In this article I present and discuss a life-history from the 19th century. A peasant woman, daughter of a village constable and married to a constable herself, experienced the death of both her husbands and the majority of her children at a young age. She survived to live in straightened circumstances. After her death, a rumour that she had murdered her husbands arose; one of them with the aid of a dish of poisoned sour cream! I present the information that is usually available to give a portrait of a person, information based on official documents, written sources of a personal kind and oral tradition. The article discusses the information that it has been possible to gather on this particular person, and analyses the peculiar tradition that points to her being a poisoner, the story of the poisoned sour cream. This tradition is inspired by melodramatic and popular conceptions, and the woman who was thought to be a poisoner is presented in the light of the melodrama.