The Hungarian Train Wreck Freak. Assistance, Please?

Sylvestre Matuschka was a very…overachieving serial killer.
He had a zesty pastime.
He liked to wreck trains.

A real party guy, to be sure.

He escaped prison in 1937, ain’t nobody heard from him since. :eek:

I want a book on this alleged human being.
Surely he did some jabbering to somebody.

A quick Google search reveals little about him.

22 dead, 120 injured. It’s possible he wasn’t much into interviews.

Bosda. You’ve just posted a challenge to GQ members. Please be so kind as to post some links as to where you got your info.

For all we know, it’s crap.

samclem–it was from a collection of trivia books, published by Paradox Press.

I can’t recall the title. :o



“An examination of 30 sex killer’s including Peter Kuerten, “the Monster of Dusseldorf”; Syvelstre Matuschka, the Hungarian multiple killer who found sexual satisfaction amidst the carnage of train crashes; Gordon Cummins, “the Ripper of the Blitz”; and Neville Heath, the “Casanova Killer”.16 B&W PHOTOS”

He apparently is mentioned in the 1997 book above. At the link I provide in my previous post they even have a picture they claim is Matuschka. I doubt this is just made up crap. More likely that he is fairly obscure outside Hungary.

I can’t read German, but this page does seem to be about him.

There’s so many variations of his name you can search for information under. His Hungarian name would be spelled “Matuska Szilveszter.” You can also look under “Sylverster Matushka” (anglicized) or “Sylvester Matuschka” (germanicized) for more hits.

Here’s a movie about him, called “Viadukt” or “The Train Killer.”

Better yet, here’s the English cite.

Also, according to some Googling, this book is supposed to have info on Szilveszter.

But that’s all I got for ya.

Well, I also have this link which gives you the original articles where Matuska’s exploits were published, but my Hungarian isn’t good enough to translate everything for you.

That should be “Sylvester Matushka.”

Out of curiosity, is “Matuska” a native Hungarian name, or did it somehow come from the Russian word for a priest’s wife?

I own a copy of The Mammoth Book of True Crime by Colin Wilson which gives four paragraphs about the man on pages 462-463.

Paraphrase: Sylvestre Matushka derailed or attempted to derail three train for sexual pleasure in 1931. The first attempt near Ansbach was unsuccessful. The second attempt, near Berlin, detailed the train; there were 16 injuries but no deaths. In the third attempt, on September 12, 1931, 22 people were killed near Torbagy. After this accident, Matushka sued the railroad, claiming to be a victim of the wreck. When police looked into his claims, they found that none of the other passengers remembered him, and that he had recently purchased a large amount of dynamite. He pleaded insanity and claimed that he was led to derail trains by an entity named “Leo.” Eventually he was convicted and sentenced to death, but the sentence was later commuted to life in prison. Wilson writes that someone named Paul Tabori claims that Sylvestre was later freed by the Russians (presumably during or after the Second World War) and worked for them as a munitions expert.

That last bit about the Russians seems unlikely to me.

Just when you thought there couldn’t be any more train-wreck-related threads…

What an intriguingly combustible psyche, whose perversions ran firmly along a single track…

Another train-wreck freak was a railroad agent named William George Crush, of the Missouri, Kansas, and Texas Railway. In 1896 he staged a head-on crash of two trains as a bodacious publicity stunt.

The trains touched noses, then backed up until they were a mile apart. The crew set the engines at full throttle, then jumped out. The trains crashed head on with each going 60 mph. The boilers exploded and three spectators were killed, and several injured. The photographer lost an eye from a flying bolt.

This event is remembered today only because Scott Joplin, later to become famous as the “King of Rag-Time Writers,” published his first instrumental piece to commemorate this event, the “Great Crush Collision March.” He wrote a musical imitation of train sounds in his piano score, and included verbal descriptions of these in the passage:

The noise of the trains while running at the rate of sixty miles per hour,
Whistling for the crossing,
Noise of the trains
Whistle before the collision
The collision

(This last being represented by a two-handed fortissimo chord in the bass.)

William George Crush may not have been a serial train murderer on the order of a Matuska, but he may have had a similar perv, come to think of it!

No. He was obviously de-railed, and certainly off his trolley.

Not to mention the perfect name.

It’s a Slavic name from all that I can tell. Apparently, Matuska was born in what is present-day Serbia. I’m just curious to know how we seem to have happened upon the French spelling “Sylvestre” for his first name.

The studio project featuring Jello Biafra & members of Ministry known as Lard wrote a song about him, using his name as a title: link .

French used to be the default international language, as English is today. That explains names like “Madame Chiang” and “Madame Gorky” for non-French people back in the 1930s.