Many people genuinely believe that women cannot commit crimes which are as violent and heinous as some committed by their male counterparts, because of all that females are natural nurturers bullshit theory. Women are capable of being violent, vicious and cruel. There were several female Nazi officers involved in torturing prisoners, according to historical sources they were bone-chillingly cruel. History counts several women among the most vicious serial killers of all time. Unlike ordinary killers (who often commit crimes of passion), mass murderers, spree killers and war criminals, serial killers are inflicted by some kind of psychological urge to kill. Robert Ressler coined the term “serial killer” somewhere in the mid-70s(though he believes female serial killers are mostly spree killers, with the exception of Aileen Wournos). According to a recent study 80% of 400 serial killers became active in the US since 1950s. Serial killers usually have 3 or more victims, they may think they are on some mission to purge society, some kill for the pure pleasure of killing(sometimes sexual pleasure), while some may kill to gain something.
10. Velma Barfield
Velma Barfield holds the dubious honour of being the first woman to get the death penalty since it was re-instituted in 1976 in North Carolina, she is also the first woman to die of a lethal injection. She had a tendency to steal at an early age, she accused her father of molesting her later on but this was denied by family members. Shortly after a hysterectomy Barfield started substance abuse to deal with the pain. Her first husband died in a fire, their house burned down in another fire and Barfield got an insurance check this time. Her second husband died of a heart attack and their home burned down again. Barfield started caring for elderly people after this, who were her victims as well. She was finally caught when arsenic was found in her then dead boyfriend’s system in 1978. She was tried for 1 murder but in all she killed 6 people.
9. Anna Maria Zwanziger
Anna Zwanziger, a Bavarian, called arsenic “her truest friend”. Her husband was an alcoholic and a bully; he burned through their fortune before dying. In search of a new suitor Zwanziger would often work in the household of judges trying to win over the men with her charm and skills. Judge Glaser was estranged from his wife when Anna took up a job in his home. She brought the estranged couple together in order to be nearer to the wife whom she ended up poisoning with arsenic. She poisoned his other guests when he did not turn up with a proposal for her after his wife passed away; she was fired since no one died. Well the wife did. She poisoned Judge Grohmann after he proposed another lady instead of her and took up residence in Judge Gebhard’s place who had a sickly wife, whom she finished off with arsenic and even poisoned their son. She fled but was caught; she confessed to those murders and was beheaded in July 1811.
8. Georgia Tann
Georgia Tann was born in a wealthy family in 1891. She believed that wealthy people ranked higher than those who were poorer. She also sold children through her adoption home. Some girls were abused by her, some boys were abused by a male caretaker who took them to the nearby woods, and she placed some in the care of paedophiles. Around early 1920s adoption in USA was not very common and she started placing orphans up for adoption, her game changed once she realized she could charge desperate people a lot of money. She started taking away children from parents she felt were incompetent to care of them by stating welfare took them away or by bribing nurses who would supply the babies to her and tell the parents the babies had died. Lana Turner and Joan Crawford were two of her most famous clients. She had protection from Memphis’ Mayor Edward Hull Crump. Children apparently died like flies in the adoption home she ran which was funded by the government. They were kept under inhuman conditions. She was exposed in 1950 but died of cancer before receiving any punishment.
7. Dagmar Overbye
Dagmar Overbye was active in Denmark in 1913-1920. She confessed to having killed 20 infants, but was charged with that of 9. She ran some kind of a baby farm where parents who couldn’t take care of their kids would leave the kids with her. The kids often died by being burnt, drowned or by strangulation and she would cremate, bury or hide away the remains in her loft. She could be termed as a missionary serial killer who thought her purpose in life was to get rid of unwanted babies (often born out of wedlock). She killed her own child as well. She initially received a death sentence but that was reduced later. She died in prison at the age of 42.
6. Aileen Wuornos
Many must know of Aileen Wuornos, played by Charlize Theron in the film “Monster”. She was active in 1989-1990, when bodies of 7 white middle aged men were found in Florida. Her father was a schizophrenic paedophile who died in prison. She was abused by her grandfather and became pregnant at age 13 after a friend of his abused her. She was thrown out of the house at 15 and she became a prostitute, she exchanged sexual favours for cigarettes, drugs and food since the age of 9. She faced multiple misdemeanor charges (armed robbery, assault, identity theft) and her husband got a restraining order against her after she hit him with a cane. She had an affair with Tyria Moore, and together they would sell stolen goods to pawnshops. One of the victims, Richard Mallory’s belonging was found in a pawn shop and that is what lead to her crimes. She shot 7 men multiple times after stealing their belongings and cars. She stated towards the end that she will kill again if let off, that she had hate crawling through her system and refused to appeal any further. She received the lethal injection in 2002.
5. Miyuki Ishikawa
Miyuki Ishikawa was a midwife in Japan in the early 1900s. She is believed to be responsible for the death of at least 103 infants who were left in her care. Most of the parents of these kids were poor and had little or no means of raising a child. Ishikawa would often neglect the children left in her care which resulted in many of their deaths. After some time she (along with her husband) even began charging the couples, by telling them it would be less expensive to just get rid of them than to have to raise them. Dr. Shiro Nakayama, who was also involved in this scheme with the couple and Ishikawa’s husband got 4 years in prison and she got 8, which was later reduced on appeal. However this incident forced the Japanese government to look into legalising abortion in Japan.
4. Vera Renczi
Born in Bucharest somewhere in late 19th or early 20th century Renczi lost her mother at a young age, she had almost a pathological need for constant male companionship, she married much older wealthy Austrian banker Karl Schick and they had a son named Lorenzo. She grew suspicious when Karl would spend time away from home for long hours for work. She poisoned Karl’s wine with arsenic and told everyone he had abandoned her. She told everyone he died in some accident a year later and shortly afterwards she remarried and well this guy ended up on the other end of arsenic as well. She never married again but had several affairs, with married men as well. The wife of one such married man followed him to her place and alerted the police when he did not come back. The police found 32 corpses in coffins in various stages of decomposition in her cellar. She even poisoned her son Lorenzo when he found out about this. She hugged him as he was dying so that she would be the last woman to do so; she would often sit amongst the coffins of her many suitors down in her cellar.
3. Juana Barraza
Juana Barraza is a professional Mexican wrestler and one of the most popular female serial killers out there on this side of 1950s. She was known as “The Silent Lady” in wrestling circuit, but soon she came to be known as “the La Mataviejitas” aka “The Old Lady Killer”. She killed 11 women and has been sentenced to 759 years in prison. Her mother was an alcoholic and apparently traded her for 3 beers to a man who repeatedly raped her. She became pregnant and had a son. This is the most obvious case of childhood trauma affecting later crimes. All her victims were old women aged 60 and above, she would either strangle them or bludgeon them to death before robbing them. In some cases indications of abuse was also there. Many witnesses believed she was a man dressed as a woman because of her stature. She is currently serving her jail sentence in Mexico.
2. Enriqueta Marti
Enriqueta Marti was a prostitute and a pimp for paedophiles, a child procurer in better words. She would beg around in the poorer section of Barcelona dressed in rags, she would grab any child (infants as well) who looked alone and lost and pretend it was her own child, at night she would cavort among the rich offering herself or these kids for prostitution. She would kill the children (after she was done with them probably) but, the horror did not end there. She also was a witch-doctor. Her prescribed medicine? The ground up innards, hair, blood and bones of the children she killed. The rich paid her loads of money for these potions and ointments she would prescribe for diseases which had no traditional cure. It was 20 years before she was caught, in 1909. At the time of her capture the remains of 12 children approximately were found in her apartment. There were 2 kids found alive, one of whom turned out to be the child of Marti’s sister-in-law.
1. Elizabeth Báthory
Elizabeth Báthory was born in 1560 and was a countess from the noble Báthory family. She killed about 650 girls according to some sources. Historical analysis has shown that the family she hailed from condoned extreme violence, as a child she apparently witnessed a thief being punished by getting sewn into a sick horse’s stomach. After a few girls from other noble houses went missing a raid of her castle revealed several female dead bodies and prisoners who were about to be killed off; she would poke needles into the lips and fingernails of the girls, put them out in the snow naked and pour water on them so that they would freeze to death and she once beat a girl to death with a club for stealing a pear. She was in a position of power rarely enjoyed by women back then and the records of her crimes were written down years after she died, a reason many claim she was a victim of politics and sexism. But, she apparently maintained a diary full of details of her tortures and kills, she was never put to trial but her accomplices were who gave up the details and numbers of the crimes Báthory committed. She was walled up in a tower with enough space for food to be sent in where she died 4 years later. She has become some kind of a legend since then, she is called the Blood Countess; many believe she bathed in the young victims’ blood to remain young.