Modern Serial Killers - Hunting Humans
On October 20, 1997 Belgian authorities charged Andras Pandy -- a 70-year-old
protestant pastor from Hungary -- with the murder of two of his ex-wives
and four of his eight children. His daughter Agnes, 40, who claims that
her father sexually abused her from the age of 13, confessed to helping
kill five family members and was charged as an accessory to the murders.
This arrest -- coupled with the nefarious Dutroux affair and a serial
rampage gripping Mons -- is starting to make this sleepy northern
European nation look like the bedrock of worldwide serial mayhem.
In 1997 police started digging for human remains in several abandoned
properties owned by Pandy in the seedier parts of Brussels. They found
kneecaps, teeth, bone fragments and ashes in one of the cellars, but DNA
tests showed they were not from the missing Pandy family members. It
remains unclear whose body parts those were. Authorities also found a
blood splattered wall in another of the homes and "large pieces of
unspecified flesh" stocked inside two fridges." The preacher's arrest
followed a joint investigation by Belgian and Hungarian authorities.
Pandy came to Brussels after the Hungarian uprising in 1956 and had
three children, including Agnes, with his first wife, Ilona Sores. The
couple divorced in 1967 and Pandy later married Edit Fintor, who already
had three children and who gave birth to two more by Pandy. Until he
retired in 1992, Pandy worked as a Protestant pastor and religious
education teacher. In a statement, the United Protestant Church of
Belgium said Pandy had retired as a teacher in 1992 and held no post
within the church.
Not one for family planning, between 1961 and 1971 the pastor fathered
eight. Between 1986 and 1989 four of his children and two former wives
began disappearing. Later he claimed they were all alive and well back
in Hungary. Curiously, no ever saw them again since they left. To
appease investigators, the crafty preacher used fake papers and
postcards to try to prove the six were alive and well and had moved back
Hungarian police found two girls and a boy who had on several ocassions
impersonated the missing children of the suspect killer pastor Andras
Pandy. "He took the children on family visits to relatives and friends
in Hungary, who were then asked to send letters saying they had seen the
children." Allegedly Pandy recruited the children in 1992 -- when
Belgian police first began investigating him -- and used them several
times. The children never suspected any wrongdoing because they "were
told it was a rehearsal for a part in a movie about Pandy's life".
In Hungary investigators are trying to establish whether Pandy could be
linked to any of 60 "missing person" cases which have remain unsolved
since the early Eighties. Investigators used sniffer dogs to search the
preacher's home in Dunakeszi, north of Budapest. In Belgium police
brought in sonar devices -- similar to those employed at the Gloucester
home of serial killers Frederick and Rosemary West -- to investigate the
six interconnected cellars under his second home. Questions have also
been raised over the identity of the pastor. Belgian investigators think
the man in custody could be the younger brother of the real Andras Pandy,
who died in Hungary in 1956.
Agnes Pandy confessed to police that she and her father either shot or
sledgehammered to death five relatives -- her mother, two brothers, a
stepmother and her daughter. Then they chopped up the bodies and used a
powerful drain cleaner to dissolve the corpses and flush them down the
drain. Agnes told authorities that her preacher dad had been raping her
since age 13. He also regularly raped his stepdaughters. Things got ugly
when 20-year-old Timea, one of the stepdaughter, became pregnant. Pandy
tried to kill her and her son, but she managed to escape to Canada and
Authorities have also linked Agnes to the disappearance in 1993 of a 12-year-old
girl whose Hungarian mother had a relationship with Pastor Pandy.
Belgian newspapers reported that five years ago Agnes notified police
that several members of her family were missing. At the time, she also
denounced her father for sexually abusing her and her step-sisters. In
true Belgian fashion, nothing came of it and charges were eventually
The Hungarian Nepszava newspaper reported that Pandy fostered an
undetermined number of orphaned or homeless Romanian children in his
home in Brussels. The children -- who became orphaned or homeless in
Romania's 1989 revolution which toppled communist dictator Nicolae
Ceausescu -- were taken in by a charity club named YDNAP (PANDY
backwards) founded by the lethal pastor. They stayed under his care for
varying periods of time, "and nobody knows what happened to them or if
they returned home." In Brussels, press reports speculated that bones
found under a concrete slab in one of Pandy's homes were those of a
Hungarian woman who arrived in Belgium with her daughter after replying
to a personal add placed by the pastor in search of a wife.
On April 24 tests by Norwegian forensic scientists showed that the new
set of teeth discovered were from seven women, aged between 35 and 55,
and a man, who was between 18 and 23. It is suspected that the
unidentified victims were lured from Hungary to Belgium with promises of
marriage. Police had previously thought that the teeth, bones and other
remains found at Pandy's house might have come from five people
unrelated to him.
On March 6, 2002, a Belgian court convicted of Pandy of killing six
family members and dissolving their bodies in chemical drain cleaner. He
was sentenced to life in prison. His daughter 44-year-old Agnes Pandy,
received a 21-year sentence for being an accomplice in five murders and
one attempted murder. Pandy, who is Hungarian but moved to Belgium to
escape Communism, was found guilty of murdering two wives and four
children, one of which, a daughter, he also was convicted of raping. Not
the cornerstone in family values, he was convicted of raping Agnes and
Prosecutors had requested a 29-year sentence for Agnes, but her lawyers
pushed for leniency, saying Agnes had been under the "overwhelming
irresistible spell" of a father who was raping her as he coerced her
into collaborating in the killings of her mother and siblings. "I had no
way out. I was completely in his grip," Agnes said in her closing
In court, Pandy dismissed the proceedings as a "witch trial" against him.
He told the jury that the allegedly dead were still alive and he is "in
contact with them through angels." When asked why the missing family
members could not be traced in four years of searching, Pandy replied: "It
is up to justice to prove they are dead. When I'm free again, they will
come and visit me."
Andras Pandy: In the Name of the Father
by Seamus McGraw
digger grabbed the fingers of his mud-encrusted black rubber gloves with
his teeth and gave them a sudden tug. For just an instant he thought he
might swoon from the overpowering stench of diesel fuel and raw sewage
that seemed to seep from every crevice in the dank cellar.
back his own bile as he stuffed the glove into the breast pocket of his
police issued Vulcanized rubber waders. The moment that the foul air
touched his bare skin, a chill ran down the digger’s spine and he
suddenly felt somehow unclean. He picked up the galvanized metal sieve
filled with mud and gave it a shake. Thick black slime oozed from the
bottom of the pan, leaving behind, what? A pebble, a tiny shard of
glass, a tattered piece of cloth…and…what was that? That small white
fragment there in the mud?
imagination was getting the best of him, the digger told himself.
to focus. This was a crime scene. Nothing more. He was a professional
and his job was to collect evidence, however small, bag it, tag it, and
send it upstairs. He wasn’t there to make judgments.
It was up
to the detectives, the elites upstairs from the Belgian Ministry of
Justice, to put it all together and decide what it all meant. They
would decide whether the evidence showed that this was the house of an
innocent man of God or whether Andras Pandy, the rumpled little
clergyman with the odd Hungarian accent, really was the monster he was
accused of being.
It was up
to them to determine whether Pandy’s daughter had been telling the truth
when she accused her father of seducing her and then conspiring with her
to murder six members of their family. They would decide whether it was
true that together father and daughter had hacked up their family --
Pandy’s first wife, his daughter’s mother, his own son and young
daughter -- and dissolved the pieces of their bodies in an acrid bath of
acid. All the digger had to do was pick up the pieces.
reached into the filth at the bottom of his sieve and tentatively probed
the tiny white fragment with his finger. It was exactly what he had
thought it was.
It was a
human tooth. There beside it was a splinter of bone, a piece of a
kneecap, a small bit of human flesh and beside that, a chunk of human
Closed and Forgotten
two years earlier, in 1997 and an army of Belgians – 350,000 out of a
nation of 10 million – had marched in silence through the streets of
Brussels. It was much more than simply a candlelight vigil, the kind of
spontaneous demonstration of grief and outrage that have become common
in the aftermath of brutal crimes. This demonstration – which became
known as the White March - a massive protest against the government’s
bungled investigation into a series of kidnappings and murders in
the crowd had even accused the government of participating in a cover up
of the crimes of a killer named Marc Dutroux. In fact, a parliamentary
inquiry into the cases had found that police and prosecutors had so
thoroughly botched the Dutroux affair that their actions “put at risk
the state of law.” It seemed as if all the institutions of Belgium had
been tainted, the police, the courts, the government itself. Shaken
Belgians wonder aloud whether there was any institution in the nation
that could be trusted.
was the outrage over the killings and the government’s handling of them,
that some thought the upheaval might threaten to destroy the
Maryland-sized country, to rip it apart along ethnic lines, dividing
French speakers from Flemish speakers.
“Corruption and spinelessness are eternal,” Hugo Claus, the nation’s
most revered Flemish writer said in a newspaper interview at the time.
“Stupidity and mediocrity accompany our existence and in Belgium, this
authorities in Belgium, the Dutroux case – and the explosion of public
anger that had followed it -- had been their Waterloo. In its wake,
investigators and prosecutors were facing intense scrutiny. They were
under immense pressure to prove that they were not bumbling misfits and
that the public could have faith in them.
why investigators began combing through old records, going back a decade
or more, reviewing almost every case they had closed, looking for
oversights and errors.
take long to find one. At first, the case didn’t look like much, a
fairly routine complaint, five years earlier by a young woman named
Agnes Pandy, the mousy then 38-year-old daughter of a protestant
minister, a quiet but diligent woman who spent her days working in the
map department of the Albert First Royal Library.
demeanor made her easy to ignore. A lackluster young woman, blank
unblinking eyes behind nondescript spectacles, she seemed to be the kind
of person who wandered around the fringes of life, always overlooked.
Perhaps she had issues with her father. Women like that often do,
authorities thought. She certainly had seemed a little odd when she
first walked into police headquarters claiming that her father had
turned her into his sex slave.
also seemed sincere when she told police that she was worried.
that four years earlier her father had sent her and her older brother on
holiday to the Belgian coast for several days. When they returned, she
told police at the time, her stepmother, Edith Pandy and her sister,
Andrea, had vanished.
look for them,” she recalled her father telling her on her return.
“They’re not coming back.”
the end, her complaints went nowhere. Investigators had looked into the
case back then – without much enthusiasm - and had come up empty. There
was no evidence to support her claim that she had been sexually
assaulted. Nor was there any evidence that her father’s parsonage was,
as the newspapers would later call it “A House of Horrors.”
Investigators had spoken briefly with the minister and he had offered a
perfectly plausible explanation for his wife and daughter’s absence.
“They have returned to Hungary” he told authorities. He had even offered
them proof that the missing family members were alive and well in
Eastern Europe. He had a stack of letters purportedly written by them
and postcards mailed from places like Israel, Miami and Brazil.
explanation certainly seemed satisfactory. The investigators thanked the
disheveled parson for his time and moved on, closing the case, confident
that the whole thing was just a bizarre tale spun by a frustrated
spinster, filled with resentment for her respectable father.
Certainly, Andras Pandy might have seemed a little eccentric, but he was
a minister, a respected part of an institution in Belgium, and in the
early 1990’s, at least, institutions in Belgium were still to be trusted
course, that was back in the days before L’Affaire Dutroux had shaken
the foundation of all the institutions in Belgium. Times had changed,
authorities thought. Maybe it was time to revisit the Pandy case one
A Walk in
Monsiuer was starting to get frustrated. Then a senior prosecutor in
Brussels Judicial Police criminal unit, Monsiuer had been listening
almost sympathetically to Agnes Pandy’s rambling statements for hours
but it seemed to the veteran prosecutor that something was missing. The
newspapers were already reporting her bizarre allegations against her
father. “I am ashamed that my father might turn out to be one of the
worst serial killers in history,” she told a Belgian newspaper. But
there were great gaps in her halting tale.
gently suggested to her that, perhaps, a walk through the courtyard of
the Brussels Judicial Police building might clear her head.
she strolled, her heels clicking on the blocks in the courtyard, while a
few paces behind her, police kept close watch on her. The ornate and
terribly civilized facades, the carefully tended plantings, the
sculptures that adorned this corner of Brussels all seemed so calming
and orderly, a far cry from the squalid industrial neighborhood where
Pandy had lived with her father, a place that reeked of sewage and
slaughterhouses. If she had to summon the ghosts of slaughtered family
members, though, perhaps this was a good place to rally them.
A half an
hour later, she returned, leaned forward and softly said to Monsiuer, “I
am going to tell you how we killed five people.”
was one of imaginable horror, a grand guignol of murder and rape and
depravity at the house on Quai de l’Industrie in the rundown quarter of
Brussels known as Molenbeek. She talked of how her father, a bookish
churchman, had seduced her when she was just 13, raped her is perhaps a
more accurate phrase, and how she felt she had no way of escaping him.
“I had no way out,” she would later tell authorities. Her will had been
totally subjected to his. As her defense attorney would later tell a
jury, “she had been under the overwhelming irresistible spell” of her
time she was finished talking, Agnes Pandy had implicated her father –
and herself – in five homicides, all members of their family.
parts that would later be pulled from the mud in Pandy’s murky basement,
the slabs of unidentified “meat” pulled from his freezer, would offer an
even more chilling glimpse into the horror.
conducted on them would reveal that the bones and teeth and fragments of
flesh were indeed human, but did not match any of the missing members of
the Pandy family. That, authorities said, meant that there were in all
probability other victims.
they would later speculate that as many as 13 people fell victim in
Brussels to Pandy’s blood lust. Some of them, they speculated might have
been innocent women lured from Pandy’s native Hungary through newspaper
ads he had placed there searching for a bride.
spelled out in graphic detail how she and her father, described by a
fellow churchman as “unfathomable and mysterious,” with a constant
smirk, “a little smile, like Buddha,” had killed their victims. Some
were shot. Others bludgeoned to death with a sledgehammer. Then they
hacked their victims to pieces and stuffed their remains in plastic
bags, dumping some at a nearby abattoir, dipping others into a vat
brimming with 21 liters of Cleanest, an acid cleanser that ate all the
meat from the bones and then dissolved the bones themselves.
scope of the horror was beyond comprehension, Monsiuer thought. Much of
it, as Monsiuer would soon learn, would be beyond the powers of the
Belgian authorities to prove. But there was certainly enough evidence,
what with the viscera that had been collected at Pandy’s house and with
the damning statement of his daughter, to prove that Andras Pandy was a
deranged killer in a cleric’s frock.
a Cleric's Frock
newspapers in Brussels would later call him “The Diabolical Pastor,” but
there was nothing in Andras Pandy’s calm and quiet demeanor that would
indicate the depth of his potential for depravity, authorities said.
disheveled, with a bit of a paunch and a mane of unkempt gray hair, he
was articulate but reserved when dealing with strangers. A refugee, he
had fled his native Hungary after the bloody uprising against Soviet
authority there in 1956. He ultimately drifted to Belgium where he
managed to find work, first as a pastor at a church for fellow
Hungarians who had also fled the community regime, and then later
teaching religion in Flemish schools.
the same time that he fled Hungary, Pandy married his first wife. Her
name was Illona Sores, and she bore the pastor four children, the eldest
appearances, the family was the picture of propriety. Pandy was a clever
businessman, authorities would say, who traded on his public image as a
man of God for profit. He founded an organization -- Ydnap, his own
name spelled backwards – providing foster care for children orphaned
during the revolution in Romania that ousted dictator Nicolas Ceausescu,
the Hungarian newspaper Nepszava reported. Authorities believe he used
that foundation to raise enough money to buy two houses in Brussels,
behind the closed doors of one of those houses, a 19th Century manse
where the Pandys lived, the picture was quite different. The family was
a study in dysfunction.
investigators would later learn, the slightly effeminate preacher was a
brutal martinet in his own home. He was, as a report in a European
newspaper would later put it, “an authoritarian bully…a sexually
voracious predator who advertised for partners in the Hungarian press,
and an abuser of his own children.”
after 11 years of marriage, Sores and Pandy divorced. Sores mysteriously
vanished. For his part, Pandy explained that she had simply returned to
Authorities would later discover that Sores had been one of the victims
of the killer cleric and his sex slave daughter.
meantime, Agnes, it now appears, had become at least one of the objects
of Pandy’s rapacious sexual appetite. She would later tell authorities,
she was just 13 years old when her father began sexually abusing her.
She would describe herself as his sex slave, according to published
sexual abuse, authorities would later say, continued even after 1979
when Pandy met and married his second wife, a single mother of three
children named Edith Fintor, whom he had found through an advertisement
he placed in a lonely-hearts column in a Hungarian newspaper. She would
later bear the Priappan preacher two more children.
young daughter Timea appealed to Pandy’s sordid sexuality as well,
authorities said. He began a lengthy sexual relationship with the young
girl. He was, authorities say, as secretive about his liaisons with his
daughter and stepdaughter as any predatory pedophile might be. But when
at last it seemed as if his secret might be revealed, Pandy, authorities
charged, was ready to go to unthinkable lengths to protect himself.
became clear in 1986, Agnes Pandy told authorities, when Timea became
pregnant with her stepfather’s child. Authorities now believe that
Timea’s pregnancy may have been the catalyst for Pandy’s killing spree.
Timea’s stepfather wanted her dead. Her stepsister, Agnes tried to
later admitted that she tried to bludgeon her sister, but her sister
managed to escape and fled with her infant son, first to Canada and then
back to Hungary. Somehow, she managed to remain out of Pandy’s reach.
members of Pandy’s family were not so lucky.
years, Agnes had been silent. Silent about her own abuse, silent about
the unnatural series of killings on which she and her father had
embarked. Of course, she had tried to tell the story, or at least part
of it, before. But no one had been listening. So she simply remained
listening now. For two days in October of 1997, she talked. Her
confession took several hours, authorities would later say.
she told authorities, at her father’s behest that she killed her own
mother. Together, between 1986 and 1992, they killed her stepmother and
three of her siblings. They disposed of the bodies in the most gruesome
case finally made it to court earlier this year, jurors would get a
taste of just how awful that disposal had been.
scientists, working for the prosecution, took body parts harvested from
a man who had died of natural causes, and as a video camera recorded the
experiment, they dumped the viscera into a vat of Cleanest. The
household cleanser has since, for reasons unrelated to the Pandy case,
been pulled from the market.
bath worked just as Agnes had claimed. The remains of the man who had
donated his body to science simply vanished into the frothy pool of
tape was played in court, Pandy was unmoved. But Agnes averted her eyes.
gruesome image on the screen seemed, observers would later say, to bring
all the horror back to Agnes. Illen Sores, Edit Fintor, her daughters,
Andrea and Tunde. Agnes own brothers, Zoltan and Daniel. Their deaths
were brutal. Their dismemberment was even more savage. Seeing it
stunned her back into silence.
she sat in Monsiuer’s office on that October afternoon in 1997, she was
anything but silent. She told the police how she and her father chopped
up the corpses using kitchen knives and axes before dissolving the
remains. She told them how she had eviscerated one of her own
stepsisters with her own hands. "It was my task to take out the organs
while Pandy was cutting up the remains," she said. "I just used a
kitchen knife . . . you have to exercise strength. It's not that easy."
The only real sensation she could recall, she would later testify was
this: “It felt cold.”
it possible, the newspaper pundits wondered, that such a brutal and
prolonged killing spree could go undetected? Surely, it had to be the
incompetence of the judicial system, the police, the prosecutors.
Surely, they had failed, the critics opined.
perhaps, to some degree they did. Perhaps they could have been more
aggressive when word first leaked out that something unsavory might be
going on at the house in Molenbeek.
perhaps there was another reason that the diabolical pastor managed to
escape detection for so long. Perhaps it was that Pandy himself took
great pains to cover his tracks, authorities said. He was, prosecutors
would later say, a very “clever liar,” and a talented actor.
example, the dramatic portrayal of a jilted husband that Pandy has said
to have given in 1986 at the front desk of a Brussels police station not
long after – as authorities would later learn – he murdered his second
agitated and distraught, the parson stormed into headquarters to report
that his second wife – a woman, he claimed, he had rescued from the
evils of a communist country, simply up and left him. “She had gone to
live in Germany,” he told police. His performance was convincing,
authorities would later say.
is hardly the most elaborate performance the theatrical preacher gave,
after Pandy’s arrest, police in Hungary discovered what may have been
his most elaborate ruse. Claiming that he was writing a screenplay about
his life, he hired two young actors to impersonate two of his missing
children during his occasional forays back to his native Hungary. Pandy
had purchased a tiny green cottage in his old hometown. He called it a
refuge from his life in Brussels. “He took the children on family
visits,” then asked his friends and family to “write letters saying they
had seen the children,” police said at the time. A widow, who would
later be wooed by Pandy and later became dangerously close to him,
remembered that Pandy brought two young women to her house one day about
a year before his arrest. “They were about 22 or 24, and their names
were Andrea and Tunde,” Margrit Magyar told a reporter. “But I later
learned that these were the names of two of the girls that were supposed
to have disappeared.”
women told police they played their parts several times between 1992 and
1996, and never suspected a thing. They believed that the ruse was
“rehearsal for a part on a movie about Pandy’s life,” authorities said.
everyone was swayed by Pandy’s performances.
Stweszek, a retired minister in the Hungarian Protestant Church in
Belgium and a former colleague of Pandy’s, told the Irish Times
in a 1997 interview that he had long had a disquieting feeling about his
fellow pastor even before Fintor’s disappearance.
had the impression that his wife was not only his wife, but also his
servant and slave,” Steszek told the newspaper.
as early as 1989, a pastor in the nearby Netherlands who knew both Pandy
and his second wife well enough to be concerned about Fintor’s sudden
disappearance, wrote to police and to Queen Fabiola, urging the
government to investigate.
letters were examined, authorities said, and a missing persons report
was filed. But when police spoke to Pandy, he put on yet another grand
performance, telling them that he had heard from his estranged spouse
and that the news was all grim. She remained in Germany, he told them,
and had fallen gravely ill. As a matter of fact, he said, she seemed to
be near death.
Ironically, at about the same time, workers rebuilding a canal alongside
Pandy’s house unearthed a handful of human bones. No attempt was ever
made to link those remains to Pandy’s missing family members.
It was in
1992 when a friend of a high-ranking police official suggested that
someone might want to talk to Agnes Pandy, the pastor’s daughter.
They met with her. They listened to her. For seven hours, they listened.
And then they turned to Pandy.
he denied his daughter’s allegations of incest and worse. He accused her
of being pathologically jealous, and suggested that she was secretly a
member of a strange sect.
he told them, it was he who had first reported his wife missing, and
with his emotional state at the time, certainly that was proof enough
that he had borne his wife no ill will.
he said, brandishing a stack of letters, he had evidence – in black and
white – that his children were alive.
of that year, the incest case was closed. A few months later, the police
notes, the records of the phone calls, the transcripts of their
interviews were all shuffled into a file marked “no further action,”
and buried in the deepest recess of a Brussels police station.
years later, as the nation reeled from the shock of the Dutroux scandal,
the Pandy file would be exhumed. Soon thereafter, police diggers in
vulcanized rubber boots would slowly descend the basement stairs in
Pandy’s home, easing their way along the blood stained wall, to begin
sifting through the muck, searching for fragments of unthinkable horror.
February of 2002. The “Pastor Diabolique,” as he had been dubbed by the
Belgian press, seemed vaguely amused as officers led him past the throng
of reporters and photographers into the courtroom in the vast marbled
hall of justice. That smile, that ever-present smile; that Buddha-like
smile, as his former colleague had described it, never seemed to fade
from his face, observers would later note.
Throughout his two-week long trial, as he sat next to his co-defendant,
who was also his chief accuser, his former sex partner and his daughter,
Pandy seemed hardly to be moved by the proceedings.
people of Belgium were deeply disturbed. For them, the case, as horrible
as it was, was also an indictment against the police, the prosecutors
and the courts.
it dredged up again the revulsion they had felt when word of Dutroux’s
atrocities against young girls – and the government’s impotence in the
face of his crimes. It reminded them of the government’s botched
investigation a decade earlier into the Killers of Brabant, who between
1982 and 1985 shot dead 28 shoppers in gun attacks on supermarket car
parks around Brussels. In that case, hooded murderers, always driving
the same Volkswagen Golf GTi would open fire at random with pump-action
shotguns, and then escape, evading police roadblocks and even crack
military units as they fled, leaving hundreds of wounded people behind
them. No one has ever been charged.
the smiling, bespectacled pastor accused of a horrific string of murders
was just one more example of how the authorities had failed to fulfill
the most basic responsibility of any government – to protect its
matters worse, this was to be a trial with no bodies. The bone fragments
plucked from the mud in Pandy’s basement had been studied and tested,
but authorities were never able to determine whose remains they were.
They were the remains of men and women, all of them over the age of 35,
but their identities remained a mystery.
result, the indictment against Pandy and his daughter named only the
five victims who had been bound to him by blood or marriage -- his two
former wives and his three children. Of them, not a trace remained.
What’s more, his stepdaughter Timea, who had carried his child and
survived his alleged attempt against her life, refused to testify
against him in court. She told authorities that even after nearly twenty
years, she still feared the man.
Pandy seemed to relish the fact that even now – nearly 20 years after
his killing spree ended, police still had no hard physical evidence with
which to confront him.
point, he challenged the prosecutors to prove that his family members
were dead, claiming that they were “alive and well” and in the care of
some unspecified “international society.”
“It is up
to justice to prove that they are dead,” he said. “When I’m free again,
they will come and visit me.”
appeared to almost taunt the prosecution, claiming that he was “in
contact,” with his missing children, then added, “through the angels.”
prosecutors were relentless, observers would later say. In hindsight, it
may have been their decision to show the grisly videotape of body parts
being dissolved in the same acidic cleanser that Pandy allegedly used on
his family, which made the difference.
it was the Prosecutor General Alain Winant’s chilling depiction of Pandy
as a pastor who felt that he could act “as a God in every sense of the
word,” a man who “has reached such a level of virtuosity when it comes
to lying that one can really speak of a form of art in his case.”
it was Pandy’s own rambling denunciation of the case against him as a
“witch trial” during a closing statement that observers said confirmed
what court appointed psychologists had found when they described him as
“paranoid, hostile and anti-social.
the capital of Europe I have been subjected to a trial for sorcery,” he
told the jurors in a statement peppered with obscure references from the
Bible, about the fall of the Roman Empire and the trial of Socrates. “At
every turn, the proceedings have been very black, full of tragedy, full
twelve hours of deliberation, on March 8, a jury convicted Pandy of six
counts of murder. He was also convicted of raping his daughters.
Pandy was convicted of five counts of murder, and of the attempted
murder of her stepsister Timea. Now 44, Agnes Pandy was sentenced to 21
years in prison.
father was sentenced to life.
thought that Andras Pandy will, in all likelihood, die in prison is
small comfort to a nation that is still trying to come to terms, not
only with his years-long orgy of violence, but with it’s own mistrust of
the authorities who are deputized to protect it.
it fully or finally put to rest the question of whether justice was
really done for all of Pandy’s victims. After all, the police diggers
who first encountered the terrible detritus of death in that dismal
basement nearly five years ago, recovered fragments from likely victims
whose stories have never been told. No one really knows who they were,
or how they spent their last few moments on earth. In all probability,
authorities admit, those questions will always remain unanswered.
is some small solace in the final judgment on Pandy and his daughter.
his stepdaughter, for one is safe.
So is her
son, now 20 years old.
And in a
remote corner of Hungary, there are two women Eva Kincs and her elder
sister Margit Magyar who spend their summers tending the garden of their
tiny house, not far from the Danube and closer still to Pandy’s summer
house. Perhaps they are as relieved as anyone on earth that Pandy is now
months before his arrest, Pandy courted Magyar, and unbeknownst to her,
he also courted her sister. Each of them believed that she would become
his third wife, and when he invited them both to come and stay with him
for a time at his home in Molenbeek, they eagerly agreed.
there, they told reporters later, he pressed the two women into service.
They cooked and cleaned for him, and he kept them locked up tight in his
in the house. All the doors were locked and he had the key,” Kincs said.
He told them that they would raise suspicions if they wandered out on
the streets of Brussels unable to speak anything but Hungarian. During
their stay, he took them out only once, Kincs later said.
into their stay, the two women compared notes, and when they discovered
that Pandy had proposed to both of them, they angrily demanded that he
send them back to Hungary.
Surprisingly enough, he did.
women will never know for certain whether the fate shared by Pandy’s
first two wives and his three children also awaited them.
Still, Kincs said, “we
feel like survivors.”