Top Ten Deadliest Female Serial Killers
Infamous names like Charles Manson and Jack The Ripper rule the roost when it comes to the heinous world of serial killers. But the fairer — though no less murderous — sex has also produced many a ruthless killer over the years, with nursing home workers and prostitutes regularly flipping out and embarking on killing rampages. Here then is a blood-stained run-down of the ten most fearsome female serial killers to ever roam the Earth. (Warning: Most of them also have utterly shocking haircuts.)
A registered nurse by trade, the English-born Beverly Allitt became known as the Angel of Death after she spent a two week period attacking and killing children in the hospital ward where she worked. Allitt’s victim tally was four deaths, which she effected by injecting drugs like insulin into their bodies with the intention of bringing about a cardiac arrest. These days, she’s safely locked up in the psyche-ward of Rampton Maximum Security Prison.
Fitting the template of the schizophrenic serial killer, Andrea Yates took out her psychological issues on her own brood when she drowned all five of her own kids in the family bathtub. Criminologists have suggested that Yates’s actions were prompted by her inability to cope with giving birth to so many children — after taking the life of the last of her kids, Yates called 911 to shop herself in — although in an interview conducted after she committed the killings she claimed that her kids were forced to perish due to not being “righteous.”
Representing Canada’s entry into the annals of female serial killer history, Homolka was actually married to another serial killer, Paul Bernardo. It was Bernardo who inspired Homolka to indulge in her dark deeds, as he taught her the ways of kidnapping, rape and, ultimately, murder. In a particularly odious move, Homolka even drugged and killed her own sister, who was one of three lives she brought to a premature ending.
Victorian England was apparently something of an open playground for female serial killers, and Amelia Dyer added her contribution to the country’s murderous tab by taking the lives of kids that she buried in her family’s farm. Dyer was eventually convicted and hung for one murder, but popular rumors at the time suggest that she certainly killed many times over.
Growing up, Aileen Wuornos experienced incest and gave birth to her first child aged just 13. Two years later, she was asked to leave her grandfather’s home — a move which prompted her to embark on a series of armed robberies. After getting hitched to a geriatric man, while also keeping a lesbian lover on the side, she dabbled with prostitution to pay the bills before reaching a tipping point in her life and taking out eight men who were about to pay her for sexual services. Wuornos was eventually tried and executed, with her troublesome legacy later captured in the film Monster.
Active in France during the turn of the 20th century, Jeanne Weber terrorized the streets of Paris by strangling at least ten children to death. Her first dalliance with invoking death took place when she was asked to babysit for her sister-in-law — only for the child to be found mysteriously dead with only tell-tale bruises around her neck. This predilection for strangulation continued until Weber was declared as officially insane; she then hung herself in 1910.
The Connecticut-based Archer-Gilligan lived until she was 89-years-old — during which time she totted up five deaths by poison. Working out of a nursing home, she preyed on the residents, although she also took a lover’s tiff to a very extreme ending by also killing off her second husband. Chillingly, an investigation into the nursing home eventually found that nearly 50 people there had died in suspicious circumstances.
Pre-dating Beverly Allitt’s heinous acts, Jane Toppin was a Boston-based nurse who began her life of depravity by drugging patients in order to rape them — a game which she soon made more extreme by bringing her victims to the point of near death in order to satiate her own sexual needs. Often, she got the calculations wrong though, and by the time of her conviction she admitted to murdering a whopping 31 people. Unwittingly, at one time her patients started to call her Jolly Jane as a term of appreciative affection.
In tandem with the equally-as-evil Fred West, Rosemary West invited young and impressionable girls in off the streets of England and into their home, promising them a bed, food, and a safe sanctuary. Once inside though, the West duo proceeded to subject the girls to depraved sex acts before eventually ending their young lives. Officially, the West’s have copped to ten murders, but reports and rumors suggest the real total could be as many as twice that amount.
Belle Sorenson Gunness
The grandiosely-monikered Belle Sorenson Gunnes carried out her plans to kill over 40 people while living in Chicago — a bloody spree which eventually saw her named as the Black Widow. Theorists have claimed that Gunness’s acts were initially inspired by some sort of an insurance scam — she is alleged to have profited from killing her own two daughters, and then her husband — although she soon caught a murderous fever that saw her luring men to her lair with love letters and then stashing their lifeless bodies under the ground of a farm she had purchased with her ill-gotten insurance pay-out. As a fitting end to the Black Widow’s noir story, Gunness herself was eventually found not just dead but decapitated.